The beginning of the Holidays is a sure sign the studios will be releasing films to their targeted audiences for the annual box office haul. This week was no exception. Let us know your thoughts on any of the films below.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
This Warner Brothers production is second in the five by J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. As a refresher, the Dark Wizard, Johnny Depp, was captured at the end of book 1 with the help of Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne. They are back in the second film with the goal of creating a wizard world of only pure-blood wizards.
The cast is talented. In addition to Depp and Redmayne, the film boasts performances by Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Allison Sudol, Erza Miller, Zoe Kravitz, Jude Law and many more.
Bottom line: we wanted to like this film. We like the franchise and the genre but this time we found the plot confusing with too many subplots and unappealing visuals. By the end of the story, one cannot determine the good guys from the bad.
It’s rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy action. It’s listed as an Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy. It’s pretty dark so we caution parents it may not be appropriate for younger children. The run time is 134 minutes.
There is an interesting backdrop to this “breakout sequel” that is enjoying a healthy reception by audiences. It’s the story of a Russian boxer Ivan Drago who killed US champion Apollo Creed in 1985.
Today’s film pairs Ivan Drago’s son with Apollo Creed’s son for the Heavyweight Championship. The surprise is a reluctant Rocky Balboa is now the trainer for Apollo Creed’s son.
The cast is quite small. Sylvester Stallone is basically himself. Michael B. Jordan delivers a great performance as Adonis Creed’s son. Dolph Lundgren is surprisingly good as Ivan Drago and Romanian actor Florian Munteanu is superb as Drago’s son. Phylicia Rashad is noteworthy as the matriarch.
All said, we should note we are not fans of this genre but decided to see this film because of its acting and production value.
This film is rated PG-13 for sports action violence, language and a scene of sensuality. It’s genre is noted as Action & Adventure, Drama, Sports & Fitness. Parents should carefully consider this film for children. The run time is 130 minutes.
Ralph Breaks the Internet
It’s a very complex plot…Ralph, the video game bad guy and his partner in crime, Vanellope von Schweetz seek a way to revive her failing video game. Neither understand what is needed to revive their game. Yawn!! Lots of story line which amounts to much ado about nothing…
That said, the high point for the film is its cast of characters. It’s an A list cast: Sarah Silverman is Vanellope, John C. Reilly is Ralph. Jack McBrayer is Fix-it-Felix, Taraji Henson is Yesss and Jane Lynch is Sergeant. Other characters are played by Kristen Bell, Mandy Moore, Kelly MacDonald and a dozen more.
Most of all, Walt Disney Animation Studios deserve kudos for excellent visual animation.
No doubt, this film was created for kids. It has a PG rating for some action and some rude humor. It is listed as an Animation, Comedy, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Run time is 114 minutes.