Category Archives: Disney

Marvel Releases Trailer and Images to Freeform’s ‘Cloack and Dagger’

Marvel Television’s first foray into Freeform television got its first glimpse with a trailer and image.

Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger” is the story of Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) – two teenagers from very different backgrounds, who find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers which are mysteriously linked to one another. Tandy can emit light daggers and Tyrone has the ability to engulf others in darkness. They quickly learn they are better together than apart, but their feelings for each other make their already complicated world even more challenging. The network has ordered ten one-hour episodes slated to debut early 2018. “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger” stars Olivia Holt, Aubrey Joseph, Andrea Roth, Gloria Reuben, Miles Mussenden, Carl Lundstedt, James Saito and J.D. Evermore. The series is co-produced by Marvel Television and ABC Signature Studios. Joe Pokaski (“Underground,” “Heroes”) serve as showrunner and executive producer; Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s The Punisher,” “Marvel’s The Defenders”), Marvel’s head of Television, and Jim Chory (“Marvel’s The Punisher,” “Marvel’s The Defenders”) also serve as executive producers. Gina Prince-Bythewood (“Love & Basketball”) directed the first episode.

Imaginary Mary – WonderCon Panel

From Adam Goldberg, the creator of “The Goldbergs” comes “Imaginary Mary.”

Alice (Jenna Elfman, “Dharma & Greg,” “Friends With Benefits,” “EDtv”) is a fiercely independent career woman whose life is turned upside-down when she meets the love of her life – a divorced father with three kids. This triggers even more upheaval when the slightly unhinged imaginary friend she created as a child suddenly reappears to help her navigate the transition from single girl to a woman ready for a family.

Oprah Winfrey, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Stan Lee Named Disney Legends at D23 Expo

Oprah Winfrey, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Stan Lee, Julie Taymor, and other remarkable contributors to the Disney legacy will be honored as official Disney Legends during D23 Expo 2017. Hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, the Disney Legends Award ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 14, in Hall D23 of the Anaheim Convention Center.

StarWars.com

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Disney Legends Awards. The first Disney Legend was Fred MacMurray (The Shaggy Dog, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Happiest Millionaire), who was honored in 1987.

“The Disney Legends Award is the highest honor our company can bestow on an individual, reserved for those few who have truly made an indelible mark on the history of The Walt Disney Company,” said Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger. “It’s a celebration of talent, a recognition of achievement, and an expression of gratitude to the men and women whose work has significantly contributed to Disney’s enduring reputation for creative excellence.”

The awards ceremony is just one of the dozens of spectacular events that Disney fans can enjoy during the three-day D23 Expo.

The 2017 Disney Legends Award honorees (listed alphabetically) are:

CARRIE FISHER became an overnight sensation in 1977 with her iconic performance as Princess Leia in Star Wars. But throughout her career, Carrie took on many roles—as an actress, author, playwright, screenwriter, and outspoken advocate for mental health awareness. For Disney, Carrie appeared in Scream 3 (2000) and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) for Dimension Films, and, in 2015, she returned to the role that made her famous, starring as General Leia Organa in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. She reprised the role for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which will be released in December.

CLYDE “GERRY” GERONIMI joined the Disney Studio in 1931. His first assignments as an animator were for several memorable Mickey Mouse, Silly Symphony, and Pluto cartoons, and he eventually contributed to more than 50 of the Studio’s shorts. Gerry made the leap to sequence director with 1943’s Victory Through Air Power, and he subsequently contributed to The Three Caballeros, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Cinderella, Peter Pan, and One Hundred and One Dalmatians. He also directed segments for television’s Mickey Mouse Club and contributed to episodes of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. The apex of his Disney career came when he served as supervising director for the 1959 masterpiece Sleeping Beauty.

MANUEL GONZALES was one of 33 artists selected from thousands of applicants to join Disney in 1936. In 1938, he took over penciling duties on the Sunday Mickey Mouse comic strip from Disney Legend Floyd Gottfredson. He brought Mickey Mouse to newspapers nationwide for nearly 40 years. At its peak, his Mickey-starring comic strip appeared in 120 newspapers around the world with a collective circulation of more than 20 million readers each week. Manuel was presented a “Mousecar” award by Walt Disney in 1966.

MARK HAMILL began his career in 1970, appearing in numerous television series guest-roles and several TV movies, including a recurring role on ABC’s General Hospital and starring in MTM’s acclaimed The Texas Wheelers. He achieved worldwide attention as Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy, which included The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. He returned as Luke in The Force Awakens and will appear in the upcoming The Last Jedi. His stage career includes Broadway shows and the first national tour of Amadeus directed by Sir Peter Hall. A prolific voice-over actor, he has performed in countless animated television shows, feature films, documentaries, and video games. He appears on Disney’s Miles from Tomorrowland and Milo Murphy’s Law, and has also provided the voice of The Joker in the Batman animated series, a role that recently earned him a BAFTA Award.

WAYNE JACKSON began his career as a Walt Disney Imagineer in October 1965, and in the decades that followed he would put his technical skills and know-how to great use in the development and installation of Disney attractions around the world. Originally trained in aircraft tooling, he began as a technician and machinist assigned to rebuild the shows from the 1964–65 New York World’s Fair that were slated for installation at Disneyland. Instrumental in the early development of Audio-Animatronics® technology, Wayne would go on to help bring Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion to Disneyland. He went on to work on the construction and installation of attractions and show systems at Walt Disney World Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, and Disneyland Paris.

STAN LEE got a job as an office assistant at a comic publisher in 1939 called Timely Comics—forerunner of the powerhouse we all know as Marvel. Stan made his debut with a Captain America story in 1941, and by the next year, at the age of just 18, he was promoted to editor. In 1961, Stan teamed up with Jack “King” Kirby to create the Fantastic Four and ushered in a spectacular new age of comics. Stan co-created an enormous roster of Marvel characters, including Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, the X-Men, Daredevil, and Falcon. He became Marvel’s editorial director and publisher in 1972, and eventually was named chairman emeritus. His well-known cameos in Marvel films began with 1989’s telefilm The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, and since the release of X-Men in 2000 he has appeared in nearly every Marvel film project. Outside the super-hero realm, he has even popped up as a wedding guest in Disney’s The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.

GARRY MARSHALL began his career in Los Angeles writing for a number of hit shows, including The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Lucy Show. But his big break came in 1970, when he produced The Odd Couple for ABC, the first of many big hits he created for the network. Beginning with Happy Days in 1974, he developed a shared universe of spinoffs including Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, and Joanie Loves Chachi. His other ABC sitcoms during these years included Angie, The New Odd Couple, and Blansky’s Beauties. Garry was also a successful movie director, with 18 films to his credit. At Disney, he made stars of two young actresses: Julia Roberts, in Pretty Woman, and Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries. He directed Bette Midler in Beaches, as well as in The Lottery, a short film that for years was a fixture of the Backstage Tour at the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park. Garry was known for his acting, as well, and he appeared in Disney’s Race to Witch Mountain, Chicken Little, and as the Devil in Hocus Pocus.

JULIE TAYMOR is a Tony®-, Emmy®-, and Grammy®-winning and Oscar®-nominated filmmaker who has changed the face of Broadway with her innovative direction. Her adaptation of The Lion King debuted in 1997, becoming the most successful stage musical of all time; 24 global productions have been seen by more than 90 million people. The show has played in more than 100 cities in 19 countries. It received 11 Tony Award nominations, earning Julie Best Director, Costume Designer, and Best Musical for the show. Her production of The Magic Flute is currently in repertory at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Her films include A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Titus, The Tempest, the Golden Globe-nominated Across the Universe, and the Oscar-winning Frida. Taymor is a recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and an inductee into the Theater Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement. She is currently directing M. Butterfly on Broadway, opening Fall 2017.

OPRAH WINFREY is a renowned award-winning producer, actress, talk show host, and philanthropist. For 25 years she was the host of the award-winning talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which ran for 25 seasons on hundreds of stations domestically and in more than 100 countries around the world. Oprah is also an Academy Award®-nominated actress for her role in Steven Spielberg’s 1985 hit The Color Purple. In 1998, she starred in Beloved for Disney’s Touchstone Pictures, a film that she also produced. Oprah also produced and starred in ABC’s 1989 limited series The Women of Brewster Place, and would go on to produce many films for ABC, including Tuesdays with Morrie, Before Women Had Wings, and Their Eyes Were Watching God under the “Oprah Winfrey Presents” banner. She performed as Eudora in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog in 2009 and will co-star as Mrs. Which in Disney’s 2018 film A Wrinkle in Time.

Honorees receive a two-foot-tall bronze Disney Legends sculpture that signifies the imagination, creativity, and magic they have brought to the Company. Disney Legends Award recipients will also participate in a handprint ceremony at the end of the event, and their bronzed prints will be displayed in the Disney Legends Plaza at the Company’s Burbank headquarters.

Admission to the ceremony will be on a first-come, first-served basis and is included in the price of a ticket to D23 Expo 2017.

Including this year’s honorees, a total of 276 Disney Legends have been named. Past Disney Legends include Tim Allen, Julie Andrews, Beatrice Arthur, Howard Ashman, Regis Philbin, Annette Funicello, Peter Jennings, Johnny Depp, Estelle Getty, George Lucas, Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin, Rue McClanahan, Alan Menken, Hayley Mills, Fess Parker, Sir Tim Rice, Dick Van Dyke, Barbara Walters, Betty White, and Robin Williams. Beginning with the inaugural D23 Expo in 2009, thousands of Disney fans have been able to enjoy the Legends Awards ceremony live.

Tickets for D23 Expo 2017 are available for $81 for one-day adult admission and $59 for children 3–9. Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can purchase tickets for $72 for a one-day adult admission and $53 for children 3–9. Multi-day tickets are also available. For more information on tickets and D23 Expo 2017, visit D23Expo.com.

Spider-Man: Homecoming – Movie Details

Coming July 7, 2017 – Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures presents Spider-Man: Homecoming

A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming.  Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.

Directed by: Jon Watts

Cast: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Jon Favreau, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, with Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr.

Disney’s Newsies Live – Fathom Events – Movie Review

Fathom Events, known for bringing national wide access to special events, does it again with the theatrical broadcast of Disney’s Newsies. Disney Theatrical Productions presents Disney’s Newsies based on the Disney musical film, Newsies, based on the events of the “Newsboy Strike of 1899” against publishing titans, Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolf Hearst.

Release Date: February 16, 2017
Writer: Harvey Fiersten
Composer: Alan Menken and Jack Feldman
Director: Jeff Calhoun
Cast: Jeremy Jordan, Kara Lindsay, Ben Fanhauser, Andrew Keenan-Bolger

There are two elements to address with the screening: the play and the film. Let’s start with the play. Full disclosure: I have never seen the Newsies film or the play on stage, so I’m coming in fresh with a fresh viewpoint.

The musical, Newsies, follows the lead character Jack Kelly (Jeremy Jordan), who is the reluctant leader and in many cases father figure to the newsboys of Brooklyn. He lives on the street with Crutchie (Andrew Keenan-Bolger) and survives with the money he earns selling newspapers to the fine people of Brooklyn. Every morning newsboys buy papers from the newspapers company at wholesale and sells them for twice the money. Newsboys keep the profits.

Concerned with the lowering readership and the increase in expense, news titan Joseph Pulitzer (Steve Blanchard) raises the wholesale price the newsies have to pay, thus making it harder for them to make a profit. Angered by the rise in price, Jack attempts to rally the newsboys to go on strike and encourage the other boroughs of New York to do the same.

Faced with the certain beatings of the paper’s strikebreakers, the uncertainty of survival without income and competition from paid scabs, Jack must find it within himself to inspire not only the boys around him but inspire himself at the same time. Jack and the boys are aided by an entertainment columnist, Katherine Plummer (Kara Lindsay) to cover the plight of the young boys. Of course, all of this is set to music and dance.

Other elements of the story include the Refuge, a juvenile detention center for delinquent boys. The living conditions are bleak with little food, sunlight and three-to-a-bed sleeping situation. The real refuge is found in a vaudeville-style theatre owned by Medda Larken (Aisha de Haas), who allows the boys to hold their first union meeting there. Then there is Davey (Ben Fankhauser) and his young brother Les, who become the providers of their family due to an on-the-job accident that disables their father. It is Davey that understands the inner working of unions and provides wise counsel to Jack.

At the end, Newsies is a fantastic, but not perfect musical. The set pieces are large and impressive. It’s tall scaffolding and projection system makes you feel like you’re on a New York set. The actors are good. Jeremy Jordon is charismatic as Jack Kelley and he makes you feel the broad range of emotions of Jack as the inspiration of the movement along with the heavyweight he bears for the safety and welfare of his crew. The choreography is fun and whimsical. I’m not much of a dance expert so I’ll end there.

The music is the highlight of Newsies. Disney Hall of Famer Alan Menken does no wrong. Often a musical greatness is a collaboration of music, lyrics, staging and acting, but the music shines above the production. Celebration, dreaming, love and determination is felt throughout the entire score. The only downfall of the music is lyrics. It is plan hard to understand what is being sung, specifically in the group number. It appears when everything sings together at the same time, you lose clarity. For example, the big opener, “Carrying the Banner” is a great song to watch. It has fantastic choreography and the music is hummable, but I could not understand a single line being sung. “King of New York” is a fantastic song with an even better hook, yet, I can hardly repeat any line from the song, except “King of New York”

It’s the quite moments that brought me back to enjoying the visual feast of Newsies, “Something to Believe In” is the love song and works to bring the Jack and Katherine together.

I walked away from Newsies feeling inspired by this post-modern turn-of-the-century David and Goliath story. It takes you back to a time, when Americans had to fight for real things, like survival.

Let’s talk about the movie. When you film a staged musical, the goal is to capture the quintessential performance of its run. Filmed in 2016, this film brought back most of the original cast from its Broadway opening night. The performances are clean and flawless and the veteran cast performs as a veteran cast should. It’s clear that the film blends footage from its live performance with a pack audience with a separate performance for close-up cameras.

Newsies Live manages to give us the feel of the stage production, especially during the big dance numbers. Although, sometimes the overuse of close-ups can pull you out of the theater and drop you in a live broadcast on television. The theater audience has the opportunity to look around the stage for the action, but then the close-up cameras force you to see what the film director wants you to see. This is just a small criticism, with what otherwise is the quintessential capture of the Broadway show.

The last small annoying thing about Newsies Live is the audience. Clearly, they are there because they are theater geeks, who are a little too over-enthusiastic about the experience. But fortunately, the performance itself is able to stand on its own and garner the admiration it deserves.

If you love big Broadway musicals, Disney musicals and a good ole feel good show, Newsies Live is worth checking out.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Movie Review

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story follows the small crew of rebel outlaws and misfits as they attempt to steal the plans of the Empire’s new weapon—The Death Star. Rogue One is the first of the Star Wars stand-alone movies and director Gareth Edwards comes out swinging with the most intense Star Wars film.

Release Date: December 16, 2016
Writer: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy
Director: Gareth Edwards
Cast: Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk

Rogue One is the story of a ragtag band of misfits, who take the ultimate step of bravery to steal the plans of the Death Star and in hopes of the saving the Republic. The movie starts on a desolate farm run by former Imperial scientist Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelson). Erso is soon approached by the Empire’s chief architect Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) to build a super weapon, famously known as the Death Star. As Erso is taken away, his young daughter, Jyn (Felicity Jones), goes into hiding. She is soon rescued and raised by Rebel sympathizer, Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) who comes from the Star Wars Clone Wars television show.

Years later, Jyn makes one last attempt to rescue her father and retrieve the plans for the super weapon. She is aided by her misfit friends and a small number of dedicated soldiers. Her band includes a morally compromised rebel soldier—Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), captured imperial pilot—Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed), reprogrammed Imperial droid—K2SO (Alan Tudyk) and Jedi temple guards, Chirrut Inwe (Donnie Yen) and Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang).

It’s a different kind of Star Wars movie. Many of the filmmaking devices of Star Wars are discarded for more traditional story telling. Rogue One dispenses with the opening crawl and cinematic wipes, now reserved for the sagas. Rogue One for the most part is a war movie. What it lacks in character development, it makes up in great storytelling.

Rogue One is not perfect. A story that drags a little on the front end, where there is a great deal of revealing the large cast and talking about back story. But ultimately the movie moves quickly to the task at hand…stealing the plans of the Death Star. Star Wars fans know the ending, i.e. they steal the plans to the Death Star. Without giving away the entire story, Rogue One is the story of how far will individuals go and how much will they sacrifice for the greater good.

Already revealed is the return, not only of Darth Vader, but of Grand Moff Tarken and another surprise character. Technology we’ve seen in Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War, which created a young looking Michael Douglas and teenage Robert Downey Jr. In Rogue One, LucasFilm brings a character from the past into a fully realized actor with the exact facial features of the late Peter Cushing. While the likeness and performance of this CGI character was amazing, its imperfections are noticeable. We’re close, but will we ever be able to bring an actor back to life?

In the end, I left Rogue One feeling like my heart was ripped out. It’s a story of heroism and the price of freedom. The movie will leave you inspired and grateful that the Star Wars franchise has been left in capable hands.

Moana – Movie Review

The young girl, Moana (Auli’l Cravalho) is destined to be the leader of her people, but is she destined to be something bigger? Disney’s Moana is the story of a princess looking to find who she is…just like Rapunzel, Frozen, and every princess before her.

Release Date: November 23, 2016
Writer: Jared Bush
Director: Ron Clemets, Don Hall
Music: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’I, Mark Mancina
Cast: Auli’l Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, Alan Tudyk

As an infant, Moana was drawn to the ocean. As the future leader of her people, her father and chief Tui (Temuera Morrison) needs her to be safe on dry land and never venture away from the island. Meanwhile, many years before, the Demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) has stolen the Heart of Te Fiti, the Goddess of the Islands. Her heart takes shape in the form of a small pounamu stone. When Maui stole the heart, a cursed was placed over the island and over time, each island would slowly die.

All through her life, Moana’s father trained her to be a leader, but it was her Gramma Tala (Rachel House), who encouraged her to follow her heart and seek the ocean. Unbeknownst to the others Gramma Tala possessed the Heart of Te Fiti. When the trees of the island begin to produced rancid fruit and the fishing traps no longer catch fish, Moana decides to take the Heart of Te Fiti, find the demigod Maui and restore the gem to the Goddess Te Fiti.

Moana is a solid story about a princess discovering who she really is. It is an inspirational tale for young girls and it also shows a girl who has leadership thrust upon her and embraces it.

As a reviewer, I have to judge Moana as a standalone, but it’s hard not to compare Moana not only to the last few Disney princess film, but also the string of female empowerment tales. Almost from the very beginning, I could not help but notice, I’ve heard this story over and over again in Disney Princess movies. In Frozen, Elsa has to embrace who she is. Rapunzel is on a quest to discover her true identity. The problem with Moana is that it tells the same story, but differently.

Moana has your basic cast of adorable characters. Moana’s parents, Chief Tui and Sina (Nicole Scherzinger) are good but overprotective parents. Pua the pig is cute, but like Mulan’s Little Brother shows up only in the beginning and the end. Heihei the chicken is an incredibly stupid chicken that serves as comic relief and important in a spot or two.

Moana has wise counsel, no not her father, but her Grandmother Tala and the Ocean. Yes, the Ocean plays a role in guiding and protecting our heroine.

Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson shines as Maui, the Demigod. Arrogant, but likeable, Maui is powerful but wants nothing to do with the mission of returning the Heart of Te Fiti. He is a has-been Hercules and only wants to return to the fame and glory he once had. In order to defeat the foes, Maui needs to retrieve his staff, which is lodged in the back of the giant coconut crab, Tamotoa (Jemaine Clement).

Disney continues to perfect the 3-D animation project. Moana boasts some of the most gorgeous and colorful backgrounds. The water effects are perfect. I used to lament the end of hand-drawn animation, but ever since Tangled, Disney make me a believer in their ability to tell compelling stories with computers.

Moana is also a Disney musical. Broadway composer Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote all of the main songs, while Opetaia Foa’l provides the Polynesian songs. Background music is composed beautifully by Mark Mancina.

The world knows Lin-Manuel Miranda from his hit Broadway play, Hamilton and he brings a great deal of Broadway sensibility to Moana. That’s the main problem with the music of Moana. We have an opener, an inspirational ballad, comic relief song, villain song and pretentious callbacks to the inspirational ballad. It’s as if he took a broadway checklist and after each type of song is written, he would check it off and move to the next. It felt staged versus organic.

Some songs are such as Maui’s “You’re Welcome.” The inspirational ballad “How Far I’ll Go” barely reaches the line of pretentious before backing off to a beautiful song, but the rest is Broadway sing-talk and the villain song, “Shiny” is the wordiest song in the world and incredibly hard to follow. You miss the days of the clever wordsmithing of Howard Ashman.

Moana may not be the greatest of the Disney Animated film, but it still shines brighter than its 2016 competition.

Doctor Strange – Movie Review

Famed neurosurgeon, Dr. Stephen Strange, finds new meaning in his life when he masters of magical world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Release Date: November 4, 2016
Writer: John Spaihts, Scott Derrickson
Director: Scott Derrickson
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Chiwatel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen

Marvel Studios has finally gotten away from the traditional superhero movie and now delves into the tricky world of multi-universes, other dimension and magic. Clearly Marvel’s biggest challenge to date because any misstep can turn Doctor Strange into the hookiest piece of garbage in the Marvel Cinematic universe. Instead, Doctor Strange is an engaging and visually stunning action film with mind-bending martial arts.

Let start off by saying there is a lot to wrap your brain around with Doctor Strange. After a car accident, famed neurosurgeon Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) losing the use of his fingers and at the same time loses his whole reason to live. He becomes obsessed with healing his fingers and returning to his world of fame. Obsessed to the point that he pushes everyone away, including colleague and former lover, Christine (Rachel McAdams).

Searching for answers, he finds that Western Medicine is of no help and desperate for answers discovers Eastern Mysticism as a possible way to heal himself. He finds himself down to literally his penny in Kathmandu. He trained by fellow student, Mordo (Chiwatel Ejiofor), mystic librarian Wong (Benedict Wong) and the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton).

Strange proves himself to be a fast learner, but as always he is faced with the choice to heal his hands and return to his former life or risk it all for something bigger than himself. In this case, it’s the nefarious Kaecillius (Mads Mikkelsen) and his disciples. Kaecillius has decided that immortality is what he truly seeks and can only attain it by handing the earth over to the Dark Lord Dormammu.

Visually Stunning. Let’s just say it. Doctor Strange is a visually stunning movie. This is basically why you should see this movie, especially in Imax-3D. Everything is just cool to watch. Think of it as Inception on crack and with cool martial arts.

The first fight scene is amazing leading to a spectacular second fight scenes. This then leads to an almost impossible to believe final act, which will blow your mind. How’s that for no spoilers.

To his credit, writer/director Scott Derrickson, weaves out-of-this-world Ditko-esque images and ideas into a story that is solid and somehow manages to hold itself together. The story is clearly an origin story and the symbolisms regarding time hit you in the face like a lead brick.  Strange must come to grips with not only losing his former life, which constantly haunts him but accepting a role that may save more lives than he can ever imagine.

Doctor Strange is a smart story with amazing visuals. It manages to find itself worthy do sit among the other Marvel films. Stay for the ending.

Finding Dory – Movie Review

In 2003, Finding Nemo captured the hearts of young and old alike. So Pixar jumped on the opportunity to capitalize on a sequel. Thirteen years later, Finding Dory continues a year from the events of Finding Nemo.

Release Date: June 17, 2016
Writer: Victoria Strouse, Andrew Stanton
Director: Andrew Stanton
Cast: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Eugene Levy, Diane Keaton, Ty Burrell, Ed O’Neil, Kaitlin Olson

Fans of Finding Nemo, know that Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) suffers from short-term memory loss. Now that she has found a new home and new family with Marlin (Albert Brooks) and his son, Nemo (Hayden Rolence), Dory is starting to remember things. Specifically, she’s remembering her parents (Eugene Levy and Diane Keaton) and the moments she separated from them.

Dory quickly convinces Marlin and Nemo to help her find her parents by traveling from Australia to Morro Bay, California to a marine life rehabilitation center. Dory is aided in her search by Hank (Ed O’Neil) the Octopus, old friend Destiny (Kaitlin Olson) and Bailey (Ty Burrell), the beluga whale.

Like the original, Finding Dory takes the idea of children and friends being lost/separated and tells it in a fresh way. As a parent, stories of losing children is a scary prospect and made the story of young Dory hard to watch without thinking of my own child. But this is what Pixar does best. They tell an exciting story with high stakes and then proceed to jerk you around emotionally. Here’s a little cute fish and her loving parents and an incredible amount of foreshadowing that this fish is going to be lost for a long time.

The other thing that Pixar does well is the sucker punch. No plan is ever as easy as it sounds. All routes that appear to solve the problem is quickly shut down. Ultimately, this becomes the theme of the movie. Dory is the only character in the film, that is oblivious to the problems and easy solutions around her. Yet, she is the one who manages to solve all the problems.

Pixar just manages to push out great film after great film, and Finding Dory deserves its spot on the shelf. Although it will probably sit in the middle of the pack, it is a fun movie, touching story and another repeat-viewing candidate for you and you children.