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Monsters University Movie Review

ImageGet Excited About MU

Pixar is bringing back the characters we all love and know in the ultimate “Flashback Friday” to the college days of Mike, Sulley, and a whole new crew. Travel back in time to the moment where Mike and Sulley meet in MONSTERS UNIVERSITY, and are instant rivals from the start. Their rivalry gets them in the least scary fraternity, the Oozma Kappas, abbreviated “OK”. Can Mike and Sulley overcome their differences and lead their team to victory in the famed Scare Games?

I am a huge fan of Pixar and Disney, and I especially love not only the characters from MONSTERS, INC., but the very concept itself. Who would have ever thought that a movie about children’s nightmares would ever be so popular? The storyline itself is absurd, laughable even, and that’s the great thing about Pixar – they do the impossible and create an entire, wonderful universe centered on a fresh, out-of-this-world idea. That’s why I looked forward to this movie. In the middle, I realized that Pixar’s goal for this movie shifted just a bit. Although the core idea is no longer new, MONSTERS U is meant to bring back feelings of nostalgia. We can connect to the well-established characters on an even deeper level.

There are many times in the movie when I get so sucked in that I nearly stand up and cheer loudly. I rooted for Mike and Sulley from the bottom of my heart. The visuals are top-notch – I could see all the textures of the Sulley’s fur to Mike’s hat as clear as day. I absolutely loved the score, which went perfectly with the movie – either upbeat and classy, or shiver-inducing and chilling when needed. Voice-overs by Billy Crystal and John Goodman are, of course, hilarious and heartfelt. And you can’t forget the all-important scare-factor, but if kids enjoyed MONSTERS, INC., MU should not be too frightening for them.

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY is a clear step-up from Pixar’s last movie BRAVE. I raise my glass to you, Pixar, for raising the bar and bringing back the standards of TOY STORY, WALL-E, FINDING NEMO, etc. My paradox is clear: If Pixar made more movies each year, my life would be complete, but their standards would probably drop. For now, the anticipation of one excellent movie a year is enough. MU is a movie for the entire family to enjoy! Ages 5+

First Published @kidspickflicks


Movie Review : Parental Guidance

ImageParental Guidance is a comedy that will catch families unaware and pull at their heartstrings. I thought I had prepared myself enough – at least, I knew it would have the entire theater shaking with laughter. What I didn’t expect was that this movie is an absolute tear-jerker.

Artie Decker (Billy Crystal) and his wife, Diane Decker (Bette Midler) agree to babysit their three grandkids for a while. However, their infrequent visits to their daughter Alice’s (Marisa Tomei) home sets them as “the other grandparents.” To make it even harder, the kids’ type-A helicopter parents have set countless rules and regulations in the household. When Artie and Diane’s old school ways of teaching clash with their grandkids’ 21st century problems, the family goes through a series of comedic misadventures and misunderstandings before they finally realize that despite the gap of generations, it’s learning to bend that brings a family together.

When you combine two of the greatest comedy legends, what you get is a heartfelt, down-to-earth, riproaring rodeo of fun. Every scene in the movie is filled with laughs for both kids and parents as well as hilarious hijinks that will thrill youngsters, including a sugar-high cake scene. The family’s relatable trio consists of Harper (Bailee Madison), an overachiever 12-year old; middle child Turner (Joshua Rush), a good kid with a stutter; and 5-year old Barker (Kyle Harrison Breitkopf) who has an imaginary friend. Artie and Diane try to connect with the kids in a way that will resound with viewers.

Some parents may disagree with Artie and Diane’s methods of parenting. Artie frequently bribes 5-year old Barker to be on his best behavior and to keep secrets. Barker never gets serious punishment for his bad behavior. Diane talks to Harper about the good ol’ days when she and her friends would have a fine night, drinking. Harper responds, aghast, “You want me to drink?” However, the characters grow and learn their lessons along the way.

This film has something for everyone, whether you’re a kid, parent, or grandparent. I felt the awkwardness between Harper and her crush. I exalted in that feeling of triumph with 9-year old Turner when he conquers his obstacles. I knew what it was like to lose a dream, and yet to find that there is more in life that’s waiting for the right time to show up. I could see the gap of generations and the formidable task of getting “up-to-date” with the “new school” way of things. I was touched by the mother and daughter relationship between Alice and 12-year old Harper. I understood the fragile father and daughter relationship between Artie and Alice.

Parental Guidance is eccentric, affectionate, and has some of the best lines in the comedy genre. Just remember that this movie is rated PG, and I say this not because of objectional content, but because after parents watch with their kids, they’ll want to host a family reunion. Parental Guidanceis a must-see gem that will strike audience’s hearts – perfect for a fun family outing to the movies.

 First Published @

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