Zootopia #TheToiBoxOfWords #film #review

moviereview
So, in case you don’t know, I’m going it alone with my monthly movie reviews from now on. This is my first solo effort. It’s mostly the same review I’ve been doing with some minor changes. I’d love for you to leave comments or responses to any of the questions I pose. Thanks for sticking with me through this transition.

If anyone is interested in my experience of watching Zootopia, click here to see my notes.

This review will consist of me asking myself 10 questions and answering them to the best of my ability.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

1. What is this film about?

In an animated world where mammals are the peoples of the world, mammals have evolved. Predators and Prey live together in harmony, mostly. At the center of this utopia is the great metropolis of Zootopia. It’s a city, a jungle, tundra, and more where a bunny has a chance to live out her dream of becoming a police officer. When the country bunny hits the big city, she quickly learns that Zootopia isn’t the Mecca she hoped it would be; plus, there’s a mystery to be solved to which no one believes a bunny can do.

It took me a while to realize that there were no reptile, bird, or other talking animal characters. At least I don’t think so.

2. What did I think of the title, poster, and or trailer?

I’m really disappointed that I missed this in the theater. It just wasn’t in the cards for me. I remember thinking the movie looked cute; plus, I love animals and figured that there was probably some great social lesson to be learned in the end. But if I’m being totally honest, the main reason I wanted to see this was because of the Sloth clip.

3. What did I think of the main character(s) and how the actors performed them?

I thought the voices fit the characters well. I especially thought Bateman, Idris, and Slate fit their characters perfectly. I know there must be a lot that goes into making a voice come alive and match up with an animated image, but for me, it’s hard to judge whether or not they really performed well. I either like the match or I don’t.

4. What did I think of the direction and cinematography?

Again, when it comes to animated movies, I don’t know how much cinematography makes a difference, but in terms of direction, I get it. Someone has to decide if the voices sound right and match up, someone has to make sure what’s going on the background applies but doesn’t detract, etc… I’d say Byron Howard and Rich Moore did a great job conveying so much emotion in such a lighthearted setting.

5. What did I think of the soundtrack and score?

I enjoyed the soundtrack and score. They seem to go together well; songs coming in at the right moments that were built up by the score. I liked the use of popular music and the original song performed by Shakira.

6. What did I like about the story as a whole?

I thought the best part of the story were there not-so-hidden social messages that overflowed in this story. I could see small children missing some of them, but any adult who didn’t pick up on these messages were in denial. Themes of racism, bullying, discrimination, stereotypes, and more filled this story and I truly appreciate that.

7. What did I not like about the story?

Even though I saw it coming, I didn’t like who the villain ended up being. I understand that it was all a part of teaching the lesson that we humans still haven’t learned. Oppression will eventually make some people angry and desperate in dangerous ways. We have to stop keeping people down.

Without giving too much away, I wish the movie had addressed some ways in which the Zootopia community was going to keep other “underdogs” from doing crazy stuff like the  villain did.

8. Would I recommend this movie to others and what would I rate this movie?

Yes, I would totally recommend this film. Even if viewers don’t get the social messages, it’s very entertaining. I did actually LOL a few times.

On a scale of 1 to 5 movie reels, I give this film 5 reels.

MLoveIt

9. Is there anything I would have changed or done differently?

I think I would have tried to include the entire animal kingdom, but who knows; there may be a very good reason Disney didn’t go there with this story.

10. Was there anything in this movie that could be related to me or anything I have written?

I have not yet attempted a tale with talking animals as the main characters, but I’d love to give it a try. In any case, I do often slip in some sort of social message in my writing; sometimes I do it without even realising I’m doing it.

Watch, rent, or buy this movie here.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#IWSG October 2016: When is your story ready, in case you missed it, & #book drive donations.

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Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.

Monthly Question: When do you know your story is ready?

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The smarta$$ in me wants to ask the question, “ready for what?” When is your story ready for sharing, ready for editing, ready for publishing? Who knows… I guess, for me, this question is asking when is your story ready to be shared with others, whether on a blog, in a message to a select few, or with an editor in preparation for publication.

This is a tough one. I don’t always know in the same way for each story. Sometimes the story is ready only after it’s been self-edited enough. Sometimes it’s ready when the story feels complete and satisfying in a way that I no longer feel I need to add to or improve. Sometimes the story is ready when I’m tired of working on it. It really depends on the story and where I am emotionally.

And now on to the updates and in case you missed it.

This blog has been through so many changes over the years and I’m not in a place where I want it to change again, but it may have to. Some of the blog hops I participate in are either ending or changing and I’m feeling anxious. My movie review hop is ending, but I’m still going to try to review one movie a month. I feel like the love of cinema is an important part of me and my creative process that I should share with anyone who might want to know something about me from reading this blog. Also, the Question of the Month and Flashback Friday host has decided to walk away from those hops for good and personal reasons. I’ll miss him and am curious to see what direction these hops will take now that he’s seeking replacements. I threw my name in the hat, but I’d be happy with whoever he chooses. I just want these hops to continue. I really enjoy them.

So…now… let me choose my words wisely. Amazon(dot)com and I had a bit of a tiff recently. I’m seriously considering publishing my email correspondence with them as a free PDF download on this blog for anyone who’d like to read them. They are shocking, sad, and terrifying all at once. If you want to know the summary of our tiff, check out the article I wrote about it last week, by clicking the image below.

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I mentioned it before and here’s the results. I’ve updated all my books and am ready to release my children’s books on my birthday. If you have a moment, please enjoy my unboxing video.

And last but not least, I’m trying a wacky campaign that may not go anywhere, but since I’ve only shared it with family and friends so far (I don’t count Twitter), I won’t feel too bad if no one supports it. I’m used to my family and friends ignoring anything involving my writing, excluding my mom and a handful of others who are my biggest supporters. Again, if you have the time, I’d love for you to check out my campaign video.

Don’t say it enough; thanks bunches for visiting this blog and reading my babble.

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When is your story ready?
Do you handle unwanted change well?
Ever had a tiff with Amazon? Should I publish my emails?
Any thoughts on my new children’s books?

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After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Beverly Stowe McClure,
Megan Morgan,
Viola Fury,
Madeline Mora-Summonte,
Angela Wooldridge, and
Susan Gourley!

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Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #71).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Charade & The Truth About Charlie #Review – Mock Squid Soup No.21 #cinephiles #film #mystery

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s recap my clues from last week:

Clue #1– Both leading ladies are British actresses with a dancing background; one black, one white.

Clue #2– Both leading men are known for their looks, though the original actor has more acclaim.

Clue #3– The original blockbuster movie released 1963; the box office bomb remake released 2002.

So what do you think, was I too vague or was my movie just too obscure? I think I had everyone stumped.

If anyone is interested in my experience of watching these movies, click here (Charade) and here (The Truth..) to see my notes.

This review will consist of me asking myself 10 questions and answering them to the best of my ability.

1. What is this film about?

Charade is the story of the unhappily married Regina, who discovers that she won’t be needing a divorce because her husband has been killed while she was away on holiday. To make matters weirder, three strange and dangerous people are trying to capture or kill her in hopes of retrieving money her late husband stole. Then there’s the charming “Peter” who’s there to offer her comfort and aid.

The Truth About Charlie is the remake, with some notable changes here and there. The major difference between this and the original is the additional influence of the “Shoot the Piano Player” film, and trust me, it makes all the difference.

2. What did I think of the title, poster, and or trailer?

The original trailer for Charade is quite campy but when your film stars Audrey and Cary, does it really matter?

My interest in the remake stemmed from its association with the original and the fact that I like Thandie Newton.

3. What did I think of the main character(s) and how the actors performed them?

I actually think all the leading performances, aside from Wahlberg, were pretty good; he was only okay. I do wish Audrey’s Reggie wouldn’t have been so dim at times, but it was a different time, I guess. I do wish that Thandie would have been given a little of Audrey’s runway treatment. Her character lacked the glamor that the first Regina had. Oddly enough, I found the instant attraction between Thandie and Mark more believable, but the way Audrey’s character chases after Cary’s is priceless.

4. What did I think of the direction and cinematography?

The original was shot like a typical spy film of the time, but with a bit humor and fashion thrown in. The remake however, was a bit confusing. I think this is where the “Shoot the Piano Player” influence took things too far. The remake felt like an art film, a study in emotional expression, something that just didn’t go well with the plotline. Weird camera angles, color filters, quick flashes of unrelated content to the story at hand- yeah, it just didn’t work for me.

5. What did I think of the soundtrack and score?

The original movie didn’t have a whole lot going on in terms of music. I like the intro music which seemed to repeat as needed throughout the film. Though more than odd in some places, the soundtrack for the remake, was quite fun. There was lots of variety. Some songs set the perfect mood while others set matters askew.

6. What did I like about the story as a whole?

Since both stories are essentially the same, and I mean that (I was expecting more changes in the remake), I can say that I actually like both stories. I like the mystery and how it all unfolds, plus what’s a mystery without multiple false identities?

7. What did I not like about the story?

For Charade, I’d have to say that the way Reggie’s character was so dim and helpless was a turnoff.

For The Truth About Charlie, the odd way in which it was filmed and the fact that very few changes were made, made the movie a bit disappointing.

8. Would I recommend this movie to others?

Yes, I’d actually recommend both films.

Charade is a film that a classic movie lover should see; plus the fashion is amazing.

The Truth About Charlie isn’t a bad movie, but it is a bad remake. Anyone who hasn’t seen the first film might really enjoy this one. If for no other reason, I recommend both films for comparison sake.

9.What would I rate this movie?

On a scale of 1 to 5 movie reels, I give Charade 4 reels

MLikeIt

and The Truth About Charlie 3 reels.

MOkay

10. Was there anything in this movie that could be related to me or anything I have written?

Not exactly. I’ve not written a true mystery, though I do incorporate elements of mystery in my Eternal Curse Series. While I don’t know a whole lot about fashion, I do try to utilize elements of fashion in my world building.

Watch, rent, or buy Charade movie here.

Watch, rent, or buy The Truth About Charlie movie here.

Mock Squid Soup – Film Society

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MOCK! and The Armchair Squid are proud to introduce Mock Squid Soup: A Film Society. Each month, on the second Friday, we shall host a bloghop devoted to movie reviews. We invite others to participate and post their reviews…Don’t be shy; come join the fun! 😀

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

3 clues to guess my August ‘16 movie: A Mock Squid Soup Teaser #cinephiles #film #review

movieclueWhen left to my own devices, I will usually over think things or make them harder than they need to be. So for this month, I’m actually reviewing two movies- an original and a remake.

Clue #1– Both leading ladies are British actresses with a dancing background; one black, one white.

Clue #2– Both leading men are known for their looks, though the original actor has more acclaim.

Clue #3– The original blockbuster movie released 1963; the box office bomb remake released 2002.

Do you think you know what my movie is? Am I making this way too hard?

I can’t wait to see everyone else’s clues. I hope I guess some right. I’m so looking forward to the actual reviews that will be posted next week.

Mock Squid Soup – Film Society

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MOCK! and The Armchair Squid are proud to introduce Mock Squid Soup: A Film Society. Each month, on the second Friday, we shall host a bloghop devoted to movie reviews. We invite others to participate and post their reviews…Don’t be shy; come join the fun! 😀

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

CHEF #Review – Mock Squid Soup No.20 #cinephiles #film #food

Wikipedia

If anyone is interested in my experience of watching CHEF, click here to see my notes.

I’m following in the footsteps of Nancy Mock and MOCK and I hope I can keep up. I made a point not to read their reviews before watching this film so it would be a fresh experience for me. Let’s see how it all went.

This review will consist of me asking myself 10 questions and answering them to the best of my ability.

1. What is this film about?

Chef Carl is good, but he’s insecure. Not a good husband, not a good dad; being a great chef is all he has, but even his idea of what legitimizes a chef is a little askew. After a bad review and discovering the nature of social media in the worst way, Carl is forced to rethink his methods and downsize to a food truck.

2. What did I think of the title, poster, and or trailer?

The title is simple. Made me think the movie would be simple and subtly profound. I never watched the trailer. The poster looks fun.

3. What did I think of the main character(s) and how the actors performed them?

Well first off, this cast is ridiculous. Jon Favreau called in every big name he’s worked with, or wanted to work with, even down to cameos from real chefs and recording artists. No one did a bad job with their roles, but then they weren’t really challenging roles. I did think the boy, Emjay Anthony, did a great job standing his ground next to talents such as Dustin Hoffman, Scarlet Johansson, and Robert Downey Jr.

4. What did I think of the direction and cinematography?

Quadruple-threat-man, Favreau, did a nice job putting this all together. I liked the way he incorporated the social media elements. It was student-film-like in that way that feels natural and edgy, even if it’s not.

5. What did I think of the soundtrack and score?

The soundtrack was the second best thing about this film. The cooking scenes were the first, but I have a thing for cooking scenes. Sadly though, anyone who doesn’t like Jazz, Blues, and or Latin music won’t share my thoughts here.

Let’s all thank Nancy for sharing the soundtrack with us here.

6. What did I like about the story as a whole?

I like that the need to connect and create was at the center of it all. Chef Carl wasn’t able to create and it drove him crazy and because he wouldn’t connect, he stifled his own focus and execution.

7. What did I not like about the story?

Simple is usually good, but the simplicity of how everything worked out seemed generic. It was an enjoyable story, but it didn’t excite me.

8. Would I recommend this movie to others?

Probably, but I’d be picky about it. If anyone asked me if it was worth seeing, I’d say yes, but I don’t feel like I need to hurry out and share this with all my friends.

9. What would I rate this movie?

On a scale of 1 to 5 movie reels, I give this film 3 reels.

MOkay

10. Was there anything in this movie that could be related to me or anything I have written?

Yes, FOOD. I love food and try to include it in my writing though I don’t always do so well. I find that I often create recipes for stories or characters as part of my writing process. I’m no chef, but I understand Carl’s need to create, whether in the kitchen or at my desk.

Watch, rent, or buy this movie here.

Download the soundtrack here.

Mock Squid Soup – Film Society

41375-mocksquidsoup2
MOCK! and The Armchair Squid are proud to introduce Mock Squid Soup: A Film Society. Each month, on the second Friday, we shall host a bloghop devoted to movie reviews. We invite others to participate and post their reviews…Don’t be shy; come join the fun! 😀

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords