Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sometimes Slow and Steady Wins the Race..."Turbo"

Who does not like an underdog story??? 
When it’s all said and done…sometimes slow and steady really does win the race!!
Here is another movie that was totally not on my radar, but ended up being a film that I was pleasantly surprised and glad that I saw. It made my auntie-nephew time that much more enjoyable. As I watched the film, I really did feel like I was watching Fast and Furious (minus the cops, drugs and killing). I mean it is a kids movie right... The brilliant minds of director/writer David Soren, producer Lisa Stewart, and writers Robert Siegel and Darren Lemke should be commended for this original 3D computer animated/sports comedy film. And with an all-star voice over cast including Ryan Reynolds (Turbo), Paul Giamatti (Chet), Michael Pena (Tito), Snoop Dogg (Lion) (Smoove Move), Maya Rudolph (Burn), Michelle Rodriguez (Paz), Luis Guzman (Angelo) and Samuel L. Jackson (Whiplash) you can’t help but the complete movie experience.
I mean who thinks to create a story about A SNAIL whose only dream is to become the fastest snail in the world. Sometimes it’s the simple things that make for a wonderful delivery. And that’s what makes Turbo an awesome story. And when you can entertain a child and an adult with the same movie and they both fully understand, then you have achieved a great deal. 
With each scene, you can’t help but cheer for the main character Turbo (Theo) as he tries to break free from his monotonous snail community and make something great of himself (is that not what we encourage the future to do...). So when this “unexpected accident” takes place who would have imagined that a snail would be granted with characteristics of an actual car like incredible speed, headlights, and a jammin’ radio. Works for me!!

Now let me step away for just one moment and give some “adult” feedback. I must admit the animation is definitely up to par along with some amazing sets and glowing fluorescent colors. The screen literally lights up in every way. Dreamworks did its thing with this one!! Also as mentioned above the film offers a great voice-over cast, and each character provides their own story and piece to the overall puzzle. Turbo is determined and courageous, which is a very motivating quality. I would liken him to a “go-getter”! Then you have Chet, Turbo’s older brother, who offers the voice of reason and the snail who in a sense lights the spark. Also the other snails add another layer of humor and silliness (Whiplash, Burn, Smoove Move and White Shadow) by providing a sense of fear, competition, and inspiration. And then we can’t forget the humans (Tito, Angelo, Guy Gagne, Kim Ly, and Paz), who in this movie play more of a supporting role, yet they offer a foundation and stepping stone for Turbo to make his dream a reality. Some may think that this is another version of Cars (the snails replacing cars), but this story actually can stand on its own. I actually think Turbo gives a bit more depth to this story versus CarsHowever, even with all the highlights there was one mildly troubling moment, and without giving it away I will just say, “watch for the crows”… Nonetheless, the humor and entertainment qualities are still all intact.

Overall, I think what made this movie experience most enjoyable was watching my nephew (as well as the other kids in the theater) sit on the edge of his seat cheering on Turbo as if he was in the stands watching him race. That is when you know the movie has done its job. Just imagine hundreds of kids, cheering, jumping up and down, and going nuts over a .....Snail. When it is all said and done Turbo is so much fun to watch, you can’t help but want to break out into a personal cheer, “GO Turbo GO!!”
Turbo is a story that not only kids can have fun watching, but adults can learn a thing or two from it as well. There’s the obvious brotherly love and support angle from Turbo & Chet as well as Tito and Angelo, you gotta love that.  In addition, there’s the “Do You” theme that seems resonate throughout the whole film. All in all, even after watching this I began thinking are accidents really just that, or is it incident that is really supposed to happen (something to ponder on). And if nothing else, hard work and dedication can produce solid and formidable results…Needless to say, sometimes all it take is just a dream and vision to make it become a reality.
So take your kids, matter fact take the whole family, and enjoy the ride!!

Rating: 8.5 out of 10 stars

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Must See Film..."Fruitvale Station"...New Cities Added!!

For all my ATL, Houston, and Chicago folks Fruitvale Station hits theaters this Friday!! 

For showtimes and tickets... Click Here !!

Trust me you do not want to miss this flick!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pacific Rim...Man-Machine vs. Beast

With a war between mankind and these monstrous creatures of the sea waging in the mist, a former pilot and his crew suit to save the world from the apocalypse. Using out-of-date special weapons, this crew embarks on a mission to reclaim what is rightfully their own. Director Guillermo del Toro presents a story of survival by any means necessary, even when others have given up in this sci-fi, action thriller.

"Rule #1 - Do Not Touch Me...Rule #2 - Do Not Touch Me!" 
Pacific Rim, brings to the screen how one can bring various raw elements together to create these piloted, giant robotic creatures. There is a simple concept of piloted robots called Jaegers that fight against Kaijus, but the catch is why do they keep coming back? What's unique about these robots is how they function. Without telling to much of the story, these robots require you to share your innermost thoughts, literally, with someone else. Knowing that can be troubling for some and encouraging for others. I will let you be the judge of that. That's an important element to digest, I'm still processing that even after watching the movie. Essentially, this film is more than just about robots fighting monsters, it's about humankind and what will you do to protect it. Even in the midst of all the robots, there is a story to tell.

Now visually this movie is clearly showcasing the robots, but we gotta stop and acknowledge the characters behind the machine. First up is the character Marshall Stacker Pentecost (played by Idris Elba) who truly puts his heart and soul into his character. Now officially he may not be deemed as the films main character, but for me I think he can share the role with Charlie Hunnam. Pentecost brings the fatherly/mentor type role to Pacific Rim, as he must take lead of what robots he has left before the world is taken by the apocalypse. As for Hunnam (who plays Raleigh Becket), he offers the idea of what it means to get a second chance. After a tremendous loss in battle, he gets another opportunity to fight the battle, and eventual war, again. In his role as Becket, he genuinely puts his whole self into fighting for the world, considering he came back to fight willingly. On several occasions, he puts all his cards (emotions) on the table, and manages to still come out on top. When it is all said and done, both characters and their roles are a great match for this graphic novel based movie.

As for the supporting cast, there is a nice mix of femininity, calmness, testosterone, aggressiveness, and pure smarts. The first two features describe the Raleigh's co-pilot Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), she provides the element of innocence, but at the same time a fighter. Her character allows the audience to see the true human side of the co-pilots who are running these robots. Also her relationship with Pentecost is quite father-daughter like (this is both unique and interesting considering the two different races). And for our comic relief, we have Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day) and Gottlieb (Burn Gorman), who serve up the audience with brains, wit, and energy to spare. In their own special way they show when you don't listen to the guy with the shot nerves but serious brain power, things can go awry. These two guys are the definition "Nerdom", and I love it!! Now in the case of Ron Perlman (who plays the role of Hannibal Chau...interesting name for a Jewish guy from Brooklyn) he may have had limited time on the screen, but the time that he did have was effective and refreshing. When you watch the film make sure you catch how he got that name, rather interesting. As a whole, each of the characters give a larger than life performance, so much so that no one person dominates the movie, more than they should considering their role in the film. The total package was presented with each character from beginning to end.

Thankfully, Pacific Rim provides a sufficient backstory to the origins of the Kaijus as well as how the Jaegers work, so that you are not just thrown into the movie wondering who, what, when, and where? In addition, there are various themes that can be seen from watching this film to, which include slight reference to issues of immigration, the father-child relationship, gender and race dynamics, human life, sacrifice, and stepping out of your comfort zone.

Here is a movie that will definitely have its own fans, and probably add some new ones. Pacific Rim can simply be defined as an "extraordinary, self-indulged summer blockbuster." If nothing else this movie is pure entertainment. These shiny, eccentric, colorful, and marvelous robots are a sight to behold. Trust me when I say, it does not require you to think much (unless you are just that type of critical person), there is plenty of action, the CGI is clear and in your face, and it even has a pretty good storyline. For me this movie was like watching Transformers on steroids, but in a good way. All in all, Pacific Rim does not disappoint!!

Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

Monday, July 15, 2013

Trailer Alert: Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave"

"I don't wanna survive, I wanna live..." words spoken by in the upcoming film 12 Years a Slave directed by one of my fave's Steve McQueen.

Based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender), as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon's chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) will forever alter his life.

Check out the trailer below, and see what the hype is all about.

This all-star cast includes such folks as Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard, Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch, Quvenzhane Wallis, Michael K. Williams, Sarah Paulson and introducing Lupito Nyong'o. Trust and believe this is going to garner ALOT of attention.

It was supposed to hit theaters in December, but I guess someone felt it needed to be pushed up to October (wise move).

Will you be checking it out?

G-Breezy's Favorite Movies

  • Bourne Identity/Supremacy/Ultimatum
  • Die Hard series
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Fracture
  • Idlewild
  • Imitation of Life
  • Inside Man
  • James Bond series
  • Love Jones
  • Malcolm X