Tag Archives: Keanu Reeves

Toy Story 4 Movie Review

When a sequel or a prequel to a beloved franchise is released, the hope is that not only will it live up to the original work, but it will expand the story.

In 1995, the original Toy Story was released. It was an instant success and revolutionized animated films. 24 years later, Toy Story 4 was released.

The 4th film in the series picks up just after the 3rd film ended. Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw), the young girl who inherited the toys is starting Kindergarten and is not feeling it. During orientation, she creates Forky (Tony Hale) and immediately adopts him as one of her toys. But Forky is not immediately convinced that he is a toy.

When Bonnie’s parents take her on a road trip before school starts, Woody (Tom Hanks), makes it his business to ensure that Forky does not escape. But inevitably, he does, separating Woody from Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the rest of the toys. Before reuniting with the rest of the crew, Woody meets up with Bo Peep (Annie Potts), his unrequited crush who has become a bad-ass. They have to rescue Forky from the hands of potentially psychopathic Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) with the help of Duke Kaboom (Keanu Reeves).

Upon release of the trailer, some may have asked why this film was necessary. The previous film tied up the narrative strings so perfectly that this film may seem like an easy cash grab by Disney.

It’s not. It expands the narrative in new and different ways. I loved the expansion of Bo Peep as a character and the message that it sends to women and girls of any age. I also loved the narrative of coming to the realization that things and relationships change. When we come to that point, we can either stay where we are or have the courage to step into the unknown for an adventure that is not yet revealed to us.

This film has humor, has heart and speaks to both children and adults.

I absolutely recommend it.

Toy Story 4 is presently in theaters.

P.S. Stay past the initial credits. The post credit scenes are worth the wait.

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Throwback Thursday-Speed (1994)

Public transportation is a great way to get around. Economical with multiple arms, it is the easiest way to get around for many people.

That is until a terrorist hijacks a bus. Then it becomes something much more.

That the premise of Speed (1994).

Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper) is a terrorist whose previous plot was foiled. In retaliation,  he plants a bomb on a Los Angeles City bus. Once the bomb is armed, it must keep going at fifty miles an hour. But Payne does not stop there. If there is an attempt by the police to rescue the passengers aboard, he will detonate the bomb. Now it is up to LA police officer Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) and passenger turned driver, Annie (Sandra Bullock) to keep the passengers safe while complying with Payne’s demands.

This movie is one of the best action movies in the last twenty five years.  Directed by Jan de Bont and written by Graham Yost, it grabs the audience by the throat and does not let them go until the closing credits. Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock have a solid chemistry. Dennis Hopper is chilling as the villain.

I highly recommend this movie.

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Throwback Thursday- Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

Creativity is sometimes underrated when it comes to achievement. We can take the straight, narrow and predictable path to achievement, or we can be creative when opportunity knocks.

In Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), Bill (Alex Preston) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) are a couple of what seems to be underachieving teenagers. If they do not pass a history report, they will both fail high school and be separated when Ted is shipped off to military school. When Rufus (George Carlin), a man from the future, offers the boys a chance to travel through history and bring back to the present the subjects of the history report, Bill and Ted jump at the chance. 

While Bill and Ted appear to be the typical stoner/surfer teenage boys with next to nothing banging around between their ears, in reality they are very smart. This movie is very funny and I think a little underrated when it comes to high school movies.

I recommend it.

 

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Throwback Thursday- The Matrix (1999)

Science fiction has an odd way of predicting the future. Whether it is Frankenstein or 1984, in hindsight, some of these stories can be prophetic.

The Matrix (1999) can be added to this list. By day, Thomas A Anderson (Keanu Reeves) is an computer programmer working the daily grind. After work, he uses the nom de plume of Neo, spending him time as a hacker. When the police target Neo, Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) introduces Neo to the real world and the fight to save humanity from annihilation by machines.

At the time of it’s release, this movie was ground breaking in more ways than one. It still is 16 years later. And after nearly 20 years, it still holds up as enjoyable entertainment.

I recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday Part III- Much Ado About Nothing

William Shakespeare’s works are immortal. They have outlived his lifetime and will continue to outlive our lifetimes.

Much Ado About Nothing is one of his greatest comedies. Last year, Joss Whedon released his version of Much Ado about Nothing.

In 1993, actor/director Kenneth Branagh released his take on the classic comedy. His Benedict is opposite his then wife, Emma Thompson as Beatrice. Robert Sean Leonard and Kate Beckinsale are Claudio and Hero. Secretly planning on bringing the lovers together is Don Pedro (Denzel Washington), Leonato (the late Richard Briers) and Antonio (Brian Blessed). Conspiring to keep the lovers apart is Don John (Keanu Reeves).

This is how Shakespeare should be done, every time. The cast is spot on and the movie is perfect. I still think that Hero should have not been so quick to take Claudio back, but that is the play overall and that is another topic for another post.

I recommend this movie.

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