Friday, December 15, 2017

Movie Review: Zootopia

Zootopia a.k.a Zootropolis
Walt Disney Pictures, USA, 2016.
In a distant future evolution has allowed herbivores and carnivores to live peacefully together although prejudices still exists. Bunny named Judy (Ginnifer Goodwin) has a dream. She wants do leave country-life behind to become a big city cop. However small animals are discriminated against in the police force. Chief Bogo (Idris Elba) thinks that small animals can't be real cops so Judy finds herself writing parking tickets.
Judy
Chief Bogo
But there is a mystery to solve. Several animals have gone missing, and Judy decides to solve the case even without official support. Only Assistant Mayor Bellwether's (Jenny Slate) support helps Judy to continue the investigations. Judy teams up with a small-time con-artist fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) who knows the streets. Like Judy, Nick has a misunderstood but he has chosen to be a rascal. The unlikely duo finds a common cause as behind the missings there is a sinister conspiracy that threatens the balance of the whole city.
Piggy has a crime to report
Nick, Bellwether and Judy
Judy's and Nick's adventures are fun to watch, it is a buddy cop comedy with trendy neo-noir and caper film tones. The moral of the story is that the first appearences may be deceiving, and the person behind may be totally different from the expectations. The world is detailed with funny visual jokes, and some references to pop culture and the city is divided to different habitats, with suburbs for actic animals or small rodents. The duo meets also some shady characters from the criminal underworld so there are funny "Godfather" and "Breaking Bad" references.

As a funny joke, there is a scoundrel selling bootleg Disney movies. I would watch Pig Hero 6.

Rating: Very good

Voice actors: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, Tommy Chong, J.K. Simmons, Octavia Spencer, Alan Tudyk, Shakira, Raymond S. Persi, Della Saba, Maurice LaMarche, Phil Johnston, Fuschia!, John DiMaggio, Katie Lowes, Gita Reddy, Jesse Corti, Tommy 'Tiny' Lister, Josh Dallas, Leah Latham, Rich Moore, Kath Soucie, Peter Mansbridge, Byron Howard, Jared Bush, Mark Rhino Smith, Josie Trinidad, John Lavelle, Kristen Bell, Evelyn Wilson Bresee, Hewitt Bush, Jill Cordes, Madeleine Curry, Terri Douglas, Melissa Goodwin Shepherd, Zach King, Dave Kohut, Jeremy Milton, Pace Paulsen, Fabienne Rawley, Brad Simonsen, Claire K. Smith, Jackson Stein, David A. Thibodeau, John Wheeler, Hannah G. Williams, Vassos Alexander, Ricardo Boechat, David Campbell, Koura Kazumasa, Nicholas Guest
Directors: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Movie Review: Yellowbird (2014)

Yellowbird (Gus - Petit oiseau, grand voyage)
TeamTO, Haut et Court, La Compagnie Cinématographique, Panache Productions, Rhône-Alpes Cinéma, Belgacom, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Région Rhône-Alpes, Région Ile-de-France, Ciné+, Gulli, Backup Media, Piste Rouge, France, Belgium, 2014.
Yellowbird (Seth Green) is an orphaned bird raised by Ladybug (Yvette Nicole Brown) and family of bunnies. He is afraid to leave home but Ladybug tricks him to go see the world. While outside Yellowbird meets a dying big blue bird Darius (Danny Glover), who needs someone to guide his flock to Africa. The problem is that Yellowbird has no sense of direction.
Yellowbird and Ladybug
The Flock
In the flock there are girl bird Delf (Dakota Fanning), hippie bird Max (Zachary Gordon), Delf's not-boyfriend Willy (Brady Corbet) and his little brother Fleck (Jadon Sand) and a bunch of little birds and their parents. Grouchy Karl (Jim Rash), who wanted to be Darius' follower, doubts Yellowbird's navigational skills for a reason. The migration becomes dangerous as Yellowbird guides the flock in the wrong direction. Also the iron birds (airplanes) are a constant threat to birds who fly too high. At what point should Yellowbird tell that he really has no clue about where they are, and how will the flock react to that and will they survive?
Yellowbird and Delf
The owl
Rabbit family
Euro-animation has nice visuals with European country-side and cartoony characters whose layered paper mimicking design makes them look a bit like piñatas. Especially the flying sequences look pretty. The characters are quite usual for these kind of adventures, but quite likable too. There are couple of romances too that are not too underlined, but bring some interesting extra arcs to the story.

As the "leader" of the flock Yellowbird is kind of goof, but he is inventive too. Some of the funniest side characters are jovial sea lions and an owl (Elliott Gould) who is a sneaky innkeeper. The story has the familiar growing up story with many falls and triumphs and some thrills in a sinking ship. Overall it is a nice little film to watch for both kids and adults.

Rating: Good

Voice actors: Christine Baranski, Yvette Nicole Brown, Brady Corbet, Dakota Fanning, Danny Glover, Zachary Gordon, Elliott Gould, Seth Green, Richard Kind, Ryan Lee, Christopher L. Parson, Cristina Pucelli, Jim Rash, Jadon Sand
Director: Christian De Vita

Monday, November 20, 2017

Movie Review: Superfast!

Superfast!
3 in the Box, The Safran Company, USA, 2015.
Another so called parody from Friedberg/Seltzer.
Very bad.
...
...
...
Maybe I should watch the movie first. 

Lucas White (Alex Ashbaugh) is a white (duh) cop who tries to infiltrate multi-culti street racer gang. Their leader is Vin Serento (Dale Pavinski) with pretty sister Jordana (Lili Mirojnick). Other members are jealous Curtis (Daniel Booko) and not-so-unobviously lesbian Michelle (Andrea Navedo). Against all odds Lucas gains their trust. Crime lord Juan Carlos de la Sol (Omar Chaparro) sets them up and during a shoot-out Lucas accidentally shoots his boss Detective Hanover (Gonzalo Menendez), oops. Vin and the gang plan revenge by robbing crime lord's money. Incredibly stupid Detective Rock Johnson (Dio Johnson) tries to catch the gang but is too busy rubbing baby oil on his muscles.
Alex Ashbaugh
Lucas White
Dale Pavinski, Andrea Navedo, Daniel Booko, Lili Mirojnick
Vin, Michelle Curtis and Jordana

Cesar and Senor de la Sol
"Fast and the Furious" series has grown to such self-parody nowadays that spoofing it is kind of wasted effort. The nonessential plot is modeled from FF parts one and five. There is something funny in the way the stock characters are named as Rapper Cameo, Model Turned Actress and Cool Asian Guy. Also the main gang looked a lot like the originals and Rock-parody was quite fun. Otherwise the jokes were either recycled from better parodies, overlong and unfunny or just gross-out. On the positive side the z-grade celebrity jokes were kept at minimum and the story kept the focus of the parody in one film series. However cheap pop-culture references and pseudo-commercial jokes that are obscure to everyone but Americans are still there. This is not a good movie but considering the cinematic atrocities FriedChicken/AlkaSeltzer duo has put out ("Meet the Spartans" "Epic Movie", "Disaster Movie"...) this is a step to right direction. Maybe the lowest point of parody genre has been reached already. But it is still a thousand mile trip back up.
Dio Johnson
Rock Johnson
Rapper Cameo (Rogelio Douglas Jr.)
Rating:Bad

Starring: Alex Ashbaugh, Dale Pavinski, Lili Mirojnick, Andrea Navedo, Daniel Booko, Rogelio Douglas Jr., Chris Pang, Omar Chaparro, Joseph Julian Soria, Dio Johnson, Amin Joseph, Cuete Yeska, Gonzalo Menendez, Shantel Wislawski, Luis Chávez, DaJuan Johnson, Alexis Lopez, William Barney, Shakira Barrera, Eric Mccoy, Dres Reid, Christine Clayburg, Chanel Celaya, Mickey Friedberg, Nick Rey Angelus, Chris Trouble Delfosse, Michael Flores, Anthony Martins, Shad Roberts, Rick Silver, Kenny Yates
Directors: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer

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