Reviews Archive for James R Whitson

Lightyear

Lightyear may not be the most buzz-worthy film in the Pixar vault. But even with the high expectations that come with being part of the Toy Story franchise, it holds its own as a solid enough outing.

The Bad Guys

After years of being bad, can DreamWorks… I mean can The Bad Guys leave their dark days behind them and start being good?

2021 Quick Review Recaps

Join us as we end the year off right with a quick review recap of some of the big studio releases of 2021!

Raya And The Last Dragon

Raya and The Last Dragon had potential. A unique setting, an interesting foundation, amazing animation. Squandered because they thought we wanted a princess with a totally outrageous paradigm rather than a hero on the regular.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run

Sponge On The Run, has a few of the not-so-secret ingredients that made the franchise so popular. But over twenty years removed from its launch, this outing has gone stale.

Soul

Soul has lofty aspirations and it hits the high notes almost every time, with incredible animation, captivating music, and an engrossing plot. While it’ll make you think a lot more than laugh, the end result is a virtuoso performance.

The Willoughbys

The Willoughbys is full of contradictions: a story that’s dark but sweet, animation that’s not top-notch but charming, and characters who are dysfunctional but likable. If this what we can expect from streaming services, sign me up!

Onward

Onward is classic Pixar — great storytelling combined with charismatic leads in a unique world wrapped up in beautiful animation. Definitely take the initiative to see this one because it is a campaign worth playing.

Farmageddon: A Shaun the Sheep Movie

In some ways topping the charming original, Farmageddon is a a sweet-tempered yarn that ewe and your entire family can enjoy together.

Spies in Disguise

While a few details may ruffle your feathers, Spies in Disguise checks the necessary boxes to be an enjoyable enough film.

Playmobil: The Movie

Playmobil: The Movie is not The Lego Movie. Fortunately, the filmmakers know this too and give viewers something different to play with.

Frozen II

While actually topping a film like Frozen would be as impossible as finding two identical snowflakes, Frozen II is no more than a lukewarm attempt.

The Angry Birds Movie 2

Game over, hopefully.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

The Lego Movie 2 is very different in many ways to the original, but it has all the heart and emotional punch. Just goes to prove that like there’s no one right way to play with Legos, there’s more than one way to build an awesome Lego movie.

The Grinch

If you have a family tradition of going to the movies at Christmastime, you have several good options available. But if you’re looking for something that perhaps means a little bit more, your best bet might be Illumination’s The Grinch.

Ralph Breaks the Internet

tl;dr Not as good as the original. Very funny. Weird ending. Worth seeing.

Smallfoot

Smallfoot is a story of two disjointed halves — or is it? For a film where the laughs are few and far between, the designs bland, and most of the songs trite, it’s no small feat that the plotting will having you thinking after the credits roll.

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies

Teen Titans is a very fun film that families will be able to enjoy together. It’s for kids and adults. It’s for people who love superheros and people who are tired of them. It’s for burrito fans and burger lovers. And it’s for people who just like to laugh.

Incredibles 2

In a world where blockbuster over-the-top superhero movies have become as mainstream as westerns were back in their heyday, Incredibles 2 brings the humanity back to the genre.

Early Man

Early Man is fun, but leaves a lot of potential untapped. Aardman is still top of their game technically, but hopefully the issues here are an anomaly and we’ll see more evolved storytelling in their next generation of films.

The Star

The Star isn’t stellar, but if you go in with the right spirit, and not expecting any miracles, you might find it to be an unexpected gift.

Coco

Coco is a beautiful film in a lot of ways — artistically, musically, and culturally. But narratively it’s just a ghost of the type of stories we’re used to from Pixar.

The Lego Ninjago Movie

The Lego Ninjago Movie is enjoyable but not at all awesome. While there is some fun to be had, it’s hard to spin it as anything else but a letdown.

Cars 3

Cars 3 is a little too similar to the original model. But with fun characters, nice writing, and top of the line animation, the film easily leaves the previous entry of the franchise in the dust.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

With fun animation, hit-or-miss jokes, and a meandering plot, Captain Underpants is a mixed bag, somewhere between “not bad” and “not great”, and more tepid than epic.

The Boss Baby

While there is some fun for kids in The Boss Baby, adults sitting with them will be wishing they were at the grown-ups table instead.

The Lego Batman Movie

Despite a thin story The Lego Batman Movie is an extremely fun ride with great animation, music, and acting. Though maybe next time leave the more dreary plotlines to that other Dark Knight.

Moana

Disney knows their way around princess movies. But while Moana is very beautiful and very entertaining, who knows how far they could have gone if they’d taken a few more risks instead of playing it safe.

Storks

Storks is the kind of movie you’ll want to watch over and over. With great animation, top-notch voice talent, an engaging story, and incredible humor, this film delivers.

Kubo and the Two Strings

A beautiful looking film with a unique plot, some surprising turns, bold choices, and an emotional core, Kubo and the Two Strings is magical storytelling.