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Pixar Films – A Ranking Part 1

With Pixar’s Finding Dory finally in theaters, it’s time for us to rank the existing 17 Pixar films. If you’re curious about our take on Finding Dory, head over to our spoiler-free review here. Pixar has been warming our hearts and challenging our emotions since the 1995 release of Toy Story. Since then, we’ve seen their computer generated animated features advance and progress to the level of receiving nominations for Best Picture at the Academy Awards for both Toy Story 3 and Up. In total, Pixar has won 13 Academy Awards across 16 films. In fact, we’ve loved Pixar movies so much that we’ve even given them a pass from time to time, like in the case of Cars 2. We get it, sometimes you just want to pay the bills and sells tons of toys. We forgive you since you brought us Inside Out.

So with all of that in mind, here is my attempt at ranking the existing Pixar films. Like we do with other franchises and movie universes (yes, some of us believe all of the Pixar films are somehow connected), we will keep this list updated as more movies come out.

In Part 1, I get through 17-9 with 8-1 in Part 2 coming soon!

17. Cars 2

Cars 2

Okay, do I need to go into detail here? It’s a sequel of Pixar’s merchandising grab film and it’s not even done as well. I’ll save everyone some time and just move on. If you think this one should be ranked higher, please comment below.

16. Cars

Cars Mia and Tia Title

While better than the sequel, this movie just doesn’t do it for me. I’m used to Pixar films that create incredible universes within our own, complex stories and characters that push the viewer emotionally and psychologically. As I noted earlier, some people, myself included, like to believe all of the Pixar films fit together and while there is a pretty outlandish theory about how Cars fits in, I don’t buy it. This film takes the easy way out by ignoring the rules of our own world, something they had to deal with in A Bug’s Life, Ratatouille, and Toy Story. Those challenges made for better story telling and more complex environment.

15. Monsters University

Monsters University Banner

Pixar had incredible success with the Toy Story sequels and decided to try something different, a prequel. The movie includes the charm of both John Goodman and Billy Crystal but much like Men in Black II, it loses much of its awe and originality. Many of the new characters were cute but it seemed like a step back from the first film which included a larger universe and dealt with the consequences of actions on both the Monster and human worlds. In the end, this film falls into a common trap of prequels. Most people, like me, want to see the story continue, see the effects of the first film. Whether or not these monsters had official training didn’t really stick with me as a need to know concept.

14. A Bug’s Life

A Bug's Life Banner

Alright, so it’s Pixar’s second movie. It premiered three years after Toy Story. Special effects hadn’t really progressed much in that time but Pixar continued with a similar formula. I did love how they created this great little bug universe within our own. This forced the film makers to work within the constraints of our world while giving life to something new. The voice cast was strong with Kevin Spacey playing a solid villain. I also enjoyed Julia Louis-Dreyfus, though I am a huge Seinfeld and Veep fan. The truth is though, the thing that sticks with me most from this movie is actually the short before it, Geri’s Game in which an old man plays chess with himself. It’s brilliant, fun, entertaining, and I fell in love with the character. Part of me even sees this old man as an alternate or early version of Carl from Up. Let’s not forget that this short also won Best Animated Short at the Academy Awards that year. It’s only one of three Pixar shorts to do this, the other two being Tin Toy and For the Birds from Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. respectively.

13. Brave

Brave Title

This movie never stuck with me and I’m actually ranking it higher than I think I should because the animation was really well done. The story didn’t grab me and I found the premise to be a little silly more often than not. And yes, I know we’re talking about animated kids’ films. The whole daughter wants to do her own thing… thing was nothing new and the spin of her mom turning into a bear just didn’t interest me. I am too used to Pixar doing new things in new worlds and/or pushing my emotions to the extreme. This movie does none of this but does handle the animation well enough. The hair is cool and all but I was more impressed with the balloons in Up and the fuzzy fur stuff on the emotions in Inside Out.

12. The Good Dinosaur

Good Dinosaur Cover Image

Okay, so I think this might be the only Pixar film outside of the Cars movies, I didn’t see in theaters. It just didn’t happen and neither did its box office numbers. I guess I feel very similar to that. This movie is fine. The story is good and reminded me quite a bit of The Land Before Time. I liked the story, for the most part, but I felt like just too many annoying bad things kept happening to Arlo. This movie gets bumped up quite a bit though because of how awesome the animation is. It’s superb and deserves to be noticed. The scenery, the water, the textures, just outstanding across the board. That being said, it’s not enough to save the movie that included a VERY predictable story. I mean, was anyone surprised when Poppa died the way he did? No? The moment he takes Arlo into that field at night with the fireflies, I knew that man was a goner. And he ended up dying in almost the exact same way as Mufasa in The Lion King, except no acting antagonist did it. It’s just kind of Arlo’s fault. The universe they built was okay but I would have liked a larger picture like we got in Monsters Inc. Where are the other dinosaurs? No predators? Friends? Neighbors? Just one family in the middle of no where. I, of course, am not referring to those Arlo finds on his journey but I guess maybe everyone is just on the other side of the mountain.

11. Ratatouille

Ratatouille Banner

This movie has a decent enough cast and does a solid job of creating the mouse world within our own. The animation is solid with colorful and fun characters. The food was also done well. It’s a cute story and Linguini is a cute character. I enjoyed Remy and the relationships he had with his family. All-in-all, it’s a cute, fun film that doesn’t tax much on the emotional spectrum. It doesn’t quite crack the Top 10 and I think this is due to its lack of emotional punch and/or technical prowess. It doesn’t push any boundaries.. Keep in mind that the movies above it are all spectacular and a couple have even received Best Picture nominations at the Academy Awards. I like this movie and find it enjoyable. It’s just not one I look forward to viewing time and time again.

10. Finding Dory

Finding Dory Definition

Since this one is so new, I’ll try to avoid spoilers. In short, this movie takes some of our favorite characters from the first film and basically makes them do it all over again but this time for Dory. The plot is very similar to the first film but the characters and voice cast are spot on. I love these characters, even all of the new ones. Ed O’Neil’s Hank is great, Destiny and Bailey are fun too. I love them all. Dory’s story, which we get to see from a very young age, is touching and heartwarming. It hits the emotions hard a few times and does a great job building on the universe created in the first film. With that said, it is a bit repetitive. I mean, it’s almost the same story as the last one. Additionally, some of the antics at the end literally had me thinking “Really?!?” It was over the top at times. I will say this, the short film Piper is awesome. It’s a cute and lovely story but the animation is unbelievable. The sand, the water, the foam. It all looks real and I’m completely impressed by it. Anyway, if you liked Finding Nemo, then you’ll want to see this movie. If not, then it doesn’t really do anything different.

9. Toy Story 2

Toy Story 2 Logo

I have a hard time putting this one so low. I love this movie and I love what it does to add to the first film’s universe. We get to learn so much about Woody and our favorite characters all get to have an exciting adventure that includes Zurg! And tell me Jessie’s story is heartbreaking! Talk about the feels. Pixar does this well and it is important that they continue to do so. The story is fun, new, inventive, and brings in new characters and old that we will continue to love to this very day. I don’t have anything bad to say about this one. It’s great fun with some emotion built in. The animation sticks true to the Toy Story style which is great but doesn’t really push any boundaries.

Okay, that’s it for Part 1! What did you think of my ranking so far? Do you agree or disagree? Comment below! Also, stay tuned for Part 2 where I finish up my ranking with the top 8 spots!

Pixar Films – A Ranking Part 1

Top 10 John Williams Star Wars themes

John Williams has scored some of the most iconic movies in cinematic history. He is beyond talented and extremely brilliant. Now we all know a movie isn’t complete without an awesome sounding score to accompany it. Imagine Jaws, Harry Potter, Superman, or Indiana Jones without those beautiful and much needed pieces of music. The same can be said for any of the seven Star Wars films. John Williams has scored and created many themes for many different movies over his carrier. But none are more popular than the music from the Star Wars films. Any fan of these movies will have their own Top 10 list for themes. It was very hard to pick only ten. But without further ado:

10. “Across the Stars” (Love theme from Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith)

Let’s kick things off with a little forbidden romance shall we? This is the theme we hear whenever Padme and Anakin are seen on screen and as they share their first kiss with each other. I think it’s a beautiful theme full of passion and joy. It is one of two love themes that John Williams has created for the Star Wars films and here is hoping he creates a few more with Episodes VIII and IX on the way.

9. “Anakin’s Betrayal” (Order 66 theme)

This theme is played out in Revenge of the Sith when the order is given to all the clone commanders and their troops to execute the Jedi across the galaxy. It’s a particular moving piece because it is one of the saddest moments in the prequel trilogy and unlike anything we have seen before in a Star Wars film. Seeing countless Jedi gunned down or shot out of the skies was heartbreaking to see, not to mention the slaughtering of the younglings by Anakin.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmhjaFbpkIE

8. “Ben Kenobi’s Death / Tie Fighter Attack”

One of the more thrilling themes from Episode IV is right after the death of Obi-Wan when Luke, Leia, Han, and the rest of the crew jump in the Falcon to escape the Death Star hanger to then only be pursued by a squad of Tie Fighters. The suspense leading up to the Tie Fighters approaching, to Luke and Han taking to the laser cannons on the Falcon to blast them away is like one big adrenaline rush. A small and quick scene compared to most on this list, but it sure packs a punch.

7. “The Battle of Endor I”

I picked Part 1 from the rest of the pieces from this battle is because of this heart pounding opening. It’s goes from suspenseful and quiet to loud and dramatic when the Rebel fleet realizes the shield to the Death Star is still operational. Chaos ensues as Lando leads the attack in space, Han and Leia along with the droids and help from the Ewoks lead the ground battles, and Luke is forced to watch the Rebel fleet get pulverized in space as Vader and his Master look on. And of course as always…IT’S A TRAP!

6. “Cantina Band”

Of course we can’t have a Top 10 list like this without having the “Cantina Band” theme in here somewhere! This is just a really fun theme to hear and grove along with. It is a departure from the heavy brass and strings we normally are used to in Star Wars films and John Williams gives a nice light feeling to this space opera.

5. “Duel of Fates”

This theme still gives me chills to this day. I remember being in the theater and when the doors opened to reveal Darth Maul standing there and then the choir kicked in was haunting. This piece had been something we haven’t heard before in the previous trilogy of films. With three new films for a new generation of fans, John Williams had to revamp the scores a bit for these. Nothing was ever this fast paced with choirs and brass combined in the original trilogy. A very intense track from the prequel trilogy and the best piece of music from Episode I by far.

4. “Han and Leia’s Theme”

A love theme for the ages. This was the very first love theme we got out of the Star Wars movies and boy did John Williams deliver. This is a soft and beautiful piece used to show the affections between Princess Leia and Han Solo. First heard in The Empire Strikes Back and continued on through Return of the Jedi and finally heard again in The Force Awakens, the fans always know when this plays on the screen we will get some kind of interaction between the couple, whether it’s them fighting or saying “I love you” is a different story.

3. “Rey’s Theme”

The number three spot is taken by my favorite theme from The Force Awakens and that is of course “Rey’s Theme”. I think it is one of the best character themes in the saga. John Williams really gives you a sense of adventure, hope, strength, wonder, and curiosity all mixed into one theme and that perfectly describes Rey in the film. It has been compared to Luke’s theme or the “Force” theme from the rest of the films as well which is something I can totally see.

2. “The Force Theme” ( Also known as Luke’s theme)

Speaking of Luke and the Force, here is my number two pick. This theme can be found in every single Star Wars film and TV show to date. It is universally known to the fans as the theme that surrounds almost anything to do with the use of the Force or the good guys in general. It is a great theme and is a very emotional and powerful theme at that. It’s known that the Force binds living things together. And the Force is strong with this theme.

1. “Star Wars Main Theme”

Anyone surprised by this number one pick? Well you shouldn’t be. It is of course the opening to the Star Wars films. This is arguably one of if not the most iconic opening themes in movie history. Even if you aren’t a fan of Star Wars, once you hear this theme you know where it’s from. I always get excited to hear this theme and when you first heard it in the theater again during Episode VII the whole place cheered. This to me is Star Wars, this is one of John Williams’ finest pieces of music he has ever written and will go down in history as such.

So how did I do? Did your favorite theme from the Star Wars saga make it on the list as well? Which John Williams theme from Star Wars is your favorite? Sound off in the comments below and let us know.

Top 10 John Williams Star Wars themes

Finding Dory: Spoiler-Free Review

Finding Dory (2016)

Cast: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell

Directors: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane

Synopsis: Ellen DeGeneres reprises her role as the forgetful blue Tang fish with a friendly personality, as she remembers a key moment from her past and goes on a journey to find the things she’s lost along the way.

Review:

As with any Pixar movie, there was a short movie before the feature presentation, this time, it was Piper, a heartwarming story of a young sandpiper, learning to feed itself, but, also that some things which may seem scary at first could simply be hurdles to be overcome. It’s a sweet little clip, and, if you don’t care about the story, you should marvel at the details. Feathers, water, shells, and even sand are just barely on this side of the uncanny valley.

Ellen DeGeneres slips seamlessly into the role of Dory, just as the movie slips seamlessly back into our lives. It’s difficult to remember that Finding Nemo came out in 2003. We get a split-second recap of the first movie, just to remind anyone who didn’t want to admit to watching the first movie before entering the theater. During the recap, we get to see young Dory, which is probably the cutest thing ever, especially if you didn’t just watch Piper.

Finding Dory - Dory

When Dory is suddenly reminded of something she forgot, it starts a hide-and-seek/I Spy journey to her home, and her forgotten family. Her adopted family, Marlin and Nemo accompany her on this journey, with the help of an adventurous Turtle. Dory blunders her way into dangerous situations and blunders right out of them again. Some of the creatures they meet along the way consider fish to be food and not friends. Along with including nearly every character from the last movie, we get to meet a lot of new friends, including Hank, a suspicious camouflaging “Septopus” and Bailey a self-conscious beluga whale, who is next door neighbors with a near sighted whale shark.

This film served as great entertainment with its colorful cast and easy going feel. The plot is not as straight forward as you would expect from a kid’s movie, but, the twists and turns aren’t exactly sharp either. This is definitely a movie that will be enjoyed by children as well as the adults sitting next to them.

The one actor that gave this reviewer pause was Sigourney Weaver, who plays herself, or rather, her voice as the overhead announcer for the Monterey Bay Marine Life Aquarium, which has a “Rescue, Rehabilitate, and Release” motto.

As with any Pixar sequel, this one simply isn’t as good as the original, in this reviewer’s opinion. However, as stated earlier, with how seamlessly it segues into the first movie, you can hardly tell they are 13 years apart. Also, it’s worth it to sit through the credits for a humorous end-scene that tie the two movies together even tighter than before.

Finding Dory: Spoiler-Free Review

Beauty and the Beast Teaser Released

The first teaser for Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast released today, starring Emma Watson in the titular role.  Set for a March 2017 debut, the filming has been kept very quiet since it began.  There has yet to be any major set or costume leaks whatsoever.  Today, we get our first look at the film. You can watch the first Beauty and the Beast teaser below, and for those who can’t watch can read my description beneath that.

For those unable to watch, it begins with the outside of the Beast’s castle, mimicking the familiar Disney logo, with a snowy trail of pixie dust arcing over it. A slowed version of the original trailer’s music begins to play, which I have to admit, excited me greatly. We get a beautifully dreary look at the Beast’s castle.  It’s an elegant time lapse depicting the castle in its glory days to its dismal, dusty present.  Cracks in the floors appear, cobwebs collects, and gorgeous candles melt to nothing.  A portrait of the royal family appear, king and queen included this time, and the prince depicted as a young man this time (correcting the oversight of his portrait as an adult from the cartoon). Then the infamous scratches across his face appear with a snarl echoing as it cuts to black.

Finally! We’re gonna get to see the Beauty, Belle.  The broken door to the castle creaks open and a shadow appears.  Lumiere and Cogsworth exclaim it’s a girl and she might be the one! Then we hear Emma Watson’s very melodic voice say, “Hello?”  Then the familiar “Tale as Old as Time” begins to play. The magic rose appears, and Belle’s eyes can be seen gazing upon it.

What did you think? As one of my all time favorite Disney movies, I am absolutely thrilled to see Beauty and the Beast come to life. Beauty and the Beast has done phenomenally well both in theaters as an animated feature, being the first to be nominated for Best Picture by the Academy, and won a Tony award while on Broadway.  While it’s hard to say what other deviations will be taken with the film at this point, I’d like to think that this will follow the footsteps of Maleficent and Cinderella and not feature any singing, but have the original score play in the background. I’m also sure this is when Disney will officially confirm the Beast has an actual name (fun fact: he did not in the animated film. Fans were bothered by this for years, and once a concept piece of the character appeared with the name “Adam” next to it, they ate it up. Fans have been calling him that ever since.)

The film stars Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Dan Stevens, and Ewan McGregor and is directed by Bill Condon. See it in theaters March 17, 2017.

Beauty and the Beast Teaser Released

Disney Reserves Dates for 8 Upcoming Live Action Films

This week, Disney reserved the dates for 8 different films, believed to be the release dates for their upcoming live action films. It’s no coincidence that they have announced these dates following their extreme success with The Jungle Book.  While Disney has had mixed results with live action films (sorry, John Carter, I liked you), as of lately they’ve had giant hits with their fairy tale adaptations, such as Maleficent and Cinderella as well.

Disney Maleficent

Dates are listed below:

  • July 28, 2017: Untitled Disney Fairy Tale (Live Action), previously dated December 22, 2017
  • April 4, 2018: Untitled Disney Fairy Tale (Live Action)
  • August 3, 2018: Untitled Disney Live Action
  • November 2, 2018: Untitled Disney Fairy Tale (Live Action)
  • December 25, 2018: Untitled Disney Live Action
  • March 29, 2019: Untitled Disney Fairy Tale (Live Action)
  • November 8, 2019: Untitled Disney Fairy Tale (Live Action)
  • December 20, 2019: Untitled Disney Fairy Tale (Live Action)

Within the last year, Disney has announced multiple fairy tale related projects that are in development at one stage or another in the process.  Listed below are the projects that are the most likely candidates for the above dates.

  • Cruella with Emma Stone set for the title role and Kelly Marcel writing
  • A Wrinkle in Time with Ava DuVernay attached to direct and Jennifer Lee writing
  • Jungle Cruise with Dwayne Johnson set to star and John Requa and Glenn Ficarra writing
  • Dumbo with director Tim Burton and writer Ehren Kruger
  • A sequel to Mary Poppins with director Rob Marshall, starring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Maleficent 2 with Angelia Jolie set to return in the title role and Linda Woolverton writing
  • The Nutcracker and the Four Realms with director Lasse Hallstrom and writer Ashleigh Powell
  • The Jungle Book 2 with both director Jon Favreau and writer Justin Marks returning
  • A Tinker Bell project with Reese Witherspoon set to star and Victoria Strouse writing

This does not include the Peter Pan live action film from director David Lowery of Pete’s Dragon or the rumored Winnie the Pooh and Mulan, or spinoffs based on GeniesPrince Charming, and Rose Red.  Also missing from the fold are Beauty and the Beast live action take starring Emma Watson and the fifth installment of the “Pirates” franchise Dead Men Tell No Tales bringing back Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.

But what about Disney’s upcoming animated films? They haven’t been forgotten either.  With unknown dates planned for Frozen 2, they are also planning on the following animation:

Disney Pixar Finding Dory

  • Finding Dory  with returning cast members Ellen Degeneres and Albert Brooks, along with newcomer Ty Burrell, expected June 17, 2016
  • Moana starring Dwayne Johnson and directors Ron Clements and John Musker, out November 23, 2016
  • Cars 3 written by Robert Baird and Dan Gerson, expected June 16, 2017
  • Coco  a Dia de los Muertos based story directed by Toy Story 3 helmer Lee Unkrich, expected November 22, 2017
  • Gigantic a loosely based take on Jack and the Beanstalk, expected March 9, 2018
  • Toy Story 4 written by Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, expected June 15, 2018
  • The Incredibles 2 bringing back director Brad Bird, out June 21, 2019

Combining these with the ambitious schedules of franchise titans Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars, Disney has the potential to pull in more money over the next 4 years than any other entertainment studio.

While I will always be a Disney fan, and most of these movies personally appeal to me, I believe it is safe to say Disney may be throwing its weight around a little here. Most of these films, along with their upcoming animated films as well, will dominate the box office and monopolize 3D screens across the country, leaving very little screens for everything else.

Disney Petes Dragon

What’s your take on this extensive schedule? Are you looking forward to anything in particular?  Personally, I’ve been waiting for a Disney adaptation of The Nutcracker for my entire life.  It’s a very magical story that could use their touch.

Disney Reserves Dates for 8 Upcoming Live Action Films

Disney’s The Jungle Book – Spoiler-Free Review

The Jungle Book, for me it’s an animated film Disney put out way back in 1967 but the powers that be have decided to change all this with two new live action feature films from competing companies. You see, Disney and Warner Bros. don’t have enough to battle over with their comic book genre films, so now we have The Jungle Book from Disney which hits theaters this Friday, April 15th in North America and Warner Bros. Jungle Book: Origins (though IMDB drops the “Origins” part of the title) set to drop in October 2018. I want to explain this so there is no confusion because the stories are different, the casts are different, the movies are different. Warner Bros’ film will star Christian Bale (Bagheera), Benedict Cumberbatch (Shere Khan), Cate Blanchett (Kaa), Andy Serkis (Baloo), and Roham Chand (Mowgli). To contrast, this year’s Disney version stars Ben Kingsley (Bagheera), Idris Elba (Shere Khan), Scarlett Johansson (Kaa), Bill Murray (Baloo), and Neel Sethi (Mowgli) with Lupita Nyong’o (Raksha), Giancarlo Esposito (Akela), and Christopher Walken (King Louie). With well over two years before we see WB’s incarnation, I expect more roles to be filled but for now, these are the primary casts.

So let’s talk about The Jungle Book from Disney. I was able to catch an early screening Monday night in 3D. My goal here is to talk about overall quality and expectations you should have going into the movie and will avoid spoilers. Things that have been shown in trailers\previews might get mentioned though, so you’ve been warned.

The Jungle Book - Shere Khan and Idris Elba

Visuals

As I noted, I saw The Jungle Book in 3D. I felt that overall, the 3D experience was solid and less gimmicky than most. That is not to say it’s without gimmick but for the most part, it was immersive and sharp. I enjoyed the extra sense of depth it provided and it reminded me of the ways Avatar used 3D a while back. Now, the 3D does fail during major scenes of movement and action. There are two scenes in particular that I am thinking of, one involving Mowgli running and another involving a lot of primates. In both cases, the CGI lost its crisp realistic style and the 3D lost its immersive sense. The former scene even included one of my pet peeves which is when water is splashed and it hits the camera lens like we are watching the movie through a window. This bothers me in 2D films but when the goal is a 3D experience that feels immersive and includes depth… why would you put a window in front of me? It seems counter-intuitive. The primate scene in question made me think of the barrel scene in The Hobbit, though this one is not nearly as bad.

The CGI in general was stellar. I felt that the animals consistently looked realistic and even moved as such. Even though the animals can talk, they are not overly anthropromophized. They are just animals that we happen to be able to understand. I never felt that the animals were poorly done and the CGI weaknesses in the two scenes I noted might have been unique to the 3D experience. I intend to see the movie again in 2D, so I’m looking forward to comparing.

The Jungle Book - Kaa

Casting

The cast is nearly perfect. Bill Murray, of course, nails Baloo but no one is surprised at this. I love Bill Murray and will watch just about anything he is in but this character isn’t much of a stretch for him, though I’m not complaining. Idris Elba is a fearsome, intense Shere Khan and I can’t imagine Benedict Cumberbatch getting close to matching Idris’ presence. I think my favorite scene is actually Scarlett Johansson’s Kaa. Though short, the scene is powerful, intense, creepy, and the voice work is great. She’s perfect for the role and I’m glad they went in the direction they did with the character. Everyone else did a great job. Bagheera, Raksha, and Akela are not in the film as much as I would have liked but then again, the wolves don’t have anywhere near as much of a presence in the original animated film, so I should be grateful. Neel Sethi as Mowgli is fine but fairly forgettable. It’s his first role and is credited as an introduction, so I am not going to be overly critical here. He’s young and inexperienced, so I look forward to seeing his future roles.

The only issue I take with casting is Christopher Walken as King Louie. It just doesn’t work. While I loved him in various roles like Pulp Fiction or even Click, he does not work as King Louie. His voice is too Walken-esque. The character’s song isn’t even a song in this incarnation because Walken isn’t really going to sing, so he speaks it. It just doesn’t work. He’s not intimidating, he’s not threatening and the voice does not match the visual of the character.

The Jungle Book - King Louie

The Jungle Book: Conclusions

The Jungle Book is a great live action adaptation of the original story that, if memory serves me, stays true at least to the major components while expanding on some in ways to enhance the story. The special effects are realistic, accurate, and impressive throughout most of the film while the voice cast is nearly perfect. I think the film suffers from two primary issues, the push of 3D and the star-studded cast. 3D can be fun but it’s usually completely unnecessary and I think this is an example of that. The 3D gets in the way, lowers CGI quality, and becomes distracting or completely forgettable. The all-star cast is a lot of fun but also distracting because you know Bill Murray is the bear and Scarlett Johansson is the snake. It pulls you out of the experience at times.

Overall, I give the film 3.5\5 UFOs. It’s a good movie and better than I expected for a live action interpretation but there is room for improvement.

The Grid Rating Saucer 3.5

 

 

 

Are you looking forward to The Jungle Book? Have you seen it yet? Comment below!

Disney’s The Jungle Book – Spoiler-Free Review

SH S1E17: Rogue One A Star Wars Story

The first trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story dropped last week and everyone is talking about it, including us! Rogue One is the first of the Anthology films set in the Star Wars universe. This film takes place prior to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and focuses on the theft of the original Deathstar plans, no Bothans here. With me out of the commission for the evening, Rae and Ryan are joined by returning guest Ian from Haus of Turner Cosplay to talk about the trailer, their thoughts for the film, and some of the possibilities for the next two planned Anthology films, the next of which focuses on Han Solo.

Catch the trailer here and then join our podcast team for an analysis of what’s to come this December! Oh, and may the Force be with you, always.

Don’t forget to join us live on Twitch each week at 8PM CST as we live stream our recordings of these podcast episodes! You can subscribe at twitch.tv\griddaily today!

Rogue One Podcast Credits

Hosts
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guest
Ian Turner

Director
Nikki Lynn

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

iTunes Link
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/screen-heroes-grid-dailys/id1071922623

RSS Feed
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Social Media
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Facebook Page

Email
contact@griddaily.com

SH S1E17: Rogue One A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Teaser Trailer

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens hitting Blu-Ray earlier this week, you might have thought your Star Wars fix was filled but WE HAVE MORE! For those who are unaware, Disney and Lucas Film are actually creating two different feature film paths, the so called “Saga” films which are numbered like The Force Awakens and the upcoming and still untitled Episode VIII, and their A Star Wars Story anthology films which, for now, appear to be one-shot films set across the Saga’s timeline. The first film in A Star Wars anthology is Rogue One. This film takes place BEFORE A New Hope and looks to focus on the events that led to the stealing of the original Deathstar plans. The second film in the anthology is currently planned to be a Han Solo focused film, perhaps an origin story or a story of how he and Chewie came to know each other. Many hope for the inclusion of the ever popular Boba Fett. The third film in the anthology has bounced around a bit mainly between a Yoda focused film and an Obi-Wan film.

Rogue One is actually happening though. It’s been cast, filmed, etc. and is slated for a December release this year! Today we got our first look at the new film in the first teaser trailer. Check it out below:

What did you think? I must say, I’m incredibly excited about this. We see original Stormtroopers, AT-ATs, Star Destroyers AND the original Deathstar getting its primary weapon installed. How awesome is that?

Due to The Force Awakens taking the edge off and being probably the most anticipated film of the last 20-30 years, Rogue One stands to not be as successful at the box office but given the teaser, I have high hopes for the film’s quality across story, casting, and special effects. I, for one, can’t wait for this film.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Teaser Trailer

No April Fooling, The Force Awakens Blu-Ray

It’s no joke that April can’t come soon enough for us Star Wars fans. April 1st is the day that you can download a high definition copy of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and other Disney Movies.  However, the Blu-Ray and DVD Combo makes its leap from light speed to the shelves on April 5th.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens grossed over $926 million at the box office here at home and $2.05 billion across the rest of the galaxy. The Force Awakens shattered box office records, so it will definitely be interesting to see how the sales in the stores do.Star Wars: The Force Awakens Wal-Mart Exclusive Blu-Ray

Speaking of stores, different retailers will have different offers for the in-home release of Star Wars:The Force Awakens.  Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and Disney Stores are offering fans retailer-exclusive collectible versions, so make sure that you visit your favorite retailer on the day of the release.  Here is a list of the stores an their respective offers.The 3D versions of The Force Awakens will be available later this year. That’s right, the April release does NOT include the 3D version of the film. This one is planned for a later release with additional bonus features.

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens Target Exclusive Blu-RayTARGET – The Target Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray Combo Pack comes with exclusive packaging and an additional 20 minutes of bonus content, including never-before-seen interviews with Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, and a deeper look at the movie’s costumes and weaponry
  • WALMART – The Walmart Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray Combo Pack comes with exclusive BB-8 packaging and an exclusive Star Wars Galactic Connexions trading disc
  • BEST BUY – The Best Buy Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray Combo Pack features exclusive Steel Book Packaging
  • DISNEY STORE  The Disney Store Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray Combo Pack comes with an exclusive lithograph set, while supplies last of course

Inside the combo packages you can find an in-depth documentary, exclusive interviews with the actors, and a feature about the building of BB-8.  The filmmakers bring a new cast member to life and it becomes an instant fan favorite.  Watch the legendary composer, John Williams and the Seventh Symphony an the music of Star Wars and The Force Awakens.  The music of Star Wars has always been iconic.  Scores for the previous six films were done by the acclaimed composer John Williams, and once again he has returned to score Star Wars: The Force Awakens, ultimately garnering his 50th Oscar nomination for his work.  There are also deleted scenes.  I am personally interested in watching a segment called “Force for Change”; it shows how Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ initiative has united Star Wars fans all over the globe to help others.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Best Buy Exclusive Blu-Ray

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was directed by J.J. Abrams and written by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt.  The film was produced by Lucasfilm President and eight-time Academy Award nominee Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk.

The movie is sure to create more fans and fun times watching it over and over with friends and family, that’s no joke!

The Force be with you all.

– Ultra

No April Fooling, The Force Awakens Blu-Ray

Alice Through the Looking Glass, trailer review

Fans of the 2010 Disney film Alice in Wonderland got treated to an all new trailer this week for the sequel film, Alice Through the Looking Glass. We have the returning main cast of characters, Mia Wasikowska as Alice, Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter, Anne Hathaway as The White Queen, and Helena Bonham Carter as The Red Queen. In addition to the returning main four characters we also have new additions for the villain Time, a half clock, half human being, played by Sacha Baron Cohen who has the ability to freeze time and go back and forth between different time periods, and the Mad Hatters father played by Rhys Ifans. Also returning are the voice talents of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, and Michael Sheen.

The new trailer opens with Alan Rickman’s character of Absolem talking and guiding Alice through a mirror and back into the world of Wonderland. We know from the original teaser released a while back that something has happened to the Mad Hatter and Alice must go back to Wonderland to try and save him from the villain, Time presumably. This trailer doesn’t show a whole lot of new footage or story plot elements but it does give us glimpses of the main characters, Time questioning Hatter and the March Hare about where Alice is and when she is meant to arrive in Wonderland, The Red Queen wanting revenge from her defeat in the first film and still wanting to cut off Alice’s head, Time turning the hands on a clock backwards and making Bayard the Bloodhound revert back to puppy, a very dark and scary looking Mad Hatter with dark circles under his eyes and grey streaks in his orange hair, and what seems to be an allegiance between Time and The Red Queen against Alice and her friends. The trailer is complete with it being cut to the Jefferson Airplane song “White Rabbit,” covered by artist P!NK. We still know very little about this movie but what has been shown looks very promising, and with Tim Burton now producing and James Bobin, director of The Muppets and The Muppets Most Wanted now in the director’s chair, along with Linda Woolverton returning to write the screenplay, this Disney sequel will surely be one to see when it opens in theaters on May 27th.

Check out the newly released poster and both trailers for the film bellow.

Alice Through the Looking Glass

 

What did you all think of the new Alice Through the Looking Glass trailer? Do you think it will do as well as the original film or even better? Sound off in the comments bellow and let us know what you think of the Alice sequel.

Alice Through the Looking Glass, trailer review

Smuggler’s Bounty Box #2 Unboxing

We continue our unboxing of the Funko\Star Wars themed subscription box, Smuggler’s Bounty. This month is the second month for the service and features the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Resistance box. Last month brought us the First Order box. Check out our video here.

There was a lot of speculation about what POP Vinyl might be inside and whether or not it was a flocked one. Be sure to check out our unboxing video below to find out what we got plus all of the other great goodies.

What comes in these boxes? For those who don’t know, the official Funko services are completely exclusive items. Everything in the box is only available in the box. Items include pins and patches, t-shirts, POP Vinyls, mugs, variant comic books, and other fun collectibles. While some of the items might look familiar (see Captain Phasma’s POP from last month), they are different than what is available at retailers. For example, the standard Captain Phasma is grey\silver but the exclusive Smuggler’s Bounty version is shiny chrome.


 


 

What did you think of this month’s crate? Was it everything you hoped for? Do you subscribe? Comment below with your thoughts on Smuggler’s Bounty box #2!

Smuggler’s Bounty Box #2 Unboxing

Star Wars Episode VIII Delayed 7 Months

The title says it all. Star Wars Episode VIII, which was slated for a late-May 2017 release has been pushed back nearly 7 full months to December 15th, 2017. See the official press release below:

Today, Disney and Lucasfilm announced that Star Wars: Episode VIII, originally scheduled for release in summer 2017, will now debut on December 15, 2017.

The move follows the extraordinary success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was the first Star Wars movie to premiere outside the traditional summer blockbuster window and smashed numerous records, including biggest domestic and global debuts of all time as well as the biggest domestic second and third weekends, en route to becoming the highest grossing domestic release of all time with over $861.3 million and the third biggest global release ever with $1,886.7 billion.

Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: Episode VIII is currently in preproduction and will begin principal photography in London next month. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman will produce and J.J. Abrams, Jason McGatlin, and Tom Karnowski will executive produce. Stay tuned for exciting updates in the coming weeks.

Star Wars

Not a whole lot is said on the “why” for the delay but it’s likely to deal with re-writes that the film is going through based on feedback from audiences in the wake of The Force Awakens. This does, however, line up the film to be a year after Rogue One, which makes for a nice 12-month release cycle.

What do you think about the delay? Are you disappointed? Sound off in the comments!

Find the official release here.

Star Wars Episode VIII Delayed 7 Months