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Cars 3 – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  June 16, 2017
Rating:  G
Run Time:  1 hour 49 minutes
After Credit Scene:  YES
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  8 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

Lightning McQueen is back!  He’s a little older but he’s still winning, that is until youth and their more sophisticated and technologically advanced cars start to replace old school race cars.  After a horrific wreck, McQueen has to find his mojo and prove to all he still has it.

What works:    A wonderful cast yet again.  The visuals are stunning, captivating, and if you pay close attention you’ll see cars in them hills.  The story is well written and pays homage to the late Paul Newman (Doc Hudson).  Some new types of racing and new characters keep the franchise fresh.  It’s nice to see that they kept most of the cast from the previous films, Tow Mater is still there with our comedic relief.  Lots of NASCAR references and cameo voice acting.  Those who know their NASCAR will enjoy the references.  Although not part of the movie, there is another Pixar short prior to Cars 3 and I like the message it sends to kids.

What doesn’t work:  The story goes a little flat in the second act.  Although a good movie, I think this will be the last in the Cars franchise.  The spark isn’t there like it was in the previous films and I’m not sure it keeps kids fully engaged throughout the film.  Another disappointment was the soundtrack.  The contemporary music didn’t hit you like in the previous films and it stood out to me at times.

You get what you expect in a Pixar Film.  Cars 3 delivers and is a fun film to watch with your kids and you’ll get to see your favorite cars.  For adults, there are touching moments as they explain the relationship between McQueen and Doc Hudson in more depth.  I believe there is something here for everyone including girls as they pull for Cruz Ramirez (voiced by Cristela Alonzo) as she attempts to build McQueen’s confidence as well as her own.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give this one an 8.  Good family movie, worth the price of admission and concessions.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

cars 3 poster

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Trailer Snark (June 17, 2016 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Last Week:  The Conjuring 2 was a hit at the box office with $40.3M last weekend, and topping the list.  In an unusual (of late) turn, the next two entries were also debuts with Warcraft pulling in $24.3M and Now You See Me 2 taking in $23M.  Fourth place was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:  Out of the Shadows ($14.8M/$61M), and fifth place belonged to X-Men: Apocalypse ($10M/$136.3M).  The rest of the top ten were as follows:  Me Before You ($9.2/$36.8M), Angry Birds ($6.8M/$98.1M), Alice Through the Looking Glass ($5.5/$62.4M), Captain America:  Civil War ($4.3M/$396.8M), and The Jungle Book ($2.7M/$352.6M).  Let’s look ahead to this weekend!

Finding Dory (Disney/Pixar) – Family
Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Tag Line: Have you seen her?
Starring: Ellen Degeneres, Ed O’Neil, Albert Brooks
Plot: The friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish reunites with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way.
Running Time: 97 minutes

Jessica: I liked Nemo okay, I don’t really care about Dory. I am sure people will enjoy it though.
Chris:  Mine?  Mine? Mine?  Yes, all mine and it’s about time.
Jim: Nemo is a classic. It’s Pixar. Most likely another classic.
Ken: The lovable Dory stole the show in the original Finding Nemo. Expect more Pixar cuteness and hilarity from the sequel.

Central Intelligence (Warner Bros) – Comedy
Rated PG-13 for crude and suggestive humor, some nudity, action violence and brief strong language
Tag Line: Saving the world takes a little Hart and a big Johnson.
Starring:  Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson
Plot: After he reunites with an old school pal through Facebook, a mild-mannered accountant is lured into the world of international espionage.
Running Time: 114 minutes

Ken: Feels like a pretty cookie cutter buddy cop movie. Love the Rock and Hart though, so I might rent this one later.
Jim: Looks like an enjoyably dumb time-waster.
Chris: I laughed a lot in the trailer.  Kevin Hart is a favorite of mine.  And who doesn’t love the Rock?
Jessica: NO THANK YOU. Looks really, really, REALLY dumb.

Swiss Army Man (A24) – Adventure/Comedy/Drama
Rated R for language and sexual material
Tag Line: We all need some body to lean on.
Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Daniel Radcliffe
Plot: A hopeless man stranded in the wilderness befriends a dead body and together they go on a surreal journey to get home.
Running Time: 95 minutes

Jessica: I don’t know … I just … Ugh … This movie makes me feel icky.
Ken: Daniel Radcliff makes Wilson look like a piece of crap. So bizarre that I might have to check this one out.
Jim: Huh?

Chris: *Yawn*

Clown (Dimension) – Horror/Fantasy
Rated R for horror violence and gore, and for language
Tag Line: The kids aren’t alright.
Starring: Andy Powers, Laura Allen
Plot: A loving father finds a clown suit for his son’s birthday party, only to realize that it is not a suit at all.
Running Time: 100 minutes

Chris:  Couldn’t find a distributor for two years?  It does not paint the whole picture, but I am not encouraged.
Jessica: NO WAY EVER. I hate frackin’ clowns. Now and forever until the end of time.
Ken: Aqua Team Hunger Force already did this in the classic episode, “The Clowning”.
Jim: This could be a good scary movie underneath the terrible trailer.

Tickets Purchased:  Two for Finding Dory (Chris and Jim) and Jessica stays home with Orange is the New Black

She may be simple, but we share the same passions.
She may be simple, but we share the same passions.
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Trailer Snark (November 25th, 2015 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Last Week: Was there any doubt?  Hunger Games destroyed the box office this past weekend with $101M in Katniss currency.  The newest James Bond film settled for a very distant second with an addition of $14.6M to it’s overall domestic $153.7M total.  The Peanuts Movie came in third with $12.8M and is poised to break the $100M mark this week.  Our next highest debut was the Seth Rogen comedy The Night Before with $10.1M.  Secret in Their Eyes debuted in fifth with $6.6M.  The rest of the top ten was as follows:  Love the Coopers ($3.9M/$14.5M), The Martian ($3.7M/$213M), Spotlight ($3.6M/$5.8M), The 33 ($2.2M/$9.9M), and Bridge of Spies ($1.9M/$65.1M).  Who are this week’s Thanksgiving contenders?

Cue the music……

Creed (MGM) – Drama/Sports
Rated PG-13 for violence, language and some sensuality
Tag Line:  Your legacy is more than a name.
Starring:  Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone
Plot: The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.
Running Time: 133 minutes

Chris: Brought back some memories of the classic original Rocky movie.  Might have to expand this trip down memory lane to a full length feature viewing!
Rob: I’m a sucker for a good boxing flick, and Apollo Creed was one of favorite Rocky characters.  I’m looking forward to seeing this down the road.
Jessica: In preparation for this Frankie had me watch all the Rocky films and I gotta say, Apollo Creed was totally a favorite of mine. This look like it’s going to be really good and I’m glad to see Sly making an appearance.
Ken: Every generation should watch Rocky (at least the first two, and skip #5). Rocky is an American classic and Creed looks like a worthy contender.
Jim: Looks like it could be a good one. I roll my eyes at how many times that Stallone has played Rocky, but I have to admit that, for the most part, he does well with the character.

The Good Dinosaur (Disney/Pixar) – Family
Rated PG for peril, action and thematic elements
Tag Line:  Little arms.  Big attitude.
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Anna Paquin, Sam Elliot, and more.
Plot: An epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend.
Running Time: 100 minutes

Jim: The dinosaurs look a bit rubbery, but Pixar seldom disappoints. I won’t be waiting long to see this one.
Chris: If my kids were younger, I’d be all over this one.  Rob IS all over this one….guaranteed.
Rob: I’m even more of a sucker for good animation, and Disney-Pixar is leaps and bounds above good.  They are quite simply, the best.  While this particular “What If” scenario (what if the asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs missed) isn’t of very much interest to me, I will ALWAYS take a chance on Walt Disney Feature Animation.  They excel at not only animation, but at telling powerful stories.
Jessica: I am not a huge fan of “kid” movies or animation so it has to be something that looks REALLY fun for me to want to see it. This does not look that way. This is a big pass for me.
Ken: Looks cute and the animation is gorgeous. Choosing to go with no dialogue seems like a gamble for an animated kid’s film. Half the fun of the Never Ending Story was the superb voice acting.

Victor Frankenstein (20th Century Fox) – Drama/Horror/Sci-Fi
Rated PG-13 for macabre images, violence and a sequence of destruction
Tag Line: Discover the origin of the monster and his creation.
Starring:  Daniel Radcliffe, James McEvoy
Plot: Told from Igor’s perspective, we see the troubled young assistant’s dark origins, his redemptive friendship with the young medical student Viktor Von Frankenstein, and become eyewitnesses to the emergence of how Frankenstein became the man – and the legend – we know today.
Running Time: 109 minutes

Ken: I was hoping that this was an expanded look at the R&D that went into building Frankenstein’s monster, as seen through the eyes of the Doctor’s assistant. Boy was I disappointed. It’s a hideous monster, all right.
Jim: Doesn’t look like it’s sure what kind of movie it wants to be, the tone slipped around a little too much in the trailer. Pass, most likely.
Chris: Effective trailer.  I was skeptical at first, but I’ll be sure to catch this one on the small screen when it hits.
Rob: Another take on one of my favorite books.  Looks like it could be entertaining, but a rental type flick at best methinks.
Jessica: I was SO excited when I saw it was Harry Potter and McAvoy in this one but the trailer leaves me feeling cold. Looks like an attempt to be “hip” with one of the best monster stories ever told. I will only ever watch this when it’s 100% free either on Amazon or Netflix.

The Danish Girl (Focus Features) – Bio/Drama
Rated R for some sexuality and full nudity
Tag Line: Have the courage to love.
Starring:  Eddie Redmayne. Alicia Vikander
Plot: The remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.
Running Time: 120 minutes

Jessica: After seeing Redmayne play Hawking I am VERY excited to see this film. Add to that the topical nature of the fight for transgender rights and this one is right up my alley and down my street.
Ken: Yikes, could you imagine what that kind of surgery was like back in the 20’s? They didn’t even have penicillin.
Jim: Redmayne was great as Hawking, looks like he’s doing some interesting stuff here. Might be worth a look.
Chris: It’s Caetlyn the Movie!  Pass.
Rob: Transgender in the 1920’s.  Could be an interesting film, but not big screen material.

Janis: Little Girl Blue (FilmRise) – Bio/Documentary/Music
Not Rated
Tag Line:  None
Starring: Janis Joplin
Plot: Musician Cat Power narrates this documentary on Janis Joplin’s evolution into a star from letters that Joplin wrote over the years to her friends, family, and collaborators.
Running Time: 103 minutes

Rob: Janis Joplin is, of course, a rock and roll legend.  I don’t know very much about her, so this could be an interesting view.  But this broken record will once more say this isn’t big screen material.
Jessica: I am a HUGE Joplin fan and this looks interesting. A home viewer though, not theater.
Ken: A lot of world changing events came out of this era, including the greatest outpouring of musical creativity heard in the last two hundred years. If there was a book written about the 60’s, Janis would be its cover-girl.
Jim: What a voice. Led a short but interesting life. Definitely worth a rental.
Chris: Documentary on one of the biggest ground-breakers in rock history.  Not theater viewing for me, but worth a look down the line.

Tickets Purchased:  Three for Creed (Jessica, Ken, and Chris) and two for The Good Dinosaur (Rob and Jim)

When has boxing a dinosaur ever been successful?
When has boxing a dinosaur ever been successful?