Podcast: SJ 229: Will & Grace; Cool Kids; Brooklyn 99; Fresh Off the Boat; Survivor; Shrill; Now Apocalypse; Schitt’s Creek; The Grand Tour; Wonder Park; Gloria Bell

White Background LogoSwanner and Judd talk about Will & Grace; Cool Kids; Brooklyn 99; Fresh Off the Boat; Survivor; Shrill; Now Apocalypse; Schitt’s Creek; The Grand Tour; Wonder Park; Gloria Bell.

Left Click To Listen, Right Click Here To Download

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Wonder Park

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Swanner: June is a young girl with a big imagination. Her big dream was to design an amusement park, so June and her mother spent hours making the best amusement park ever. When June’s mother gets sick and has to go away for treatment, June puts away all things childish, including the amusement park. While on her way to camp, the bus breaks down leaving June and her classmates stranded. While exploring the woods near the bus June comes upon an old abandoned amusement park, but once she looks closer she realizes that this is the park her mother and her designed.

As June looks around the park she meets the characters that she and her mom had made up, and they tell her that a darkness is taking over and destroying the park. Now June has to find a way to save the park, without her mother my her side. Dylan Brown directs from a screenplay by Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec. The film does feel a bit familiar in it’s themes, but the park itself is fun and exciting.

It’s nice having another female driven movie, especially a young girl looking to do something more than be a mom when she grows up. There is a big cast of talented actors including Jennifer Garner, Kenan Thompson, Mila Kunis, John Oliver, Ken Jeong, Norbert Leo Butz, Matthew Broderick, and Brianna Denski who voices June. I do have to mention that the film is geared towards the under 10 crowd. The more adult situations are handled well for the audience, but some adults will find the film a bit too kiddy making it hard to connect. If you’re 8 years old, you should love it.

Swanner: 2 stars

Gloria Bell

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Swanner: Julianne Moore plays Gloria Bell. A woman in what used to be her twilight years (50’s & 60’s), but in today’s world she is still a working viable woman, looking to have something in the second chapter of her life. Gloria has an ex-husband who has remarried (Brad Garrett, Jeanne Tripplehorn), an adult son (Michael Cera), and an adult Daughter (Caren Pistorius). She lives alone in an apartment with a cat she doesn’t own, and ventures out at night to meet men.

Watching the preview I immediately thought of Looking For Mr. Goodbar, a very different kind of film dealing with a single woman dating. The film follows a slice of Gloria’s life. She meets different men but ends up seeing Arnold (John Turturro), a divorced man who still has strong ties with his ex-wife and the two adult daughters who live with his ex. This is something older people have to deal with dating later in life: getting involved with someone who already has an established family, career, and past.  They also have problems that turn them into someone Gloria doesn’t need in her life.

The film Gloria Bell takes a look at a group of people who have been all but forgotten, seniors. With people living longer, we see older folks searching for things they took for granted as young adults. Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you’re not a sexual creature anymore. It’s hard to imagine your grandmother out hunting for men, but there are plenty doing it nightly. The film is based on Sebastian Lelio’s film Gloria, which followed an older woman in Chile. Lelio directed both films. The film isn’t a big downer. It does have it’s humor and romance, it also leaves hope for a generation that was once condemned to spend the rest of their lives alone. Julianne Moore is terrific in the film.

Swanner: 2 ½ stars

 

Podcast: SJ 226: Modern Family; American Housewife; Will & Grace; Fresh Off the Boat; Walking Dead; Marvelous Mrs. Maisel; Schitt’s Creek; The Grand Tour; Junius Meyvant: Across the Borders; How Tor Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

White Background LogoSwanner and Judd talk about Modern Family; American Housewife; Will & Grace; Fresh Off the Boat; Walking Dead; Marvelous Mrs. Maisel; Schitt’s Creek; The Grand Tour; Junius Meyvant: Across the Borders; How Tor Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

Left Click To Listen, Right Click Here To Download

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Swanner: In this third installment, Hiccup finds out that Toothless isn’t the only Night Fury left.  This new Night Fury is a female and Toothless is in love. Hiccup has to do the Adult thing and let his friend go. While all this romance is going on, the residents learn that they have to leave their home because dragon hunters are coming for them, and they need to find a land where the dragons will be safe. There had always been a rumored place at the end of the world where dragons could live protected from their true enemy…man. 
Dean DeBlois directs and wrote the screenplay with co-writer Cressida Cowell; and they bring this lovely trilogy to a close. The entire series has been one good film after another, and this final film is no exception. The cast has returned, adding F. Murray Abraham, who plays Grimmel, a man who has made it his life long mission to kill all the Night Furys; and the female that Toothless loves is just bait for him to capture the last alpha, Toothless.
The film does work as a stand alone. Updating just enough to educate those not familiar, or those who haven’t watched the earlier films recently. The characters are still strong and you can’t help but become emotionally connected to them. Without giving anything away, I will say that the film ends on a high note making this the strongest animated trilogy since Toy Story
Swanner: 4 Stars