Friday, December 25, 2015

Star Wars: Episode 7

Star Wars: The Force Awakens [PG-13]
Action, Adventure, Fantasy
December 18, 2015 - Lucas Film Ltd., Disney
Directed by J. J. Abrams

Grade: C
Up-graded from C

+1: New cast including Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), BB-8.

-1: Fantasy-science of converted planets/ planet-sized constructs that consume entire stars to destroy multiple planetary bodies.

Par: Story pace.

-1: In-movie exposition of characters' histories.

+1: Franchise installment.

Rocky 7

Creed [PG-13]
Drama, Sport
November 25, 2015 - MGM, Warner Bros.
Directed by Ryan Coogler

Grade: A
Up-graded from B

+1: Cast including Sylvester Stalone (Rocky Balboa), Michael B. Jordan (Adonis Johnson).

+1: Boxing choreography.

+1: Story (Ryan Coogler, Aaron Covengton).

Par: Training sequence.

Par: Character development.

The Good Dinosaur

The Good Dinosaur [PG]
Animation, Adventure, Comedy
November 25, 2015 - Disney/ Pixar
Directed by Peter Sohn

Grade: C
Up-graded from C.

+1: Computer generated imagery environments and art direction.

Par: Story (Bob Peterson, Peter Sohn, Erik Benson, Meg LeFauve, Kelsey Mann).

Par: Character design.

-1: World building: herbivore farmers, carnivore ranchers, mute cave people and dog-boys.

Par: Cast including Sam Elliott (Butch).

The Peanuts Movie

The Peanuts Movie [G]
Animation, Adventure, Comedy
November 6, 2015 - 20th Century Fox/ Blue Sky Studios
Directed by Steve Martino

Grade: B
Up-graded from C.

+1: Art direction (Nash Dunnigan).

Par: Story (Brian Schulz, Craig Schulz, Cornelius Uliano).

+1: Cues from classic “Peanuts” specials and movies (animation, characterizations).

Par: Music Meghan Trainor (“Better When I’m Dancin’”), Flo Rida (“That’s What I Like”).

+1: Franchise installment/ reboot.

Mission: Impossible 5

Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation [PG-13]
Action, Adventure, Thriller
July 31, 2015 - Paramount
Directed by Christopher McQuarrie

Grade: B+
Up-graded from B.

+1: Car/ motorcycle chase.

Par: Spy-film double crosses.

-1: Infiltrating/ cracking underwater vault/ server things?

+1: Cast including Tom Cruise (Ethan Hunt), Rebecca Ferguson (Ilsa Faust), Simon Pegg (Bengi Dunn).

Par: Gadgets.


Ant-Man [PG-13]
Marvel Cinematic Universe, phase 2, part 6 of 6 (a.k.a. M.C.U., part 12)
Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
July 17, 2015 - Marvel
Directed by Peyton Reed

Grade: B-
Up-graded from C.

+1: Comedy.

Par: Trip to the Avengers headquarters.

Par: Plot.

Par: Cast including Paul Rudd (Scott Lang/ Ant-Man), Michael PenĂ£ (Luis).

+1: Epilogue scene.

Par: End credit, “Captain America: Civil War” Preview.

Inside Out

Inside Out [PG] 
Animation, Adventure, Comedy
June 19, 2015 - Disney/ PIXAR
Directed by Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen

Grade: B+
Up-graded from B.

+1: Cast including Amy Poehler (as Joy).

-1: Emotional manipulation through color changing environments.

+1: Visualizing abstract thoughts.

Par: Maintenance workers.

Par: Every body has emotions.


Spy [R] 
Action, Comedy, Crime
June 5, 2015 - 20th Century Fox
Directed by Paul Fieg

Grade: B+
Up-Graded from B

+1: Cast including Melissa McCarthy (as Agent Susan Cooper), Jason Statham (Agent Rick Ford) and Rose Byrne (Rayna Boyanov).

+1: Government building basements.

Par: Spy movie tropes including gadgets, fancy parties, hand-to-hand combat, and betrayal.

Par: Fighting in kitchens.

-1: Gratuitous swearing.