DisneyExaminer’s Summer Movie Madness ’13
Welcome to DisneyExaminer’s 2013 Summer Movie Madness – a compliation of movie reviews to be your guide of all the new Disney movies coming out this summer!
* * *It’s back. Our famous yearly column that always seems to get us excited to have us sit in a dark place and watch magical things happen on a screen. And that’s not sarcasm, folks! We’re super happy that Disney has a slate of all-new films for us to enjoy at our local movie houses. Whether you like Facebook cowboys or pre-teen Mike Wazowski’s, there is yet again something for everyone.
That being the case, we again wanted to give you reviews on these films to help you gauge what to see or what not to see. You’ll notice that we aren’t too specific on the details of the actual movie…and that’s on purpose! We encourage ALL of you to watch the movie yourselves and judge accordingly. Our only goal through these reviews is to get you thinking!
We’re honest. We love Disney. We love movies.
DisneyExaminer’s 2013 Movie Madness is your guide to the movie magic happening this summer!
— A very special thanks to Walt Disney Studios for allowing us to preview the following movies in order for us to give a guiding hand to our readers and ultimately all Disney fans who are anxious to see their releases this summer!
- Runtime: 110 minutes
- Rating: Rated G for general audiences. All ages admitted.
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ROOAAR! Was I scary enough for you? No? Well then, I’m going to have to attend a university to help me know how to scare you better! Now what’s the best university I need to apply to to help me become a professional scarer?
Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy 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 (MU). But during his first semester at MU, Mike’s plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, “Sulley” (voice of John 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.
Monsters University, of course! This school offers the best education for those monsters who want to become true scarers. But for us humans, it just happens to be a great movie that we see since we’re now out of school! As you read in the synopsis above, we indeed make our way back in time and back to school for Pixar’s newest film where we first meet green eyeball and fury skyscraper monsters duo as individuals looking to be the best. But like in most “best-of-the-best” scenarios, you might just encounter some college drama. But don’t worry! As you already know from the first Monsters’ film, Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) certainly make up for the better and now the whole monster and human world have been made better because of it (and this movie).
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Here’s what I loved –
1) I loved the themes!
With any animated film, the graphics usually remain standard across the (chalk)board, but what compelled me the most was the storyline. The movie begins with a young Mike Wazowski who had a dream of becoming one of the best professional scarers in the monster world. To achieve that dream, he had to go where all the other best scarers had come from… Monsters University. This storyline was one I related to the most out of all the Disney movies because I myself am going to become a freshman in college and not only that, but I (if I may speak for the rest of us) have dreams and the beauty of that dream is what “Monsters Inc.” director Pete Doctor said about the new film. “When one door closes, another door opens.”
MU Producer Kori Rae continued saying “It never occurs to him (Mike) that he might not realize his goal. But we don’t always get what we want, including life-long dreams. It’s perhaps the hardest lesson for any of us to face, but it’s the benchmark of maturity.” It’s in those thematic statements where you’ll find yourself as you’re lead around campus as the film progresses.
2) That it was relatable!
I just absolutely LOVE how the storytellers at Disney and Pixar can turn stereotypical things into a slap-your-knee, laugh-out-loud, family-friendly movie that everyone can relate to! I remember my parents forcing me to study, do my homework, and try to get me to see the “big” picture of college. Not to say that any of things are bad, kids because there’s one part where you’ll find yourself loving your mom even more!
Although the movie has its own plot that tells how Mike and Sulley got so close, you’ll soon find that the things they go through that develops their relationship flows to you in these college elements you’ll see throughout. Maybe their conflict resembles the one you had that ultimately got you your best friend!
But regardless of whether or not you’ve even been to college or been in any academic setting, you’ll certainly get the film without having to think (which is a students’ favorite thing, right? Wrong). On the flip side, if you have been to college OR have seen “Monsters Inc,” you’ll certainly appreciate the many things you’ll see that just make this movie shine like a teacher’s apple. We recommend getting familiar with the original Monsters tale before seeing this movie because it’ll only add to your gratifying movie-watching experience as you see 12 year old characters and their humble beginnings…
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The Final Verdict –
To put it simply, this movie was an A+. In all subjects.
It had the heart, the familiar and lovable monsters, things to relate to, and even life lessons. This whole movie works because it retells an important life lesson of experienced by monsters and humans alike that we have to face reality and that sometimes that reality can be totally different than what we think it should be. It’s what all college students seem to find out along their way to their diplomas and specially went for Mike and Sulley too as you’ll see in the film.
The “Monsters Inc.” franchise is more than a decade old now and for those who always wanted to see another movie like the original one, you won’t be disappointed.
“Monsters University” glues the art of Pixar animation with classic Disney storytelling to paint us a picture that we can all relate to and that we can all enjoy together. You will find yourself in the theater laughing and cheering like a college cheerleader and thats because MU isn’t just a great university – its a great movie that college students, college students at heart, and college students to be (like me!) should all go and see.
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A couple more things you should know before you head out on your little college road trip to your nearest theater:
a) Although this isn’t a Marvel movie, STAY AFTER THE CREDITS.
b) We can’t forget about the short film that precedes the feature! “The Blue Umbrella” is yet another cute and heartfelt tale that tells the story of a lovestruck umbrella that “flies away” and may not get what he wants just like Mike. What you ultimately get is a 6-minute short that’ll make you think about how your umbrella is feeling the next time you bring it out. It’s another great example of Pixar’s ability to tell stories without words and with inanimate objects.
- Runtime: 149 minutes
- Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence and some suggestive material
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From producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, the filmmaking team behind the blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, comes Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ “The Lone Ranger,” a thrilling adventure infused with action and humor, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes. Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice—taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption.
Lets get right to it. You probably have already heard about how bad the movie was by the judgment of your peers or critic’s reviews over the internet, but you haven’t heard the final word from us about the film! Long story short, it’s not a TOTAL flop.
When I saw the trailer, my feelings for this movie were on the positive side, but then again I guess that’s what trailers are for. While I was watching the film though, I did not have any goosebumps…which says a lot! I usually feel them when I sense true passion and talent displayed before me through the actors and story. I suppose the reason I felt this way was because there were plenty of unnecessary scenes throughout making the story feel like you’re sitting on a seesaw with a boulder wearing a cowboy hat on the other side.
BUT there were some good things I liked in this movie.
First off, the cast was great. I believe that Johnny Depp was outstanding, but not better than His Jack Sparrowing. He still delivered. Armie Hammer was also great. He made the Lone Ranger a humble, innocent, strong-hearted hero whose morals seem to be in the right place…far from the previous Lone Rangers in the past.
The action sequences were good. Although you’ll find most of them in an unexpected (yet needed) place in the movie, they brought a certain wow factor and resulted in the typical acts of heroism.
For those expecting to see a lot of references from the original Lone Ranger TV/radio series from years past, you can expect them here…just in that usual place like the action sequences. But they’re there!
So aside from all that, is this movie worth the “silver” to watch?’ I personally think that it is very hard to answer that question because although the other critics’ reviews were mainly negative, many regular moviegoers thought positively about the film. There’s a wide range of views and I think that’s something we have to all take into account.
I believe what made each review of the film positive or negative depended on how much you loved the Lone Ranger from the experiences getting to know him as a character and his adventures.
So if you loved the original Lone Ranger series, I guarantee that you will enjoy watching this film because this movie is a reminder of what was a hit western entertainment series. If you haven’t acquainted yourself with John Reid, Tonto, or Silver, best be weary should you decide to ride off into the sunset and into your local movie house.
- Runtime: 92 minutes
- Rating: Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor
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“Disney’s Planes” is an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty’s not exactly built for racing—and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty’s courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar.
Fasten your seat belts ladies and gents! Why? Because it’s a required policy while you’re on a plane, but so we can follow a small town crop duster airplane become the greatest high-flying air racer to ride the winds in Disney’s newest animated feature coming from the little known DisneyToon Studios.
Disney’s “Planes” takes place in the world of Disney*Pixar’s “Cars,” so although you might notice that the animation and a certain tractor familiar in the film, the story of Dusty Crophopper is an underdog story that brings a new meaning to meaningful animation. With only that in mind, here’s what I loved.
1) I love following my dreams!
I really do love the messages that Disney continually puts in their movies. They have always revolved around the idea of “following your dreams” and I believe that Disney’s “Planes” delivers this message perfectly. What better way to express that than an underdog story.
It’s an underdog story because you do find the story surrounding a main character (or in this case a plane) continually bogged down by hardships – discouragement, taunting, fear. We’ve all been there, but after enduring those hardships, we find that we’ve all come away better by going through them. In this movie’s case, the race in becoming the best begins by enduring a test. And since this is a Disney movie, you can expect that and more.
2) I loved that it’s family friendly!
As I wrote earlier, the messages of following your dreams and enduring tests aren’t just things to be enjoyed by and taught to kids. Surely these are excellent morals to teach a young generation, but they are also messages that parents can relate to and even learn from! That’s the beauty of a Disney movie – they are always bringing families together with family messages while all at the same time doing so by entertaining and memorable ways. “Planes” is no exception and I feel that everyone will get something out of it. Even if it’s just more appreciation for aviation (since almost 4 years of research in partnership with the US Navy and airplane manufacturers was put into the film!).
The hearty messages are there, but don’t think they’re just there. They’re fueled with lots of funny moments for both parents and kids. The humor is not random or raunchy. It’s funny and aids the story. And that’s tough to do, folks! So make sure you’re seat belts aren’t too tight for those laugh-in-your-seat moments.
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The Final Verdict –
Overall, this movie was something that I feel encompasses the heart of a true Disney animated film. Coming from a little known division of Walt Disney’s animation powerhouse, the movie brought a traditional underdog story and turned it into a high-flying adventure that makes everyone feel good. It certainly an be called great “in-flight” entertainment because it personally supplied me with enough laughs and provided a lot of morals that I hope to use when I exit the cabin and onto the runway of reality because for those 92 minutes, Disney once again took me into the skies of my imagination and into wanting more.
Like with all our reviews, we only hope to tease you of what Disney magic you’ll find in your nearest movie house soon. Perhaps what I’ve said here will “propel” you to your nearest theater. Disney’s “Planes” lands on August 9 (and can be seen at the D23 Expo)!
We should also mention that there is nothing to see at the end of the credits, BUT Disney has announced that there will be a sequel to the film called “Planes: Fire and Rescue” set to debut on July 18, 2014!
All reviews are made by Lance Cruzado, Walt Disney Studios writer for DisneyExaminer.com. All reviews are personal opinions and may not reflect the attitudes of other writers for DisneyExaminer.com unless stated otherwise.
These films have been screened prior to the release date for review purposes and therefore are viewed without charge by The Walt Disney Studios.