Thursday 24 Jul
 
 

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0

Sorcerer

William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0
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How to Train Your Dragon 2


How to Train Your Dragon 2 soars for DreamWorks.

Phil Bacharach June 17th, 2014

In 2010, DreamWorks approached the rarified air of Pixar-level animation with How to Train Your Dragon, one of DreamWorks’ few family-friendly offerings that didn’t suffer from an overload of pop culture references. Pixar has proven itself fallible in the ensuing years, but the DreamWorks franchise hasn’t lost any of its fire in How to Train Your Dragon 2.

Writer-director Dean DeBlois mostly sticks to the formula of the first film, which he also happened to pen. Jay Baruchel (This Is the End) returns as the voice of nebbishy Hiccup, our reluctant hero living in the shadow of his mega-manly dad (Gerard Butler, Olympus Has Fallen). Taking place five years after Hiccup has taught the hardscrabble folks of Berk about the lovable side of dragons, Dragon 2 takes off when our protagonist, his girlfriend Astrid (America Ferrera, Cesar Chavez) and his dutiful monster Toothless stumble across a power-hungry villain (Djimon Hounsou, Push) building a dragon army. Hiccup finds surprising help from a mysterious dragon-rescuer (Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine) with a thing for dramatic entrances.

So much of the movie is impressive — sumptuous visuals, a rousing music score, a surprisingly poignant storyline — that you can forgive the few disappointing decisions that make it more conventional than its forebearer.

Unlike the first Dragon, there is a bad guy this time, as well as a sprawling assemblage of characters seemingly made for merchandising. So what? Most of How to Train Your Dragon 2 soars.

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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