HOW TO BUILD A BETTER BOY
While Disney may have invented many entertainment types we now take for granted, it can't claim credit for the TV movie, but in instances such as HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 1 and 2, CADET KELLY, JUMP IN!, and ZENON: GIRL OF THE 23RD CENTURY and its "zequel," it certainly perfected it. Add to this roster HOW TO BUILD A BETTER BOY, a teen comedy/action drama starring Kelli Berglund, no stranger to this genre, as Mae Hartley,the daughter of a video game designer (Or so she's been told!), and China Anne McClain as her bestie, Gabby Harrison. As our story begins, Mae tries to make Jaden Stark (Noah Centineo), the star QB, love math as much as he does football, but she does NOT...GO...ALL..THE...WAY! That night, Mae and Gabby hack into Dad's equipment. They THINK they're creating the perfect virtual video game boyfriend, but little did they know that Dear Old Dad actually works for THE PENTAGON and their Mr. Right is actually THE PROTOTYPE OF A SERIES OF SUPER SOLDIER ROBOTS! Kelli brings her expertise from Disney XD's LAB RATS wherin she plays Bree Davenport, one of a family of bionic heroes who just HAPPEN to live in the basement of an average American boy and his reporter mom, and while she and China (A.N.T FARM, short for "Advanced Natural Talent") are clearly the central characters as is Albert, the Better Boy, (Marshall Williams), Ieva Lucs steals the show as Major Jenks, a love-starved soldier who never went to a prom and must live vicariously through Mae. While Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door, " the Mouse is clearly building better movies, especially HOW TO BUILD A BETTER BOY. See if your cable company has the WATCH DISNEY CHANNEL app or see if you can get Disney Channel On Demand, but SEE IT! (BTW, China's vocal talents are on display on A.N.T. FARM, but check out Marshall and Kelli's duet on fellow Disney star Selena Gomez' "Love You Like A Love Song.")
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (2014)
I'm not going to use the derogatory terms associated with two certain Disney characters to describe this attempted reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action franchise, but they certainly apply. Those who paid close attention to the last three live-action TMNT movies may recall that the boys were actually animated by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, and anybody who remembers the man knows that anything attatched to his name has to meet certain standards of quality. This "cowa-bummer" misses those standards by a country mile and is a pizza...nuff said.
Don't believe the hype. It should be called Bird Poop.
BIG HERO 6
DO believe the hype on this one! This Disney delight takes this parody of/tribute to the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and other Japanese super heroes (based on the Marvel comic SUNFIRE AND BIG HERO 6 by Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Roleau) to new heights! Inventor Hiro, loose cannon Go Go, Valley Girl Honey Lemon,comic relief Wasabi, slacker Fred, and robot Baymax combine to fight evil in the hybrid future town of San Fransokyo and gain the super power of friendship. Big Hero is a big hit!
THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU
If you find this alleged dramedy starring Tina Fey and Connie Britton (NASHVILLE) among others, leave it.
ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE,HORRIBLE,NO GOOD,VERY BAD DAY
This wonderful, beautiful, not bad, very good adaptation of Judith Viorst's picture book is a laugh riot from opening credits to end titles, although it DOES dwell heavily on our hero's planned departure to Australia. (Some days I can't say I blame him!) Jennifer Garner and Steve Carrell steal the show as Mom and Dad, Disney Legend Dick Van Dyke puts in a great performance trying to read a kids' book which has endured a major printing error, and SHAKE IT UP! cutie Bella Thorne lives up to her name as a stood-up prom queen. Kudos to the Jim Henson Company and Shawn Levy on a fantastic,fabulous,no worries, totally awesome movie.
OVER THE GARDEN WALL
This recent Cartoon Network mini-series aspires to be the offbeat kind of fantasy adventure one expects from the home of ADVENTURE TIME, STEVEN UNIVERSE, UNCLE GRANDPA, and REGULAR SHOW, but stops just short. It IS worth a download from Netflix or Amazon just for the sake of curiosity.
SPOILER ALERT: It originally aired just after Halloween 2014 and the last chapter is set at a Halloween party. Let that inform your decision to download or not.
NEXT: Santa Steve's Naughty and Nice Lists!
Happy Thanksgiving, Buckaroos!