Cars 3

ratings3

After suffering a serious injury on the race track that could threaten to end his career, Lightning McQueen decides to give it his all and prove that he’s still the best race car out there, despite the more advanced technology in the new rookie racers around him.

There have been movies that I have watched an incredible amount of times as a kid, and among that list is the original Cars. Even eleven years after I first saw it, I still see it as an inspirational and touching flick, despite the idea of all the characters being talking cars. Pixar has made what are to this day the greatest, most touching, and mature animated films. Cars 3 may not reach the heights of the first film which is such a classic to me, but it’s a huge recovery from the awfully messy and disappointing mess of Cars 2, which is by far Pixar’s worst and a huge misstep for the franchise and the studio. Thankfully Pixar has been back on its feet lately and this film feels much more like the first than the second. The events of the second film even had absolutely no impact on this movie! Cars 3 is definitely the kind of sequel this film needed since 2011. The time lapse since the first film is used to the story’s advantage, bringing more challenges that McQueen must face such as new technology and forms of racing, and tackles the themes of generation differences and retirement, things we wouldn’t get from a studio that isn’t Pixar. Cars 3 also introduces new themes to the franchise that we need from a 2017 film, such as diversity, as a new main character, Cruz Ramirez, is a female car who is determined to be a racer no matter how much other cars discourage her, and her last name also implies a foreign ethnicity for the character. She is voiced very well by Cristela Alonzo, who I hope to see in more voice roles in the future. There are also other instances in the film which female characters are mentioned not stopping at any obstacles to get what they want, which you will notice in the film. There’s also the theme of mentorship as Lightning recounts his time from the first film with Doc Hudson, and later even becomes a mentor himself. The movie knows how to pay great tribute to the late Paul Newman, the legendary actor and voice of Doc Hudson in the first film. Owen Wilson is great as always as one of the most iconic animated characters. The film begins with the famous line, “Speed. I am speed.” and Wilson still has all the energy and fun that made McQueen so great 11 years ago. The movie doesn’t make the mistake of not making him the main character again, like in Cars 2. Chris Cooper and Armie Hammer also join the cast as interesting characters, and characters such as Sally and Mater return from the previous films, but this time in much smaller roles, although we still see the support and motivation McQueen gets from his loyal friends of Radiator Springs.

Ever since Inside Out was released to critical acclaim, Pixar has been on a winning streak, recovering from films that weren’t as well-received such as Brave and Monsters University, and I can’t say that Cars 3 is the one to break that streak. This movie still has plenty of heartwarming dialogue and themes, and some fun humor as well, Some of the callbacks to the original are especially entertaining. Director Brain Fee isn’t able to create sequences that are up there with the racing sequences, Lightning and Mater tipping tractors, or Doc training Lightning in the first film, or even close, but the plot is at least enjoyable and thankfully returns to the sports drama tone of the first one rather than the action spy thriller tone of the second one. Moments will have your young ones laughing and cheering, and will especially inspire younger viewers to pursue their dreams and there’s also plenty of great animation in the film, but younger ones won’t feel the intelligent spirit and heart built by the first one. It would be unfair if I just said this film isn’t great because it’s not as good as the first one, because I already knew it couldn’t and most likely wouldn’t be. However, some of the dialogue in the beginning isn’t written with much thought and feels just there to add to the film’s runtime. The first 5 minutes of the film is a quick montage of events that I think should have been stretched out to slightly longer. Although there are important events going on the dialogue did not intrigue me like it could have. Sometimes the film needed dialogue to build the rest of the scene and I don’t think those parts were handled very well. Similar literally every movie that is released nowadays, the film tries to deliver some smart lines from certain characters to inspire our leads but not every line sounds as wise as the script thinks it is. The humor is at first amusing but at one point gets too recycled and sometimes even unfunny at a few moments. Like I said before, the film delivers some poignant messages that I didn’t think an animated film like this one would handle, in a way that kids would enjoy, but once I understood the themes and messages the film was trying to convey, I immediately knew how the rest of the film would play out. It became very predictable yet somewhat heartfelt by the ending, which was fine but felt a little out of place and could have used improvement. At times the film relies on throwbacks to the first film a little too much just to carry the runtime forward, such as a scene in which Lightning and Cruz are training in a field of tractors. However, this did not stop me from having a fun time with this pleasing and lighthearted sequel that overall did not disappoint, and will entertain families, especially younger audiences.

Cars 3 is a step up from the disappointing second film and a strong finale to the Cars trilogy, that fans are sure to enjoy. It has some witty themes like most Pixar films, and even though it can’t be compared to the first film, the nostalgia and empowering messages are sure to be enough to make this worth a watch and anything but underwhelming. Also, make sure to be there on time for a short film before the feature, titled Lou, which wasn’t among Pixar’s best shorts but still a very sweet story about kindness that you’ll be sure to enjoy. So there’s another reason to buy a ticket for this sequel that’s fueled with family-friendly humor and fun!

Cars 3 poster.jpg

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Here Comes the Boom

My rating: ratings4

I saw this movie yesterday on Amazon Instant Video with my family. We all enjoyed it. It made us crack up! This movie was released on DVD and Blu-ray this Tuesday. It is also available on Xfinity On Demand. This movie is rated PG by the MPAA for “bouts of MMA sports violence, some rude humor and language”.

This film is about a former college wrestler named Scott Voss (Kevin James) who is now a 42-year-old bored biology teacher at a failing high school. When budget cuts lead to cancelling the music program, Scott decides to become a mixed martial arts fighter to save it. The film’s cast also includes Salma Hayek, Henry Winkler, Bas Rutten and Charice.

I really liked the cast and the comedy of this hilarious film, which is directed by Frank Coraci. This is now my favorite Kevin James movie. I would recommend this movie for kids my age or older but it might be inappropriate for kids younger.

Also, here is the website and the trailer of this movie.

Chasing Mavericks

My rating: 

I saw Chasing Mavericks with my friend and his family, and it is based on a true story of surfing legend Jay Moriarity (1978-2001), and how he learned to surf the world’s most dangerous wave, the maverick. He was trained by surfing legend Rick “Frosty” Hesson (played by Gerard Butler). In the course of Jay’s training, the 2 surfers form a relationship.

Unfortunately, Jay died in a diving accident in the Indian Ocean, a day before his 23rd birthday. He had a wife named Kim Moriarity, who was his friend since their childhood. Jay is remembered as a “soul surfer”, winning many sportsmanship awards throughout his career. Moriarity deserved a tribute like this film, for he was a really great surfer.

I really enjoyed this movie and I would recommend it for children my age (10) or older. Adults will also really enjoy this movie. I really liked Gerard Butler’s role as Frosty Hesson, although he was hospitalized after being injured during a surfing stunt on December 19, 2011. This is my favorite movie starring Gerard Butler.

The movie was filmed in Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay (the movie also takes place in both locations). I don”t think I’ll ever be able to surf a wave as big as a maverick!

Also, here is the website and the trailer of the movie.

Pictures from my Bowling Birthday Party in Israel

2 days ago, I went bowling with my parents, brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We did it to celebrate my birthday, which is really today(I turned 10 today). I really had fun and so did everyone else. Here are some pictures from the bowling:

Here is a picture of my parents, grandparents, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and I:

Like Mike 2: Streetball

Yesterday, my family and I saw the movie Like Mike 2: Streetball. We had ordered it from Netflix because we enjoyed the first movie. The first movie is about a 13-year old orphan named Calvin Cambridge, who likes playing basketball. One day, he finds an old pair of Michael Jordan’s sneakers, which makes him play basketball really good. After a halftime show(a 1-on-1 game against a basketball player named Tracy Reynolds, which he wins), he is offered to join an NBA team called the Los Angeles Knights. The second movie is about another 13-year old boy named Jerome Jenkins, Jr., who likes playing basketball with his 2 friends, Nathan and Rodney. One day, he finds another old pair of Michael Jordan’s sneakers, which also makes him play basketball really good. After a basketball competition, he is offered to join an NBA streetball team known as ”Game On”. I enjoyed both movies and I think you would enjoy them, too. I would reccomend this movie for everyone, including adults.

Also, here is the link for the Like Mike 2: Streetball trailer: