LIFTED (YouTube Release USA 2007)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

Lifted—
5-minute Pixar short film—features on Volume 1 of the Pixar Short Films Collection, currently features on YouTube, and appears at the conclusion of the full-length animated film Ratatuoille. It’s well-animated, wonderfully comical, and a tribute to the skill of Gary Rydstrom.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A young alien attempts his first human abduction.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Gary Rydstrom for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Katherine Sarafian for making the film possible. Additional characters include: Stu, Mr. B, and Ernie.

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s comical, enjoyable, and has a terrific ending.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

MOUSE FOR SALE (YouTube Release 2010 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì

Mouse for Sale—
a four minute short film—appeals to the adult and child audience. It quickly dips into the concept that love bases itself on what is on the inside, not on the outside appearance. This short film, well-written and executed, serves as great work for Director and animator Wouter Bongaerts. The storyline touches the heart with its innocence and sweetness.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline

Snickers, a mouse with enormous ears, begins to doubt he will ever find a home.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director and Animator Wouter Bongaerts for directing and animation effort.

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This short film currently broadcasts on YouTube. It’s a great short film watch.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

MAX STEEL (Theatrical Release USA 2016)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì

Max Steel
begins well with a good storyline but thins to a trickle by the end of its story to leave its audience stranded on that waterless landscape that asks the question, do I feel entertained? While Actor Ben Winchell has high potential for future films, this movie serves best as a background running film while meeting friends around the barbeque grill.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

When a young boy combines with an extraterrestrial, he finds incredible superpowers.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Stewart Hendler for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Charlie Cohen, Steve Soffer, David Voss, and Doug Wadleigh for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Steel (voice of Josh Brener), Molly McGrath (Maria Bello), Dr. Miles Edwards (Andy Garcia), Sofia Martinez (Ana Villafañe), Jim McGrath (Mike Doyle), Harkins (Phillip DeVona), Murphy (Billy Slaughter), Dr. Smith (Al Mitchell), Dr. Lee (Lawrence Kao), Mr. Quinn (Brett Gentile), Student/Thirsty Kid (Jahnee Wallace), and Ms. Bernardo (Avis-Marie Barnes).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. The script is predictable and does not throw the hooks necessary to pull its audience into the story.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

THE BLACK STALLION (Theatrical Release USA 1979)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 5.0|5.0 Starsììììì

The Black Stallion—
classic movie for horse lovers—quickly enters the BRAVO, BRAVO, ENCORE, ENCORE world. Excellent acting by Kelly Reno shows through every scene with all the slight nuances necessary to pull a story off well. It’s a pleasure to see Mickey Rooney in a supporting role. Director Carroll Ballard understood the story and did an outstanding job in directing it to a perfect conclusion that catches the heart and soul.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia


Storyline

A young boy and a black stallion survive a shipwreck and begin a long, shared journey to radically changed lives.


Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Carroll Ballard for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Francis Ford Coppola for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Alec Ramsey (Kelly Reno), Henry Dailey (Mickey Rooney), Alec’s Mother (Teri Garr), Snoe (Clarence Muse), Alec’s Father (Hoyt Axton), Neville (Michael Higgins), Jake (Ed McNamara), Arab (Larbi Doghmi), Jockey #1 (John Burton), Jockey #2 (John Buchanan), Becky (Kristen Vigard), and Rescue Captain (Fausto Tozzi).


Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?


Yes. This film serves generationally as a cherished, classic story and must be a part of every family’s home video library collection.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

RADIUS (Video Release USA 2017)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.8|5.0 Starsììì

Radius
builds its suspense on gradual release of its otherworldly story. The movie is imaginative, the acting fairly well done, the mystery remains intact with an ending that seems inevitable, but not expected. Good work for Directors Caroline Labrèche and Steeve Léonard.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Anything that walks across Liam’s (Diego Klattenhoff) path dies unless Jane (Charlotte Sullivan) is within 50 feet.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Directors Caroline Labrèche and Steeve Lèonard for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Giles Daoust, Catherine Dumonceaux, Patrick Ewald, Diego Klattenhoff, François Simard, Stephanie Trepanier, Anouk Whissell, and Yoann-Karl Whissell for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Sam (Brett Donahue), Dr. Mayborne (Bradley Sawatzky), Scan Technician (Andrea del Campo), Female Cop (Kristen Sawatzky), Male Cop (Darren Felbel), Henry (James Durham), Ted (Nazarly Demkowicz), Dead Woman Driver (Shannon Guile), Dead Truck Driver (Rick Skene), and Farmer (Scott Johnson).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. While this movie is no Alfred Hitchcock, it has its dramatic and suspenseful moments.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers


13 DEMONS (Video Release USA 2016)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.7|5.0 Starsìììì


13 Demons,
if critiqued on creepiness alone, rates well with Matthew McConaughey’s film, Frailty. Even though this movie uses unknown actors, it serves up a realistic story that needs no second watch. Great acting and interesting storyline. Great work for Director Daniel Falicki.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline

Friends decide to play a game called 13 Demons and get in way over their head.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Daniel Falicki for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Warren Croyle for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Torkul of Darkhaven (Stephen Grey), Abelsworth of the High Wind (Michael Cunningham), Thomas of Belmont (Daniel Falicki), Detective Black (Steven Taber), Detective White (Patrick Hendren), Dickie Collins (Jackson Ezinga), Dickie’s Boss (Charley Vanportfliet), News Anchor (Shelly Irwin), Radio Anchor (Steve Kelley), The 13 Demons (Jason Roth), and Police Guard (Heath Scarbrough).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. The film serves a late teen/adult audience.


Video Critique Available Here:


Ben Meyers

BRUCE ALMIGHTY (Theatrical Release USA 2003)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.6|5.0 Starsìììì

Bruce Almighty—
prequel to Evan Almighty—serves Jim Carrey well. His talents are perfectly supported by Jennifer Aniston, Morgan Freeman, and Steve Carrell. The casting department did an outstanding job in picking the cast for this movie. Carrey, while just as much ‘out there’ as always, does not need to carry the whole show because the script’s dialogue strongly encourages teamwork to carry itself well. Carrey showcases at a higher level with this team. Great portrayal, original, and fun-to-watch film.

Film Poster Courtesy of  Wikipedia

Storyline

Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey) receives an enlightening experience via a direct encounter with God (Morgan Freeman).

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Tom Shadyac for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, and Steve Oedekerk for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Grace Connelly (Jennifer Aniston), Jack Baylor (Philip Baker Hall), Susan Ortega (Catherine Bell), Debbie (Lisa Ann Walter), Evan Baxter (Steve Carell), Ally Loman (Nora Dunn), Bobby (Eddie Jemison), Dallas Coleman (Paul Satterfield), Fred Donohue (Mark Kiely), and Anita (Sally Kirkland).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?


Yes. This is one of Jim Carrey’s best performances partially due to an excellent script, excellent supporting cast, and terrific direction by Director Tom Shadyac who brilliantly upscaled the comedic value.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

TUMBLEWEED TANGO (YouTube Release USA 2013)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì

Tumbleweed Tango—
animated short filmserves its fresh, creative, and imaginative storyline with beautiful effect and gives its audience the added bonus of a nice ending.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline

Two balloon dogs dance through cacti and desert scenery proving that love creates an unbeatable rhythm that navigates the most severe of obstacles with finesse.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Directors Samuel Stephens and Chris Wolfgang Mauch for directing effort.

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Worth the watch and showcases the talents of Samuel Stephens and Chris Wolfgang Mauch well.

Video Critique Available Here:




Ben Meyers

THE AMAZING MR. BLUNDEN (Theatrical Release USA 1974)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.8|5.0 Starsìììì

The Amazing Mr. Blunden,
while not a new concept for storyline, serves its targeted audience in gentle style with the message that although evil exists, eventually justice surfaces and shows the winning hand.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A solicitor, with a conscience, attempts to make things right for a family where everything has gone horribly wrong.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Lionel Jeffries for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Barrie Levinson for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Mr. Clutterbuck (Graham Crowden), Mrs. Allen (Dorothy Alison ), Benjamin (Benjamin Smith), Thomas (Stuart Lock), Meakin (Deddie Davies), Mr. Wickens (David Lodge), Bella (Madeline Smith), Uncle Bertie (James Villiers), Mrs. Wickens (Diana Dors), Sara Latimer (Rosalyn Landor), Georgie Latimer (Marc Granger), and Jamie Allen (Garry Miller).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Director Lionel Jeffries makes a sweet film with appeal that suits a young adult audience.

Video Critique Available Here:





Ben Meyers

TINKER BELL (Theatrical Release USA 2008)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì

Tinker Bell
—simple, sweet animated flick for children—serves up its story with healthy portions of goodness via the talents of Director Bradley Raymond. An all-around fun adventure, it will keep children entertained.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Tinker Bell makes things like dew drops and fixes things like music boxes, but this small fairy does not yet appreciate the value of tinkers in the world.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Bradley Raymond for direction effort. Thank you to Executive Producer John Lasseter for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Tinker Bell (voice of Mae Whitman), Rosetta (voice of Kristin Chenoweth), Iridessa (voice of Raven-Symoné), Silvermist (voice of Lucy Liu), Fawn (voice of America Ferrera), Fairy Mary (voice of Jane Horrocks), Terence (voice of Jesse McCartney), Clank (voice of Jeff Bennett), Bobble (voice of Rob Paulsen), Vidia (voice of Pamela Adlon), Queen Clarion (voice of Anjelica Huston), Narrator (voice of Loreena McKennitt).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. Interesting storyline and good animation. It works as an afterschool watch for children.


Video Critique Available Here:




Ben Meyers

KNICK KNACK (VHS Release USA 1990/1996)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsììì

Knick Knack—4-minute short film—rides the crest of creativity and gives the audience an unexpected ending scene. Good work for all involved in its production.
 
Film Poster Courtesy of  Wikipedia

Storyline

Knick, a snowman living in a snow globe, desires to meet a pretty girl living in another snow globe.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director John Lasseter for directing effort. Thank you to Pixar for producing the film.

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Good concept. Good portrayal.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

GERI’S GAME (DVD Release Norway 1999)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

Geri’s Game—
5-minute animated short film—from its opening scene works on every level as impeccably sequenced with completely defined characterization and outstanding animation.

Film Poster Courtesy of  Google Images

Storyline

Geri (voice of Bob Peterson) plays a game of chess against himself.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Jan Pinkava for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Karen Dufilho for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Geri (voice of Bob Peterson).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Thank you, Pixar, for producing a terrifically entertaining and well-made short film.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS (Theatrical Release USA 2017)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì

The Man Who Invented Christmas
sports terrific acting by Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer. Watch for the appearance of Miriam Margolyes and Jonathan Pryce. This live action film is a good, family-oriented Christmas watch as it has a unique angle to understanding how the writer, Charles Dickens, imaged the characters that eventually peopled his book, A Christmas Carol.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Charles Dickens’ immense imagination produces the characters for a new book that will become a generational classic that crosses continents in its international appeal to the human spirit.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Bharat Nalluri for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Susan Coyne, Wayne Marc Godfrey, Johanna Hogan, Robert Jones, Mitchell Kaplan, Andrew Karpen, David Leiwant, Laurie May, Paula Mazur, Alan Moloney, Keith Potter, and Lisa Wilson making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens), Presenter (Mark Schrier), Stage Manager (Patrick Joseph Byrnes), Mrs. Fisk (Miriam Margolyes), Kate Dickens (Morfydd Clark), John Forster/Ghost of Christmas Present (Justin Edwards), Signor Mazzini (Cosimo Fusco), Walter Dickens (Jasper Hughes Cotter), Charley Dickens (James Heffernan), Mamie Dickens (Aleah Lennon), Katey Dickens (Ella Mai Delaney), Maid (Donna Marie Sludds), Hall (David McSavage), and Chapman (Ian McNeice).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It is a great flick for any fan of the 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol, to see how it may have been created within the mind of Charles Dickens.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER (Theatrical Release Japan 2017)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì

Mary and the Witch’s Flower
seems to attempt to copy the quality of Hayao Miyizaki’s animated films, but lacks that certain charisma, charm, kindness, and wonder that define the Hayao Miyizaki film. The voice chosen for Mary (Ruby Burnhill, English) seems a bit awkward.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Mary finds a Fly By Night flower and begins an unforgettable adventure.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Directors Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Giles New for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Will Clarke, and Daisuke Kadova for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Mary (voice of Hana Sugisaki), Peter (voice of Ryûnosuke Kamiki), Madam Mumblechook (voice of Yûki Amami), Doctor Dee (voice of Fumiyo Kohinata), The Red-Haired Witch (voice of Hikari Mitsushima), Flanagan (voice of Jirô Satô), Zebedee (voice of Ken’ichi Endô), Miss Banks (voice of Eri Watanabe), Great-Aunt Charlotte (voice of Shinobu Ôtake), Tib (voice of Ikue Ôtani), Gib (voice of Lynn), Mary (voice of Ruby Barnhill), Madam Mumblechook (voice of Kate Winslet), Doctor Dee (voice of Jim Broadbent), and Flanagan (voice of Ewen Bremner).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. Children will undoubtedly enjoy the magic and the colors. But, overall this animated feature needs some brushing to establish an international appeal.


Video Critique Available :Here:




Ben Meyers

PETER RABBIT (Theatrical Release USA 2018)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

Peter Rabbit—
updated to the max—is not Beatrix Potter-style as we knew her stories. Don’t expect a bedtime, time-to-go-to-sleep, easy on the mind animation that even begins to resemble the wonderful albeit more slowly rhythmed Winnie the Pooh or Paddington Bear series. This little film is not a Mister Rogers Neighborhood movie crooning “Won’t You Come and Be My Neighbor.” Nevertheless, come and sit down without any such expectations and enjoy the ride because the script dialogue and the well-animated scenes come pouring in non-stop, fast and furious styling. The characters’ personalities are well-developed from the get-go. The film even comes with a tidy little message that: sometimes, even with the best of intentions, our efforts to establish justice can work against ‘justice for all.’ The movie very easily deserves its sequel.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Peter Rabbit (voice James Corden) attempts to establish what he sees as social justice for all forest animals while Mr. MacGregor, who would just as soon see them in a pie, fights the unending battle of keeping them from eating from his garden.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Will Gluck for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Doug Belgrad, Catherine Bishop, Susan Bolsover, Jodi Hildebrand, Jonathan Hludzinski, Rob Lieber, Jason Lust, and Emma Topping for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Mr. Tod (voice of Fayssal Bazzi), Mr. Jeremy Fisher/Mr. Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson), Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle (voice of Sia), Benjamin Bunny (voice of Colin Moody), Old Mr. McGregor/Tommy Brock (Sam Neill), Flopsy/The Narrator (voice of Margot Robbie), Mopsy (voice of Elizabeth Debicki), Cotton-Tail (voice of Daisy Ridley), Bea/Jemima Puddle Duck (Rose Byrne), Felix D’eer (voice of Christian Gazal), Pigling Bland (voice of Ewen Leslie), Harrods Worker (Natalie Dew), Harrods Worker (Terenia Edwards), and General Manager (Marianne Jean-Baptiste).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This is not for the Peter Rabbit stories’ fan club. But it completely defines entertainment for the animated film fan—an excellent child/adult share film that satisfies both age groups.


Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

THE DARK KNIGHT (Theatrical Release USA 2008)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.7|5.0 Starsìììì

The Dark Knight,
a winner from ‘go’ partially because Heath Ledger, as The Joker, becomes the King of Crime and because the casting choice of Christian Bale, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, and Eric Roberts is perfect all the way around. Great acting and portrayal make the movie ‘just plain fun to watch.’ Thank you to Director Christopher Nolan for a sequel worth watching more than once.

Film, Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Batman (Christian Bale) tangles with mob bosses and The Joker over Gotham City’s soul.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Christopher Nolan for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Kevin De La Noy, Benjamin Melniker, Thomas Tull, and Michael E. Uslan for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), Joker (Heath Ledger), Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Alfred (Michael Caine), Rachel (Maggie Gyllenhaal), Gordon (Gary Oldman), Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), Ramirez (Monique Gabriela Curnen), Wuertz (Ron Dean), Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy), Lau (Chin Han), Mayor (Nestor Carbonell), Maroni (Eric Roberts), Chechen (Ritchie Coster), Mike Engel (Anthony Michael Hall), and Stephens (Keith Szarabajka).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Sit back and enjoy the ride in this Christopher Nolan directed film. It’s worth your time and your money.

Video Critique Available Here:





Ben Meyers