The News with J: March 10, 2018

***This week’s episode is sponsored by Watchtower Cafe. If you’re in the Salt Lake City area, stop in for an amazing geeky atmosphere with some amazing drinks as well.***

In this episode, J talks about The Grinch, A Wrinkle in Time, Justice League, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Star Wars Rebels, comic books and more!!

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The News With J: March 3, 2018

***Disclaimer – Our videos are sponsored by Watchtower Cafe in Salt Lake City.***

In this week’s episode of The News with J, J talks about Dr. Seuss, what comic books are coming out next week, Star Wars Rebels, Marvel Studio news, and Wreck-It-Ralph 2. Let us know what you think of our new show in the comments!!

Coco

From the opening Disney title screen to the end, Disney/Pixar’s Coco had me running the gauntlet of emotions. The movie opened with a mariachi rendition of the Disney classic “When You Wish Upon a Star” and I was immediately hooked, and the movie held J and I all the way through the message telling people to learn more about Dia de Los Muertos.

Coco follows Miguel Rivera (voiced by the talented Anthony Gonzales) as he embarks on a journey to become a famous musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. The catch to this tale is that Miguel’s family of shoe makers are not very fond of music or musicians. Miguel’s family wants him to continue the family legacy as a shoe maker, and his abuela tells him that his family will show him how when they visit from the land of the dead on Dia de los Muertos. How will Miguel live his dreams? I guess you’ll have to get your tickets and find out.

Coco is a beautiful film directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina that Disney/Pixar fans of all ages will love. The design of the land of the dead is beautiful and the music (composed by Michael Giacchino) was excellent. The casting department did such an amazing job with this cast. With Benjamin Bratt, Gael García Bernal, Edward James Olmos, Cheech Marin, Jaime Camil, Renee Victor, Alanna Ubach, John Ratzenberger (it is a Pixar), and more, this almost fully Latino cast brought the metaphorical house down. That being said my favorite voice actor had to be Ana Ofelia Murguía. The way she voiced her character brought a lot of emotions up in me. Mainly because she reminded me of my abuela who suffered from Alzheimer’s.

The story is fantastic, and is one that people of all ages will love. Coco felt like home. There were so many comparisons I was making between the film and my own life. Many of the characters in Coco that reminded me of my own family, especially Miguel’s chancla throwing abuela. The family shoe business reminded me of my grandma’s breakfast burrito/tamale delivery business. Seeing Miguel’s abuela’s tamales reminded me of all the hours that my brothers and I spent tying little strands of husk around tamales that would be devoured in seconds. Hearing Miguel’s abuela say, “you’ll feel better after you eat,” brought back even more memories.

Even though Coco has heavy themes surrounding family, I feel that the biggest theme is about remembering. With the track “Remember Me” being everyone in the town’s favorite song and with the movie focusing so much on the land of the dead, it’s hard not to notice it. It can feel like the theme is being hammered into your brain, but I feel like this is a theme that needs to do that every now and then.

Do not forget that this is a Pixar film, and that usually means you will need a Costco size box of tissues to make it all the way through Coco. There are so many happy and sad moments in Coco that I can’t really explain without spoiling the film, so I’ll just say that you need to be prepared to cry.

While there is Spanish dropped here and there, you don’t need to know the language to fully enjoy Coco as context will help you understand. I loved that the writers sprinkled Spanish in the script. I felt like it made some of the scenes pop more than if they just used the English equivalent. While the movie is based around traditions of Dia de los Muertos, Coco is not an educational film. It is meant to get people who may not know the customs interested, hence the disclaimer at the end of the credits.

My one negative comment actually has nothing to do with Coco, but with the Olaf short film in front of Coco. It was way too long and it seemed like Disney put it in front of Coco to get the white audience interested in seeing Coco. Just don’t leave after the Olaf feature. Stay for Coco. I promise that you will enjoy it.

Coco is Rated PG for thematic elements. Coco was written by Matthew Aldrich and Adrian Molina, and was directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina.

©DisneyXD

Ducktales, Woo-oo!!

If you want nostalgia to punch you square in the jaw, then make sure you watch the all new Ducktales on Disney XD. David Tennant takes the reigns, as the very rich, Scrooge McDuck in this new series. Tony Anselmo brings his iconic Donald Duck voice to the show while Danny Pudi, Ben Schwartz, Bobby Moynihan, and Kate Micucci bring their talents as Huey, Dewy, Louie, and Webby. Beck Bennett rounds out the main cast as the ever lovable Launchpad McQuack.

In the premier episode we see the triplets (Huey, Dewey, and Louie) living with their Uncle Donald on a house boat in Duckburg. The triplets are eager to get their uncle out of the house so they can go on their own adventure, but Donald catches them in their scheme and puts a quick end to their adventure. In a rush, Donald must find someone to watch the triplets while he goes on to a job interview. Worried about being late to his interview, Donald calls his Uncle Scrooge, who he hasn’t spoken with in 10 years, to have him watch the triplets.

While under the care of Scrooge, the triplets meet Webby who is a big fan of Scrooge’s previous adventures and makes it her job to know everything about Scrooge. Webby and the triplets become fast friends and head on a little adventure throughout the house, and accidentally unleash three ancient evils. After the kids help Scrooge put lid on the unleashed evil, Scrooge decides that the kids are ready for an even bigger adventure to the lost city of Atlantis. Make sure you watch the episode to see how that adventure turns out!

The show is filled with slapstick comedy that the audiences of all ages will love. The writing was fantastic and the voice actors are a perfect fit. This Ducktales reboot is better than I expected and I am so glad that J loved it as much as I did. The premiere episode is titled “Woo-oo!” and is directed by Dana Terrace and John Aoshima. The runtime is 44 minutes and is rated TV-Y7. You can watch Ducktales now on the Disney XD app or check your listings on Disney XD.

What did you think of the Ducktales reboot? Let me know in the comments here or on Facebook!