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I can see why Speed was rated so high back in 1994 when it came out. It does everything right in the action film genre. Plus, Keanu Reeves is perfectly cast and really shines in his performance. Bullock was there, but she was very inexperienced. Nonetheless, she did fine. We even got Harry Dunn from Dumb & Dumber to play a cool police officer! Yes, his name was also Harry here and came out the same year as D & D. I digress. I had fun watching Speed for the first time in 2019. Yes, there were tons of cheesy moments and a questionable villain, but it was a good time all around, despite it trying way too hard from time to time. (3.5/5)
Pixar's Toy Story 4 adds many new faces to the beloved series without making any compromises. Forky is an adorable addition, adding new meaning to the word "toy". Key and Peele as Ducky and Bunny are comedic gold and feel right at home. Even Keanu Reeves as Duke Caboom is hilarious. The main downside is that the older characters take somewhat of a backseat, including Buzz to a certain extent, even though he is still very much the brave space ranger we all know and love. Woody and Forky are front and center here, with Woody feeling like the main character, as he is faced with a crossroads in his life at the moment.
The film has both tear-jerking opening and closing scenes, that feel genuine and thoughtful. Everything in between is just as meaningful and fun. Much like Toy Story 2, it feels like a big adventure, with important choices to be made and villain in Gabby Gabby to face off against.
The animation is absolutely breathtaking. I can only imagine how it's going to look when it comes out on 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray. It's getting to the point where some scenes look 100% real. The rain effects in particular are amazing. Of course, the writing and storytelling is top-notch. It somehow manages to keep pace with the three other Toy story films and not feel forced. It will make you cry, so plan on grabbing some tissues. The film will be even more meaningful to those that have grown up with the franchise. I was six years old when the original 1995 film came out and I even had Woody and Buzz toys (I still do). So you can imagine the "feels".
While I still think Toy Story 3 is the pinnacle of the series, the fourth installment is an unforgettable gem packed with wonderful characters, gorgeous animation, solid music and an excellent story. I've already seen it twice, and I can hardly wait to purchase it when it releases on disc. (5/5)
Rebel Wilson has talent. She was funny in Bridesmaids. However, the material here is both uninteresting and generic. It simply tries too hard to satisfy too many people, which is becoming a major flaw in most big-budget rom-coms these days. You'll forget about this movie the next day. (0.5/5)
Crimes of Grindelwald looks dazzling and has a bunch of great characters. However, with a convoluted story, none of that really matters. If Rowling doesn't turn things around now, the series could be tarnished forever. (1.5/5)
Instant Family was a pleasant surprise. What looks like another by-the-numbers comedy is anything but. Sure, there are several missteps and a few cliches here and there, but deep down, the film has a lot of heart. It teaches lessons on family and love, with the help of a great cast including the always funny Mark Wahlberg, who gave off some "The Other Guys" vibes from time to time, which is really appreciated. This one is definitely worth a rent and packs in some genuine heartfelt moments with sprinkles of competent comedy. (3.5/5)