OZZY (All-Media Release USA 2017)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì 

Ozzy—animated movie—has good voicing for its animated characters, but the overall film comes off as average. The storyline makes no sense and leaves many questions unanswered with no understandable transitions between events and reasons for those events. Meaningful family/pet relationships do not establish well at the first of the movie to verify the concluding scenes. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline 

A beagle goes to prison and needs to break out to rejoin its family. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Directors Alberto Rodriguez and Nacho La Casa for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Jeff Bell, Ibon Cormenzana, Phyllis Laing, Nacho La Casa, Ignasi Estape, and Ken Zomiak for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Grunt (Jeff Foxworthy), Radar (Frankie Quinones), Paula (Lexi Walker), Jeff (Jeff Espinoza), Ted (Stephen Hughes), Tex (Robbie Jones), Remy (Jose Luis Martinez), Chester (Jonathan Mellor), Ozzy (Benjamin Nathan-Serio), Susan (Amanda Nolan), Bob (Kurt Schiller), Decker (Jimmy Shaw), Maddie (Colleen Terry), and Flash (Garrett Wall). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

No. Much better animated features involving people and animals: Lady and the Tramp or 101 Dalmations.

 Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

 

DARKEST HOUR (Theatrical Release USA 2017)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.6|5.0 Starsìììì 

Darkest Hour
—well-written presentation—accesses the talents of Gary Oldman as Prime Minister Winston Churchill.  The movie builds to a satisfying climax and broadly expands on the decision leading to England’s involvement in World War II. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Storyline 

Churchill leads England to war. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Joe Wright for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Tim Bevan, Lisa Bruce, Eric Feliner, Anthony McCarten, and Douglas Urbanski for directing effort. Characters/cast include: Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman), Clementine Churchill (Kristin Thomas), King George VI (Ben Mendelsohn), Elizabeth Layton (Lily James), Neville Chamberlain (Ronld Pickup), Viscount Halifax (Stephen Dillane), Sir John Simon (Nicholas Jones), Anthony Eden (Samuel West), Clement Attlee (David Schofield), General Ismay (Richard Lumsden), General Ironside (Malcolm Storry), Arthur Greenwood (Hilton McRae), Sir Samuel Hoare (Benjamin Whitrow), John Evans (Joe Armstrong), Air Chief Marshal Dowding (Adrian Rawlins), Admiral Ramsay (David Bamber), Admiral Dudley Pound), Cabinet Secretary Bridges (Demetri Goritsas), Paul Reynaud (Olivier Broche), and Kingsley Wood (Brian Pettifer). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. If one desires to see a great film about England’s Prime Minister Churchill, this is the movie. 

Video Critique Available Here:

 


Ben Meyers

BEING THE RICARDOS (Video Release USA 2021)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì 

Being the Ricardos
—Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem—tells an inside story about Lucille Ball and Dezi Arnaz’ work, careers, and marriage. At first, casting choices seem awkward, but end working like a charm. Overall, I Love Lucy fans will not be disappointed.

 Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline 

Biographical drama tells about the relationship between Lucille Ball and Dezi Arnaz. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Aaron Sorkin for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Todd Black, Jason Bleumenthal, and Steve Tisch for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman), Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem), William Frawley (J.K Simmons), Vivian Vance (Nina Arianda), Jess Oppenheimer (Tony Hale) Older Jess Oppenheimer (John Rubinstein),  Madelyn Pugh (Alia Shawkat) Bob Carroll (Jake Lacy), Older Madilyn Pugh (Linda Lavin),Older Bob Carroll (Ronny Cox), Older Jess Oppenheimer (John Rubenstein), Howard Wenke (Clark Gregg), Joe Stricklin (Nelson Franklin),


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. The movie orders itself well and becomes a good w (atch for the adult audience.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

A MONSTER CALLS (Theatrical Release USA 2016)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì 

A Monster Calls—troubling, odd storyline—becomes difficult as the viewer attempts to reconcile the metaphor of the yew tree with the tumbling events in the boy’s life. Obscurity marks the film from its beginning to the conclusion where the yew tree appears alongside his mother in her art book. However, despite the disconnectedness of events, the movie will not soon be forgotten. If its production deliberately meant to provoke thoughts of brokenness, then it accomplishes that quite well.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Storyline 

While a boy’s mother dies, he has recurring nightmares that involve a Yew tree. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director J.A. Bayona for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Belen Atienza, Mitch Horwits, and Jonathan King for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Conor O’Malley (Lewis MacDougall), Monster (Voice of Liam Neeson), Mrs. Clayton (Sigourney Weaver), Elizabeth Clayton (Felicity Jones), Liam O’Malley (Toby Kebbell), Harry (James Melville), and Head Teacher (Geraldine Chaplin). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. The story presents well onscreen and serves as a teen/adult share. 

Video Critique Available Here: 

 


Ben Meyers

AMY TAN: UNINTENDED MEMOIR (Seattle International Film Festival Release Seattle Washington USA 2021)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.4|5.0 Starsìììì

Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir—documentary—delivers its own WOW! factor through excellent coordination of story and well-timed integration of interviews and family pictures to back its story. While the documentary serves a niche market, it is a small jewel that deserves its watch. Engaging, broadening, and completely entertaining.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

 Storyline

 A documentation of Amy Tan’s life story to include interactions with her mother.

 Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director James Redford for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Karen Pritzker and James Redford for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Isabel Allende, Kevin Kwan, and Amy Tan. 


Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

 Yes. The life of author Amy Tan becomes a WOW! watch with incredible educational value.

 Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

COSMOS LAUNDROMAT (All-Media World-Wide Release 2015)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.6|5.0 Starsìììì

Cosmos Laundromat—catchy, lovable short film—has potential to serve millions internationally. The intentional cut to credits at a critical point in the story creates intense desire to see the rest of the story. WOW! The film takes a small idea and moves it out of the mainstream and peaks audience interest to know what will happen in the following scenes. The terrific animation, as viable in 2021 as in six years earlier, highlights itself with a great presentation and good timing.  Thank you to all production personnel for showing something new and making this imagination-driven film so appealing!

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A suicidal sheep gets caught in a colorful tornado.

Additional Thanks

 Thank you to Director Matheiu Auvray for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Ton Roosendaal for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Franck (Pierre Bokma) and Victor (Reinout Scholten van Aschat). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This WONDERFUL short film easily becomes a great watch.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

ROBIN ROBIN (World-Wide Release 2021)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.6|5.0 Starsììì 

Robin Robin uses fabulous and original stop motion animation for its short film story, but fails to establish its good story start to its conclusion. This becomes most noticeable at the juncture where the Robin meets the Magpie. The story begins to complicate itself with technicalities to the point that original interest in the story becomes lost and the satisfaction due the audience for watching loses all value. The voicing need professionalism. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline 

A Robin discovers it is not who it thinks and goes on a journey to find its roots. 

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Directors Daniel Ojari, Michael Please, and Sarah Cox for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Sarah Cox for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Robin (Voice of Bronte Carmichael), Magpie (Voice of Richard Grant), Cat (Voice of Gillian Anderson), Dad Mouse (Voice of Adeel Akhtar), Dink (Voice of Amira Macey-Michael), Pip (Tom Pegler), Flynn (Endeavour Clutterbuck), and Flin (Megan Harris).


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

No. The animation? Great. The character development? Great. The entertainment value? Not there. Watch the Ardman Studios short film Shaun The Sheep: The Farmers Llamas for higher stop motion animation entertainment.

 Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

SELMA (Theatrical Release USA 2014)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.4|5.0 Starsìììì 

Selma chose David Oyelowo as actor for Dr. Martin Luther King. It becomes the perfect choice.  This movie shows a small snippet of Dr. Martin Luther King’s life and deeply draws the courage, devotion, and loyalty required to create that bridge between the dream and the realization of that dream. WOW! Great movie. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Storyline 

Dr. Martin Luther King’s involvement at the political level receives a deeper look. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Ava DuVernay for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Christian Colson, Ophrah Winfrey, Dede Gardner), and Jeremy Kleiner for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo), Coretta Scott King (Carmen Ejogo), Annie Lee Cooper (Ophrah Winfrey), Lyndon Johnson (Tom Wilkinson), Lee White (Giovanni Ribisi), Andrew Young (Andre Holland), Bayard Rustin (Ruben Santiago-Hudson), Ralph Abernathy (Colman Domingo), James Orange (Omar Dorsey), Diane Nash (Tessa Thompson), James Bevel (Common), Amelia Robinson (Lorraine Toussaint), Frederick Reese (Roger Mitchell), Edgar Hoover (Dylan Baker), and Mahalia Johnson (Ledisi Young), 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This film has been carefully orchestrated to provide not only entertainment value, but also educational value. Provoking and insightful.

Video Critique Available Here: 


Ben Meyers

MARMADUKE (Theatrical Release USA 2010)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

Marmaduke—cute, family friendly—gets the job done. Catchy, appealing and well played for the PG-rated watch, listen for the distinctive voice of Owen Wilson playing Marmaduke. Note the voicing of George Lopez for the character of Carlos the cat and the legendary voice of Sam Elliott as the voice of Chupradogra. Charismatic Lee Pace shows well in this earlier work of his acting career. The script is easy to follow and can be appreciated by the younger child. The movie can serve as a decent child/adult share. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline 

Marmaduke’s family heads for a new position and new lifestyle in California. 

Additional Thanks  

 Thank you to Director Tom Dey for directing effort. Thank you to Producer John Davis for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Phil Winslow (Lee Pace), Debbie Winslow (Judy Greer), Don Twombly (William H. Macy), Drama Trainer (Raugi Yu), Brian Winslow (Finley Jacobsen), Barbara Winslow (Caroline Sunshine), Sarah Winslow (Mandy and Milana Haines), Bosco’s Owner (Frank Topol), Fastidious Man (Michael Teigen), Little Girl (Sydney Imbeau), Bodie (Glenn McCuen), Anton Harrison (David Williams), Jessica (Heather Doerksen), Marmaduke (Voice of Owen Wilson),  Carlos (Voice of George Lopez), Mazie (Emma Stone), Jezebel (Fergie), Giuseppe (Christopher Mintz-Plasse),Bosco (Kiefer Sutherland), Doberman (Todd Glass), and Raisin (Steve Coogan).


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. Fans of the Marmaduke comics may enjoy the fleshing out of his character and the onscreen largeness of his personality.

 Video Critique Available Here:

Ben Meyers 

STAN & OLLIE (Theatrical Release USA 2018)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.5|5.0 Starsìììì 

Stan & Ollie—a rare Wow! biopic—features John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan in this terrific movie about the comedy duo,  Laurel and Hardy. Despite being panned by many major critics, the movie completely wins in its ability to catch the emotion of aging entertainers as health issues and/or other factors hinder ability to entertain. The film finishes sweetly and provokes good discussion after viewing. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline 

Laurel and Hardy attempt to revive their careers. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Jon S. Baird for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Faye Ward for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Stanley Laurel (Steve Coogan), Oliver Hardy (John C. Reilly), Lucille Hardy (Shirley Henderson), Ida Kitaeva Laurel (Nina Arianda), Bernard Delfont (Rufus Jones), Hal Roach (Danny Huston), James W. Horne (Joseph Balderrama), Nobby Cook (John Henshaw), James Finlayson (Keith MacPherson), Harry Langdon (Richard Cant), and Cynthia Clarke (Susy Kane).  


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. Anyone who loves Laurel and Hardy should enjoy this trip down memory lane.

 Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

THE HOST (Theatrical Release USA 2006)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

The Host—WOW!—shows good timing, realism in acting, and non-stop excitement. Director Bong Joon Ho, a South Korean director, shows good ability to transcend international entertainment borders by engaging the human factor so well that an audience may find themselves rooting for the actors and actresses who pit themselves against the mutant monster. The movie uses great subtitles to translate into English. The sea monster catches the intimidation factor well. The movie, overall, completely earns its watch. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Storyline 

A mutant creature hunts humans. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Bong Joon-ho for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Choi Yong-bae for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Park Gang-du (Song Kang-ho), Park Hee-bong (Byun Hee-bong), Park Nam-il (Park Hae-il), Park Nam-joo (Bae Doona), Park Hyun-seo (Go Ah-sung), Gawoemul (Voice of Oh Dal-su), Se-jin (Lee Jae-eung), See-joo (Lee Dong-ho), Homeless man (Yoon Je-moon), Namoil’s senior (Yim Pil-sung), Yellow 1 (Kim Roi-ha), Inquiry officer (ParkNo-sik), Hostage nurse (Go-Soo-hee), Donald White (David Joseph Anselmo), U.S. Military doctor (Scott Wilson), American doctor (Paul Lazar), and Korean doctor (Brian Lee). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

 Yes. This film completely surprises. Thank you Director Bong Joon-ho for the outstandingly good directing of this movie.

 Video Critique Available Here:

Ben Meyers

BACK TO THE OUTBACK (Internet Release USA 2021)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.2|5.0 Starsììì 

Back to the Outback—good animation—has difficulty in several areas of presentation. The music, while good, most of the time does not match the storyline scenes that it is meant to underscore.  For example, the scene where Pretty Boy, the Koala Bear, randomly stops in the middle of a city street and looks up at a digital billboard does not have music that helps the audience to feel what the Koala Bear is feeling. The crude humor makes this animated feature unfriendly for children. The film does not serve a family audience well nor does it draw an adult audience.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Storyline 

Australia’s most dangerous creatures decide to break out of their zoo environment. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Directors Clare Knight and Harry Cripps for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Daniela Mazzucato for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Maddie (Isla Fisher), Pretty Boy (Tim Minchin), Chaz (Eric Bana), Frank (Guy Pearce), Zoe (Miranda Tapsell), Nigel (Angus Imrie), Doug (Keith Urban), Jackie (Jacki Weaver), Chazzie (Diesel La Torraca), Susan (Kylie Minogue), Jacinta (Rachel House), Kayla (Celeste Barber), Phil (Wayne Knight), Legs (Aislinn Derbez), and Dave (Lachlan Ross Power). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

No. Monsters Vs Aliens has higher entertainment value than this movie. 

Video Critique Available Here: 


Ben Meyers

A BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS (Theatrical Release UK 2021)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì 

A Boy Called Christmas—great concept—makes another origination story about Kris Kringle (Santa Claus). It works more for an adult audience than the child audience. This hard-to-get-through movie with its complicated storyline fails to entertain even though it creates a visually interesting character for Kris Kringle. The cinematography and the lighting of the entire movie borders on unreal weirdness…almost as if there is a digital overlay that makes everything seem fake. The movie lacks heart and the human factor that relates to general audiences.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Storyline 

A young Kris Kringle searches for his father and an elf finds the youth collapsed in the snow. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Gil Kenan for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Graham Broadbent and Pete Czemin for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Nikolas “Christmas” (Henry Lawfull), King (Jim Broadbent), Aunt Ruth (Maggie Smith), Mother Vodol (Sally Hawkins), Joel (Michiel Huisman), Father Topo (by Jones), Anders (Rune Temte), Little Noosh (Indica Watson), Miika the Mouse (Voice of Stephen Merchant), and Matt (Joel Fry). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

No. The film does not deliver the entertainment value of The Christmas Story or The Christmas Chronicle. 

Video Critique Available Here: 

 


Ben Meyers

PETER RABBIT 2: THE RUNAWAY * (Theatrical Release USA 2021)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì 

Peter Rabbit 2: Runaway uses great animation as does its prequel, but the live acting works on the average level without the intricacies of story and dialogue the first movie contains. The script does not serve the child audience due to its complicated presentation and does not appeal to the adult audience due to the storyline that runs on the tired theme of street animals interacting with animals who do not belong to their environment. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Storyline 

Peter Rabbit learns a lesson on the definition of good and bad, love and lack of love. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Will Gluck for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Will Gluck, Zareh Nalbandian, Catherine Bishop, and Jodi Hildebrand for making the film possible. Characters /cast include: Bea McGregor (Rose Byrne), Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson), Nigel Basil-Jones (David Oyelowo), Peter Rabbit (Voice of James Corden), Flopsy (Voice of Margot Robbie), Mopsy (Voice of Elizabeth Debicki), Cottontail (Voice of Aimee Home), Benjamin (Colin), Barnabas (Voice of Lennie James), Tom Kitten (Voice of Damon Herriman), Mittens (Voice of Hayley Atwell), Samuel Whiskers (Voice of Rupert Degas), and Mrs. Tiggy Winkle (Voice of Sia), 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. If someone wants to see this sequel, be aware that it does not have the quality of its prequel. 

*Also Known As: Peter Rabbit 2 

Video Critique Available Here:

Ben Meyers

SHAUN THE SHEEP: THE FLIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (Internet Release USA 2021)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì 

Shaun the Sheep:The Flight Before Christmas—cute and likeable short film—becomes a quick and light child/adult share stop motion animation movie. It’s a good choice for a bedtime share movie.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline 

Christmas begins to go awry, and the animals need to fix it. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Steve Cox for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producers Mark Burton, Sarah Cox, Peter Lord, Nick Park, and Carla Shelley for making the film possible. Shaun (Voice of Justin Fletcher), The Farmer (Voice of John Sparkes), Laura Aikman, Marcus Brigstocke, Timmy’s Mother (Voice of Kate Harbour), Anna Leong Brophy, and Additional Voices (Simon Greenall, Andy Nyman, Richard Webber). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. Aardman Studios makes a good Christmas special. Thank you for a sweet watch.

 Video Critique Available Here:

Ben Meyers

MAVERICK (Theatrical Release USA 1994)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì 

Maverick—Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, and James Garner—delivers terrific comedy via an exceptionally well-written script with outstanding dialogue. Watch for the legendary actor, Graham Greene. With an outstanding supporting cast (Afred Molina, James Coburn, Art LaFleur, Denver Pyle, Clint Black, and Dub Taylor), the movie moves into first class entertainment despite the fact that it bases itself within the western genre. It easily earns its right to addition to the home video collection as it can be multiply viewed throughout the years without losing its entertainment edge. This witty movie serves the adult entertainment community well. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline 

Gambler Brett Maverick, despite severe challenges, attempts to raise the funds necessary to enter a high stakes card game.

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Richard Donner for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Bruce Davey and Richard Donner for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Bret Maverick (Mel Gibson), Annabelle Bransford (Jodie Foster), Zane Cooper (James Garner), Joseph (Graham Greene), Angel (Alfred Molina), Commodore (James Coburn), Room Clerk (Dub Taylor), Twitchy (Dan Hedaya), Archduke (Paul L. Smith), Matthw Wicker (Geoffrey Lewis), and John Wesley Hardin (Max Perlich). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Mel Gibson does a terrific job of filling the Bret Maverick character. No challenges found in presentation, timing, or pacing. The movie fills itself with small surprises that delight and entertain. Excellent writing. Mature presentation works best for the adult audience.

 Video Critique Available Here:

Ben Meyers