A mob hitman recalls his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa. (IMDb)
Patient direction, slick dialogue, solid turns, and impeccable production design and cinematography bring forth an engaging if unspectacular first half glimpse into mob life, marred only by de-aged De Niro’s unnerving eyes. The second half really shines though, as friendships/tensions and trust/suspicion grow, the flashbacks catch up to the driving narrative in devastating fashion (see the hotel breakfast convo), and what’s sowed is reaped (see the phone call to Jo; the meaningful final shot).
An unlikely friendship between two misfit neighbors becomes an unexpectedly emotional journey when the younger man is diagnosed with terminal cancer. (IMDb)
In its low-key indie drama construction it doesn’t break any new ground but it sure broke my heart–can’t remember the last time I cried that many sad tears from a movie (see the climactic scene in the bedroom). The quirky central friendship is very touching, and is expertly and lovingly portrayed over the smart screenplay’s short time period (though I’m not sure I liked how the denouement shifted the focus away from it). Beautifully acted (Romano is particularly brilliant as the awkward Andy).
Manny, Diego, and Sid join up with Buck to fend off a meteor strike that would destroy the world. (IMDb)
Manny, Diego, and Sid still don’t have that hilarious chemistry they once had (though Sid still gets a few moments to shine-see the failed proposal; wedding planning) but there’s plenty of comedic energy found elsewhere, with Granny and Buck as colourful as always (“I’m out of cake, but I got salami!”; see Buck’s mind-trip) and Scrat’s escapades still fresh and fun. Neither the new villains or the out-of-this-world plot take themselves too seriously, which help keep the film entertaining.
Manny, Diego, and Sid embark upon another adventure after their continent is set adrift. Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they explore a new world. (IMDb)
The protective dad and wants-to-be-popular teen daughter drama couldn’t be more bland, so the film does well to focus more on the high-seas adventure plot, which is predictable and simple but full of rambunctious action (see the ship hijacking), engaging secondary characters (Dinklage’s captain is truly frightening; Sykes’ senile granny hilarious), and wholly entertaining tangents (see the brilliant pirate shanty; Scrat’s ever-escalating adventures to the core of the earth and Scratlantis).
When Sid’s attempt to adopt three dinosaur eggs gets him abducted by their real mother to an underground lost world, his friends attempt to rescue him. (IMDb)
Starts off, like the last one, very sequelly as new threads of development are forcibly pinned onto the the main three characters, but it picks up considerably once the fun adventure starts, which is notably well-animated, is fleshed out nicely (see Sid’s dinosaur domestic disputes; Buck’s constant quirkiness–see his rock-phone conversation), and has a great climax (see Diego playing doula while fighting). Scrat continues to steal the show though (the homemaking scene was hilarious).
Manny, Sid, and Diego discover that the ice age is coming to an end, and join everybody for a journey to higher ground. On the trip, they discover that Manny, in fact, is not the last of the woolly mammoths. (IMDb)
The great wacky humour from the first one dried up even quicker than the ice was melting in this sequel. The main trio lacks the snappy new-friend chemistry they once had and the new characters are more annoying than anything else. The one-note plot with the trio’s respective personal issues doesn’t captivate either (Manny’s is just awkward), so some random musical numbers are thrown in to eat up screen time. Fail. At least Scrat’s slapstick is still hilarious (see his trip to nut heaven).
Set during the Ice Age, a sabertooth tiger, a sloth, and a wooly mammoth find a lost human infant, and they try to return him to his tribe. (IMDb)
Is the rag-tag family road-trip plot predictable? Yes. But that doesn’t make it any less touching at its climax (“that’s what you do in a herd”) or any less enjoyable along the way, as the dim but chatty Sid, the sarcastic Manny, and the no-nonsense Diego share hilarious banter (“hey Lord of the Flame, your tail’s on fire”) throughout a bevy of memorable scenes (see the Dodo melon fight; ice race), with a couple funny side-plots thrown in (see Sid’s recurring enemies; Scrat’s misadventures).
7.5/10 (Really Good)