Updated: 03/04/2016 5:15 PM
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3/4 TCL Movie Trip
Movie critic Paul McGuire Grimes from the website Paul's Trip to the Movies reviews "Whisky Tango Foxtrot," "Zootopia" and "The Good Dinosaur".
WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT (theatrical release)
Tina Fey furthers her attempt at having a big screen career by taking on the true story of journalist Kim Barker. In 2003, her station was looking at making cuts and shuffling things around. Kim was unmarried and childless and was the most vulnerable to be sent overseas to Afghanistan. She needed a change from her daily routine and thought it was a good reason to restart her life. It started out being a three-month assignment. Once she arrivals in Kabul, she realizes she is very much out of her element. The air quality is poor, the living conditions are brutal, and the few women there are treated as lustful objects for the soldiers. She makes friends with Tanya, another female reporter, whom she looks up to and is one of the reasons why she is over in Kabul. As the days, months, and now years pass on, Kim grows accustomed to life in Kabul. She becomes addicted to the adrenaline rush that comes with being in a war zone and starts a relationship with a Scottish photographer.
-Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is military code for “WTF, What the F***”, but it’s never explained in the movie.
-Starring: Tina Fey, Martin Freeman, Margot Robbie, Alfred Molina, and Billy Bob Thornton
-Based on her book "The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan". Screenplay is by Robert Carlock who has frequently worked with Tina Fey on 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
-In one way, it’s a very different kind of film for Fey with the war setting. On the other hand, it’s right up her alley with the satirical approach she is known for having with her comedy. She brings her sharp sense of humor we all know and love.
-Martin Freeman and Tina Fey seem like an unlikely pair, but have great chemistry together. I’d love to see them in a quirky rom-com together.
-Haven’t read the book, but it feels like we’re going through diary entries of Kim’s time in Afghanistan. Takes too long to figure out what the drive is in the story and what the central conflict is for Kim. There is a lot of growth with Fey’s character but it’s a slow process to get there.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? It’s not the movie you think it will be, but if you like current events you will take in interest in Kim’s story.
RATING: 2.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
ZOOTOPIA (theatrical release)
The idea of predator and prey living in harmony where anyone can be anything seems to be the ideal image for a young bunny named Judy Hopps. Ever since she was a little bunny she was bound and determined to be a cop in the world of Zootopia where mammals of all species roam free and carry out their every day lives of going to work and raising a family. Judy’s parents break the news to her that no bunny has ever been a cop in the history of Zootopia. Fifteen years pass and she joins the police academy. She moves out of her bunny village to live in District 1, the inclusive downtown district. Her first day in the academy brings out the reality that she is by far the smallest animal among the follow students that are comprised of bears, rhinos, and lions, etc… When all of the other students are offered the cool, important cases, Judy is stuck being a lousy meter maid and in turn is ridiculed by the other cops. Her days as a beginning cop take a turn for the better when she is given 48 hours to find a missing otter. Her excitement and determination are kicked into high gear in order to prove herself to the rest of the academy. She turns to a sly fox named Nick Wilde who previously pulled a fast one over her to help her with the case as he may have intel on the victim’s whereabouts.
-Featuring the voices of: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, J.K. Simmons, Octavia Spencer
-Ginnifer Goodwin has a sweet adorable quality that she brings to Judy.
-Latest film from Walt Disney Animation Studios and the creators of Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled. Every Disney movie feels so different in its ideas and approach. Zooptopia is their take on a who-done-it mystery.
-Strong messages about inclusivity, discrimination, and the dangers of stereotypes and makes them accessible for kids to understand.
-Silly playful fun for children with plenty of laughs for adults that will surely go over children’s heads. There’s one particular scene where Judy and Nick go to a DMV and depicts how slow it can be by having it employed by sloths.
-There are not only references to other Disney movies, but also The Godfather and Breaking Bad for the adults
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Disney continues its string of hits
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
THE GOOD DINOSAUR (Kid’s Pick)
One of the theories posed about dinosaurs is that an asteroid struck Earth killing the entire species rendering them extinct. Pixar takes a look at what may have happened if said asteroid missed Earth entirely. For one dinosaur family, they’ve learned how to cultivate the land and herd a bird species. Arlo is the runt of the family compared to his brother Buck and sister Libby. They have a family tradition of earning a mark on their silo after accomplishing something special, but Arlo has a hard time earning his mark. His Poppa sets up a trap so that if he can catch a critter, he can earn his mark. The trap catches a little cave boy, but he can’t muster the courage to kill him. Arlo’s a little bit clumsy and a little cowardly and lets the boy run away. It’s not long before their paths cross again where an unlikely friendship forms when Arlo finds himself a long ways from home. Arlo gives him the name Spot and together they must battle an unknown landscape, unfriendly creatures, and other surprises along the way.
-Latest from Pixar. It didn’t feel like so many of the Pixar movies to date. That’s not to say that different is bad or that we can’t have change. I think we’re used to a variety of funny characters with a memorable voice cast, a witty script, and lots of slapstick along the way. The Good Dinosaur is missing that tone and sensibility.
-Much like Wall-E, a majority of the film is dialogue free. Arlo and Spot are not the kind of characters that are going to be having deep and meaningful conversations along the way, so a majority of the journey is told through silence and the physical altercations and rough spots that occur along the way.
-What it excels at tremendously is the animation in all of the landscapes and nature elements. The attention to detail is quite astonishing, and I think I was fooled at times. It looked so lifelike I thought I was looking at live action instead of animation. There are some sweeping shots that feel straight out of a National Geographic magazine.
-There are some traumatic lessons to be learned that nature can be very dangerous. I don’t want to divulge too much, but younger kids may be a bit frightened and have to close their eyes.
-It’s a sweet little adventure between two new friends rather than being this intelligent and deeply profound story.