Review: ‘Zootopia’ shows us that you should never judge a book by its cover

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It is a tale as old as time. Once again Disney has made a successful movie, not only financially but also in telling a story. It starts off with Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) as she dreams of being the first bunny cop, despite what everyone else thinks. She meets Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) who is blackmailed into helping her solve a case of a missing animal.

The story focuses on a big problem that we have in today’s world, prejudices against ourselves and against others. Judy and Nick connect over their differences and their similarities. They bond together for their need to prove that they are more than what everyone sees them as. The jokes are perfect for adults and may at times go over little one’s heads (see DMV scene). It does touch on the thing that we love the most about Disney movies. It uses humor and subtlety to prove that we all have things to learn in life.

Disney loves to tell stories. And they love to have stories that not only we can relate to, but that can teach us something. While this movie isn’t as deep as Inside Out was, it does touch on a theme that we all can relate to. We grow up in a world where prejudice is strong and can come out without a second thought. It’s important to take away that message when you watch this movie but also take away that theme that Disney believes the most in. Always follow your dreams.

For the full review, you can go here.

What do you think of the movie?

Recap of movies in 2015

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There some movies that surprised us both good and bad. Some of the movies that we had expected to make millions at the box office, underperformed, like Mockingjay part 2, Fantastic Four, and Pan. The good surprises came from The Martian, Straight Outta Compton, and Creed. Each movie had expectations that were made and had a lot of pressure to meet those expectations. The best movies that came out this year were the reboot Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Not a big surprise there.

Jurassic World may have surprised some people with its success, but when you add dinosaurs with Chris Pratt, it’s only expected to be successful. The best part is that they redeemed the T-Rex from the first movie (sorry spoiler alert for the five people who haven’t seen it) and were able to get the fans to root for the raptors (BLUE!). Star Wars: The Force Awakens was easily the most anticipated movie of the year and thankfully it lived up to expectations. The movie was able to relate to this generation fans while paying homage to the fans that have loved the series since the 70’s. It’s a timeless story that we will get to see unfold for years to come.

It was a good year for the female director. Both Elizabeth Banks and Sam Taylor-Johnson. Banks, who directed Pitch Perfect 2, and Taylor-Johnson, who directed Fifty Shades of Grey, proved that female directors can make a movie just as good (if not better) as a man can do. They are going to set the road for other female directors in the future. It was the year that women fought for equality in Hollywood which got a lot of attention after Sony’s emails leaked and Jennifer Lawrence wrote a letter in Lena Dunham’s newsletter about how she was underpaid compared to the other actors in the movie American Hustle.

Things are going to be competitive next year with a lot of big name movies set to come out, especially from the comic book universe. There are eight movies set to come out from DC Comics or Marvel. The biggest one is coming in the Spring where Batman V. Superman will face off against Captain America: Civil War at the box office. Captain America has been getting a lot of hype with all the cameos that are expected (plus the introduction of the new Spider-man) but Batman V. Superman is hoping to get the same attention as it tries to match points with Marvel.

Below is the top ten movies that came out in 2015. You can view the total box office for all the movies that came out in 2015 by going here.

10. Spy

Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham, Jude Law
Box office: $110.8 million

One of those not-so-big surprise movies that did well at the box office. The surprise was see Jason Statham in comedic role. He shows that he can be more than just someone who can kill you with his bare hands. But now he can do it so that you want to want to laugh as he does it.

9. Cinderella

Starring: Lily James, Richard Madden, Cate Blanchett, Stellan Skarsgard

Box office: $201.1 million

Review: http://www.examiner.com/review/cinderella-an-enchanting-story-that-pays-homage-to-the-classic

Another surprise, but shouldn’t have been surprisingly, hit from Disney. Cinderella saved Disney in the 1950’s, and maybe once again in movies of this generation. They were able to prove that they can do more than just theme parks and animated movies, but live movies as well.

8. Mockingjay part 2

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland

Box office: $259.3 million (still in theaters)

Review: http://www.examiner.com/review/prepare-to-be-blown-away-by-the-hunger-games-finale-mockingjay-pt-2

One of the most anticipated movies of the year may have not reached the expectations at the box office, but it was certainly a satisfying ending for the fans. Yes there were things that things that we wish could have been different, but it still left the fans with the resolution that we wanted.

7. Furious 7

Starring: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez

Box office: $353 million

Review: http://www.examiner.com/review/review-furious-7-one-last-ride-for-paul-walker

This was a bittersweet movie for the fans of the series. We got to say good-bye to Paul Walker while honoring him in his last movie. The movie made everyone cried during the credits (you are lying if you say you didn’t). But more than that, it reminded us that there is more to life than fast cars and money, but friendship and family. Which has been a theme for the movie since day one.

6. Trainwreck

Starring: Amy Schumer, Brie Larson, Bill Hader

Box office: $110 million

Review: http://www.examiner.com/review/amy-schumer-proves-she-s-no-trainwreck

Amy Schumer was one of the many ‘it’ girls of this year. She not only did well with her comedy tour, but her show on Comedy Central as well, winning her first Golden Globe this year. The movie was a hit as well with the fans as it was a nice change of pace to see the roles reversed in this romantic comedy as she is able to relate to not only females, but males as well as both sides struggle with finding love.

5. Inside Out

Starring: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader

Box office: $356 million

Review: http://www.examiner.com/review/inside-out-gives-you-a-bad-case-of-the-feels

Yet another Pixar classic. This movie once again reminds us why Pixar is the master at creating animated movies. They know how to reach deep down inside of you, grab your heart, and rip right out in such a way that has you thanking them for doing it. The movie touched on depression in children, which is relevant to the kids in today’s world.

4. Pitch Perfect 2

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow

Box office: $184.4 million

Review: http://www.examiner.com/review/pitch-perfect-2-bellas-prove-that-sequels-can-be-as-good-as-the-original

This was a surprise his, for me at least. I was weary with the sequel as many people are with movies that they love (look at the sequel for Mean Girls). Sometimes trying to capture lightening in a bottle twice can leave you burned. This time it worked out for the girls and it may have a lot to do with Elizabeth Banks as the director. She kept the focus on the girls and the music. The movie had a lot of heart and of course those pesky quotes that we like to integrate to everyday life.

3. The Avengers: Age of Ultron

Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson

Box office: $459 million

Review: http://www.examiner.com/review/review-the-avengers-age-of-ultron-bigger-and-better-then-the-first

The Avengers changed the way that superhero movies are made and it did it again in this movie. The stakes were higher, but the movie was able to reach all the stakes with no problem. While the movie may not have done as well as the first one (with all the records that one broke) it did well with the fans, and that’s really where it counts.

2. Jurassic World

Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio

Box office: $652.2 million

Review: http://www.examiner.com/review/jurassic-world-is-a-fun-ride-that-everyone-will-enjoy

Initially, fans of the original Jurassic Park were nervous about the reboot. With good reason. Have you seen the history of reboots? This movie was able to prove that yes, sometimes reboots are a great idea. Especially when that reboot has Chris Pratt. He was this year’s ‘it’ boy for movies and proved that with his role in this movie. It did so well that is was able to get a sequel in the works so prepare for more Chris Pratt and dinosaurs.

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Starring: Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Harrison Ford

Box office: $391 million (still in theaters)

Everyone in the world and their mother went to see this movie. At least once. Some more than others. People camped out weeks in advance so that they could get the best seat in the theater, all wanting to be one of the first ones to see the movie. And they were not disappointed. The movie sits as one of the highest ratings of the series and looks like it sparked a new generation of fans for the series.

What was your favorite movie from this year

 

Riley gets ready for her first date in new ‘Inside Out’ short

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With the big success of the Pixar movie, Inside Out, it was no surprise that a Disney short was in the works as a sequel of sorts. The video was released by Disney’s social media and is quickly becoming viral. The video was released a few days ago much to everyone’s surprise because there was no real announcement for it. You can view the video by going here.

In the short, Riley’s dad learns that Riley is going on a date with Jordan, who we met at the end of the movie. We get to see the emotions play in all four of the characters and it’s exactly what you thought it would be. The father starts off all protective but then bonds with Jordan after finding a hilarious common interest. The mother tries to use the cool lingo to get information out of Riley. Riley is just disgusted by the whole thing and embarrassed as well.

Inside Out made $355 million domestically and is available to purchase on DVD and Blu-Ray now. The short will likely play in theaters Thanksgiving Day when the new Disney movie, The Good Dinosaur, comes out.

What did you think of the short?

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‘Ant-man’ beats out ‘Trainwreck’ at the box office

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There were two new movies that were battling it out for the top spot at the box office. One movie was perfect for a girls’ night out and the other was perfect for a boys’ night out. It looks like the boys movie is the top movie of the weekend.

The latest Marvel comic book character to get a movie, Ant-Man, tops the box office with an estimated $58 million. Of course, this is not the highest opening for a Marvel movie, but it is an a good start to possibly a new series for a lesser known character from the Marvel universe. The movie isn’t the worst for a Marvel movie, just beating out 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, but opening weekends doesn’t always equal a bad box office.

Minions falls from the top spot to number two with an estimated $50.2 million. This is a big drop at the box office from last weekend, but that is probably because the little Minions didn’t have any competition last week like they do this week. They are already over the $200 million mark and should make a run for the top grossing movie of the year.

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The other new movie to come out this weekend was the Amy Schumer movie, Trainwreck. The movie did well bringing in an estimated $30 million, but scored high with Rotten Tomatoes. The movie will continue to do well at the box office as word of mouth will certainly help this movie in the long run.

Rounding out the top five is Inside Out with an estimated $11.6 million and Jurassic World with an estimated $11 million.

For the rest of the box office, you can go here.

This weekend is a big weekend for premieres as there will be four movies vying for that top spot. Pixels and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol have the best shots for the top spot and Paper Towns and Southpaw should make it into the top five.

What movie did you see this weekend?

‘Magic Mike XXL’ and ‘Terminator: Genisys’ no match for ‘Jurassic World’ at box office

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There were two sequels that were set to come out this week and each one was thought to have a run for the top spot, but instead prove that they are just stereotypical sequels.

Once again Jurassic World is the top movie this weekend bringing in an estimated $30.9 million over the holiday weekend. The movie slowly but surely moving up the charts for the top box office for both the domestic and worldwide box office. It’s currently ranked 4th at $558 million but has a shot to beating out 2012’s The Avengers at $623 million.

Inside Out just misses the top spot for the third straight week bringing in an estimated $30.1 million. It now is past the $200 million mark and is looking to try and have the biggest box office for a Pixar movie, but has a long way to go beat out 2010’s Toy Story 3 at $415 million.

Terminator:Genisys doesn’t do as well as expected, but does beat out the other releases with it’s estimated $28.7 million opening. This isn’t the highest opening, but it’s right around where the other ones premiered at too.

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Magic Mike XXL didn’t fare as well as the first one did only bringing in an estimated $11.6 million while Ted 2 round out the top five with an estimated $11 million.

For the rest of the box office, you can go here.

The new Minions movie is set to come out this week and should be expected to do well at the box office, but considering how this week went, it’s all up in the air.

What movie did you see this weekend?

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‘Ted 2’ can’t match ‘Jurassic World’ in opening weekend

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There was two movies that were set to come out this week with the loveable teddy bear, Ted 2, trying to grab the top spot for the box office, but was unable to take down either Jurassic World or Inside Out.

Jurassic World makes it three straight weeks at the top of the box office bringing in an estimated $54.2 million. The movie now has over $500 million domestically and now holds the record for the fastest movie to get to that mark getting there in 17 days compared to The Avengers (2012) which got there in 23 days. The movie has some ways to go to become the highest grossing film of all time, but at this rate, it’s possible.

Inside Out just misses beating out Jurassic World for the second straight week with it’s estimated $52.1 million. The movie continues to do well, as it should cross over the $200 million mark by the end of next week. At this rate, it should give Toy Story 3 a run for the top Pixar movie, but with Minions set to come out in a few weeks, it might effect it’s chances.

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The premiere of Ted 2 had high expectations, but was unable to meet them with it’s estimated $33 million opening. The first movie was a surprise hit that opened at $54 million, but this movie not only had a lower opening, but also has lower ratings on Rotten Tomatoes.

The other new movie this week was Max which premiered with an estimated $12.2 million. Rounding out the top five is Spy with an estimated $7.8 million.

For the rest of the box office, you can go here.

There are two big movies set to come out this week with Terminator: Genysis and Magic Mike XXL. These two movies are sure to knock Jurassic World for the top spot next week, as the will battle for the top spot. Magic Mike might have the advantage because of the type of movie that it is.

What movie did you see this weekend?

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Review: Pixar makes another winner in “Inside Out”

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Starring: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, Lewis Black, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, and Kyle MacLachlan
Director: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen
Rated: PG
Movie Page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2096673/

In the latest Pixar movie, we get to meet the emotions that live inside our head. In this case, we get to see the ones that live insider 12 year old Riley’s mind as she tries to adjust to life in San Fransisco after she is forced to move there from Minnesota.

Pixar is known for creating these movies and characters that can anybody of any age can relate to. This movie is no different. While the movie takes place inside a 12 year old girl’s head, both males and females ages 4 to 104 will walk out of the theater knowing they just watched something special.

To the kids, they may not quite fully understand the struggle of the emotions that we have, while the adults will understand it all too well. (especially the scene when you get to see the ‘emotions’ inside the parents’ heads).

The actors to play the voices for the emotions were absolutely perfect (with Amy Poehler and Phyllis Smith leading the charge). As you can imagine, those two emotions butt heads and it takes a little adventure for Joy (Poehler) to see that sometimes you need Sadness (Smith) to enjoy Joy. This is probably the best themes that the movie portrayed.

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Unlike many other (perhaps all other Disney/Pixar movies), this movie centered around a family where both parents (yes BOTH parents) where alive and well. The story shows how strong a family bond can be (when formed correctly) and how they can be the one of the staples that make up a person. The theme of ‘family’ is apparent in every one of Pixar’s films because that’s what Pixar and Disney promote. The importance of families.

The movie is certainly one of the better Pixar movies, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s the best (though the box office might make it seem like it is). It doesn’t have that charm that Up has, or the “quote ability” factor that Finding Nemo has, but it does have the ability to make you want to re-watch, and that’s really all you need.

The digital short before the movie called “Lava” was a beautiful story of a volcano looking for ‘lava’ aka love. The song is Hawaiian themed and definitely will tug on the heart strings. It sets the tone for the movie and compliments it well.

Inside Out is a fun movie that fits right into the mold that Pixar has become known for. It’s a timeless kind of movie that anybody can enjoy and relate to. And just like every other Pixar movie, it dives deeper into the human emotion but gives you that feeling that everything is going to be all right.

Rating: A

What did you think of the movie?

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