Friday, June 16, 2017

Ka-CHOW! Cars 3 Movie Review

image copyright Disney/Pixar, used with permission
We were offered tickets to see an advanced screening of Disney/Pixar's new Cars 3, and my girls could hardly wait! Pixar hasn't disappointed us yet, so I had high hopes for this next installment from the CARS universe!

image copyright Disney/Pixar, used with permission
While Cars 3 includes cameos from all our favorite characters, this movie takes Lightning away from his family at Radiator Springs as he competes in the racing circuit only to discover newer faster race cars starting to take over the sport, making him and his previous competitors obsolete. It doesn't help that the new guys come in with a big attitude and egos to match, instead of the playful ribbing and friendship he was used to before. One by one his racing friends retire as the old guard continues to get further and further outclassed. But Lightning isn't ready to give up his passion!

image copyright Disney/Pixar, used with permission
Lightning is excited to train for the next racing season, and discovers that Rust-eeze has a fancy new training center, run by the new owner Sterling (voiced by Nathan Fillion, whose voice I could listen to allllll day!) Sterling has been a huge fan of Lightning's career, but he has other plans for his old racing star. So they make a wager. If Lightning can win the first race, he gets to race until he's ready to quit. But if he loses, he'll go along with Sterling's plans to shill branded merchandise.

image copyright Disney/Pixar, used with permission
Lightning and his new trainer Cruz Ramirez (voiced by Cristela Alonzo) have different ideas on what it takes to be a race car, but they work hard to find a nice mix of both old-school dirt tracks and new-technology training tools to try and match the top speed of Lightning's fastest competitor, Jackson Storm (voiced by Armie Hammer, who among other things, had a small role in J. Edgar, as did my friend and EasyLunchboxes founder Kelly Lester!) As you watch them train together, the ending isn't difficult to foresee for the savvy movie-experienced mamas, but it was still exciting and satisfying nonetheless! One thing I didn't see coming was Lightning seeking out his mentor Doc's old trainer, Smokey to help. Lots of humor for the grown-ups with the old classic car crowd, while still maintaining interest for the kids.
Pixar is genius at seamlessly weaving together scripts and visuals that keep all ages entertained throughout! I was too engaged to check out how my girls were enjoying the movie as much as I usually try to do, but I heard loads of giggles and guffaws, and saw a few excited bounces and even a little dancing from my youngest at one point! Definitely worth taking the family to see!

Like CARS on Facebook:

Follow CARS on Twitter:

Follow CARS on Instagram:

Subscribe to the Disney/Pixar YouTube channel here:

Visit the official CARS 3 website here:

CARS 3 is now playing in theatres everywhere!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Be Our Guest! Beauty and the Beast Review

image copyright Disney - used with permission
I was never much of a fan of Disney's animated Beauty and the Beast movie. I felt the message of not judging someone's character by their looks was portrayed too obscurely for most kids, and saw many children cheering and making punching arms during Gaston's pub scene, since clearly he was the hero to be emulating! The ending with Gaston stabbing the Beast in the back was also more violence than needed, and more than I expected from a Disney kids movie! But I couldn't say no when I was offered pre-screening tickets to the live-action version starring Obi Wan, Gandalf, and Hermione! *Swoon!*

I must say, not only was the all-star cast amazing, but this new version changed a lot of the issues I had with the original, and the whole thing was so epic and moving that honestly, I didn't mind the bits that had bothered me that weren't changed! For example, live-action faces are much easier to read, and I felt it was clearer early-on that Gaston wasn't a nice guy, and there was less punching in the pub scene. Already a win!
image copyright Disney - used with permission
Since the showing was during a weekday when my kids would be at school, I knew my mom was the perfect choice to take with me! She'd appreciate the majesty and music like I would, and would also enjoy seeing familiar actors and hearing familiar voices that my kids just wouldn't appreciate. The chorus was just more epic in a live action setting. I cried like I do at theatre musicals, just from the spectacle and beauty and a touch of nostalgia when the "provincial" townsfolk started singing "Belle!" I must admit, by the end of the movie I had tears runneling into my shirt!

I think this version has much scarier moments, with the real-looking wolves snarling and growling in several scenes, and the fight scene at the end is dark and harrowing, so expect to find your younger ones needing to be held during this film - but I will definitely be taking my anxious 5- and 8-year-olds to see this!
image copyright Disney - used with permission
Like BEAUTY AND THE BEAST on Facebook:

Follow BEAUTY AND THE BEAST on Twitter:

Follow BEAUTY AND THE BEAST on Instagram:

Visit the official BEAUTY AND THE BEAST website here:

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST opens in theatres everywhere on March 17th!