Incredibles 2

Posted on June 14, 2018 at 5:49 pm

A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action sequences and some brief mild language
Profanity: Schoolyard language
Alcohol/ Drugs: None
Violence/ Scariness: Extended action/superhero peril and violence, gun, sad (offscreen) murder of parent
Diversity Issues: None
Date Released to Theaters: June 15, 2018
Date Released to DVD: November 5, 2018
Copyright Disney Pixar 2018

Brad Bird knows that all families are pretty incredible, and his movies about the family of superheroes reminds us that we know it, too. The writer/director of “The Incredibles” and this sequel, “Incredibles 2” (there’s a lot going on, so this title is streamlined and has no room for an extraneous “the”) took 14 years and it was worth the wait. We are glad to be back in the world of the super-family, though for many of us, our favorite character is still super-suit designer Edna Mode (voiced by Bird himself). Edna’s comment is really the theme of the film: “Parenting done right is really a heroic act.”

One of the best ideas in the original was giving each family member a heightened version of the real-life superpowers we see in all families. The dad is Bob, otherwise known as super-strong Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson). Mom is Helen, who is always stretched in a million different directions, Elastigirl (Holly Hunter). The middle school daughter, Violet (Sarah Vowell) is invisible, because middle school is such a fraught time that many kids either think they are invisible or wish they were. And her younger brother is super-fast Dash (Huck Milner). There’s also a baby named Jack-Jack, who in the last film had not developed any superpowers yet, but in this sequel makes up for lost time with at least 17 of them.

We begin right where the first film left off. Even though they just saved the day, superheroes are still outlawed by a government that considers them too much of a risk. Violet has finally been noticed by the boy she likes. And a new super-villain, The Underminer, has attacked the town.

The Incredibles save the day, but it does not change the law. “Politicians don’t understand people who do good only because they think it right.” Even the secret government program to keep the superheroes saving the day is shut down.  The Incredible family has no place to go…until a pair of siblings who head up a huge corporation make them an offer.  They think they can persuade the government to change the law, but first Elastigirl — and only Elastigirl — will have to come with them.

The movie’s funniest moments come when Bob is left behind with the kids.  He may be able to lift a locomotive, but new math is an entirely different problem.  And Jack Jack’s new powers start popping out like jumping beans.  The concept of baby-proofing a house takes on a whole new meaning when it isn’t the baby you’re trying to protect. It’s the house that needs protection when a baby has laser beam eyes, invisibility, and a mode that can only be described as fire-breathing gorgon.  He may not be able to walk or talk yet, but a raccoon who won’t leave the yard will be very sorry about making that mistake.

Meanwhile, Elastigirl is happy to be using her powers again, but she misses her family, even when she gets a call about Dash’s missing shoes in the middle of a mission.  Of course a new villain is going to challenge the whole family, their old friend Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) and a delightful new group of oddball superheroes. The action scenes are as thrillingly staged as all of the “Fast/Furious” films put together, the mid-century-inspired production design is sensationally sleek and space age, especially the house the Incredibles borrow. Some serious and timely issues are touched on lightly but meaningfully, including immigration, how to respond to laws you consider unfair, opting for “ease over quality” in consumer goods, and spending too much time on screens with not enough connection to people. The villain, once revealed, seems a bit patched together, however, as though there was some re-writing done over the 14-year gestation period that never got fully resolved. But there is plenty of comedy and lots of heart in a story that truly is incredible.  Please don’t make us wait until 14 years for the next one.\

DVD Extras include concept art and a new feature about Edna Mode.

NOTE: Pixar continues its track record for making parents in the audience cry, this time even before the feature begins. The short cartoon before “Incredibles 2” is the story of a mom who just is not ready for her son to grow up and, I’m sorry, I must have something in my eye.

Parents should know that this movie includes an offscreen murder of a parent with a gun, extended action/superhero peril and violence, characters mesmerized and forced to obey, and brief mild language.

Family discussion:  Which is more important, selling or designing? When should you be a cynic and when should you be a believer?  What are your core beliefs?

If you like this, try: “The Incredibles,” “Monsters vs. Aliens,” “Inside Out,” and “Sky High”

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3D Animation DVD/Blu-Ray Family Issues Fantasy For all ages For the Whole Family movie review Movies Scene After the Credits Series/Sequel Superhero

Coming to DVD Nov 15: Arlo the Burping Pig!

Posted on September 7, 2016 at 1:55 pm

Coming to DVD, plus Digital, Digital HD and On Demand November 15 from Lionsgate: “Arlo the Burping Pig,” with Drake Bell as the voice of Arlo!

When David (Joey Lawrence of “Melissa & Joey”) moves his family to a new city, everyone’s thrilled — except seven-year-old Talia (Lindsey Blanchard). That is, until she meets sassy Arlo, who’s just escaped from the circus. Every time Arlo eats, he belches loudly — and everyone thinks it’s Talia who’s being rude! When the family’s found with a priceless, stolen Ming vase, things get even crazier. It co-stars Jennifer Taylor (“Two and a Half Men”) and Tracy Nelson (“Melrose Place”), and features the voice of Jonathan Lipnicki (“Jerry Maguire”).

The Dove Foundation says it is “A comical movie the whole family can enjoy.”

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Comedy For all ages New on DVD/Blu-Ray Talking animals

Contest: Step Dogs

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 10:01 am

stepdogsI’m delighted to have a copy of this cute DVD to give away! Meatball is a carefree, wisecracking country dog. Cassie is Hollywood’s most pampered pet They couldn’t be more different, and when their owners marry and move the entire blended family to the rural north, the claws come out It’s only when two bumbling thieves scheme to break into their house, that these four-legged foes must team up to defend their home. This riotously funny and heartwarming comedy proves that it takes all breeds to make a family.

Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with “Step Dogs” in the subject line and tell me your favorite pet. Don’t forget your address! I’ll pick a winner at random on December 18. Good luck!

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Contests and Giveaways For all ages

An American Girl: Saige Paints the Sky

Posted on July 1, 2013 at 8:00 am

B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
Profanity: None
Alcohol/ Drugs: None
Violence/ Scariness: Scary accident
Diversity Issues: Diverse characters
Date Released to Theaters: 2013
Date Released to DVD: July 1, 2013
Amazon.com ASIN: B00C9VZ73S

saigepaintstheskyThe latest in the terrific series of American Girls movies is the story of Saige (Sidney Fullmer), a talented artist and a horse-lover.  She is devastated to learn that due to budget cuts, there will be no more art class in her school.  Just as painful, her lifetime best friend seems to like a new friend better.  Everything she thought she understood and everyone she thought understood her seem to be changing.

Then it gets worse.  Her adored grandmother (Jane Seymour), an accomplished artist and Saige’s role model, is hurt in an accident.

Saige has to learn some new skills and develop her understanding and courage in this heartwarming story of friendship, problem-solving, and making change work for you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFK76G2bsws
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Based on a book DVD/Blu-Ray Pick of the Week Family Issues For all ages Stories About Kids

Monsters, Inc. 3D

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm

A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Profanity: None
Alcohol/ Drugs: None
Violence/ Scariness: Comic peril, cartoon violence
Diversity Issues: No strong female or minority characters
Date Released to Theaters: December 19, 2012
Amazon.com ASIN: B001NN4162

According to this movie by the “Toy Story” folks at Pixar, that monsters are more afraid of children than children are of monsters. But monsters need to collect the screams of children to fuel their world, and children are getting so hard to scare that the monsters are suffering from rolling blackouts. What can they do? Top scarer John “Sully” Sullivan (voice of John Goodman) and rival Randall Boggs (voice of Steve Buscemi) work as hard as they can to break the scream-collection record. But when Randall inadvertantly lets a human child into the monster world, the monsters find out what being scared is really like.

This movie is utterly delightful. It should be put in the dictionary to illustrate the word, “adorable.” It has the same delicious mixture of heart, humor, and technical wizardry that made “A Bug’s Life” and the two “Toy Story” movies into instant classics. Like Jim Henson, who decided to make his “Sesame Street” characters monsters so that children would never be afraid of monsters again, the people behind this movie have created monsters that even the shyest child will find completely unscary. In fact, kids may decide that multiple heads, removable eyes and hair made from snakes are kind of cute.

Sully and his sidekick, Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) are just a couple of nice guys proud of their work trying to do their jobs (except for filing the paperwork, which Mike never seems to get to). When Boo (voice of Mary Gibbs) sees Sully, she runs after him, shouting “Kitty!” At first, Sully is scared of her, but then he gets to know her and they become good friends.

 

 

Parents should know that there is some mild peril. A scene in which biohazard workers in yellow jumpsuits and hoods disinfect a monster who came in contact with a child’s sock is scarier now than it would have been before the terrorist attacks and the nightly news about anthrax. Parents should be prepared for questions. There is a little bit of potty humor. All of the “scarers” are male. But overall, this is just what a G movie should be and wonderful fun for the whole family.

There are lots of terrific DVD extras, including background info, a music video, ideas that never made it onto the screen, and a game. You’ll also get a sneak peek at next summer’s animated feature. Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland and the Toy Story movies.

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