Big Hero 6 Review

Big Hero 6 movie posterSynopsis
Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) is a boy genius who is convinced by his brother, Tadashi (Daniel Henney), to put his gift towards building something to help mankind. When his invention is stolen by a super villain, he uses his intellect to outfit his robot, Baymax (Scot Adsit), and his friends, Fred (TJ Miller), Go Go (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans, Jr.), and Lemon Honey (Genesis Rodriguez), with high tech gear to stop the mysterious figure.

Review
I was so ecstatic when Disney announced Big Hero 6 because it meant they were beginning to take full advantage of their purchase of Marvel. Although I know a lot about the Marvel comic universe, I know very little about Big Hero 6, other than who they are. But that didn’t matter, I was still excited for the chance to see them on the big screen. On top of creating an animated superhero movie, it was created by the same team that made Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen. Only one thought came into my mind: Uh, yes please!

Both Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen had great looking animation, and Big Hero 6 is just as impressive, if not more. The fictional city of Sanfransokyo is a sprawling cityscape, that is a cool mix of Japanese and American architecture. It has vivid colors that rival that of Sugar Rush. The characters’ costumes were bright and contrasted with their more subdued city environments. The animation was most impressive when the camera followed Hiro and Baymax into the sky and it had a breathtaking bird’s-eye-view of the entire city.

Each of the characters have a fun and unique look. When the movie first ended, one of the notes I made was that the characters were less charactatured than Disney’s last several films. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that wasn’t true. Regardless, it gave a one-of-a-kind feel to the film and to the characters. I like how varied and bright the heroes’ costumes are. They fit in perfectly with the environment of Sanfransokyo.

Baymax, the huggable robot friend of Hiro, easily stole the film. Scott Adsit brought the character to life wonderfully. Baymax was the emotional core of the film and was a big part of connecting Hiro to his older brother. Much of the film’s best moments involved Baymax in one way or another. Since the relationship between Baymax and Hiro was such a focus of Big Hero 6, their relationship is the only one that gets any real development as a result.

Disney has proven that they can write movies that appeal to several demographics at the same time, and Big Hero 6 is no exception. There were some jokes that appealed to either the adults or the children, but often I heard kids and grownups laughing together. TJ Miller is the same TJ Miller he is in his other movies, like How to Train Your Dragon, and gives many great one-liners. Damon Wayans, Jr.’s panicked Wasabi and Jamie Chung’s tough-exteriored Go-Go have their moments, too. However, they are nothing compared to Baymax. As mentioned before, most of the funniest lines come from him.

Big Hero 6 continues Disney’s strong animation resurgence. The animation is positively gorgeous and there is a little something for everyone of every age. I think it is safe to say that Disney has achieved a second renaissance and I could not be more excited.

Rating
4.5/5

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Don Hall – Director
Chris Williams – Director
Jordan Roberts – Screenplay
Daniel Gerson – Screenplay
Robert L. Baird – Screenplay
Paul Briggs – Story
Joseph Mateo – Story
Henry Jackman – Composer

Ryan Potter – Hiro (voice)
Scott Adsit – Baymax (voice)
Daniel Henney – Tadashi (voice)
TJ Miller– Fred (voice)
Jamie Chung – Go Go (voice)
Damon Wayans, Jr. – Wasabi (voice)
Genesis Rodriguez – Honey Lemon (voice)
James Cromwell – Robert Callaghan (voice)
Alan Tudky – Alistair Krei
Maya Rudolph – Cass (voice)

Trailer Round-Up 6/3/2014

Once again I have allowed several new trailers accumulate over the last few weeks.  Time for another Trailer Round-Up!  In this TRU, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar gets a full trailer, Lucy and Hercules (both part of my last TRU) get second trailers, Samuel L. Jackson works with some Brits, we get a look at Disney’s next animated feature film, and Tiny Fey and Jason Bateman tackle a more serious film.  To jump to a specific trailer, click on it’s link below.

Interstellar

Synopsis: Interstellar chronicles the adventures of a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.

I am a huge Christopher Nolan fan.  So far (I haven’t seen all of his works… yet) I have liked, if not loved, his movies.  And the fact he is doing a science-fiction movie is icing on the cake.  This trailer does a great job of not revealing too much but still getting me intrigued.  Plus with actors like Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Michael Caine, this movie is a must see for me .

Interstellar blasts into theaters November 7, 2014.  Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, it stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy, Casey Affleck, Timothee Chalamet, David Oyelowo, David Gyasi, and Michael Caine.

Lucy #2

Official Synopsis: From La Femme Nikita and The Professional to The Fifth Element, writer/director Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, most memorable female action heroes in cinematic history. Now, Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in Lucy, an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.

Much like the first Lucy trailer, this trailer shows off her powers (obviously, since that is the central focus of the film it seems).  I mentioned that I was worried about her becoming too powerful, but it seems like that may be addressed in the film.  At several points, more towards the end of the trailer, we see what looks like Lucy falling apart Dark Phoenix-style and if I remember she comments about losing her human emotions in the first trailer.  So maybe I’m worrying over nothing.

Lucy stars Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Choi Min-Sik, and Amr Waked.  It’s directed by Luc Besson and will be in theaters August 8, 2014.

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Official Synopsis: Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.

Another movie with Michael Caine.  That dude really gets around.  Anyway, this movie looks pretty funny.  Taron Egerton seems to be fairly new to film, but he appears to be a humorous actor.  Hopefully he can also pull off the action needed for this film.  Colin Firth, Michael Caine, and Samuel L. Jackson, on the other hand, I know can pull off both comedy and action so no worries there.

Kingsman: The Secret Service opens in theaters October 24, 2014, directed by Matthew Vaughn and starring Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Michael Caine, and Samuel L. Jackson.

Big Hero 6

Official Synopsis: With all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Big Hero 6” is an action-packed comedy-adventure about robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who learns to harness his genius—thanks to his brilliant brother Tadashi and their like-minded friends: adrenaline junkie Go Go Tamago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. When a devastating turn of events catapults them into the midst of a dangerous plot unfolding in the streets of San Fransokyo, Hiro turns to his closest companion—a robot named Baymax—and transforms the group into a band of high-tech heroes determined to solve the mystery. Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring comic-book style action, “Big Hero 6” is directed by Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”) and Chris Williams (“Bolt”), and produced by Roy Conli (“Tangled”).

Out of all the movies in this TRU, this is probably the one I am most excited for.  Not only is it Disney, not only is it Marvel, but it is Disney making a Marvel movie.  When I first heard Disney was going to make a Big Hero 6 movie, I thought it was going to be a straight to DVD release.  Instead, it is getting a full blown theatrical treatment, which is AMAZING!  What would be really cool is if Big Hero 6 existed inside Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.  It wouldn’t take much, at the very least a simple mention of an event from one of the Marvel movies or a poster of one of the Avengers in a bedroom, or even a quick voice cameo from Robert Downey, Jr. or another actor from the Marvel films.  How cool would that be?

Big Hero 6 hits theaters November 7, 2014 and is directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams.

This Is Where I Leave You

Official Synopsis: When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide— driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.

It’s great to see Tina Fey and Jason Bateman, two hilarious comedic actors, do a film together.  This looks to be a more serious movie for both of them, but I think they can pull it off.  In serious movies with funny undertones, it can be difficult to balance the humor with the seriousness, so it will be interesting to see how this film does.  Plus it looks like there is a strong supporting cast, so this movie has a lot going for it.

Based on the novel written by Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I Leave You goes to theaters September 12, 2014, staring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard, and Jane Fonda and directed by Shawn Levy.

Hercules #2

Official Synopsis: Everyone knows the legend of Hercules and his twelve labors. Our story begins after the labors, and after the legend… Haunted by a sin from his past, Hercules has become a mercenary. Along with five faithful companions, he travels ancient Greece selling his services for gold and using his legendary reputation to intimidate enemies. But when the benevolent ruler of Thrace and his daughter seek Hercules’ help to defeat a savage and terrifying warlord, Hercules finds that in order for good to triumph and justice to prevail… he must again become the hero he once was… he must embrace his own myth… he must be Hercules.

I’m torn on how I feel about this movie.  On one hand, Dwayne Johnson is probably my favorite actor right now, and on the other hand it looks like it’s retreading material that has been seen many times before and could end up very cliche.  Unless I hear great things about Hercules when it’s in theaters,  I may just wait for this to come out on home video.

Hercules hits theaters July 25, 2014.  Directed by Brett Ratner, it stars Dwayne Johnson, Irina Shayk, Ian McShane, John Hurt, and Robert Maillet.