Cecil (2019)

Director: Spenser Fritz

Writer: Spenser Fritz (Screenplay)

Starring: Sark Asadourian, Jason London, Jenna von Oy, Valeria Jane Parker, Christa Beth Campbell, Aaron Munoz, Avary Anderson

 

Plot: It’s 1996 and 4th grader, Cecil Stevens, is reminded of his terrible lisp every time he says his name. To avoid social travesty, Cecil decides to change his hard to pronounce name to the one and only, Michael Jordan.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Will Make the Kids Laugh

 

Story: Cecil starts when Cecil Stevens (Asadourian) starts a new school, joined by Abby (Campbell) who fills him in with the dos and don’ts of school to make it through the day, which includes trying to help Cecil with his lisp which makes his name impossible to say without showing his lisp. Abby suggests using a different name, the one he picks is Michael Jordan.

Michael soon rising in popularity in the school, which starts a trend for the kids to change their names, while working with Abby to learn a deeper problem within the school hierarchy.

 

Thoughts on Cecil

 

Characters – Cecil is the new kid in school, he has a terrible lisp which sees him becoming an easy target for bullies, he does discover he can change his name, which helps him fit in more. Cecil must learn to accept his difference and being friends with everyone in the school isn’t going to be easy. Abby writes the school newspaper and helps Cecil learn the lay of the land of the school, while she investigates why the school is going through the number of cuts it is. Tim and Lorrie are the parents that are going through their own problems which has led to Cecil needing to change school.

PerformancesSark Asadourian and Christa Beth Campbell as our leading children performers are both strong in their roles because we can see they are enjoying themselves while being these characters. the adult actors know when to be over the top which will help the target audience enjoy the film.

StoryThe story here focuses on the school life of young Cecil Stevens as he must adapt to a new school with a lisp which the bullies are taking as an easy target. We deal with issues such as popularity in school, accepting your own imperfections and the friends who are true to you in life. Sure, the story is targeted towards the young audience, which explains certain storytelling decisions going on through the film. We get to learn about the struggles of personal lives of children who are in the middle of their own parent’s relationship problems too. It would be easy to argue that one of the teachers, Ms Baker is way too much to take for any student.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy in the film comes from the mishaps from the school, it might not be for the older audience, but the kids will enjoy the laughs coming from the film.

SettingsThe film is set in and around the school setting which shows how big and complicated life can become for any of the kids growing up at the time.


Scene of the Movie –
The name montage.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The principal is completely unrealistic.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the films that hits the perfect target audience, the kids will get the laughs required and learn the life lessons about treating people equally.

 

Overall: The kids will enjoy this one.

Rating

 

 

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Incredibles 2 (2018)

Director: Brad Bird

Writer: Brad Bird (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Craig T Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Catherine Keener, Eli Fucile, Bob Odenkirk, Samuel L Jackson

 

Plot: The Incredibles hero family takes on a new mission, which involves a change in family roles: Bob Parr (Mr Incredible) must manage the house while his wife Helen (Elastigirl) goes out to save the world.


Tagline – Back to work.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Pixar Sequel Fun

 

Story: Incredibles 2 starts as the Incredibles are still trying to fight crime even if it is against the law, the latest mission sees them caught and needing to close down the program they are using. Winston Denvor and his sister Evelyn offer a chance to bring the superheroes back into the positive light, with Elastigirl being front and centre, leaving Mr Incredible to raise the children this time around.

As Elastigirl continues to fight crime and take on the mysterious supervillain known as the Screenslaver, Mr Incredible must learn how to deal with Jack-Jack’s new powers, which he is struggling to control.

 

Thoughts on Incredibles 2

 

Characters – Helen gets a chance to become Elastigirl in a hope to bring the legalisation of superheroes back for the public, she must leave her family to achieve this and relishes being in this role. Bob is Mr Incredible, but this time he must be the stay at home parent, which he learns to struggle with everyday problems that come with parenting and dealing with Jack-Jack’s powers. Violet and Dash must continue to learn their responsibilities as superheroes and not risk their lives like their parents do. Evelyn and Winston are the people that want to bring the superheroes back into the world, they are giving them a new PR make over which will the world accept superheroes again. Jack-Jack is the baby with new powers which will make him more powerful than the rest of the family combined.

StoryThe story here feels almost like a reverse of the previous film, with Elastigirl getting the chance to go back into the field only to come up against a supervillain with their own motivation to not want superheroes in the world anymore. We have a side to the story with Mr Incredible needing to stay home to look after the children which eventually tries to play into the idea that a husband and father couldn’t cope with the job a mother does with children, which does seem insulting. The biggest pot holes come from just not knowing the time between what happened last time and this film, the fact everyone has forgotten about Jack-Jack’s powers and all the random superheroes that are like the basic Suicide Squad side. If we are honest the story is easy to follow, it feels safe and wants to play into the different sides of the modern world.

Action/Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe action involved in the film is good and gets to hit levels the live action superhero movies can’t do. The adventure takes our heroes on a new adventure against a new villain, simple and effective. The comedy is good with the Jack-Jack scenes being the highlight of the film.

SettingsThe film shows us the two different locations superheroes must operate in. one with normal life and the other where they are in the spotlight for the world to judge their actions.

AnimationPixar are always on top of their game when it comes to animation, nothing looks bad on a visual side of things which is all we ask from them.


Scene of the Movie –
Jack-Jack costume suit.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not remember Jack-Jack has powers after the end of the first film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple and enjoyable Pixar movie, it will get laughs, it has a good story asking if we need superheroes, while being a nice follow on to the previous film.

 

Overall: Pixar sequel that hits well.

Rating

 

 

Christopher Robin (2018)

Director: Marc Forster

Writer: Alex Ross Perry, Tom McCarthy, Allison Schroeder (Screenplay) Greg Brooker, Mark Steven Johnson, A.A. Milne, Ernest Shepard (Story/Characters)

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael, Mark Gatiss, Oliver Ford Davies, Ronke Adekoluejo

 

Plot: A working-class family man, Christopher Robin, encounters his childhood friend Winnie-the-Pooh, who helps him to rediscover the joys of life.


Tagline – Out of the Wood. Into the City.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Absolute Delight

 

Story: Christopher Robin starts when Christopher Robin leaves the 100 Acre Wood as he grows up, saying goodbye to Winnie the Pooh and friends, promising never to forget about them, the years flyby and soon Christopher (McGregor) is married to Evelyn (Atwell) with a daughter Madeline (Carmichael), he goes to and returns from war, becoming a businessman needing to make difficult decisions.

When Christopher is facing the most difficult time in his life, with his professional career facing dismissing staff and his personal life showing how distant he is becoming from his family, Winnie ends up paying him a visit in London, as he searches for his own friends from 100 Acre Wood.

 

Thoughts on Christopher Robin

 

Characters – Christopher Robin is now grown up, not the child we know from the Winnie the Pooh adventures, he is married with his own child and his own responsibilities, he is struggling to balance the two lives showing how his imagination is losing out to the real world. being visited by Winnie, he must look at his life and decide just what is right for him, his family or his career. Evelyn is his wife that has supported him through all his decisions, she is growing tired of Christopher’s actions, deciding what is best for their daughter, Madeline is the daughter that is being pushed down a path that Christopher never did, one with discipline and no imagination. Winnie the Pooh is the lovable bear that loves his honey, he visits Christopher to try and save him from his own misguidance.

PerformancesEwan McGregor is fantastic in this leading role, he shows us just how difficult life can be with the balance as we see how he will show the struggle to be a family man or a businessman. Hayley Atwell is good without having to do that much in her role. Bronte Carmichael gives us a good child actor performance.

StoryThe story shows what happens to Christopher Robin once he grows up and starts to make the same mistakes his own father would make for him. This is a story about needing to learn how to balance a career and personal life to make sure that you enjoy the most part of your own life, bring back the popular figures from the Winnie the Pooh world, it all comes together to make you leave the film with a true smile on your face. This story will connect to people of all ages and play into the love for the Winnie the Pooh characters.

Adventure/Comedy/FantasyThe adventure takes Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh and the rest of the gang on the biggest adventure, one that is important to life, not just enjoyment. The comedy connects well through the film, you will be laughing a lot in this film even with it having serious moments in. the fantasy side of the film shows how these colourful characters are real in this world.

SettingsThe film is set in two main locations, first is London showing how far away from the boy from the 100 Acre Wood has go, the second is the 100 Acre Wood to which will bring the boy out of Christopher.

AnimationThe animation focuses on just bring the animals into the real world and it does hit very well never looking out of place.


Scene of the Movie –
The adventure to work.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Nothing.

Final ThoughtsThis is a delightful film to watch, it is one of the film that will leave you smiling with pleasure and true enjoyment.

 

Overall: Wonderful.

Rating

 

 

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)

Director: Ari Sandel

Writer: Rob Lieber (Screenplay) Rob Lieber, Darren Lemke (Story)

Starring: Wendi McLendon-Covey, Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Caleel Harris, Ken Jeong, Chris Parnell

 

Plot: Two young friends find a magic book that brings a ventriloquist’s dummy to life.


Tagline – Halloween comes to life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not as Fun as it Should Be

 

Story: Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween when college bound Sarah (Iseman) is left to look after her little brother Sonny (Taylor) and his friend Sam (Harris) who have their own business known as the ‘Junk Bros’, the two discover Slappy while on the job and must deal with the psychotic dummy.

The three soon find themselves needing to fight off Slappy and his creations, leading to them needing to uncover the book by R.L. Stine which can stop his reign of terror, bringing to life the creations from the books.

 

Thoughts on Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

 

Characters – Sarah is the older sister, she is about to head off to college if she can figure out how to write her application letter. She must reluctantly babysit her younger brother and his friend, while dealing with her own personal problems, even if this could bring her the answer she requires. Sonny is the younger brother that gets himself into trouble a lot, when it comes to his creation, along with his best friend Sam. Sam is the wise talking of the two he offers the business, he must help solve the problem of Slappy. Kathy is the single mother forced to work longer hours to make sure her kids have the future, she remains calm through the chaos going on through the film.

PerformancesThe performances are simple enough, the younger stars, Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor and Caleel Harris are good for what they have to do, only to not be on the same level of the previous film. Wendi McLendon-Covey gets the basic parent role done without bring too much new to the character.

StoryThe story here sees the creations of R.L. Stine coming to life causing chaos in a city once again. This is where the story falls flat quickly because the story feels like just a remake of the first, the Goosebumps books are an amazing source of stories and maybe instead of just throwing every monster made into one story, we should think about making one of the stories into a movie, or even as an anthology. We try to have some family bonding put into the story and even elements of coming of age, with Sarah needing to decide her future. In the end this story just isn’t that interesting and by the end you won’t have missed much.

Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe adventure takes the teenagers into a battle that only they can solve, which is basic to say the least, but they must save the town. The comedy is hit or miss without being much laugh out loud material. This plays into the family side of the film because more of the younger audience will be enjoying this one.

SettingsThe film is set in a town which is considered small where the people need to get out of if they are going to make something with their life.

Special EffectsThe effects in this film are good for the most part, the creations all look like they could be in the world.


Scene of the Movie – 
Gummy bear fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story not being original.

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic sequel that just copies the original too much, it offers nothing new and is just passable watch for the younger audience.

 

Overall: Simple and not original.

Rating

 

 

Christmas Movies – Santa’s Little Helper (2015)

 Director: Gil Junger

Writer: James Robert Johnston, Bennett Yellin (Screenplay)

Starring: Mike Mizanin, AnnaLynne McCord, Saraya-Jade Bevis, Eric Keenleyside, Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Geoff Gustafson

 

Plot: After getting fired from his job, a slick, fast-talking businessman (The Miz) is thrown into an elf competition to become Santa¹s next second-in-command. Put through a series of rigorous training exercises to prepare for the contest, The Miz and another aspiring elf go head-to-head in the hopes of becoming Santa’s Little Helper.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Family Christmas Movie

 

Story: Santa’s Little Helper starts with fast talking businessman Dax (Mizanin) who will happily throw people out of their homes and work places around Christmas time who loses his job, he loses everything facing ruin. When Santa Claus (Keenleyside) visits him he comes up with a plan.

Santa needs to hirer a replacement for an important role for him, he sends his trusted assistant Billie (McCord) who does have dreams of the same role, to recruit Dax and show the value needed for the role, all while daughter of the retiring role Eleanor (Bevis) believes she is entitled to the role. Can Dax learn the valuable lessons before it is too late.

 

Thoughts on Santa’s Little Helper

 

Characters – Dax is our version of Scourge in this film, he has been putting people out on the streets for years with his ruthless attitude towards people, he gets fired and loses everything, he must prove his value to Santa for a high-ranking role under him even if it means facing a moment from his past. Billie is one of Santa’s assistants, she is assigned to recruit the next person in Dax even though she wants to role herself. She doesn’t understand the pick but will follow his wishes. Eleanor believes the role is hers and doesn’t care for anyone taking the role she believes she was entitled to. Santa is who we know he is, he wants to guide Dax back on the right path after knowing just how special he was meant to be.

PerformancesMike Mizanin or The Miz for WWE fans has been going through the movies for WWE Studios, he is good in his roles and this is no different. AnnaLynne McCord is good in her role too needing to be excitable at times, Saraya-Jade Bevis is solid enough in her role, she does well when we see her, but her character isn’t involved enough. The rest of the film are good without needing to take many difficult moments away from The Miz.

StoryThe story takes a fresh spin on needing to get the Christmas spirit to help turn one person’s life around. We follow our main character Dax who isn’t a nice person that needs to learn the error of his way before his whole life falls apart, for a family film this is completely by the book for what you need things to do as in lessons to be learnt. The sub-plot about the job applying for is here and never feels like it is the most important part of the film.

FamilyThis movie keeps the jokes that can be enjoyed by the whole audience, we get moments the kids and parents will enjoy through the film.

SettingsThe film doesn’t really give us an iconic location as for city and when it comes to the competition it should have felt more North Pole based.


Scene of the Movie –
The final lesson.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The course.

Final ThoughtsThis is a by the book Christmas movie, it will keep the family happy without being the most memorable of all time.

 

Overall: Enjoyable Family film.

Rating