Tag Archives: Sony Pictures Animation

Cinema Dispatch: The Star

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The Star and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment

Directed by Timothy Reckart

Man, Coco was such a good movie.  Too good in fact!  I need to find a way to bring myself down to Earth again if I want to be fair to any other movie coming out this year.  Wait, is that what I think it is!?  A POORLY ANIMATED RELIGIOUS FILM… WITH TYLER PERRY!?  JACKPOT!!  It seems that movie going audiences had the good sense to ignore this film to go see Coco instead which seems like an INCREDIBLY obvious move given how uninspired the trailers look, but let it never be said that I am not a fair critic and will try to give everything at least a CHANCE to try and impress me!  Okay, I know better than to hope much from ANY religious film not made by Darren Aronofsky (and even THAT is a bit of a crapshoot), but compared to some of the OTHER films in that category, there’s no way it could be THAT bad… right?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the misadventures of one Bo the Donkey (Steven Yeun) who remained aimless and nameless for most of his life working in a mill and only getting brief glimpses of the outside world.  His one dream though is to be part of the Royal Procession which… I guess is like a super lame parade or something?  Anyway, he’s given a chance to escape with his wise cracking friend Dave the Dove (Keegan-Michael Key) and he winds up hiding out with a newly married couple; one of whom seems to have gotten to the whole pregnancy thing a little early.  Yes, this hapless donkey winds up in the possession of Mary and Joseph (Gina Rodriguez and Zachary Levi) with the former giving him the name Bo and the latter being a total throwback to goofy nineties sitcom guys; as if the entire male cast of Friends was fused together into one not especially charming homunculus.  While this is going on, a trio of camels (Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, and Tracy Morgan) are carrying the Wise Men across the desert in search of the new king who’s due in just a few months and end up running into King Herod (Christopher Plummer) who doesn’t take too kindly to there being another king out there and sends his scariest brick shit house of a guard with two mix-matched attack dogs (Ving Rhames and Gabriel Iglesias) to go hunt down the happy couple and murder them to bloody chunky bits.  Bo the Donkey gets wind of this and decides to help these two out before running off to join the Royal Procession and even meet a friendly sheep along the way named Ruth (Aidy Bryant) who left her flock to follow the titular star to… whatever’s at the end of it (spoiler alert: it’s Jesus).  Will Bo the Donkey keep these two safe and deliver the savior unto us so that we all may be saved from the burning fires of Hell?  Will King Herod realize that sending only ONE dude to stop the only person who could challenge his throne was a really half assed approach to this problem?  Can animals be saved and accept Jesus Christ as their lord and savior?  I’m just curious what’s gonna happen to Bo once he dies considering how much he busted his ass (nyuk-nyuk-nyuk) to help Jesus out in the first place!

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“Companions before transubstantiation, AM I RIGHT!?”     “I’m pretty sure that’s not even a rhyme…”

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Cinema Dispatch: Smurfs: The Lost Village

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Smurfs: The Lost Village and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation

Directed by Kelly Asbury

Considering how the LAST two Smurfs movies turned out, this really doesn’t have to do all that much to be a massive improvement, does it?  To be fair, it DOES look like the new direction their going in is the right move for this franchise as it looks much more like the original series, and we’re also not going to the real world this time around which shows some signs that Sony realized where they screwed up and are trying to make it better.  Plus, they also got Jack McBrayer which is you all need to get my ass into a theater!  Does this manage to win back the fans it lost with the last two cynical features, or did they manage to screw it up again even with two perfect examples of how NOT to make a Smurfs movie to go by?  Let’s find out!

The movie starts in Smurf village where all the little Smurfs are Smurfing about doing their Smurfy thing.  All except for Smurfette (Demi Lovato) who may have golden locks to die for but isn’t sure what else a Smurfette is supposed to do.  Oh sure, it’s easy for Police Smurf and Saxophone Smurf who’s occupations are spelled out for them like a Cutie Mark in My Little Pony, but what about her!?  Is being the one and only female Smurf the ONLY thing she’s good at!?  Well… maybe not as she soon discovers another Smurf while Smurf-boarding in the forest, but before she can ask any questions or even get a good look at them, they run off into the FORBIDDEN FOREST which I can only assume is the same one from Harry Potter.  Smurfette wants to find this new Smurf as well as the village they came from (perhaps a LOST village of Smurfs!?) but Papa Smurf (Mandy Patinkin) forbids her to go into the FORBIDDEN FOREST because… well, it’s FORBIDDEN!  Despite his warnings not to go out there, she sneaks off into the middle of the night to go searching the FORBIDDEN FOREST and ends up having a few tag-alongs who were following her in the form of Hefty Smurf (Joe Manganiello), Clumsy Smurf (Jack McBrayer) and Brainy Smurf (Danny Pudi); all of whom are sure to bring their unique brand of Smurf Shenanigans to this adventure!  Oh, and of course the evil wizard Gargamel (Rainn Wilson) gets wind of this lost village, so they have to contend with him stomping through the forest as well; hoping to find these new Smurfs and using them to become the world’s most powerful wizard by smooshing them in some sort of magic juicer!  Can the Smurfs find The Lost Village and warn them of Gargamel before it’s too late?  Will Smurfette finally find out what her true purpose is on this epic quest?  Just who are these new Smurfs that they’re looking for, and are they even blue!?  What if… WHAT IF THEY’RE SNORKS!?

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It’s the Hannah-Barbarra Cinematic Universe!  WE KNEW IT WAS COMING SOONER OR LATER!!

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Cinema Dispatch: Hotel Transylvania 2

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Hotel Transylvania 2 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures

Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky

Does anyone else remember just how amazing it was that the first movie was in fact as good as it was?  The movie had been in production since 2006 and had five directors attached to it before finally settling on Genndy Tartakovsky who by all means is an accomplished animator but had never directed a feature film.  Not only that, but Adam Sandler was (and continues to be) a joke for a lot of people and his movie in the last decade or so have been absolutely abysmal.  Despite all that, Hotel Transylvania was not only good but one of the best animated films in a long time.  Now it’s time for Sony to start franchising this sucker with a sequel, but they seem to be doing it the right way by not only getting back the original director but the same writers as well.  Will this somehow manage to be one of the few animated sequels to be just as good if not better than the original, or will they throw out everything that was great about the first film just to milk a couple more dollars out of this series?  Let’s find out!!

After the events of the first movie, Mavis and Jonathan (Selena Gomez and Andy Samberg) start dating and eventually get married in the titular hotel.  Their whirlwind love affair eventually leads to her getting pregnant and giving birth to their son Dennis whom Dracula (Adam Sandler) starts to obsess over because now he has a new outlet for the overprotective behavior he struggled to overcome in the last film.  Unfortunately, like in the first movie, there comes a point where his paternal usefulness may be coming to an end with Mavis thinking that it may be too dangerous for them to stay at the hotel since young Dennis has yet to show any signs of being anything other than human, and in the Lore of this universe if he doesn’t show any signs by his fifth birthday (which is rapidly approaching), he’ll be a human forever.  Dracula, being the crafty bastard that is, enlists Jonathan’s help (who wants to stay at the hotel) to keep Mavis distracted while he and his friends try to force the vampirism into his grandson by taking him on the night of professional scaring.  I wouldn’t think that biology could be affected by cultural immersion but whatever.  So Jonathan and Mavis are off to visit his family in California for some marital R&R (and to see if the place would be a good fit for their family), while the old school monsters are trying their best to not only get this kid to grow his fangs but to recapture a bit of their youthful exuberance as they revisit their familiar haunts from when they were the scourge of humanity which may be a bit more difficult than they were expecting now the humans have learned about monsters and are (tentatively) accepting them.

Some seem to be adjusting better than others.

Some seem to be adjusting better than others.

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