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Posts Tagged ‘Blu ray review’

Blu-ray Review: Dora and the Lost City of Gold

November 18, 2019 | by Herija Green | Comments (0)
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Aww, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaan…

If you were a kid or had kids around the turn of the century then you’re almost certainly familiar with Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer cartoon that featured a bilingual child breaking the fourth wall and interacting with viewers (can you say, “viewers?”). Now, director James Bobin (Alice Through the Looking Glass) is giving the series The Brady Bunch treatment and re-imagining it as a live-action film with a teenage Dora in Dora and the Lost City of Gold.

THE PLOT

After being raised in the jungle by her explorer parents, Cole (Michael Pena) and Elena (Eva Longoria), Dora (Isabela Moner) is sent to live with her aunt, uncle and cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg) in Los Angeles after learning the location of the lost city of Parapata. Knowing nothing of life in the city, Dora’s naivety makes her an easy target for jokes and laughter, much to the chagrin of Diego, who has changed dramatically since they were close as children.

During a field trip to a local museum, Dora and Diego, along with classmates Sammy (Madeleine Madden) and Randy (Nicholas Coombe), are lured into a trap and captured by mercenaries, who then take them to Peru with the intention of forcing Dora to locate Parapata, which is believed to hold untold riches. That plan quickly goes awry, however, when her parents’ friend Alejandro (Eugenio Derbez) shows up and helps them escape.

Back in the jungle, Dora takes charge and decides to find Parapata and her parents with the help of Alejandro and her classmates. The deeper they go into the jungle, the more dangerous it becomes, and the group must work together to survive. The mercenaries haven’t given up, though, and not everything is as it seems.

THE GOOD

There’s a fun vibe to the film, which never takes itself seriously yet still delivers some good adventure elements. It’s tame enough to watch with younger children and interesting enough to still enjoy as adults, regardless of whether or not you watched the cartoon. The pacing is solid as well, spending just enough time with the “fish out of water” moments in L.A. before jumping right back into the jungle where Dora feels at home. By jumping between the locations, it never feels stale.

Moner was an excellent choice to play Dora as she really nails the look and feel of a teenage version of the cartoon character, displaying endless optimism and innocence. Derbez is also really good in his role as the de facto chaperone to the high schoolers as he delivers many of the film’s funniest moments. Pena has some fun stuff in a limited turn as Dora’s father as well, highlighted by his explanation of what a rave is. The scene where they encounter the spores is absolutely classic fan service.

THE BAD

We weren’t fans of the CGI for Boots and Swiper, which remains cartoonish and unrealistic, which is in sharp contract to something like The Lion King. It’s just a weird half-step to bring all the other elements into the real world but not really those, and why does the fox speak? It’s not uncommon to cast older actors for high school parts, but Coombe looks way too old to be a teenager (he’ll be 25 this year).

THE BONUS FEATURES

There are more than 10 minutes of deleted and extended scenes included, and though none of them feel necessary they’re worth watching — the CGI stand-ins are good for a chuckle at the least, and it’s funny to see cars driving by in the background of the “jungle camp.” There’s another 30 or so minutes of extras, including a blooper reel and some background about the show and various characters.

OVERALL

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a lot of fun and one of the more pleasant surprises of what we’ve seen this year. It’s one of those much-appreciated films you can legitimately enjoy along with your kids.

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Blu-ray Review: Crawl

October 10, 2019 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off on Blu-ray Review: Crawl
As Haley attempts to move him she finds she’s not alone as a large alligator emerges, forcing her to backtrack and drag her dad to safety behind some piping. She’s able to revive her dad, who has suffered a laceration and a broken leg, and the two begin trying to figure out how to get out of the crawlspace. Haley’s next attempt ends badly when a second alligator gets a hold of her, opening up her leg in the process.
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Blu-ray Review: Annabelle Comes Home

October 7, 2019 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off on Blu-ray Review: Annabelle Comes Home
Daniela does some snooping and eventually finds a way into the artifacts room, touching almost everything in there before finally getting a “sign” from Annabelle that leads to her unlocking the case and releasing the evil spirit trapped within. Now the three girls must find a way to fend off multiple murderous abominations, track down Annabelle and return her to her case to set things right again.
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Blu-ray Review: Shaft

September 23, 2019 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off on Blu-ray Review: Shaft
Given that John is an old-school, non-PC relic of a bygone era, he and JJ don’t see eye to eye on much, but when John sees a connection between JJ’s case and a drug kingpin he’s been after for decades he decides to help. Their initial investigation points to a mosque that has received a major cash infusion from a local grocery store with known criminal ties. JJ brings this information to his bosses at the FBI, but when they move on the mosque it turns out everything is above board.
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Blu-ray Review: Rocketman

August 26, 2019 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off on Blu-ray Review: Rocketman
There’s plenty of extras here, including extended musical performances and a bunch of deleted or extended scenes. They’re not great, but it’s definitely worth watching — as you’d imagine they’re content scenes and not musical stuff. Beyond that, a number of “behind the scenes” features can be found with the highlight being the studio sessions with John and Egerton, who legitimately sings the songs.
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