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The Way Way Back Movie Review

Steve Carell is hands down one of the nicest people in show business.  That’s why it’s such a shocker seeing him play Trent in ‘The Way Way Back.’ Audiences will gasp at his sheer & utter douchey-ness.  It’s perfect.  He’s a bully & his target is Duncan (Liam James.) He’s just a kid who happens to be the son of Pam (Toni Collette), Trent’s girlfriend for the summer.  It’s no secret, kid’s have been taking crap from adults since the beginning of time. What makes this movie so memorable is you feel like you’re the one getting dumped on, hard.  It’s an amazing feeling when you start to flinging it back into adult’s faces.

Duncan escapes daily verbal beat downs from Trent by taking a part-time job at Water Wizz.  It’s there where he meets the water park’s fast-talking, fratboy owner, Owen (Sam Rockwell.) These two just hit it off & from there on out, Rockwell steals the movie.  Trent’s mission: To make Duncan’s summer vacation miserable. Owen’s Mission: Be the best Wing-Man, have a blast & make Duncan a man.  Along the way, we see first crushes, parents who can’t handle their liquor, obnoxious neighbors who live to gossip & a lazy-eyed kid who lights up the screen!  Written & Directed by Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, throw on a swimsuit & don’t miss ‘The Way Way Back.’ Rated PG-13.  You can Follow me on Twitter @leoquinones. You can also hear me host America’s Longest Running Movie Talk Show, The Film Freak Movie Talk Show every Saturday at 4p PST on KFWB NewsTalk 980 AM Los Angeles. www.kfwbam.com

 



The Lone Ranger Movie Review

I had so wanted for this particular movie to transport me back to the Old West. Didn’t happen. How can The Lone Ranger possibly utter the phrase,”Let’s do this”?  In the past 2 years, just about every woman heading into the gym has used that exact same phrase, “Let’s do this” as their pre-workout status update.  What’s next? Tonto finds his way using Google Maps?

Two things I thoroughly enjoyed. One, Director Gore Verbinksi’s exotic shooting locales.   There are some beautiful shots in this movie. Two. The bad guy. Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner). The make-up application was 2 1/2 hours every day of shooting.

My personal take: I know when CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) takes over the screen. These days, most audiences know too.  So why on earth would you saturate it with so much CGI into a movie set in 1869? To make it more exciting? What’s more exciting than just plain Cowboys & Indians?  What’s more exciting than the thunderous roar of running horses?  What’s more exciting than a good old-fashioned Western? It just doesn’t work.  Tonally, this movie was all over the map.  Serious Western? Revenge Film? Buddy Comedy?  The Lone Ranger will work for boys between the ages of 9 and 14. But even then, the film goes on forever at 2 hours 29 minutes.

The Lone Ranger is a runaway train from the beginning. Too bad it’s headed in the wrong direction.  I’m sorry for the bummer news.  I love movies.  Follow me on Twitter @leoquinones.  You can also hear me every Saturday at 4p PST hosting America’s Longest Running Movie Talk Show, The Film Freak Movie Talk Show on KFWB NewsTalk 980 AM Los Angeles. Listen online at www.kfwbam.com



Alvin & The Chipmunks at Grauman’s Chinese Theater w/ Leo Quinones

I had the honor of being the Master of Ceremonies for the PAW print in cement ceremony for Alvin & The Chipmunks.  Jason Lee was on hand along with producers/creators Ross Bagdasarian & his wife Janice.  This has been an 84 year tradition at Grauman’s Chinese Theater & it happens in the very heart of Hollywood.  The kids were loving it!

During the ceremony, one adventurous chipmunk went AWOL. Of course,  I’m talking about Alvin. He’s gone. He’s out.  We don’t know where he is.  If you’d like to find out & join the search, log onto www.whereisalvin.com.  “Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” sails into theaters December 16th, 2011.



Puss In Boots Movie Review


Antonio Banderas’ voice is simply perfect for the animated feline, Puss in Boots……oh, and the Nasonex Bumblebee. Puss In Boots finally steps out into his very own adventure.  This story takes us to a time and place years before the feisty feline ever met a wise-cracking ogre named Shrek.

This a prequel I like to call, #OccupyFairyTale. It weaves in familiar characters like the dude with those crazy-magic beans, Jack, (voiced by Billy Bob Thorton). Or the dude who’s rightfully afraid of heights, Humpty Dumpty (voiced by Zach Galiafinakis).  Oh & there’s furry love too with Kitty Softpaws, (voiced by Salma Hayek).

Puss In Boots is silky smooth with all the lady cats, but come morning, he’s makin’ tracks.   The story synopsis:  Running from the law, Puss is an outlaw, with wanted posters adorning his hometown.  As kids, Puss In Boots & Humpty Dumpty were thick as thieves living in the same orphanage.   They both had a dream, they’d one day get Jack’s crazy-magic beans, plant the beanstalk & ascend to rarefied air, the place where a magic goose lays Golden Eggs, (by the dozen).

That scheme gets put into motion.  If there’s a theme for the young ones here, it’s trust issues. Trust your friends.  They may sometime betray you, but that’s life.  Learn from it.  There’s plenty of scenes that involve swordplay & dancing. I’m confident all the kiddies will be spellbound for the 90-minute running time.

My favorite parts of the movie were when we see the little things cats do.  Scratching, cleaning, rubbing & purring. I especially enjoyed seeing Puss In Boots order up a straight shot of milk in a western saloon.  Hats off to the animation team.

This is a fun movie.  Kids will love it.  As for movie critics who gave it an F, do us all a favor, just quit.  Can’t you let kids enjoy a movie without snooty criticism? Does every single movie need to be an Oscar contender starring Helen Mirren?   Get out of the business.

This movie is being touted as Puss In Boots 3D.  There’s an option here as many theaters are showing it in 2D.  You can easily save a few bucks there. If you want honest movie reviews, I’m always here.  Get the Film Freak iPhone – iPad app. It’s the app that saves you money on movies.  Just search Film Freak.

You can also follow me on Twitter @leoquinones



3 Musketeers Movie Review

Alexandre Dumas’ “The 3 Musketeers” has been around for ages.  Films of this famed trio dates all the way back to 1939.  The most recent incarnation was 18 years ago with Charlie Sheen as one of the musketeers.  Swashbuckling! Winning! 2011 gets its brand new musketeer makeover.  The cast includes, D’Artagnon (Logan Lerman),  Athos (Luke Evans), Aramis (Matthew MacFayden) & Porthos (Ray Stevens).   Also along for the ride is Cardinal Richilieu (Christoph Waltz), Milady de Winter (Milla Jovivich) & finally the Duke of Buckingham, (Orlando Bloom).  The question: Did Bloom ‘defect’ the Pirates franchise or was he written out?  Either way, he’s back to get his sword-fighting ya-yas out again.

Let’s be clear folks.  This isn’t Oscar worthy material.  I will say, this type of movie had to be the kind of movie you’d go see on any Saturday afternoon anywhere from 50 to 75 years ago.  Pure adventure & the wondermint of film.  That’s what I thought about.  Ease up on the artsy-fartsy angle critics.   Yeah, the acting was just OK, yeah I can see the computer generated imagery in the background, yeah the dialogue speech accents are all over the place,  except France, where the story takes place.  I’m willing to overlook these things. Why? The bigger picture.

There was also cleverness in the form of aquatic assassins, hidden traps & passages ALA Indiana Jones, wonderful props, swords, weapons like grappling guns, detailed costumes & excellent production value.  There were cool ideas there.  I try to point out the good things as much as possible.  The crowd I saw the movie with, were all having a good time.  That’s key.

I’m pretty sure the studio is going after a much younger crowd.  This movie borrows heavily from “Pirates of the Caribbean,” & even “The Princess Bride.” (I counted at least four subtle & not so subtle references to one of my all time faves! All except the priest saying Mah-wage).  There’s a serious market for young, active moviegoers.  I think kids anywhere from 8 to 18 will really enjoy this adventure.

If you want honest reviews, cool movie info & save money on movies, get the Film Freak iPhone – iPad App. Just search Film Freak.  You’ll get a brand new Film Freak Movie Talk Show Podcast every week!

You can also Follow me on Twitter @leoquinones



30 Minutes Or Less Movie Review

Jesse Eisenberg is Nick.   A guy who hates his job, his boss & probably his life.   What does he do for a living?  He delivers pizzas like a NASCAR Ninja in just 30 Minutes or Less.   Nick’s last delivery is gonna be a doozy.  Two second rate losers (Danny McBride & Nick Swardson) hatch a plan to make quick money.  Instead of robbing a bank themselves, they’ll strap a homemade bomb on a stranger & make him do it.

As you’ve seen in the trailer, once the bomb has been planted on Nick, he seeks help from his best friend Chet (Aziz Ansari).  Armed with only knowledge of 80’s action flicks, these two idiots rob the local bank to the tune of 100,00 bucks.

Two familiar faces are scene stealers with limited screen time. First, the hitman (Michael Peña). Very funny.  Also, from TV’s “Rules of Engagement,” is Bianca Kajlich who plays a local stripper. While dancing on Danny McBride, Bianca goes full blown topless. No special digital effects or enhancements. Man, the one time I want 3D & it’s not even there.

The idea of these two numb nuts getting away with this high profile robbery in Grand Rapids, Michigan is certainly a stretch. You’ll just have to go with it.  It’s a straight up rated R stoner comedy.  If you dug “Pineapple Express,” this is your movie.

There’s nothing worse than having a bomb strapped to your chest.  Can you imagine!?!  On the other hand, there’s nothing better than the Film Freak iPhone – iPad App. It’s the movie app that saves you money on movies. Just search Film Freak

I’m not a credible bank robber, but life is fun. Follow me on Twitter @leoquinones



Final Destination 5 Movie Review

There’s an old saying, ‘Give the people what they want.’  And what they want is yet another dose of ” Final Destination.”  The popular film series flies in the face of everything.  It just doesn’t care. It’s all about scary premonitions & Death’s Design.  The TV spots have given away so much. What the audience wants to see, disturbing as it may seem, is beautiful people getting maimed, twisted & crunched in the most incredulous deaths imaginable.

Instead of being shocked & horrified, the crowd just laughs & cheers!  This time around, a bridge collapses & all but eight people on board escape with their lives.  Well, if you’ve seen the trailer, Creepy Coroner guys says, “Death doesn’t like to be cheated.”  One by one the survivors get picked off in a way sinister manner.  Death’s scenarios have been well documented in every TV spot. There’s the Lasik Eye Exam, the gymnast & the sensual Asian massage parlor & more!

When it comes to Final Destination 5, you best not over think it.  I saw it with a sold out crowd & they ate it up.  They were straight up laughing as the actors delivered their ‘serious’ lines.  Every time someone gets taken out, you can hear the ‘Ohhhhhhh-turn-into-sheer-laughs.’

I must admit, Final Destination 5 was super fun.  It’s rated R for extreme violence, but less nudity than Final Destination 4.  What’s up with that?  Personally speaking, I thought Final 3’s topless girl slow-cooking in the tanning bed death was a high point in the series.

The 3D thing is so played out…in the first 5 minutes!  3D opening credits show slow motion with things coming at you all through shattered glass. Yawn.  A hammer. A prosthetic arm. A skull. A tire. A Metal Rod. Yawn. A brick.  By the start of the movie, the 3D is totally on your nerves.  Save 4-5 bucks by seeing Final 5 in 2D.

The Film Freak iPhone App is where it’s at in movies.  It’s the movie app that saves you money on movies.

If I ever have a premontion about Death’s Design, you best follow me on Twitter @leoquinones.  Cuz, when I get that eerie vision, I will certainly Tweet about it & quite possibly save your life.

Thank me later,

Cheers!

Q



Rise of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

If you’re looking to compare 1968’s “Planet of the Apes” with “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” don’t even bother.  The former from 43 years ago is a crowning achievement of the Science Fiction genre.  Astronauts from Earth crash land on a planet ruled by apes.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is set in present day San Francisco.  Will Rodman (James Franco) is a scientist who’s desperately scrambling to discover a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease through genetic therapy.   The experimental drugs are used on chimp apes & gorillas.

People will remember this movie for Ceasar (Andy Serkis).  The motion capture performance by Serkis adds a dimension of reality never before seen in a film.  This chimp shows every emotion from sorrow, happiness, fear & of course rage. Extremely well done special effects by WETA.

The tone of this film is dark & grows darker with each act.  There’s a spotlight on animal cruelty which automatically puts you on the sides of the apes.  The abuse is simply captivity.  These beasts should be in the wild & not locked up in rusty cages.  As the movie progresses, the friction between humans & apes escalates.

As you see in the movie’s trailer, the apes escape, revolt & run rampant through the streets of San Francisco.  The movie is thought-provoking & well made. It is worth seeing.  But for me personally, I prefer the Charlton Heston version.

If you’d like to save money on movies, get the Film Freak iPhone App. Just search Film Freak.

You can also follow me on Twitter @leoquinones

To heighten drama, medical advances are catapulted forward at lightning speed.  Crucial steps are missed & experimental drugs fall prey to corporate greed.



The Change Up Movie Review

With all that’s going on in the world today, why not laugh it up!?!  The Change Up is that movie.  The premise is a retread. Two people switching bodies.  I know lots of people are overly critical.  If they had things their way, there would be no more Cop movies, buddy movies, romantic comedies, westerns, etc. It’s been done before. I say, so what!

Ryan Reynolds plays a slacker named Mitch.  A bachelor who engages in sex, lots of it.  Mitch likes it weird & he likes it often.  His post 2am booty calls are just the most vicious passion clashes imaginable. Basically, he’s a stoner with a boner.  His married buddy Dave (Jason Bateman) is just that: Married.  He’s a workaholic lawyer who’s got a wife & three young kids.  The youngest two need to get fed & changed in the middle of the night.  These daddy/kiddie exchanges are worth the price of admission alone.

One night, the guys hit a local bar & relive glory days with a few too many shots. While relieving themselves in a fountain, they blurt out, “I wish I had your life.”  Voila!  The next day, the pair have permeated each other’s body.   Mitch, in Dave’s body becomes a responsible lawyer & Diaper Guy in the middle of the night.  Friggin’ hilarious.

Dave is now sporting Mitch’s body.  Instead of changing diapers in the middle of the night, he’ll most likely be changing condoms.  Yeohhhh! You won’t believe Mitch’s day job & what Dave has to do to keep his boss happy. No spoilers here. Dave’s legal assistant, Sabrina (Olivia Wilde) adds a real layer of sexiness.  As shown in the trailer, she goes out with Mitch’s exterior, but it’s Dave on the inside.  Y’see Dave, always admired Sabrina, in a “You’re-so-scorching-hot-keep-I’m-gonna-keep-my-distance-because-I’m-married” kinda way.

The Change Up is the perfect movie to disconnect & enjoy.  Is it Midnight In Paris?  Not by a longshot & it doesn’t want to be.  I thought Midnight In Paris was terrific.  But, so is this. It’s a sometimes childish, always raunchy Rated R comedy that doesn’t apologize for what it is.  Loosen your tie, drink an ice coldy & laugh it up. It’s just a movie.

Since Mitch dates a lot on a budget, he needs to save money on movies.  That’s why he’s got the Film Freak iPhone app.  Just search Film Freak.

Life is crazy. You can see how crazy mine is by following me on Twitter @leoquinones

Cheers!



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.

Lightning McQueen & Mater never ever hit up the Radiator Springs Drive In without first checking out their Film Freak iPhone App.  It’s the movie app that saves you money on movies! Search Film Freak

Find out cool movie news by following me on Twitter @leoquinones