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Showing posts with label Kids & Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kids & Family. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Movie Review Goodbye Christopher Robin

Movie Review Goodbye Christopher Robin    Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Christopher Robin
Goodbye Christopher Robin

Goodbye Christopher Robin
Get a rare glimpse into the relationship between author A.A. Milne, creator of the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh stories, and his son, in this moving story about success and family.

Returning from The Great War, Blue (AA Milne) finds it hard to readjust to ‘proper’ society and moves his family to the country where he plans to write a protest book against war. When his wife flees back to the social lifestyle of the city and their nanny abandons him, a bonding with his son Billie (Christopher Robin) changes not only his objectives but his perspective.


A very thoughtful film, well written, acted, and filmed. Felt like you were actually watching the Milne family. The actor playing Christopher Milne was phenomenal. This made me cry, both time's I watched it. This is NOT a Disneyesque film, much closer to a Merchant Ivory film and not for the folks looking for an easy "feel good" family film. 

It captures the consequences of a terrible war, and the difficulties of social strata in England, the corruption of childhood, among many other things. It does not diminish my love for Winnie-the-Pooh, and I am encouraged to go see Tiger, Pooh, Piglet, Kanga and Roo at the New York City Library. It only has increased my empathy for this whole family, and their struggles, and my love for the hundred acre wood Again, this is a serious, imaginative and special film. I am seriously considering purchasing as gifts for my adult children.
My family and I have always been huge fans of Winnie the Pooh. This movie was so good. I can't believe this movie wasn't nominated for anything. Glad I purchased instead of just renting, I know we will be watching it again. My 13 yr old daughter and 22 yr old son both loved it as well. It is sad, quite sad at times but so worth watching.
This is an extravagent independent film of the depiction of children's' beloved Winnie The Pooh creator A.A. Milne. Tears fell from my eyes as I felt empathy for Christopher's plea for love in a world that exploited, neglected, and abused him. No child should have experience this at the expense of fame for a children's book. I really felt this movie. I wanted to jump through the screen and give Christopher Robin a bear hug and say that it would be okay. Wow! What a movie experience. I have not felt this in a while. This film is very family friendly but can be dark and cynical at times. I recommend this movie for adults and older children. Younger children may need parental guidance to talk about these mature themes. 
To Winnie the Pooh fans the script was not centered on the creation of Winnie the Pooh as it was centered on A.A. Milne's relationship to his son and Milne's post dramatic stress. The movie's ultimate theme is the effects of fame on Christopher Robin. Fans that want a detail account of the creation of Winnie The Pooh should look elsewhere. It's not that the creation of the Winnie the Pooh is not included in the film; It is just shown briefly. The chemistry between the characters was ecstatic.
I will be the odd reviewer here because I have not read the Winnie the Pooh books or seen any of the animated films that have been made from the books. Good-bye Christopher Robin is a beautifully filmed and acted movie. I have come across comments elsewhere about the chilly relationship between A.A. Milne and his wife and son Christopher. Even though the First World War is only 100 years past, the devastating effects of the war does not seem to register with viewers. Many villages in England had all of their young men wiped out entirely because they were encouraged to join a single regiment. The sense of extreme loss was very palpable. 
The Milne marriage was devastated from the shell shock that Alan suffered and made him withdraw. The fact that the story of the writing of Winnie the Pooh had no happy endings is the way life goes. The tragedy of Christopher is that the writing of the book blighted his life because it made him famous, and he was unable to cope with the demands that fans of the book placed on him.
I loved this film and have loaned it to my daughter for her to view. I also texted my sister to recommend that she watch it. It was well done, and the child actor who played Christopher Robin was adorable. The beginning was confusing slightly, but I soon sorted out what was going on. A very pleasant viewing experience although I was almost in tears in parts.
For me the story had was wonderful because Alan Milne and his son did draw closer over the writing of Winnie the Pooh and created books that offered some light during the difficult times following the war. If Daphne Milne enjoyed the glamor of London, her husband and son found peace in the English countryside. Ultimately, this is a beautiful film with a good resolution as Christopher goes to war, like his father and comes home. He reconciles with his fame from the Winnie the Pooh books but wanted none of the royalties. I plan to see this film again for the sensitive direction by Simon Curtis and the superb performances by Margot Robbie, Domhnall Gleeson, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Will Tilston.
I strongly recommend this film. Please support Independent Films.
 Buy Now The DVD

Goodbye Christopher Robin

  • Genres: Kids & Family
  • Starring: Vicki Pepperdine, Margot Robbie, Domhnall Gleeson
  • Supporting actors: Domhnall Gleeson, Will Tilston, Alex Lawther, Stephen Campbell Moore, Richard McCabe, Geraldine Somerville, Mossie Smith, Stanley Hamlin, Kelly Macdonald, Dexter Hyman, Sonny Hyman, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Sam Barnes, Allegra Marland, Mark Tandy, Richard Dixon, Shaun Dingwall, Ann Thwaite
  • Director: Simon Curtis
  • Format:  Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: January 23, 2018
  • Run Time: 107 minutes

Movie Review
Goodbye Christopher Robin

Monday, March 5, 2018

Movie Review Coco Disney-Pixar

Movie Review - Coco             Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Coco - movies.disney.com
Coco

Coco
In Disney-Pixar's extraordinary adventure, a boy who dreams of becoming a great musician embarks on a journey to uncover the mysteries behind his ancestor's stories and traditions.

Reviews :

Written and directed by Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3, Finding Nemo) and Adrian Molina (The Good Dinosaur, Monsters University), Coco is a wonder to experience. Dazzling, breath-taking animation, marvelous story-telling, engaging characters and so much heart that it's a film that's going to stay with you for a long, long time. This isn't just the best animated film to come out this year, it's arguably the best film of any kind to come out this year. It's the first film in years that I immediately wanted to see again after it was done, like just not leave the theater and watch it all over again. It's that good.

Coco takes place in Mexico on Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) an important holiday in Mexican culture that is celebrated every year from October 31st to November 2nd (All Hallows' Eve, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas where families display photos of those in the family who have passed on, often going back for generations, then honoring the deceased using calaveras (decorated skulls made of sugar), Aztec marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and also visiting their graves with these as gifts. Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at their graves. It helps to know this as background for the story, though the film does a good job of showing all of this as it goes on. It's all centered around the importance of family and of remembering those who have gone before you.

Miguel Rivera (Anthony Gonzalez) is a 12-year-old boy who lives in a small rural village of Santa Cecilia with his elderly great-grandmother Coco (Ana Ofelia Murguía) and three generations of her descendants. Miguel's dream is to play the guitar someday, much like his hero, the famous Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), a nationally celebrated musician and actor who came from his village and whose mausoleum is a major attraction there.

However, there is a problem. Many years ago, Miguel's great-great-grandmother, the formidable matriarch Imelda (Alanna Ubach) was married to a musician who left her and their young daughter Coco to seek his fortune writing songs and playing music and never returned. Imelda turned to shoe-making to support herself and her daughter, and eventually shoe-making became the family business. She also began a ban on any and all music in the family - no singing, no guitar-playing, no musicians! - which has continued to this day, rigidly enforced by Miguel's take-no-prisoners grandmother (Renee Victor).
All of this serves as a major obstacle to Miguel and his dreams. Miguel does practice in secret though, watching old movies of the great Ernesto and teaching himself how to play, and decides in spite of everything to enter a talent show for the Day of the Dead.
A sequence of events however result in Miguel stealing Ernesto's guitar from the mausoleum, and the next thing he knows is that he's suddenly an invisible ghost to the living - but the returning dead can see him and he can now see them. Which in turn sets him on a journey across a mystical bridge from the land of the living to the land of the dead, a wondrously beautiful place but one from which he must quickly find a way to return before he ends up becoming one of the dead himself and having to stay there forever. He's helped along the way by a down-on-his-luck denizen named Hector (Gael García Bernal), who's in danger of being forgotten, and a number of other characters he encounters. His quest ultimately requires him solving a generations-old mystery and setting right a wrong that occurred long before he was born.

The musical score by Michael Giacchino (Up, Ratatouille) is as beautiful as the animation, shifting from lively to wistful as the scenes require, and young Anthony Gonzalez's singing voice gives heartfelt depth to Miguel's dreams of becoming a musician.
 
Disney has always been synonymous with great story telling, powerful artwork and animation, and having heart in most of their major films. Some of the great Disney movies have transcended time and are loved by different generations for that very reason. But then in 2013, Disney attempted to trademark "Dia de los Muertos", or Day of the Dead for one of it's upcoming movies, a move met with much deserved resentment and criticism from Hispanic writers, critics, and the public. To say that the Day of the Dead is the Mexican version of Halloween is incorrect. It isn't a holiday as much as a tradition which is embedded into the heart of many Mexican families to honor loved ones who have passed away.
Disney's trademark attempt was an insult to not only the day itself but to millions of people who honor that tradition. That being said, Disney dropped the trademark, and did everything right since then to fix their mistake. Many of the people hired to work on Coco were Hispanic, and after their blunder they also hired Lalo Alcaraz, a political cartoonist and Disney critic, along with Octavio Solis and Marcela Aviles as cultural consultants on the movie. They went from possibly being boycotted to having great international and domestic success, turning many into believers including myself. The end result being a culturally rich and emotional movie that left tears in everyone's eyes.

Unlike past Disney/Pixar movies I've seen, there are three layers of meaning integrated into this movie. The first layer is what every Disney story requires which are the characters, plot, visuals, settings etc. The second layer are the morals that Coco teaches, which any person watching the movie can learn from. These two alone are enough to call Coco a great Pixar movie in my opinion. However the third layer, which involves the integration of hispanic traditions and culture, is what makes this movie standout as special, memorable, and unique.
As a Mexican-American, this movie holds a special place in my heart because so much of this movie feels real and familiar. From the family dynamic that Miguel shares with the family, to the chancla (sandal) smacking grandma, and especially because of the music, this movie feels saturated with Hispanic customs and way of life. It is obvious from the first scene to the last that Disney listened very well to their cultural advisors for this movie.

Being a Mexican-American, I've learned that various aspects of Life, Death, and Family are handled and understood differently between all ethnicities, backgrounds, and cultures. Coco involves several scenes in a graveyard, shows relatives returning from the afterlife as skeletal versions of who they once were, and has Miguel racing against the clock to return to his family before dying. These are cinematic occurences which some may not want to watch or explain to their children. My suggestion for anyone who hasn't watched this movie and is not of a Central/South American background is to be prepared and be open minded.
Though some parts of the movie could seem farfetched, myself along with all the Hispanic adults and children watching the movie in theatres were mesmerized to watch something you can identify with as a person and as a community. For many, this movie is all about seeing the world through another's eyes, and that's wonderful in itself.

Ultimately, Coco is a fantastic movie worthy of the Pixar/Disney brand which every family should enjoy. Prior to release, my two concerns with the movie was that it would be a heartless Pixar version of the Book of Life, and that Disney would take advantage and exploit the Hispanic culture in a distasteful way. I'm glad to say that besides focusing on music and honoring the Day of the Dead , similarities ended between the two movies.
I enjoyed The Book of Life, and had low expectations for Coco in comparison. The truth is (no disrespect to the movie or the people who made it) The Book of Life is enjoyable and relatable, not a cultural staple. Although both movies treated one of the most important Mexican traditions with dignity and respect, Coco's heartwarming interpretation will become an unforgettable treasure in the Hispanic community for generations to come.

Highly, highly recommended for anyone who loves animation, great story-telling and characters that grab you by the heart and never let go.
 Buy The DVD Now

Coco (Theatrical Version) 2017

  • Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Animated, Comedy, Kids & Family
  • Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal
  • Supporting actors: Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renee Victor, Jaime Camil, Alfonso Arau, Herbert Siguenza, Gabriel Iglesias, Lombardo Boyar, Ana Ofelia Murguía, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Selene Luna, Edward James Olmos, Sofía Espinosa, Carla Medina, Dyana Ortelli, Luis Valdez, Blanca Araceli, Salvador Reyes
  • Directors: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
  • Format:  Prime Video (streaming online video)
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Studio: Pixar
  •  

Movie Review
Coco: (Theatrical Version)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Movie Review Beauty And The Beast

Movie Review - Beauty And The Beast

Beauty And The Beast - Amazon.com
Beauty And The Beast

The story and characters you know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney's animated classic BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told.


I have loved the story of Beauty and the Beast for years. I loved the Disney animated version. It was charming and sweet. This one has many of the same qualities but it was very hard to get past Emma Watson's singing.

Remakes can be risky, but Disney delivers again in this excellent live action remake of their classic animated musical "Beauty and the Beast". The story will be familiar to fans of the earlier movie, but the delivery of the new movie is so good that the suspense will have viewers hanging on the edge of their seats for an emotional ending. The music is as good as the original, and the CGI effects of the Beast's castle and its lively household are generally seamless.

The settings recalled the real darkness of the original French fairy tale. The prince is a prisoner of his own arrogance, selfishness and anger, and the intricacies of the Beast's cursed castle show that so well, metaphorically: everything is entangled and entwined with sharp, brittle branches and dark, dark, dark. The scenes where Belle and he begin to interact to get to know each other become well-lit and brighter, as if the Beast is slowly letting go of his own destructive tendencies. 

The mob scene is truly horrifying, as I could feel the hatred that Gaston is whipping up, and the villagers so quickly fall for. The obvious "lessons" are here as well: appearances are not all there is to a person as well as (sorry, Lloyd Weber fans) love changes everything.

The acting cast is first rate. Emma Watson is her own spunky but very appealing Belle. Dan Stevens carries off the difficult role of the Beast, with a soft heart under a beastly exterior. Kevin Kline is adorable and funny as Belle's father, a man with a secret. The voice actors for the enchanted household staff are indeed a distinguished bunch, including Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Ewan McGregor, and Stanley Tucci, among others. Luke Evans as Gaston and Joseph Gad as Le Fou are their own entertaining subplot. The scenes in the forest with the wolves may be too intense for very small children. Highly recommended.
 
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Beauty And The Beast

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Movie Review Doctor Who: The Complete Specials

Movie Review - Doctor Who: The Complete Specials  

(The Next Doctor / Planet of the Dead / The Waters of Mars / The End of Time Parts 1 and 2) 


Special features
  •     Disc 1: The Next Doctor
  •     Disc 2: Planet of the Dead
  •     Disc 3: The Waters of Mars
  •     Discs 4-5: The End of Time, Parts One and Two
  •     Doctor Who Confidential
  •     Doctor Who at the Proms
  •     Deleted scenes with introduction from Russell T. Davies
  •     David Tennant Video Diaries: The Final Days
  •     Doctor Who BBC Christmas idents
  •     Audio commentaries
  •     Doctor Who at Comic-Con

This stunning collection of Doctor Who specials The Next Doctor, Planet of the Dead, The Waters of Mars and The End of Time, Part One & Two is a must own for all Doctor Who fans. The four imaginative, action-packed specials are the farewell to star David Tennant, and Russell T Davies, the mastermind behind the rebirth of the modern DoctorWho. The specials culminate in the dramatic regeneration of the Doctor, giving fans their first glimpse of the eleveDoctor, played by Matt Smith. The specials are packed with a terrific lineup of guest stars includingMichelle Ryan (Bionic Woman), David Morrissey (State of Play, Sense and Sensibility), Lindsay Duncan (Alice in Wonderland (2010), Rome, Under the Tuscan Sun) and many more that we can t reveal just yet!
I've been a Doctor Who fan since I encountered it as a kid in the 80's, and I have been overall very impressed and pleased with Doctor # 10! The specials are great to see in HD! I had seen them before in poor streaming web quality. Waters of Mars had a great spooky atmosphere, and I think is the strongest of the specials. The End of Time - well, my problem is I can't stand the new regenerated Master. He's too campy, and seems to be trying too hard to be an unhinged Joker. The Master is the dark version of the Doctor, cunning, cold, manipulative, foreboding and charming. This Master is none of those things. Plus the lightning bolt throwing? Thankfully "The Next Doctor" is great fun, "Planet of the Dead" is interesting and enjoyable, "The Waters of Mars" is awesome, and the End of Time is mixed.
What more can I say about the 10th Doctor's Specials that hasn't already been said. They're great. The problem I have and this has been a major problem with all of my Doctor Who Blu-ray sets (and I own every Blu-ray for modern Doctor Who available) is that the audio tracks are really screwed up when played through my Onkyo receiver.

It's obviously a codec issue but what happens is that the DTS HD HR (not tobe confused with the lossless MA) audio randomly drops in and out on and either completely disappears or you can only hear certain channels. Although I had the random dropout issues on my other DW sets, the solution to that was to simply to change the audio output on the PS3 from bitsream to linear PCM. This results in no change in audio quality with the only difference really being that the display on the receiver shows "Multichannel" instead of "DTS HD HR."

With this set, however, that doesn't work and the discs become impossible to enjoy. I have done all of my updates and I have tried connecting different Blu-ray players to the receiver with no change and I must not that out of the 400 Blu-ray titles I own, the DW titles are the only ones I've ever had a problem with.
 
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Doctor Who : The Complete Specials
  • Gendre : Science Fiction, Drama, Adventure, Mystery, Kids & Family
  • Actors : David Tennant, David Morrissey, Michelle Ryan, Lindsay Duncan, Bernard Cribbins
  • Format : AC-3, Blu-ray, Box set, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language : English (DTS-HD High Res Audio)
  • Subtitles : English
  • Region : All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio : 1.78:1
  • Number of discs : 5
  • Studio : BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date : February 2, 2010
  • Run Time : 311 minutes
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Movie Review Doctor Who Seasons 11

Movie Review - Doctor Who

Rotten Tomatoes

Doctor Who Seasons 11 Serials :
  1. The Pilot
  2. Rose
  3. The Unquiet Dead
  4. Aliens of London
  5. World War Three
  6. Dalek
  7. The Long Game
  8. Father's Day

Christopher Eccleston's Doctor is wise and funny, cheeky and brave. A loner, his detached logic gives him a vital edge when the world's in danger. But when it comes to relationships, he can be found wanting. That's why he needs Rose. From the moment they meet, the Doctor and Rose are soulmates. With nothing to hold Rose back (neither her overbearing mum nor her hapless boyfriend), she chooses the Doctor and his promise of fantastic adventures across the universe.

Reviews :

I truly believe Doctor Who wouldn't have become the global phenomenon it is today without the 2005 relaunch of the series. Christopher Eccleston's Ninth Doctor is wise and funny, cheeky and brave. And his companion, Rose, was the down to Earth, average teenager the whole audience could relate to. As they travel together through time, encountering new adversaries, the Doctor shows her things beyond imagination. Some of my favorite stories from this season included "The End of the World" (where the Doctor shows Rose the eventual fate of the planet Earth); "Dalek" (the bitter sweet, but still chilling return of the most famous enemies of the show); and "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances" (a gripping and scary two parter set in WWII, featuring zombie kids in gas masks, and the first apperance of heroic heart throb, Captain Jack Harkness). And it all leads up to an exciting two part season finale with a showdown with the Daleks, and a tearful changing of the guard, in which the Doctor regenerates into his Tenth form.

It's a shame the Ninth Doctor only lasted a season, because he was pretty good, and this series was pivital in not only reintroducing the classic series to the modern era, but also laying the ground work for all the important elements that would make the modern era of Who the success that it is today. And the discs are all jam packed with interesting special features, including behind the scenes info about the making of the show, and interviews with the cast members.
Eccleston only played The Doctor for this single season; he did not renew his contract. But his work here sets the ground work for every Dr. Who episode created since. Gone is the absent-minded professor type of the first eight Doctors. Eccleston's Doctor is thoughtful, direct, and action-focused. This is a Time Lord with a plan who doesn't hesitate to do whatever needs to be done and has both the knowledge and experience to solve problems that would confuse others.

He is also a haunted man, regenerating out of the War Doctor (see "Day of the Doctor" from the 50th anniversary specials), the sole survivor of the Great Time War, his conscience thick with the horrors of that war and his role in it, a conscience that makes him more determined than ever to help others -- starting with Rose Tyler in the first episode, "Rose."
 
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Doctor Who

  • Genres : Science Fiction, Drama, Adventure, Mystery, Kids & Family
  • Director : Graeme Harper, Euros Lyn, Douglas Mackinnon, James Strong, Rachel Talalay, Charlie Palmer, James Hawes, Joe Ahearne, Toby Haynes, Nick Hurran, Saul Metzstein, Hettie Macdonald, Richard Clark, Julian Simpson, Daniel Nettheim, Edward Bazalgette, Keith Boak, Colin Teague, Adam Smith, Paul Wilmshurst
  • Starring  : Matt Smith, David Tennant 
  • Supporting actors  : Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Nicholas Briggs, Karen Gillan, Billie Piper, Paul Kasey, Arthur Darvill, Ruari Mears, Freema Agyeman, Barnaby Edwards, Catherine Tate, Alex Kingston, Matt Lucas, Camille Coduri, Noel Clarke, Michelle Gomez, Pearl Mackie, Nicholas Pegg 
  • Season year : 2005
  • Network : BBC America 
  • Producers : Steven Moffat, Steven Moffat, Russell T. Davies, Julie Gardner, Phil Collinson, Phil Collinson, Brian Minchin, Piers Wenger, Denise Paul, Denise Paul, Denise Paul, Marcus Wilson, Marcus Wilson, Beth Willis, Diana Barton, Helen Vallis, Peter Bennett, Tracie Simpson, Tracie Simpson, Caroline Skinner
  • Format : Prime Video (Streaming Online Video)
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