Big Hero 6 — Review

4.5 of 5 stars
Big Hero 6

You guys remember Wreck-it Ralph? It was a film by Disney Animation Studios in 2012, and in many ways very much in the same line of work as the latest offering from Disney, Big Hero 6. I don’t mean that in terms of plot it is similar — indeed, it is very dissimilar in that way. What I do mean is that this is the new Walt Disney Animation Studios. I think we got a little hint of this with Bolt (2008), which was a surprisingly good film for what it was. Not on the same level as the latest three offerings from Disney by any stretch of the imagination, but quite good, in my estimation.


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The Maze Runner — Review

3 of 5 stars
The Maze Runner

I went to see The Maze Runner with no expectations. I saw a trailer two or three times in the last season that promoted this young adult (YA) dystopian sci-fi, but other than the trailers, I didn’t have prior knowledge of the film.

Dystopian flicks and novels work better this way. I like a movie I know little about.1 And if it’s in the YA category, it helps to keep an open mind and let the movie speak for itself. I’m not a young adult anymore, and sadly I’m finding it harder to relate to the fears and angst teenagers experience. However, a well-made movie can suck me into a story so that I…

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The Giver — Review

4 of 5 stars
The Giver

Books have a lot going for them when they become so successful that public schools make them required reads. The Giver is the first in four novels by Lois Lowry that have earned a place on such a list in America, Australia, and Canada. And only now, after 21 years of popular bookshelf demand, The Giver makes an appearance in cinemas.

Without a doubt, this social science fiction novel has its detractors. Some critics take it to lack “originality” and “literary merit.” Such concerns matter to the critics, as you well know. For what it’s worth, children and young adults usually enjoy the story,…

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Lucy — Review

1.5 of 5 stars

Scarlett Johansson is arguably the most popular woman alive. Morgan Freeman is one of the most popular men, thanks to his mature masculine voice. These two performers gave Lucy the promise of offering a compelling sci-fi action flick that had nothing to do with super-heroes, a reboot, or a franchise continuation. That’s why TJ and I at MovieByte wanted to see Lucy: a movie that dreams big but crashes even bigger.

The woman in over her head

Lucy (played by Scarlett Johansson) is your average American living and studying in downtown Taipei, Taiwan. One not-so average day, she’s tricked into…

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes — Review

3.5 of 5 stars
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the latest in the reboot of the Apes franchise. I really love it for a few reasons.

But first, newsflash: I’m new to the franchise. I know, I know. This series of films is a cult classic, and you have to be a pitiable noob if you haven’t at least seen the original.

I’ve actually watched documentaries that addressed Apes at length. I have seen interviews with the cast and directors. I’ve watched a really decent review of the first film in this reboot. Friends have told me I have to watch at least the good ones.

So my excuse is that I simply don’t find apes…

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How to Train Your Dragon 2 — Review

3 of 5 stars
How to Train Your Dragon 2

You know those films that all your friends love, so you feel a little emotional pressure to like them too? How to Train Your Dragon and its sequel are those films for me.

It’s not that I don’t like them, because I do. I just don’t like them as well as anyone else I know. Dreamworks has impressed the masses with these dragon flicks all too easily, in my humble opinion. Critics gave the first film 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. The sequel has 92%. For comparison, Ratatouille has a 96% and Frozen has 89%. It seems to me that people just like dragons—not that Dreamwork’s film was actually as good if…

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The Double (2014) — Review

4 of 5 stars

Give a warm welcome to Ben Riley and his first contribution to MovieByte. To be honest, I have been wanting to bring someone onto MovieByte that both tends to have different opinions than my own, and who tends to watch and enjoy different types of films than I do as well. I believe Ben matches that description. As such, he has kindly watched and submitted his first film review of The Double which I was only slightly interested in.



More about Ben Riley

The Double (2014)

Richard Ayoade’s The Double is a film that is interesting because, like so many art films, it simultaneously invites and defies interpretation. I could argue that it is an unusual study of masculine self realization; or perhaps, I might say that it is a disturbing depiction of primal male impulses. Is it about individuality being suppressed by the demands of corporate society? Or perhaps a thoughtful rumination on the unique identity? Is it a study on the way a perceptive individual struggles with anima and persona? The Double is, perhaps, all of these things; it is possible that it is none…

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Mr. Peabody & Sherman — Review

3.5 of 5 stars
Mr. Peabody & Sherman

As you may have heard on Episode 81 of The MovieByte Podcast, I had to work hard to convince TJ to see this film rather than the much manlier 300: Rise of an Empire, which I have absolutely no interest in ever seeing. That being said, I was hopeful that this movie would be worth the money to see it in the theater, both for TJ’s and my sakes. While it may not have been as good as I had hoped, I do think that it ended up being a pretty decent family film that I would certainly say is worth the money. Note: a few spoilers ahead, but no major ones.

An Extraordinary Dog

Mr. Peabody & Sherman…

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Mt. Vesuvius Kills in 3 Days — What To See This Weekend

Mt. Vesuvius Kills in 3 Days — What To See This Weekend

Decisions, decisions. On the one hand, maybe you’d like to hang out in Pompeii and catch a cheesy (and obviously tragic) love story before the city is buried by Mt. Vesuvius.

On the other hand, perhaps you’d rather spend some time getting to know Amber Heard and Kevin Costner while they figure out who to kill in the space of three days — or, something like that.

New This Weekend

Pompeii — PG-13

I have to admit, I don’t think it’s possible for me to be less interested in a film. This looks like a completely terrible tragic love story. I don’t get what the motivation is behind this thing,…

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Dead or Alive, You’re Seeing a Movie! — What to See This Weekend

Dead or Alive, You’re Seeing a Movie! — What to See This Weekend

I had hoped to have seen the original RoboCop by the time I wrote this article this weekend so I could have a better idea of what I was in for and a more well informed opinion. Alas, between Netflix playing stupid with the disk, and it not being available for instant watch, that hasn’t happened. It is available for digital rental on Amazon, so I reckon I’ll do that (probably tonight) before I see the remake this weekend at the box office.

RoboCop — PG-13

I can’t say I’m particularly excited about this film. I was not allowed to watch the original given that it came out when I was five…

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