I love Jack Black. Some people hate Jack Black. I had no idea! I suppose he’s an acquired taste. But I love that first Tenacious D album. I don’t care what anyone says! Great songs on that. 🙂
So here are My Top Ten Jack Black Movies (ranked by how much I like the movie, not performance – I’m aware some of these are tiny roles). Damn – looks like I still need to watch Demolition Man, which most people said I should watch after it wasn’t on my list of My Top Ten Sandra Bullock Movies. Oops.
The Rest That I’ve Seen:
23. The Fan
21. Shallow Hal
20. Shark Tale
18. Tropic Thunder
17. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
15. Orange County
14. Tenacious D In The Pick Of Destiny
13. The Holiday
12. Be Kind Rewind
11. The Cable Guy
Demolition Man, Neverending Story III, Dead Man Walking, The Jackal, Saving Silverman, Envy, Nacho Libre, Margot At The Wedding, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Year One, Gulliver’s Travels, The Big Year, Sex Tape
Happy Birthday to Emily Blunt, who turns 34 today!
Yesterday I reviewed Sicario so I figured I’d do a list of My Top Ten Emily Blunt Movies since it’s her birthday today. And she’s a current favorite actress of mine (along with Amy Adams – how cool that they play sisters in one of the movies below?). Love these two and also love that they’re getting to play especially strong female characters in the past few years.
I’ve seen JUST enough Emily Blunt movies to make this list… I’ve seen 11 if I include two animated films she did voices for, including one that was an English dubbed version of a Japanese film. Know what? I’m going to TOTALLY CHEAT as I’ve not actually watched that dubbed version since I’m not a fan of English dubbing but I’m going to include the film on the list. Why? Because I HATED Into The Woods! I refuse to put it into a Top Ten! Plus the Japanese anime is a fantastic film (of course – it’s a Studio Ghibli). But I did still like Blunt in Into The Woods – she was one of the very few good things about it.
Here we go! Counting down to my favorite movie, not role, these are My Top Ten Emily Blunt Movies. Although my favorite role of hers is also in my favorite movie of hers…
**Updated March 12th 2017 to add The Jane Austen Book Club. It doesn’t make the Top Ten.**
My Summer Of Love
Charlie Wilson’s War
Dan In Real Life
The Young Victoria
The Five-Year Engagement
The Huntsman: Winter’s War
The Girl On The Train (I’ll watch this even though I pretty much hated the book)
I have four quickie kids’ film reviews for you today! I promise they’ll be quick. Why? Because I barely remember three of them.
I’ve just seen Kung Fu Panda 3 so that review will be a little longer than the rest. You see, I get a little annoyed when I look at the pages on my blog & see that I still have some movies that I watched but never reviewed on the 2014 page & the 2015 page (never mind the 2016 page! I’m way behind). It’s especially annoying that the only movies that I actually went to the cinema to see but then didn’t review were these three 2014 kids’ movies. They were so “meh” that I guess I couldn’t be bothered.
So, here we go! I’ll finally say something about them two years later. I’m limiting myself to one paragraph each for the three older ones (plus my kid’s opinion on each). But let’s start with the longer review for the most current film (and by far the best of the four)…
Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)
Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson & Alessandro Carloni
Starring: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, J. K. Simmons, James Hong, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen, David Cross, Bryan Cranston, Kate Hudson
From: DreamWorks Animation
Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB) Continuing his “legendary adventures of awesomeness”, Po must face two hugely epic, but different threats: one supernatural and the other a little closer to his home.
I actually thought this movie was really good. As far as DreamWorks movies go, at least. I’ve stated here before how I see DreamWorks movies as strictly kids’ films while I view Pixar & most Disney ones as just being great films overall for every age group. Like, I wouldn’t feel weird discussing both WALL-E & Citizen Kane in the same breath. Except, I’ve not seen Citizen Kane… Never mind.
What I liked about Kung Fu Panda 3 is that, while it has a message as does every kids’ movie, it didn’t let the message get in the way of the movie being fun and actually making kids laugh. The previous movie we went to as a family was Disney’s Zootropolis (aka Zootopia) & I did NOT expect to think a DreamWorks film was far better than a Disney one! But that’s the case this time.
Kung Fu Panda 3 hasn’t forgotten that, first & foremost, it’s meant to be aimed at kids. I felt that Zootropolis completely forgot this while trying to drive its message home with a convoluted plot and uninteresting characters. But Kung Fu Panda 3 isn’t dumbed down for kids, either, which is a big pet peeve of mine. Kids aren’t stupid & shouldn’t be treated that way. The jokes were all age-appropriate without being dumb but also not being too grown-up like things such as the Godfather references in Zootropolis.
I have to admit that Kung Fu Panda 3 was even enjoyable to me as an adult who probably wouldn’t watch many animated films not made by Disney or Pixar if I didn’t have a kid. I do love Jack Black (I don’t care about the haters!) and think he’s been perfect as Po in all these films. I think all the characters are strong & really like the setting and the look. In this one, the baby pandas are adorable & even had grumpy me going “aww”. The baddie in this one was also pretty cool, as were his storyline & all the chi stuff. Plus I’m a sucker for the color green. Here’s the baddie:
I’d even go so far as to say that I like the Kung Fu Panda movies the most out of all the ones made by DreamWorks. I find Shrek a little overrated and I’d say that the How To Train Your Dragon films are possibly their “best” work but they’ve never really clicked with me at all (or the kid). But all three of us have enjoyed each of the three Kung Fu Panda movies.
My Rating: 7/10
My Kid’s Opinion: She liked this movie a lot & giggled through the whole thing. She was far more enthusiastic about this one than she was after walking out of Zootropolis, which she called “not very good”. Her favorite part was Po doing his “chitty chitty chat chat” thing that she’s been annoying us with ever since (thanks a lot, Jack Black!). She also loved the baby pandas, especially when they ate everything in sight. She’s not watched the first two films since we went to see them but this one has renewed her interest (and mine!) in watching those again. I’d happily pick them up on DVD now – I think this is a very solid trilogy from DreamWorks.
The House Of Magic (2013) (US Title: Thunder And The House Of Magic)
Directed by Jeremy Degruson & Ben Stassen
Starring: Cinda Adams, George Babbit, Murray Blue, Kathleen Browers, Joey Camen, Grant George, Shanelle Gray, Nina Grillo, Kyle Hebert
From: nWave Pictures, StudioCanal
Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia) The House of Magic is a 2013 3D Belgian-French computer-animated fantasy-comedy film. The film focuses on an abandoned young cat who seeks shelter in the home of an old, retired magician with his automatons and gizmos.
I admit to not fully remembering the plot of this strange little Belgian/French film (which was in English but I assume originally in French?) two years later. But I clearly remember the kind old magician, the cat he adopts, and the man’s REALLY cool magical toys (automatons and gizmos) such as that adorable lightbulb dude in the photo at the very top of this post. I also remember some great songs being used quite prominently (The Lovecats by The Cure & the always catchy House Of Fun by Madness). It’s not some big Disney, DreamWorks, etc production and that does show but I still thought that the characters, the music, and especially those inventive toys were pretty damn good! I wonder if those who made this have gone on to do more animated films? I’d like to see this sort of thing with a bigger budget. It’s a very sweet & charming film from what I remember. I wouldn’t complain at being made to watch it again.
My Rating: 6/10
My Kid’s Opinion: She doesn’t now remember much of this but does remember all those really cool toys that I mentioned above. She said she’d like to watch it again too (fine with me – I’ll pick up the DVD if I see it).
Rio 2 (2014)
Directed by Carlos Saldanha
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro, Andy García, Bruno Mars, Jemaine Clement, Kristin Chenoweth, George Lopez, Tracy Morgan, will.i.am, Jamie Foxx
From: Blue Sky Studios
Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB) It’s a jungle out there for Blu, Jewel and their three kids after they’re hurtled from Rio de Janeiro to the wilds of the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit in, he goes beak-to-beak with the vengeful Nigel, and meets his father-in-law.
Wow. I really remember very little of this except that I think it was about saving the rainforest, right? I don’t remember the first one either – I only know that these Rio movies are very bright & colorful and have some big musical numbers that are okay. This is from Blue Sky, whose movies are quite similar to DreamWorks in that I see them strictly as films aimed at kids and only truly enjoyed by kids. The only Blue Sky one I really liked was The Peanuts Movie but that’s because I’m obsessed with Peanuts & the movie stayed very true to its spirit. Don’t get me wrong – these Rio movies aren’t bad. They’re very pretty to look at & not the worst way to spend a couple of hours with your kid but I don’t think they’re very memorable. I’d have to say that the Ice Age films are a stronger series from this studio as the characters are better. Also, could they get a more annoying set of voice actors for Rio? Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Leslie Mann & Kristin Chenoweth(!!)?? Ugh. I think I remember Eisenberg’s bird kids in this being quite cute, though…
My Rating: 5.5/10
My Kid’s Opinion: She says she liked this although she couldn’t remember the specifics of it now. She said “I liked the pink frog!” (Ugh. Kristin Chenoweth.) I think it’s proof that the Rio films are pretty & enjoyable enough while being watched but are ultimately forgettable.
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
Directed by James Bobin
Starring: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, The Muppets
From: Walt Disney Pictures
Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB) While on a grand world tour, The Muppets find themselves wrapped into an European jewel-heist caper headed by a Kermit the Frog look-alike and his dastardly sidekick.
I grew up with The Muppet Show so I of course love The Muppets. Who doesn’t?! The Muppets movie in 2011 (2012 here) was pretty good. It was fun and managed to kind of capture the spirit of the original show (plus I like Amy Adams). But I found Muppets Most Wanted really disappointing even though it was great, as always, to see these beloved characters. The problem was the messy, boring story and the fact that I really didn’t like the main real-life stars. Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell & Tina Fey? How do you go from Amy Adams to some TV stars? Never been a fan of any of them (in fact, who is Ty Burrell anyway? That prick in Dawn Of The Dead??). I just think they made a real mess of this movie – I’ll stick to watching my DVDs of the original show.
My Rating: 5.5/10
My Kid’s Opinion: She remembers this one more than I thought she would! She remembers the plot & the evil Kermit with the mole. She likes The Muppets & says she liked this movie. Maybe I should give it another try…
This is her favorite Muppet-related thing. I agree:
**I’d like to finally take this opportunity to draw attention to a favorite blogger of mine here who does fantastic paintings of The Muppets (and loads of other awesome artwork with a focus on pop culture – but I first started following him because of The Muppets). Please have a look at Scott’s site at Mojoswork.com. You can see all his Muppets artwork HERE.
Scott – I’m sorry it took me two years to finally get around to doing this review! Let me know if you want me to add any more info or if you want me to include a specific Muppets image you’ve done. 🙂 Oh! Scott does a lot of wrestling & sports stuff as well and I thought his History Of The WWF was absolutely amazing despite knowing nothing of that sort of thing myself (MIB – you should really check this out).
I figure I should end this with some Madness since I have House Of Fun in my head after talking about The House Of Magic. I miss this era of music!
Yes, I needed a quick & easy Top Ten this week so I did my usual lazy thing of looking up celebrity birthdays. 😉 Adams was the only one worthwhile today – I really like her so was surprised to find that some people find her annoying. Look at her in that picture – she’s so adorable! Wish I looked like that. Anyway, I’ve liked her ever since her Oscar-nominated performance in Junebug.
So now, counting down from ten, these are My Top Ten Amy Adams Movies:
**List updated 20/08/17 to include Arrival, Nocturnal Animals & Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice
American Hustle Big Eyes Tenacious D In The Pick Of Destiny (she was in this?! Lol. I should watch it again – I like The D) Julie & Julia Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day The Wedding Date Leap Year Man Of Freaking Steel Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (OMG! Even worse than Man Of Steel!)
Ever since watching Birdman with its love it or hate it drum score (I thought it fit the film well but it got annoying) then of course Whiplash with all of its drumming, I’ve been thinking that I really need to do a list of My Top Ten Drummers In Movies. So here you go! 🙂
Well, I have to include Miles Teller since Whiplash was the inspiration for this post. I’m still not a big fan of his (he’s got a smarmy look) but Whiplash was good. Maybe I’ll change my mind about him – he’s in like a million movies coming out this year.
9. Ringo Starr in Yellow Submarine
Come on – it’s The Beatles! I had to include Ringo. I love Yellow Submarine.
8. The Wyld Stallyns “historical babe” in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
The redhead! Not many great pictures online. I had to include Bill & Ted – I love these guys!
I know that not everyone likes Jack Black but I DO and School Of Rock is one of my favorite movies in recent years. It’s great!
6. Dave Grohl in The Muppets (as Animool in Muppets tribute band “The Moopets”) & in documentary Sound City
I also HAD to find a way to include Dave Grohl. Grohl rules! He was hilarious in The Muppets but I also had to mention & link to my Sound City review again – I really enjoyed that documentary. More than anything, I think I just love how much of a music fan Dave Grohl is himself.
5. The Ewok that plays drums on the Stormtrooper helmets
Does this count? Yes, it does. Because it’s MY list! 😉
4. Peter “James” Bond & Mick Shrimpton in This Is Spinal Tap (spontaneous combustion & explosion)
I couldn’t do a list of drummers without including at least some of the Spinal Tap drummers who died tragically.
3. Animal from The Muppet Movie (well, all Muppet movies)
Again – what list of drummers would be complete without Animal?!
Wow! 1984 was a great year for movies! And I LOVE these pieces of artwork – I had a hard time deciding which ones to post. The following information and a lot more pieces from this art show can be found here: SlashFilm.
1984 was a great year for blockbuster cinema. Like, a ridiculously good year. The Terminator, Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Beverly Hills Cop, Gremlins, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Police Academy, This is Spinal Tap, Revenge of the Nerds, Purple Rain, The Karate Kid, Splash, and Red Dawn were all released. All those films and more are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year and the Bottleneck Gallery in Brooklyn, NY is having one big bash in their honor.
It Came From 1984, curated by Chogrin, opens from 7 p.m. February 7 at the Bottleneck Gallery, 60 Broadway, Brooklyn, New York. It’ll remain on display for a few weeks after. Get specifics at http://www.bottleneckgallery.com