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August 10th, 2013

Movie Review - Turbo

(Sorry I'm late! Life conspired against me!)

Turbo

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Michael Peña, Samuel L Jackson, Luis Guzmán, Bill Hader, Snoop Dogg, Maya Rudolph, Ben Schwartz, Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Mario Andretti, Mike Bell, and more.

Directed by: David Soren Screenplay by: Darren Lemke, Robert D Siegel, and David Soren Cinematography by: Chris Stover Original Music by: Henry Jackman

Premise: Theo is a garden snail, but the slow toils of the garden where he lives just aren't for him. His dream is to become a racer, regardless of what his brother says or the fact he's almost an outcast within his own community. A freak accident with nitrous oxide after months of drinking his favorite racing hero's sponsored (and full of possible side effects) cola changes something inside Theo so that his body will move as fast as his dreams. But even after fate brings him to a kindred spirit, the human Tito, there are a lot of obstacles still to be overcome - not the least of which is his own brother. (Rated PG)

Review:

1) Voice Acting - Total Thumbs Up: "Turbo" has nice voice acting work by all involved. Ryan Reynolds really brings through Turbo's yearning for racing as well as his utter bafflement with regards to his brother not understanding what drives him. Paul Giamatti did a great job as Chet, easily conveying Theo's brother's frustrations and worries. Samuel L Jackson was fun as Whiplash, the 'not quite sane' leader of the racing snail group at Starlight Plaza. The decision of getting Bill Hader to play Guy Gagné proved a great choice, as Hader gave Guy just the right amount of suave and sleaze, depending on the situation.

2) Artwork/Animation - Total Thumbs Up: As usual Dreamworks delivers a gorgeous piece of animation. From the factory like garden environs of the snails to the racing track of the Indianapolis 500, there is meticulous attention to detail. So despite the mind boggling premise with it's necessary 'suspension of disbelief', it's not hard at all to accept that the world portrayed in "Turbo" is real.

There are several visual gags and repeated bits throughout the film. Make sure to sit through part of the credits as a recurring moment finally gets a resolution and a laugh.

3) Story/Plot - Thumbs Up:  Despite my own eagerness to see this film, I'd been wondering exactly how they planned to pull off the main premise, and if they could do so in a satisfying manner. I was actually quite pleasantly surprised by their choices! "Turbo" is not one of those contrived arrangements where the hero gets to his final goal without any realistic hardships. The story actually places real life stumbling blocks in the hero's path, like the need for big money to pay entry fees, or the fact it takes more than just dreaming to reach your goals.

Another surprise were the two concurrent themes with regards to brothers and dreamers - not only do we get the struggle between Theo (the dreamer) and his older brother Chet (the pragmatist), we also get the same friction on a human level with the Dos Bros Taco stand owners, Tito and Angelo. So "Turbo" actually tackles some quite emotional and adult themes.

Conclusion: "Turbo" was a lot of fun on several levels. It's more adult in themes than one would expect, but still has a lot of 'gags' and action to keep both kids and adults well entertained. And if you're a racing fan, there's even more to love! Don't forget to sit through part of the credits.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Paying Full Price To See Again)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic
www.gloriaoliver.com

Novels


JEWEL OF THE GODS

(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!


Excerpt:
"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."





INNER DEMONS

(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!


Excerpt:
The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."



THE PRICE OF MERCY

(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Excerpt:

Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.




CROSS-EYED DRAGON TROUBLES
(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”

Excerpt:

“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.



WILLING SACRIFICE
(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”

Excerpt:

Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”



IN THE SERVICE OF SAMURAI
(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”

Excerpt:

Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.



VASSAL OF EL
(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”

Excerpt:

Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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