Everybody’s Chattin + Trailer Spotlight: Finding Dory

Everybody'sChattin_Nemo

Happy Midweek all! [just three more days until Friday] I’ve been thinking of taking a brief blogging break after the whirlwind film festivities of TCFF at the end of October. Well, I figure I should do that before the rush of holiday movies. I do have a top 10 TCFF picks to do still, so expect that at the end of the week before my temporary hiatus.

Before we get to that, let’s get to those links shall we? 

I haven’t got around to reviewing this but I agree with Josh‘s and Tom‘s take on the excellent Steve Jobs movie.

Some of you already know what I think of Spectre, well it’s interesting to read reviews of opposite spectrum from fellow bloggers. Check out what Mark and Keith think of the latest Bond movie.

SufragettePosterI missed Suffragette at a recent press screening, so check out what Natalie and Jay think about the historical drama. I also missed The Intern screening, but I’m in no hurry to watch it. Based on Mike‘s review however, it sounds like it might still be worth a rent.

One of my top five films from TCFF is Brooklyn, glad to hear that Adam feels the same way.

Margaret reviewed Bone Tomahawk, a horror Western that I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to handle.

TheAssassinPosterJordan‘s been covering Adelaide Film Festivals and posted his review of his martial arts drama The Assassin.

Nostra‘s still keeping up w/ the BlindSpot series, and he recently posted his thoughts on Werner Herzog’s Aguirre the Wrath of Gods, whilst Cindy posted her musings on the absurd (but entertaining) work of Wes Anderson

Some fun music-related posts: Dan did a list of Top 10 films about musicians, Michael posted one of my favorite Bond song Skyfall, and Chris reminisces on the best songs of the 1980s

Last but not least, Chris E. reviewed the pilot of Supergirl, a show I wasn’t all that interested in despite my love for superhero stuff.


And now on to the trailer spotlight…

FindingDoryPoster

Ooooh, what a treat we’ve got here! I’m a huge Pixar movies fan and Finding Nemo is one of my all time faves. So naturally I’m looking forward to its spin-off Finding Dory! I LOVE everything I’ve seen so far, even the poster is so fun, witty and whimsical.

“Finding Dory” reunites the friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the true meaning of family along the way. Featuring the voices of Ellen DeGeneres, as Dory, Albert Brooks as Marlin, Diane Keaton as Dory’s mom Jenny, Eugene Levy as Dory’s dad Charlie and Ty Burrell as Bailey.

Check out the brand new trailer that just dropped earlier today:

I LOVE Ellen’s voice as Dory, and great to see some of the same cast back. But I’m looking forward to hearing Idris Elba and Dominic West as new voice cast members! Not sure what roles they’d be playing but it doesn’t matter, love those guys, esp Idris whose voice is as sexy and smooth as the Brit himself.

Man, now the worst part is the long wait. Finding Dory‘s released next June 2016!


What do you think of Finding Dory trailer?

 

Father’s Day Special: 10 Movie Dads/Father Figures I LOVE

Confession: I don’t usually celebrate Father’s Day. Y’see, I’ve actually never lived with my dad or any kind of father figure my entire life. My parents split up when I was only three and so I grew up with my mom and my grandma. So I guess my granny is sort of my father figure as she was a successful businesswoman, ahah.

Watching movies with great dads in it is no doubt a bit bittersweet for me, but of course it’s delightful to see great examples of the kind of dad I wish I had. And so this year, I thought why not celebrate them? Now, just like real life, some of us perhaps have adopted dads that we cherish, be that a step dad or someone who ends up being a father figure to you.

So here are ten favorite movie dads/father figures I love:

10. Sam – Sleepless in Seattle

One of my all time favorite Tom Hanks roles, I adore this film largely for the sweet but realistic relationship between widower Sam and his young son Jonah. Y’all surely know the story by now, but the moment the kid phoned a radio station saying that his dad needs a new wife, Sam’s life was never the same again. That scene of them being reunited at the top of the Empire State before Meg Ryan’s Annie shows up is as touching as ever.

9. The Stranger – Dear Frankie

Ok, so Gerry Butler’s character doesn’t even have a name. He’s only known as The Stranger, as he’s just a dad-for-a-day that Frankie’s mom hired in a moment of desperation. But he’s done more in the two days he spent with Frankie than his real dad had done in his entire life. That experience changed Frankie and by the time The Stranger leaves, it has a profound effect on him, too. Beautifully filmed, this is a small Scottish film with a huge heart.

8. Matt – The Descendants

For someone who isn’t a dad himself, Clooney certainly knows how to play one convincingly. Matt King got a wake up call of his life when his wife suddenly falls into a coma, and the revelation his daughter shares with him is like being punched when you’re down. Yet he somehow manage to bring his family back together, even patching his rocky relationship with his teenage daughter that he thought was beyond repair. There’s something so earthy and realistic about his relationship with his daughter that don’t seem put on at all, thanks to a great script and great acting.

7. Joe – The Boys Are Back

When I saw this film, I had only seen Clive Owen in tough-guy roles, those Bondian BMW commercials, Sin City, the awful Shoot ‘Em Up, etc., but I wish he’d do more roles like this one. He shines as a sports reporter who suddenly finds himself having to care for his two young sons following his wife’s death. Like Matt in The Descendants, he also had a rocky relationship with his older son, so the film followed the journey of the three as a family. It’s a touching film based on a true story, definitely recommended for any fan of this fine British actor.

6. Marlin – Finding Nemo

Who doesn’t adore Marlin… voiced by Albert Brooks, he may be so overprotective that he drives Nemo crazy, but he sure loves his son. When Nemo goes missing, the faint-hearted clown fish does whatever it takes to bring him back. He meets a ton of interesting characters in his journey, but never loses his focus, even when dealing with Dory, the blue tang suffering from short-term memory loss. Such a sweet movie, easily my top five Pixar flicks that’s as touching as any movie about human relationship.

5. Odin – Thor

Mr. Odin is the picture of a wise father who understand the wisdom of tough love. When his son Thor disobeys him, with a heavy heart he banishes him to earth to learn his lessons. It may seem drastic but considering the great responsibility that lies before Thor, he knows Asgaard can’t have a ruler who’s a spoiled brat and war-hungry. He also raises his adopted son Loki as his own and loves him with all his heart, which makes the scene of Odin being confronted by him so heartbreaking.

4. Daniel – Mrs. Doubtfire

Ok now I’m not saying I want a dad who’s a cross-dresser or anything like that, ahah. What I adore about Daniel, aka Mrs. Doubtfire, is how much he loves his kids, so much so that he’s willing to go THIS far just to spend time with them. It makes for a bunch of hilarious scenarios of course, but at the core of this film is the love of a father and the importance of family. It’s easily one of my favorite Robin Williams’ roles, crazy for sure but with a huge heart.

3. Paul – Hotel Rwanda

In the midst of a brutal civil war between the the Hutu and Tutsi people of Rwanda, one man ends up saving the lives of over a thousand helpless refugees by offering them shelter in the hotel he manages. But before he becomes an unlikely hero, Paul Rusesabagina initially only cares about saving his own family. But it’s that love that inspires him to offer his help to those around him.  This movie is ultimately a love story between a father, a husband and also his love for humanity. A triumph anchored by Don Cheadle’s powerful performance portraying a real-life character.


2. Alfred – Batman Begins/The Dark Knight

I tell you, there probably wouldn’t be Batman without Alfred. Following his parents death, nobody cares more for Bruce Wayne than his elderly butler. Michael Caine plays the role of the wise, witty and kindhearted Alfred flawlessly, plus he’s got such a wonderful chemistry with Christian Bale. The elder Mr. Wayne was a picture of a wise father as well, so it’s the combination of his legacy and Alfred’s support that I think largely contributes to Bruce’s success in his mission as the dark knight. Him saying ‘Why do we fall… so we can learn to pick ourselves up.’ is words of wisdom we all can live by.

1. Atticus – To Kill A Mockingbird

One can’t possibly have a ‘best movie dad’ list without this man. You don’t even have to be a Gregory Peck fan to realize what a phenomenal father Atticus Finch is. He’s first and foremost a hero to his two kids, Jem and Scout, before he takes on a heroic stance against racial prejudice. His relationship between him and Scout are so indelible, and it’s wonderful to hear Mary Badham reveal in many interviews that Peck was also a real-life father-figure to her as she too lost her own father early in life. Atticus is a picture of the best of fatherhood, whose strong conviction, patience, gentleness and especially humility is what all fathers should strive for. The best part is, he shows those virtues by example, something we can always learn from, no matter what era we live in.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • Guido – Life is Beautiful
  • Mr. Bennett – Pride & Prejudice
  • Big Daddy – Kick-Ass
  • Professor X – X-Men
  • Henry Jones – Indiana Jones

This post is also dedicated to my fellow bloggers who are dads, so Happy Father’s Day to you all!


So that’s my list. Who’s YOUR favorite movie dad(s)?

Top Five Favorite PIXAR Characters

Ever since Pixar released the first Toy Story back in 1995, in just one and a half decade, the studio has produced eleven movies. Most of them are critically-acclaimed, averaging 95% in Rotten Tomatoes and have grossed a collective of over $5 Billion worldwide. Out of those eleven, I’ve seen all but one, Cars, which interestingly enough will be the second Pixar feature film that get the sequel treatment after Toy Story. According to Wiki, Cars 2 is scheduled for release on June 24, 2011.

I recently saw Toy Story 3 and absolutely loved it. In fact, it was no doubt one of the most entertaining cinematic experience in quite a while. If there is such a thing as a ‘flawless’ movie, this one could count as one. If I could nitpick just one though (as Dreher Bear also said in his review), I wish they had given more ‘screen’ time to Mr. Pricklepants, voiced by my fave Shakespearean actor Timothy Dalton. It’s amazing how a bunch of toys packed such emotional punch. EW’s Popwatch blog asked the question in a Toy Story 3 Poll: “Did you cry?” Well, suffice to say, I had some tissues going into the theater, but by the end of it I realized I need a whole stinkin’ box! I haven’t got a chance to review it yet, but i case I never got to it, let me say this: Go see it pronto! It’ll make you feel like a kid again and treasure this movie (and this animated trilogy) for years to come.

The beauty of Pixar movies is how wonderful the characters are. They’re so well-written and tug your heartstrings, it’s amazing how we could ever care so much about a bunch of toys, a waste-eliminator robot, or a one-eyed green monster. Within mere seconds into a Pixar movie, I’ve become so emotionally-invested in them right away that make the viewing experience so worthwhile. They’re even more affecting than a lot of real human characters in a life action feature.

Well, in honor of that, here are my TOP FIVE FAVORITE PIXAR CHARACTERS of the past 15 years (in random order because it’s hard enough to pick just five!):

  1. Woody (Toy Story)
    The leader of the pack of Andy’s toys and the emotional core of the franchise, Woody the Cowboy is just so darn likable. That’s why you got someone like Tom Hanks to voice him and let his playful personality shine. Woody is funny, caring, optimistic, and wise almost to a fault. And he’s fiercely loyal, too, even as much as he loves his college-bound owner, he’s torn to be separated from his buddies and a trait he’s carried with him from the beginning of the movie until the very end of the franchise. No wonder he’s Andy’s favorite toy, because there ain’t no Toy Story without Woody!
  2. Flik (A Bug’s Life)
    Firstly, I love Dave Foley, he’s just so cute and funny in Kids in the Hall and News Radio, so maybe that’s why I took immediate liking to Flik. Foley’s voice just naturally suits the geeky, bumbling, but ever-so-endearing protagonist
    . The ‘engineering-minded’ ant always wants the best for his colony by trying to come up with his various inventions (i.e. a dew telescope, automatic harvester, etc.), though they often end up with disastrous results. But as his BFF Dot will tell you, he’s really a nice guy  who really is just trying to help. Like Dot says, “you’re weird… but I like you.”

  3. Mike Wazowski (Monsters Inc.)
    Oh, who doesn’t love the one-eyed monster, voiced with wisecrackin’, smarty-pants sensibilities by Billy Crystal. He’s got more expression with his one giant eye than most characters with two. His green round shape is quite possibly the cutest, most adorable Pixar creation yet, not to mention his toothy grin. And he’s charming and smooth, too, just as Celia Mae (Jennifer Tilly), his girlfriend with Medusa-like hair and high-pitched voice. The minute he sang, “you and me… me and you… both of us togethaaa…” I’m done for! LOVE ya Wazowski!!
  4. Buzz (Toy Story)
    Starting out as a main rival turns BFF, the spaceman action-figure is the perfect complement to Woody even if Buzz’s delusional self sometimes exasperates his more-grounded friend. The Tim Allen-voiced character initially thinks he’s the real Buzz Lightyear, not a mere toy like the rest, which explains his extra gung-ho attitude that’s so fun to watch. I thought the duel scene with Darth Vader-like Zurg at the end of the first sequel was my favorite scene of Buzz, but no, it’s when he’s accidentally reset and becomes the Spanish Buzz that had me in stitches. The pent-up feelings he has for Jesse is now on full display as he’s become unabashedly romantic Don Juan. The tango sequence with Jesse is priceless and sooo much fun. Te quiero señor Buzz!
  5. Dory (Finding Nemo)
    The blue tang fish that steals every scene she’s in is voiced by the inherently likable and goofy Ellen DeGeneres. From the moment Nemo meets Dory, something is just a little off. Soon we realize she’s suffering from short-term memory loss, which makes for a one riotous scenario after another. Dory delivers the biggest laughs and her compassionate and gentle spirit makes you wish she’s your best friend. There are too many favorite scenes of Dory but when she imitates the whale with that slow, deep voice I just about fell off my chair!

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth Class)
    I’m not ashamed to admit that this movie not only make me tear up, but I was practically sobbing! The small trash compactor robot that barely said a word is so affecting that within minutes of seeing him on screen, I want to run over there and gives the lonely robot a big hug. In a dismal, silent post-apocalyptic world, Wall-E is a beating heart that gives such hope amidst all the gloom and doom. When he falls for a far more advanced robot Eve, he goes to great length to woo her. Believe it or not, it’s a genuine love story that is as heartfelt as any human connection.
  • Rex (Toy Story)
    The hilariously hysterical t-rex is a minor character but every time he comes on, it’s always a hoot. Remember the Jurassic Park nod in TS2 during the car chase in the toy barn? ‘Object is closer than they appear‘ Ha! He’s supposed to be menacing but Rex is such a wimp that gets agitated by even the slightest hitch, but I love him best when he starts squealing like a little girl.
  • Russell (Up)
    I absolutely adore this 8-year old kid and his endearingly exuberant charm. Determined to obtain his final badge to become a Senior Wilderness Explorer, the chubby munchkin ends up being swept off his feet (literally!), up, up and away with Carl in his balloon-hoisted house. Nothing seems to dampen the kid’s buoyant spirit. He and the gloomy and disillusioned makes an unlikely pairing that’s as odd as they are delightful.

I have expanded this Pixar Character List to TEN, and now you can VOTE for your favorites.
CHECK IT OUT »


Ok, your turn, folks. I’m sure you’ve got your own favorite Pixar character(s). Let’s hear it!