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Archives for : animated film

“Sing” Plays a Familiar Tune

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Prepare yourself for American Idol with pigs, elephants, gorillas and many more animals.

Illumination Entertainment’s newest film, “Sing” follows a koala bear, Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), who’s on the verge of closing down his beloved theatre after back-to-back production flops. He then decides to produce an amateur singing competition in hopes that it will draw in an eager audience. To his luck and a misprinting of the prize money, a long line of hopeful talents come to audition for the show.

Eventually, Buster narrows down his choices to some surprisingly great singers; which include a gangster gorilla, Johnny (Taron Egerton), a housewife pig, Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), a backup singer Porcupine, Ash (Scarlett Johansson), a con artist mouse, Mike (Seth MacFarlane), and an extremely stage frightened elephant, Meena (Tori Kelly).

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Unfortunately, this production does hit a few bumps along the way.  Performers drop out, technical issues arise, and funding seems to be a continuous struggle.
 
But the big picture of this story is really about the usual “following your dreams and taking chances.” Buster followed his dream a long time ago, and with help from his dad was able to own a theatre. All the contestants play it safe in their personal lives, almost playing back up to everyone else in their families. This competition is a chance for them shine and do something that makes them happy. However, the film doesn’t go any deeper than this message.
 
Though the coexistence of different animals might remind you of Disney’s “Zootopia” from earlier this year, it is nowhere near as complex or intriguing. “Sing” is just a much simpler, easy to follow film that should have kids engaged by the music alone. There are plenty of songs to sing along to. Just to name a few, Katy Perry’s Firework, Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, and Paul Anka’s My Way. But, my personal favorite may have to be Taron Egerton’s rendition of Sam Smith’s Stay With Me. Who knew the “Kingsmen” star had such an amazing voice?
 
It’s hard to say if “Sing” will make the cut come nomination time for the award season. The film has some tough competition with “Zootopia”, “Kubo and the Two Strings”, and the likely front runner, “Moana”. That being said, you cannot discredit this lovable cast and the toe-tapping song choices that makes this film a fun time for the whole family.

Rating: 3/5

“Sing” opens in theaters December 20.

“Sing” Official Trailer HD

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Studio Movie Grill Brings Minions to Dallas Metroplex

 

Studio Movie Grill is hitting the streets with minions to give away free admit-two passes. When a minion is seen at the locations listed below and SMG The Colony is mentioned, the minions will give away a free pass, good for two people at any SMG location.

What: Studio Movie Grill The Colony/Minions Promotion

When: Friday, July 10 – Saturday, July 11

Where:

Shops at Legacy – Friday, July 10 (3:00pm – 5:00pm)
5741 Legacy Dr.
Plano, TX 75024

Studio Movie Grill Plano – Friday, July 10 (6:00pm – 8:00pm)
4721 W. Park Blvd.
Plano, TX 75093

Hawaiian Falls – Saturday, July 11 (11:00am – 3:00pm)
4400 Paige Rd.
The Colony, TX 75056

Why: Studio Movie Grill recently announced its upcoming location in The Colony. To get fans excited about the new location, SMG is hitting the streets with minions to give away SMG passes to fans. When a minion is seen at any of the above locations and fans mention SMG The Colony, they will receive a free admit-two pass, good for any SMG location.

About Studio Movie Grill
Studio Movie Grill modernized the traditional movie-going experience by combining first-run movies with full-service, in-theater dining. SMG is characterized in the market today by its continued ability to innovate movie and menu offerings, as well as its dedication to the communities it serves. Considered the industry leader in its rapidly growing segment, SMG currently has 20 locations in 10 states with more expansion on the way. For additional information, please visit www.studiomoviegrill.com.

Movie Review: “Minions” Continue to Charm in the Adorable Animated Prequel

We all loved the villain-worshiping Minions from the hilarious Despicable Me films, but can the Twinkie-looking creatures succeed in starring in their own animated feature? Parents and children rest easy, because the Minions triumph in their leading roles.

As we see in the beginning of the film, Minions have been around for centuries and were born to serve a “despicable” master. Finding a leader was easy. But keeping one seemed to be a problem, as death would quickly follow them. Eventually the Minions have no one to serve, and manage to live a “normal life” amongst themselves. Unfortunately, not being able to oblige their true purpose in life has made them feel weary and restless.

Though we see ALL the hundreds of Minions (voiced by Pierre Coffin), we focus on the three hoping to save the group from a meaningless life. Kevin, Stuart, and Bob set out to find a new evil master. It isn’t long before they are recruited by the devious, super-villain, Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock). But before they can rejoice in the fact that they’ve found a new master and home for their family, they must complete one evil task. Steal The Queen of England’s crown so that Scarlet may take over the world! Or, if they fail to complete this mission- be destroyed.

Unlike Despicable Me, the plot of Minions is thin and there isn’t much depth to the story. However, they do squeeze a lot of lemonade with the one lemon their given. We’re introduced to many new, fun characters. Some of whom are voiced by Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, and Jon Hamm. And yes, you will see a young Gru and find out just how the Minions met their MOST despicable master.

The simple premise is stretched out for a duration of 91 fully entertaining minutes. Maybe it’s the fast pace story-line? Maybe it’s the laughable, slapstick comedy? Or maybe it’s that these little yellow guys are just so darn cute, you can’t help but enjoy watching them no matter what. I can’t really pinpoint it.

Minions doesn’t offer much besides a good time and some chuckles for the audience. Ultimately, it’s interesting to see the origins of Gru’s ever so loyal Minions and find out how they came to meet. For the parents who want to take their kids to the theater this weekend, Minions is not only a safe choice, but it’s a delightful, fun-loving, animated film.

Rating: 3.5/5

Minions opens in theaters July 10.

“Minions” Official Trailer HD

Special Features: “The Nut Job” already Lands Sequel!

“THE NUT JOB 2” WILL HIT THEATERS JANUARY 15, 2016

OPEN ROAD FILMS PARTNERS WITH REDROVER CO., LTD., TOONBOX ENTERTAINMENT LTD., AND GULFSTREAM PICTURES FOR A SEQUEL TO THE HIT FILM “THE NUT JOB,” THE #1 FAMILY FILM IN AMERICA

LOS ANGELES, CA, January 23, 2014 – Open Road Films, Redrover Co., Ltd., ToonBox Entertainment Ltd., and Gulfstream Pictures are pleased to announce that THE NUT JOB 2, a sequel to the hit film THE NUT JOB – which opened on January 17, 2014, taking in over $25,700,00 at the holiday weekend box-office as the biggest independent animated film opening of all time – will hit theaters January 15, 2016.  The announcement was made today by Tom Ortenberg, CEO of Open Road Films and Hoe-jin Ha, CEO and President of Redrover Co., Ltd.

In animated 3D, THE NUT JOB is an action-packed comedy that follows Surly (voiced by Will Arnett), a mischievous squirrel, who must plan a heist to get into his town’s biggest nut shop in order to help his pals in the park gather food to survive the winter. Together with his sidekick, Buddy, Surly assembles a ragtag crew to help him get inside – and takes them on a fun-filled adventure that they’ll never forget.  In addition to Will Arnett as Surly, THE NUT JOB also features the voices of Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, Stephen Lang, Jeff Dunham, Gabriel Iglesias and Sarah Gadon.

Directed by Peter Lepeniotis from a screenplay by Lorne Cameron and Lepeniotis, the hit film THE NUT JOB was produced by Wookyung Jung and Graham Moloy.  Executive producers are Daniel Woo, Hong Kim, and Jay Ahn as well as Bill Bindley and Mike Karz of Gulfstream Pictures. THE NUT JOB was a collaboration of Redrover Co., Ltd., ToonBox Entertainment Ltd. and Gulfstream Pictures.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled about THE NUT JOB,” stated Ortenberg.  “It has been a pleasure working with the teams at Redrover, ToonBox and Gulfstream and we are delighted to re-team with them for THE NUT JOB 2.”

“We are very proud of what we have accomplished in Hollywood as an independent production company,” commented Ha. “Our compliments go out to ToonBox and Gulfstream for their endeavor in the co-production and to Open Road for their successful campaign and teamwork. We are looking forward to working with them on THE NUT JOB 2.”

“We’re thrilled that audiences have embraced these characters and it is exciting to anticipate their return for another adventure in THE NUT JOB 2,” said Karz. “The entire team behind this movie did a fantastic job and we’re looking forward to working with them again.”

The deal was negotiated on behalf of Open Road Films by Ortenberg, Elliott Kleinberg, COO and Peter Lawson, Executive Vice President of Production and Acquisitions.  Susan Williams and Stephen Zager of Loeb and Loeb negotiated on behalf of Redrover Co., Ltd., ToonBox Entertainment Ltd., and Gulfstream Pictures.