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Archives for : Sandra Bullock

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

North Texas Film Critics Association announces their BEST of 2013

At their annual meeting today, the North Texas Film Critics Association announced their BEST of 2013.

The ballots were carefully counted and the results are as follows:

BEST OF 2013

BEST PICTURE: Gravity

BEST DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuarón/Gravity

BEST ACTOR: Chiwetel Ejiofer/12 Years a Slave

BEST ACTRESS: Sandra Bullock/Gravity

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Jared Leto/Dallas Buyers Club

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jennifer Lawrence/American Hustle

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Emmanuel Lubezki/Gravity

BEST ANIMATED: Frozen

BEST DOCUMENTARY: 20 Feet From Stardom

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM  TIE: The Grandmaster and Blue is the Warmest Color

 

The NTFCA will shortly launch a FACEBOOK page and notifications will be sent out when that occurs!  Stay tuned.

Top 5 Christmas Movie Rentals

With Christmas 2 days away, one of the best ways to get in the holiday spirit is to watch some great Christmas classics.  And like most everyone, I have my favorite Christmas movies I must watch every year as part of the holiday tradition.  For all you who might be wondering what to rent for Christmas Eve/Day, here are my top 5 suggestions!

5. Elf

For the Santa:  If you’re looking for a comedy that includes a great storyline involving Santa and the magic of the Christmas spirit, look no further. Watching Buddy (Will Ferrell) try to adapt in New York with his biological father (James Caan) is entertaining for adults and children.  Elf has so many unforgettable scenes, including an awkwardly hilarious scene with Games of Thrones star, Peter Dinklage.

4. Just Friends

For the Anna Faris: This may not seem like the typical holiday film, but I assure it’s one of the best.  While visiting his hometown during Christmas, Chris Brander (Ryan Renolds) comes face-to-face with his old high school crush, Jamie (Amy Smart), with whom he was best friends.  Since being rejected by Jamie, Chris has become a handsome ladies man and hopes to finally win her over.  But not with out some obstacle…Que Anna Faris as the psycho, conceded pop star who’s obsessed with Chris.  Be prepared for Faris to provide, quotable lines, WTF moments, and numerous laughs.

3. The Family Stone

For the Tears:  The majority of Christmas movies tend to tug at our heart strings, and though films like It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street might be the more traditional holiday tear- jerkers, I prefer to grab the tissues for the all-star cast in The Family Stone.  It’s not all sad, there’s plenty of comic relief and romance to make you feel all kinds of emotions while watching.  Most importantly we see a true example of a free-spirited family who love each other unconditionally.

2. Scrooged

For the Adaptation: There have been numerous versions of the timeless classic, A Christmas Carol.  From the big screen hits, to some even more dreadful TV movies.  But no matter what remake I have seen, nothing beats the 1988 adaptation, Scrooged.  Bill Murray does a fantastic job as the heartless TV executive who is visited by 3 spirits to help change his ways on Christmas Eve.

1. While You Were Sleeping

For the Family: I call this film the “whole package family Christmas movie.”  Original, smart, funny, romantic, and heartwarming.  After Lucy (Sandra Bullock), a lonely ticket collector, saves Peter’s (Peter Gallagher) life; he falls into a coma.  While at the hospital, Peter’s family accidentally mistakes her as his fiancé.  As they welcome her into the family with open arms, she is unable to resist the kindness and love of a family she has always hoped to be a part of.  But of course not everyone in the family buys her story, leading to comical encounters and a blossoming romance.  It’s the perfect film that showcases what Christmas is really all about- spending time with your family.  And remember, you don’t necessarily have to be born into a family to be apart of one.

Honorable Mentions: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Christmas Vacation, The Santa Clause

Movie Review: “Gravity” will have you Struggling to Breathe!

Unlike most people, I had very low expectations going into Gravity.  After all the rave reviews the movie was getting, I just didn’t get how this film was going to be that great.  The previews don’t give you much, and most of my friends and family seemed to think of the film as comical.  I mean there was actually a struggle to find a guest that would see the film with me!  But I can finally say after watching the movie, my friend and I walked out completely understanding the hype while still trying to breath normally again.

First off, I highly recommend you see this film in 3D.  In fact, I don’t even think it should be offered in 2D.  You will miss out on the feeling and experience director, Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), had intended for the film.  Your brain won’t have to follow a difficult plot, but you are still in for an intense thrill ride.

The story is simple: Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney).  But after an accident leaves them drifting in space, they must work together to survive. The simplicity in Gravity is only one of the things that makes this film so exceptional.  Alfonso Cuarón has taken an original terrifying thought, and turned it into a captivating, 90-minute mission of endurance.  The direction in this film is Oscar worthy!  The fluid motion of the camera as it flows throughout the movie makes you feel as if you are floating.  Visually the film is beautiful, and as you are enjoying the view from space you are still panicking about what is going to happen next.

For anyone who thought Sandra Bullock’s Oscar win for The Blind Side was not deserved, I don’t agree with you…and you should just watch Bullock’s performance in Gravity.  She is really the sole actor of the film.  George Clooney definitely serves a purpose and makes for some relaxing comic relief, but it seems like even he wants to let Bullock steal the show.  The moment she appears on screen you might as well be tethered to that space suit with her.  Whatever fear and anxiety her character is going through, the audience is feeling the exact same way.   Watching her struggle made it physically harder to breathe. Personally, I have always known Sandra Bullock is a great actress; but this role definitely solidifies that.  It’s still too soon to predict Oscar nominations, but I would say that she is a lock for the Best Actress nod along with many more nominations for the film in multiple categories.

The best way to sum up Gravity is “breath-taking!”  The visual effects are the best I have seen in any film.  If you were to tell me they shot the movie in space, I would probably believe it.  For now I will assume that is what spaces looks like.  I guess what makes this film stand apart from movies like Cast Away and 127 Hours is those films had some moments of down time.  There were moments where, even though they were stranded, you knew you could relax for a bit because they had managed to make a livable routine in their misery.  But as this film reminds you in the beginning, life in space is impossible.  You can’t breathe, you can’t take a controlled step, and you could just get lost in space forever until you run out air.

Rated PG-13 for intense images.

Gravity hits theaters everywhere today!