Star Wars: The Force Awakens … And I have Some Thoughts #TheForceAwakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Poster

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters in less than two months, and last night we got to finally see the third full-length trailer.

httpv://youtu.be/sGbxmsDFVnE

If you can’t stop watching the Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I’m right there with you!

First and foremost, Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer is gorgeous! However the thing that struck me the most was not just how amazing the John Williams score was, but how the seconds of the silence tripled the trailer’s impact for me.

“The Force…it’s calling you…just let it in”

While we are all stoked, I wanted to share a few thoughts that I have from watching (and re-watchting) the Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer.

I’ve also included screenshots with the time in the trailer so you can join me in my joy, bouts of screaming, tissue grabbing, or any of the other crazy emotion I had while watching!

1. Rey is someone

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer - Rey

“I’m no one.”

If you look in the databank on the official Star Wars site, Rey has the following description…

Rey is a resilient survivor, a scavenger toughened by a lifetime of dealing with the cutthroats of the harsh desert world of Jakku.

That’s. It.

Now you and I both know that’s not ‘it’, and these trailers are doing a great job at giving us a peek at what she could be all about.

2. Han Solo’s Role

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer - Han Solo

“It’s true…all of it.”

It seems as if Han Solo’s role takes a more paternal twist as he is there for Rey and Finn to help recall the times of old so that they can learn from them.

3. #WhereIsLuke

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer - Where is Luke

ONE SECOND? YOU’RE ONLY GOING TO GIVE ME ONE SECOND AGAIN?

Sorry…I’m still not okay with this…

4. Kylo Ren’s Darth Vader Worship

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer - Kylo Ren Darth Vader

“I will finish…what you started.”

Kylo Ren having the remains of Darth Vader’s helmet on display really seals his creepy, completionist role in my mind.

I seriously can’t wait to hate Kylo Ren!

5. THE EMBRACE

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer - Han and Leia embrace

Yes, yes I gasped and cried…and then I yelled…

WHY IS LEIA SAD?

DOES SHE STILL LOVE HAN? DOES HE STILL LOVE HER?

WHERE IS LUKE? (Please see my outrage in #3)

6. Finn’s Lightsaber

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer - Finn Lightsaber

“I was raised to do one thing…but I’ve got nothing to fight for.”

We all, by now, know that isn’t true.

Finn has a lot to fight for, but this time we get to see him wield his lightsaber against Kylo Ren.

All. The. Goosebumps.

7. Nostalgia

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer - Nostalgia

The Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer is full of nostalgia and moments where you feel like you may have seen this all before, but it is done in such a wonderful way that you can’t help but want more!

So what do you think? What was your biggest takeaway from the latest Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer?

Man the next 58 days are going to be painful…maybe I’ll just watch the trailer one more time…

httpv://youtu.be/sGbxmsDFVnE

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A Subatomic Spoiler-Free Look At Ant-Man

antman

Big things come in small packages, and that’s something that’s always been true for the hero Ant-Man. The movie adaptation of the hero’s origin, Ant-Man, opens in theaters today,  is a definite treat for the Marvel Cinematic Universe fans who might not have been as impressed with Avengers: Age of Ultron, but were huge fans of Guardians of the Galaxy.  It is the final film in “Phase 2” and as staunch fans will catch on this is with good reason, as Ant-Man will be heavily connected to many aspects of the MCU going forward – some that might not come to any fruition, and others that are going to take us to DEFCON 1.

This is a story about Scott Lang, who in comic books was the 2nd Ant-Man, and the movie sticks with that theme.  He is a self proclaimed “cat burglar” who has just gotten out of prison, and through a series of events ends up breaking into a home where he comes into possession of a suit that he can use to shrink down to a size where he can ride an ant like it is a horse.  Hence his name… get it… Ant-Man.  In a way similar to the comic book also, he is doing this for his daughter… though the circumstances are a bit different.

Comic book fans like myself, those who are familiar with the history of the Avengers have been wondering just how Ant-Man would fit into the MCU.  After all in comic books, the original Ant-Man was Hank Pym, and he was one of the founding members of the Avengers, before Captain America, Hawkeye, or Black Widow were ever members.  In comics he is the guy who created Ultron, not Stark. He has also been several superheroes including Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket, Wasp, etc.  So the big question for this group was just how were you going to fit this diverse a character back into the mix?

In short, this is handled extremely well.  The pieces of Pym’s story are brought in piece by piece and at just the right times.  In this way you can see the parallels between the growth of both Lang and Pym in the movie.  One thing that this movie helped me with is the Ultron that was presented in Age of Ultron – as I struggled with that interpretation.  Missing was the psycho-drama element of the Pym vs. Ultron struggle – and Ultron was turned into all the worst elements of Tony Stark instead.  Here, in place of Ultron, we have Yellowjacket – who unlike comics is NOT Pym (no spoiler here, this was all over the trailers), and as is true to the MCU is different yet analogous to his Earth-616 (soon to be zero?) counterpart.  As a result he takes on many of the personality traits of Ultron from the comic books.

There is the contingent of people who have been wondering why they should care about a dude who can shrink and talk to ants.  Well because when a dude with a bow and arrow or a gal with a guns and martial arts can stand tall against the likes of a Hulk, everything else in between can work, and a tiny dude can stand tall too. However, in case that’s not enough there are elements added to this movie that are there to help you through this particular issue.  Each a piece of the puzzle to set up so much of what will be “Phase 3” of the MCU.

While I’m sure you’ve already been taking your kids to see the MCU movies, I wanted to say that for younger, even Pre-Teen audiences, this might be the most approachable of all the films to date.  Cassie Lang being the differentiating factor there.  Because there are a lot of elements of the story that are there to make a young girl work within its context younger kids may relate better and understand more of the story.  That said, there are still guns, stuff gets blown up, crimes occur, and people die.  Overall this is a super fun movie, full of a lot of what makes comic book drama great.  MCU fans are going to want to see this.

In addition to doing the web design and programming for the On the Go in MCO website, Todd Perlmutter is a host for the Disney Film Project Podcast.

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Win Tickets To See An Advanced Screening of Minions

MINIONS Movie Giveaway Header

Minions. Have you ever wondered where they came from? This Summer, go back to where it all began. From the creators of Despicable Me, Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janey, and Steve Coogan star in Minions. In Theaters and Real 3-D July 10th. Rated PG.

httpv://youtu.be/Wfql_DoHRKc 

The story of Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Minions begins at the dawn of time.  Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters.  Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters—from T. rex to Napoleon—the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a deep depression.

But one Minion named Kevin has a plan, and he—alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob—ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow.

The trio embarks upon a thrilling journey that ultimately leads them to their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill (Academy Award® winner Sandra Bullock), the world’s first-ever female super-villain.  They travel from frigid Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in mod London, where they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind…from annihilation.

Featuring a soundtrack of hit music from the ’60s that still permeates our culture today, Minions is produced by Illumination’s Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy, and is directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda.  Brian Lynch has written the screenplay for the 3D-CG comedy adventure, and Chris Renaud serves as executive producer of the film. 

Minions Movie Poster

Don’t want to wait until July 10th to see Minions? We are giving away two (2) – Family Four (4) Packs of Tickets to a Special Screening of Minions on July 7, 2015.

Minions – A Special Advance Screening

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

7:00 pm

Regal Winter Park 20

510 North Orlando Avenue

Winter Park, FL 32789

This contest is open to Residents of the United States who are eighteen (18) years and older.  We will be giving away Two (2) – Family four (4) Packs of tickets to see Minions – A Special Advance Screening at Regal Winter Park 20 on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 7:00 pm. Void where prohibited by law. We will use Rafflecopter to choose two (2) lucky winners at random, and each & every contest entry will be verified. The winners of our contest will be contacted by email (so be sure to double check your entry) and will have 24 hours to respond to the email or a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are some more important things to know about this giveaway:

  • Minions has been rated PG (Parental Guidance Suggested – Some Material May Not Be Suitable for Children) for action and rude humor.

  • PLEASE ARRIVE EARLY! Seats are not guaranteed, are limited to theater capacity and are first-come, first served. This theater is not responsible for seating over capacity.

  • No Recording. This screening will be monitored for unauthorized recording. By attending, you agree to not bring any recording device into the theater and you consent to physical search of your belongings and person for recording devices. If you attempt to use a recording device, you consent to your immediate removal from the theater and forfeiture of the device. Unauthorized recording will be reported to law enforcement and may subject you to criminal and civil liability.

Good luck! Don’t forget to see Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and all their friends in Minions on July 10, 2015!

MINIONS Movie Giveaway

I was provided with these tickets to see Minions – A Special Advance Screening.

All opinions are my own.

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A Peek Inside Inside Out

Inside_Out_(2015_film)_poster

For countless centuries humankind has strived to unlock the mysteries of the mind, only to discover is that while we can speculate and conclude, we may never truly know what goes makes us all tick.  That’s not to say we don’t have an idea of how we work, after all we’re the ones who live this life and somehow we get through just fine without truly knowing how we do it.  What we generally find is that, at the end of the day, the cliche is true, “we’re all human”.  Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc., Up) takes all these swirling notions, and… emotions and turns them into the beautifully clever movie Inside Out.

In Inside Out, Docter sets out to answer for us that ageless question of, “What’s going on inside that head of yours?” Great effort was made by Docter to take concepts by both Freud and Jung and combine them into something easily digestible by audiences, as their concepts are often quite convoluted, conflicting, and complimentary at the same time.  That’s not an easy task, some people spend their entire thesis trying to sort such things out.  To do this he reached back to one of his earlier works that many might be familiar with Cranium Command.

To do this the movie is set inside the mind of Riley, an 11 year old girl (based on both Docter himself and his daughter) whose life is drastically changed when her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco.  Much like Cranium Command, Riley’s mind, and similarly those of her parents, dogs, cats, etc. are all controlled from a control room, Headquarters, by her emotions Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust.  In fact, even the teaser poster for the movie resembles the logo for the closed attraction. Their job is to help define and maintain Riley’s personality.  They do this by creating and storing core memories which drive the aspects of that personality.

Unfortunately, after moving, Riley’s once “perfect” world starts to fall apart under her and she has to learn to cope with the changes and learn to incorporate them into who she is, rather than let them ruin her life.  As Riley’s world starts to fall apart, so do the core aspects of her personality, depicted as floating island “lands” from a theme park, including a familiar “hub & spoke” design where Headquarters is the Hub.  Those lands crumble, and fall into an abyss of lost and forgotten memories.

The emotions look to Joy, their leader and Riley’s first emotion, to solve the problem.  From there things start to go wrong as Riley’s core memories are rejected by the system in Headquarters and through a series of mishaps both Joy and Sadness are whisked off with those core memories to long term memory with no way back to Headquarters.  Leaving Fear, Anger, and Disgust in control.  From there things turn sour for quite a bit for both groups, and this reflects to Riley in the real world.  Thankfully with the help of one of Riley’s imaginary friend Bing Bong things eventually get fixed, and Riley learns to accept, and move on.

Inside Out great, if not fantastic.  While I wouldn’t consider it Pixar’s best work it is near the top.  It’s extremely clever, with some amazing throw away lines mostly at Jung’s expense.  Everyone who has grown up, become a teenager, lived through a life altering change, etc. should relate to this movie.  In other words, pretty much everyone on the planet.  Something so relatable is really the pinnacle of every artist, and this might come to be known as Docter’s pinnacle work.  Go see Inside Out, you’re going to enjoy experiencing these emotions.

In addition to doing the web design and programming for the On the Go in MCO website, Todd Perlmutter is a host for the Disney Film Project Podcast.

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A Look At Tomorrowland

tomorrowland

Walt Disney was always looking toward the future, and it showed through in so much of what he gave to the world.  He designed the original Tomorrowland in Disneyland to allow guests to be able to participate in a glimpse of what the future had to offer in order to provide them a positive outlook on what was to come.  His goal being simple, inspire hope.  In the movie Tomorrowland, Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof have taken that goal and weaved it into a modern tale where hope and despair are at odds, the world is losing, and it needs to be saved.

You can’t look at the world today and deny the underlying statement of the movie that we live in a very negatively driven society.  The movie does paint that view very dark for much of the movie, basically stating that there is no hope, as the world marches ever forward to it’s end.  They even go so far as to put a Doomsday Clock into the movie that counts down toward that end, one which defines the dark side of the movie and providing it a voice that ever counts down.

With that said, the negativity of things as shown in the movie, and the impending doom of the Earth, as mentioned above, despair is not the message of the movie.  The message is actually hope.  The message of the movie is provided to us through the main character Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) who is intended to be that embodiment of hope.  This is in stark contrast Frank Walker (George Clooney) who is a man who has become so obsessed with the impending doom that he is lost in despair.

This dichotomy carries through the movie from it’s opening where Frank and Casey are shown to be telling us the story of the movie, right until it’s speech at the end.  The message is simple, despite all the darkness there can be hope.  The interplay between the concepts built into Casey and Frank carries much of the movie.  Casey keeping it fun in a way, while Frank is keeping it real – despite all the unreal things he’s doing on screen.

With a plethora of science fiction themes like alternate realities, killer robots, and a steampunk trip to the moon the movie really does carry well throughout most of it.  There’s actually a point in the special effects where I got goose bumps because so much crazy awesome was happening on screen that it was hard not to sit back and think “Wow!”.  Cool concepts when well executed really do help me enjoy a movie more.  You don’t have to really understand how they do X or Y or Z in Tomorrowland, and they don’t take the time to explain it to you.  These combined help the movie not get stuck in exposition, despite that the entire movie is a flashback.

Parents should know that this movie does have quite a bit of in your face violence.  Almost at time for the sake of violence rather than having a purpose.  So this might not be a great film for younger viewers, but keep in mind we’re talking something along the lines of Men In Black or Revenge of the Sith.  The movie is honestly not for everyone, even families may be split. There are some definite lull points that may actually bore some viewers.

That said, I really enjoyed the core story of the movie.  I love the idea of a group of scientists that have, for quite some time, toiled away in another reality so they can expand and grow their knowledge freely for the good of mankind.  It does work to inspire hope, and that’s a good message to put forth.  On the downside it does suffer from the same problem that Damon Lindelof works generally have, the journey through the movie is way better than the end game of the story ever is.  But, I had expected that going in.  It also is a very well constructed story that is both entertaining and fun.  For a more in depth view of Tomorrowland, check out episode 234 of the Disney Film Project Podcast in a few weeks.

In addition to doing the web design and programming for the On the Go in MCO website, Todd Perlmutter is a host for the Disney Film Project Podcast.

 

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A Cinematic Journey Into The Woods

into_the_woods

Based on the Stephen Sondheim play of the same name, Into the Woods is Disney’s big holiday movie for 2014.  The play itself is a tale about morality, vice, desire, and virtue.  Based on the concept that each fairy tale is supposed to teach us or our children a lesson to help them in life.  However the twist here is that several fairy tales collide to create the pillars of a whole new story where the object lesson is centered around the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for.”

I have to be perfectly honest here, before seeing this movie I knew very little to nothing about it.  Having never seen the play before or read much about it, never having heard the songs, I was going in blind.  There had been some brief discussion with my Disney Film Project Podcast co-hosts which contained a great deal of excitement from our own Rachel Kolb, who happens to be a huge fan of the play and knows a great deal about it.  When I’m in this situation I try not to come in with too many preconceptions.

The core story is about a Baker (James Corden) and his Wife (Emily Blunt) and their desire to start a family.  However they quickly learn that they have been cursed by their next door neighbor who happens to be a Witch played by Meryl Streep who really steals every scene she’s in.  Wanting to break the curse, and be able to have a child, the Witch assigns them to retrieve 4 seemingly normal items and bring them to her in 3 days time.  The trick however is that this sends them on a collision course with the fairy tales Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel. 4 items.  4 stories.

The problem however is that the wishes of each of the major characters – the Baker, his Wife, the Witch, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack, and Rapunzel – have consequences.  Each of their stories plays out somewhat as you know them, but it’s what happens after this that matters.  But the wishes themselves are just allegorical wrappings for the choices the characters continue to make throughout the story.  And how they have to learn to take responsibility for those choices.

There is a lot of commentary that discusses the difference between the musical and the movie, from the removal of songs, to the changes of plot elements.  While not having seen the play, I’m guessing this serves 2 purposes; the shorter time a movie has to tell a story, and that some things that work on stage do not work as well on film.  While this is a somewhat dark story that has some moments that you may need to either explain or gloss over to your children, this is still a family film.  I might consider the age and maturity of any pre-teen children before seeing this film with them.  This is a very solid movie, based on a well constructed story, that I greatly enjoyed watching.

In addition to doing the web design and programming for the On the Go in MCO website, Todd Perlmutter is a host for the Disney Film Project Podcast.

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Strange Magic Coming In January 2015

Strange Magic

Strange Magic – January 23, 2015

Strange Magic, a new animated film from Lucasfilm Ltd., will be released by Touchstone Pictures on January 23, 2015!

Strange Magic is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion. Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic, which created the CGI animation for 2011’s Academy Award®-winning film “Rango,” bring to life the fanciful forest turned upside down with world-class animation and visual effects.

With a story by George Lucas, Strange Magic is directed by Gary Rydstrom (“Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation,” “Lifted”), produced by Mark S. Miller (associate producer “Mars Attacks!”) and executive produced by George Lucas, with a screenplay by David Berenbaum (“Elf”), Irene Mecchi (“Brave,” “The Lion King”) and Rydstrom. An extraordinary roster of film, television and Broadway stars lend their voices to “Strange Magic,” including Alan Cumming (CBS’ “The Good Wife,” Broadway’s “Cabaret”), Evan Rachel Wood (“The Ides of March”), Kristin Chenoweth (Broadway’s “Wicked”), Maya Rudolph (“Big Hero 6,” “Bridesmaids”), Sam Palladio (ABC’s “Nashville”), newcomer Meredith Anne Bull, Alfred Molina (“Chocolat”), Elijah Kelley (“Hairspray,” “The Butler”), Bob Einstein (HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and Peter Stormare (“Fargo”). Well-known music producer Marius de Vries (“Moulin Rouge”) serves as both the musical director and composer.

I’m looking forward to bringing you more information about Strange Magic soon!

Make sure you keep up with Strange Magic on Facebook and Twitter for more information, too!

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A Heroic Look At Big Hero 6

big-hero-6

It’s become evidently clear that the purchase of Marvel by Disney has turned out to be a huge win for the company, especially when it comes to the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  One of the tasks set by Bob Iger upon purchase was to search through the Marvel catalog to find out what else might be available for adaptation.  Don Hall discovered Big Hero 6 and ended up pitching it to John Lasseter.  Some of the characters had to be dropped due to their movie rights being owned by Fox, and many aspects of the characters were adjusted, but the focus remained on the relationship between Hiro and Baymax.

Due to some contention about live action vs. animation it was decided that Big Hero 6 would be set in its own universe rather than be part of the MCU and thus was born the amalgam city of San Fransokyo.  It’s nice to see creativity on this level and a step toward taking ownership of characters that, while interesting, never really integrated well into the Marvel Universe in the first place.  Each of the characters was reborn as something rooted in their original version, yet they were all now joined together with a common origin instead of having the diverse backgrounds they have in comics.  And they’re all better for it.

The movie itself is a really interesting and enjoyable take on the superhero origin story.  It has a flair to it, much the same way that Wreck-It Ralph did 2 years ago.  Disney is showing a very gratifying trend that takes them away from their “safe zone” of animated movies and starts to etch out new and exciting concepts and creations. And that’s a good thing – diversity of design shows an ability to grow and adapt that once once thought lost to the company.  One thing to look for is that at least 2 of the characters, Aunt Cass and Honey Lemon, look like modified models of prior characters Helen Parr and Lucille Krunklehorn.

I will say that while really great and enjoyable mind candy to a huge superhero fan like myself that Big Hero 6 does not have quite the “Wow!” Factor that Wreck-It Ralph did.  But it does make up for that with a very solid and well engineered story.  So instead of the wild ride that was Wreck-It Ralph at times, what you get is something a bit more grounded.  And that serves the story well, and makes the movie better for it.

The characters in the movie are really strong.  Hiro is a stereotypical teenager – sassy, smart mouthed, quippy, mopey, angsty, etc.  It’s all in there.  He suffers a lot of classic “superhero origin story loss” both on and off screen.   And when he loses his footing in the world he lashes out, and his super friends (see what I did there?) have re-ground him.  The story itself is very procedural, much like any TV crime drama where, and thus it has an endgame that very easy to piece together.  But that doesn’t make it bad, because the intricacies of getting to that point aren’t as obvious as the point itself.  So the fun is the journey in between.

So when you head out to see Big Hero 6, prepare yourself for a little slice of awesome. Your entire family is very likely to find something to make them both laugh and cry in this movie.  The same can be said for it’s opening short Feast which every dog lover on the planet will “totally get”.  Vinyl is in again. Fah-la-la-la-la.

In addition to doing the web design and programming for the On the Go in MCO website, Todd Perlmutter is a host for the Disney Film Project Podcast.

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A Look At Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Alexanderand-600x889

Let’s face it we’ve all had bad days.  Some terrible.  Some horrible.  Some just plain no good.  And others still very bad.  But what if one day you were faced with a day so awful that all those things got combined together and it was a day that just kept getting worse and worse.  That’s the basic premise behind the 1972 children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  A movie adaptation of the film by Disney opens in theaters today, October 10, 2014, and it provides us with a look at not one, but rather two very bad days in the life of Alexander.

This really turns out to be a smart move, as in the past others have tried to focus solely on the bad day described in the book.  However writer Rob Lieber, and indie superstar director Miguel Arteta choose instead to quickly move past that bad day and instead focus the movie on the day after – which also turns out to be Alexander’s birthday.  While there’s no actual magic portrayed in this movie, at the end of his really bad day as it becomes his birthday Alexander makes a wish that his family could know what it’s like to have a bad day also.

From there you can only begin to imagine some of the mayhem that ensues.  It’s clear from watching the movie that the comedy direction was provided by Steve Carell who plays Alexander’s father in the movie.  That works out really well as because while the gags are fairly redone as far as “bad luck” movie gags go, many of them play out with a renewed vigor as a result. While Jennifer Garner, playing the mother, is also great in her role, it’s a shame that she has nowhere near the chemistry with Carell as she had 2 years ago with Joel Edgerton in The Odd Life of Timothy Green.

The strongest factor about this movie is that it’s a solidly constructed family film.  You see, in strong contradiction to the lesson that the Joker tries to teach Batman in The Killing Joke, one bad day doesn’t have to lead to ruin.  Rather it’s how you approach that day, and the things that happen to you in it, and who you survive it with.  In this case Alexander chooses to help his family make it through their day, see his point of view, and they all become stronger for sharing the experiences together.  Fans of the book will like this movie, as will parents looking for a movie to share with their children, and even new fans like myself who now needs to go read a book.

In addition to doing the web design and programming for the On the Go in MCO website, Todd Perlmutter is a host for the Disney Film Project Podcast.

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The Hundred-Foot Journey Is Simply Delightful

Hundred-Foot-Journey

It’s fun when a story that is well off my radar becomes a movie and it ends up being both delightful and enjoyable to watch.  The Hundred-Foot Journey is definitely one such movie.  It is the story of an Indian family that is displaced from their home due to political unrest.  As such they begin a journey through Europe to find a new home.  After a near death experience the family inadvertently finds that home in a town in the French countryside.  The family patriarch “Papa”, played by Om Puri, becomes enamored with and purchases a dilapidated restaurant for his family to start anew.

The fundamental problem is this restaurant is across the street from a high class French restaurant operated by Madame Mallory, played by Helen Mirren.  A mere 100 feet from door to door.  She is not amused by this at all, and a feud begins between the two restaurants.  However, that’s hardly the grand sum total of the movie.  Instead it becomes something so much more… in a very unencumbered way that really helps to make this shine.

At the core of the movie is the story of Papa’s son Hassan.  From a young age Hassan was trained by his mother to be a chef.  His true passion for the works is shown throughout the movie.  Early on in the movie this is shown through his tasting of some raw sea urchin, and again later in a scene involving an omelet.  Along the way he meets and falls in love with a woman, Marguerite, who also happens to work for Madame Mallory.

Much of this might all seem like spoilers, but really this movie doesn’t hold a lot of surprises.  That is not to say that it’s predictable, but it has no sudden turns or suspenseful moments.  As the story about the survival, growth, and evolution of this family are portrayed on the screen it’s very easy to be drawn in.  Though initially the characters seem a little over the top, as time goes on you realize that’s by design.  Over time it helps drive them toward a more realistic feel.

I’m entirely sure as to the appeal of this movie across a wide range of audiences.  It’s definitely not a movie made for children.  Much of the theater goers were of the “Above 50” crowd.  That’s not a bad thing at all, not all movies are for everyone.  As I said I found this movie to be both unexpected and enjoyable.  If it seems at all interesting to you, it’s worth going to see.  My one concern is the choice of release date – it doesn’t feel like a summer movie and would probably have been better served being released in the fall.

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Guardians Of The Galaxy Is An Awesome Mix #SpoilerFree #YoureWelcome

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I want to welcome you to the end of Act 2 and beginning of Act 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Guardians of the Galaxy (yeah I know technically Age of Ultron ends Phase 2, but this one is an Act change). Having just seen the movie for a third time, I want to let you know that it holds up very well across multiple viewings.  My only real regret at the moment is that these were all previews. That means there was no not-so-secret end credits teaser scene, and that I’ll have to see Guardians again just to catch that part.  Sorry, that’s a lie, I don’t regret having to see this movie again at all.

Know that Guardians of the Galaxy is a movie that is designed to appeal to a much wider audience than prior Marvel films.  Why? Because it’s not a movie about Superheroes, it’s a movie about heroism forged through sacrifice.  It’s also about murderers, thieves, bounty hunters, assassins – and that’s just the stars and heroes of the movie.  Don’t worry though you can’t always judge a book by it’s cover.  In comics, the desire and ability to do good often comes with missteps.  You’re just going to see the worst of them, become the best of them and save the universe.

Wrong minded people might not want to see a movie where 2 of the stars are a vocabulary challenged floral colossus named Groot and a bipedal, gun-toting procyon lotor with anger management issues named Rocket.  It’s a shame really because what they’d see on the screen are creatures that are so well engineered (more-so in Rocket’s case) that it’s almost hard to believe they are not living things.  That and Groot is in so many ways one of the most beautiful things you’ll have seen on screen in a very long time that you will cry.  And if that still doesn’t convince them about this movie then, to quote said racoon, “They’re d’ast idiots!”

From everything I saw on the screen, I can only say that despite all the changes from the comic books this is actually superb bit of silver screen magic packaged in a way to keep even the staunchest of comic book fans happy.  There are a number of things I’m pretty sure I saw with my only regret so far being no sign of a mane of red, white, and blue.  I can’t wait to get this film home in a few months so I can pause and study to my heart’s content.  And note there’s a Hidden Mickey that I didn’t see until my third viewing.

Right minded people will notice that this movie is far less like Avengers, and far more like Star Wars or even Firefly. As I indicated above that gives us a movie that more people can in a lot of ways more easily consume.  It’s a strong showing for Marvel as they push to keep this freight train moving ever forward (at least through 2019), and Guardians of the Galaxy is going to be in theaters for many months to come.

* Now read the first word of each paragraph

In addition to doing the web design and programming for the On the Go in MCO website, Todd Perlmutter is a host for the Disney Film Project Podcast.

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Le Chef At The Enzian Through Thursday

unnamed

“Ceaselessly charming! It gets sweeter and more delicious by the frame.”
– Jeffrey Lyons, LYONS DEN RADIO

Winner!
Audience Award for Best International Feature,
2014 Florida Film Festival

Toss together a veteran three-star chef, a new CEO who wants him out, a molecular gastronomist whom the CEO wants in, and an incredibly talented and obsessive young chef. Throw in a dash of Japanese high farce. Sauté with the flawless charm and great timing of French comedy and voila! LE CHEF. Jacky is a young chef who keeps getting fired from his jobs at ordinary restaurants where he expects extraordinary gastronomes. Béatrice is Jacky’s very pregnant girlfriend. Alexandre Lagarde (played by the fabulous Jean Reno, Leon the Professional) is a three-star living legend past his prime. Sweating his contract (that depends on his three stars), Chef Lagarde pits his wits against a new CEO who wants his traditional French cuisine replaced by molecular gastronomy. Sacré bleu! Jacky has been reduced to washing windows at a nursing home when the two meet and begin a brilliant collaboration. French, funny, food, love, LE CHEF has it all.

SHOWTIMES:

TUES 7/22
6:30PM 

 WED 7/23 & THURS 7/24
6:30PM   9:00PM

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Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back At The Enzian

janandsilentbob

Wednesday Night Pitcher Show

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

Wednesday 7/16 at 8pm

The comic ‘Bluntman and Chronic’ is based on real-life stoners Jay and Silent Bob, so when they get no profit from a big-screen adaptation they set out to wreck the movie.

Grab a beer (or two) and some munchies at Eden Bar and enjoy a FREE outdoor movie on the lawn at Enzian. Come thirsty for Jell-o shot movie trivia before the show! This night of great drinks and fun flicks is best enjoyed under the stars with your buddies by your side.

To help with traffic and parking, Enzian will now have valet parking available for everyWednesday Night Pitcher Show for $3 per car. Show your valet stub for a FREE popcorn! Free parking is also available at First Watch and State Farm across the street.

This event is FREE and open to the public!

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The Enzian Theater: A Hard Day’s Night

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, The Beatles, 1964

Enzian Theater KidFest: A Hard Day’s Night

50th Anniversary reissue—4K Digital Restoration!

July 15th and 29th at 3:00 pm

The Beatles—the world’s most famous rock and roll band—travel from their home town of Liverpool to London to perform in a television broadcast. Along the way they must rescue Paul’s unconventional grandfather from various misadventures and drummer Ringo goes missing just before the crucial concert.

This film is part of the KidFest Summer Film Series at the Enzian Theater which play for FREE on weekdays and $5 on weekends. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to Enzian to support quality programming just like this, click here.

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The General At The Enzian

thegeneral

KidFest

The General

Buster Keaton

Tue, 7-8 3:00 PM
Sun, 7-13 1:00 PM
Tue, 7-22 3:00 PM

Johnnie loves his train (“The General”) and Annabelle Lee. When the Civil War begins he is turned down for service because he’s more valuable as an engineer. Annabelle thinks it’s because he’s a coward. Union spies capture The General with Annabelle on board. Johnnie must rescue both his loves.

This film is part of the KidFest Summer Film Series which play for FREE on weekdays and $5 on weekends. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to Enzian to support quality programming just like this, click here.

USA, 1926, In English, 78 min, Unrated, Directed by Clyde Bruckman & Buster Keaton

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