Category: Movies

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Children, Humor, Movies

Next-Gen Peabody and Sherman

So, I’ve been looking forward to this movie since I saw the previews a good while back.  I enjoyed watching Mr. Peabody and Sherman along with Rocky and Bullwinkle while I was growing up.  Of course, it is a little odd that a dog adopted a boy, or went to Harvard, or invented a time machine, but if you can get past all that and just believe it all, then this is a fun movie to watch.

“Our story begins” like our story always begins. In fact, the first few minutes of the movie are pretty much based on this original episode of Mr. Peabody and Sherman:

One thing I enjoyed about this movie, though, beyond the nostalgia, is watching how time travel is handled. Mr. P & S had a few adventures along the way in the movie, and Sherman even takes a few adventures of his own with his new friend, Penny.  There is one scene where there were two Mr. Peabodys and two Shermans, and the resolution to restoring the space-time continuum is a little bit contrived, but, hey, I’m already buying the intelligent talking dog raising a boy, so I can let the technicalities on time travel slide, I suppose.

Call me a little naive, or at the very least hopeful, but I would like to think that the time travel sequences in this movie might make some kid out there want to learn more about history. Visiting the pyramids, the Trojan war, Ben Franklin and several other famous figures might just make some kid watching the movie want to find out more.  Like I want to know if DaVinci really created a fake freaky baby made out of wood.  No evidence on that one yet.

But, overall, Mr. Peabody and Sherman was a fun, entertaining movie, with enough humor and nostalgia that parents will enjoy watching it and remembering their childhood, and still relevant enough today that kids will find it funny as well.  I still enjoy Peabody’s bad puns, even if nobody else does. 🙂

Featured, Humor, Movies

Imaginary Monsters and Job Prospects

So, picture this… You’re a senior at Monsters University, just about to graduate from their prestigious “Scare Program.” (MU is top notch. Forget all that talk about Fear Tech. Their mascot? A pig. Really?) You’ve studied your whole life for this.  Dean Hardscrabble has scared you. You’ve learned all you can from Professor Knight. Soon it will be time to head out onto the scare floor, enter the human world, and fill those scream canisters with the sounds of all those scared little children… 🙂

Scary Sulley

But wait… Did you hear what Sulley and Mike just discovered? No? Okay, well, remember that little girl “Boo” that snuck in the monster world? Right after she returned home something changed. There’s a rumor going around that human laughter is much more powerful than human screams.  Yeah, I know.  Doesn’t look too good for us scarers.  I mean, what are we supposed to do now? We’ve spent the past four years learning how to scare children! Now we’re gonna have to make ’em laugh? I’ve already got $40,000 in monster student loans… spent all this time bulking up (I don’t want to get tooooo big) and now? What do I have to show for it? A degree in a field that has no future.  Maybe I can apply for some government help and go through job retraining… What else is a monster to do?

Welcome to Monsters University! Our soon-to-be-unemployed scarers are back, in a prequel that makes us laugh without working too hard.  It’s hard to believe it’s been 12 years since the original “Monsters, Inc.” hit the theaters.  Our kids have grown so much since the original, they don’t remember life before it.  The “Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor” is one of the most innovative attractions at Walt Disney World. So this movie has big shoes to fill.

I loved the glimpse of our favorite monsters’ lives before their daily scare floor routine kicked in.  Seeing Mike as a kid and watching him evolve into the paperwork-loving monster we all know was quite enlightening.  Watching how some personalities evolve over time (Randall, for example) shows us what turned them into the monsters they are today.  In a “Revenge of the Nerds” type of way, we watch as an unlikely group of students compete against other, seemingly stronger monsters for an opportunity to get into the scare school and get a leg up on their future at Monsters, Inc.

The major players are all back with a cameo or two (Snowcone, anyone?) and some surprises.  The only negative I have to say is that I had a hard time finding my favorite song from the movie because it wasn’t on the soundtrack. Fortunately, a few kind souls on Yahoo! helped me track it down.  You can see a Youtube video of “Gospel” by the MarchFourth Marching Band below:

Keep scaring!

Movies, Weather

“Snowmageddon” or “Snowpocalypse?”

I’ve had enough of this ridiculous snow.  There is no end in sight.  At times like this, I feel that my emotions are best expressed by quoting lines from an early 90’s movie:

You want a prediction about the weather, you’re asking the wrong Phil. I’ll give you a winter prediction: It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be gray, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life.

and some more…

There is no way that this winter is *ever* going to end as long as this groundhog keeps seeing his shadow. I don’t see any other way out. He’s got to be stopped. And I have to stop him.

Thanks IMDB.  You rock! I’d hate to think that this was going to be the new “normal” but it looks like that could be the case.  Check this out:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Unusually Large Snowstorm
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

Climate change causes more severe weather

Call it “Snowpocalypse” or “Snowageddon,” the mid-Atlantic and Northwestern U.S. have seen winter storms this year that rival anything in decades. Scientists agree that this kind of extreme weather is consistent with climate change research.

Arm yourself with facts and join Repower America in sharing the truth about climate change and extreme weather:

I have this sudden urge to sit down and watch “Groundhog Day.”

Movies

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

So, we went to the theater last night to see Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.  Not a bad little movie, but to be totally honest, I didn’t like the writing in this movie as well as the previous two Ice Age movies.  I think that the 3D effects were well done, and there was a lot of humor especially for the kids to enjoy.  But early on the dialog seemed to exist solely for the purpose of pushing the plot along.

While not as good as Disney-Pixar’s Up! I would still recommend seeing the new Ice Age film.

Family, Movies

Take a break… with Monsters vs. Aliens

Wow! Things have certainly been busy around here… I haven’t posted in forever.  There’s just been too much life lately.  Dance, baseball, work, school, etc.  Too nuts.

Today, Richie and Tedy began replacing our roof after February’s nasty storm.  I appreciate the help they’ve provided, and I hope they get things wrapped up tomorrow.  I’ve been relegated to clean-up duty and gopher during this project.  I’m not exactly a handyman.

So anyway, I definitely wanted to mention “Monsters vs. Aliens” that we went to see last weekend. It was a pretty good movie.  I’ve always liked animated movies, and this one’s good. Not great, but good.  The kids were entertained, and that’s the main thing.

To me, the one thing the movie lacked is “Aliens” — there was one alien, who cloned himself multiple times, thus creating “aliens.”  I would have liked five different aliens, one that could have been beaten by some special ability of each monster.  Like Susan could have fought some big alien, and B.O.B. could have fought some Jell-O-type alien, etc.  But I guess that would have taken away from the story a little bit.  But still when I hear “Monsters vs. Aliens” I picture an all-out battle for suprremecy.  But that’s just me.

The kids loved it, and the animation is amazing.  I didn’t get to see it in 3D because my local theater doesn’t support it, but the one in Morgantown does.  It may just be worth the repeat trip to see it in 3D.

Movies

WALL•E

I very much enjoyed this Disney-Pixar movie when we went to see it onwall_e_poster Saturday.  We  were a little late getting out to see this because of our vacation plans.  I try to catch the Disney-Pixar movies as soon as they come out.

I liked the story line, and I had absolutely no problem with the lack of dialogue in the first half hour of the movie.  You know, it just goes to show you how communication can be completely visual.  I think it’s just a testament to how great the animators really are.  This will definitely be a DVD purchase.

The only negative thing I had heard about the movie, really, was that the message was overtly political.  And I just didn’t see that.  Yes, in the movie, mankind failed to take care of the earth, but it was so “over-the-top” with the tall stacks of trash that all the “WALL•E” robots created… that just wouldn’t really happen that way.  Yes, we may pollute the earth to where it’s uninhabitable… I could see that happening.  And there’s a decent chance that we could get so large that we can’t even stand up without help.  But that should just be encouragement to not let that happen.  I don’t know… I just looked at the movie for it’s entertainment value.  And I was entertained.

Holidays, Movies

Christmas Time is Here

It’s almost time for toys and cheer.  And if you hadn’t guessed by now, we went to see Alvin and the Chipmunks tonight.

Go Munk Yourself

Don’t listen to the critics.  If you enjoyed Alvin and the Chipmunks as a kid, you’ll like this movie as an adult.  And if your kids have never heard of them, go and take them to see this movie.  They will absolutely enjoy it.  The theater was packed with families.  I love to see a surprise hit come from nowhere, and I think this is one of them.

Now that the holidays are here, it’s time to relax.  Have fun with friends and family.  But most importantly, remember the real reason for the season.  Keep Jesus in your holiday season, and why not keep him with you the rest of the year too?

Visit my church’s website at http://www.lumberportbaptist.org.

Movies

Keep Moving Forward…

Meet the RobinsonsWe just got back from seeing “Meet the Robinsons”, the latest Disney-Pixar collaboration. I have always been a big fan of the Disney-Pixar movies. My wife and I saw “Toy Story” in the theaters way back in 1995, a mere six months after we were married. I have a nice neat collection of all the Disney-Pixar DVD’s.  (To be honest, the “Toy Story” set is getting a little beat up. May have to break down and buy the 10th Anniversary Edition.) Plus, I’ve really been into seeing all the animated features as they come out, no matter who produces them.

So, we’ve been looking forward to this. Once again, Disney does not disappoint.

I kinda noticed the “Rolie Polie Olie” feel to the movie from the beginning, which makes perfect sense after learning that the movie is based on a book written by William Joyce, the man behind “Olie.”

The visual gags come fast and furious. Who knows how many I missed? That’s half the fun of getting the DVD, though. I won’t give too much away, but one of my favorite gags is the appearance of “Todayland” — and the very Space Mountain-like building in the distance! And it’s always fun to read billboards (even science projects!) in Pixar films.

The only complaint I would have about the movie is this: Sometimes, the visuals seem to exist simply to show that it can be done! Like the whole food fight scene at the dinner table of the future. It takes on the special effects of a low-budget, washed-out, foreign-dubbed, multi-hyphenated kung fu flick. Why? Lewis surely didn’t see it that way. I don’t know. The scene was cute, but didn’t advance the story. It would have been better served as a deleted scene on the DVD.

Ultimately though, the plot twists and surprising character reveals make this a great movie to watch with the whole family. Ryan will be saying “I have a big head, and little arms” for weeks!