IT OCCURRED TO ME THAT I was watching different groups in this movie, with origins that spanned the globe, working together as one. There weren’t any indications of dislike, envy or hatred; in fact, it seemed as if their differences enhanced their capabilities to do good. They all had different physical differences. Some were darker, some were smaller, some had both dark and light color mixed in them and it did not matter. What a world they were living in where these things had no bearing on one’s feelings. I would have enjoyed experiencing the world they were living in. Those that were quite big were not picked on or made fun of, unlike my own past experiences. One was handicapped, and it appeared to me no one treated them different from anyone else. If I had seen this as a kid, I would have been surprised because of what I saw growing up. There was a student in class who had a health condition, something to do with their blood, that prevented her from participating in any physical activity. This student was shunned by other students; they considered her weird. Granted, they did not know the details of her situation; but, why did they immediately choose to treat her different was perplexing to me. RELIVING THESE MEMORIES MAKES ME NOW wonder if humans have an inherit tendency to shy away from others that are different or is it something that must be taught. Isn’t that a frightening thought if adults have been handing down that fear to their offspring. Based on what I have been seeing and hearing presently, it seems as if more people are less tolerate of those they perceive to be different. Because of the differences between us, I feel we are seeing more conflicts around the world. People are fighting and arguing for the simple reason they cannot accept someone being different. It does not matter if it is politics or religion or lifestyle; there is a pack mentality that gets formed where people only want to live with their own kind. I am saddened by what I read in the newspapers. Young adults are being killed because they dress and act different than what is “expected” of them. It is horrific, and it is wrong. So much more can be accomplished when the participants come from different backgrounds, to bring their unique skills to the forefront. Maybe those that do not believe me should take a look and see what the different animals in this animated, adventure comedy accomplish by working together. A WHOLE DIFFERENT WORLD AWAITS MAX and Duke, voiced by Patton Oswald (Young Adult, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) and Eric Stonestreet (The Loft, Modern Family-TV), when their family takes a vacation out in the country. How will Max handle so many new experiences? With Kevin Hart (Night School, The Upside) voicing Snowball, Harrison Ford (The Age of Adaline, Raiders of the Lost Ark franchise) voicing Rooster and Jenny Slate (Obvious Child, Gifted) voicing Gidget; this sequel came with its own built in charm. If you enjoyed the 1st film, you will enjoy watching this picture. The humor was fun, and the animation added to it. The children in the audience certainly were having a good time watching this movie. Now it appeared to me the movie studio did not want to deviate from the winning formula of the past film; however, by doing so there really was not anything new in this sequel. I thought there were too many story lines taking place at the same time. But here is the thing though, it did not take away my enjoyment from seeing what was happening in the story. Though there was nothing new with the characters, I liked seeing the way they worked together to tackle issues. Now if only they could teach humans that lesson.
2 ½ stars
Part of being a friend is being a sounding board for them. I have learned that it is best to offer advice when asked, but to never tell a friend what they should do. In fact, the word “should” is something I have strived to eliminate from my vocabulary. Besides offering help when I am asked, I have depended on the advice from friends to provide me a clearer picture to a variety of dilemmas I have encountered. I do not know if the right side of my brain is more dominant than my left, but some of the solutions I come up with to a problem tend to be more creative than reality based. Gratefully the advice my friends offer me is direct and cuts to the heart of the matter, bringing clarity to my concerns. I do the same thing for them as I have been know to say, “What is the bottom line?” The question cuts to what will it take to make them comfortable with their decision. Not one for having things sugarcoated, I have appreciation for the directness in the way Madea doles out her advice. Played by Tyler Perry (Alex Cross, Good Deeds), Madea agreed to take a trip with her friend Eileen, played by Anna Maria Horsford (Our Family Wedding, Broken Bridges) to Alabama where Eileen was going to surprise her daughter Lacey, played by Tika Sumpter (Salt, What’s Your Number?), for Christmas. Arriving at their destination would not only be a surprise for Lacey, but would be for the small country town once they got a dose of Madea. This latest dramatic comedy in the escapades of Madea was as tired as a bloodhound on a hot summer day. I found the jokes predictable with the better ones having already been used in the movie trailers. To its favor, I am sure these films with Madea keep a positive economic stream flowing through the Atlanta area where the studio is located, keeping people employed. However, this film was stale from the start. At least I enjoyed Kathy Najimy (Sister Act, Hocus Pocus) and Larry the Cable Guy (Witless Protection, Delta Farce) as wife and husband, Kim and Buddy. For me the best part of this film was the gag reel used during the credits. I know Tyler is not interested in my advice, but I feel Madea needs a makeover for a fresh new look.
1 1/2 stars