Tag Archives: Eugenio Derbez

Cinema Dispatch: The Angry Birds Movie 2

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The Angry Birds Movie 2 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing

Directed by Thurop Van Orman

We only got one shot at the Super Mario Bros in the last twenty five years, yet THIS manages to get a sequel?  I actually LIKED that Mario movie, which just goes to show that Hollywood is out to get me specifically; though I can’t imagine why since I’m SUCH an agreeable and charming fellow!  Anyway, the first movie left me feeling pretty bitter so there’s not a single part of me that is looking forward to see the further adventures of Boring Red, Danny McBoom, and Fast Olaf, but sitting here dreading the darn thing isn’t gonna get us anyway, so let’s put on a brave face and try to meet this film halfway!  Can the sequel meet or perhaps even exceed the low bar that the original movie set, or is hoping for even that much just setting myself up for disappointment?  Let’s find out!!

Following the events of the first film where Red (Jason Sudeikis) became a hero to Bird Island by driving away the Pigs, the two islands are at something of a standstill with each of them pulling pranks and launching food at one another in an attempt to see which island can get the most annoyed.  Red is overjoyed by this since being the hero who fought the pigs is now his full time job as he along with Chuck and Boom (Danny McBride and Josh Gadd) spend every waking moment coming up with new schemes, retaliating against attacks, and giving speeches to the citizens of Bird Island.  That’s all about to change however as a THIRD island starts to float into the middle of the conflict which is head up by Zeta (Leslie Jones); an Eagle on an island of ice who throws ice balls at people just because she’s angry that her island is full of ice.  She could just take a vacation to one of the adjacent islands, but nope!  Massive ice balls that surely crush whatever living thing ends up beneath them!  The pigs are the first one to notice the threat and King Leonard (Bill Hader) offers a truce to the citizens of Bird Island who are all happy to finally be done with this prank war… except for Red who now has to get a real job I guess and find people who like him for reasons other than being the maroon messiah.  Well I guess if being the brave warrior who defeated the pigs isn’t cutting it anymore, than recklessly leading the charge against the eagles is the next best thing!  Along with Chuck, Boom, and King Leonard, they recruit Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage), Courtney the pig (Awkwafina), gadgets expert Garry (Sterling K Brown), and Chuck’s hereto unmentioned sister Silver (Rachel Bloom) to aid in their plot to destroy Zeta’s super ice weapon, but are the ready to face such a dangerous and flamboyant threat?  Can they save both islands without betraying one another or just screwing up due to their own incompetence?  Are we sure we can’t just let Zeta take over the islands?  Maybe it’s just me, but I think we should at least give her a chance!

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Say what you will about her weapons of mass refrigeration; at least she likes dogs!

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Cinema Dispatch: Dora and the Lost City of Gold

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Dora and the Lost City of Gold and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures

Directed by James Bobin

You know that they already did an aged up Dora series?  Sure she was only ten years old in that one instead of going to high school, but she moved to the city and made some human friends instead of talking to a monkey all day.  That’s… about all I know about Dora the Explorer outside of it being… a thing for a while there.  Well that’s a bit dismissive; it was actually a HUGE success for Nickelodeon and was broadcast worldwide in various languages, so I guess there HAS to be a market out there for more Dora stuff which is why we’re getting this film in the first place; though not as a straight up adaptation of the material but instead as a reimagining of the concept.  Less Spanish lessons and more Bowie knives if the trailer is anything to go by, which at least caught my and many others’ attention a few months ago.  Can this spin on the beloved children’s character become a cross generational hit that will keep Dora in the public consciousness for decades to come, or will this be as bad a miscalculation as that M Night version of The Last Airbender?  Let’s find out!!

Dora (Isabela Moner), whose last name has been lost to time, is your typical teenaged jungle explorer.  She has an encyclopedic knowledge of everything that could kill her in there, she’s made friends with the native animals including a monkey named Boots, and she can apparently fall from great heights without breaking any of her bones!  Truly a Lara Croft in the making as long as she gets her gun permit, but her parents (Michael Peña and Eva Longoria) have other plans for her.  See, they’re about to go on a trip to find THE LOST CITY OF PARAPATA (which is apparently full of gold), but instead of taking their highly competent and well trained daughter with them, they’re gonna send her to “the city” to stay with her cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg) and attend the most fearsome jungle of them all; HIGH SCHOOL!!  Like most cartoon characters brought to life, her biggest problem is that she’s just too earnest for this cynical world which wants to sap all the idealism right out of her, but darn it she won’t be deterred!  She does end up being a bit of a laughing stock though for… being nice I think, and she’s ends up hanging out with the other nobodies at the school; her cousin Diego for some reason, the class president (Madeleine Madden) for some reason, and the local nerd (Nicholas Coombe) for pretty obvious reasons.  If only there was a way for her to show everyone that she’s ACTUALLY an awesome Indiana Jones knock off instead of some geek who likes to carry water purifies wherever she goes.  Well she gets her monkey’s paw wish when during a field trip she and her “not friends” all get captured by mercenaries who take her back to “The Jungle” and demand she help them find her parents who have gone missing in search of that city full of gold.  Fortunately a friend of her parents Alejandro (Eugenio Derbez) springs them free and wants to help them find her parents, so now it’s a race against time as Dora and her not so enthusiastic explorers have to track down her parents before the team of mercenaries (including Swiper the Fox for some reason) can hunt them down, take the gold, and gut them all like fish.  Can Dora teach her friends to survive in such a harsh environment and gain their respect in the process?  Why did her parents go missing in the first place, and is the lost city gold so hard to find for a very good reason?  I wonder if this adventure will look good on their college applications…

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“If we can make it through this cave, we’ll finally be in Paraparta!”     “Good.  At least I’ll finally be able to afford Harvard after this.”     “We really shouldn’t take the gold.”     “And I really shouldn’t be paying fifty grand a semester, yet here we are!”

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Cinema Dispatch: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

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The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston

It’s not often that Disney just let’s something slide under the radar like this.  Every Marvel movie and Star Wars episode gets a HUGE marketing push (even the comparatively small Solo got more coverage than a lot of other movies), their animated films are almost always guaranteed to be at the top of the box office, even something as out there as A Wrinkle In Time was pretty omnipresent prior to its release.  With this film though it’s like they want to sneak it out as fast as possible which, given what we saw in the trailers, is probably a good call and even more reason for critics like me to make sure it gets it’s turn in the spotlight!  We may love Disney for a lot of things, but they’ve had their share of horrible mistakes and I’m not in a lenient mood this year!  Does this retelling of the classic tale turn out to be a Disney Blunder on the scale of Treasure Planet, or did they simply not know what to do with the greatness they had in front of them?  Let’s find out!!

Clara Stahlbaum (Mackenzie Foy) is the daughter of a wealthy English family who is not having a very good Christmas, mostly due to her mother (Anna Madeley) having died the previous year, and her father (Matthew Macfadyen) is insisting they at least put up appearances and go the Christmas ball as tradition dictates.  Oh and she has a brother and sister (Tom Sweet and Ellie Bamber), but who cares about them.  ANYWAY, Clara goes to the party in a rather dour mood and sees her kindly godfather Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman) who makes clockwork novelties and presumably lost one of his eyes when a cuckoo clock got too close, but more importantly he seems to be the only one who understands Clara as she too has an affinity for mechanical devices.  However, there’s one that still eludes her which is a locked mechanical egg that she got as the last gift from her mother, and when Drosselmeyer sees it it’s clear that SOMETHING must be done!  Okay, see if you can follow me on this.  First, he sets up an elaborate gift giving system for the kids where very long strings are tied to a pole in the courtyard with each child’s name on one of the strings, and they have to follow said string to the gift.  Clara’s string apparently winds all through the house which leads to a… magic door I guess that takes her to the fantasy world of THE FOUR REALMS that’s populated by nutcrackers, fairies, and mice.  Well it’s certainly a good thing that none of the other kids mistook her string for theirs, though even if I was dutifully following a string with my name on it, I’d AT LEAST start to question something when it starts snowing and we’re no longer in the middle of the city, but I guess I’m not young enough to get the whimsy of being out in the cold without a jacket.  The string by the way leads to a key which could be the one needed to unlock Clara’s mechanical egg thingy, but alas it is taken by a mouse that runs off into THE FOURTH REALM which is a place of fog, dead trees, and clowns.  After meeting up with a nutcracker solider (Jayden Fowora-Knight) and making a valiant effort to chase after the mouse who took her key, she eventually retreats back to the big castle just outside THE FOURTH REALM where all the rich people are partying, the guardians of the GOOD realms are residing (Keira Knightley, Eugenio Derbez, and Richard E. Grant), and Clara’s mom is apparently still crowned as queen despite being dead for over a year which we soon learn is even LONGER in Fantasy World Time!  So with that, Clara is given the royal treatment but has to take on great responsibility in her mother’s absence to… I guess eradicate THE FOURTH REALM which is so obviously evil while also getting that key back and finally uncovering whatever secrets her mother left in that egg!  Will Clara be able to overcome whatever challenges face her once she goes back into THE FOURTH REALM?  What are the rulers of the other realms planning to do once Clara fulfils her duty, and will she be able to return to her old life?  Is it just me, or did almost NONE of that have to do with The Nutcracker!?

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“And THEN we signed the peace treaty with the dragons of marshmallow mountain which allowed trade ships to travel down the chocolate milk river.”     “uh huh.  That’s nice…”

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Cinema Dispatch: Geostorm

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Geostorm and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Dean Devlin

We’ve been getting a LOT of delayed films this year, haven’t we?  Tulip Fever took a while to come out, Rings took even longer, and that Amityville Horror sequel or reboot or whatever ended up failing so hard that it was released FOR FREE on Google Play.  Not in theaters; on the same storefront where you download crappy Tetris knockoffs and flashlight apps.  Now we’ve got this movie which may be the most interesting of the bunch simply because of how much money Warner Bros inevitably sunk into the damn thing to try and recoup its losses.  Not quite as much as Monster Trucks, but certainly enough that you’d question if anyone behind this damn thing had heard of the Sunk Cost fallacy.  Well it’s finally out now at probably the worst time imaginable (this story keeps getting better and better!) and with very little fan far from Warner Bros who may have finally realized it’s time to cut their losses.  Does this movie manage to rise above its troubled production to deliver something at least somewhat enjoyable, or is this possibly an even bigger mess than The Snowman was?  Okay, NOTHING is quite as shoddily put together as that film, but will this still be an absolute disaster and not in the way they were hoping for?  Let’s find out!!

The movie takes place in the very near future where humanity finally came up with an idea on how to combat Global Warming.  Not by recycling or embracing renewable imagery of course, but by putting a giant freaking net of satellites around the globe that can somehow shoot science beams at the earth whenever a tornado, hurricane, or anything else is about to threaten human lives.  Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler), who I’m assuming got this brilliant idea from Highlander 2: The Quickening, is the one dude bad enough to put this whole project together which is nicknamed Dutch Boy but is kicked off the project for infuriatingly political reasons.  Okay, he punched an inspector in the face, but what ELSE was he supposed to do!?  Listen to what he had to say!?  Anyway, his brother Max (Jim Sturgess) is the new head honcho of the project but the system starts to malfunction a few years down the road which leads to some isolated but very deadly weather events and no one knows what’s causing them.  I guess it’s time for good ol’ Jake to reclaim his throne and go up to the satellite to see what the heck is causing these problems and hopefully stop it before it threatens all life on Earth.  Will Jake solve the mystery before it’s too late and find out if its simple malfunctions or sabotage?  What will Max find out back on Earth with the help of one of Dutch Boy’s programmers (Daniel Wu) and a hacker that he apparently knows in the State Department (Zazie Beetz)?  Just how many things can they manage to blow up with a weather machine!?

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“Damn it!  I knew we shouldn’t have stored all those recalled Samsung phones in there!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Miracles from Heaven

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Miracles from Heaven and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures

Directed by Patricia Riggen

These movies are just going to stop, are they?  Well certainly not as long as Sony’s Jesus Department (Affirm), Roma Downey, and The Kendrick Brothers haven’t been driven out of Hollywood for being hacks.  Oh who am I kidding?  No one has EVER been driven out of Hollywood for being a hack.  Still, these crappy religious movies are starting to look more and more like crappy regular movies now that their attracting big name talents like Jennifer Garner.  Does the fact that this movie attracted an ACTUAL actor instead of one who’s only looking to be in Christian cinema (or are desperate for cash) mean that this might be one of the better films to come out of the Christian Film Revolution?  Even if it is, does that mean it’s actually a GOOD movie?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the tragic and uplifting story of the Beam family who were met with an unbelievable crisis when one of their daughters Annabel also known as Anna (Kylie Rogers) is diagnosed with an incurable intestinal disorder that leaves her unable to eat and in constant pain.  For the most part, the movie is from the perspective of her mother Christy (Jennifer Garner) who takes the brunt of the action and the emotional toll by doing everything she can to get her to the best doctors and come up with ways to pay for all these expensive treatments.  The trailers are a tad misleading considering that the fall from the tree that cures Anna (spoiler alert) doesn’t happen until the last twenty minutes of the movie, so it has more in common with something like 90 Minutes in Heaven than Heaven is For Real, considering the majority of the movie is about the suffering rather than the aftermath of the divine intervention.  Still, is it an inspiring and heartwarming story BEFORE we get to the Deus Ex Machina?  Does Jennifer Garner actually manage to elevate this material above its very simple premise?  Couldn’t God have come up with a way to heal her WITHOUT giving her a concussion!?

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“This is the fire department, Anna!  If you can hear me and are still conscious, don’t make a sound.”     …     “Well I’D call that a good sign, wouldn’t you?”

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