Tag Archives: jerrod carmichael

FERDINAND (2017) – My rating: 8.5/10

Ferdinand is a 3D computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Blue Sky Studios, Davis Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Animation. The film was based on Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson’s children’s book, The Story of Ferdinand, written by Robert L. Baird, Tim Federle and Brad Copeland and directed by Carlos Saldanha.  Ferdinand is another animated movie I was obligated to see because of the Oscars.  Ferdinand is also another animated movie I was happy to have seen because it was excellent with a beautiful message.  I must say, animation story telling is getting better and better.

Ferdinand opens in Spain on a ranch owned by Moreno (Raúl Esparza) called Casa del Toro that trains bulls for bullfighting.  There is where a bull calf named Ferdinand (Colin H. Murphy) lives.  He is ridiculed by his fellow calves, Bones (Nile Diaz), Guapo (Jet Jurgensmeyer), and Valiente (Jack Gore) for being non-confrontational and for his habit of smelling and protecting flowers.  After months and months of ridicule, a melon collie Ferdinand runs away from home after his father, Raf (Jeremy Sisto) doesn’t return to the ranch after being chosen for a bull fight, plus a flower Ferdinand was fond of was flattened by Valiente after his own father was defeated by Raf. Running away eventually lands Ferdinand at a florist’s farm, where he is lovingly accepted and adopted into the family.

Ferdinand (John Cena) eventually grows up into an enormous bull, he still retains his non-violent, flower-loving nature. Due to his size, he is left alone when his new family, Juan (Juanes), Nina (Lily Day), and their dog, Paco (Jerrod Carmichael), goes to the town of Ronda for an annual flower festival. Against the family’s decision that Ferdinand stay home for his own protection, he decides to go to the festival anyway.  As a result, Ferdinand gets stung by a bee and unintentionally causes much chaos around town that results in him being sent back to Casa del Toro, much to his and the family’s sadness.

Once back at his old ranch, Ferdinand finds his old friends, Bones (Anthony Anderson), Guapo (Peyton Manning), and Valiente (Bobby Cannavale) have also grown up and have been joined by a Scottish bull named Angus (David Tennant) and a silent but intimidating bull named Maquina (Tim Nordquist). Ferdinand is still disrespected by the bulls, but manages to befriend a crazy goat named Lupe (Kate McKinnon).

Ferdinand goes on to bigger and more exciting adventures. The message projected in Ferdinand is extremely profound.  Between Ferdinand’s beginnings at Casa del Toro to the Florist farm and back to Casa del Toro, there are many plots to explore.  I am unable to find anything negative about this film.  Ferdinand is brilliantly smart, beautifully illustrated and well acted with lessens to be had by all. Or course, the actors only lend their voices to the characters.  I highly recommend Ferdinand, which is now on DVD and Blu-Ray and is also streaming on Amazon.  I don’t think you can go wrong with this one, the kids will love it!

[Ferdinand is Oscar nominated for Best Animated Feature.]

 

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT (2017) – My rating: 8/10

Transformers: The last Knight is why I bother to critique movies.  From all that I read from the critics, I almost didn’t go to see this sequel.  While it wasn’t the greatest sequel, it was far from the worse.  Of course this is my opinion, which is all relative.  I enjoyed it enough to recommend it and give it a decent rating.  I really don’t know what the critics are looking for.  I was entertained and the acting was good.  The story was good as well as the special effects and action.  As a matter of fact, I was happy to not see endless destruction of cities and buildings where they normally take place.  I’m not sure what prompted the low scores or bad write ups for this movie.

The last Knight starts in the year 484 AD, with a battle being fought between the Saxons and King Arthur (Liam Garrigan) and his army, who are reluctantly relying on wizard Merlin (Stanley Tucci) to win the war.  However, Merlin, who previously forged an alliance with the Knights of Iacon, a group of twelve Transformers hidden on Earth, is off begging the knights to help him in this time of need.  Unable to help, a transformer presented Merlin with an alien staff to help King Arthur triumph over the Saxons instead.

Moving to modern day; most governments on Earth have declared Transformers illegal, and have created a multinational Transformer Reaction Force (TRF) to eliminate alien robots. Despite the absence of Optimus Prime (who left the planet in search of his creator), new Transformers are continually arriving on Earth.  The latest ship to arrive crash-lands in Chicago and is found by a group of children. When a TRF mecha confronts the kids, they are saved by Izabella, (Isabela Moner) a survivor of the Battle of Chicago, and her Transformer companions, Sqweeks and Canopy, but Canopy is killed by the TRF in the process. Bumblebee and Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) arrive to help the children to escape.

In the meanwhile, on the far reaches of the Solar System, Optimus Prime discovers that Cybertron, the Transformers’ home world, which is now disassembled into pieces, is heading directly for Earth. Optimus finds the being in control of Cybertron’s movement is a sorceress named Quintessa, (Gemma Chan) who professes to be the maker he is searching for. According to Quintessa’s story, the staff that the knights gave to Merlin was stolen from her.  Using her powers, she places Optimus Prime under her control, dubs him “Nemesis Prime,” and charges him with the task of recovering the staff. She also alleges, Earth is actually Cybertron’s “ancient enemy” Unicron, and she intends to drain his life force so that Cybertron can be restored.

Eventually, Yeager is tracked to the junkyard hideout where several old Transformers, Autobots, Dinobots, Decepticons, Jimmy, (Jerrod Carmichael) a close friend and employee of Yeager’s and Izabella live, as well as manage repairs of the surviving incoming Transformers and all that comes with them.  Yeager is approached by Cogman, (Jim Carter) the Transformer envoy and loyal butler of British Lord, Sir Edmund Burton, (Anthony Hopkins) who takes him and Bumblebee to England to meet his master. There, Yeager also meets Viviane Wembly, (Laura Haddock) an Oxford professor and last descendant of Merlin. Burton explains that he is the last living member of the “Witwiccan” order, an ancient brotherhood dedicated to guarding the secret history of Transformers on Earth.

From this point, you have a pretty good plot.  Transformers are now banned from Earth, there’s a newly formed group who are responsible for keeping the Transformers from entering called TRF, a British Lord is trying to get the last descendant of Merlin along with Yeager to retrieve the staff (that was given to Quintessa) and also use the emblem fused onto his arm by a Transformer against Quintessa to stop her from destroying Earth and Optimus Prime.  Of course there’s endless twist and turns I can’t tell you about at this point, as not to spoil the movie. The special effects are awesome, the acting is great and the action is plentiful.  This is not a bad sequel — I was entertained and not bored or disappointed.  However, I don’t think you need to spend the extra money for 3D.  If you like the Transformer series, you should check this one out!