15th Jul2017

Cars 3 (Film)

by timbaros

NEXT-GEN TAKES THE LEAD — Jackson Storm (voice of Armie Hammer), a frontrunner in the next generation of racers, posts speeds that even Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) hasn’t seen. “Cars 3” is in theaters June 16, 2017. ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
Lighting McQueen is back in the latest instalment of Disney’s Cars movie franchise.

If you remember him from “Cars” and “Cars 2,” Lightning McQueen is a racing car whose red exterior and very likeable and loveable interior melts children and adults hearts alike. But in “Cars 3,” the world is changing and Lightning McQueen (voiced by Luke Wilson) can’t keep up with the new mangled fangled super fast highly technologically-advanced new cars now racing, and this includes the shiny and cocky Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). So what should Lighting McQueen do, retire? No way! After a nasty car accident in a race, McQueen is sent to Radiator Springs to recover from the crash, and from there he joins a new racing facility so that he can up his game to compete with the new cars. There he meets Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), a feisty female personal trainer who whips cars back into racing shape. Ramirez also had hopes of being a championship race car but she gave these dreams up years ago. But McQueen has to follow her instructions and at the same time he has to convince his owner Sterling (Nathan Fillion) that he can and will win his next race, for if he doesn’t, then he will give up racing altogether and just stick to endorsements. With McQueen getting into tip top shape, and Cruz’s confidence picking up and raising hopes of her going back to racing, it all boils down to the big race where McQueen has to show what he’s now made of, all thanks to Cruz.

As in “Cars” and “Cars 2,” “Cars 3” is an entertaining movie that provides us with excellent animation and a story where we route not just for Lightning McQueen but for Cruz as well – a minority female character with an inspiring storyline – a rarity in animation films. Expect Disney to have another big hit on their hands with this film as it appeals to both children and adults alike, and perhaps expect “Cars 4” to come our way in a few years time.

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08th May2016

Alice Through the Looking Glass Press Conference (Film)

by timbaros

Johnny DeppJohnny Depp 1 IMG_6627
Johnny Depp trying to balance a plate of cupcakes on his head at today’s ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ press conference at the Corinthia Hotel in Central London

Left to right:
Sacha Baron Cohen
Johnny Depp
Mia Wasikowska

Highlights from the press conference:

-An elaborate stage which looked like something out of the film, with real cupcakes, tea, porcelain bunnies and flowers.

-Cohen and Depp joking with each other very playfully

-Cohen said ‘I wanted to wear tights (in the film) because I have ladies legs’

-Depp said that ‘it was great to come back and explore this story of Alice and the Madhatter It’s a very different side of the Madhatter.

-Sacha ate, then disliked, the cupcake he chose to eat.

-Depp said that ‘music was my first love since the age of 12, still my first love. Movies became my day job.’

-Mia said on the fact the film shows a strong-willed girl: ‘We’ve come a long way but there’s still a long way to do.’

-On his accent on the film, Sacha says: ‘I have a real passing German accent.’

-Burton chimed in that he said the main character was based on Jean-Claude Van Damme

-When asked by an Italian member of press how the Madhatter got mad, Depp responded that ‘Harvey Weinstein went mad once. Disney made him made once. Hatter was mad because he couldn’t get Apple TV.’

-Depp said that it’s a less male version of the Madhatter. When told by a member of press that time has been on his side he repled ‘Time has been on my side? Because I’m still alive?’

-On how the Madhatter is so mad, Depp said: ‘`If you were crazy, if you aren’t aware, great. If aware, it will eat you alive!’

-On fame, Depp added ‘If anyone gives you any shit, beat the fuck out of them.’

Depp was low key throughout most of the press conference.

And finally, Depp made a jab at the recent trouble he had illegally bringing his dogs into Australia by saying: ‘I would like to apologize for not smuggling my dogs into London because it would’ve been a bad thing to do.’

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27th Dec2014

Million Dollar Arm – DVD

by timbaros

MILLION DOLLAR ARMTwo young men are plucked from their small Indian village to become major league baseball players in Disney’s newest feel good film Million Dollar Arm.

Jon Hamm stars as JB Bernstein – a not very successful sports agent who needs to find a way to make money to save his company, and his career. JB and his right hand man Aash (Aasif Mandvi) are not having any luck in signing NFL player Popo Vanauta, so JB, while watching Britain’s Got Talent at home (with Susan Boyle singing for Simon Cowell) has a lightbulb idea – find a young cricketer with a fast arm and turn him into a baseball star. JB and Aash hear about a very rich Asian businessman, Chang (Tzi Ma), who’s looking to invest in Asian-based athletes. So JB pitches their idea to him – a contest to be called Million Dollar Arm. Chang gives them one year, and money, to pull it off. So JB puts his Los Angeles bachelor life on hold – including liaisons with models – and leaves his house (and washing machine) in the care of Brenda (Lake Bell), a doctor who his backyard.

JB then heads to India where he starts to assemble a team to help him with the contest. He can’t say no to Amit Rohan (a very good Pitobash Tripathy), a baseball fanatic who practically begs JB to help him. Fliers are made announcing the contest, and it becomes very big news in India. Young boys pass fliers from village to village, and young men from different backgrounds show an interest in the contest – the nation is excited about the prospect of one of their own being picked to be a major league baseball player. JB enlists the help of baseball scout Ray (Alan Arkin), one of the best baseball scouts in the business. Two young men in particular take part in the contest – Dinesh (Madhur Mittal) – who wants to stay loyal to his father by taking over the family’s trucking business yet sees the contest as a great opportunity, and Rinku (Suraj Sharma) – who has one of the fastest pitches JB has ever seen. So with contests taking place in various cities in India, it’s both Dinesh and Rinku who wind up being the dual winners, winning cash prizes and a once in a lifetime and life changing opportunity – to go to America to prepare to become major league baseball players. The young men have never left their rural villages so upon arriving in America, everything is foreign to them, including escalators, modern technology and the food (pizza!). Amit comes along as a sort of chaperone to the men and as an assistant to JB. They live with JB where they set up a praying temple in one of his bedrooms. They also prepare an Indian meal in the backyard for him and Brenda – realizing that there is a spark between the two.

Having never played baseball before, both Dinesh and Rinku initially struggle to play the game. Sure, they can pitch fast, but there’s more to baseball than pitching. They need to pitch straight into the pitchers glove with the goal of striking out the players. It takes several weeks for the young men to learn the game, and once they do, JB trotts them out to the scouts of some of the major league teams (with the press in full attendance as well). But the boys disappoint, their pitching is all over the place, and not as fast as they needed to be. So JB, with the help of Pitobash’s enthusiasm and rousing speech to the two young men, hold another exhibition, and this time Dinesh and Rinku impress all in attendance, and so they are signed to a major league baseball team.

Million Dollar Arms works on all levels. It’s a feel good movie where you are routing for the underdogs and the underdogs prevail. Of course this being a Disney film that will happen. But what makes this movie stand out over others is not just the great acting, the warmth of the Indian people, and the inspirational tone of the film, it’s that Million Dollar Arm is based on a true story.

In 2007, entrepreneurial sports agent JB Bernstein staged a reality show in India to find promising baseball talent amongst the cricket-loving population. In a country of 1.3 billion people, the likelihood of him being successful was very high. Ultimately, Berstein found two ball players – Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel. They not only became an investment but it turned into a real family relationship – just as in the film. Both men were eventually signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Jon Hamm is perfect as a sports agent (he could’ve better played Tom Cruise’s role in Jerry Macguire). Hamm even has the look of a sport agent – he is easily pictured driving a sportscar – along with his combination of frustration, emotion, comedy and sympathy – especially as he gets to know the young men he’s taken under his wing – there is a real emotional bond on camera, and we can assume off camera as well. The roles of Rinku and Dinesh appear to have been an easy choice. As Rinku, Sharma brings a sense of vulnerability to the role. Sharma was just incredible in 2012’s Life of Pi, and in Million Dollar Arm he’s just as good. Mittal was brought in to play Dinesh – he’s famous for playing Salim in the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire. Mittal has practically grown up in front of the camera and it’s good to see that he’s still excelling at acting. Alan Arkin as seasoned scout Ray is the one character in the film poorly portrayed. While Arkin is an Oscar-winning actor who has appeared in many acclaimed films in his career, his Ray character is a bore. He spends most of his time sleeping at the baseball contests waiting until he ‘hears’ a fast ball. It ridiculous to think that a man as successful as Ray would sleep on the job. But the most memorable character is Amit Rohan (Pitobash Tripathy). He steals every scene he is in. At just 5’4″, he’s got lots energy, stamina, drive and confidence. Tripathy’s character brings the film funny and lighthearted moments, especially in his excitedness as JB tells him he’s going back to America with him. While there are times when the filmmakers take stereotypical shots at the Indians and their culture, what makes the movie is exactly that – the Indian culture – the vibrancy, look, feel, sounds, the organized chaos, the beautiful colors and the beautiful people – it’s all there to see on the big screen. Director Craig Gillespie and screenwriter Tom McCarthy bring a true story to a vibrant life on the screen, and while they bring dramatic license to the true events that really took place, Million Dollar Arm is the perfect film.



Million Dollar Arm [DVD] (DVD)

Director: Craig Gillespie
Starring: Jon Hamm, Suraj Sharma, Alan Arkin, Bill Paxton, Aasif Mandvi
Rating: Parental Guidance

Million Dollar Arm
New From: £3.27 GBP In Stock
Used from: £1.28 GBP In Stock

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17th Aug2013

Planes – Film

by timbaros

dusty_crophopper_in_planes_35084

Dusty Crophopper has dreams of becoming a race plane; however, being a tiny crop duster does not exactly guarantee speed. Dusty does not let his dreams fade, and he does everything he can to become a racer plane in the new Disney animated film Planes.

Dusty (well voiced by American stand-up comedian, Dane Cook) spends his days at his boring job dusting crops, and envies the bigger and faster planes who compete in races. Dusty is very good at aerobatic manuveurs, but needs to work on his speed. His boss, Leadbottom (Cedric the Entertainer) and forklift mechanic friend Dottie (the adorable voice of Terri Hatcher) try to talk him out of entering the upcoming Wings Across the World race, as they feel he will make a fool of himself and come in dead last. However, his fuel truck friend Chug (Brad Garrett) supports him and tells him to go for it. Dusty asks for advice from old Navy war plane Skipper Riley (Stacy Keach), who refuses to waste his time on what appears to be a lost cause. (Dusty eventually wins over Skipper, who shares with him his tale of flying in the war where he lost all of his flying battalion in a battle.)

In the qualifiers to the race, Dusty shows what he is made of, but is too slow to gain entry. However, he makes it into the race when another plane drops out because of performance enhancing jet fuel, and he begins the trek from the US, through Europe, to Mumbai and across the Far East, and across the finish line in New York.

Dusty does not give up hope that he can fly as fast as the rest of the other planes, including three-time winner Ripslinger (Roger Craig Smith). While preparing for the next leg of the race, Dusty meets and falls in love with racer plane Ishani (Priyanka Chopra) who helps Dusty with his fear of heights and guides him while flying through the Himalayas. Unfortunately, Dusty crashes into the ocean, and at this point considers dropping out. But with support from the other planes, including the Mexican race-plane El Chupacabra (Carlos Alazraqui), he makes it to the finish line neck-in-neck with Ripslinger.

Planes, a spin-off from Pixar’s animated film Cars (Disney bought Pixar in 2006), is an enjoyable film with very well-voiced characters, including Cook as Dusty and Hatcher as Dottie. One of the best sequences of Planes is when El Chupacabra tries to woo French-Canadian racer Rochelle (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss), doing whatever he can to win her heart.

Planes will please the little ones in your group, and will also provide a smile or two for the adults.

Review originally appeared on hereisthecity.com – please click this link to view