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Flash Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

HOW DOES ONE GIVE UP SOMETHING they love? I find it to be one of the hardest things to do. I have been told I have strong willpower; that I can be disciplined enough to forgo something for a short time, not so sure about long term. Talking with someone recently who is pregnant, she said the hardest thing for her during her pregnancy was not being able to eat pizza. It is her favorite food and now every time she tries to eat a slice she gets horribly sick. I mentioned it should only be a temporary situation and pass once her baby is born. Another example I can think of is when one goes shopping with a friend or relative and both fall in love with the same item that the store has only 1 left on their shelf. Think about a sweater or cooking item that you have been searching for that your relative or friend has been wanting also; how do you decide which one of you gets to purchase the item? Maybe only shop alone to avoid the problem in the future; but for the present, most people tend to offer the other person the item out of politeness.      I KNOW TWO WOMEN WHO BOTH are passionate about collecting certain antique clothing items. They both have similar tastes which has become an issue for them. The items they seek can be found through auctions; the 2 friends wind up bidding against each other sometimes and not always knowing it. I thought they came up with an equitable plan. Before each auction they now discuss which items they are going to bid on. When they both want to bid on the same item, they take turns on who gets to bid on it. When there are multiple items up for bidding they alternate turns. Gratefully this has worked out for them; they avoid spending more money on items and more importantly, there are no hurt feelings. Now I understand the examples I have mentioned may seem trivial to some individuals. However, I believe whenever love is involved, whether it is love for an item or love for a person, there is a stronger connection that makes it harder for the person to separate themselves. Look at parenting; isn’t the idea of it to raise kids to become independent? Or, at the end of life; there are some people who cannot let go of their loved ones. Love is such a strong emotion; if you do not believe me then feel free to watch this animated, adventure sequel.      AS THE NEW RULER HICCUP, VOICED by Jay Baruchel (Lovesick, She’s Out of my League), has created a safe haven for the dragons who look up to his dragon as their leader. Just when his dragon Toothless is needed during a crisis, Hiccup’s dragon is focused more on love. With America Ferrera (Cesar Chavez, Ugly Betty-TV) voicing Astrid, F. Murray Abrahams (Robin Hood, Finding Forrester) voicing Grimmel, Cate Blanchett (Ocean’s Eight, Thor: Ragnarok) voicing Valka and Gerard Butler (Hunter Killer, The Bounty Hunter) voicing Stoick; this action sequel brought everything together for the final chapter in this movie franchise. The animation was wonderful as the actors brought their characters to life. I thought the story made a perfect ending to these films and appreciated the well written script providing a blend of excitement, humor and emotional sensitivity. If you have not seen the previous movies I do not believe you will be lost with this picture; there were things I had forgotten, and it did not make a difference in my level of enjoyment for this film. Though I love the dragons from Game of Thrones, there were a few dragons in this movie that I could see myself loving as well.

 

3 ½ stars     

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Flash Movie Review: Cesar Chavez

In my tiny, little corner of the world I get inspired by witnessing the sacrifices people make to create a difference in their lives and the lives around them. There is the friend whose father traveled to work 2 hours each way on public transportation, to make sure there was a steady paycheck coming in each week. I remember a former employee who was sent with her 6 siblings to live with their grandmother in a one bedroom apartment, while her parents took a job in a different country, hoping to make an easier life for their children. Through social media sites shared by individuals who follow my movie reviews, I discovered one person leads an organization devoted to establishing and protecting equal rights for women; while another works tirelessly fighting to protect those who are not strong enough to have their voices heard. It takes a special kind of person who can give so much without expecting anything in return. In the bigger scheme of things, there have been people whose actions made history by changing the world. One of those individuals was the main focus in this biographical film, based on a true story. Michael Pena (American Hustle, Shooter) played labor organizer Cesar Chavez. A quiet man who believed in non-violence, Cesar Chavez fought for the rights of migrant workers after seeing how they were being treated. America Ferrera (End of Watch, Ugly Betty-TV) played his wife Helen. Not only do I think Michael Pena is a fine actor; I was looking forward to learning more about Cesar’s life and the extraordinary events that took place around him. The cast which also included Rosario Dawson (Gimme Shelter, Unstoppable) as Dolores Huerta and John Malkovich (Secretariat, Red franchise) as orchard owner Bogdanovich Senior were quite capable to handle their roles. However, I cannot say the same for the director and writers. The performances were bland; I could not get over how dull Michael and John were especially. I felt there could have been a better sense of drama if the writers had added more story about Cesar’s family and their sacrifices. We saw his children in the beginning of the movie as they were driving to their new home, but after that they were pretty much invisible except for one older son. Unfortunately the only emotion I felt in this picture came from the depicted events taking place instead of the characters. What a shame to sacrifice the time, effort and money in developing this movie and not being able to deliver a better film.

 

2 stars

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