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Rating History

Sing
Sing (2016)
5 months ago via Flixster

When you're on a stage, in front of an audience, whether it's for $100,000 or simply because you love doing it, singing is many things. It's an art form, it's a talent, it's a way to express yourself, it's a way to influence or inspire other people.
Illumination Pictures, the same studio who brought you Despicable Me, Minions, and The Secret Life of Pets, reminded me why I love singing so much.
This movie - there's not even one perfect word I can use to describe it. Amazing. Awesome. Toe-tapping. Bouncy. Rollercoaster. Just throw a dart and take your pick. The only thing is, there's no negative words on that dartboard.
This is one of THE BEST movies I've seen in 2016, and one of the best animated movies I've seen, ever. From the story itself to each character's story, you'll be wondering what happens next. There's so many twists and turns your jaw will drop at each one. You'll feel optimistic at times, emotional at others, and trust me when I say you'll be singing along with the characters and bopping in your seat as they audition for what they think is a huge prize, when in reality it was a simple typo that led to one of the biggest events in the Moon Theater's long history.
Every character in this film has their own story to tell, and while some of them shine brighter than others, if you're not invested in all of them by the amazing finish then you simply haven't been paying attention. I'm not going to spoil too much on this one because you have to see it, I think, to really get a sense of everything that this movie is trying to convey.
Don't be afraid of your fears. Dream big dreams. JUST SING.
It all comes together in a film that left me bouncing, smiling, and singing even as I walked out the theater doors.
Illumination, this is a masterpiece and a half. Don't stop making movies like this. Because just like the characters who realize their moment in the spotlight, it will only leave us moviegoers applauding and wanting an encore!!!

Pete's Dragon
Pete's Dragon (2016)
9 months ago via Flixster

Dragons. Why do they mystify me so much? As Kermit the Frog once sang, What's so amazing about them that keeps me 'dragon-gazing' (okay, paraphrased, I know)? Well, I guess I've always been fascinated with their mystery, their intrigue, and the many ways they've been used in animated cartoons, video games, and so much more.
But in terms of movies, dragons apparently do nothing but make me cry. But in the end, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Probably the first dragon movie I ever saw was the original Pete's Dragon, originally released in 1977 but I watched on the Disney Channel growing up. I thought it was wild, it was interesting, and it was cool how the animated Elliott was a figment of Pete's imagination so the town couldn't see him, but was still lovable in his own regard. It was a decent movie, but I was more impressed with the dragon than anything else.
But THIS movie - the Disney remake - is actually far better and superior to the original, and I don't say that about remakes very often, if at all.
From the very start, you realize that there's not going to be a Quossomoddy here. Oh no. You're quickly introduced to Pete and how he ended up in the woods, and how he found his big green friend. But then you're introduced to all the other elements that make this movie astounding. You're introduced to the family, Jack, Natalie & Grace, who stumbles upon Pete and try hard to introduce him to human living while learning more about his 'friend'. But you're also introduced to the 'villain' in Gavin and his fellow mill workers who will stop at nothing to take Elliott down once they discover him themselves. The intense dynamic between the two sides leads to powerful moments, developing relationships, emotional reunions (hence the moment at the end where I cried), and so much more. There's not a moment in this movie I was bored. Ever. The movie may start off slow, but trust me, it's worth the wait when things get really good.
Disney, you crushed this. Many may remember your original version of this movie, but I only remembered the dragon. With this, not only will I remember Elliott, but I will remember so much more because you packed more into it that will leave moviegoers fixed to the screen and their hearts racing the whole time. If you don't feel like soaring into the screen and flying with Elliott yourself by the end of this film, something is WRONG WITH YOU!
Disney, you magnificent bastards! Dragons, you magnificent creatures! It all adds up to, in my opinion, one of the best family films of 2016!!!

The Angry Birds Movie
13 months ago via Flixster

Let me start off this review by saying this: Before you go and see The Angry Birds Movie, put away every pre-concieved notion, thought, or opinion you had about the Angry Birds game, cartoon series, or anything else related to it. Because trust me when I say, by the time this 1 hour and 35 minute bird vs. pig fest ends, everything you thought about it will be turned upside down and slingshotted out of your mind. It's that flockin' awesome of a movie.
This, for me, is so far my favorite movie of 2016, slightly better than Zootopia. Unlike that movie which focused a lot on the story and the relationships between the characters, and unlike Ratchet and Clank which simply reminded me why I was a fan of the game series, Angry Birds gives us not only the story behind the story, but gives us amazing character development, intense action, and just a fun time overall. There are a few moments and jokes that the kids may not understand, but they're few and far between. For the most part, you'll be rooting for Red as he overcomes his 'anger issues' as deemed by the Bird Island folk but later is turned to for leadership after the pigs 'hatch' their egg-stealing plan; you'll be learning about Chuck, Bomb, and Terence and what makes their personalities tick...believe me when I say that everyone you know from the series is there. Matilda? Check. Bubbles? Yep. Hal the boomerang green bird? Got it. And even Stella and her flock (some of my favorite birds besides Red) are here as well. You'll even learn about a character called Mighty Eagle, and trust me when I say, he's got a heck of a story as well. There's one other surprise at the end that I won't spoil, but you'll probably be able to figure it out during the hectic final 'battle' between Red and Leonard, the King Pig.
Everything about this film - the story, the character development, the relationships between the characters, the action, and the moments that remind you of the classic game - all hit a home run. There are moments that will make you laugh, make you a bit confused, but also make you cheer for the birds and hope the pigs get their just desserts. From the moment this movie was announced, I wanted to see it, and it has earned its place as one of the top animated movies of the year. It's a flockin' adventure you and your flock should NOT miss!!!

Ratchet & Clank
13 months ago via Flixster

"You don't have to do big things to be a hero. Just the right ones."
"Hey Nefarious...MEET THE OMNIWRENCH!"
I don't know what it is that turned me into a fan of one of Sony's biggest franchises, Ratchet and Clank, but I know this for certain: The movie just reminded me why I became one in the first place.
Sure, as a fan of the games, I knew what to expect in terms of the plot and the characters. I knew the movie was based on the original game's origin story. My biggest concern, though, was HOW the movie was going to translate that story to the big screen. And honestly, at the end of the day, it nailed it in every single aspect.
You remember why you fell in love with Ratchet and Clank - not only their relationship, but the characters themselves. You remember why Captain Qwark is somewhat of a moron, but he's at least a moron with a heart (and a conscience). You remember why you came to love everything about the universe.
The characters are memorable and lovable (even the villains at times), the story is nicely paced and easy to follow, and of course the action and intensity is just awesome.
From the moment I knew that they were finally going to turn this beloved video game franchise into a movie, I literally counted down the days to the release date. I smiled every time I saw something related to the game or the movie. And while I was in the theater, I couldn't stop smiling and chuckling throughout. There were even moments when I honestly thought, "What I wouldn't give to be on Veldin right now, sitting right next to Ratchet, wondering what goes through his mind."
Well, now you can. You can remember why you became a fan. You can go back to Veldin and the entire universe.
You can fall in love all over again.
I cannot wait to see what this franchise has moving forward. The ending obviously teases for future movies, so I hope that's the case, but if this is the start, then it's a proper blastoff for the future.
Thank you, Sony. Thank you, Insomniac Games. Thank you for reminding me why I'm such a fan!

Huevos: Little Rooster's Eggcelent Adventure
15 months ago via Flixster

Yeah, okay, I'll have to admit this: I bought this animated movie on a whim, thinking "It's from Lionsgate along with the people that make Huevocartoon, a funny animated series about talking eggs. They can't possibly screw this one up, right?" Well, let's just say at the end of the film, while "What a Wonderful World" plays as the credits roll, I'm singing, "What The Heck Did I Watch?"
I expected SO MUCH MORE from the same animated studio that gave us the Alpha and Omega movies. Instead, I get a rushed, way-too-fast paced, predictable film that also seems to glorify cock-fighting (no, literally, that's what most of this movie is about) along with the fact that many of the jokes fall flat on their face (including a stupid running gag with a pair of rats looking for chicken nuggets).
And while the underdog hero role has been re-hashed millions of times in animated films, this one just takes it to such a weird level. Not looking past the fact that you've got a rooster who's friends with eggs and bacon who has a love interest and gets mixed up with some ducks...trust me when I say, at times, I was honestly lost.
But the major parts of the story are PREDICTABLE. You know in the end that, after not being able to crow for the entire film, Rolo, our hero rooster, is going to finally learn at the best possible time - when he beats his opponent and saves the day. YOU JUST KNOW! And it's also hard to miss the fact that since is an English-dubbed film by a Spanish company, the lips aren't exactly going to match what the characters say. Eventually you look past that, but it's tough.
Really, the only good thing about the film is the animation and they got some good voice actors. For gosh sakes, Jon Heder is in this film as Mickey Mallard, a duck egg who trains our hero for two weeks before the big fight. I thought he'd be the rooster since he did an awesome job as one in Surf's Up.
In the end, this film just left me more scrambled and covered in egg than anything else. An eggs-cellent adventure? Maybe to the characters themselves. But not to the human audience who expected something more. Let's just say one watching is enough. I'll gladly take this film over-easy with a side of that bacon, please.