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Movie Review: ‘Storks’ Delivers More Than Expected

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Storks Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Storks may center on a baby-making factory, but is it as silly as it sounds? Read our movie review for all the hilarious details:

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]torks exists in a cartoon universe where babies come from the sky and are delivered by the titular birds. But the human race seems to have gone back to making babies the old fashioned way when the storks decided to abandon their original job in favor of package delivery.

Favoring an Amazon-style service, the storks are now seen more as drones than deliverers of babies. I guess smartphones trump the miracle of life coming down from the skies.

Storks Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Incoming delivery!

At their headquarters of Stork Mountain, now built with an added-on shipping factory for Cornerstore.com, harbors one last child from the baby-making factory. No, seriously, there’s literally a mystical baby factory designed to churn out babies with wild hair colors of pink, purple and green. It’s apparently powered by crystals or something (storks’ words, not mine).

Labeled an orphan after losing her parents’ address, Tulip (Katie Crown) has been living as the only human of the stork community, finding some sort of kinship with the minority workers of the non-flying employee birds. When Tulip reaches the age of 18, she can apparently be both relinquished and fired from the stork operation.

The task of getting rid of Tulip is bestowed upon Junior (Andy Samberg), a nervously dedicated stork who is due for a major promotion if he can complete this one task. Lacking the heart to sack Tulip, Junior stuffs her into a do-nothing job of managing the baby requests, which have been absent for years. But when one child discovers the instructions for requesting a baby sibling, bound by the same logic as Santa Claus, Tulip starts up the old baby factory and produces a pink-haired child to be delivered. Fearing for his career, Junior teams up with Tulip to deliver the baby to its rightful parents.

As the second CGI feature from Warner Animation Group, Storks doesn’t quite have the same level of ingenuity in their previous picture The LEGO Movie, but does have the same zip and wit. Thanks to the comedic eye and timing of writer/co-director Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), the madcap nature of this buddy picture has a surprising amount of smarts past all its frenetic slapstick and endless bantering.

After a lightning-fast first act, I found myself slowly getting into the world of the storks and their business. The manic nature of the comedy is a bit of a blessing for this type of story that doles out exposition over time. The story slowly reveals the methods for delivering babies, including why the babies were contained to isolation pods for prevention of emotional attachment.

Storks Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Even wolves love babies.

I found myself more engaged with the story trying to decipher how humans have interacted with the storks and what the history was in the transition to package delivery. Just enough of this industry is exposed to be interesting without becoming overbearing and over-explained. I didn’t expect such world building from a rather zany movie paced at a level to distract even the most fidgety of children.

Though the gags are mercilessly shot out at the rate of a machine gun, their absurdity did make me laugh quite a few times. In particular, a hungry wolf pack, the leaders voiced by comedic duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, is so well organized in their hunts that they can form any mode of transportation as though they were Transformers. When our heroes believe they have lost the wolves after cutting down a bridge between them, the wolves band together to form a bridge. Not just any bridge, but a suspension bridge. They later form a car when trying to catch up on a shipping dock. Not just any car, but a minivan with a baby seat. I can only imagine what type of train they might form.

Storks Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Kelsey Grammer shines as Hunter.

While all the voices are rather solid, I found myself digging Kelsey Grammer the most as the sinister stork CEO Hunter. Nobody but Kelsey could make a line such as “I’m still going to destroy the baby factory” sound both hilarious and menacing. My respect for him as an actor has greatly increased.

Read more to see the rest of the movie review for Storks and watch the trailer:

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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Review: “Captain Marvel” is a Solidly Sensational Sci-Fi Adventure

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Captain Marvel joins the ranks of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a much different way. She slides into the MCU via a twisty sci-fi adventure of the 1990s, before the Avengers were formed. And though the film does serve as a strong bridge picture that answers a few more questions about the Marvel universe, the film quickly becomes its own thing and gives its hero a real identity as the powerful addition to the superhero ensemble.

Brie Larson plays Carol Danvers, a woman not sure if she’s a human pilot of Earth or a soldier of the Kree empire’s Starforce. There’s little time to explore these conflicting visions she’s having when there’s special energy powers to control and a war being waged against the shape-shifting Skrull alien creatures. A detour to 1990s Earth gives her a bit of time to find out more while also hunting down some more Skrulls, leading to some interesting scenarios when combatting aliens that could look like old ladies.

Marvel Studios’ CAPTAIN MARVEL..Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) ..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019

Carol’s landing on Earth leads to treading down familiar Marvel timeline territory as well as evoking plenty of dated 1990s bits. What started drawing me into the picture was how the film holds itself back from the obvious. The 1990s setting is used for some gags of video stores and Windows 95, sure, but never goes the extra mile of becoming an aggravating reference fest, keeping a certain vibe the way Guardians of the Galaxy embraced the 1970s and 1980s. And just like that film, there’s a nostalgic soundtrack to boot, with choice tracks for just the right cue.

Samuel L. Jackson pops up in the film as a younger Nick Fury with his two eyes still intact. He teams up with Carol in her intergalactic spy adventure and thankfully never goes to the booming lengths he was known for that decade. And the filmmakers could have easily made this younger Fury go full Die Hard 3 or Pulp Fiction but he never does, always keeping that cool persona he has been known for in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Marvel Studios’ CAPTAIN MARVEL..L to R: Att-Lass (Algenis Perez Soto), Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019

But the one aspect that is never shunned and built up grandly is the aspect of female empowerment. Danvers is established as a woman who doesn’t have a clear identity or mindful nature of galactic politics and has to build herself up when she realizes she may be a very powerful pawn in a big game of intergalactic chess. Her memories are that of always being told to back off from non-traditional activities for girls and, sure enough, she rises up to become the smirking and energy-shooting hero when the final piece of her character puzzle is pieced together. It’s just unfortunate that the film spends so much time doing the building amid a twisty sci-fi spy story that Brie never gets a moment to shine as brightly as she could, despite a very enthusiastic third-act closer.

If we’re being blunt, no, Captain Marvel doesn’t quite have the same gravity to be a cultural milestone of a comic book movie. Where others have pointed to Black Panther as not the first the most insightful and cultural of black-led superhero movies, I doubt many will look towards Captain Marvel as the grandest of female-led comic book movies, making its motives known with the power and subtlety of a supernova. But, in terms of what the film is aiming towards, it doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone and that’s perhaps the point. I just wish that Captain Marvel’s astounding powers to destroy starships and aliens had a much bigger punch for a picture that wants to obliterate the glass ceiling and merely cuts a narrow hole within the MCU. It’s a nice hole, mind you, and still weaves a capable and compelling sci-fi adventure with a surprisingly more engaging finale than most Marvel solos.

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