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Flash Movie Review: Kung Fu Panda 3

I was told there are beings who walk the planet robbing people of their energy; they are referred to as “Energy Vampires.” This is what I heard at a convention I attended some time ago. At first I did not quite understand what the presenter was talking about; but after a few examples were given and I later experienced it for myself, it made perfect sense. Let me see if I can explain it to you. Have you ever been at a party where one person dominates the conversations? They may be humorous, crack jokes or do some physical antics to provoke a response from people; however, the underlying current to all of their manipulations is to be the center of attention. This explained why I had such an uncomfortable time being around my friend’s boyfriend. Anytime we would get together he would dominate the conversations; no matter the topic he would bring it back to talk about himself. You may have experienced something similar, where the person throws out a question to you but they really are not interested in your answer. They just want to use the query to talk about themselves. If we played cards or a board game he was merciless; he had to always win. It was exhausting, I always felt tired after being around him. I did not realize it at the time but this guy was sucking the energy out of me and frankly out of the entire room. It came to the point where I had to limit my time around my friend and curtail the times we would play games. Luckily I had the option available to not be around them; but sometimes there is not an option and one has to face up to the challenge.    WHEN the evil Kai, voiced by J.K. Simmons (Whiplash, Juno), began eliminating the kung fu masters from across the land Po, voiced by Jack Black (Goosebumps, Bernie), could not walk away. He would have to confront the evil force and need help to do it. This animated action film had wonderful sharp animation. Visually I was impressed with the look of this adventure picture. With Bryan Cranston (Argo, Trumbo) as Li, Angelina Jolie (Malefiecent, Salt) as Tigress and Dustin Hoffman (Meet the Fockers franchise, Wag the Dog) as Shifu; the story was well thought out and made this sequel quite enjoyable to view. The humor was age appropriate and the writers took care not to make the subject matter too dark for younger viewers. Though I have seen the previous 2 films I do not think it is necessary to see them before seeing this movie. As a matter of fact I liked this one the best out of the three. The audience from what I could tell was into this film, both adults and children. This film was a good reminder that one cannot always run away.


3 stars 





Flash Movie Review: Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman

Pretty much everyone at some time in their life was encouraged to run faster, to throw a ball farther or to jump higher; among other physical activities. Having worked in the fitness industry for many years, I can easily find myself standing in awe as I witness someone doing an incredible feat–incredible at least to me. To this day my favorite sporting event to watch is the Olympic telecast. Seeing the athletes’ dedication and commitment to their sport amazes me. I refer to it as humans doing unhuman things. However, there is another side to each of us besides are physical capabilities and that is our creative side. You know, the ones that flex the right side of their brain. Knowing a variety of teachers I understand things have evolved and students are now encouraged to think outside of the norm. During my schooling there were several teachers who wanted all of us to think the way they did; this always led to a class where a majority of students suffered during the course. I believe everyone has creative ability; it just needs to be exercised like one’s muscles. All one needs to do is look around to see the results of creativity. And I am not even talking about artwork or literature. Things like bridges, appliances, even plastic bottles; all of these things started out with a creative component that led to their birth.    THIS film festival winning documentary came with a dual purpose. On one side there was the story regarding the history of modern architecture; on the other, the story revolved around the single photographer who’s photographs promoted a new way to look at structures. The photographer was Julius Shulman, who started taking photos in the 1930s. His passion led him to some of the most famous architects of their time such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra and Frank Gehry. Narrated by Dustin Hoffman (The Graduate, Tootsie), I found this DVD absolutely fascinating as I felt I was taking a walk through history. Iconic buildings that are well known now started out as a person’s idea and Julius was able to frame these objects in such a way that would draw in the viewer. Hearing in his own words how he set up the photo shoot was an added treat. I believe even if you may be unfamiliar in regards to architecture, you still would gain something form watching this beautiful film. For me I felt as if I had just been taught a real good history lesson with awesome visual aids.


3 1/3 stars — DVD 

Flash Movie Review: Last Chance Harvey

The reason you want to see this movie, is simply to see two experienced actors create absolute substance within their characters. Dustin Hoffman (Barney’s Version, Little Fockers) and Emma Thompson (An Education, Love Actually) as Harvey Shine and Kate Walker were so good together, that I could forgive the weak story. Attending his daughter’s wedding in London, Harvey knows this will only add another reason for his boss to push him out from his New York city job, of writing the music for ads. Long divorced, he is reduced to the sidelines of the wedding, being thrown by his ex-wife and her new husband. At the hotel bar, where the wedding is taking place, Harvey crosses paths with Kate. Gratefully, these two are able to take the screenplay and not only keep our attention, but make themselves believable, as they first appear to be an unlikely pair. Another reason I like this film is it was made for adult viewing: no explosions, no chases, just a story about two people, who experience the unexpected.


2 2/3 stars — DVD


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