Muppets Most Wanted review

A evil Kermit the Frog look-alike and Ricky Gervais are taking the Muppets on a world tour of shows and secret burglary while real Kermit is in a Russian jail in the new movie, Muppets Most Wanted.

Gervais plays Dominic Badguy, an international manager that is getting the Muppets booked in better places than Kermit (Steve Whitmire) and getting them sold out quite easily. Kermit, feeling useless and ignored, decides to take Dominic on his offer for a nightly stroll.

On the walk, Kermit confronts his double a wanted criminal, Constantine, and is easily defeated. Constantine disguises his mole and puts one on Kermit to completely throw everyone off on their identities. Kermit is thrown into a Siberian prison controlled by Nadya (Tina Fey) with inmates Danny Trejo, WWE’s Hornswoggle, Josh Groban, and others.

Meanwhile the Muppets are having a lot of success with the fake Kermit, who is stealing from important buildings during the performances to find an ultimate treasure.

There’s some funny typical Muppets back-and-forth dialogue, lots of songs, an insane amount of cameos, this eight Muppets movie delivers what you’d expect. The story is not best one as it feels so ridiculous the emotional heartfelt scenes are not as compelling.

A good family watch that kids will enjoy as there’s enough action, mischief and silly moments to keep a young audience entertained. Fey, Trejo and even Hornswoggle deliver hilarious musical performances, some of which are arguably the best moments in the film.

Far from the best Muppets adventure, but if you’re looking for more of the same you won’t be disappointed.

Disney’s Frozen Blu-ray combo pack review

A powerful secret magical ability has kept a princess isolated from society and her own sister in order to protect them from potential destruction in the new Disney Blu-ray release, Frozen.

The Academy Award winning flick stars Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel), Elsa is the one with the ability to freeze, shoot snow & ice, and create winter-like creatures because for an unknown reason she is magical. Her sister Anna is not.

As the king and queen died, Elsa was set to be crowned queen. This gave Anna the chance to leave the castle and interact with people for the “First Time in Forever.” In her song and dance she runs into Hans (Santino Fontana) a charming prince that she believes is her true love. Anna confronts her sister about this leading to Elsa’s magic getting exposed and turning the entire land into an endless winter.

Elsa flees the castle and hides in the mountains. Anna embarks on a mission to save her and ends up meeting an ice seller named Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) who is the complete opposite of the love of her life, but the two settle their differences quickly in order to survive the cold and wildlife.

Frozen is a fun engaging story for children and adults that enjoyed the classic Disney movies. With a memorable selection of songs and gorgeous backgrounds, this film is a perfect addition to greats such as Lion King, Aladdin, and so on. This movie sets the standard for high quality animation. The humour provided by the snowman Olaf (Josh Gad) adds an extra element of awkwardness that is also commonly found in past Disney titles.

Not a lot in terms of extras. There’s a few deleted scenes with introductions to all of them, a musical presentation of how the film was made, music videos and trailers fill up the rest. It does feel like Disney held back on bonus content in order to comeback with a grander collector’s edition in a few years from now.

Best release by Disney in years, a must have.

Frozen

Rated PG

Disney Animation Studios

Run time of 102 minutes

Frozen [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)

Non-Stop review

MV5BOTI3NzcxMjkzMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDY0NTQ0MDE@._V1_SX214_Every 20 minutes one of 150 passengers on a flight will die unless the Air Marshal scrambles to find out who is doing this, problem is it could be anyone… even him.

Liam Neeson stars in the new suspense mystery thriller movie, Non-Stop. Neeson plays Bill Marks, an alcoholic smoker who is introduced with a plethora of issues. On board his flight heading to London, he randomly receives texts from an unknown source threatening the lives of every passenger unless $150 million is wired to an account in the name of Bill Marks. Due to his problems, you’re left wondering is this a potential setup or an insane plan by Marks?

Julianne Moore plays Jen Summers, the woman in the seat next to Marks on the plane. She aids in him in his plans to try and figure out who the killer is, but her asking of personal questions creeps paranoia into Marks’ investigation. Not to mention you got a guy on board who looks like a terrorist, hot heads, computer nerds, a whore, and rebellious teens to help complete the questionable suspects.

The mystery and the anticipation of every 20 minutes elapsing is the exciting selling point of this film. You learn more about certain characters with each death and the pressure to give into the terror demands grows stronger. Despite the close quarters there is still a considerable amount of action, and each death seemingly grows the amount of space on the plane. Thankfully there is no ridiculous reveal that insults the viewer and the suspense plays off with a spectacular finish.

This is a brave venture into a realm that has been difficult to enter post-911. Granted this story is a bit far-fetched, yet the realism of a terror attack is still a difficult issue for many throughout the world. Glad that this movie has been given the spotlight it deserves as it’s one of the best watches of 2014 so far. From the first terror message, it’s an incredible roller coaster ride until the credits.

Non-Stop

Rated PG-13

Universal Pictures Canada

Run time of 106 minutes

In theatres now

 

Ride Along review

MV5BNjU4NzYzOTY1MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTAyNTc1MDE@._V1_SX214_Ice Cube plays a 24/7 pissed off cop who cannot stand his sister’s video-game obsessed, egomaniac boyfriend as they drive around causing chaos and destruction in the new movie, Ride Along.

Kevin Hart plays the boyfriend named Ben, and as you’d expect from Hart he is a fast-talking joker. After working as a security guard at a high school, he receives acceptance to police academy. Due to this sudden change in his life direction, Ben decides he wants to propose to Angela (Tika Sumpter) but wants James’ (Cube) blessing first.

Killing Ben is all James can think about at first.

However after saying he wants a chance to prove himself, James allows Ben to ride around with him for one day to prove he is worthy of his sister. Ben discovers quite quickly that scaring teenagers from drinking beer and trying to get a biker gang from loitering are completely different. Failure is an understatement when it comes to his attempts to keep the peace. Bodily harm comes against him on several occasions.

During their car trip, James’ unsolved case on the identity of an unseen drug lord named Omar(Laurence Fishburne) keeps coming up on their training day. The day goes from petty crime to an all-out shooting gallery with Ben screaming and finds out, “this ain’t no video game.”

The contrast between Cube’s and Hart’s characters makes this cop-buddy comedy enjoyable and incredibly funny at times. The best scenes are the ones when Cube and Hart are arguing with each other. However, the film tries to be serious, which is difficult to believe in when the humour is so ridiculous. Lethal Weapon pulled it off, but the characters had credibility. Hart destroyed his with his lack of gun training and when he dances around for what seems like forever in front of a loaded gun.

Fishburne is an interesting villain but it’s a shame that you barely see him. He was easily the most believable actor and he got less face time than Sumpter.

If you like Cube and Hart and are interested in what they can do together you won’t be disappointed as they deliver some good laughs. Don’t expect a great cop movie, there’s been better.

Ride Along

Rated PG-13

Universal Pictures

Run time of 100 minutes

In theatres now

Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray combo review

Large_50 years ago a musical hit the silver screen entitled Mary Poppins, now for the first time on blu-ray you can find out how this joyous film almost never happened.

Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition BD+DVD+Digi [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)

Disney has released a special conversation between Poppins composer Richard Sherman and the actor who plays him in Saving Mr. Banks, Jason Schwartzman, revealing that the story of making the movie was a difficult road due to creative differences. The interview explains how Sherman came up with the songs, his relationship with Walt Disney, and letting Schwartzman touch his Oscar for a few seconds.

The 1964 classic starring Julie Andrews as the magical nanny Poppins and Dick Van Dyke as Bert, a friendly street musician, looks better than ever on blu-ray and is packed with even more extras. There’s a song-a-long feature with Mary, a deleted song, “Chimpanzoo”, a making of Mary Poppins featurette, The Cat That Looked at a King short starring Julie Andrews as Poppins, audio commentary with Andrews, Van Dyke, Sherman, and Karen Dotrice.

Needless to say Disney did more than just give you the feature presentation with this release. They also included an option for lyrics to appear only for when the songs play during the flick.

If you bought past Poppins DVD releases there’s not too much in the way of new extras and the high quality resolution of Poppins on blu-ray. However, if you have not bought the past releases or are such a huge Poppins fan that you need any new aspect then it’s worth the buy. It still holds up as one of the most treasured family films of all-time, a top gift for the holiday season.

Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital] (Bilingual)

Rated G

Walt Disney Pictures

Run time of 139 minutes

 

Disney’s Frozen review

Frozen-Poster-Fan-made-disney-frozen-35420947-1280-1810Frozen-Poster-Fan-made-disney-frozen-35420947-1280-1810MV5BMTQ1MjQwMTE5OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjk3MTcyMDE@._V1_SX214_The sudden death of their mother and father at sea leaves two princesses alone in their castle as one of them has a secret deadly magical power that nearly killed the other.

Frozen, the title of this animated film, stars Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel). Elsa is the one with the ability to freeze, shoot snow & ice, and create winter-like creatures because for an unknown reason she is magical. Her sister Anna is not.

When they were children, Anna was gravely injured. Their parents were able to save her and wipe her memory of the incident. Elsa avoided Anna, shut her out her life.

As the king and queen died, Elsa was set to be crowned queen. This gave Anna the chance to leave the castle and interact with people for the first time in forever. In her song and dance she runs into Hans (Santino Fontana) a charming prince that she believes is her true love. Anna confronts her sister about this leading to Elsa’s magic getting exposed and turning the entire land into an endless winter.

Elsa flees the castle and hides in the mountains. Anna embarks on a mission to save her and ends up meeting an ice seller named Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) who is the complete opposite of the love of her life, but the two settle their differences quickly in order to survive the cold and wildlife.

Frozen is a movie that has the structure of a classic Disney flick except with different twists. Elsa telling Anna that she is out of her mind for wanting to marry a guy she just met feels like the writers taking a shot at all those ‘love at first sight’ moments. Despite Elsa’s isolated and destructive powers her character is never turned to evil unlike in tradition Disney fashion that would see her turn into a wicked witch of sorts. It’s ok to always be alone.

Lots of big musical numbers, “First Time in Forever” and “Let It Go” are two of the big standouts. Music helps tell a lot of the story in the early going. Funny at times, but not overly.

One of Disney’s best releases of 2013, a great family get-together for the holiday season and for fans of the old-school Disney stories.

Frozen

Rated PG

Directed & written by Jennifer Lee & Chris Buck

Run time of 108 minutes

In theatres today

 

Thor: The Dark World review

THURS_003B_G_ENG-GB_70x100.inddTHURS_003B_G_ENG-GB_70x100.inddTHURS_003B_G_ENG-GB_70x100.inddTHURS_003B_G_ENG-GB_70x100.inddTHURS_003B_G_ENG-GB_70x100.inddTHURS_003B_G_ENG-GB_70x100.inddTHURS_003B_G_ENG-GB_70x100.inddTHURS_003B_G_ENG-GB_70x100.inddMV5BMTQyNzAwOTUxOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTE0OTc5OQ@@._V1_SY317_CR4,0,214,317_Hard to believe Marvel can keep producing great epic films following The Avengers, but once again they delivered the best action movie of the year with Thor: The Dark World.

Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) led the Dark Elves to near domination of the nine realms with a powerful weapon known as the Aether. However, Asgard forces were able to fight off their attack and force them into hiding. Asgard captured the Aether yet could not destroy it. So they buried it.

Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) who is trying but failing at getting over Thor (Chris Hemsworth) discovers an anomaly that is similar to the one that brought Thor to Earth. In her discovery the Aether discovers her and implants itself inside her. Thor finds her moments afterwards and witnesses her new defence power. Thor, against his father’s wishes brings Jane to Asgard to cure her. This brings on the Dark Elves to stage an assault on Asgard.

This movie has the right amount of fast-paced insane action scenes with a bit of comedy mixed in with some serious drama. It’s a healthy balance keeping this roller coaster ride exciting once the setting is mainly in Asgard. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is caged but even in a smaller role he makes the most of his screen time as his presence and villainous ways keep you guessing if he is going to try something at any moment.

There are major deaths in this installment. This movie is going to change the direction of not only the Thor series but The Avengers as well. There is a lot of trickery that goes on between Thor and the Dark Elves. With basically no chance of survival, Thor has to embark on a plan that could cost him everything he holds dear. That suspense keeps you second-guessing everything you watch and hear.

Without question this is a film that’s worth watching several times over.

Thor: The Dark World

Rated PG-13

Marvel Studios

Directed by Alan Taylor

In theatres today

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fifth Estate review

The_Fifth_Estate_posterThe rise of Wiki Leaks, an Internet organization dedicated to exposing government secrets and corporate crimes is told in the new thrilling box-office drama The Fifth Estate.

The two men behind the exposure, Daniel Berg (Daniel Bruhl) and Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) are united over their drive to reveal the darkness secrets of the world. Julian, as the founder of Wiki Leaks, a public site that reveals all the information they have received from anonymous whistle-blowers. They soon reach worldwide fame when their news becomes greater than any tabloid or media outlet. They start taking down banks and oppressive governments, but soon they discover videos from the war in Afghanistan and that gets them attention from the U.S. and their spies.

Without question this movie creates a lot of controversy over what actually happened and how the characters are portrayed. Julian is showcased as a self-centred loner, battling with a troubled childhood, possibly gay, who will say anything to get his way regardless of the costs. Daniel is seen as the voice of reason and is trying to keep their integrity as journalists intact. If you’re truly interested in their stories read the books or watch the TV specials, this is a dramatization. Believe what you want about what’s presented, real or not it’s highly entertaining.

Daniel’s battles with keeping Wiki Leaks alive and his morality issues with Julian are always at play. Julian has created a web of lies that slowly begins to unravel as their popularity begins to rise. Daniel’s old life starts to fall apart too, losing his job, losing his girlfriend, he soon only has Julian in his life, but once Julian brings in a new member that resembles Daniel, the rift between the two starts to become permanently broken.

Highly recommended for writers, journalists and political enthusiasts, this covers a major change in the world that occurred not too long ago. Brutal murders, the disregard for human life by military officials, detailed shocking comments from high-ranked government officials, all exposed in this era we live in where information is more available than ever before.

The Fifth Estate

Rated R

Dreamworks Pictures

Directed by Bill Condon

Run time of 128 minutes

In theatres now

Metallica: Through The Never review

MV5BMjQwNjk5MTk4Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTgwNDA5OQ@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_Violent riots are breaking out, bodies are hanging in the streets, and rock group Metallica is all the while playing some of their classic hits in their new 3D music movie, Metallica: Through The Never.

The movie stars off with Trip (Dane DeHaan) coming to the arena where Metallica is playing, but is asked to go pick up a mysterious bag. During this adventure Trip is nearly killed in an automobile accident and by a raging mob that is attacking police and everything else in sight.

The story is short while the majority is mainly a Metallica concert. “Fuel” “Battery” “For Whom The Bell Tolls” “Hit The Lights” “Enter Sandman” just a few of the complete songs they perform. Even with the the concert performance they try to make a story out of a dead mike or a malfunctioning set. When Trips nearly destroys everything around him in order to survive, the arena is affected as well, but Metallica still plays on saying that it’s like playing in their garage again with just their instruments and barely any light.

Eighty percent of what you see is Metallica performing, designed to cater their fanbase instead of attracting a wider audience with an engaging story. You never find out what is in the bag Trip is trying to get as his adventure is an elaborate background you’d see in a Metallica music video. Only go see this if you really like Metallica’s music and their creative end of the world mindset.

Metallica: Through The Never

Rated R

Seville Pictures

Run time of 1 hour 33 minutes

In theatres now

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 review

cloudy-with-a-chance-of-meatballs-2-bill-hader

After nearly destroying the world with his food storm, Flint Lockwood and his friends must now battle an entire island of living food creatures in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

Except for Mr. T all the past voice actors return for the sequel. They’re joined by Will Forte who voices Chester V, the role model scientist of Flint whom has relocated all the citizens while the island is cleaned up. Flint accepts a position with Chester’s company Live Corp, but finds himself unable to make a difference with his inventions.

Meanwhile Chester is attempted to retrieve Flint’s machine that caused all the chaos in the last film. He discovers the creation of life that is making it difficult for his troops to get the machine. Looking at Flint as expendable, Chester sends him back to the island alone to recover his past work.

Flint however does not go alone and ends up bringing all his friends and his dad. At first the team is filled with terror as spider-like tacos, shrimpanzees and many other weird mutant creatures start coming after them. Eventually Sam discovers that the creatures are merely trying to protect their own and their land from Chester. This creates a three-way conflict with Flint, his friends and his hero Chester.

Visually breathtaking to watch at times in 3D and funny in a zany Looney Tunes way. Although targeted and produced for children there is quite a bit of humour that adults will enjoy. Despite the lack of Mr. T no fool will be pity by his absence as it does not take away at all from the comedy and entertainment of the Terry Crews character thanks to the voice work of Earl Devereaux.

Highly expect this movie to be nominated and win some awards come next year. It’s a lot of fun and there’s a decent amount of heartfelt emotion when needed.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Rated PG

Columbia Pictures

95 minutes

In theatres now