Posts Tagged ‘review’

finding-dory-movieDespite some positive reviews in Rotten Tomatoes (94% at this writing), I was a tad wary to see the new Pixar/Disney film Finding Dory. This comes from my basic lack of trust in sequels, though I liked the Toy Story franchise.

My family was at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany with about 25 other people, and The Daughter was one of only two children; I expect the kiddies had gone earlier in the day, which was Father’s Day.

In case someone had not seen Finding Nemo – it WAS 13 YEARS AGO Read the rest of this entry »

OJ-Made-in-AmericaSeriously, I didn’t know it was going to be on, but came across it flipping through the channels. On the heels of the popular The People v. O.J. Simpson, part of the American Crime Story series on the FX network – which I did not see – comes O.J.: Made in America, a sprawling five-part documentary on the cable sports network ESPN.

Many people know about the bizarre low-speed chase of Simpson’s Ford Bronco, Most are aware of the “trial of the century,” an appellation that may very well be correct. At least in the United States, almost EVERYONE had an opinion about the former football player’s guilt or innocence in the murders of his estranged wife Nicole Brown, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

The most mild-mannered person I have ever known was incensed when Simpson was acquitted of the crimes, as was most of white America. Yet many black Americans literally cheered the verdict. This phenomenon is established fact. What the documentary explains Read the rest of this entry »

jungle-book-2016I’ve never read the 1894 stories by Rudyard Kipling known as the Jungle Book. Nor did I ever catch the 1967 film that was the last full-length animated film produced by Walt Disney himself. And no copy exists in the Albany Public Library; I may have to get a copy through interlibrary loan.

I have watched scenes of the older film featuring the songs I Wanna Be Like You and especially The Bare Necessities.

So seeing the 2016 version, done with special effect animals and scenery, plus a real boy (Neel Sethi as Mowgli) in the center of the action, was a very different experience. The technological challenge was daunting for director Jon Favreau, who has piloted such diverse fare as Iron Man and Chef.

He succeeded.

My wife claims that I flinched more in this film that the three of us saw at Albany’s Madison Theatre on Sunday than she can recall, especially with the appearances of angry tiger Shere Khan (voiced by Idris Elba). I recognized right away the voice of Bill Murray as the crafty bear Baloo, and that was actually a relief after all the action that had taken place up to that point.

All the voice actors were quite fine: Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, the panther; Lupita Nyong’o as Mowgli’s wolf mother, Raksha; Giancarlo Esposito as Akela, the wolves’ father; and Scarlett Johansson as the snake Kaa. The late Gary Shandling had a small role as Ikki, the porcupine. Even Favreau got into the act as a pygmy hog, and used his kids Madeline and Max as Raquel the rhino and a young wolf.

Still, the standout, both visually and aurally, may be King Louie, voiced by Christopher Walken, who’s seeking the “red flower.” My spouse, who’s not a Walken fan, even said so. This is NOT Walt’s Louie.

If The Daughter had been five, I believe this film would have terrified her, but as a tween, she’s more impervious to scary movie action.

This is a fine film. Read SamuraiFrog’s review.

zootopiaIsaiah 11:6 reads, “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb.” In Zootopia, the newish animated film from Disney, the big city is populated by anthropomorphic mammals, who, in our world, are predator and prey. Yet they work together, usually in harmony.

Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) is a rabbit from rural Bunnyburrow who wants to be the first rabbit officer in the Zootopia Police Department, much to the misgivings of her go-along-to get-along parents (Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake).

Judy graduates at the top of her class, but is assigned to parking duty by Chief Bogo (Idris Elba), a water buffalo who doubts she can do the job. When Mrs. Otterton (Octavia Spencer) arrives to plead for someone to find her missing husband Read the rest of this entry »

dorisSince I really like Sally Field, the Wife and I decided to see her new starring vehicle, Hello, My Name Is Doris, at the Spectrum Theatre, on a Monday matinee. The IMDB description is refreshingly succinct: “A self-help seminar inspires a sixty-something woman to romantically pursue her younger co-worker.”

Doris had put her life on hold before that seminar by Willy Williams (Peter Gallagher), which she attended with her best friend Roz (the ever solid Tyne Daly). Her boss Sally (Natasha Lyonne) had recently introduced the staff to the new art director, John (Max Greenfield), who is half her age. He also has a nice girlfriend named Brooklyn (Beth Behrs).

With the assistance of Roz’s granddaughter (Isabella Acres), Doris becomes tech savvy enough to discover John’s hangouts.

Meanwhile, Doris is being pressured by her brother and sister-in-law (Stephen Root, Wendi McLendon-Covey) to sell the house she shared with her late mother. They encourage/nag her to see a therapist (Elizabeth Reaser) to deal with her problem with clutter.

I really need to try harder to avoid the reviews for movies I might be interested in seeing, even the 85% positive ones from Rotten Tomatoes. One review suggested that Doris Miller was just a stereotype of a wacky older woman. I thought she was far more nuanced that that, though she DID have ONE cat.

Another critic said that John should have figured out that Doris was romantically interested in him. I don’t believe that AT ALL. Doris had been, in many ways, all but invisible.

Doris was working in a dead end job, staying in town to take care of her mother, whose funeral pretty much starts the film. She was cast in the caretaker role for years, delaying her own dreams.

I recommend Hello, My Name Is Doris. There were some laughs, and a couple groans, but more than that, a hint of recognition of people I know in real life in the title character.

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