Thursday, July 17, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW: Disney Planes Fire and Rescue #FireAndRescue

Last night, the TV Family went to the sneak peek of the new Disney Planes: Fire and Rescue movie. I either haven't been paying enough attention or what, but I was surprised to see a 3D film from my friends at DisneyToon Studios (where I saw all my cool Pirate Fairy stuff!)... these folks are mega talented!

Image © Disney.

The 3D (we saw the "RealD" version) was stunning. TV Boy has never seen a 3D movie before, so this was a big deal to him. I was surprised he kept the glasses on for the whole film too, but that could have been my big speech at the beginning about having to have them on so it wouldn't hurt his eyes (a bit of a bent truth, but I guess it worked). However, remember that 3D isn't great for really small children's eyes, so keep that in mind.

The move picks up where Planes left off: Dusty Crophopper is a world class, high-win race plane. He's become famous for his speed and stunts. However, being an older model plane, when his gearbox fails and starts to disintegrate, a replacement part can't be found. I would say this is akin to the plane/car version of needing an organ transplant and being told you have a rare blood type. Dusty has to give up racing, but he is reluctant. When a fire occurs in Propwash Junction, and the old firetruck Mayday is slow to the rescue, Dusty volunteers to become a fire plane. He flies off to Piston Peak Park to train with an old friend of Mayday's, Blade Ranger. Dusty must overcome his new affliction and become a certified firefighter before the big corn festival back home.

We all thought the movie was pretty cute. There were a few good jokes for the parents, including a fire plane named Dipper who is the epitome of the "Overly Attached Girlfriend" meme in plane form, voiced by Modern Family's Julie Bowen.

Image © Disney.

*Actual Dipper line in movie.

Also, be on the look-out for references to CHiPS and Howard the Duck. In the same scene. And featuring guest voice Erik Estrada. So much epic in one five minute segment. 

Hint: This is the scene of awesome. Image © Disney.

If you've been reading for a while, you know I'm a sucker for an "all star cast", and Planes Fire and Rescue delivered there. We have Dane Cook returning to voice Dusty as well as Brad Garrett (Robert from Everybody Loves Raymond) as his sidekick fuel truck Chug, Teri Hatcher as fix-it truck Dottie, and Stacy Keach as mentor and coach plane Skipper, but we get voices from Cedric the Entertainer, Fred Willard, Jerry Stiller, Patrick Warburton, Kevin Michael Richardson, Regina King (aka human resources lady Mrs. Davis in Big Bang Theory), another brief cameo from Brent Mustburger, and of course John Ratzenberger has a minor character (because it wouldn't be a Disney film without him anymore). That's just to name a few.

My favorite, though, is new fix-it truck from the fire base, Maru, voiced by Curtis Armstrong (aka Booger from Revenge of the Nerds, host of King of the Nerds, voice of Snot from American Dad, and Robot from now-cancelled Nicktoon Robot and Monster). What I find funny is that no matter what character Armstrong voices, animators seem to have a similar face for every single one of them. And they all look like Curtis Armstrong.

Tell me you don't see his face in Maru. You do. Image © Disney.

Finally, I was a little teary to see the film not only dedicated to firefighters everywhere who put themselves in harms way for the good of others, but to see actual firefighters' names listed in the credits. That was a classy move on Disney's part. 

To celebrate the movie, which premieres in theatres everywhere tomorrow, July 18, click the image below to download a printable activity book for your kids to enjoy! The movie is rated PG. It's a fun, heartwarming (no pun intended!) movie and perfect summer fun for the whole family!

Image and files © Disney.

*Disclosure: I was provided a free screening of the film for review purposes. Please see the Disclosure tab for more information. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

What's The Hubbub? With Kid President! #HubClubBloggers

I've been horrible at blogging this month. I'm sorry about that. But I have some fun stuff to share with you, readers!

You may have noticed a new show on Hub Network, Kid President: Declaration of Awesome. It airs on Saturdays 7pm Eastern/4pm Pacific! I did not get to actually e-attend the hangout this time, thanks to TV Boy deciding that the sty on his eye needed to be picked off (yes, there was blood and a doctor visit involved... sigh!). However, I did get some questions asked! Check out the session with my questions below and the second half, which happened later in the day, below that.

Man is this kid just the epitome of adorable (I hope TV Boy doesn't get any ideas though, I don't know if I could handle a whole YouTube channel haha)! Be sure to tune in on Saturdays on Hub Network!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

COMING SOON: The Boxtrolls... EXCLUSIVE Official Trailer!

Check out the new trailer for the upcoming stop-motion animated film, The Boxtrolls, which premieres in theatres across the country on September 26th!

Image © Focus Features.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Happy 5th Birthday TV Boy!

In case you've been wondering where I've been, I've been in party planning mode for a certain TV Boy, who turns five today! Last night was his family Doctor Who theme party, and to celebrate, he debuted his new 10th Doctor David Tennant cosplay in front of our Tardis door.

You can't see very well in the image, but the suit is indeed pinstriped. And yes, he wore it the entire night, even playing outside in high 70 degree weather. Now I need to find a coat for him. Did you know that pretty much no one makes full length trenchcoats for kids? So I'm going to alter a juniors one for him. That's my plan anyway... we'll see if it works out the way I'm hoping. (As evidenced by my Instagram today, very little goes according to my plans...)

And in case you were wondering, here's the pose we were copying:

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the kid who made me a mom, my one and only, my TV Boy! Now on to the Minecraft theme party for his friends today... wish me luck!

Friday, May 30, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW: Maleficent

Thinking of taking the kids to see Disney's Maleficent this weekend? Here's what you need to know.

Image © Disney.

First and foremost, the movie is rated PG, but that's a rating I don't entirely agree with. I think the movie industry falls short, because I don't think it should necessarily be rated PG-13, but I think PG is just a tad weak. I think that the video game rating system works better here, and I'm calling it an E-10... yes, it's a Disney movie, but there is a lot of darkness to it and a surprising amount of violence early on. Younger kids who are sensitive may not mesh with this fairy tale. There were a couple kids that I guessed to be around 7ish sitting next to me in the screening, and I found myself looking over at them often to gauge their reactions. While TV Boy didn't go with me, and I'm sure he'd be fine with it (the monsters in Doctor Who and in movies like The Avengers didn't phase him in the least), I don't think this movie is quite the family flick they're painting it to be. Just be warned.

Image © Disney

Here's one of the trailers that not only shows some of the scary critters in the film, but a couple moments of one of the fight scenes. Plus it features the haunting version of Once Upon A Dream that gives me chills every time I hear it.

That said, let's get down to the meat of it. This time I was joined by my "little brother" and movie reviewer, Mike Raine. Check out his blog of movie reviews! And here's his review, which has a little more of the plot than I reveal here.

Image © Disney

The narrative is simple: the story we all know and love from the original Disney animated classic Sleeping Beauty isn't "what really happened". Disney adopted a sort of "Wicked" format... the villian isn't truly evil, she's just misunderstood. And honestly, with that they do a decent job. I am not going to get all spoilery, but if I was Maleficent and had the same thing done to me as she has in the beginning of the film, I'd be mad too and would probably seek revenge just the same. They do a good enough job of getting you to care about the villain, and really that's what matters.

The fairy dumdums. Image © Disney.

Fans of the original are going to be disappointed with some of the changes, including the three fairies entrusted with raising Aurora being made into complete bumbling idiots, along with having their names changed entirely (no Meriwether here, folks!). They aren't the only ones suffering a name change, as Maleficent's pet crow/servant Diablo is renamed Diaval... not much difference, sure, but it's enough. It bugged me.

He's a bird turned human, but with hollow bones! ©Disney

I found the plot to be pretty predictable overall. It kind of detracted from the performance of Angelina Jolie, which I have to say... I'm not a fan of hers usually, but she was absolutely outstanding in this role. I don't know if it's because they have to cram more than twenty some-odd years into one movie or what, but it felt rushed to me.

Image © Disney

The visuals are pretty spectacular, and they do a good job of tying in some of the classic film scenes we're all used to (see above). Our screening happened to be in IMAX 3D, which was kind of neat, but honestly I don't think the 3D element added much to the movie itself. Plus it gave me a headache. Glasses + 3D glasses =  not a good combination. I found myself having to look around too much to really take in the film entirely. Save your money and see the regular 2D version.

Mom and daughter. Image © Disney.

Fun fact: Angelina's daughter Vivienne makes a cameo appearance as one of the young Auroras (5 year old version). They share a really cute scene together and she gets a couple lines.

Elle Fanning as Aurora. Image © Disney.

Elle Fanning (aka Dakota Fanning's little sister) was a passable Aurora. Not amazing, but not horrible. For a change, the actress playing the character was actually right around the same age as the character. That's unusual for the entertainment industry, and I actually am happy with it. The Disney films especially seem to gloss over the teens in terms of body type and attitude.

Image © Disney

Overall, it was good, but I wasn't in love with it. If you're a die hard Sleeping Beauty or Angelina Jolie fan, it's worth seeing in theatres. I'd leave the little princess fans at home though, or wait to see it on DVD/Blu-ray.

Now I just want one of these Diaval dragon tees in my size and I'll be good.

Maleficent is playing in theatres starting today, May 30th, and is rated PG. 

Disclosure: I was provided a free advanced screening of the film for review purposes. Please see my Disclosure tab for more information.