REVIEW: How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World [2019]

There’s no better gift than love. It’s not often a studio as big as Dreamworks goes on record to say the third installment of a critically acclaimed series and box office success will be its last. Why paint yourself into a corner like that when the possibility for more is right at your fingertips? Dare I say the answer is integrity? I know. That’s not a word you hear much in Hollywood, but I have to believe it’s the reasoning behind Dean DeBlois‘ adaptation of Cressida Cowell‘s How to Train…

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REVIEW: Trolls [2016]

“I think I had sarcasm once” Depending on what you read, the genesis of Trolls is quite fascinating as original director Anand Tucker was to helm an adaptation of Terry Pratchett‘s Bromeliad trilogy about tiny humanoids in 2010. Did that project ultimately evolve into the glitter vomit Walt Dohrn and Mike Mitchell provide us today? Maybe. I personally hope that project was simply canceled so Tucker could subsequently shift over to Trolls in 2012 as a brand new journey. I don’t want to discover the opposite—that his work on Pratchett’s…

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REVIEW: How to Train Your Dragon 2 [2014]

“What you’re searching for is in here” With ten children’s books already published—and two more planned—Cressida Cowell has given Dreamworks animation a ton of material to adapt whether adhered to religiously or not. Their success on How to Train Your Dragon caught many off guard while earning a place in the hearts of children and adults alike on the way to two Oscar nominations and a television series spin-off. The announcement of a sequel was therefore inevitable, the idea to craft it into a trilogy unsurprising as well besides the…

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REVIEW: Neighbors [2014]

“We should go Mom tipping later” After respectively writing and directing a short film that dealt with a manchild living in a storage unit who befriends one of the employees in hopes to stay, Brendan O’Brien and Andrew Jay Cohen have decided to go a bit less high concept with their feature screenwriting debut. But while the quirky setting may be gone, the theme of surviving the suburban boredom of adulthood is not. One could say Neighbors is an evolutionary reworking of American Storage‘s concepts as the duo polishes things…

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REVIEW: Kick-Ass 2 [2013]

“Act like a bitch, get slapped like a bitch” I know a lot of people who hate Kick-Ass—definitely more than don’t. It’s always fascinated me because I thought it was a brilliantly funny actioner with a darkly comic streak of what logistically could happen if normal citizens decided to become superheroes. I loved it when I saw it in theatres and found myself validating that sentiment yesterday when revisiting it in preparation for the sequel. Well, let’s just say that about halfway through Kick-Ass 2 I think I discovered what…

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REVIEW: This is the End [2013]

“Is the power of Christ compelling me? Is that what’s happening?” Way back in 2007 there was a YouTube trailer for a short film entitled Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse that whetted fans’ appetites only to never seen by the public. Time went on, nothing appeared to be happening—which wasn’t necessarily a horrible thing since the trailer wasn’t all that funny—and eventually word came down it was being retooled by the titular Seth Rogen and writing partner Evan Goldberg into their directorial debut This is the End. Now six…

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REVIEW: Pitch Perfect [2012]

“He is a hunter” Anything trying to capitalize on the now waning “Glee” craze and Step Up‘s surprising staying power probably should be dismissed sight unseen. How could a film dealing with the catty rivalries of the a cappella world be anything but an eye-rolling waste of celluloid? This is probably exactly what Universal Pictures thinks we’ll assume because they are throwing all their weight behind Pitch Perfect with an early release in select cities and a Twitter campaign putting one of its stars in the end credits to thank…

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REVIEW: ParaNorman [2012]

“He’s probably up there fiddling with his Wee-Jah or his orbs …” LAIKA, Inc., the little studio with big dreams in Oregon is officially more than a flash in the pan success story that brought to life a critically acclaimed feature film before scaling back to commercials and music videos. Using a beacon in the stop-motion animation world like Henry Selick to adapt and direct Coraline showed the vision to take chances on darker material than most may want to expose their children to and they were rewarded for the…

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REVIEW: Kick-Ass [2010]

“I’m just a Dick in a wetsuit” Can I get away with using a film’s one word hyphenate title as it’s succinct description? Frankly I don’t care what your answer is to that question because, no joke, Kick-Ass kicked ass. This is the epitome of comic book brought to reality. What the new wave of graphic novels contains is ultra-violence, witty banter, and stories that are more than just good guy versus bad. People look to Dark Knight as what a comic based film should be, but on further review,…

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REVIEW: How to Train Your Dragon [2010]

“The offspring of lightning and evil itself” I learned something new today—Scandinavian Vikings have Scottish accents. Well, at least the adults do, the brogue seems to have withered away in the next generation of dragon slayers. Yes, dragon slaying is the main occupation of these massive brutes, doing all they can to protect their island village while the fire-breathing beasts ravaging it in search of food. What I also learned while watching How to Train Your Dragon is that studios are catching on to what makes 3D effective. Much like…

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REVIEW: Role Models [2008]

“Taste the beast” I need to look into the plethora of comedies coming down the pipe for who wrote and directed them. I watched the trailer for Role Models and thought it looked funny enough. But it was Seann William Scott—don’t get me wrong, he’s pretty good, I just didn’t have it high on my list, even though my boy Paul Rudd co-starred. So, here I was, months later and finally ready to take a peek, and the starting credits just made me excited for what was to follow. I…

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