Film Review: The Angry Birds Movie

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Today the boys and I watched the Angry Birds Movie. I thought for sure that it would only be a fun experience for my little avid gamers and that I would be rolling my eyes through it all, but surprisingly, it was a movie with heart (on top of the obligatory doo-doo-doo-doo Angry Bird diddy and mandatory slung-shot birds knocking down green pigs).

The story starts with Red having an anger problem, so he was made to take an Anger Management class with a new age yoga instructor voiced by the very funny Maya Rudolph. Ironically, I’ve been spending the past year working on controlling the anger that I experience when I’m under the daily stresses of being a working mom. So when the story got to the part where his anger was celebrated, I had to take a pause and figure out how I felt about that as a moral of the story for my young boys. Do I want them to think that acting out in anger is ever right?

After a few moments of mulling, I realized that the answer was a resounding YES!

Taking your anger out on innocent people is not right. That needs to be controlled; we definitely all must have some self-discipline when it comes to that kind of anger. But anger directed at the right things can motivate us to do heroic acts.There are many things for us to be angry about in this world… and taking a stand, being a leader… risking ourselves to do what is right, is a message I’m cool with. I think I’m going name this Anger Discipline: be angry with what is wrong with the world then do something about it.

There were lots of funny little bits and pieces – I could hear the boys giggling (and even laughing aloud) through it all. The violence was pretty much reflective of anything any Angry Birds player would have already seen… so it’s not excessive, maybe goofy from time to time. Plus Peter Dinklage’s Mighty Eagle’s old school music was an extra bonus for this 40-something mama!

3.5 stars outta 5

Movie Review: Kung Fu Panda 3

Rarely have I enjoyed a sequel as much as I enjoyed Kung Fu Panda 3 when we went with our Kung Fu school to the movie theatre. Despite absolute goofballness (or maybe because of it), I am a fan of Jack Black. He was once again charming, flawed, earnest and kind, a reluctant hero who comes through. Some great actors, including Angelina Jolie, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman and Jackie Chan voiced the other main characters and put their kung fu energy into it, or should I say Qi Gong? They were serious when they were supposed to be and brought perfectly timed comic relief.
Without giving away any spoilers, I have to say that there are two scenes I love:

Protagonist Po shutting down the supernatural villain Kai with a flippant “chitty chitty chat chat, chitty chitty chat chat, chat chat chat”… He just wouldn’t let Kai have a word in edgewise.  He shut him DOWN!

A humbled Po leveraging the strengths of all the pandas in the village… He realized that by letting people do what they are good at and then shaping that instead of turning people into what they are not, you get a much better result. It was a lot of fun to watch.

It was a fun movie with some great kung fu moves, some emotional moments (let’s just say we had tears in our eyes) and a fantastic moral of the story at the end.  A worthwhile afternoon spent with the kids, popcorn and all the kung fu families.  I highly recommend Kung Fu Panda 3.