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Entertainment Editor (1951 KP) created a video about My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) in Movies

Oct 24, 2017 (Updated Oct 24, 2017)  
Video

My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) Official Trailer

The film has an all-star voice cast including Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Liev Schreiber, Michael Peña, Sia, Taye Diggs, Uzo Aduba and Zoe Saldana.

  
The Book of Life (2014)
The Book of Life (2014)
2014 | Animation, Romance
7
7.1 (7 Ratings)
Movie Rating
The Book of Life is an animated film with some big names lending their voices to the characters.

Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Cheech Marin, Kate del Castillo, and Ron Perlman are all part of the voice cast.

The movie had lots of movement, tons of bright colours, and great music.

The story was good, but I think maybe a bit ‘too much’ for children my sons age (6). He seemed to like it, despite some of the moments that made him uncomfortable or scared.

The tale is of good vs bad and bravado vs true courage and life long friendships.

This movie takes place in long-ago Mexico and revolves around The Day of the Dead. Two boys, one an aspiring bull fighter and guitar player named Manolo (Diego Luna) and one a would-be champion and defender of the town named Joaquin (Channing Tatum), are in love with the same girl, a feisty girl named Maria (Zoe Saldana).

We follow their life paths as the gods above, La Muerta and Xibalba, place wagers on the outcome of the love triangle.

Xibalba cheats in order to win the bet, and the remainder if the film is spent watching Manolo trying to reunite with his true love, Maria.

The movie is fast paced and the music really helps bring it together and help tell the tale.

I would give this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars.
  
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
2014 | Action, Sci-Fi
One of the above-average Marvel films
While I find myself growing tired of Iron Man, Captain America, and both S.H.I.E.L.D. and the other Avengers, there's a certain quality of difference when it comes to the Guardians of the Galaxy. The film seems slightly more focused on telling its own story and developing its characters, rather than building up to the ultimate Infinity War, although the film does spend some time on that. The movie has good comedy, with Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista giving notably funny performances. There's also Branley Cooper and Vin Diesel voicing Rocket the raccoon and Groot the humanoid tree, respectively. Zoe Saldana as the assassin Gamora feels underdeveloped, and that rings especially true for the forgettable villain. However, the film's visual effects and especially its soundtrack, made up of pop songs from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, make it a worthwhile sci-fi superhero flick, and one of the above-average entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  
Avatar (2009)
Avatar (2009)
2009 | Action, Comedy, Mystery
James Cameron has had his work cut out trying to eclipse the success of his previous film Titanic, way back in 1997 and to this day it remains the highest grossing film of all time. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 12 years since his name was plastered on the big screen but he’s back with Avatar, a science fiction epic to rival Titanic’s crown.

Avatar has been marketed to death with 10-minute trailers littering cinemas across the globe and it hasn’t stopped there, James Cameron has been parading himself and the films stars around like toy soldiers to ensure it receives as much attention as he thinks it deserves, but is it actually any good?

Let’s start with the premise, an ex marine (Sam Worthington) who has been paralysed from the waist down in battle has been sent to an alien planet called Pandora to help mine for a very valuable metal and would you believe it, it’s name is ‘Unobtainium’, no jokes. Whilst there, he meets the Na’vi, an alien race that resemble giant smurfs. He becomes intrigued by their way of life, not to mention falling in love with one of them (Zoe Saldana). No, I’m not kidding and yes it does sound ridiculous.

The film starts pretty slowly, but then again at just under three hours long it has plenty of time to build momentum and after those first 10-minutes you get sucked into the whole environment of Pandora in the most dazzling 3D I have ever seen in the cinema. The special effects are complimented perfectly with the 3D experience and the alien environment is stunning, so stunning in fact that you have to see it, to believe it.

Considering the story is about blue smurf like aliens and is to say the least, a little thin on the ground; I was surprised to be sat there with all different kinds of emotion splattered across my face. One minute I would be wanting to shout out at the screen in sheer rage at what was going on, other times I would be sobbing my heart out in some of the most upsetting scenes I have seen in a modern Sci-fi. It just doesn’t happen, Sci-fi and tears just don’t go together; it’s like eating chocolate with fish. The transition between action, thriller, comedy and drama is exceptionally watertight and Avatar blends these genres all perfectly to form what is a complete package of a film.

Unfortunately, whilst the acting is sublime from most corners, with Zoe Saldana being the stand out performance as one of the female Na’vi, some of the human actors don’t really get enough screen time; annoying considering the films length. Sigourney Weaver is viciously underused and even though she plays her character with brilliance, she needed more screen time to fully develop the role.

Thankfully though, Cameron’s film limits the faults to those few and Avatar remains a magical ride, which whilst not being utterly original, reeks of box office championship and may just take over Titanic as the biggest film of all time.

Avatar is then, what everyone had ever wanted it to be, it combines unparalleled special effects in superb 3D with fabulous performances from the actors who really looked like they wanted to be in their roles. Trust the hype and you will witness history in the making.

https://moviemetropolis.net/2010/10/17/avatar-2009/
  
Out of the Furnace (2013)
Out of the Furnace (2013)
2013 | Drama
The holiday season is upon us and with that the end of the movie season for 2013. This is the point where studios release

 

The last blockbusters of the year. It’s also the time when they release what I like to call ‘hidden gems’ of the year. The ones you never see coming or fly under the radar and don’t get the credit they deserve.

Today’s selection for your consideration, definitely qualifies as one of those films the ‘flies under the radar’ but is definitely one worthy of recognition and more than worthy to be seen.

 

The thriller “Out Of The Furnace” will hit theaters on Friday December 6th. Starring Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Willem Dafoe, Forrest Whitaker, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard and directed by Scoot Cooper ‘Out Of The Furnace’ tells the story of Russell Blaze (Bale) and Rodney (Affleck).

Two blue collar brothers from Pennsylvania who, along with their Uncle Red (Shepard), care for their sick father. Russell works at the local steel mill until an impossible string of random events sends him to prison. Meanwhile, Rodney, a recently returned Iraqi war veteran unable to find work is lured into less than legal means of earning income in order to help provide for the family. Upon his release, Russell’s life takes an even more dramatic turn as he is forced to choose between justice for his brother or his freedom.

 

‘Out Of The Furnace’ is not exactly a holiday film. It’s a tale of revenge. It’s a story that follows a hard-working American family who by no fault of their own, were overcome come by outside elements that they could not be prepared for or never anticipate.

It’s a tragedy reminiscent of Shakespeare combined with a powerful cast.

 

It’s methodical, shocking, and heartbreaking. Not for the faint of heart. It shows that even in the end, no matter what choices you have standing in the shoes of Russell Blaze you can still lose. The movie starts off slow and certain aspects like the fate of Uncle Red get lost in the mix but all in all I’d say this movie is definitely one worth seeing and I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if it doesn’t get talked up for a few awards.
  
Missing Link (2019)
Missing Link (2019)
2019 | Adventure, Animation, Comedy
Annapurna Pictures and Laika Films release the new film “Missing Link”,
written and directed by Chris Butler.

It stars Hugh Jackman as Sir Lionel Frost, Zoe Saldana as Adelina
Fortnight, and Zach Galifinakis as Mr. Link, and Stephen Fry as Lord
Piggot-Dunceby.

Sir Lionel Frost wants to be famous. He wants to be recognized for
amazing discoveries and to be able to join the ranks of what he sees as
the elite explorers at London’s Optimates Club.

The head of the Optimates Club is Lord Piggot Dunceby, who, for whatever
reason, is dead set against both acknowledging Frost’s discoveries, and
acknowledging evolution (in the form of the Missing Link aka Sasquatch)

Frost, determined to prove his worthiness, sets off to the Pacific
Northwest to track down the Sasquatch, and Lord Dunceby promptly
dispatches a hired thug to thwart and discredit his efforts.

We follow Frost to the forests of Washington State where he discovers
the Sasquatch itself had written the letter prompting his search and the
reason why is that he has no other family and has heard that there are
others like him in the Himalayans. Mr. Link wants Sir Frost to help him
find his distant cousins so that he will not be lonely anymore.

Still being tracked by the hit man, (voiced by Timothy Oliphant) Mr.
Link (who prefers to be called “Susan”) and Frost first travel to see
Adelina Fortnight to gather a map belonging to her now-deceased explorer
husband. Adelina is none too happy to see Sir Frost and they argue about
the map, with Adelina finally agreeing to let Frost use it on his quest,
but only if she comes along with them on their travels.

We follow the trio across the miles, and watch them outwit their
sinister tracker, finally arriving at their destination.

All is not well, however, when Susan finally meets his distant cousins,
as their leader says he does not belong.

The movie was made with a blend of claymation, CGI and 3D printing, and
was very interesting to watch from an adult standpoint for that alone.

There were quite a few laugh-out-loud moments from the adults in the
audience as well, although it seemed like less laughs from the younger
crown at the theatre.

The storyline was ok, but seemed to not flow as well as other recent
kids movies, and my 10 year old son said it was “just ok”. He said it
was rather boring.

From my own standpoint, I liked that the film showed the importance of
friendships and of doing “the right thing” even if it’s not for personal
gain, but I am not sure that it was portrayed in a way that the target
audience would grasp it 100%.

Overall, the movie Missing Link was just ok, and good for a family
outing, but perhaps I might wait till it came out at the discount
theatre.
  
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
2017 | Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Saving the Universe is bound to get you noticed, and in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”, we find the dysfunctional Guardians reaping the benefits of their newly found notoriety by being hired to resolve threats all over the galaxy.

The film opens with Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel), battling a gigantic creature at the request of a race known as the Sovereign.

During a frantic and hysterical battle the crew is eventually triumphant and accepts their payment, which is the form of Nebula (Karen Gillan), who the crew look to turn in for a very lucrative bounty and settle some old scores in the process.

Of course their naturally ability to find trouble arises thanks to Rocket, and soon they have a very large and motivated new enemy gunning for them which results in them crashing on a remote planet. A mysterious benefactor named Ego (Kurt Russell), arrives and claims to have a connection with Peter and he, Gamora, and Drax head off with Ego and his assistant Mantis (Pom Klementieff), to his planet while the rest of the crew repair the ship.

As if things were not complicated enough, Yondu (Michael Rooker) and his crew of Revengers arrive hoping to collect a Bounty on the Guardians that has the group divided and facing serious danger.

A new and greater threat is soon discovered and despite internal tensions and conflicts, the Guardians must once again risk everything to save the universe once again.

The new film hits the ground running with plenty of action and humor and gives the characters new and old plenty of great moments that really expand upon their characters. The only issue is that the film does have some slow pacing in the middle as we are given numerous CGI landscapes where the crew walks around talking, but little else. With such a large cast, this is done to allow the characters to grow and new ones to be properly introduced, but it can at times drag on. Thankfully the finale is filled with the trademark humor and action that fans have come to expect which although very CGI heavy does result in a very satisfying and surprisingly touching finale.

The cast works well with one another and the jokes fly frequently throughout. Writer/Director James Gunn has done a great job in expanding the characters and introducing new ones as we see new layers of complexity to the characters that explain their actions and motivations in ways not usually shown in comic themed movies.

I would strongly suggest waiting through the credits for the numerous bonus scenes and keep an eye out during the film for some special surprises as the film is littered with them.

As the characters will soon transition to “The Avengers: Infinity War” which is currently filming audiences will not have to wait as long to see the dysfunctional Guardians family on their next outing, and thankfully we have an enjoyable new outing to enjoy until then.

http://sknr.net/2017/05/03/guardians-galaxy-vol-2/
  
The Words (2012)
The Words (2012)
2012 | Drama, Mystery
8
8.0 (1 Ratings)
Movie Rating
On paper, The Words is a film that is better suited as a literary novella. In print, we, as readers, are often granted insight to our characters thoughts and motivation that is frequently lost on film or delivered in a lackluster voiceover that most critics deem as lazy film making. Furthermore, the story within a story, within a story approach in film often leaves the audience with uninteresting shells of characters and can make a story forgettable at best.

Given these reasons, it is easy to see why many would choose to undertake a less ambitious story for their directorial debut. That group does not include co-writer-directors Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal. This duo is actually successful at tackling this dangerous story-within-a-story film device by keeping it simple. Focusing on the main characters of each story and their motivation, while tying each together with some common themes like love, what it means to write something great, and how far the need for success will drive the characters.

The movie begins with highly successful author Clay Hammond (Dennis Quaid) conducting a reading of his latest novel The Words. Among his audience is literary grad student and adoring fan, Daniella (Olivia Wilde), who has aspirations of picking the brain of the man that authored her favorite stories and perhaps getting involved romantically. As Hammond begins to read his story we are introduced to the tale of starving writer Rory Jensen (Bradley Cooper) and his wife Dora (Zoe Saldana). The two are a young couple in love, trying to get on their feet while Rory struggles with multiple rejections of his novels, until he is finally forced to come to grips with his own limitations as an artist and a writer.

As he settles into life and a job as a mail clerk at a publishing firm, he finds a lost manuscript in a vintage leather briefcase that Dora had purchased for him during their honeymoon in Paris. That story turns out to be something that moves him to tears. It is the final thing in his realization that he will never be the great writer that he thought he was, the great writer that wrote this anonymous story. In an effort to feel and try to understand what it is like to create something great, Rory decides to retype the novel word for word on his laptop if only to admire the beautiful story that he had instantly fallen in love with. When Dora mistakenly reads the novel, she encourages him to submit it to a publisher. Before he can tell her the truth, his world is transformed into the life he had always imagined he would have for himself and Dora as the novel gains him both great literary and commercial success. And finally, now that his star has risen he can get his own novel published.

Enter Jeremy Irons as the old man who reveals himself to Rory as the true author of his story. The old man feels compelled to explain to Rory the tragic origin of the story that has become the young author’s success. Irons steals every second he is on screen as his delivery of the old man oozes with the intellectual style that has been his trademark over the years. Like Rory, we are helpless to do nothing but listen and get lost in the words of his story as if he was sitting next to us and telling the story in real life.

The old man reveals that the novel is the result of great love and pain that his younger self (Ben Barnes) and the love of his life Celia (Nora Arnezeder) endured. While I am not familiar with Barnes’ and Arnezeder’s work, their performance as the younger couple in Irons’ story had a genuine connection. And while this love story does not seem to be anything new when it comes to film, it served its purpose by strengthening the other stories, showing how a great story can be mused from someplace unexpected, even if only once.

With Rory now confronted with his deceitful success, he struggles to decide how to make things right and live with himself as a fraud. It’s at this point the film subtly suggest that Hammond’s story of Rory may actually be a disguised autobiography.

As Rory, Bradley Cooper gives perhaps his best performance to date. I feel that despite his poor and deceitful decision, at no point does he lose the audience. With the help of a strong and emotionally charged performance by Zoe Saldana, we experience Cooper’s honest plight and can understand the events that unfold around him. He is effective as a man who genuinely believes he does not deserve the success that he stole. Without a doubt, this will be a surprising role for those fans who only know Cooper from the humorous characters he plays in The Hangover and most recently Hit and Run. I hope this is the beginning of growth in his craft beyond the charming, confident character we have seen in Limitless and perhaps into a deeper emotional actor.

The weakest part of this film is the story of Clay Hammond and Daniella. Dennis Quaid is quite unlikable as Hammond. He is monotone in his readings and the prose of his story is mediocre at best. While the film drops hints that Hammond’s story of Rory is autobiographical it makes sense that Quaid’s character is played this way. He succeeds in helping create the notion that Hammond is unworthy of the success his character has enjoyed. But something about his performance is so unlikable that even when his character has a redeeming moment, it is lost on an audience that may not care enough about him for it to work.

To add to this dislike of Quaid, Olivia Wilde seems out of place as the character Daniella. It is not that her performance is bad, it is just that every time they showed her as the starry-eyed fan who is love struck for Hammond, she just seemed out of place. Additionally there did not seem to be any connection between Daniella and Hammond in the way the other characters’ connections helped strengthen their performances.

In the end, I enjoyed this movie more than I expected. Visually the Montreal backdrop does an excellent job as both New York and Paris. And the continual piano score helps blend the stories. The simple focus on the main characters helped maintain the three different stories and keep the overall pacing of the movie in order. In addition, the solid to exceptional performances also helped to keep the film focused and avoided the empty shell of characters that most movies of this nature create. That being said, this movie is not for everyone, but those looking for a change of pace from the summer blockbusters season should consider this film.
  
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Movie Metropolis (171 KP) rated Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) in Movies

Jun 10, 2019 (Updated Jun 10, 2019)  
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
2017 | Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
We have a problem
To say 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy was a surprise hit is a slight understatement. Many had predicted Marvel’s gamble to sink the studio with its unknown characters and very unique sense of style, but it ended up being one of the year’s best films grossing nearly $800million.

Three years on, director James Gunn returns with the plucky group of space stars. But can lightning strike twice? Or have the Guardians had their time to shine?

Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Drax (Dave Bautista) and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) struggle to keep their newfound family together as they desperately try to unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage in the outer reaches of the galaxy.

To our cast of space vigilantes, James Gunn has thrown in a few new personas and fleshed out some secondary characters, resulting in a film that rivals Avengers: Age of Ultron for the amount of people jostling for screen-time. Unfortunately, Volume 2 also suffers from many of the same problems as its earthly stablemate.

The biggest joy of watching Guardians 2 is seeing those secondary characters getting their chance in the spotlight. In particular, Michael Rooker’s Yondu makes a massive impact throughout the running time and is a highlight throughout. Elsewhere, Karen Gillan’s villainous Nebula gets a similar treatment, though not quite to the same extent.

Moreover, the team we have all come to know and love is on fine form, even if they are split from one another for the majority of the film. Chris Pratt is probably the biggest star in Hollywood at the moment and he looks like he’s having the time of his life. However, it’s not Star Lord that shines brightest this time around. That honour goes to Dave Bautista’s Drax.

The addition of Kurt Russell as Pratt’s father, Ego is an ingenious piece of casting and his ‘pet’ Mantis, played wonderfully by Pom Klementieff steals the show in every scene. Her brief moments with Bautista are where the film really succeeds.

Another witty script crafted by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman ensures that Guardians 2 is absolutely hilarious. Some of the one-liners are absolute corkers and it often outdoes its predecessor, raising the bar very high for future Marvel projects in the process.

To look at, Volume 2 is pleasant if unspectacular. Colourful? Yes. Detailed? Not so much. With so much going on at once, it’s easy for the film to feel overwhelmed with some of the CGI being downright poor. The opening scene in which our heroes battle a hideous octopus-like beast, whilst fun to watch, isn’t crafted to the same level as its predecessor’s introductory sequence. The finale is a little anti-climactic, unfortunately falling into the same pitfalls that so many big blockbusters do nowadays – needless and frankly ugly CGI.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 is another accomplished film in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, like Avengers: Age of Ultron, it suffers from its predecessor’s popularity and is overstuffed with too many characters elbowing for screen-time.

Unfortunately, the new approach the first film took has disappeared a little this time around. Because Volume 1 was such a delightful change from the rest of the crowd-pleasing blockbusters, Guardians 2 was bound to be a bit of a disappointment.


https://moviemetropolis.net/2017/04/28/we-have-a-problem-guardians-of-the-galaxy-2-review/
  
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Emma @ The Movies (426 KP) rated Missing Link (2019) in Movies

Jun 22, 2019 (Updated Sep 25, 2019)  
Missing Link (2019)
Missing Link (2019)
2019 | Adventure, Animation, Comedy
This really isn't a bad little film, it has its fun and implausible action, and you come away with a message of friendship for everyone to ponder on. It's obviously great Easter holiday fodder and it won't bore the parents, which is always half the battle with kids films.

Susan is the last of his kind and desperately wants to find the fabled yeti who he believes to be his distant cousins. He enlists Sir Lionel Frost to help him on his quest after reading about his escapades in finding long lost creatures.

It's a pretty star-studded cast with Zach Galifianakis and Hugh Jackman leading it up. There will be a lot of other voices you recognise, but for the most part they stay in the background.

Both of our leading men are really well cast and give their characters a much needed boost. They get some humour in various places, but I didn't feel like the script was fantastic overall.

Where Lionel and Susan were well cast, Adeline Fortnight really missed the spot for me. From the design of the character to that accent, whose origin was kind of non-descript, I couldn't help wondering why the role went to Zoe Saldana and not Salma Hayek.

Stephen Fry makes a wonderful bad guy. I've always loved his voicework this thankfully did not break that trend and he added some oomph to the proceedings.

The last cast member I want to mention is Emma Thompson as The Elder. I think she suffered the most with the script, "The people we don't want here are leaving! Force them to stay!" I'm sure that line was meant to be amusing, and it definitely could have been, but the way it wasn't backed up with anything to come across that way. She was woefully underused and her scenes were wholly inadequate for such a great talent.

I had to stop and weep for humanity a little, there are some comments on the internet where it appears that people don't get that this is stop-motion animation, with a few saying it all looked too simple. I cannot fault the work that was put into this, it's wonderfully done, even if I'm not a fan of the strangely pointed features. There's a brief glimpse in the trailer of a barroom brawl, look out for the whole scene in the film because it is probably the most impressive piece of work.

Despite my quibbles, this is genuinely a pleasant film to watch and I don't think many people will get to the end and grumble that they've wasted their time. I just worry that it's not quite good enough to be well remembered, it's in danger of being one of those films that makes me go "oh yeah, I remember that one, it's really good."

What you should do

If you're in need of an Easter activity then it's worth the trip to the cinema, and it's certainly worth catching when it's released for home viewing.

Movie thing you wish you could take home

There's nothing in the film I'd particularly like to take home, but I wouldn't mind some of the patience and dedication that those animators must have to produce such wonderfully smooth motion.