Movies

Movie review: ‘Wonder Park’

Animated movie imaginatively explores loss and hope

By Rick Romancito
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 3/15/19

The movie's centerpiece is a wildly crazy-cool amusement park with gravity- and sanity-defying rides imagined by a little girl named June (voiced by Sofia Mali) and her mom (Jennifer Garner).

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Movies

Movie review: ‘Wonder Park’

Animated movie imaginatively explores loss and hope

Posted

A child's imagination is infinite and beyond beyond measure. It is ungrounded and vastly inventive. And, only until boundaries are imposed by various social pressures, does it become rationalized.

That's the lofty undercurrent to the latest Nickelodeon animated feature, "Wonder Park." While grown-ups can lament the loss of such innocent virtues   while watching this seemingly light and very bright entertainment, their kids will certainly be dazzled by the possibility they, too, might be indulged the way its protagonist is by her loving parents.

The movie's centerpiece is a wildly crazy-cool amusement park with gravity- and sanity-defying rides imagined by a little girl named June (voiced by Sofia Mali) and her mom (Jennifer Garner). While, at first, it is only fanciful, June is instilled with the belief anything is possible and so with the help of her friends she almost makes it happen. Of course, it almost destroys the neighborhood.

Still, she isn’t crushed by angry parents. She is told it was bad and she could have hurt herself and others, but to keep exploring her ideas.

Things seem pretty rosy until an unexpected health crisis causes June’s plans to go off the rails. Suddenly, reality sets in and now June will have to do some growing up in order to weather this storm. Part of that means setting aside the wildly elaborate plans for Wonder Park that have virtually taken over her house. Plus, her dad (Matthew Broderick) has enrolled her in a summer math camp.

Then, just as she boards a bus to go to camp, June gets it in her head that her dad needs her around more than ever. So, she escapes and tries to use a shortcut through the woods to get back home. That’s where she encounters a mysterious portal to – you guessed it – a real Wonder Park. Or is it?

This movie is fun and thoroughly engaging, with many sweet characters and a good message to ponder. Highly recommended for the whole family.

This film has no designated director. Additional voice talent includes Kenan Thompson, Mila Kunis, John Oliver and Ken Jeong.

Tempo grade: B+

“Wonder Park” is rated PG for some mild thematic elements and action.

It is screening daily at Mitchell Threatres Storyteller Cinema 7, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit storyteller7.com.

Also showing in Taos

'A Madea Family Funeral'

MPAA rating: PG-13 for crude sexual content, language, and drug references throughout.

Mitchell Theatres Storyteller Cinema 7

A joyous reunion in small-town Georgia turns into an unexpected nightmare when Madea, Joe, Aunt Bam and other family members gather for an anniversary party that turns out to be a sham. Instead of fun and relaxation, Madea and the gang soon find themselves attending an elaborate funeral that doesn't quite go according to plan.

Written and directed by Tyler Perry, who also stars as the lead and three other characters, this film co-stars Cassi Davis, Patrice Lovely, Mike Tyson and Ciera Payton.

It is screening daily at Mitchell Theatres Storyteller Cinema 7, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit storyteller7.com.

'Captive State'

MPAA rating: PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action, some sexual content, brief language and drug material.

Mitchell Theatres Storyteller Cinema 7

An extraterrestrial force occupies the world, enslaving humanity under the guise of peaceful unity. The film explores the lives of a Chicago neighborhood on both sides of the conflict: the collaborators and the dissidents. It involves themes such as oppressive government, the public being lied to and the way some rise up against it.

The film, directed and co-written by Rupert Wyatt, follows the life of Chicago Police Officer William Mulligan (John Goodman), who is tasked with uniting the world against the extraterrestrial enemy. He recruits Gabriel Drummond (Ashton Sanders), the young son of a fallen soldier who joined a rebel group called Phoenix.

Co-stars Vera Farmiga, Kevin Dunn, Alan Ruck and Madeline Brewer.

It is screening daily at Mitchell Theatres Storyteller Cinema 7, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit storyteller7.com.

'Stan and Ollie'

MPAA rating: PG for some language, and for smoking.

Taos Community Auditorium

The true story of Hollywood's greatest comedy double act, Laurel and Hardy, is brought to the big screen for the first time.

Starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly as the inimitable movie icons, "Stan and Ollie" is the heart-warming story of what would become the pair's triumphant farewell tour. With their golden era long behind them, the pair embark on a variety hall tour of Britain and Ireland.

Despite the pressures of a hectic schedule, and with the support of their wives Lucille (Shirley Henderson) and Ida (Nina Arianda) — a formidable double act in their own right — the pair's love of performing, as well as for each other, endures as they secure their place in the hearts of their adoring public.

Film directed by Jon. S. Baird, co-stars Danny Huston.

This film will be screened at 2 p.m. Sunday (March 17) and at 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday (March 18-20) at the Taos Community Auditorium, 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. For tickets and additional information, call (575) 758-2052 or visit tcataos.org.

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