SNOW QUEEN 2: MAGIC OF THE ICE MIRROR * (Theatrical Release USA 2015)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì

Snow Queen 2: Magic of the Ice Mirror
—better than its prequel—could be watched as a stand-alone movie without seeing the first film. It works on the average level; has a straightforward, easier to follow storyline than its prequel; good animation technique; and ends well. It does not need a sequel, but a sequel exists.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

The Snow Queen’s mirror does not show people’s best side.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Aleksey Tsitsilin for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Vladimir Nikolaev for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Orm (voice of Ivan Okhlobystin), Gerda (voice of Anna Shurochkina), General Arrog (voice of Igor Kharlamov), Printsessa Maribel (voice of Anna Khilkevich), Babushka Orma (voice of Olga Zubkova), Korol trolley (voice of Fyodor Dobronravov), Rakhat (voice of Aleksandr Uman), Lukum (voice of Igor Bortnik), Ofitser (voices of Aleksey Likhnitskiy and Roman Yunusov), and Abram (voice of Diomid Vinogradov).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The movie is a Russian release and provides an interesting look at Russian ideas on best interpretations and presentations of classic Hans Christian Andersen stories. 

*Also Known As Snezhnaya koroleva 2 Perezamorozka


Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

CHASING HAPPINESS (Theatrical Release USA 2019)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì

Chasing Happiness
—all about the Jonas Brothers’ musical group—tells a story of making it big, breaking up, and making a comeback. The documentary is well-organized and worth a watch. Very good work by Director John Taylor.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline

This film takes a look at the professional and personal lives of the Jonas Brothers.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director John Taylor for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Monte Lipman, Dana Sano, and John Varvatos for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Himself (Nick Jonas), Himself (Joe Jonas), Himself (Kevin Jonas), Herself (Sophie Turner), Herself (Priyanka Chopra), Herself (Danielle Jonas), Herself (Denise Jonas), Himself (Kevin Jonas, Sr.), Himself (Frankie Jonas), Herself (Miley Cyrus), Himself (Robert Feggans), and Himself (John Fields).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s a quality documentary piece and worth a watch.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

A-X-L (Theatrical Release USA 2018)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.8|5.0 Starsììì

A-X-L—terrific robotic dog—has a great concept but serves its audience as a run-of-the-mill entertainment piece. It’s not the best action film due to weaker acting that does not lend credibility/believability to its concept. This movie, most likely will lose its audience early in its presentation.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A robotic dog becomes man’s best friend.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Oliver Daly for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Elizabeth Gesas, David Kern, James McQuaide, Tom Ortenberg, Adam P. Schneider, and Kassee Whiting for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Miles (Alex Neustaedter), Sara Reyes (Becky G), Sam Fontaine (Alex MacNicoll), Andric (Dominic Rains), Chuck Hill (Thomas Jane), Randall (Lou Taylor Pucci), Joanna Reyes (Patricia De Leon), Scroggins (Niko Guardado), Captain Webber (Marie-Françoise Theodore), George Fontaine (Ted McGinley), and Lyssa (Madeline Bertani).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. The robotic dog’s presentation is the best part of this film. Most audiences will want to choose another film.

Video Critique Available Here:





Ben Meyers

GUMBY: THE MOVIE (Theatrical Release USA 1995)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.6|5.0 Starsììì

Gumby: The Movie
—stop motion animation—works in the average range for children with its simple storyline. The movie most likely will not be very appealing to an adult audience. The film is sweet and cute.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

The Blockheads kidnap Gumby's dog.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Art Clokey for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Art Clokey and Gloria Clokey for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Gumby/Claybert/Fatbuckle/Kapp (voice of Dal McKennon), Pokey/Prickle/Gumbo (voice of Art Clokey), Goo (voice of Gloria Clokey), Thinbuckle (voice of Manny La Carruba), Ginger (voice of Alice Young), Gumba (voice of Janet MacDuf), Tara (voice of Patti Morse), Lowbelly/Farm Lady (voice of Bonnie Rudolph), Radio Announcer (voice of David Ozzie Ahlers), Background Voice Effects (voices of David Archer, Lillian Nicol, and Rick Warren).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?


Maybe. Fans of the Gumby television series may like this movie. Fair work for Director Art Clokey.

Video Critique Available Here:


Ben Meyers

TOM AND JERRY: THE MAGIC RING (Video Release USA 2001)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

Tom and Jerry: The Magic Ring
—cute and worth a watch—faithfully captures the original Tom and Jerry cartoons from the 1940s forward. It’s a good trip down memory lane for adults and excellent entertainment for children. Great work for Director James T. Walker for capturing the original intent of those cartoons.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Tom’s owner, a wizard, entrusts Tom with a magical ring that Jerry appropriates for a crown. The chase is on as Tom endeavors to repossess the ring.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Jerry T. Walker for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Joseph Barbera, William Hanna, Jean MacCurdy, and Sander Schwartz for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Tom (voice of Jeff Bennett), Jerry (voice of Frank Welker), Chip (voice of Charlie Schlatter), Butch (voice of Jim Cummings), Boy (voice of Maile Flanagan), Policeman (voice of Jess Harnell), Spike/Alley Cat (voice of Maurice LaMarche), Margaret/Mom (voice of Tress MacNeille), Nibbles (voice of Tara Strong), and Freddie (voice of Billy West).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This is worth a watch and makes a very good addition to the family home video library.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

THE CHRISTMAS BREAK-IN (Theatrical Release USA 2018)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì

The Christmas Break-in
—run-of-the-mill, turn a quick buck film. Watch for guest star Danny Glover. The audience may find themselves asking, ‘why is this film important?’

Storyline

A 9-year-old girl’s parents do not pick her up after school.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Michael Kampa for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Gil Aglaure, Ali Aksu, and Joseph Ghera for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Heather (Denise Richards), Ray (Danny Glover), Izzy (Cameron Seely), Barbi (Katrina Begin), Pete (Sean O’Bryan), Rico (Douglas Spain), Ned (Jake Van Wagoner), Ms. Anderson (Lexi Giovagnoli), Mindy (Leah Anderson), Madison (Caity Bair), and Officer Mike (Shawn Dunbar).

Film Poster Courtesy of IMDb

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. The movie runs as a simple lunch watch, fill-in-some-time, easy-on-the-mind movie.

 Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

HANCOCK (Theatrical Release USA 2008)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì

Hancock
—wanna-be-a-blockbuster—uses the combination of Will Smith with Charlize Theron. This pairing works fairly well, but does not have the necessary splash onscreen to push the envelope to that next level of great movie.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A superhero needs a new public image.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Peter Berg for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Ian Bryce, Jonathan Mostow, and Richard Saperstein making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: John Hancock (Will Smith), Mary (Charlize Theron), Ray (Jason Bateman), Aaron (Jae Head), Red (Eddie Marsan), Man Mountain (David Mattey), Matrix (Maetrix Fitten), Mike (Thomas Lennon), Jeremy (Johnny Galecki), Hottie (Hayley Marie Norman), Woman in Dive Bar (Dorothy Cecchi), and Girl at Bus Bench (Michelle Lemon).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. If one is a diehard Will Smith fan, the movie may be a good pick. If one desires excellent superhero movies, watch Batman Begins or The Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and The Guardians of the Galaxy 2 series for more return value on time and money spent.

Video critique available Here:



Ben Meyers

MARY AND MARTHA (Television Release UK 2013)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.6|5.0 Starsìììì

Mary and Martha
starts slowly then picks up pace after Hilary Swank takes her son to Africa. This movie does not work as a high-end theatrical release film does, but it makes its point and ends well. The film can be watched while doing another activity.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Malaria takes the lives of two women’s sons.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Phillip Noyce for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Tim Bevan, Liza Chasin, Juliette Howell, and Lucy Richer for making the film possible. Additional character/cast include: Mary (Hilary Swank), Martha (Brenda Blethyn), Ben (Sam Claflin), Peter (Frank Grillo), George (Lux Haney-Jardine), Pumelele (Bongo Mbutuma), Charles (Ian Redford), Mary’s Father (James Woods).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The movie, despite initial heart-aching events, focuses on positive remedy so the event is not repeated in others' lives. This positive focus moves the film into a feel good, easy-on-the-mind story that viewers can run in the background while occupied with other activities. It gently reminds that sadness can be elevated to satisfied happiness when one works to create change so that others need not experience the same sadness. 

Video Critique available Here:




Ben Meyers

SLOW WEST (Theatrical Release USA 2015)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.4|5.0 Starsììì

Slow West—
sort of interesting—works like the title promises, a western that moves slowly. The story, thinly drawn, has little development and seriously needs a second and perhaps even third story running throughout to increase its value. The film limps along sans the masculinity necessary to pull a good movie for this genre. Unclear, without a solidly defined path, the movie relies on a script that appears to have a poor ‘handle’ on its genre and a director that did not understand this genre well enough to catch the challenge that launched it to its Boot Hill grave. It’s safe to say that the grave marker could easily read: ‘Slow and unsure, can bury a movie in heavy manure’.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A young man travels from the continent to America to find the woman he loves.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director John Maclean for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Katherine Butler, Michael Fassbender, and Zygi Kamasa for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee), Rose Ross (Caren Pistorius), Young Native Boy (Aorere Paki), Union Officer (Jeffrey Thomas), Young Soldier 1 (Hayden Frost), Young Soldier 2 (Kieran Charnock), Silas Selleck (Michael Fassbender), Congolese Singer 1 (Joseph Passi), Congolese Singer 2 (Sam Manzanza), Congolese Singer 3 (Tawanda Manyimo), and Tattoo Man (David Lim).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. Better entertainment value for western fans lies in The Magnificent Seven remake or The Missing.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers 

THE GHOST WRITER (Theatrical Release USA 2010)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.5|5.0 Starsìììì

The Ghost Writer
—minorly suspenseful and minorly thrilling—has an innovative concept that moves at a little faster pace than most drama films. The casting relies on the heavy-duty skills of Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, and Jon Bernthal. Watch for guest stars Timothy Hutton, Jim Belushi, and Tom Wilkinson. There is also a cameo for Eli Wallach. Overall, a good watch.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A ghost writer discovers secrets that put his life in jeopardy.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Roman Polanski for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Henning Molfenter for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: The Ghost (Ewan McGregor), Rick Ricardelli (Jon Bernthal), Roy (Tim Preece), John Maddox (Jim Belushi), Sidney Kroll (Timothy Hutton), SKY TV Newsreader (Anna Botting), Stewardess (Yvonne Tomlinson), Taxi Driver (Milton Welsh), Protection Officer #1 (Alister Mazzotti), Barry (Tim Faraday), and Amelia Bly (Kim Cattrall).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The movie requires total involvement and provides a good look into lives that revolve around the political world.

Video Critique Available Here:


Ben Meyers

BLEACH: FADE TO BLACK, I CALL YOUR NAME * (Theatrical Release USA 2008)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì

Bleach: Fade to Black, I Call Your Name
—interesting Japanese anime based on the television show Bleach—has a difficult to understand introduction to its story. While the story consistently sticks to its initial theme of soul reapers who cause memory loss, be aware that this anime movie is difficult to follow. Read a plotline before you go, then sit down and enjoy the dip into the anime world. Good work for Director Noriyuki Abe.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Rukia loses memory.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Noriyuki Abe for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Hidemi Fukuhara, Ken Sasaki, and Yoshishige Shimatana for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Ichigo Kurosaki (voice of Masakazu Morita), Rukia Kuchiki (voice of Fumiko Orikasa), Homura (voice of Aya Hirano), Shizuku (voice of Hiroshi Kamiya), Kon (voice of Mitsuaki Madono), Byakuya Kuchiki (voice of Ryôtarô Okiayu), Renji Abarai (voice of Kentarô Itô), Kisuke Urahara (voice of Shin’ichirô Miki), Yoruichi Shihouin (voice of Satsuki Yukino), Shigekuni Yamamoto (voice of Masaaki Tsukada), Soi Fong (voice of Tomoko Kawakami), and Retsu Unohana (voice of Aya Hisakawa).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. It’s ‘cool’ to see a variation based upon the televised version of Bleach again.

*Also Known As: Bleach: Fade to Black or Kimi no Na o Yobu

Video Critique available Here:



Ben Meyers

THE SILENCE (Theatrical Release Germany 2019)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.8|5.0 Starsììì

The Silence
—despite its casting of Stanley Tucci—does not perform as a top-of-the-line thriller movie, but it is worth a single watch to see how the storyline works out. Good work for Director John R. Leonetti.

Storyline

A young girl and her family try to escape from creatures who hunt their prey by the sound they make.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director John R. Leonetti for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Martin Moszkowicz for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Hugh Andrews (Stanley Tucci), Ally Andrews (Kiernan Shipka), Kelly Andrews (Miranda Otto), Lynn (Kate Trotter), Glenn (John Corbett), Jude Andrews (Kyle Breitkopf), Rob (Dempsey Bryk), The Reverend (Billy MacLellan), Man with Shotgun (Chris Whitby), Woman with Shotgun (Barbara Gordon), Mother (Zoe Doyle), and Subway Man (Cory O’Brien).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?


Yes. It’s a good afternoon thriller flick that will provide a little chill to your lunch.

Video Critique available Here:



Ben Meyers

THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS (Theatrical Release USA 2018)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.3|5.0 Starsììì

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
—'wanna-be’ classic—almost gets there, but not quite. It seems like bits and pieces of other stories intersect with this basically simple story that initially has little character development. This structure allows no room or time to savor and digest its contents. It relegates itself to a ‘cut to the chase’ and ‘end happily ever after’ story that leaves the audience without that satiated feeling that good entertainment provides.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia


Storyline

Clara ventures into a parallel universe and has many adventures that require great courage before she goes home.


Additional Thanks

Thank you to Directors Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Lindy Goldstein and Sara Smith for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Clara (Mackenzie Foy), Fritz (Tom Sweet), Cook (Meera Syal), Louise (Ellie Bamber), Mr. Stahlbaum (Matthew Macfadyen), Short Butler (Nick Mohammed), Tall Butler (Charles Streeter), Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman), Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), Jingles the Horse (Prince), and Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?


Maybe. Good for children; but adults may find the movie a bit unpalatable.

Video Critique Available Here:









Ben Meyers

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION (Theatrical Release USA 2018)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
—continues with the same great voicing cast and a few new additions—maintains its high level of creativity with a terrific storyline and deeply drawn main characters’ well-defined personalities. Great work for Director Genndy Tartakovsky.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

The monsters take a ‘relaxing’ sea cruise and find themselves on the ship of their enemy Van Helsing.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Genndy Tartakovsky for directing effort. Thank you to  Executive Producer Mandy Tankenson for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Dracula (voice of Adam Sandler), Jonathan (voice of Andy Samberg), Mavis (voice of Selena Gomez). Frankenstein (voice of Kevin James), Eunice (voice of Fran Drescher), Wanda (voice of Molly Shannon), Wayne (voice of Steve Buscemi), Griffin (voice of David Spade), Murray (voice of Keegan-Michael Key), Van Helsing (voice of Jim Gaffigan), Erika (voice of Kathryn Hahn), and Dennis (voice of Asher Blinkoff).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The movie performs at a higher level than the last, doesn’t ‘talk down’ to children, and makes an audience wish for another sequel. Great to see the vampire family and friends again in a superior child/adult share film.


Video Critique Available Here:




Ben Meyers

ROMAN J. ISRAEL ESQ. (Theatrical Release USA 2017)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.4|5.0 Starsìììì

Roman J. Israel Esq
. provides a good story ‘right off the bat’. Denzel Washington and Colin Farrell lend top-of-the-line acting skill to this film. The movie takes total intellectual involvement, does not give away its conclusion, and provides keen insight into basic human nature when that nature motivates rightly. The script displays depth and exceptional creativity. Great work for Director Dan Gilroy. The movie is a homerun with all bases loaded. It’s an easily missed movie that makes an outstanding addition to the video home library collection.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia


Storyline

An ethically motivated lawyer meets a financially motivated lawyer.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Dan Gilroy for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Michael Bloom, Betsy Danbury, Derek Dauchy, Aaron L. Gilbert, Poppy Hanks, Charles D. King, Alex Lebovici, Brian Oliver, Adam Pincus, Steve Ponce, Ben Ross, and Kim Roth for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Denzel Washington), ; George Pierce (Colin Farrell), Maya Alston (Carmen Ejogo), Vernita Wells (Lynda Gravatt), Lynn Jackson (Amanda Warren), Fritz Molinar (Hugo Armstrong), Connor Novick (Sam Gilroy), Jesse Salinas (Tony Plana), Derrell Ellerbee (DeRon Horton), Carter Johnson (Amari Cheatom), and Security Bailiff (Vince Cefalu).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. High-end movie that leaves a good aftertaste.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

HOME SWEET HOME (Cannes Film Festival Cannes France 2014)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì

Home Sweet Home
—animated short filmhas a sweet storyline that quietly touches the heart.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline

A lifetime friendship develops between two houses.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Directors Alejandro Diaz, Pierre Clenet, Romain Mazevet, and Stéphane Paccolat for directing effort. This film is a CGBROS presentation.

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s short, sweet, and perfect for a small bit of discussion after viewing about lives well-lived and long-term friendships. Look for it on YouTube, CGBROS.


Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers