Archive for June, 2012

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Madagascar 3 (2012)

June 30, 2012

Starring: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett-Smith, David Schwimmer, Sacha Baron Cohen, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Chastain, Martin Short
Director: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath (Madagascar, Madagascar 2, Megamind)

Quick Thoughts: I skipped the first two installments in this series but was still able to jump right in with this story and felt like I already knew who these characters were. The story find the animals wishing to return to the Central Park zoo after a brief stay in Africa, but I in their attempt to return home they find themselves stuck on a train with a traveling circus and a new cast of animals to share the limelight with. Martin Short and Frances McDormand are perfectly cast in their new roles, both providing plenty of comedy.

Viewings: 1
Replay Value: Not exactly something I’d want to own and watch repeatedly, but I’ve clearly overlooked its predecessors.
Sequel Potential: These movies keep doing well enough to warrant further sequels but at some point it’s going to be difficult to to continue moving this story forward. Spin offs might be the way to go as the penguins already have their own T.V. show.
Oscar Potential: A notch below Pixar’s Brave, which means it should probably whiff on a Best Animated Feature nomination.
Nudity: N/A
Grade: 6/10 (Recommended)
RottenTomatoes Scores: Critics: 76% Audience: 81%
IMDB Rating: 7.2/10
Recommendation: A solid family film that is geared toward the kids, but still enjoyable for adults, and a pretty remarkable film for a third installment.

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Brave (2012)

June 27, 2012

Starring: Kelly MacDonald, Kevin Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters
Director: Brenda Chapman, Mark Andrews

Quick Thoughts: I found Brave to be quite enjoyable, but it’s definitely a notch below the standard we’ve come to expect from Pixar movies that aren’t called Cars. The film plays out more like a classic Disney fairy tale than the immensely creative and layered stories we’ve come to expect from the studio. There are some touching moments in the movie due to the conflict between mother and daughter and the pressure some parents put on their kids to be what they want them to be rather than letting them grow into their own destiny; and Brave actually resolves this rift in surprising fashion.

Viewings: 1
Replay Value: Good enough too warrant a second viewing but it’s not timeless like many of the other films in the Pixar library.
Sequel Potential: Merida is a strong enough character to get a sequel but they would need to go a completely different route to continue her story.
Oscar Potential: Should get a Best Animated Feature nomination but not a win.
Nudity: N/A
Grade: 6/10 (Recommended)
RottenTomatoes Scores: Critics: 76% Audience: 85%
IMDB Rating: 7.8/10
Recommendation: Brave is visually beautiful and has some charm, but the humor is almost exclusively juvenile and the story is much simpler than what we expect from a Pixar movie.

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Snow White And The Huntsman (2012)

June 26, 2012

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron
Director: Rupert Sanders

Quick Thoughts: There’s no doubt this movie is visually stunning and while I applaud its attempt at originality, this dark take on the classic Snow White fairy tale is actually rather boring. The visual effects and set pieces are impressive, but the story is weak and there’s no emotional investment in its characters. I could care little whether Snow White lives or dies and Chris Hemworth’s huntsman seems like he’s tacked on as an after thought, so when a romance develops between the two characters, it’s like “huh?” It’s possible Charlize Theron gives a quality performance, but it seems over the top and out of place here.

Viewings: 1
Replay Value: The first viewing was tough enough for me to get through.
Sequel Potential: A sequel has already been announced.
Oscar Potential: I suppose it’s possible this film could get some visual effects or costume attention.
Nudity: Well, that’s one way this movie could be improved.
Grade: 5.5/10 (Recommended/Wait For Red Box)
RottenTomatoes Scores: Critics: 49% Audience: 57%
IMDB Rating: 6.6/10
Recommendation: I was pretty bored by this movie but it wasn’t insultingly bad and I’d potentially worth seeing in theaters for the visuals. Also, general audiences seem to be enjoying it quite a bit.