Updated: 03/05/2019 11:07 AM | Print Story |  Email

3/1 Movie Trip

Paul McGuire Grimes from Paul's Trip to the Movies shared his thoughts on family films worth checking out.
 
FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY (theatrical release)
 
Saraya and Zak Knight are brother and sister and come from a wresting family in England. Their mother was a pro-wrestler while their dad still runs a wresting training facility. They get invited to try-outs for the WWE. It’s a massive opportunity for their low-income, barely able to scrape by family. Saraya’s unique look sends her through into training for the WWE Divas program, but Zak doesn’t make it passed the first round. She flies to America and realizes she was not nearly as prepared as she thought she would be for the rigorous training. The WWE training coach is ready and waiting to weed out those who aren’t fit enough. Back home in England, Zak is going through the turmoil of not getting picked to pursue his dreams. 
 
-Starring: Florence Pugh, Jack Lowden, Lena Headey, Nick Frost, Dwayne Johnson, Vince Vaughn
 
-Based on a true story of WWE wrester Paige and brought to the screen with the help of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who also serves as one of the film’s producer - bridging the gap between his two careers as a pro-wrester turned movie star.
 
-Written/directed by Stephen Merchant (Extras, The Office). He’s a very funny physical comedian whose humor definitely shines through in the script. It was far funnier than I had anticipated.
 
-Sports movie that transcends the target audience. I know zilch about wrestling, really never watched it as a kid, but thoroughly enjoyed this underdog story.
 
-We’ve seen plenty of sports movies like this where the scrappy kid makes it to the big leagues and defies all odds. That’s all here, but there’s enough heart and honesty on screen that it didn’t feel totally manufactured. 
 
-This is a family story through and through more so than a wrestling movie. Wholesome family values are always present and this family proves it doesn’t have to come with a prim and proper look. They always have each other’s back but it can get messy when jealousy, disagreements, and depression sets in.
 
-Florence Pugh is a delight leading this film as Saraya/Paige. She has spunk, but allows the vulnerable side to Saraya come through. I’m excited to watch her career really take off.
 
-In supporting roles, Vince Vaughn is great as the blunt WWE coach with sharp jabs to tear contestants down.  Lena Headey is completely unrecognizable as Paige’s mom. Complete 180 from Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones.
 
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Thoroughly accessible for non-wrestling fans out there and the kind of family sports flick that makes you feel all gushy afterwards
 
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
 
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD (theatrical release)
 
Viking warrior Hiccup takes great responsibility in keeping his dragon best friend Toothless, along with all of the other dragons, safe on a rescue island. The dragon population continues to grow and is now reaching the point where they’re overcrowding the island and exposing their secret cover. Hiccup thinks there may be a mythical land far out there in the cosmos, a secret utopia that could permanently hide them. Timing is key for Hiccup, his girlfriend Astrid, and Toothless as a new foe has made his presence known. Grimmel, an evil dragon hunter, who uses another Night Fury dragon to lure out Toothless.
 
Featuring the voices of: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Craig Ferguson, Cate Blanchett, and F. Murray Abraham
 
-The final chapter in the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy. Definitely plays into that notion as we’ve watched Hiccup and Toothless grow up over the course of these movies. Hiccup has matured from a fifteen year old to being the Viking leader and king of dragons. We see how he has to find himself separate form his dad’s legacy and be the leader he’s meant to be.
 
-For me what stands out about The Hidden World isn’t its story, but the animation as it never skimps on detail. Dreamworks continues to soar with the majestic look of this franchise. When Hiccup and Astrid travel to the Hidden World to find Toothless, they discover it’s full of glowing neons and bright hues.
 
-Family movie that’s set in the action/fantasy realm. It’s a bit darker thanks to F. Murray Abraham’s menacing turn as the film’s villain Grimmel. There are some darker and scarier moments when his men attack attempting to destroy the dragon village.
 
-There’s just enough humor and cuddly moments with Toothless without relying on cheap laughs usually founds in kids movies. Jonah Hill is a standout in the supporting cast as the funny sidekick character to Hiccup.  
 
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? A satisfying conclusion with its themes of growing up and moving on that bring an emotional weight to the story.
 
RATING: 3 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
 
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET (home release)
 
Ralph and Vanellope have become very accustomed to living their lives inside the arcade in both of their video games. That all changes when the owner, Mr. Litwak, plugs a wi-fi router into their outlet. They have no idea what’s inside the Internet, but Vanellope’s always up for an adventure. Vanellope’s game Sugar Rush malfunctions when the steering wheel breaks off the machine. A couple of customers inform Mr. Litwak that the only replacement can be found on eBay for hundreds of dollars. Vanellope and Ralph hear this dilemma and head into the Internet hoping to find eBay, track down this hard to find steering wheel, and save her game.
 
-Starring: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch 
 
-Directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston (co-writer). Also worked on the Wreck-In Ralph and Zootopia
 
-Much like what Pixar’s Inside Out did for the human brain, Ralph Breaks the Internet does the same thing by conceptualizing the world of the internet by creating a physical community that Ralph and Vanellope find themselves in. Social Media District, Google Tower, Twitter forest, eBay and so on.
 
-Meets young kids where they are at as so many of them are buried in their devices. This is the world and language they know given how much time is spent watching videos, liking them, and following influencers.
 
-Comes with the highs and lows as Ralph learns what it feels like to be trending and then reads the comments section on his videos. 
 
-John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman are pure joy by tapping into that wide-eyed childhood innocence with their characters. They’ll have you grinning the entire time. 
 
-Jam-packed with jokes and funny references.  
 
-Disney goes meta by bringing in a variety of Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar characters, as well as their Princesses adding in some self-deprecating humor against the princess tropes they’re known for. They are steering away from that traditional image in 2018, as Vanellope is a modern day princess young kids can aspire to be.
 
-Action-filled car chase scenes that rival The Fast and Furious, which also starred Gal Gadot, a fellow driver who lives life on the wild side.
 
-By the time it’s all over, parents may even shed a tear given its look at the meaning of friendships and chasing your dreams.