Flash Movie Review: The Super Mario Bros. Movie
I CAN STILL REMEMBER THE FIRST time I saw a freestanding, video arcade game. It was in a restaurant’s waiting area. Standing six feet tall, at least to my younger self’s perceptions, with a lit sign on top and a TV screen in the middle that was angled back. It was weird seeing it there by itself, in a corner of the space with a potted plant placed alongside of it. There was a teenager playing it which piqued my curiosity even more. I got closer to the teenager, but only enough to see the TV screen from an angle. With his hand clenched around the joystick (I learned of the name later), I soon figured out he was controlling the yellow ball/circle with the wide mouth, that was eating white dots in a maze. There were ghost-like figures moving around in the maze as well. I heard this thumping sound coming out of the machine. At certain times the TV screen would flash a different set of colors followed by a different sound. To a younger me, I found the machine hypnotizing. I wanted to continue standing there, watching the teenager playing with the machine; but our name was announced over the loudspeakers to let us know our table was ready. All through the meal, I kept wishing and hoping my family would stop at the machine so I could play it. Sadly, there was a different teenager playing it with two others looking over his shoulder. BY THE TIME I BECAME OF legal age, video arcade games were more sophisticated. Whenever I went to a dance club, there was always an area that had several arcade games set up and they were always being played. There were times when I would stand near one of them and watch how the person was playing it, so I could learn. Pretty soon I had a good sense of how to play the different games. The graphics certainly had changed since I was younger. I especially enjoyed playing a few games. If they were not available, I would stand and watch to see how the person playing was doing. However, my interest never lasted long. Seeing someone else playing a video game starts out fun or curious to watch; but after a while, I usually got bored. Though I will say there were a couple of players I would recognize playing the games who were doing the same thing the last time I was at the club. With a drink either in hand or placed on top of the arcade game, they would sit there for hours playing the same game over and over. I could not imagine doing such a thing. In fact, I was getting the same feeling while watching this animated adventure comedy. FINDING HIMSELF IN THE MUSHROOM KINGDOM, plumber Mario, voiced by Chris Pratt (The Tomorrow War, Guardians of the Galaxy franchise), is determined to find his lost brother, while at the same time helping the kingdom ward off an evil presence that was closing in. With Anya Taylor-Joy (The Menu, Last Night in Soho) voicing Princess Peach, Charlie Day (Hotel Artemis, I Want You Back) voicing Luigi, Jack Black (Jumanji franchise, School of Rock) voicing Bowser and Kevin Michael Richardson (Family Guy-TV, The Simpsons-TV) voicing Kamek; this movie based on the video game was colorful and filled with multiple fight scenes. The cast did an excellent job voicing the characters; however, after those positive attributes I found the film to be borderline boring. Keeping in mind I have never played the game; I must assume a younger audience would appreciate the film more. I found little humor in the script. The story was sound, but I just felt the script was generic. For most of the time while I sat in the theater, I felt I was watching someone playing this game and it was not very exciting for me. There were two extra scenes during the ending credits.
Flash Movie Review: Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
AMONG MY FAVORITE CARTOON CHARACTERS WHEN I was a little boy was Bugs Bunny, the Roadrunner and Daffy Duck. Saturday morning was the day I could see all three of them on television. If by some chance I would wake up late, I had a snack tray I could set up to eat my breakfast while watching them. It would be a very rare occasion for me to miss my cartoon shows. I enjoyed the circumstances they would get into, along with the visuals and antics; but what grabbed me the most was the humor. Based on the situations they would find themselves in, I loved the crazy and unpredictable solutions each character came up with to get out of trouble or some such scenario. I still can remember how Elmer Fudd and Marvin the Martian would try to “get” Bugs Bunny and each time they would be outsmarted by the “wascawwy” (rascally) wabbit, quoting Elmer Fudd. The same situation would play out between the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote; anything Wile would attempt would back or misfire on him, letting Roadrunner escape without injury. Thinking back, I believe part of the reason I enjoyed these characters so much was because they always escaped harm; something I wish I could have done. THE OTHER ASPECT OF THOSE CARTOON characters that fascinated me was the fact they never died. Not that I actually thought about that, but I just knew they would always be there. I was perceiving them as being invincible and everlasting. It is funny, when I think about those cartoons and the others I used to watch back then, there were many scenarios set up with the intention of killing off the main character. However, none of them ever died. Obviously, death was not something the TV and movie studios wanted to portray; I totally understand it. I am not saying there is a wrong or right way to interpret, but I am aware there could have been the possibility I was envisioning myself being just as invincible as the cartoon characters I was watching on television. There were no examples of anyone dying except for the fanciful episodes where a ghostly image would come out of a character after they were knocked unconscious or a scene showing an animal’s spirit materializing after a crash of some type. When I think about it, some of the cartoons back when I was a little kid were quite violent. None of them thought about their own mortality. Well, that is about to change I believe due to this Oscar nominated, animated movie. ALL THE ADVENTURE AND EXCITEMENT PUSS in Boots, voiced by Antonio Banderas (The Skin I Live In, Pain and Glory), experienced in his life took a toll on his allotment of lives. With only one life left, he would have to stay ahead of everyone else who was looking for the legendary Wishing Star in the hopes of having his wish granted. With Salma Hayek (House of Gucci, Eternals) voicing Kitty Softpaws, Harvey Guillen (The Internship, I’m Totally Fine) voicing Perrito, Florence Pugh (Don’t Worry Darling, Lady MacBeth) voicing Goldilocks and Olivia Coleman (Empire of Light, The Lost Daughter) voicing Mama Bear; this animated adventure comedy was a beautiful, creative piece of film. I thought the story and the script were perfectly in synch, creating a thrilling, fun and thoughtful movie watching experience. The actors were wonderful with the execution of their characters. I particularly enjoyed the mix of high drama with the quiet reflective scenes that established a well rounded balance. The message was clear to me, and I felt it was written in a way where younger viewers would understand what was being said. Honestly, I was taken by surprise on how well everything was handled in this wonderful picture.
3 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
I CANNOT RECALL WHAT AGE I WAS except I remember I was not old enough to cross the street without holding someone’s hand. We had gone downtown to one of the old, regal movie palaces to see the animated movie, Pinocchio. It was my first time going to a movie theater and I was beyond excited. Having taken the subway, we entered out onto a busy intersection. The theater was one block away, but I could easily see it with all the flashing bulbs in its marquee. It was a Saturday afternoon matinee we were going to, and I did not expect to see a line of people waiting for the theater doors to open. I became anxious that there would be no seats left for us to see the film. After many assurances, we got into line and waited. To me, it seemed like it was forever before the doors opened and the line started moving forward. The lobby inside had tall arched ceilings. Figurines like angels and nymphs were hanging on the walls with some being part of the lights. Once we had our tickets, we entered the auditorium, and it was massive; I had never seen such a large room with three sections of seating. The wall at the far end from where we entered was covered by a thick, red curtain. We took seats in the middle of a row, halfway back from the curtained wall. It was not too long before the lights dimmed, and the curtain parted to reveal a movie screen. Gratefully, I sat on top of the coats that got piled onto my seat, so I could see the screen clearly. ALL I CAN SAY IS I WAS mesmerized by the movie. I laughed at parts of it and had to be consoled when Pinocchio and his father were swallowed by the whale. I had no sense of time or how long things were taking; all I was focused on was the movie and the box of chocolate candy I was holding tightly in my hand. At the end of the movie, I started clapping with the other kids in the theater. I wanted to stay and watch it again but was told we had to give up our seats so people for the next showing could sit down and see the picture. I was hesitant but the promise of pizza for dinner finally got me out of my seat. That very first movie theater experience to this day is still one of my fondest memories. And since that time, there has been over 50 films made about the little wooden boy, Pinocchio. From the ones I have seen, none compared to the original one I saw when I was a little boy. So, I must tell you I went into watching this newest one by Guillermo del Toro with little expectations. MASTER WOODCRAFTER GEPPETTO, VOICED BY DAVID Bradley (Harry Potter franchise, Catherine Called Birdy), was never the same after witnessing his young son’s death. His sorrow eventually motivated him to create a little wooden boy to honor his late son. There would be something more besides an honor for the father after he completed his work. With Ewan McGregor (Birds of Prey, Doctor Sleep) voicing Cricket, relative newcomer Gregory Mann voicing Pinocchio, Burn Gorman (Enola Holmes, Pacific Rim: Uprising) voicing Priest and Ron Perlman (Hellboy franchise, Nightmare Alley) voicing Podesta; this animated family drama was weird to me. I thought the stop-action photography was inventive and fun, but the script lacked joy and humor. The idea of setting such a beloved character in the middle of wartime Italy was so odd; it made viewing this film an unpleasant experience. If Guillermo wanted to make a statement about fascist Italy during WWII, then he should have devoted an entire movie to it instead of trying to combine childlike goofiness and death and destruction into one story line. I did not care for this film and would have preferred watching the original Disney one that I saw when I was a little boy.
2 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile
AFTER YOU GET TO KNOW CERTAIN people, you can anticipate how they will react to certain things. At least that is what I have found to be true. I know a person, who I have come to known, who has a narrow view of the world. If something is different than what she thinks it should be, she immediately has a dislike or distrust for it. Maybe you know someone like this, who looks at the way a stranger is dressed or made up and quickly passes judgement on them. Having been around this person for some time, we were at a party where the guest list was made up of a variety of nationalities and races. This person never left her seat, that she purposely picked in a corner of the room. I would glance over to her from time to time, especially if there were any guests milling about in the area surrounding them. To a stranger, they might have thought this person had an itch in their nose, but I knew better. If this person did not “approve” of a hairstyle or outfit or I would hate to think race or nationality, they would ever so slightly crinkle up their nose and lips. I knew them well enough to recognize that “look,” as if they had just tasted something that was sour. Instead of venturing out of their bubble and learning about an individual, they sat there alone the whole night. I WILL ADMIT WHEN IT COMES to food, I might not want to taste it if it doesn’t look “good” to me, whatever good means in my mind. However, with people it is a different story. That is one of the reasons I watch one particular singing reality television show. Normally, I do not watch any of the reality shows, but this one I enjoy because the judges are basing their decisions on the contestant’s voice. The judges do not get to see the performer until after they are done singing. I enjoy watching the talent and seeing how individuals who might not get a break in the industry because they do not “look the part” get to experience everything that goes along with sharing their special talent. This might explain why I frequently use the phrase, “Do not judge a book by its cover.” I have been pleasantly surprised encountering people who others may have been wary about based on some false, preconceived notion. The example I have used before is the man who struck an imposing figure but had the sweetest and most gentle personality. It is a message that rings deeply in me and why I wound up being taken by surprise in this adventure comedy. IT WAS HARD MAKING FRIENDS AT a new school, but things were not all bad after Josh, played by Winslow Fegley (Come Play, Nightbooks) discovered who was living in the attic of his family’s new home. With musical artist Shawn Mendes voicing Lyle, Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos, Loving Pablo) as Hector P. Valenti, Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians, Sound of My Voice) as Mrs. Primm and Scott McNairy (12 Years a Slave, Argo) as Mr. Primm; this musical movie based on the children’s book series had a wonderful message in its story. The cast was fun to watch, despite some of them close to becoming cartoonish. The CGI effects were fine as well as Shawn’s singing. There were some holes in the script, where I thought the story was veering off a bit; however, it was not anything so blatant that disrupted the flow of scenes. The biggest surprise was Javier’s performance; I had no idea he could sing and dance. Children will certainly be entertained by this picture and, as a bonus, everyone could use a refresher course on not judging a book by its cover.
Flash Movie Review: DC League of Super-Pets
I THINK ABOUT HIS WORDS EVERYTIME I see a dog. We were talking about the pets we had in our lives, when his wife was talking about their current dog. He commented that the dog was his wife’s, which confused me since I knew they both picked out their dog when she was a puppy. I asked him to explain and what he said struck a chord in me. He said he is reminded every day what true devotion looks like when he sees their dog. There was no hint of jealousy or feelings of hurt when he said this; he was more matter of fact as he described the love the dog had for his wife. His wife was a warm and inviting individual, so I could see where the dog would gravitate towards her. She said the dog follows her everywhere in the house and when she is out in the backyard tending her garden, the dog loves to lay in the grass and just watch her as she is pulling weeds or watering. After letting his initial words about the dog’s devotion mull about in my head, I was inclined to agree with him. A dog’s devotion was as pure of a devotion as any because it was totally unconditional. There is nothing but pure love. IT OCCURRED TO ME ANOTHER FRIEND of mine has a dog who I felt was mean, might simply be acting out of pure devotion. Whenever me or anyone goes over to his house, he must put this dog in its cage, which is kept in a walk-in closet. I thought the dog did not like strangers but having been at the house many times, you would have thought the dog would have known my scent by now. However, my friend told me the dog is extremely protective of him. When no one is around the dog is the most lovable out of all the dogs he has owned. I did not say anything but based on the growling and snapping I have witnessed from this demon dog; I was not completely convinced. My friend told me about the time he was in the hospital for a few days. A relative would bring the dog to the hospital for a visit. When the dog saw its owner in the hospital bed, it jumped up onto it and immediately snuggled into the side of his body. The dog did not move from there; they just remained as if telling my friend everything would be okay. I could not believe it. In fact, I would first believe the dog in this animated film before I trusted my friend’s dog. WHEN HIS OWNER, WHO WAS SUPERMAN, went missing, it was up to his dog Krypto, voiced by Dwayne Johnson (Black Adam, San Andreas), to round up help and use every power he had to find his owner. With Kevin Hart (Me Time, Central Intelligence) voicing Ace, Kate McKinnon (Rough Night, Bombshell) voicing Lulu, John Krasinski (A Quiet Place franchise, 13 Hours) voicing Superman and Vanessa Bayer (Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, Trainwreck) voicing PB; this action, adventure comedy had a great old school look to it. I thought the cast did a wonderful job voicing the characters. Dwayne and Kevin, who have worked together in the past, had a real chemistry going between them that came across the screen. There was an abundance of humor that was filled with slick comments that the smallest child might not appreciate as much; however, I found them to be fun. The story was good, filled with excitement and thrills, as was the directing. I thought the idea of a superhero having a super pet was a brilliant idea. Watching this movie was an enjoyable experience. I just wish my friend’s dog would take some lessons from the dog in this picture. There was an extra scene at the end of the credits.
Flash Movie Review: Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank
BECAUSE I DID NOT WANT HIM for my partner was the reason, I was sure, I wound up assigned to him by the professor. Maybe the teacher was able to pick up the negative vibes I had toward this student, who I found to be loud and obnoxious. During lectures, this student would make snide or rude comments in a voice only loud enough for the students who were around him. Inevitability, there would be a student who would have to stifle their laughter from the comment, making it hard for the rest of us to hear the teacher. It was not like I was so strait-laced and proper, but this was an ongoing thing that got annoying to me after the first few times. When the professor paired us together for the assignment, I detected a bit of hesitancy on this classmate’s part. We never had any type of interaction; he was just as perplexed about me being selected as his partner. I gathered my belongings and changed seats with the person sitting next to him. The subject of this class was sociology; so, I assumed the professor was making these moves to prove some type of point about society. I only hoped this was going to be a one-time event because I was already missing the comfort of my former seat. AFTER THE PROFESSOR EXPLAINED THE ASSIGNMENT, the two of us spoke for the first time. I offered my take on what we needed to get to the next step. As I spoke, I noticed on the inside cover of his notebook was the logo for one of my favorite music bands. I asked him if he had drawn it and he said yes. It turned out he was a fan of the band as well. When I mentioned I thought the drawing of the logo was perfect, he smiled then flipped through some more pages to reveal other band logos he had drawn. Each of them was so precise and accurate that I could not help myself from telling him about going to a couple of those bands’ concerts. I could tell by his facial expression, he was surprised to hear how much I was into music; funny, I was thinking the same thing about him. We wound up in this detailed discussion of the various bands’ song choices, momentarily forgetting about the actual task at hand. I would have never guessed we would have bonded over music. For the rest of the semester, whenever there was an opportunity, we would sit together. The cliché, “Never judge a book by its cover” can be applied here as well as in this animated, action comedy. FORCED BY AN EVIL LORD TO defend a town from a brutal villain, a hound quickly discovers the citizens hate him simply because he is a dog. The townsfolk are all cats. With Michael Cera (Molly’s Game, Gloria Bell) voicing Hank, Samuel L. Jackson (Shaft, Big Game) voicing Jimbo, Ricky Gervais (The Invention of Lying, Ghost Town) voicing Ika Chu, relative newcomer Kylie Kuloka voicing Emiko and Mel Brooks (Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs) voicing The Shogun; this movie was an odd mix. The humor went from the level of young kids to adults; the idea of the story was fun, but it came across like a Kung Fu Panda wannabe with Blazing Saddles by Mel Brooks. The animation was well done and there were pieces of dialog I enjoyed. Underlying all of this was the message behind the story, which I thought was admirable. There also was an easy predictability to the script that kept a steady pace of action and banter going all the time. If I had not connected to the message, I do not think I would have stayed engaged with this picture. There was a short extra scene after the ending credits.
2 ¼ stars
Flash Movie Review: The Sea Beast
I WAS TOLD TO BE WARY of one of the guests that was attending the gathering, by a friend of mine. He said this guest was going to seek me out to ask about the training I went through to be a fitness/yoga instructor. I was confused, not understanding why my friend thought this could become an issue. The gist of the story is my friend warned me that this guest was going to try and use me to learn as much as he could without actually doing the training and certification process. It turned out my friend was 100% correct. This guest came off as a caring person who wanted to help people reach their fitness goals; but all they were interested in was to set up a fitness studio and make a lot of money. I would have figured it out even if my friend had not tipped me off, but it was good to get a snapshot of this individual. I use the term “snapshot” because that is how I take in other people’s opinions. You know the term, “Never judge a book by its cover?” Well, I try not to do it when meeting someone. If someone tells me about someone before I meet them, I consider their views are an imaginary snapshot that I put in my back pocket. It is only information from a different point of view that I may compare to the opinion I form after being with that person. THERE ARE PEOPLE, I KNOW, WHO do not go with their own opinion. Instead, they are easily swayed by other individuals’ opinions. Granted, if a friend tells me awful things about someone, I probably will be more cautious around that person if I see them; however, I understand there are at least two sides to every story. I have seen in recent years, more examples of people taking things at face value, believing whatever a person says without checking it our for themselves. I cannot explain it, nor do I understand it. During my school years is when I experienced this phenomenon the most. It would take one person to assign a derogatory label to another student before others would immediately shun them because they did not want to be considered like the victim of said vitriol. All it would take is for someone to say, “You smell funny,” before others would take that as true and act accordingly without every going near the person. Maybe it is easier to believe someone else’s opinion instead of investigating it for oneself? This animated, adventure comedy may have the key towards an answer. DURING A TIME WHEN THE OCEANS were filled with beasts, a little orphan girl wants to escape her orphanage and join the crew to one of the best hunting ships in the land. She just needs to convince them how serious she is about it. With Karl Urban (The Lord of the Rings franchise, Star Trek franchise) voicing Jacob Holland, Zaris-Angel Hator (Morbius, The Midnight Gang) voicing Maisie, Jared Harris (The Crown-TV, Morbius) voicing Captain Crow, Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Secrets & Lies, Without a Trace-TV) voicing Sarah Sharpe and Xana Tang (Mulan, Filthy Rich-TV) voicing Lea the Lookout; this film was gorgeous to watch. The details in the animation made it hard for me sometimes to figure out if the scene was real or animated; that is how good the animation was in this picture. The story was filled with heart and sure, it was not hard to figure out what was going to happen; however, the story was so beautifully written that I honestly was enchanted by everything. The message was wonderful and relevant, in my opinion. I did not think I was going to enjoy this as much as I did; this easily ranks up there with some of the recent terrific, animated pictures that have come out the past years. Here, I myself was passing judgement before watching the film. I need to work on that.
3 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: The Bob’s Burgers Movie
I WAS SHOCKED BY HER ANSWER, but I was not entirely surprised either. We were guests at a party that was recently held at a Chinese restaurant. She was sitting across from me at a long, dining room table. When the waitstaff came out and placed appetizers on the table, she looked at them and asked what were they? I was the first to answer, naming each item. I could tell by the confused look on her face that she probably did not know the difference between an egg and a spring roll, so I asked her if she had ever eaten Chinese food. She said she had never eaten it. I was so surprised to hear an adult say they never had Chinese food, that I had to pause for a moment and let that digest (no pun intended). Going down a mental list of everyone I knew, there was not one person I could think of who had not at least tried Chinese food. My curiosity came to the forefront; I asked her what were her favorite “go to” foods for a meal. Her answer surprised me; but I could relate to it. She said hamburger was her favorite. Of all the possible choices, I was not expecting to hear that for an answer. I THINK MY SHOCK WAS HEARING this from an adult. Sure, I knew many people who love a good burger; but it usually was not their “go to” meal. Now it is funny, when I was much younger, I loved hamburgers; I mean, I really loved burgers. Anytime I was given a choice of what to eat, I would always have a hamburger. In fact, on a cross country trip, I ate a hamburger for lunch and dinner every single day of the entire trip. Ironically, even at a Chinese restaurant I ate a burger. Besides the taste, there was something so complete about them. With ketchup, lettuce, pickles, on a sesame bun; it did not require any utensils and you tasted everything with each bite. In fact, I can remember to this day the first time I had a hamburger from a major fast food chain restaurant. Watching the employees at their stations, as part of this assembly line type of set-up; I was amazed with the efficient and quick way food was being assembled and wrapped. I went 20 years eating ground beef until I had three burgers in a row that had cartilage in them. It so turned me off that I stopped eating burgers and all other red meat. I do not miss it at all after all these past decades; however, I can understand and relate to the attraction, which is what drew me to this animated, adventure comedy. UNDER HEAVY DEBT BOB’S BURGERS NEEDED to sell every burger they could make during the popular season. Having a sinkhole open in front of their shop complicated things; more so when a discovery was made in the hole. With H. Jon Benjamin (Temptation, Next Stop Wonderland) voicing Bob Belcher, Kristen Schaal (The Muppets, Sleepwalk with Me) voicing Louise Belcher, Dan Mintz (Veep-TV, The Goldbergs-TV) voicing Tina Belcher, John Roberts (Fire Island, Gravity Falls-TV) voicing Linda Belcher and Eugene Mirman (Archer-TV, Aqua Teen Hunger Force-TV) voicing Gene Belcher; this was my first exposure to the Belcher family. The first thing that struck me about this picture was the dialog in the script. With the well-versed cast, I felt the main characters had more of an authentic voice. The humorous lines and jokes were quick, plentiful and had a satirical undertone to them. The animation was fine, nothing elaborate or fancy. Where I found this movie enjoyable, I think fans of the show will love seeing it on the big screen. And if the movie theater serves a decent burger, all the better.
2 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: Minions: The Rise of Gru
I SAW HER STANDING ON THE stage above an auditorium of people. The music was loud, but not heart thumping loud and everyone was following her moves. Looking at the audience, I noticed there were people of all sizes and shapes. What impressed me the most was the fact that everyone had a smile on their face, despite sweating and moving continuously to the music. This was a foreign concept to me based on my experiences with exercise. A friend had asked me to come with her to this aerobics class and though I was hesitant, I decided to join her only if we could stay in the back of the room. The classes I had attended in school were less about exercise and more about domination and testosterone, which was the reason for me not being too thrilled to go back into a similar scenario. We walked over to the registration desk where a woman was standing in platform shoes. She was barely over five feet in height, but she had an abundance of personality. I felt welcomed and safe. After paying for the class, we found two open spaces close to the back of the auditorium. From this spot, I figured it would be easy to pickup the exercise routines; I would just need to watch the people in front of me. The music the instructor used was current and fun; it was easy to figure out the steps. I soon found myself having a fun time exercising; it was a feat! AT THE END OF THE CLASS, I was hooked. The two of us decided to sign up for the monthly pass. The instructor was amazing to me. She had this infectious personality that radiated throughout the room as she coaxed and encouraged us to keep moving. Her exercise moves were easy to follow for the most part. If there was something she thought might be a challenge for the class, she would demonstrate it first before asking us to try it. Up until this time, I had never given thought to becoming a fitness instructor; but, watching how she conducted her class did something to me. Seeing all these women and men, both skinny and large to old and young, enjoying themselves while exercising gave me the idea that I would like to teach. For months, I never missed a class, noticing a loss in my weight that I had not seen for some time. I idolized the instructor because I attributed this achievement to her skills and devotion to all of us succeeding. It was because of her that I moved forward and became a certified instructor. I realize my story is not unusual as you can see by happens to the young man in this animated, adventure comedy. BEING SUCH A HUGE FAN OF a super villainous group, a twelve-year-old decides to apply for a position when there is an opening. He would need to come with some pretty cool, evil weapons. With Steve Carell (Beautiful Day, Welcome to Marwen) voicing Gru, Alan Arkin (Love the Coopers, Grudge Match) voicing Wild Knuckles, writer and director Pierre Coffin voicing the Minions, Taraji P. Henson (Proud Mary, The Best of Enemies) voicing Belle Bottom and Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once, Last Christmas) voicing Master Chow; this latest installment in the franchise followed its consistent formula for the most part. I will say this was a tight production, everything worked in synch to create an easy level of enjoyment. The cast did a wonderful job with their characters as they went through a steady stream of humorous and fun scenes. When one chooses to see a Minions movie, they already know what to expect so there were no surprises. However, with the excellent animation, cast and script; this was a light, entertaining viewing experience. There was an extra scene during the ending credits.
Flash Movie Review: Lightyear
MY JOB WAS NAVIGATION ON THE ship; rarely did I ever take on the role of captain. We were traveling in uncharted space; so, we were under a yellow alert, which meant everyone had to be at their assigned places, ready to go into action. I wound up steering the ship because my commanders were impressed with my instincts and ability to outmaneuver alien spacecraft. Our ship looked like an arrow; it was built streamlined for maximum speed. The front half was a triangular shiny silver shape, and the back half was an oversized cylinder that housed our massive engines. The bridge was at the base of the triangle, slightly elevated above the front half. At the forefront, just under the tip of the front part of the triangle, were a series of weapons that were incorporated into the design of the ship. We as a crew always strived to come in peace; however, if we were threatened, we could quickly become assertive to protect ourselves. On one trip, we encountered an alien ship that was shaped like half a circular dome with two long engines jutting out on one side. The dome had a honeycomb pattern to it. Without warning they started shooting at us, but luckily are protective shields withstood the blasts. I quickly steered the ship to dive underneath the enemy and blast them with our aft laser cannons to disable their craft. It worked. I NOTICED IT WAS GETTING LATE, so I quickly got up from the floor and put my rocket ship back in the kitchen drawer that held serving utensils. My rocket ship was a pie server. The enemy spaceship was a strainer that I hung back up on its hook in the pantry. There was so much cookware that I was never at a loss for finding something that I could pretend was a rocket ship or alien headquarters. There was a hand mixer that was one of my favorite kitchen items to turn into a rocket ship because by turning the handle, the two beaters would spin and become the engines that would propel the converted ship forward in the air or submerge and propel it underwater. Our kitchen was a treasure trove of objects and things that would stimulate my imagination to create a multitude of outer space adventures. Even ballpoint pens would become rocket ships to help Flash Gordon defeat Ming the Merciless and any other character I had seen or created. The feelings I have attached to these memories were stirred up while watching this animated, action, adventure film. DESPITE BEING STRANDED ON A FOREIGN planet, the mission still needed to be completed according to Buzz Lightyear, voiced by Chris Evans (Gifted, Captain America franchise), no matter what was taking place around him. With Keke Palmer (Hustlers, Joyful Noise) voicing Izzy Hawthorne, Peter Sohn (Luca, It Starts with Murder!) voicing SOX, Taika Waititi (The Suicide Squad, Free Guy) voicing Mo Morrison and Dale Soules (Aardvark, Orange is the New Black-TV) voicing Darby Steel; this science fiction movie was enjoyable. The animation was outstanding, with several incredible looking scenes. I thought the cast did an excellent job with their characters and was surprised by the emotional depth that was instilled in several of them. My concern with this picture comes down to the story line. The opening scene appeared to steer the story one way, but then there was no other reference to it the rest of the time. With the multiple story lines, I found they were distracting at times and lowered the connection between viewer and character. Granted, the story was not unusual or that exciting; however, the messages being conveyed were touching and the execution of events with its own unique humor made the time go pleasantly by. Though this Pixar movie might not reach the super status level of their previous works, I still found it stimulating and imaginative. There were two extra scenes during and at the end of the credits.