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Archive for the ‘Animation’ Category:


Cars 2 Movie Review

Make sure you arrive early to see “Cars 2”.  You just can’t miss the “Toy Story” gang in an all new short called,  “Hawaiian Vacation.”   Woody, Buzz & company are arguably Pixar’s most beloved characters and the studio has done an amazing job of continuing their adventures.

Movie critics are so slimy.  They’re trashing “Cars 2.”  I absolutely do not agree.  I’m watching this movie thinking, this movie is better than the original.  The story weaves in themes like, mechanical sabotage, international espionage & most importantly, sticking by your friends while not trying to change them .  Sir Michael Caine has the perfect voice as Finn McMissile, a slick 007-type British agent car.   Mater (Larry, The Cable Guy) has a much bigger role this time around.

There’s yet another terrific message targeted specifically to young people.  Director John Lassiter is sticking his neck out, really far.  The villain in “Cars 2” isn’t an evil hot rod, or a ill-tempered tractor. No way. The Bad Guy here is BIG OIL.  That’s right.  At its core, this movie is about implementing an eco-friendly biofuel called, ALLINALL as an alternative to fossil fuel.  It’s all about saving planet Earth.   This movie will inspire millions of young people to rethink energy & seek a new path.  For that reason, plus the fact that it’s a solid movie, I’d say “Cars 2” is a must see.  You can save money by seeing it in 2D.  It’ll be every bit as good.

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Kung Fu Panda 2 Movie Review

Jack Black returns for another animated adventure as the Kung Fu Panda, Po.  This time around, Po needs to discover much about himself & who he really is.  Questions arise.  Where does Po comes from? Who are his parents? What ignites the unknown fear within himself?  How do you go about achieving life’s inner peace?  What’s Po’s destiny? Pretty heady stuff for kids, but that’s what I love about this film.

Themes woven into the fabric of the story are incredible learning tools for young people.   Even the youngest of kids benefit from seeing Po do things like facing his fears head on, or overcoming amazingly tough obstacles & sticking with your buddy no matter what happens.

Po goes head-to-head with an evil peacock named Shen, who’s driven to take over all of China.  Shen holds the key that may very well unlock the  secret to Po’s mysterious childhood.  No spoilers here.  The animation is excellent, giving Pixar a run for their money.  There are also varying types of animation styles within the film that prove to be very effective & adds wonderful layers of texture. The 3D stuff works fine, but if you’re paying for a large group, you’ll save money going 2D.  It’s every bit as good.

If you seek to be wise in Po’s world of Kung Fu, may I suggest the Film Freak iPhone/iPad App.  You may not become a Kung Fu warrior, but at least you’ll save money on movies!  Just search Film Freak.

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Kung Fu Panda 2, what a great movie.



RIO Film Freak Movie Review

“Rio” is the latest animated adventure from Blue Sky Studios, creators of “Ice Age.”  With that said, make sure you’re on time because before the movie starts, there’s a 2-minute “Ice Age” short with Scrat the Squirrel & is ever-elusive nut.  It runs a stunning parallel to one of my childhood faves, Wile E. Coyote(Super Genius)  & The Roadrunner.

This story comes from the imagination of Carlos Saldanha. He directed and or co-directed all the ‘Ice Age’ films.  Rio de Janeiro is his hometown.  Knowing that, you’ll see many layers of visuals only a local boy would know & implement into the frame. Whether it’s ripe, colorful fruit at a local Farmer’s Market or gritty backstreets where suspect deals are made in shade.  The city, countryside & energy of “Rio” is beautifully animated throughout the entire film.

The story revolves around Blu, a Minnesota homebody Macaw who thinks his purpose is to sit in his cage & live off the fat content of his hot chocolate.  The last thing Blu wants or needs is an adventure.  Blu is grounded, literally. He will not even attempt to fly.  That’s the heavy hand Blu was dealt, but he’s ok with it.

A scientist named Tulio travels to Minnesota to inform Blu’s buddy & owner Linda that he’s the last male of the species.  To make things right in nature, he’s gotta take Blu back to Rio to meet Jewel, (Anne Hathaway) the only surviving female. You do the math.

The main characters soon find themselves in the heart of the jungle.  There’s plenty of help along the way from Rafael the Tucan (George Lopez) Nico, a soda pop cap wearin’ canary  (Jamie Foxx)  Pedro, a cardinal (will.i.am) & Luis the bulldog (Tracy Morgan).  “Rio” kicks in with elaborate musical numbers & kids will eat it up. I did like the villain, Nigel the Bitter Cockatoo (Jermanine Clement). He’s over sized, scruffed up & wasn’t to be trifled with in the least.

And the end of the day, what’s Blu’s purpose? What’s the message?  What I took from this is….fly & be free.  You might be scared to death, but there comes a point in your life when you’ve gotta say ‘what the heck’ & jump out of the nest, whatever that nest may be in your life.   There were a bunch of kids at the screening I attended.  They simply loved it.  One kid was so upset, he began kicking, screaming & crying because he didn’t want the movie to end. He wanted his new friends back on the screen.  That’s the most real & honest review you should consider.  “Rio” was made for him.

“Rio” is Rated “G”

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Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jamie Foxx, will.i.am, Tracy Morgan, George Lopez, Jane Lynch, Wanda Sykes, Leslie Mann, Jermanine Clement, Rodrigo Santoro
Directed by: Carlos Saldanha
Release Date: April 15, 2011



Mars Needs Moms Film Freak Movie Review

“Mars Needs Moms” tells the story of a kid (Seth Green) who has a falling out with his mother (Joan Cusack).  Cue the Martians who, zero in on this Earthly Angst Energy Vibe between mother & son.   Lightspeed to Planet Earth.  Said Mother gets plucked from her warm bed & transported back to the Red Planet. Why?  Martians will extract her motherly brain behavior.  These motherly instincts are to be programmed into, wait for it . . . . NannyBots.  Kinda like ‘Inception’ for Day Care Stormtroopers!

The 3D effect is there & does come into play a few times. But if you’re a kid in New York City & want to see “Mars Needs Moms” 3D IMAX, your Mom may disown you.  The child admission price is $15.50.  For that kind of money, I’d like a ride on NASA’s KC-135 Vomit Comet & experience real weightlessness!

There’s a ton of 3D choices out there & a ton of animated flicks in theaters.  Unless your kid gets to see every single animated that’s released, this one’s gonna slip through the cracks.  It may come in handy in a few months when you’re browsing what to rent on DVD.  The rental will go like this, “Hey Mom!  I’ve  seen everything, except this one,  “Mars Needs Moms. Let’s rent it please please!!”  It’s like I can go into the future. Thanks to my buddy, Doc Brown.

What?!? This is Robert Zemekis production.  So y’know I had to weave in a “Back To the Future” reference.

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Film Freak Movie Review Rango Rambles On In Hilarious Romp.

Make no mistake, “Rango” will 100% rope in an Oscar Nomination for Best Animated Feature in 2012.  It’s a lock.  “Rango” tells the story of desert varmints in need one thing for a better life…..water.  The animation is simply staggering against the backdrop of numerous classic Westerns.  The voice cast includes Johnny Depp, Ned Beatty, Bill Nighy, Alfred Molina, Abagail Breslin & Isla Fisher whose character’s name is Beans.  The Aussie actress says her secret to getting the voice just right was combining a bit of Clint Eastwood with a twang of Holly Hunter.  She did a fantastic job.  As did Johnny Depp.  Rango’s Ramblings are classic.

The movie drops a number of sophisticated jokes that will catapult straight over kids’ heads.  I like that.  It reminded me of  old Saturday morning Looney Tunes cartoons. There’s tons of adult humor woven into the material while the kids are still entertained.  This is such a clever effort.  You can see so many intricate layers within the animated frames, be it tumbleweeds, iconic gunfights, windblown sand, complex lighting, shading & overall attention to detail.

Go see it for yourself.   This movie is a terrific bang for your movie dollar.  Special shout out to director Gore Verbinski for fighting & insisting that “Rango” be released in regular 2D.   After seeing “Drive Angry” 3D, I’m just so burnt out on 3D.  It’s just too expensive & they are released to the public every weekend with or without reason.  Hollywood is always about the cash so thumbs up to Verbinski for standing his 2D ground.

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“Toy Story 3″ Director LEE UNKRICH interview w/ Leo Quinones

Woody & Buzz are bustin’ out of Sunnyside Day Care & headed straight to the Oscars! “Toy Story 3” is a lock to win Best Animated Feature.  I invite you inside the world of Pixar as I talk with director LEE UNRICH about, the many layers of this amazing film.  You’ll find out: Who’s really supplying the voice of Mattel’s  Woody, The Cowboy Doll?  Hint: It’s NOT Tom Hanks!! Will there be a “Toy Story 4?” I hope you enjoy this in-depth, exclusive interview.  Thanks for listening, Leo

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Exclusive “Tangled” Composer Alan Menken w/ Leo Quinones

Just a couple of hours after receiving a coveted Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Oscar-winning composer, ALAN MENKEN joined me in-studio for an exclusive interview.  Think about it, “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty & the Beast,” “Aladdin,” “Pocahontas” & now “Tangled.”  This man creates classics!  Find out how, right now!  You can subscribe & download “The Film Freak Movie Talk Show” w/ Leo Quinones for FREE in itunes Please do include a good review!

I hope you enjoy Part 1 of my interview with Alan Menken.  Thanks for listening, Leo

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“Megamind” Director Tom McGrath interview with Leo Quinones

Tom McGrath & an army of hundreds pooled their creativity to create, “Megamind.”  The film has an amazing look, with many layers.  It also shoots holes through the cliches in superhero movies, monster movies & loves stories.  What I like most is Will Ferrell.  I love when he just goes off the page & makes up with the most ‘off the wall’ verbage.   I bet that’s how in “Ron Burgundy: Anchorman,” he came up with the phrase, “A Whale’s Vagina.” To this day, I try to sneak that very phrase into everyday conversation.  Tom had lots to share about directing “Megamind.” I hope you enjoy the interview.   All my interviews are FREE  for download now on itunes.

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