Updated: 11/04/2016 4:00 PM | Print Story |  Email

11/4 Movie Trip

It's a great weekend to head to the movies! Our critic Paul McGuire Grimes from Paul's Trip to the Movies shares his reviews of three brand new flicks!

TROLLS (theatrical release)
Trolls has a fairly simple premise, but it’s pretty creative at the same time. The trolls are known to be the happiest creatures throughout all the land. All they know how to do is sing, dance, and hug. Their rivals, the Bergens, are gnome-like creatures who don’t know what it means to be happy. Every year they have a holiday known as the Trollstis where the Bergens are able to feel happiness when they eat a troll. During one particular Trollstis, when young Prince Gristle would taste his first troll, the trolls are able to escape to freedom. Twenty years pass and Princess Poppy decides to throw a huge party to celebrate their freedom. She wants to go all out with fireworks, music, and crazy invitations. Fellow troll Branch is a bit more cautious. He does not want to compromise their freedom by causing a scene. He spends his days in an underground bunker too afraid to be wild and free. Poppy’s party is a festive good time, but soon Branch’s prophecy comes true when banished Bergen Chef catches them and snatches up some of Poppy’s friends. Poppy and Branch set out to find their friends who are now in back at Prince Gristle’s castle.
-Featuring the voices of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Christine Baranski, Zooey Deschanel, Russell Brand
-Kendrick and Timberlake are an ideal match for Poppy and Branch. Both actors have voices that lend themselves easily to animated characters and both carry such joy in them that it effortlessly comes out in their work.
-One of the first things you will notice is that Trolls is so full of spunk. It’s one of the most colorful movies I have seen in quite some time.
-It is a musical with some original music and plenty of covers. Features Justin Timberlake’s new song “Can’t Stop This Feeling”, covers ranging from “True Colors”, “Move Your Feet”, and “September.” It has a Pitch Perfect vibe with a capella harmonies on some of the covers.
-Has a Cinderella type story to it when it comes to the bond between Prince Gristle and Bridget who is one of the maids of the castle. Poppy and some of the other trolls lend their happiness and artistic ways to give her a makeover in hopes of winning over the Prince. One of the themes of the movie focuses on how we accept ourselves for who we truly are and what it means to find happiness and love.
-While there are easy jokes and goofy characters, there is also a commitment to make even the smaller details pop. You can’t help but feel giddy throughout the movie as the concept of happiness radiates off the screen. 
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? It’s a jolly good time 
HACKSAW RIDGE (theatrical release)
The biggest challenge facing Hacksaw Ridge isn’t the subject matter or it’s extremely religious content. It’s the man behind the camera, Mel Gibson. If you can put his personal life to the side, Hacksaw Ridge is worth taking in. Andrew Garfield leads the cast as Desmond Doss. He’s a peaceful, happy-go-lucky young man despite his surroundings. His father, Tom, is a violent alcoholic stemming from his days in combat during World War I. His mother tries to hold the family together for Desmond and his brother, Harold. Desmond flirts his way into a first date with Army nurse Dorothy Shutte. He’s extremely rusty but his charm wins her over. Their budding relationship is tested when he decides to enlist to serve in World War II. Harold had already mentioned that he was going to serve his country, and how Desmond’s announcement rocks his family. Desmond is the ultimate optimist and is full of strong will. He’s a Seventh Day Adventist, and due to the extreme devotion to his faith, he makes it very clear on his first day at boot camp that he refuses to touch a gun. He plans on being a medic, not someone looking to kill our enemies. He is persecuted for his beliefs to the point where Captain Glover attempts to get him discharged for not following protocol.  Desmond ultimately stays on and joins his fellow soldiers at Hacksaw Ridge in the Battle of Okinawa. He held strong onto his faith, and his contributions without ever bearing arms would go on to win him the Medal of Honor from President Truman.
-Starring: Andrew Garfield, Hugo Weaving, Vince Vaughn, Sam Worthington, Teresa Palmer, Rachel Griffiths
-Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man) gives another an admirable performance. He has the plucky charm needed for the romantic aspects of the film as well as the strength and determination needed for his time as a soldier.
-Surprising turn to see Vince Vaughn as a drill sergeant. More of a dramatic role, but still has a sense of humor in his interactions with his fellow soldiers.
-Hacksaw Ridge will be a very divisive film. With Mel Gibson behind the camera and the fact that it’s a very religious movie, it could turn off many moviegoers.
-There is a brutally honest aspect about Gibson that shows he isn’t willing to downplay the horrors of what our soldiers went through. The movie put the audiences in the thick of the action. It’s an extremely graphic and brutally violent movie, which may be too much for people that had grandfathers or other family members serve. 
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? One of the most powerful, yet inspirational, war films since Saving Private Ryan
DOCTOR STRANGE (theatrical release)
Benedict Cumberbatch is no stranger at playing characters with super egos as that is how he plays Sherlock Holmes. He brings a similar quality to Doctor Stephen Strange. He’s a neurosurgeon in the top of his field. He’s massively rich, a music savant, and probably smarter than his own good allows. His colleague Dr. Christine Palmer happens to be a former flame, and there is still a spark between them. On a stormy night he cruises along a curvy road headed to dinner with the elite where he is to make a presentation. He gets a work call about a potential procedure with accompanying scans to view on his phone. It’s that split second he took his eyes off the road that forever changed his life. He loses control and his precious sports car veers off the cliff. The horrendous accident results in massive surgeries on his arms and hands rendering him unable to work. That was his whole life and now he’s lost it. When he comes to the realization that no other experimental surgeries will fix the nerves in his hands, he heads to Nepal to seek out a mystic healer that has been known to work miracles. There he meets the Ancient One who opens his mind to the concept of reorienting our spirit to better heal our body. He adapts to the practice at lightning speed as he harnesses energy to cast spells and magic. What he doesn’t know, until it’s too late, is that the Ancient One has chosen him to go after Kaecilius, a former master who has now switched to the dark side. Any further explanation of this rabbit hole would overcomplicate things.
-Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelson
-Stands apart from many of the other Marvel films in its approach. It’s very sci-fi and fantasy based with an Inception meets Harry Potter tone. It also tackles a variety of philosophical questions about how we see life, ancient healing ritual, surrendering your ego, and the consequences of trying to break the natural order
-Strong origins type story without it feeling like it’s just about some arrogant man getting used to a new suit and powers. Do not need to go in with any background on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 
-Have to be willing to go an a very “experimental” type of journey with these characters with it’s views on the mystic arts.
-One of the most special effects heavy Marvel films with his use of magic and how the imagery constantly bends and manipulates on itself. It’s a bizarre mix of colors and shapes as if you were looking into a kaleidoscope. 
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Probably not for a Marvel newbie, but it will surely please the fans.