Film Review: WONDER PARK (USA 2019) ***

Wonder Park Poster
Wonder Park tells the story of an amusement park where the imagination of a wildly creative girl named June comes alive.

Writers:

Josh Appelbaum (screenplay by), André Nemec(screenplay by) | 3 more credits »

One must wonder how the filmmakers decide on whether the main child protagonist in their animated feature is going to be male or female.  Males have been highly successful in the  TOY STORY franchise while females in the FROZEN franchise.  For WONDER PARRK, creating rides and using mechanical expertise to tune up the rides would be more suited for a male child and his father rather than a girl and mother.  Girls do not generally engage in races either.  But in this age of gender equality, anything goes.  The female protagonist works well in this story to show more gender equality, credit to he filmmakers.

A young imaginative 10-year old girl named Cameron “June” Bailey (voiced by newcomer Brianna Denski) spent her childhood days constructing an amusement park filled with fantastical rides and inhabited by talking animals called Wonderland with her mother (Jennifer Garner) and her friends, but she lost her sense of imagination and wonder after her mother leaves home for an illness not mentioned and growing up, until she finds the real Wonderland in the woods while at math camp.  She needs to team up with the animals to stop the destruction of Wonderland by Chimpanzombies and bring it back to life.  Simple story, simply executed. The film obviously suffers from the lack of a single evil villain.  The cute chimanzombies do not really cut it as scary villains.  Even their name sounds cute.  But the weight of worry on a sick mother on a child can be devastating.  Credit to the filmmakers and scriptwriter to include a more serious note in an otherwise fun film.  But this sad weight does anchor down the fun atmosphere of the film.  The audience also pities the poor father who now has to look after June and do the household chores which June does not believe the father is capable of. The dialogue is sufficiently corny but doable. The characters try to put back the wonder in WONDER PARK when the park is breaking down.  The animals  also frequently chant: “We are the Wonder in Wonder Park”.  The characters con up words like ‘splendiferous’ and ‘wonderiferous’, words that children can pick up and constantly annoy their parents with after the movie.  The park also encompasses some ingenious rides that the script has churned out, rides that could perhaps work in a real amusement part, but deemed too dangerous.

Other voice characterizations from more famous actors include the ones from Mila Kunis, Ken Jeong and Matthew Broderick as June’s father.

The part of the story of twin worlds existing makes a good concept.  When June whispers into the ear of her toy chimpanzee, the chimpanzee in WONDER WORLD, Peanut (Norbert Leo Lutz) hears her ideas and implements the suggestions.

WONDER PARK is the third animation feature from Nickleodeon Pictures and Paramount Animation Studios after JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS and BARNYARD.  It was reported that the filmmakers hope the film turns out as big as Disney’s COCO.  Both films share the voice of a newcomer for the main child protagonist.

WONDER WORLD is no COCO but it is still not without its pleasures but for mostly kids. 

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MRSBuQt51A

Advertisements

Film Review: PEPPERMINT (USA 2018)

Peppermint Poster
Trailer

Peppermint is a revenge story centering on a young mother who finds herself with nothing to lose, and is now going to take from her enemies the very life they stole from her.

Director:

Pierre Morel

Writer:

Chad St. John

PEPPERMINT is the ice-cream flavour Riley North’s daughter picks at the fair.  The film could also be called Rocky Road the flavour Riley (Jennifer Garner) choses for hers or also for the awful route the revenger thriller takes.

When Riley North’s (Jennifer Garner) husband and daughter are killed in a drive-by shooting by members of a cartel and the killers walk free owing to corrupt officials on the cartel’s payroll, she takes matters into her own hands and seeks vigilante justice against those who destroyed her life.

The film begins with a slice of Riley’s family life.  Husband is overly loving, daughter annoyingly cute and smart and everyone is lovey-dubey.  After Riley’s family is killed, she takes down the killers one by one till she reaches Garcia, the chief villain.  Added to the story is the vigilante element (DEATH WISH).

The film’s lazy script does not bother with plot details or character development or even suspense build-up, all the laments necessary to make a good thriller.  Showing Riley with her family enjoying fun times together is a very laze way to get the audience to feel for her. Nothing is shown how Riley got to transition from loving mother and housewife to martial-arts expert and super fighter.  One short clip is shown of an MMA fight with the cops saying that Riley was in one of the fights.

The fight scenes are barely exciting – too much gunplay and fast cuts to examine in detail what actually happened.  Garcia’s henchmen are all buffed but too easily beaten by Riley in unbelievable punch-ups.

The only one interesting character is that of cop Carmichael (John Gallagher).  He aids Riley initially – in fact too much.  When it is revealed that he is actually Garcia’s undercover, his initial actions do not add up.  He could have done her away many times given so many opportunities.  

Jennifer Gardner now joins the ranks as an actress in action films.  Having carved her name in fame for romantic dramas, she looks entirely out of place kicking and fighting int he movie.  She only looks convincing at the start of the film as the loving wife and mother.   THE TOMB RAIDER or HUNGER GAME actresses would have fitted in better.   Putting in a female fntaed of a male in the revenge action genre at least makes a welcome change, given the film’s limitations and problems.

Cardboard characters, simplistic plot, silly plot twists, unexciting action sequences, uninspired acting, mediocre sets and music, PEPPERMINT leaves far to be desired.

Successful films of this genre that include Morel’s previous Liam Neeson revenger TAKEN are often described as guilty pleasures.  PEPPERMINT is a total displeasure.  The film at the press screening ended with a blank screen instead of closing credits. “No wonder the film is so bad,” remarked a fellow critic.  “It wasn’t even finished.”  But whether finished, edited or improved, it is doubtful that the film will impress.  

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtQ-0kqbJ7A

Happy Birthday: Jennifer Garner

jennifergarner.jpgHappy Birthday actor Jennifer Garner

Born: Jennifer Anne Garner
April 17, 1972 in Houston, Texas, USA

Read reviews and see pics of the best of the actor:

Dude, Where’s My Car
2000
dir. Danny Leiner
Starring
Ashton Kutcher
Seann William Scott

GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST Movie PosterGhosts of Girlfriends Past
2009
Dir. Mark Waters
Starring
Matthew McConaughey
Garner

PEARL HARBORPearl Harbor
2001
dir. Bay
starring
Ben Affleck
Josh Hartnett

THE INVENTION OF LYING Movie PosterThe Invention of Lying
2009
dir. Ricky Gervais
Matthew Robinson
Starring
Ricky Gervais
Garner

DaredevilDaredevil
2003
dir. by Mark Steven Johnson
starring
Affleck
Garner

Catch and Release
2006
dir. Susannah Grant
starring
Garner
Timothy Olyphant

The Kingdom
2007
Directed by Berg
Starring Jamie Foxx
Garner

MOVIE POSTERBUTTER
dir. Jim Field Smith
Stars:
Jennifer Garner
Yara Shahidi

Juno
2007
Directed by Jason Reitman
Starring
Ellen Page
Michael Cera

arthurARTHUR
dir. Jason Winer
Stars:
Russell Brand
Helen Mirren

MOVIE POSTERTHE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN
dir. Peter Hedges
Stars:
Jennifer Garner
Joel Edgerton

MOVIE POSTERCATCH ME IF YOU CAN
2002
dir. Steven Spielberg
Stars:
Leonardo DiCaprio
Tom Hanks

MOVIE POSTERDALLAS BUYERS CLUB
2013
dir. Jean-Marc Vallee
Stars:
Matthew McConaughey
Jennifer Garner

MOVIE POSTERDRAFT DAY
2014
dir. Ivan Reitman
Stars:
Kevin Costner
Jennifer Garner

SEE TOP 100 JENNIFER GARNER PHOTOS

2011
2012
Abs
and Amy Jo Johnson
and Ashton Kutcher
and Ben Affleck
and Conan O’Brien
and Dean Cain
and Hugh Jackman
and Jamie Foxx
and Jennifer Lopez
and Jessica Biel
and Matthew McConaughey
and Michael Vartan
and Olivia Wilde
and Ricky Gervais
and Rob Lowe
and Scott Foley
and Seraphina
and Timothy Olyphant
and Victor Garber
and Violet
and Electra
as Miss Marple
Back
Bangs
Beautiful
Before and After
Bikini
Black and White
Black Dress
Blonde
Blue Dress
Body
Boobs
Boots
Breasts
Cleavage
Curly Hair
Dimples
Earrings
Ears
Eyebrows
Eyes
Fashion
Gown
Green Dress
Hairstyle
Heels
Hot

in 13 Going on 30
in Alias
in Arthur
in Butter
in Catch and Release
in Catch Me If You Can
in Daredevil
in Dude Where’s My Car
in Felicity
in Ghost of Girlfriends Past
in Invention of Lying
in Juno
in Pearl Harbor
in Timothy Green
in Valentine’s Day
InStyle
Jeans
Jewelry
Leather
Legs
Lingerie
Lips
Lipstick
Long Hair
Makeup
Measurements
Mini Dress
Mini Skirt
Modeling
Mouth
Nose
On a Date
On the Street
Outfits
Ponytail
Pose
Pregnant
Purple Dress
Red Carpet
Red Dress
Red Hair
Sexy
Shoes
Short Dress
Skinny
Smile
Style
Sunglasses
Teeth
Wallpaper
Without Makeup
Young