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: 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: It’s a Disaster [2013]

“The conversation is real Glenn. The problem is hypothetical.” Even though the Mayans and 2012 have passed, filmmakers still appear utterly fascinated by the end of the world and our reaction to it. I’m not talking post-apocalyptic tales occurring years later—Oblivion or After Earth—I mean true “end is nigh” stuff like Rapture-palooza, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, or This is the End. This is where true, unadulterated introspection is possible, when our feelings lay bare without threat of consequence since in a few short hours nothing…

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REVIEW: End of Watch [2012]

“Comfortable footwear. Police is all about comfortable footwear.” If David Ayer is to be believed, life as a South Central L.A. cop is a ticking time bomb ready to explode. What the region isn’t, however, is a cesspool of corrupt officers on the take forming yet one more gang of street thugs to combat. This is a new development in a career built on the nefarious deeds of men in power and the amorality of fresh blood taken under their wings. The writer/director of Harsh Times, Street Kings, and scribe…

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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: Our Family Wedding [2010]

“You know you just said that out loud” And then the bottom drops out. All paint-by-number comedies of this ilk eventually hit the point where everything appears to be destroyed. Relationships are ended, love gone in a flash, and those who were thick-as-thieves are now unable to look at each other let alone speak. A film like Our Family Wedding can’t come to a resolution unless the story hits so far down on the depression scale that the inevitable across-the-board reconciliations can culminate into nothing but a climatic moment of…

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