Not that long ago I had the honor of screening a number of films at the San Diego Film Festival. In this report I will be talking about 3 in particular: “In Utero”, “The Eagle Huntress”, and “Borrowed Time”.
I will be keeping this brief out of necessity. To start out there was so much talent on display at the festival! Directors, producers, writers, and the list goes on.
The first film I had the privilege of watching was In Utero. This was an utterly fascinating film centering around how environment effects the unborn fetus. This amazing film what I brought To us by Kathy, and Stephen Gyllenhaal. I’m watching this film I found it to be an ambitious Endeavor into psychology, environment, and maternal sciences. I find it fascinating but they were able to speak to so many professionals and so many of them came to very similar conclusions. Some of the conclusions that we reached where that depending on the environment of the mother certain stressors would be applied directly to the fetus while still in the womb. If the mothers external environment is subject to violence, hardship, depression, or any severe situations like these, it was shown they would have, indeed, a direct effect on the child. Again, this film was fascinating. Find it, watch it!
The next one was “Borrowed Time”. Now, this was an animated film out the highest order! This film falls into the realm of films not really for kids, but not because of inappropriate subject matter, but rather because of the intensity off the story!
This is a tale of a father and son whose misfortune is of the greatest depth. We are introduced to a father and son on a stagecoach. Father is looking at his watch talking to his son about what he needs to do on a stagecoach when a group of Bandits are heard in the background shrouded in a massive cloud of dust as they approach the stagecoach. The father and son try to outrun the bandits but unfortunately run out of road. Both of them survive this but the father just barely as he is stressed over the precipice. The son, looking over the cliff, is able to bring his father back up but there is an unfortunate accident. We fast forward to see that the son has followed in his father’s footsteps and become a sheriff himself. He, however, has never been able to overcome the guilt of his actions, despite it having been a complete accident. He attempts to rectify his past, but is interrupted something in the dirt, and what we see is his father watch from long ago. There’s a very, very, beautiful moment here which ties the film altogether! This film to was excellent!
The last time on this list is one called “Eagle Huntress”. This story revolves around a Mongolian family who has a history of being Eagle Hunters. Those are groups within the community who hunt by the use of an eagle, which they capture for themselves, raise, and train.
The story centers around a young lady who has the desire to be the first female eagle Hunter and how her father takes up her cause, despite what the Elders of her tribe say. There is gorgeous footage of the landscape as well as very touching moments between the father and his daughter. We see that she goes to school 5 days a week away from her family and then still comes home to do some chores. There’s also an incredible shot where she first gets to meet her eagle. She climbs up the steep face of a mountain all the way to the eagle’s nest where she stands there very casually while this giant golden eagle is making very threatening motions towards her. In addition to that the mother Eagle is floating around and is due back at any moment! There’s a lot going on with the story that I don’t want to give away but I will say that this young lady has amazing heart and that the scenery in this movie is stunning. The story is very uplifting especially to anyone who has children!
Overall all 3 get a solid 100 each!!!
No Question Mark Box Here; Super Mario Delivers a 1-Up in Theaters
If you were born in the ’80s, ’90s, or literally ANY decade after those, you know about Super Mario. A cultural phenomenon was brought to life on the big screen this last weekend. One that has not only stood the test of time but reinvented itself time and time again. This wasn’t even the first time it’s been made into a movie but, well, let’s be honest.. some of us choose not to acknowledge the LIVE action adaptation of the beloved game from 30 years ago.
It was pretty bad… But this was animation. ILLUMINATION animation at that. The Universal company that brought us Gru and his Minions, showed us the Secret Life of Pets, and gave us a reason to SING! Still, I had my reservations and even some concerns, especially when the casting was announced.
Eyebrows were raised. As big of stars as they were on paper, could they really deliver on voicing characters from a staple of our childhood? They did.
Chris Pratt and Charlie Day may not be Italian, and Jack Black may not be a King or Turtle creature from the Mushroom Kingdom, but they make the characters their own all while paying homage to the lore of a video game.
From the jump, the story reintroduces us to the brothers that just want to save Brooklyn one clogged sink at a time. We feel an instant connection and relate to these “underdogs of the plumbing world”. The movie is riddled with easter eggs, each of which tugs on the heartstrings of every generation of Mario fandom. And the soundtrack was beautifully put together to not only make us feel like we’re taking a walkthrough of the game but like an experience all its own with some familiar favorites thrown in.
Every word in the movie is pure eye candy for both those that are casual fans, and those analyzing every frame to see what they’ll catch next. Bowser’s ship, the Mushroom Kingdom, Kong’s arena, and the Rainbow Road.. They’re all meant to give us just enough of a “new” look at these amazing worlds, but stay true to how we remember them.
The movie itself moves along at the perfect pace. Although, if you don’t really know ANYTHING about the Super Mario Bros, you may have gotten a little lost and felt left behind in the green tunnel. But that’s ok! It’s an adventure of the imagination and a classic story of a boy that meets a girl and tries to save the world from a monster that wants to destroy it.
What’s funny is that you could easily say this is a story about two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried, battling to win the heart of a princess. Who would’ve thought that the King of the Koopas was just trying to impress his crush?
And that song? Ohhh THAT song! It’s my new ringtone and deserves the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Back to the movie.
Universal and Illumination clearly understood the assignment. Is it missing some things or could things have been done differently or even better? Absolutely! We’re the worst critics of the things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. But if you’re up for going on a 90-minute adventure through amazing worlds, with awesome music, and characters that’ll make you smile and laugh, then this is the perfect movie to spring you into that warm summer feeling.
Plus there’s the whole part with karts and shells, and banana peels and oh my goodness how amazing was that?? It’s enough to make you want to stand up and cheer, then go home and destroy your friends and family on your favorite track haha.
The bottom line, it pays homage in all the right ways to the little guy with the mustache, while giving us something new and exciting. Take the kids and go see Super Mario Bros. You’ll be glad you did!
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023
Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Opening Act Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. on North 200A. Talent confirmed so far to participate in the post-screening panel is Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky, The Goldbergs, Gotham) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and longtime RWBY cast member Lindsay Jones (Camp Camp) as Ruby, Kara Eberle ( RWBY: Ice Queendom) as Weiss, Arryn Zech (Detective Now Dead) as Blake and Barbara Dunkelman (Blood Fest) as Yang – along with Jeannie Tirado (Soul, Saints Row) as Green Lantern and Tru Valentino (The Rookie, The Cuphead Show!) as a cyborg. Also attending the panel will be producer/director Kerry Shawcross (series RWBY) and writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, Justice Society: World War II).
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023 with the big screen debut from DC Animated Films: highlights this year include the world premieres of the highly anticipated Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham and Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Part One the weekend of March 24-26 in Anaheim, California. Both screenings will be followed by panel discussions with actors and creators. Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham premieres at The Arena on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, David Dastmalchian (Dune, Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon, producer/co-director Sam Liu (The Death and the Return of Superman), co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) and screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem Across the Multiverse).
Both films will have encore screenings in the Arena on Sunday, March 26. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One will screen at 12:15pm, followed by Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham at 2:00pm