Category: Family


Haiku Review: Frozen (2013)

frozenStarring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad & Alan Tudyk
Screenplay by Jennifer Lee
Directed by Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee

When her sister’s magical powers trap their kingdom in an endless winter, young Anna sets out on a quest to find her sibling and bring back warm weather.


Buried under the
polar vortex of Disney’s
princess formula.

Grade: C+


c2014
By Daniel J. Hoag
Frozen is playing now in theaters nationwide.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2294629/?ref_=ttfc_fc_tt

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monsters UStarring: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, Sean Hayes, Dave Foley, Charlie Day, Alfred Molina, Nathan Fillion & Aubrey Plaza
Written by Robert L. Baird & Daniel Gerson & Dan Scanlon
Directed by Dan Scanlon

Before they were the greatest team at Monsters Inc., Mike and Sully were college rivals looking to prove which one of them was better at scaring.


See, kids: Pixar says
you DON’T need to finish school
to follow your dreams!

Grade: B+


c2013
By Daniel J. Hoag
Monsters University is now playing in theaters nationwide.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1453405/?ref_=sr_1

OzStarring: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams & Zach Braff
Written by Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire
Directed by Sam Raimi

The story of how a swindling magician became the Wizard of Oz and defended the fantasy realm from a pair of evil witches.


Like Oz himself, this
film is just a screen with no
magic behind it.

Grade: C-


c2013
By Daniel J. Hoag
Oz the Great and Powerful is playing now in theaters nationwide.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1623205/?ref_=sr_1

rise of the guardiansStarring: Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Isla Fisher & Hugh Jackman
Screenplay by David Lindsay-Abaire
Directed by Peter Ramsey

The Guardians of Childhood – Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Sandman, and the Tooth Fairy – recruit Jack Frost to help them battle the boogeyman.


I thought that Jack Frost
was a snowman that sounded
like Michael Keaton.

Grade: C


c2013
By Daniel J. Hoag
Rise of the Guardians is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 3/12/13.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1446192/?ref_=sr_1

hotel tStarring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi & Molly Shannon, David Spade
Screenplay by Peter Baynham and Robert Smigel
Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky

Dracula opens a monsters-only resort, but finds his world upended when a human finds his way in and falls for his daughter.


This Hotel should be
condemned and all residents
deserve to be staked.

Grade: D+


c2013
By Daniel J. Hoag
Hotel Transylvania is available on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0837562/?ref_=sr_1

frankenweenieStarring: Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer & Winona Ryder
Screenplay by John August
Directed by Tim Burton.

After his dog is hit by a car, a young scientist brings his beloved pet back from the dead.


More evidence that
Burton’s best drawing from his
own mind, not others’.

Grade: B+


c2013
By Daniel J. Hoag
Frankenweenie is available on Blu-ray and DVD today.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1142977/

Starring: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch & Alan Tudyk
Screenplay by Phil Johnston and Jennifer Lee
Directed by Rich Moore

A video game villian grows tired of being the “bad guy,” but his quest to become a hero ends up wreaking havoc on the world of his arcade.


Please take a moment
to explain to the young ones
what an arcade is.

Grade: A-


c2012
By Daniel J. Hoag
Wreck-It Ralph is playing now in theaters nationwide.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1772341/

Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse & John Goodman
Written by Chris Butler
Directed by Chris Butler & Sam Fell

A bullied kid who can speak to dead people must stop a witch’s curse after it raises zombies from the grave.


I want all grown-up
movies to have zombies, so
why not kids’ ones, too.

Grade: B


c2012
By Daniel J. Hoag
ParaNorman is playing in theaters nationwide.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1623288/

Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd & Craig Ferguson
Screenplay by Mark Andrews and Steve Purcell and Brenda Chapman and Irene Mecchi
Directed by Mark Andrews & Brenda Chapman

When a feisty Scottish princess finds herself at odds with her controlling mother, she finds herself confronted with an unexpected curse that she must race to undo before it’s too late.


The story plays it
safe, but Brave still feels like a
cool breeze up the kilt.

Grade: B+


c2012
By Daniel J. Hoag
Brave is now playing in theaters nationwide.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1217209/

Starring: Bridgit Mendler, David Henrie, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Moises Arias & Carol Burnett
Screenplay by Keiko Niwa
Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi

A family of tiny people who live under the floorboards is jeopardized when daughter Arrietty is discovered by the young boy who lives in the house.


Studio Ghibli’s
magic is proportional
to size this time out.

Grade: B-


c2012
By Daniel J. Hoag
The Secret World of Arrietty is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1568921/