The Son of Bigfoot Review

 

I’m not going to lie to you guys. There are times when I get on here and think ‘ugh I’ve got to tell them about the latest mediocre….movie.” However, other times I approach the keyboard with great anticipation because I can tell you about something that surprised me. It’s like I heard a great secret and can’t wait to share it with all of my friends. Today is such an experience.

Let me tell you about the recent European import The Son of Bigfoot. This movie was not only way better than I expected it to be but it was legitimately a good animated film with tons of heart, humor and an entertaining story.

It’s perhaps especially surprising I enjoyed The Son of Bigfoot so much because it was made by the team who brought us such classics as Fly Me to the Moon and The Wild Life (which I didn’t hate as much as others but this is a huge step up!). It’s certainly much better than such mainstream animated films as The Emoji Movie, The Star and Despicable Me 3.

The story focuses on a very likable teenage protagonist named Adam. His main attribute is his bushy thick hair. His father died when he was little and his Mom struggles to help him deal with bullies and corral his need for adventure.

One day he gets a clue that perhaps there is more to his Dad’s story than he was told. Could he be the mysterious Bigfoot that has prowled the nearby forests? He, along with his buddy animals, set off to find out and in the process he learns a lot about his father, family and himself.

Here’s the trailer if you want to see more:

There is so much to like about The Son of Bigfoot. I really liked Adam as a character. He felt like a typical teenager without being annoying. The relationship between him and his Dad develops in a touching way as he comes to understand himself more in the process. He also has to learn to forgive both his Mom and his Dad and that journey felt authentic and real. There are no celebrity voice actors in the film (yay!) but the professionals they got worked and the dubbing seemed natural. The sidekicks didn’t feel like Minions clones (for once) which was nice and the humor in the film mostly worked for me. The action scenes were fun. The animation was pretty impressive for a small budget. I even liked the music by a band called Puggy!

If I was looking for downsides I guess the evil corporate villain is a bit of a snooze and not every joke lands. It can feel a little overstuffed at times with storylines like the bullying being unnecessary but these are all nitpicks.This is a thoroughly entertaining film that the entire family will enjoy. It also has a sweet message without being a MESSAGE movie.

I don’t want to oversell The Son of Bigfoot. It’s not Your Name or something earth shattering, but I was very excited after seeing it. I even got emotional at certain sequences. Like I cried! This was a really sweet, funny, pleasant movie that I hope you give a chance on demand or from your local library. It’s one I will be picking up for sure.

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Rewrite Movie Review

The-Rewrite-movie-posterApril is just my month for liking movies that other people don’t like or that at least aren’t championed by many. That said movies like Jupiter Ascending and Longest Ride I enjoyed for what they were but didn’t love them. Now let me get behind a movie I really love that nobody saw called The Rewrite.  It is exactly the kind of movie I LOVE.

Nora Ephron is my literary muse.  I love her writing.  The little moments of commentary about books, movies, Starbucks, New York, whatever it is.  I love how funny her scripts are and yet her characters feel real and have moments of depth and compassion rarely captured in a light comedy.  I mention Ephron because The Rewrite was as close to a Nora Ephron movie I have seen since her passing in 2012.

Since 2012 very few romantic comedies have even been made let alone good one’s and for a huge fan of the genre it has been very sad. I miss going to the movies to feel good and be with people that I liked and who made me laugh.  I sincerely miss it, so that is part of the reason The Rewrite made me so excited.

rewrite 8It is perhaps appropriate a return to the romcom would star the key of the genre, Hugh Grant.  In The Rewrite he plays Keith Michaels an Oscar winning screenwriter who has fallen on hard times after the luster of his youthful career has faded (and his wife leaves him for the director of his big hit…).  He doesn’t have a relationship with his son, has no creative energy,  can’t get a script sold and is even considering a sequel to his Oscar winning film- something he said he would never do.

His agent played by Caroline Aaron convinces him to go and teach in a small town called Binghampton and having little else to do he agrees. Naturally he starts out feeling that teaching is beneath him and he dismisses class rationalizing that ‘talent can’t be taught so why waste everyone’s time’.

The cast is uniformly excellent with Marisa Tomei, JK Simmons, Allison  Janney, Chris Elliott, Bella Heathcote and more.

DSC_5395.NEFI particularly loved Janney who is an English professor who loves Jane Austen and has some very funny dialogue with Grant on that topic and many others.  It is especially funny because Hugh Grant was in a Jane Austen movie (Sense and Sensibility) so there are more than one winks to the audience in the script.

rewrite 4Simmons and Elliott are a lot of fun as fellow teachers.  Simmons is in love with his family.  He cries every time he mentions them.  Elliott is Grant’s neighbor and he has a lot of funny observations of those around him.

I loved the students and even though they are tropes they are well written tropes.  There’s the feminist girl, nerd, slut etc but they are funny and the scripts they are writing have a lot of good jokes that made me laugh (like the Bar Mitzvah gone wrong crossed with Dirty Dancing…).

rewrite 2Tomei is lovely as an older student in Grant’s class who is writing a script based on her life as a single Mom. They have terrific chemistry which is essential in this type of movie.

I have mostly male readers of this blog for some reason so I am sure most of you will probably discount this as a ‘chick flick’ and if you do that’s a shame.  It has so many funny lines about work, entertainment, pop culture, movies, writing, education etc.  It really reminded me of a Nora Ephron script and maybe even a lighter Woody Allen like Midnight in Paris.

All I know is this is exactly the kind of movie I love.  You might say it is the Rachel hat trick- funny, romantic, with a nice heart to it. If you are a writer or love movies I think you will particularly enjoy it.  Have an open mind and give it a shot.  If any of you do see it let me know what you think.

As far as content there is a little language and talk of an affair with a student although nothing is shown.

Overall Grade- A+  Content Grade- A

Wrinkles: A Review

wrinkles-graphic_1

Is your greatest fear growing old and getting put in a home to wither away isolated from the world?  If you answered yes than I have the movie for you.  The Spanish animated film Wrinkles is one of the saddest movies I’ve ever seen.  That’s not a knock against it.  There is absolutely a place and even necessity for tragedies in cinema.   And I was moved by it and terrified and cried my eyes out…

Here’s the trailer.

Wrinkles has an interesting story.  It is animated using hand drawings by the Spanish artist Paco Roca.  It was released in Spain in 2011 and was nominated for an Annie in 2012  Nevertheless, it was the short list of possible Oscar nominees in 2014 because of finally getting an American cast dubbing and release in April 2014 (they certainly took their time!).  It cost only $2 million euros to make (2.2 mil dollars).  That’s astonishing when you see how lovely the animation is and even a low budget film like Secret of the Kells cost 6.5 million euros. It shows how cheaply animation can be done and achieve something beautiful.

Arrugas-Wrinkles-movie-3

Wrinkles is about a man named Emilio who is put into a nursing home by his kids and given a man named Miguel as his roommate.  In the English dubbing these parts are played by Martin Sheen and Matthew Modine respectively. And basically the movie is about the deadening day to day life at the home and Emilio’s descent into Alzheimers.

wrinkles_06cMiguel is a bright light even if he cheats a few people out of money at the home.  He does everything he can to make people happy in their delusions and it is sweet to see.  For instance, there is a woman who fantasizes she is on a train to Turkey and he brings her a menthol cigarette she doesn’t light and they talk about how the journey is going.

Miguel is also very sweet with Emilio who grows paranoid as he loses one thing after another.  Emilio’s family comes to visit on Christmas (only on Christmas) and he can’t remember his grandson or why they are there.  He hates it at the home but it is where he needs to be at the moment.

wrinklesThere is a swimming pool at the home which taunts the residents who are not mobile enough to get in the water . However, it is very appealing to the younger generation putting their father in the home because ‘we remembered how you used to love to swim’.  That is the so sad…There is one triumphant scene where Emilio decides to swim anyway and it is tense and joyous and completely lovely.

The ending with a prison break from the home seemed a little far-fetched but still lovingly done.  Everything about the movie is lovingly done.  It is heartbreaking but with love and it profiles an issue we don’t want to talk about.  We want to hide it away like we hide the people away.  As someone who doesn’t have children I will probably end up in some place like that.  It’s so sad.

WRINKLES - 1There is some humor mixed in and the dialogue is very well done. Miguel gets most of the jokes and like I said he is the light in the home.

Wrinkles is definitely grown up animation but I think it is an important message for kids to learn too.  Life is still life even if they can’t remember and are hidden away.  There is 2 uses of the F word but it is pretty clean story.  It is definitely a heart breaker but in Miguel’s case there is a thin shred of hope throughout the film. I was really moved by it. Since when did every story have to be a comedy? Tragedies are important so we can absorb our own tragedies better.

It’s tough to watch but sometimes that is the most profound.

Overall Grade- A, Content Grade- B