Movie Review: Birthdays are all deja vu in “Happy Death Day”

 

death3

So “Happy Death Day” is a “Groundhog Day” knockoff with a dead teenager horror twist. Somebody gets to live and relive a day over and over again until he or she “gets it right.”

And yeah, so what if that’s already been done with the dark, romantic and soulful “Before I Fall” just this year. No points for originality, in any event.

But all that matters is A) Is it scary? and B) Is it funny? Those answers are “A little” and “More or less.”

Strip away a charismatic mean girl turn by leading lady Jessica Rothe (“La La Land”) and there’s not much to this.

Teresa, or “Tree” (pronounced Trey) as she calls herself, wakes up one morning to the sound of Bayfield University’s tower clock striking nine. Just the look on Rothe’s makeup-smeared face tells us what happened last night, and that it wasn’t the first time.

“Am I in a dorm room?” she asks the stranger (Israel Broussard) she woke up with. She demands “Tylenol,” her clothes and manages a Walk of Shame that has no shame, brushing off her sleepover pal, the “Save the planet” petitioner on the quad, her dad’s phone calls to ignore, a previous one-night stand who wonders “why you never responded to my texts,” the domineering sorority president (Rachel Matthews) and plane-Jane sorority sister roommate (Ruby Modine).

She’s got a class to get to, a professor (Charles Aitken) to make out with and this night’s party to prep for. That’s what party girls like her do, especially on her birthday.

But the night ends with a hoodied nut with a knife wearing a school mascot mask trapping and killing her in her shortest/best party dress. Never saw that coming. The first time, anyway.

For it is now Tree-pronounced-Trey’s fate to suffer that same fate, in different ways and in different locales, every night. For no discernible reason and with no supernatural intervention we’re aware of, it’s Tree-pronounced-Trey’s Groundhog Day at Bayfield in the bosom of Louisiana.

She responds with shock, the slow realization she’s been through this before leading to dismay, outrage, defiance and some sort of acceptance.

No, bingeing on junk foot (“Not a KAPPA diet!”), breaking wind in front of random one-nighter Carter (Broussard), whom she tries to unravel this mystery with, hurling herself at her married paramour and taking a stab (hah!) at being nice don’t add up to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s Five Stages of Death and Dying (denial, anger, bargaining, etc.).

Or DO they? That anchored “Before I Fall,” which was based on a best-seller and thus a lot deeper than this random Ripper riff on “Groundhog Day.”

I mean, the school is Bayfield, and their team name is…The Babies? It’s a scary mascot mask, but I kept hearing Alec Baldwin barking out “Cookies are for CLOSERS” every time I see the killer show up in it.

death2

The solution to “Who’s KILLING me, night after night?” is easier to guess than any reason — supernatural or otherwise — that Tree-pronounced-Trey is being “taught” this “lesson.”

She’s got issues — a bit loose (“slut” and “skank” can only be used, with love, between sorority sisters) — but nothing that adds up deserving a brutal, gruesome death night after night. Maybe the male screenwriter has issues of his own.

But through it all, our heroine Rothe soldiers on — giving as good as she gets in one knockabout struggle after another, creating empathy for this flirtatious floozy who fights back and slowly but surely reasons her way to an answer.

There’s barely one moment of pathos in all of this, leaving “Death Day” miles behind “Groundhog Day” or “Before I Fall” in terms of ambition, subtext and execution.

The laughs are mostly of the sorority girl name-calling variety. You know the word. It start with “bee” and ends with “yotch.”

The movie all but abandons the “relive your life” thing and devolves into too-too-generic stalked sorority girl thriller in the third act.

But in Rothe, we’ve got a new scream queen worthy of the crown — plucky, testy, sexy and spot-on in landing a catch-phrase or punch line.

“Did I totally embarrass myself last night?”

Not even close.

2stars1

 

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence/terror, crude sexual content, language, some drug material and partial nudity

Cast: Jessica RotheIsrael Broussard, Rachel Matthews, Ruby Modine

Credits:  Directed by Christopher Landon, script by Scott Lobdell. A Universal release.

Running time: 1:36

Advertisements
Posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news | Leave a comment

Movie Review: “The Meyorwitz Stories” is a cut above the usual Adam Sandler Netflix movie

meyor

“The Meyorwitz Stories (New and Selected)” gives us an Adam Sandler removed from his natural habitat — lowbrow comedy — and divorced from the vast dead weight that is his onscreen entourage.

There’s no David Spade, no Colin Quinn, no Dan Patrick cameo.

He doesn’t mug for the camera, doesn’t come off as delusional about his looks, his athletic skills or the sort of woman who might be paired up with him, sans comic film stardom. Jennifer Aniston doesn’t play his wife, in other words.

He still sings, still skips shaving and wears shorts in most scenes. But I guess even writer-director Noah Baumbach has to make the odd concession.

Sandler plays Danny, an unhappy, about-to-divorce son who grew up in the shadow of a haughty, egomaniacal yet frustrated New York sculptor and professor (Dustin Hoffman), a son whose pride and joy (Grace Van Patten) is an aspiring filmmaker headed off to college.

But when they visit his pretentious, oft-married and pontificating father and Dad’s latest wife — a tippling hippie (Emma Thompson) — Danny’s frustrated life’s origins become clear. The old man could never stand for anybody else to share the spotlight, never treated any child (Elizabeth Marvel plays Jean, Danny’s shrinking/shrunken violet sister) with anything other than dismissive tolerance.

Retired, Harold Meyorwitz still takes offense at the faintest slight to his own importance, be it from his former school, his peers or the art world and culture in general.

meyor2

He prattles on endlessly about a rumored offer of a show, “a retrospective would be a real feather in my hat…I think I’m doing my best work,” and then we see his little wooden assemblages and wonder which interstate motel chain would find them worth mass-producing.

There’s talk of selling all the work, and their roomy New York townhouse, to gay fans of the work who feed dad’s self-absorbed ego, but do nothing for Danny, who never took his ability to compose little family ditties at the piano anywhere.

There’s another son by a different mother who escaped from Harold’s shadow and got away from his influence. Matthew (Ben Stiller) is a West Coast wealth manager to the stars (Adam Driver plays a rock star client). He drops back into Harold’s orbit, but is immune to his put-downs.

“I  keep thinking I can handle you.”

The filmmaker daughter/granddaughter is fond of showing herself nude in sexual situations in her nonsensical student films. There’s a rival’s (Judd Hirsch) art opening in which Harold storms out in a huff, but not before Sigourney Weaver says “Hello,” which to Harold reinforces his importance in the world.

And a crisis throws them all together for an extended period where old schisms are (partially) healed and misunderstandings give way to bonding. Sort of.

So “Meyorwitz” is Adam Sandler stuffed into a Noah Baumbach (“Greenberg,” “Frances Ha”) world filled with chattering Baumbach characters –self-obsessed, navel-gazing New York Jews. Sandler holds his own, with the occasional cute song, the odd “Punch Drunk Love” explosion of temper, and fits right in with the likes of Stiller, Hoffman and Thompson.

Which is more screen effort than he’s shown in decades.

It’s light and occasionally hard to follow, with might-be-funny exchanges smothered by all the talking over one another. It’s also perfectly watchable, a real novelty in the Sandler canon if nothing really new for Baumbach.

“Meyorwitz” is also insular, insufferably self-involved, like its patriarch, and a bit wearing, like lesser Baumbach (“Margot at the Wedding,” “Mistress America”).

The fact that it’s on Netflix makes the nearly two hour run time of this 90 minute dramedy far easier to take. Yes, we’ve seen Adam Sandler roll up his sleeves and probe he belongs in a smarter, edgier picture. And?

stars2

MPAA Rating:

Cast: Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Judd Hirsch

Credits: Written and directed by Noah Baumbach. A Netflix release.

Running time: 1:52

Posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news | Leave a comment

Movie Review: The “wingman” gets most of the skirt-chasing laughs in “Crash Pad”

crash1

The Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson may be in every other movie in theaters these days — “American Made” for example. And “Mother!” And “Goodbye, Christopher Robin.”

But you’ve never seen him in anything remotely like “Crash Pad,” as a hapless young lover with that Irish “gift of the gab,” weepy/chatty, drunk and pathetic, trapped in “wing-man” mode with the swaggering stud on sex patrol (Thomas Haden Church).

It starts badly. Stensland (Gleeson) has just bedded Morgan (Christina Applegate). Actually, she’s bedded him. The weekend ends and it’s “I’m married” and “This is the last time we will ever see each other.”

And Stensland doesn’t take that well. He’s a romantic, and a bit of a tantrum tosser, with a way with words.

“I’m not some DILDO you wipe off and put back in the drawer!”

He threatens blackmail, even as he’s hurtling into a funk of hurt and rejection. His old roommate may ponder his problem with “sex without strings” with a hot older woman.

But Stensland is inconsolable — “I WANT strings!”

He barely has time to settle into his “Dawson’s Creek” weep-and-binge session, right after his in-the-mirror affirmation –“You’re not the smartest. You’re not the best looking. But you’ve got something that attracts the ladies!”

Because he pushed the blackmail onto Grady, Morgan’s husband. And after the death threat and gun-pointing conversation that follows, the wealthy lawyer and cuckolded husband (Thomas Haden Church) has decided he’ll move into Stensland’s cluttered “Man Shed.”

“But you just said it ‘looks like a pirate ship and smells like beef noodles.”

“It smells like ‘MAN.'”

Thus is the weepy romantic trapped in a Seattle flat with a testosteroned alpha male, determined to obtain revenge sex with a stranger to get back at his wife, and hellbent on making a man out of Stensland in the process.

Bar hopping, frat party crashing pursuit of coitus ensues.

“Survey the showroom. Pick out a model. Take her out for a SEX drive!”

Yes, it’s an R-rated “How I Met Your Mother,” without the mother. But the Jeremy Catalino banter sparkles, with Gleeson gifted with assorted tirades, manifestos and shrieking lectures (to frat boys and the compliant “little sisters” who show up for their beer busts).

“What is WRONG with you people? This isn’t FUN!”

It’s no surprise that Church jumped into this, and his “Sideways” director pal Alexander Payne got this Kevin Tent film made by taking a producing credit.

Church and Gleeson are hilarious as a love/hate threat-of-violence pair, with a manic chase (Gleeson endures a few nude scenes) and a lot of “be a man” lectures, starting with getting those damned “Dawson’s Creek” tapes out of the VCR.

“Find a sporting event, or something with car crashes.”

Applegate gives Morgan an amusingly irked professional woman’s vexation at her husband and lover setting up housekeeping. And Church is an old hand at this Basset Hound expert on chasing women, and catching them.

“You know what happens when vexed women start thinking? Civilizations FALL!”

The bars are peopled with oddball lovelies who resist the lads’ charms, ordering their “Harlem Mugging” cocktails and talking about their dead ponies. Gleeson’s Stensland is given a wide Seattle support system, from the ex-roomie to the understanding folks at his “safe space,” Soft Solutions Fine Furniture, who let him come in, weep and sleep in their chairs.

I loved the running gag that lets him tell-my-woes-to-sympathetic ears bit that has him sharing drinks and confessing his broken heart to a trio of 40something female black barflies, a hilarious contrast (the ginger-haired Gleeson could not BE whiter).

Crash Pad

Nina Dobrev plays Morgan’s man-wise assistant and sounding board, too cute to not be a love-interest for Stensland, too out-of-his-league to give him the time of day.

None of which adds up to much that’s surprising, but is still funny in performance. Even the “that’s my JAM” drunken dance scene is cute, a chuckle mixed in with some very big laughs.

 

But here’s a memo to ’80s pop star Billy Ocean. If you’re offered a cameo in a comedy produced by Alexander Payne, you take it (another actor plays him). And if they want the rights to “Get Out of My Dreams, Get Into My Car” for a drunken romp/dance scene, you tell them “Loverboy” would work better.

2half-star6

MPAA Rating: R for strong crude sexual content, language, some nudity, drug use and alcohol abuse

Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Christina Applegate, Thomas Haden Church and Nina Dobrev

Credits:Directed by Kevin Tent , script by  Jeremy Catalino. A — release.

Running time 1:32

Posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news | Leave a comment

Weekend Movies: “Wonder Women” “Death Day” and a Supreme Court icon battle “The Foreigner”

foreigner

Every so often, preview screenings are double booked for me down here in America’s Vacationland. And my rule has always been, “Whoever reserved the date first, that’s whose movie I review opening day.”

And since “The Foreigner” stars Jackie Chan and seemed to have good early buzz, well it was a no-brainer. It got the review. “Happy Death Day,” which is a Blumhouse horror spin on “Before I Fall,” a not-bad thriller about a teen who has to relive her last day over and over again, I will get to later.

The thing about “early buzz” is the reviews that show up before the movie is widely previewed for critics are generally cherry-picked. Either a studio shows a picture to a friendly audience of fanboys and girls (at SXSW, for instance) or it sets up showings for “easy lay” critics who like everything.

Such was the case with “The Foreigner,” a dark, glum Jackie Chan thriller about the IRA and directed by an aged James Bond picture vet. It sat over 80% on Rottentomatoes Monday, got knocked down a few notches by my review Tuesday and went into free fall Thursday AM, when other reviews flooded in.

Like more and more films these days, it’s aimed at cashing with audiences in the lucrative World’s Largest Dictatorship market — China. China pandering is totally a thing, and this badly-acted “Man of Asia/Man of Peace confronts the Violent West” picture is very much an old dog’s dog — grizzled director, aged star who needs a LOT of editing to look like he’s doing all these amazing fights. And without his grin, his friendliness, his little shake-his-hand in pain after every punch, Chan is exposed as the limited martial arts clown he’s always been. He can’t act, or more precisely, has no range.

The picture should still do $10 million in the US. They’ve already made a fortune with it over in China.

The picture that I skipped is faring no better in reviews — maybe a smidge. But “Happy Death Day” figures to win the weekend box. $18+ says Box Office Mojo. Blumhouse is a pretty reliable brand for solid if derivative horror.

blade2Will the good-not-great and over-praised “Blade Runner 2049” turn out to have legs, holding onto audience share its second, third and fourth weekends? Mojo says “No.” I could see it doing better than $16, maybe even $20ish. But there’s a reason it didn’t blow up in previews, and that it fell way off last Saturday after a big Friday. Audiences have not warmed up to it, and word of mouth is poor.

The best-reviewed pictures of the weekend are the bouncy-sad bio-pic “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” and the rise of Thurgood Marshall bio-comedy “Marshall.” Both have tone issues (“Marston” has an alternative sexuality agenda that considering its star and director, is no big surprise), with “Marshall” setting a lot of laughs in the courtroom…of a RAPE trial. But thoroughly entertaining (truncated, slightly altered) history in both cases. Both should do $3-4 million in limited release.

Somebody needs to get a good children’s picture out before the lame “LEGO” movie and limp “Little Pony” run completely out of box office gas. The only people seeing “Pony” are the Pony-bros, “Bronies.” Apparently.

Posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news | Leave a comment

Movie Preview: Leslie’s the Mann keeping teens from having sex in “Blockers”

Oh no…a RED BAND trailer with Leslie Mann and John Cena are parents (and that other guy), and they’re determined to um BLOCK their teenage kids from losing their virginity prom night. Social media, chugging contests, keg parties…with the kids staying one raunchy step ahead of the grownups.

Oh no, not suitable for work. But funny.

 

Posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news | Leave a comment

Movie Preview: Behold the mayhem created by “Psychopaths”

Clown masks, classic cars and carnage. It feels like Stephen King on steroids.

No name cast, a real grindhouse special.

Posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news | Leave a comment

How About a new “Wrinkle in Time” trailer?

Because I missed the window when this first one came out. I figured, “Oh, there’ll be another long before Halloween,” and skipped posting it.

Looks provocative, gives us a sample of SOME of the cast (lots of Oprah). But a second one might give more encouragement about the tone or at least nail it down.

The new adaptation of “A Wrinkle in Time” comes our way next spring.

Posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news | Leave a comment

Movie Review: “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women”

marston1

It’s not the primary focus of “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women,” but the film’s depiction of the early days of American comic book history may be its most eye-opening revelations. Few, aside from those curious enough to know the early years of Mad Magazine, know about the salacious and subversive subtexts that America’s prim guardians of moral turpitude picked up on from those wildly popular “corrupters of our youth.”

There was public outcry, then Catholic condemnation and eventually even Congressional hearings on the matter, along with reforms, a “code” and attempts at oversight.

Just as with the movie industry.

And the most subversive super hero , the one whose exploits were most often-labeled perversion, led to the biggest box office hit of 2017. Because that super hero was a heroine created by a “free love” alternate thinker/psychologist who built the character around his theories of “dominance” and “submission to loving authority,” and who based her on the two “Wonder Women” he loved, impregnated and shared a most unconventional menage a trois Big Love with.

Oh yeah. Here’s a movie James Cameron needs to see before saying one more word about what he gets out of “Wonder Woman.”

Luke Evans (“Dracula Untold”) is the title character, a Harvard-educated theorist, teacher and developer of the lie-detector. William Marston is married to the equally brilliant Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall, of “The Town” and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” — superb), a caustic, funny and profane partner who bristles at the sexism of their age (between the World Wars), which keeps her from her own Harvard Phd.

We meet them as they amusingly dissect the mating rituals at the college where he teaches and she shares his research. He wants a subject/lab assistant to study in relation to his “DISC Theory” of human emotion and psycho-sexual happiness. “Dominance,” “Submission,” “Induction” (seduction-persuasion) and “Compliance” drive the human animal, he thinks, not Freud’s notion that women really envy men their penises. His wife agrees — to a degree.

“Men’s minds are far too limited,” Professor Marston declares. “That’s why we need women!”

In the beautiful but perhaps “trapped” by her beauty Olive (Bella Heathcote, “Fifty Shades Darker”) they see their perfect subject. “Look how the boys and girls circle around her…Watch how she averts her eyes.”

Through her, they get deeper into DISC theory, sneak into demeaning and slightly kinky sorority initiation rituals and test and perfect the ways a lie-detector should be used. And both fall in love with her.

In the accomplished and dominant Brit Elizabeth and smart, pure of heart and open-minded Olive, Marston sees “the perfect woman.” And from that composite, through years of scandal over the “unconventional” relationship, their exposure to the still-illegal world of pornography and nascent and underground S & M industry and lifestyle, “Wonder Woman” was born.

marston2

Writer/director Angela Robinson of TV’s “The L Word,” “D.E.B.S.” and “Herbie Fully Loaded” leans heavily on the human sexuality component of the story, and the social mores being tested. The tale is framed within a “Decency” league interrogation of the comic book writer (Connie Britton is his Catholic inquisitor). Robinson’s film blends elements of “Kinsey” and the sad, little-seen portrait of the creator of “Conan the Barbarian” — “The Whole Wide World.”

The fiercely funny Hall, wide-eyed and eager Evans and earthy beauty Heathcote cannot play the material wholly straight. It’s funny, intentionally and at times unintentionally so, partly owing to the credulous way these folks behave in this WAY ahead-of-their-times exploration of what our Puritanical culture has allowed, and what is still frowned-upon.

The timing of “Professor Marston” lays bare some of its own subversive intentions. See what you and your “Wonder Woman” loving kids have wholly bought into? Guess where it came from, what its REALLY selling! There’s a “normalization” at work here that will offend the sexually offended. Having Marson testify, point blank, that he’s creating “propaganda” built “to foster the case of equal rights for women” rattled cages then, and now adds to the sense that there’s an “agenda” in play.

Mostly though, “Marston” is more surprising than sexually salacious, more romp than tragedy, with its crusty comic book publisher (Oliver Platt is a stitch as E.C. Gaines, who brought “Superman” and “Wonder Woman” to America) and dorky enthusiast portrait of Marston.

If you don’t know this history, and neither I nor James Cameron (apparently) did, the dazzling “wonder women” behind “Wonder Woman” will make your draw drop.

3stars2

MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content including brief graphic images, and language.

Cast: Luke Evans, Bella Heathcote, Rebecca Hall, Connie Britton, Oliver Platt

Credits:Written and directed by Angela Robinson. An Annapurna release.

Running time: 1:48

Posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news | Leave a comment

Movie Review: “The Stray”

stray1

I wanted to love “The Stray,” and I’d have been satisfied if it had reached as high as “liked.”

Because if you’ve ever shared your life with a dog, you’re a sucker for a movie about that “special” dog — “Max,” “My Dog Skip,” “A Dog’s Purpose,” “Marley & Me,” even “Air Bud” has its qualities.

And being about a stray dog that kids have prayed will come into their lives, who becomes a boy’s bully Equalizer, a toddler’s fearsome protector, a dad’s exercise coach and the couple’s marriage counselor, this one had possibilities.

But from the no-budget “snowstorm” opening scene, followed by the years of flashbacks of how Pluto, a “damned good dog as they say where I come from, changes the Davis family’s lives, “The Stray” never rises to the level of maudlin.

Those flashbacks show how this dog just showed up back, in answer to the prayers of the Davis kids, as they live in California. It’s 1991, and Mitch (Michael Cassidy) is a script reader for a movie studio. They’ve sold their home in Colorado, paid to get him into USC’s film school, and all he has to show for it is a studio job that demands 20 hours a day of reading, writing “coverage” of scripts and being a “yes man” at the meetings.’

The only funny things Mitch gets to say in the picture are mixed with his endless, interrupting phone calls with colleagues — “It’s ‘Gilligan’s Island on Mars!'” “I don’t think anyone will BELIEVE Julia Roberts is a prostitute.”

Remember, it’s 1991. And Mitch is the fool who wants to turn down “Pretty Woman.”

“And Richard Gere’s old enough to be her DAD.”

Wife and mother Michelle (Sarah Lancaster) is losing patience over the absentee husband. Son Christian (Connor Corum) has no friends, nobody to teach him to throw a baseball, and has bully issues.

Maybe a dog? “If a stray shows up at our door, sure,” Michelle says. Prompting her youngest to pray for one, right in front of her.

And then this gorgeous Australian shepherd-looking animal just pops up at school. Bullies are thwarted, and soon “Pluto,” as he’s named, is making his mark on this family, even if they don’t notice this right off the bat.

A return to Colorado, where Mitch tries to write and cope with the usual menacing redneck rube neighbor — “Your dawg gets in with my sheep? I’m’o shoot’em.” — and Pluto pitches in where needed with one and all, and you’ve got yourself a heart-warmer.

stray2.jpg

Of course, it isn’t. Not this time. The acting really falls off among bit players, the story beats are cant and the film fixates on “Marley & Me/A Dog’s Purpose” bathos.

Yes, dogs die, and as sad as that is, it’s one of the best reasons to share your life with one. An animal who lives in the moment, who lives to play and shower you with kisses is to be treasured. Because you know — or will learn if you’re a child — that he or she isn’t going to be with you forever.

When you frame your picture in a grim moment of dog death, you’re saddling it with a reaction most normal viewers will recoil from. Wrapping that in a “guardian angel” allegory may comfort the kids, but speaking from experience, that’s not enough.

1half-star

MPAA Rating:PG for thematic elements including a perilous situation.

Cast: Michael Cassidy, Sarah Lancaster, Connor Corum

Credits:Directed by Mitch Davis, script by Mitch Davis, Parker Davis. A PureFlix release.

Running time:  1:32

Posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news | Leave a comment

Movie Review — “My Little Pony: The Movie”

pony

Let’s keep this short, right?

If you’re over the age of five, and you’re not taking someone UNDER the age of five to see “My Little Pony: The Movie,” you’re in the wrong theater

Unless you’re a “Brony,” so let’s no do anything that gets moms to go call the manager, eh?

It doesn’t matter that “My Little Pont: The Movie,” like the TV series it spun from, is insipid pap. It’s not for you. Any more than the toys that inspired it all.

It doesn’t matter that only one character is credited with the voice of Broadway pixie Kristen Chenoweth. ALL the ponies sound like Kristen Chenoweth, even the ones voiced by the likes of Emily Blunt. And there’s a hint of Chenoweth in Liev Schreiber, Sia and Michael Pena’s voice performances, too.

That’s what happens with Pony-exposure in Equitania, where gravity and physics and  character development and the rules of story don’t apply, when you’re reading lines like “Everybody’s happiness is resting in your hooves!”

Or when you’re singing “We got this, you got this, We’ve got this TOGETHER” to any problem — even the assault of the Storm King and his minions. Who want that Pony magic, man.

Because everybody’s a princess and everybody already has “all the magic you need.”

The animators? They could have used more magic to smooth out the movement, add shadings and depth of field to their flat, gummy-bear colored poppycock. It’s garishly, mechanically drawn and colored, barely up to “animated quickie” big-screen fare.

Back to direct-to-video with you, Princess Unicorny or whatever your name is. Small children won’t mind your shortcomings. Anybody older than a tiny child endorsing this? Come on, now./

1star6

MPAA Rating: PG for mild action

Cast: The voices of Emily Blunt, Kristen Chenoweth, Zoe Saldana, Taye Diggs, Sia, Michael Pena, Liev Schreiber

Credits:Directed by Jayson Thiessen, script by Meghan McCarthy, Rita Hsiao and Michael Vogel, based on the TV series.  A Lionsgate release.

Running time: 1:39

Posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news | 5 Comments