WATERMELON: A CAUTIONARY TALE (YouTube Release USA 2019)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.6|5.0 Starsììì

Watermelon: A Cautionary Tale
—interesting concept—has good animation and a strong storyline. This short film works more within the horror genre with strong links to a Tim Burton style of creativity which gives it a uniqueness of its own. This short film is a team product of Kefei Li and Connie Qin He from Ringling College of Art and Design with musical scoring by Antonius Nazareth.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline

A young boy eats a watermelon seed that grows in his belly.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Directors Kefei Li and Connie Qin He for making the short film possible. Additional thank you for musical scoring by Antonius Nazareth.

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. This short’s conclusion can be interpreted in a variety of ways and may not be the best conclusion for children’s viewing.

Video Critique Available Here:




Ben Meyers

GAME CHANGER* (YouTube Release USA 2018)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

Game Changer
—great, animated 2:40-minute short film directed by Aviv Mano through the Ringling College of Art and Design—has a terrific, upbeat original musical score by Garth Neustadter that outstandingly times itself well with the scenes it supports. The music coupled with good animation and well-developed character personalities make for a well-developed short movie.


Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline

A male wrestling toy thwarts attempts of a young female arcade player to win him as a take home prize.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Aviv Mano for directing effort and to Garth Neustadter for the outstanding musical score.

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. An enjoyable, engaging, and artistic piece of entertainment that is lovable from its beginning to its ending.

*Also Known as The Game Changer


Video Critique Available Here:


 


Ben Meyers

PURL (El Capitan Theater Hollywood California USA 2019)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì

Purl
—an interesting short film that can have many interpretations—becomes a terrific lesson about fitting in and finding one’s place in new environments. This Pixar Sparkshort is 8:43 minutes of pure fun.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline

Purl, a ball of pink yarn, tries to find a place in an office full of male executives.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Kristen Lester for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Gillian Libbert for making the film possible. Additional cast/characters: Purl (Bret Parker), Lacy (Emily Davis), Male Employees (voiced by Michael Daley, Michael Frederickson, Erik Langley, Jimmy Lillard, Austin Madison, Kelsey Mann, Kyle McDaniel, Victor Navone, Michale Yates), and Female Employees (voiced by Aphton Corbin, Mitra Shahidi, Domee Shi).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This becomes an excellent short film that promotes good after viewing discussion on the importance of seeing value in oneself by maintaining individuality and uniqueness.

Video Critique Available Here:


Ben Meyers

LA LUNA* (Theatrical Release Canada 2012)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.4|5.0 Starsìììì

La Luna
—beautiful and wonderful—becomes one of Disney’s best short films. Magical with its animation, storyline, and conclusion, Walt Disney would have been very proud of this short film. Great watch for every age group. Best version can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbuq7w3ZDUQ.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A young boy establishes his individuality and usefulness while working with his grandfather and father.


Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Enrico Casarosa for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Kevin Reher for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Tony Fucile, Krista Sheffler, and Phil Sheridan.

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This short is a winner for both the child and adult. Complete Disney magic.

*Also Known as: Boy on the Moon

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

FOR THE BIRDS (Annecy International Film Festival Release Annecy, France 2000)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.4|5.0 Starsìììì

For the Birds
—great Pixar animated short film—combines comedy with a sweet life lesson that leads to a great conclusion.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Ralph Eggelston for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Karen Dufilho-Rosen for making the film possible.

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Easy on the mind, this nearly 4-minute short completely entertains. Quality short film for the adult and child share provides good opportunity for discussion after viewing.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

PIPER (Theatrical Release USA 2016)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.6|5.0 Starsìììì

Piper
—terrific high quality short film—easily earns its first, second, and third watch. High quality entertainment for children and adults earns its place in the family home entertainment library.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A baby sandpiper finds a way to overcome fear.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Alan Barillaro for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Marc Sondheimer for making the film possible.

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s 6 minutes of pure Disney magic.


Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

DELTA FORCE 2: THE COLUMBIAN CONNECTION * (Theatrical Release USA 1990)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

Delta Force 2: The Columbian Connection
—great story, worth watching—compliments the original movie with spunk and action worthy of Chuck Norris. Good flick. Well-done.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

When Drug Enforcement Agents are massacred, the agency asks for help from the Army’s Delta Force.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Aaron Norris for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Yoram Globus a nd Christopher Pearce for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Colonel Scott McCoy (Chuck Norris), Ramon Cota (Billy Drago), General Taylor (John P. Ryan), John Page (Richard Jaeckel), Quiquina Esquilinta (Begonya Plaza), Major Bobby Chavez (Paul Perri), Miguel (HéctorMercado), General Olmedo (Mark Margolis), and Ernesto Flores (Mateo Gómez).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Chuck Norris fans will not be disappointed.


*Also Known as Delta Force 2 


Video Critique Available Here:






Ben Meyers


THE FIFTH ELEMENT (Theatrical Release USA 1997)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.7|5.0 Starsìììì

The Fifth Element
—one of those rare films that must be seen more than once, twice, or three times because everything about it is fresh, new, beyond creative, perfect in every way—has Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Chris Tucker, and Gary Oldman at the top of their game. High caliber movie for an adult audience completely serves its purpose as a futuristic film that pleases and delights at every level.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

As evil approaches earth, four of earth’s elements must combine with total love to destroy the negative force and preserve earth’s inhabitants.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Luc Besson for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Patrice Ledoux for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis), Zorg (Gary Oldman), Cornelius (Ian Holm), Leeloo (Milla Jovovich), Ruby Rhod (Chris Tucker), Billy (Luke Perry), General Munro (Brion James), President Lindberg (Tommy Lister), Fog (Lee Evans), and David (Charlie Creed-Miles).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This is a memorable sci-fi with action, comedy, and enough superb special effects to please the most demanding audience. Spell-binding entertainment with a make-up department and casting department that completely understands the needs of Director Luc Besson’s vision for the story.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

THIS IS IT (Theatrical Release USA 2009)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.6|5.0 Starsìììì

This Is It
—Michael Jackson’s preparations for his last world circuit—shows not only his insistence on perfection and quality performance, but also shows how hard he worked to put on a concert. The documentary serves Michael Jackson’s fan base at the highest level. Thank you to Director Kenny Ortega for outstanding leadership in keeping the show on task.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Michael Jackson’s preparations for his last worldwide tour.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Kenny Ortega for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers John Branca and John McClain for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Himself (Michael Jackson), Himself (Alex Al), Herself (Alexadra Apjarova), Himself (Nick Bass), Himself (Michael Bearden), Herself (Irina Brecher), Himself (Daniel Celebre), and Herself (Mekia Cox).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Great to see Michael Jackson perform again. Good to see his interaction with his supporting cast members. Thank you to everyone who put this work together.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

PANTS ON FIRE (Television Release USA 2014)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

Pants
on Fire—good, young-teen Disney movie—accesses the talents of Bradley Steven Tyler to portray its main character. The film runs at the same quality level as The Lizzie McGuire Movie and particularly serves the younger audience with its family cleanness and light moral lesson. It’s an easy watch that does not take a great deal of mental involvement and runs through its script in a predictable manner. Good work for Director Jonathan Rosenbaum who capably captured the Disney movie geared to the young-teen set.

Film Poster Couresy of Wikipedia


Storyline

A young man’s lies come to life and promise to play havoc with his life until he tells the truth.


Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Jonathan A. Rosenbaum for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Kim Arnott, Trish Dolman, Robyn Snyder, Mandy Spencer-Phillips, and Fernando Szew for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Jack Parker (Bradley Steven Perry), Ryan (Joshua J. Ballard), Mikey (Tyrel Jackson Williams), Hannah Parker (Brittney Wilson), Jennifer (Taylor Russell), Eric (Nicholas Coombe), Lisa (Rachelle Gillis), Chip (Kevin O’Grady), and Rock (John Stewart).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. For the child/adult share it provides good after watching discussion with its light lesson on honesty and telling the truth.

Video Critique Available Here:




Ben Meyers

BEDTIME STORIES (Theatrical Release USA 2008)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.8|5.0 Starsììì

Bedtime Stories
—an Adam Sandler story—is whimsical with light presentation and touchdown on the power of words to come to life, especially words spoken before drifting off to sleep. While this is not Adam Sandler’s best work, it still becomes worth a watch and can be a good background flick for parties. While the original trailers for the film focused on the sky raining gumballs, do not expect those kind of unique and spectacular special effects throughout the movie.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A hotel maintenance man finds that bedtime stories have a way of materializing even if not in the manner they are told.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Adam Shankman for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Jennifer Gibgot, Garrett Grant, Ann Marie Sanderlin, and Adam Shankman for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Skeeter Bronson (Adam Sandler), Jill (Keri Russell), Kendall (Guy Pearce), Mickey (Russell Brand), Barry Nottingham (Richard Griffiths), Violet Nottingham (Teresa Palmer), Aspen (Lucy Lawless), Wendy (Courteney Cox), and Patrick (Jonathan Morgan Heit).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. While the movie seems a low-budget B-grade film, it still has value especially for children that qualify for the movie’s rating.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE 2 (Video Release USA 2003)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì

George of the Jungle 2
substitutes Christopher Showerman for the original Brendan Fraser as George of the Jungle. The substitution does not detract from the storyline and although the story is common, the movie works as a fair child/adult share. Good work for all involved.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

George of the Jungle finds himself challenged to make a success of marriage and save his jungle from greedy entrepreneurs.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director David Grossman for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Gregg Hoffman and Jordan Kerner for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: George (Christopher Showerman), Ursula (Julie Benz), George Jr. (Angus T. Jones), Lyle Van de Groot (Thomas Haden Church), Beatrice Stanhope (Christina Pickles), Ape (voice of John Cleese), Mean Lion (voice of Michael Clarke Duncan), Rocky/Armando (voice of John Kassir), Tookie (voice of Kevin Greutert), and Narrator (voice of Keith Scott).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s a fairly good sequel to the original George of the Jungle movie.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers



THE BLUES BROTHERS (Theatrical Release USA 1980)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì

The Blues Brothers
—class act—stars John Belushi with Dan Aykroyd in one of 1980s most creative and. fun comedies. Belushi and Aykroyd superbly portray their characters. Everything works in this movie.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

The Blues Brothers attempt to raise money for the Catholic orphanage in which they were raised.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director John Landis for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Bernie Brillstein for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: ‘Joliet’ Jake Blues (John Belushi), Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd), Reverend Cleophus James (James Brown), Curtis (Cab Calloway), Ray (Ray Charles), Mrs. Murphy (Aretha Franklin), Steve ‘The Colonel’ Cropper (Steve Cropper), Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn (Donald Dunn), and Murphy ‘Murph’ Dunne (Murphy Dunne).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It is a B-grade film, but very well done and easily provokes laughter as well as a compassionate look at musician’s lives. 

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers


SPY KIDS 4-D: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD (Theatrical Release USA 2007)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.8|5.0 Starsììì

Spy Kids 4-D: All the Time in the World
becomes one of Ben Meyers highest rated Spy Kids films. It has a fairly interesting storyline and definitely is worth a viewing.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A step mother finds her place in the home.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Robert Rodrigues for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Bob Wienstein and Harvey Weinstein for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Marissa Wilson (Jessica Alba), Wilbur Wilson (Joel McHale), Rebecca Wilson (Rowan Blanchard), Cecil Wilson (Mason Cook), Danger D’Amo/Tick Tock/Time Keeper (Jeremy Piven), Carmen Cortez (Alexa PenaVega), Juni Cortez (Daryl Sabara), Uncle Machete (Danny Trejo), and Spy Baby (Belle Solorzano).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Children may enjoy its action scenes.

*Also known as Spy Kids: All the Time in the World

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

THE COMMUTER (Theatrical Release USA 2018)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì 

The
 Commuter
—one of Liam Neeson’s best films—keeps interest and excitement with very good cinematography and a well-picked cast. Watch for guest star, Sam Neill, in two places in the film. The final animated scenes are particularly well done with superior special effects that do not drown into a blur of rapid events, but hold their own in vivid scenery. Great work for Director Jaume Collet-Serra.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A commuter finds his life and family threatened unless he finds the train commuter who does not belong on the train.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Jaume Collet-Serra for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Stuart M. Besser, Jaume Collet-Serra, Michael Dreyer, Ron Halpern, Juan Sola, and Didier Lupfer for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Michael MacCauley (Liam Neeson), Joanna (Vera Farmiga), Alex Murphy (Patrick Wilson), Walt (Jonathan Banks), Captain Hawthorne (Sam Neill), Karen MacCauley (Elizabeth McGovern), Dylan (Killian Scott), Vince (Shazad Latif), and Tony (Andy Nyman).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The film stands as a well-done, worth a watch, suspense movie.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (Theatrical Release USA 2018)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

Christopher Robin
tells the rest of the Winnie the Pooh story, but seems to lack the life, zest, and innocence of the original Winnie the Pooh stories. It seems to run on the trite storyline of Daddy ‘works too hard and is not interested enough in his family’ to provide what they ‘truly’ need and shows that same lack of appreciation for what the Dad does to keep food, clothing, and shelter over the family that has plagued movies through the 1960s forward. The movie seems to die from its beginning perhaps due to the depressing physical condition of Winnie the Pooh coupled with the dreary English weather. The film fails to meet the quality that the recently released Paddington films manage to obtain. To work on a higher level, everything, including Winnie the Pooh, needs a good brushing up.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Christopher Robin grows up and still finds Winnie the Pooh a necessary part of his life.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Marc Forster for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Jeremy Johns and Renée Wolfe for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor), Evelyn Robin (Hayley Atwell), Madeline Robin (Bronte Carmichael), Giles Winslow (Mark Gatiss), Old Man Winslow (Oliver Ford Davies), Katherine Dane (Ronke Adekoluejo), Hal Gallsworthy (Adrian Scarborough), Ralph Butterworth (Roger Ashton-Griffiths), and Paul Hastings (Ken Nwosu).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Despite the movie’s failures, it can serve the older child’s audience. 


Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

HEDGEHOGS (Video Release USA 2017)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 2.7|5.0 Starsìì

Hedgehogs
—an odd creative patchwork that delivers a crazy quilt piece of entertainment—suffers from misplaced scenes poorly timed; trite overdone storyline that is not helped with the introduction of hedgehogs in the place of dogs, cats, fish, and all the other animal creatures this story has used through the years to make it seem different; and tries to do a Looney Tunes thing at the beginning of its story (with the main character and weasel falling off a cliff and getting hit by a train and still surviving) which does not work at all for the rest of the movie. The result seems to be a mediocre, copycat movie for children with no real heart in it. It seems to come off as a wannabe dollar cruncher without love for the audience it was meant to serve.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images


Storyline

Hedgehogs find their home environment threatened and fight back.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Jianming Huang for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Barry Brooker and Stan Wertlieb for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: ThinkMan (voice of Chevy Chase), Hubert (voice of Jon Heder), Leila (voice of Kari Wahlgren), Scientist (voice of Todd Haberkorn), Scott (voice of Max Mittelman), Warrior (voice of Patrick Seitz), AC Team 1 (voice of Keith Silverstein), Bobby (voice of Anthony Padilla), Animal Catcher (voice of Kyle Hebert), and Hedgehog Baby (voice of Michelle Ruff).


Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

No. The movie suffers from mixed messages. The big names, like Chevy Chase and Jon Heder, do not seem to make it better.

Video Critique Available Here



Ben Meyers

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