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CARS 3 Revs Up Their Engines for the Weekend!

cars 3

 

Jeri Jacquin

Racing into theatres this weekend from writer/director Brian Fee, Pixar Animated Studios and Disney is everyone’s favorite racers with CARS 3.

Lightening McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) has been a winner on the track race after race. That is until one day a big race that he felt was a win suddenly changes when a new generation car speeds past to take the win. Shocked, McQueen meets Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer), a new race car that is all teched out and he isn’t sure how to deal with it.

When an event on the track happens, McQueen goes back to his little town to basically hide. That is until his friends Sally (Bonnie Hunt), Luigi (Tony Shalhoub) and Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) convince him that he needs to reach out Rust-eze, the sponsor who is now owned by Sterling (Nathan Fillion).

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Sterling gives McQueen trainer Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) who makes her duty to get him up to speed, literally, before the next big race in Florida. Wanting to go back to training the old-school way, McQueen and Cruz begin to understand one another.

But there is still one more thing McQueen needs to do and that’s return to where his mentor Doc (Paul Newman) lived and discover what motivated him! He meets Smokey (Chris Cooper) who introduced him to old-school racers who push McQueen.

When they arrive in Florida, McQueen begins to realize that the racing world is changing and it might be time for him to change too!

Wilson as McQueen once again brings humor and fun to his vocal role. This is a character that just continues to grow, even if he doesn’t understand why he has to. Wanting to be the best for as long as he can isn’t a new concept in life and McQueen eventually shows us all that being the best only changes when we realize change can be oh so good!

Alonzo as Cruz is a young lady car that absolutely needs to know her worth. As McQueen begins to understand her drive, he realizes that he can either help his new friend or be part of the problem. I love Cruz’s get up and go but also her dreams.

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Cooper as Smokey brings in the old school gang to straighten out McQueen letting him know that Doc has always been with him. Those scenes are extremely touching. Hammer as Storm is a car that plays to the cameras but his wit even though it is stingingly aimed at McQueen. The addition of Fillion as Sterling is an owner that seems committed to McQueen but, of course he’s only in it for what he can get out of it and not the love of racing.

Larry the Cable Guy as Mater is till the sweetest and sometimes smartest car of them all. He wants what is best for his friends, believes in them and will drop everything to help them. He helps McQueen in ways that even Mater doesn’t realize. Larry will always be Mater!

Other cast includes Ray Magliozzi as Dusty, Kerry Washington as Natalie Certain, Bob Costas as Bob Cutlass, Margo Martindale as Louise Nash, Darrell Waltrip as Darrell Cartrip and Isiah Whitlock Jr. as River Scott.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give CARS 3 four tubs of popcorn out of five. It is fantastic that Pixar and Disney have returned to the original formula that made the original CARS so much fun. Having come full circle with the inclusion of Paul Newman’s character just brought a tear.

car 2

The story gives each character an added depth of loyalty, belief in one another, can-do attitude and even when feeling defeated the uplifting of friends. It is thrilling that the original cast came together bringing all the comedy and laughs I felt missing in the second film.

Everyone in the audience truly had a great time and with school ending it is a great beginning to the summer family movie going experience. Lightening McQueen and the gang have brought their story full circle and it is nothing short of well done and fun.

Grab the family and head to the theatre this weekend for an amazing story from beloved friends who just happen to be CARS.

In the end – It’s not over until lightning strikes!

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DEMOLITION Wrecks Beautifully

demolition poster

 

Jeri Jacquin

Smashing into theatres this Friday from director Jean-Marc Vallee and Fox Searchlight Pictures comes the swing of a mallet and lots of DEMOLITION.

Davis Mitchell (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a man detached from his life. Living on a rinse and repeat schedule, he gets up, helps father-in-law Phil (Chris Cooper) make more money in investment banking, and barely listen to wife Julia (Heather Lind).

When a car crash takes Julia away, Davis takes issue with a vending machine that withheld a bag of paid for M&M’s. Thus begins Davis’ letters to the vending company expressing his displeasure in the whole situation and while writing, the content becomes more personal. The letters reach the vendors customer service person Karen (Naomi Watts) who becomes emotional over the letters.

demo 1

Karen calls Davis informing him that the letters have been received and from that a friendship begins. Karen opens up about her life, relationship and son Chris (Judah Lewis). Every emotion Davis is feeling is finding a different and destructive way out. The only person who isn’t pleased with the behaviors Davis has been exhibiting is Phil.

Sometimes you must take things apart before it all comes together!

Gyllenhaal gives the role of Davis such a big emotional disconnect from the very beginning as a man going through the motions of life and talking the easy way of things. Watching Gyllenhaal embrace it all was seriously refreshing – from dancing crazy in public to speaking the truth about everything. This character does what we all wish we had the ‘craziness within’ to do. He also embraces the truth of Davis which includes the ugly and the unacknowledged parts of one’s life. A brilliant and beautiful performance that I will be thinking about for quite some time.

Watts as Karen is a woman who still doesn’t know what she wants for herself. Settling in her own relationships, the new friendship with Davis is comforting and doesn’t require the added pressure of sex. That doesn’t mean that being a mother is easy as son Chris is making sure that every mistakes she makes is blown up with the added guilt as a cherry on top.

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Lewis portrays young son Chris who is going through just as much pressure, confusion, and frustration as the adults. Trying to find his place in the madness, Lewis gives this character such depth, the right amount of freedom to explore, and sheer smarts. It is easy to see while Davis/Gyllenhaal truly enjoyed spending time with him.

Cooper as Phil is a grieving father who had issues with Davis for some time. When trying to put together something that would give his life meaning but also learns that secrets can not be hidden for long. Cooper has the amazing ability to mesh anger and sadness together and making his roles memorable.

Other cast include: C.J. Wilson as Carl, Polly Draper as Margot, Wass Stevens as Jimmy, Blaire Brooks as Amy, Ben Cole as Steven, Brendan Dooling as Todd, James Colby as John and Alfredo Narcisco as Michael.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give DEMOLITION five tubs of popcorn out of five. Once again Gyllenhaal turns in a performance that was one swing after another. This is a film mixed with shock and awe, giggles and jaw drops, and moments of reflection – not just of the characters but of anyone watching the film.

demo 2

Yes, this is a film that I’m not going to give away much because I enjoyed discovering it for myself and now I want everyone else to do the same. The film is all Gyllenhaal’s ability to bring out every range of human emotion and even lack of emotion at times. When life unravels there are only so many ways to handle that and the character of Davis takes up every lane of an emotional freeway driving like a madman toward a brick wall and I willingly sat in the passenger seat!

The interaction of Gyllenhaal and young actor Judah Lewis is stunning. There scenes together are direct, no b.s. allowed and a mixture of who is the adult and who is the child! Trust me when I say at one point I think they are both nuts! It is such an enjoyable relationship to watch because of the dimension it adds to an already great story.

In the end – life, some disassembly required!

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