I swear, the older I get, the more of a baby I become. “Frankenweenie” clocks in at 87 minutes; I cried for 70.
Victor (Charlie Tahan) lives in the quaint town of New Holland with his parents (Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short) and his best buddy, his dog Sparky. Victor may have to leave Sparky in the backyard while he’s off at school, but otherwise, they’re inseparable. Sadly, that means Victor is right by Sparky’s side when something terrible happens and no, I can’t even bear to write it.
However, after an inspiring science lesson from Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau) about lightning, Victor gets an idea. He builds a contraption in his attic, hoists Sparky up into a lightning storm and zap! Sparky’s alive! Victor and Sparky are happily back together again, but, shortly after, word gets around and reincarnated animals run amok.
Clearly Sparky bites it within the first few minutes of the movie, and while I was pretty busy wiping tears away for the rest of the film, I did manage to catch a stellar dose of incredible animation, charming characters, a heartwarming (and breaking) story and a pitch perfect score.
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There’s a reason I’ve continued to cover the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” film franchise since the first installment hit back in 2010; they’re particularly well made family films and, sure enough, the third film, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days,” falls right in line.
Summer has arrived! Trouble is, Greg (Zachary Gordon) and his father, Frank (Steve Zahn), have two very different ideas of what summer vacation should entail. While Greg looks forward to spending endless hours playing video games, Frank insists summertime should be spent outdoors playing catch in the yard, at the community pool or camping with the Wilderness Explorers group.
When Greg’s lack of non-videogame ambition becomes too much, Frank suggests that Greg start coming to the office with him as a summer intern. In order to avoid a summer in a cubicle, Greg blurts out the first thing he can think of; he can’t intern with his father because he got a job at Rowley’s (Robert Capron) country club. Unless ordering smoothies at Rowley’s parents’ expense and trying to make a move on his crush, Holly Hills (Peyton List), constitutes work, Greg’s new gig is one big fat lie. Lucky for Greg, Rodrick’s (Devon Bostick) crush, Holly’s sister, Heather (Melissa Roxburgh), also belongs to the same country club so as long as Greg keeps sneaking Rodrick in, his secret is safe.
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When Diary of a Wimpy Kid hit theaters last March, who’d have thought we’d have a sequel just a year later? Well, good thing producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson were on top of their stuff because Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules is here and it packs just as much fun and charm as the original.
Summer’s over and it’s time for Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) to head back to school. Sure things are better with his upgraded seventh grader status and he isn’t getting picked on as much, but now Greg’s got other things to worry about. First off, there’s the new girl, Holly Hills (Peyton List). It takes just one look for her to steal Greg’s heart. The problem is, just about everything is working against him when it comes to impressing her from Chirag Gupta (Karan Brar) who doesn’t appreciate Greg getting the whole class to pretend Chirag’s invisible to a little candy bar incident that left an unpleasant stain on Greg’s pants.
But the thing that’s weighing on Greg the most isn’t his hope to impress Holly or even to be a “class favorite,” rather the trouble he’s having getting along with his family, specifically his older brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick). His mother’s (Rachael Harris) as imposing as ever thanks to her new advice column in the local paper in which Greg typically winds up being the hot topic, his father (Steve Zahn) is still obsessed with his figurines and his little brother, Manny (Connor and Owen Fielding), can get away with anything, but it’s Rodrick’s mission to make Greg’s life miserable that’s giving him the hardest time. When their parents decide to head out of town to force the boys to settle their issues themselves, sure they wind up growing closer, but their newfound brotherly love comes with some pretty crazy consequences.
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The boys of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rulesare professionals, but they’re still kids, too. At the film’s press conference stars Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Devon Bostick and author Jeff Kinney took the time not only to tell us about their experience on the set, but to revel in their successful pranks as well.
Rodrick Rules is the second of two Wimpy Kidfilms and incorporates material from the second and third books of Kinney’s five-book series. It focuses on the relationship between Greg Heffley (Gordon) and his older brother Rodrick (Bostick). With his best pal Rowley (Capron) by his side, Greg must abide by his mother’s (Rachael Harris) rule to spend some quality time with Rodrick forcing him to deal with Rodrick’s big bro bullying head on. Meanwhile, back at school, Greg is upgraded to seventh grader status. While this might mean he doesn’t get picked on quite as much, he’s always getting himself into uncomfortable situations right in front of the new girl, Holly Hills (Peyton List).
Greg isn’t the only one who suffers through embarrassing situations; it seems as though the cast and Kinney dealt with their fair share, too. Check out all of the insightful information the guys had to share about their new film as well as all of the laughs and good times, too.
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Kid actors normally tend to fall on one of the extreme ends of the spectrum; they’re either frustratingly youthful or abnormally mature for their age. Diary of a Wimpy Kid’s Robert Capron, on the other hand, is a well-spoken young adult, but very much a kid, too.
Capron first hit the Hollywood scene last year in the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie playing Greg Heffley’s (Zachary Gordon) goofy, but well-meaning buddy Rowley Jefferson. Well, Wimpy Kid is back and so is Capron. In the sequel, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, the focus is on Greg and his big brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick), but there’s no way Greg would be able to survive the sibling rivalry without his best pal. This time around Rowley might not break any bones, but he does roll around in the back of Rodrick’s van, do the conga at a high school party and a little Lady Gaga lip-synching, too.
Is it as fun as it sounds? You bet. Capron is clearly well versed in standard filmmaking techniques, even giving his own version of ADR (automated dialogue replacement) 101, but at heart, Capron is just your average 12-year-old who enjoys hanging out with his friends and playing Xbox. But, of course, when he’s not just being a kid, Capron has his eye on the future and he certainly has a bright one ahead of him.
Hear all about Capron’s experience on the set of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, how it’s been working with Tim Burton on his new Frankenweenie film and much more in the video interview below.
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It was an average day on the red carpet. While waiting for the talent to make their way down the press line, I watched cameras flash and reviewed my notes. Soon enough it was my turn and the actors stood before me eager to answer my questions. They were poised, proficient and thrilled to talk about their movie. They were 11-year-old Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
Anyone who has children or has watched over a little one while his or her parents are occupied knows, at times, it’s not an easy task. But Gordon and Capron aren’t children; they’re young professionals. Gordon stars a Greg Heffley, a middle school student who avidly writes in his ‘journal, not a diary.’ He’s not the most popular kid in school and is on the slender side making him a prime target for bullies. He may play the wimpy kid in the movie, but Gordon assured me, he’s not really a wimp, “I’m small and thin, but I have no other characteristics.”
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