New to theaters from Disney/Pixar Studios this weekend is the long awaited follow up to the 2001 smash hit “Monsters Inc”, “Monsters University”. The prequel tale takes us back to the college days of our 2 heroes Mike Wazowski and James P Sullivan and shows us how they become friends and partners in the scaring business.
Featuring the voices of John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, Dave Foley, Sean Hayes, Joel Murray, Charlie Day, Alfred Molina, Tyler Labine, Nathan Fillion, Aubrey Plaza and Beth Behrs
Directed by Dan Scanlon
Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (Crystal) was a little monster, he has dreamed of becoming a Scarer—and he knows better than anyone that the best Scarers come from Monsters University. But during his first semester at MU, Mike’s plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, “Sulley” (Goodman), a natural-born Scarer. The pair’s out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University’s elite Scare Program. To make matters worse, they realize they will have to work together, along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters, if they ever hope to make things right.
With Crystal and Goodman effortlessly slipping back into the characters of Mike and Sully, the biggest obstacle the film faces is trying to revive the charm and heart the original film had in bucket loads, and sadly it falls short. The setting of a University for a children’s film is an interesting choice as most of the target demographic have no idea what the impact of getting booted out of university would be. Despite this the film manages to work fairly well until the final act of the film where the Monsters universe created in the first film comes crashing down hard. A poor choice in story negates the rules of the universe that firmly exist in Monsters Inc, as well as changing the backstory of our two characters so that it no longer matches up. The film also discredits the beliefs of the film’s universe before the story that plays out in Monster’s Inc.
The newer characters add some spark to the story, but are fairly indistinguishable and forgettable in the long run. Having Buscemi return as Randal is a neat twist, but in the end one that is full of missed opportunities as Randal’s appearance becomes more sporadic as the film carries on. But what is missing here is Boo, the little girl from Monsters Inc, as there is nothing added here that comes close to adding the element of heart and engagement that she delivers in spades in the film’s predecessor. The ‘Scare Games’ provide some fun and entertaining settings and environments that are among the film’s highlights, but third act unravels all that goodwill very fast.
Much better than the other Pixar sequel audiences were subjected to recently with the abysmal Cars 2, Monsters University sadly does not manage to capture the same magic that made the first film a classic. But up until the 3rd act the film does pack enough laughs and funny sequences
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New to DVD and Blu-ray from Fox Home Entertainment is the newest comedy from the director of “The Game Plan” and “She’s the Man” Andy Fickman, Parental Guidance. The film stars Billy Crystal and Bette Midler as grandparents put into action as babysitters for the grandkids they barely know and clashing with the parenting decisions and direction of their daughter and her husband. The film is aimed at same crowd who enjoyed the “Meet the Parents” series, but does it pack as much laughs as the first “Meet the Parents” had?
Parental Guidance Blu-ray
Written by Lisa Addario and Joe Syracuse
Directed by Andy Fickman
Old-school grandparents Artie (Crystal) and Diane (Midler) get more than they bargained for when they get stuck babysitting their type-A daughter Alice’s (Tomei) three overprotected kids. But things go from hectic to hysterical when Artie and Dianne realize the kids are running the house with newfangled technology, created by the family patriarch Phil (Scott), that they have no idea how to use . To make matter worse Artie has lost his decades old job in favor of a newer and younger replacement. But playing by his rules, which include sugary snacks, old fashioned games and tough love, Artie manages to outsmart the kids and he and Diane endear themselves to the children they long to spend more time with. (more…)
Princess Bride 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray
Starring Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn, Andre the Giant, Fred Savage, Peter Falk, Carol Kane and Billy Crystal
Written by William Goldman
Directed by Rob Reiner
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year is The Princess Bride, a small fairy tale that over time has become a timeless classic spanning generations. Featuring new packaging as well as a brand new 30 minute long special feature on top of all of the features from the 20th anniversary edition, the 25th anniversary edition turns out to be a packed Blu-ray. The question remains: is this edition worth the upgrade if you already own a copy of this classic yarn?
In case you don’t know the story, when a young boy falls ill his grandfather pops round to visit him. In an attempt to cheer up his grandson (Savage), Grandpa (Falk) has brought a…
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