Currently browsing the "Josh Gad" tag.

Review: Frozen II (aka Frozen 2)

Oh c’mon, did you really expect Frozen 2 to be as good – or even better – than its predecessor, the highest-grossing animated film of all time in worldwide box office? Did you really expect, or even want, another “Let It Go”? If so, you’re in for a bit of a letdown with this perfectly safe and pleasing sequel to the 2013 mega-hit that introduced us to royal sisters Elsa and Anna and the picturesque, Norwegian-esque Kingdom of Arandelle.

Quickie Review: A Dog’s Journey

A Dog’s Journey is for dog/animal lovers. It’s a continuation of the heartwarming saga that got us all misty-eyed in the 2017 doggie drama A Dog’s Purpose. In this sequel, Bailey (internal monologue voiced by Josh Gad) is getting up there in years, as is his “boy” Ethan (Dennis Quaid) and Ethan’s wife Hannah (now played by Marg Helgenberger). It’s getting to be that time for Bailey to move on – in body, not in spirit. Knowing that Bailey has a knack for reincarnation, Ethan asks the dog to find and protect his estranged granddaughter Clarity June (“CJ”). And thus begins Bailey’s newest set of lives and adventures. His name, breed and gender may change over the years. But the dog never loses sight of his primary purpose – to keep tabs on CJ (Kathryn Prescott). It’s a mission that evolves into helping CJ reconnect with her childhood best friend Trent (Henry Lau), mend fences with her selfish, alcoholic mother Gloria (Betty Gilpin) and potentially reunite with her grandparents.

Quickie Reviews: Only the Brave; Marshall

Only the Brave is a solid, engaging drama that is all the more impactful in light of the recent wildfires in California. Fire is as much a character in Only the Brave as the 20 Granite Mountain Hotshots– and their families – to which the film pays tribute by sharing the true story of the elite firefighting unit, and their sacrifice on June 30, 2013. Nineteen of the men died trying to protect their community from the historic Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona. One survived. The movie, based on a 2013 GQ article, features a strong ensemble cast led by the ruggedly charming Josh Brolin as Hotshot supervisor and father figure Eric Marsh. Miles Teller (Whiplash, Bleed for This, and the upcoming Thank You For Your Service) gets one of the more prominent sub-plots as Brendan, a young man with a troubled past who’s determined to turn his life around. He gets his second chance with the Granite Mountain Hotshots (think Top Gun with firefighters instead of fighter pilots).

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast represented near-perfection for an animated musical when it competed for Best Picture honors in 1991. So it’s hard to imagine that any reimagining of the “tale as old as time” could possibly hold a candle – or a lumiere – to that instant classic. But Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast does what it set out to do, and that’s bring a strong cast, a contemporary vibe, and a few new songs to audiences old and new. And while it’s not perfect, it is quite enchanting.

The Wedding Ringer

My biggest hang-up with this Bridesmaids-meets-Hangover-esque comedy is that it’s hard not to listen to its star, Josh Gad, and not picture the animated snowman Olaf from Frozen. The ‘characters’ may be different – but their voices are exactly the same. So it takes some getting used to! Do you wanna build a snowman…?

Is that all that’s wrong with The Wedding Ringer? No. But there’s plenty that’s right… including a story that is sweet and relatable at its core, and a cast of characters that generate plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. It’s basically a ‘buddy movie chick flick’ that offers up an entertaining escape from the somber awards-season fare.

Frozen

Frozen feels a lot like a broadway musical converted into a Disney animated movie. And that’s just fine by me. Case in point:

Jobs

First, the good news. The movie isn’t nearly as bad as its title. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people skip this flick simply because they figure it has something to do with the economy. Zzzzzzzz. The movie should have been called Apple, because it’s not so much about Steve Jobs the man (as the title might suggest) as it is about the founding of the revolutionary company that Jobs started in his parents’ garage. A company that he was eventually fired from and ultimately got back.