Disney

The Top Ten Movies of 2017 (so far)

by Alan Rapp on July 4, 2017

in Top Tens & Lists

best-of-2017-so-far

Is the year really half over? You know what that means! It’s time to look back on the year to find the best movies released so far this year. This year’s list includes a pair of animated movies, monsters, sequels, heroes, talking cars and appliances, a remake, mutants, a heist film, and more. Here’s a look at The Top Ten Movies of 2017 (so far).

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Emma Watson and the Beast

by Alan Rapp on March 17, 2017

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Beauty and the Beast
  • IMDb: link

Beauty and the Beast movie reviewDisney’s new Beauty and the Beast isn’t so much an adaptation of their 1991 animated film as a live-action reproduction of the original. The new film follows the pattern so closely that when it diverges at any point something feels a bit off. In a loving remake, director Bill Condon and his team bring the magic of the original back to the big screen in a way which should please fans.

After the brief interlude which sets up the film’s plot involving the curse, we’re reintroduced to Belle (Emma Watson) and the small French town in which the modern woman sticks out like a sore thumb. Watson’s casting is pure genius. The actress shines, delivering everything the role calls and more (including a singing performance far more impressive than another Emma who just took home an Academy Award). Effortlessly, she brings Belle to life.

As in the first movie, Belle’s father (Kevin Kline) is held captive by the Beast (Dan Stevens). One of the changes to the film is to flesh out Belle and Maurice‘s relationship a bit more, and add in some backstory to fill in for Belle’s missing mother.

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Moana

by Alan Rapp on November 23, 2016

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Moana
  • IMDb: link

MoanaMoana is your typical Disney Princess animated feature set around the coming of age story of its heroine. Our title character is Moana (Auli’i Cravalho), the daughter of a Polynesian chieftain (Temuera Morrison) who is drawn to the ocean despite her father’s strict rules about never journeying farther than the reef. However, circumstances force Moana to defy her father’s wishes and go in search of the legendary demi-god Maui (Dwayne “It’s Okay to Call Me The Rock Again” Johnson) whose help she will need to save her home from a decay that began centuries ago because of the god’s rash actions.

Aside from working in some local culture and flavor, as it did with The Princess and the Frog, Mulan, and Pocahontas, Disney doesn’t stray too far from its comfort zone here. We get a couple cute animal sidekicks, some big musical numbers, and a hero’s journey. (Although the film lacks a true Disney villain.) However, with the number of these the studio has churned out over the years it knows how to hit the right notes. It’s also worth noting this is the first time since Aladdin where Disney has embraced a larger-than-life sidekick voiced by such a strong personality.

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Coming Soon – Moana

by Alan Rapp on September 19, 2016

in Film News & Trailers

  • Title: Moana
  • IMDb: link

We now have our first full-length trailer for Disney’s Moana. Set in the South Pacific, a young woman named Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) sets sail for a fabled island with the help of the legendary demi-god Maui (Dwayne “It’s Okay to Call Me The Rock Again” Johnson). Moana opens in theaters this Thanksgiving.

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Finding Dory

by Alan Rapp on June 17, 2016

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Finding Dory
  • IMDb: link

Finding DoryPixar’s first sequel since Cars 2 returns audiences under the ocean for the follow up to 2003’s Finding Nemo. This time our story is centered around Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), the Pacific regal blue tang suffering from short-term memory loss who helped Marlin (Albert Brooks) find his lost son Nemo (Hayden Rolence) in the original film. With her dim memory sparked, Dory sets out to find her parents with Marlin and Nemo in tow. However, it’s not long before Dory and her friends are separated and she must fend for herself.

Although I enjoy Finding Nemo, if I rank my favorite Pixar films it’s always near the bottom. The sequel, however, surprised me. Making Dory, rather than Marlin, the main character of the film makes for a more engaging story with a far more likable lead. The supporting cast surrounding Dory is also more vibrant the second time around including an ill-tempered scene-stealing septopus named Hank (Ed O’Neill), a near-sighted whale shark (Kaitlin Olson), a beluga whale (Ty Burrell) with performance issues, sea lions, the odd loon Becky, and the most adorable bunch of sea otters you’ve ever seen on film.

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