Frozen 2 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee
You know, I actually went to Disney World a month or two back and I REALLY enjoyed Epcot! The sights, the food, the stores with lots of cool stuff in them; they even had a Frozen ride at the Nordic section of the park! And uh… well we waited about an hour to get on it, Elsa sang at us for a bit, and then it was over. Kind of disappointing considering how long it took to get there. Anyway, let’s talk about this sequel to a movie from six years ago. Is it the continuation to Elsa’s story we’ve all been waiting for, or has Disney already sucked the Frozen cash cow completely dry by the time they deigned to give us a sequel? Let’s find out!!
Several years after the events of the first film, Queen Elsa has continued her uneventful reign as the leader of Arendelle along with her sister Anna who seems perfectly content to while away her days hanging out with the magical snowman Olaf (Josh Gad) as well as her boyfriend Kristoff (Jonathan Groff). Elsa on the other hand seems a bit antsier about the drudgery of daily life and even starts to hear the voice of someone calling out to her from the mystical forest which has a dark history behind it. Apparently there was some sort of war between Arendelle and the native tribe of that forest known as the Northuldra and the magical spirits of the forest have closed themselves off from the rest of the world until humanity can get its problems straightened out. Fortunately for Elsa (though unfortunately for Arendelle), it seems that the magic deep inside the forest is starting to seep out and is causing problems for the kingdom, so Elsa has no choice but to find out what’s going on in there and Anna has no choice but to follow her. Oh, and Kristoff and Olaf go in there as well, but it feels like a bit more of a choice for them; unless they can only live if there’s a steady stream of screen time. Can Elsa and Anna figure out what’s causing this surge in the magic, and what it may be trying to tell them? What secrets from the past will they uncover during this journey, and will they be ones they want to uncover in the first place? Seriously, is Kristoff there just because he’s got a ride?
Ralph Breaks the Internet and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston
I remember when the first Wreck-It-Ralph movie came out that I couldn’t wait for there to be a sequel! However, as the years went on and the marketing pivoted from video games to him being ON THE INTERNET, I started to lose interest because the sequel that I would have wanted didn’t seem like it was going to manifest. Now that’s not to say I thought it would be a BAD movie, but what I was seeing wasn’t getting me as excited as say a Disney version of Super Smash Bros or whatever where we got even MORE nostalgic characters (maybe even ones from Nintendo!?) that Ralph and crew could go on adventures with. Now clearly NOTHING could have competed with the fan fiction I made up in my brain so even if the lead up to this movie wasn’t filling me with fanboy joy I wasn’t about to dismiss it out of hand for those reasons. Does this manage to live up to maybe not quite MY expectations but REASONABLE ones for a sequel to a modern Disney class, or should they have gone with my idea of having Mario and Sonic fight zombies together while Ralph and Boswer play Yu-Gi-Oh… or something like that? Let’s find out!!
It’s been several years since the events of the first film where Ralph and Vanellope (John C Reilly and Sarah Silverman) uncovered Turbo’s evil plan, and things have been going pretty well since then. Vanellope has been racing, Ralph has been wrecking, and Fix-it Felix Jr and Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun (Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch) have been the most adorable couple ever six years running! Still, things might be settling down a bit TOO much for Vanellope who’s time in the spotlight has turned a bit monotonous, but soon things go all Monkey’s Paw on her as her game breaks down and she and Ralph have to go online to see if they can find a replacement part before the kindly arcade owner (Ed O’Neill) sells the machine for scrap. Once online using the arcade owner’s recently purchased modem, they discover all the fantabulous things THE INTERNET has to offer, including the part they need on eBay. However, they don’t have any ACTUAL money and so need to find a way to score some cash through shady loot hunting in an online game with a bad ass NPC named Shank (Gal Gadot) and slightly less shady viral marketing through a trending video website run by an algorithm called Yesss (Taraji P Henson). Oh, and they visit Disney’s website at one point just to make sure you remember things like Star Wars, Zootopia, and their ever expanding stable of princesses. Will Ralph and Vanellope be able to buy the part and save her game before it’s too late? What will Vanellope learn about herself by seeing all these new and exciting places, and will Ralph be able to adapt to these new experiences? Where exactly did they manage to find such a clean and efficient version of THE INTERNET, and is there any way I can get on there!?
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures
Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
Well Our Brand is Crisis didn’t do much for everyone involved, but I’m SURE it will work better when you do it with Tina Fey! What, that’s not enough? Okay… let’s make it war film too!! Movies about the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan (especially comedies) are not easy endeavors for anyone to undertake, but we have gotten some good films along the way such as The Men Who Stare at Goats, The Messenger, and Brothers just to name a few. With this being somewhat of biopic of a journalist who spent several years in the country, it definitely has an interesting premise and a good excuse to get a strong message across as it’s from the point of view of someone whose job it is to find answers and tell the world about what’s really going on. Will this be a successful mix between a talented comedian and a topical subject, or is this a mash up that was not meant to be? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows the story of Kim Baker (Tina Fey) who works for a news organization and volunteers to go to Afghanistan as a war correspondent as she’s found herself in a rut in her life. When she gets to Afghanistan (Kabul specifically) she meets a colorful cast of journos, photographers, and other personal that she will be sharing a home with for the next couple of years as she slowly grows to appreciate the country for what it has to offer and starts to grow accustom to the risks and dangers of being a reporter in this environment. Her newfound friends include a guide Fahim Ahmadza (Christopher Abbott), the only other female journalist (at least the only one we see) at the place that Kim is staying named Tanya Vanderpoel (Margot Robbie) and a Scottish photographer named Iain MacKelpie (Martin Freeman) who quickly grows attached to the new member of their little club. Along the way, she’ll have to deal with the US military, primarily through General Hollanek (Billy Bob Thornton), and with the a high ranking official in the Afghani government Ali Massoud Sadiq (Alfred Molina) in order to get the stories she needs to keep the war relevant to the news organization she works for and to keep her from being reassigned to another desk job. Will she be able to hack it as a journalist in this country that doesn’t look too kindly on Western intervention? Will she find what she’s looking for in the Middle East, or will she get sucked into this world and lose touch with what’s waiting for her back home? This isn’t going to be TOO offensive, right?
Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie and all the images you see in this review are owned by Funny or Die
Directed by Jeremy Konner
If we’re gonna keep getting subpar dreck like Dirty Grandpa, The Fifth Wave, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, we might as well turn to the Internet for all our movie viewing needs… at least until Deadpool comes out, but AFTER that we can probably just hide away until March. So Funny or Die (the premiere site for famous comedians to post YouTube videos not on YouTube) has been secretly working on a Donald Trump movie and finally released it to the masses starring none other than Johnny Depp (the star of such classics as The Lone Ranger and A Nightmare on Elm Street) as the prominent business man in this adaptation of his most notorious literary contribution, The Art of the Deal. Does it manage to give us a satirical yet poignant look at the man who has taken over the public spotlight, or is this just a chance for even more people to jump on the Trump bandwagon before he flames out in the next couple of months? Let’s find out!!
The movie is presented to us as a Made for TV special (found by Ron Howard in a yard sale) that Donald Trump (Johnny Depp) directed, edit, and starred in among other duties he takes credit for that is a somewhat autobiographical tale based on his best-selling book The Art of the Deal (second only to the Bible in number of sales apparently). The framing device for Trump to espouse his philosophy on business as well as tales of his prior accomplishments is a kid who steals a copy of his book from a display and just so happens to evade the security guard by ducking into Trump’s office who takes this opportunity to mentor the boy for an afternoon. It just so happens to also be Trump’s fortieth birthday and his one goal in life (at least according to this movie) is the purchase of the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City from Merv Griffin (Patton Oswalt) who’s not too keen to sell to the big blowhard… I mean brilliant business man. As Donald continues to try and goad Merv into selling, he goes on and on about his accomplishments with accompanying flashbacks and even gets his lawyer (Alfred Molina) to chime in every once in a while to reassure the kid of just how awesome of a life the orange demi-god standing before him has led. Will Donald get his hands on the Taj Mahal before the day is over? Will the kid learn a valuable lesson about business and negotiations along the way? Could anyone imagine a better time to release this than THE DAY that Trump won the New Hampshire primary!?
Secret in Their Eyes and all the images you see in this review are owned by STX Entertainment
Directed by Billy Ray
Does anyone even remember that this movie was supposed to come out? I remember seeing trailers a LONG time ago but then they just stopped and I haven’t seen one for this in probably four or five months. Did the studio lose faith in it despite its all-star cast (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, and Julia Roberts just to name a few)? It seems that the Studio is angling for this to be an Oscar type film along the lines of Michael Clayton or LA Confidential based on the trailers we initially got, but maybe something happened between then and now that cause the studio to lose faith in this film’s ability to reach the main stream audience. Is this a solid thriller that will generate some positive buzz through word of mouth, or are we looking at something that the studio was desperate to bury? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows Ray (Chiwetel Ejiofor) as he tries to solve the murder of the daughter of his friend Jess (Julia Roberts). It’s not going all that well considering he’s just getting a breakthrough after thirteen years of diligent work, but at least he has something he can bring to the district attorney Claire (Nicole Kidman). Now this is where things start to break down so I’ll try to get this story across as best as possible. Thirteen years ago, Ray was an FBI agent that got transferred to a Los Angeles after 9/11 with a whole bunch of other agents because everyone thought that was where the next attack would be. One of those agents is Jess who becomes his partner and they become friends along with Bumpy Willis (Dean Norris basically reprising his role as Hank Schrader to the point that they eventually give the dude a cane) and the new Assistant District Attorney Claire. One day, they find Jess’s daughter dead and bleached in a dumpster outside of a Mosque they’re investigating and it completely destroys Jess. They have a suspect in some kid named Marzin (Joe Cole) that they’re DAMN sure did it but due to some extenuating circumstances, the head of the LA FBI office (Alfred Molina) doesn’t want to pursue this further. The kid is actually an informant for the office asshole Reg Seifert (Michael Kelly who’s kind of an American Andrew Scott only less awesome) who is spilling secrets on the mosque which might be harboring a terrorist cell. That and a general lack of hard evidence means he gets away with the murder and then just disappears soon after.