Sing (2016)

“Sing” is a lot like many of the other movies from Illumination Studios. It’s basically a moving greeting card. It’s cute for a few minutes, and then you’ll eventually find yourself tucking it away and looking for something more stimulating. As per most of the films from Illumination, “Sing” is just a middle of the road film that barely gets by because of the neat animation. “Sing” is cute. And that’s about it. It’s cute. And it packs a humongous soundtrack filled with pop songs both old and new that are meant to basically distract from the fact that it’s a very barebones animated movie with a paper thin narrative, that does little to convey to its audience something more meaningful.

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DC Superhero Girls: Intergalactic Games (2017) (DVD)

For parents looking to introduce their tween children to lighter superhero fare before giving them heavier doses of superhero drama, “DC Superhero Girls” is a nice animated introduction. Based on the hit toy line, “DC Superhero Girls” is set in the superhero high school, where DC Universe’s most powerful superheroes attend to learn how to fight crime. The movie is mostly centered on the female superheroes from the DC Universe including young Wonder Woman, young Batgirl, Supergirl, Bumblebee, Katana, Poison Ivy, and class clown Harley Quinn.

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Violet (2017)

A teen witnesses a murder and must come to terms with what he saw.  Through his interactions with friends and family, he attempts to but can’t seem to find the way.

Violet was written and directed by Bas Devos, for whom this is a first feature according to IMDB.  This film is interesting in terms of how it develops around the lead that saw the murder.  It’s a simple story with strong emotional impact in terms of a teen dealing with grief, survivor guilt, and other hard feelings to handle at such at any age, especially as a teen.  The film explores this with mostly following the lead’s daily life and what he sees while trying to work through this.  The story has good, interesting elements but what really shine are the lead, its actor, and the visuals.

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My Top 5 Roseanne Episodes

After years of talking about it, Roseanne and John Goodman are finally reviving “Roseanne.” I’m not sure how that’s going to fare, but I am curious if what they’ll do with it. As one of my favorite shows of all time, I usually split the show up in sections.  Seasons one through five are great, seasons five to seven are mediocre, season eight is abysmal, while season nine is unwatchable right down to its insulting series finale. Will the revival be mind numbingly dramatic like the final two seasons, or will Roseanne go back to the original premise where the Conners are just trying to get by with good humor?

The hit sitcom from the nineties broke new ground featuring lower middle class characters working every day to make ends meet, all the while centering on two characters that weren’t quite what America thought of as models at the time. The sitcom has its ups and downs during its nine seasons, with some really unique developments, including show runner Roseanne’s discussion of spousal abuse, child abuse, homosexuality, racism, and so much more. Through it all, it’s a hilarious comedy with often compelling turns by Roseanne, Laurie Metcalf and John Goodman. The series remains on my top ten of all time, and if you haven’t checked out the series by now, here are my top five “Roseanne” episodes. It was no easy feat, since the show has so many more memorable episodes worthy of this list.

Let me know your favorite episodes below!

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Monster Trucks (2017)

I think Nickelodeon has things bassackwards when it comes to “Monster Trucks.” In the nineties and perhaps even eighties, a normal company would have released a “Monster Trucks” toy line followed by its very own movie. Instead we have a long gestating kids movie about glowing monsters that hide in trucks that transform in to… monster trucks—or something. And there’s not a toy line to be had. I say that because “Monster Trucks” watches more like a pitch movie for a franchise than it does an actual movie. “Monster Trucks” was created by a four year old (no seriously, look it up), and intended to be aimed at younger kids (Honest) as a sort of pseudo-Transformers. Which in and of itself is pointless when young kids are still very much all about Transformers.

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The Boss Baby (2017)

Near as I can figure, “The Boss Baby” is about a young boy with a wild imagination who uses his daydreams and fantasies to exaggerate life. When he learns of a new baby entering his household and ruining his rituals, he basically has a psychotic break. He imagines a humongous scenario where nothing makes sense, nothing is funny, and the baby about to enter his house is a part of a bigger purpose. It’s not just replacing him, but is a businessman on a mission who has more intellect than he can ever hope to have. “The Boss Baby” wouldn’t be so bad if it were just a derivative take on “Look Who’s Talking Too” or “The Rugrats Movie.” It just gets bogged down in to so much stale comedy and convoluted storytelling it becomes white noise.

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Hercules and Xena – The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus (1998)

In the nineties, Hercules and Xena garnered humongous fan bases that were vocal and loud. And this was long before the internet became a common facet in every home in the world. Hercules begat Xena and Xena became the more popular of the pairing, with Hercules still showing up every so often to remind us that, yes, Kevin Sorbo was still on his journeys as the half god. Both series were so big they even prompted a ton of merchandise, including a prequel TV series aimed at kids starring a very young Ryan Gosling, and this animated action movie, which barely clocks in at eighty minutes. I’m not sure if this movie is even considered canon, but it is Hercules and Xena together again, fighting evil Titans and trying to stop the evil Goddess Hera.

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Power Rangers (2017)

I’m not going to argue that “Power Rangers” isn’t a movie made by a committee. The action loving, kid in me, however, really enjoyed what “Power Rangers” had to offer. It really is a re-imagining of the “Mighty Morphin” era of “Power Rangers” but tackles every plot element and universe building idea with so much more finesse and logic. The reason why these Rangers control robotic dinosaurs makes sense. The reason why Alpha Five is so important makes sense. Zordon being so crucial to helping the Rangers makes so much sense. The diversity is so much more natural and fluid than the original TV series, where everything just felt tacked on for broader appeal. Best of all, the blue ranger finally gets his due in a movie where he is the heart and soul of the entire group.

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