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All reviews - Movies (6) - DVDs (2)


Posted : 9 years, 6 months ago on 29 December 2008 11:56 (A review of Mamma Mia! (Two Disc Special Edition))

"Mamma Mia! Here I Go Again!" Sings Meryl Streep as she is reunited with her three exes from almost 20 years ago. I'm Going to Say it "Good" not great, not horrible, but just "Good". However I'm also going to say that Pierce Brosnan SHOULD NEVER EVER SING!!!! I swear I was scraping the back of my skull as he uttered his del-sick tones! Good story... Ok Songs... Wait not ok GREAT!! ABBA Rules!!!

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Posted : 9 years, 6 months ago on 29 December 2008 11:47 (A review of The Little Mermaid II - Return to the Sea)

Yes we are back with Ariel, King Triton, Sebastian, and Flounder. However there is a new mermaid in our midst! Melody, Ariel's Daughter who is basically ariel with black hair... No one has aged except Flounder (Who seems to have children with no wife... Hmmm.... The love of Disney "No Sex Attitude"). Well Melody is born and threatened by "Morgana" Ursela's little sister, and therefor we must never let Melody in the sea. Some where around 7 years pass and Sebastian is sent to look after Melody for all of them. Melody is some how managing to get out of the 5 story wall around the castle. also just like every normal child is resenting her mother and thinks that she could never understand what she is going threw... Blah Blah Blah.. She gets pissed and runs away in a rowboat, Ariel and King Triton have to search for her with every fish in the sea but somehow can't find her... Sounds like Disney ... Must be Disney... But overall I won't reveal much more so you can waste an hour and a half of your life. Great for kids like it should be but be prepared to scrach your eyes of all you parents cause this is one of those movies thats going to ruin your favorite Disney movie... Have Fun!

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"I wanna be like you!"

Posted : 10 years ago on 30 June 2008 12:00 (A review of The Jungle Book)

Disney successfully weaved together several of Rudyard Kipling's original jungle stories into a fun-filled adventure for children and adults. Well-received and quite memorable, The Jungle Book is full of unforgettable characters and timeless songs, although it was unable to reach the level of emotion and passion that would later be perfected with The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.

Bagheera the panther finds an abandoned man cub in a basket and, against his better judgment, delivers it to some fellow wolves to raise as their own. The human child, Mowgli, grows to be a favorite amongst the jungle creatures. But with the news of the return of Shere Kahn, the human-loathing tiger, Bagheera and the others decide it's best if Mowgli is returned to a human village. The boy doesn't want to go, and runs off for adventures with Baloo the bear and King Louie the orangutan before realizing that the jungle really is no place for a human.

The characters are very well-crafted and their designs are flawless. In fact, three of the characters were so popular that they were drafted into their own spin-off TV show, Tailspin. Baloo the bear, King Louie of the apes and Shere Kahn the Tiger became more personified versions of themselves in Tailspin, which was also a huge success. The character designs in The Jungle Book paved the way as templates for future Disney characters including many of those in 1994's The Lion King. Other notable aspects of the inspired animation include the voice casting of Kaa the snake, by Winnie the Pooh's Sterling Holloway, and Colonel Hathi, leader of the marching military-like elephants is voiced by Pat O'Malley.


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Gotta keep one jump ahead of the bread line!

Posted : 10 years ago on 30 June 2008 11:53 (A review of Aladdin)

Gotta keep one jump ahead of the bread line, one sweep ahead of the sword...

You ain’t never seen a tale like this! Disney’s “Golden Era” of animated movies featured "The Little Mermaid," "The Lion King," "Hercules," "Tarzan," "Beauty and the Beast," and of course, "Aladdin." Aladdin is a humble street urchin in the city of Agrabah. He steals whatever he needs to survive, with a little help from his trusty sidekick, a monkey named Abu.

Jasmine is the princess who has to marry a prince before her next birthday, and she doesn’t like what she’s seen. Bored with the life to which she is destined, she (with a little help from her tiger, Rajah) runs away. On the streets, and in disguise, the princess learns some of the harder lessons of life and almost has her hand chopped off for giving an apple to a beggar. Aladdin rescues Jasmine and they spend a wonderful night together. The palace guard is after Aladdin however, and when they’re discovered, the guard assumes Aladdin has kidnapped the princess, so they arrest him.

Jafar, the royal vizier, was the real reason behind Aladdin’s arrest. He is looking for the Cave of Wonders and has killed to discover the cave’s whereabouts and exactly how to get to the treasure. He discovered that Aladdin is a “diamond in the rough” and the only one allowed to enter the cave. He’s also discovered that if anyone touches anything in the cave except the magic carpet and the lamp, they will be sealed in the cave forever. So, Jafar dresses as a beggar, and poses as a prisoner to get Aladdin to journey with him to the cave.

Aladdin manages to get the lamp, but gets trapped in the cave. The carpet helps Aladdin survive, and while trying to read the lamp, Aladdin releases a genie. The Genie is played by Robin Williams and is fantastic. Al wishes to become a prince and sets off to win the heart of Princess Jasmine.

This movie is filled with great music -— it even won two Academy Awards (Best Music - Original Score and Best Music—Original Song). From the era of great Disney, this one won’t disappoint.


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Posted : 10 years ago on 30 June 2008 11:50 (A review of The Little Mermaid)

The Little Mermaid, is a brilliantly animated musical about the glory of becoming human. Colorful animation, wonderful songs and unspoiled heroism make this a great movie. Flowing with good characters and values, The Little Mermaid is one of Disney's best pictures.

The enchanting story begins at sea, where red-haired Ariel, a 16-year-old mermaid who longs to have legs, fins around with a cute little fish named Flounder, riding the undercurrents, laughing at danger and exploring anything related to those creatures with—what's the word?—feet. Ariel, who sings like an angel, worships manmade things, yearning to read, to know, to dance the night away.

An overprotective father, godlike King Triton, who rules the underwater world and forbids his talented daughter from rising to the surface, thwarts her journey. Triton assigns fussy crab Sebastian as her bodyguard. But, when Ariel spots the shape of a ship moving above her, she defies her father in an instant, swimming to investigate and gazing upon handsome Prince Eric. It is love at first sight.

A sudden storm rips the young aristocrat from the ship, and Ariel dives to rescue him, resting his limp body on a sandy beach, stroking his face in awe of a real man. In song, she vows to herself: "I don't know when, I don't know how, but I know something's starting right now…"

That something is her determination to be part of man's world, to paraphrase the movie's triumphant tune, and hearing Jodi Benson's Ariel belt it out takes one's breath away. That moment—with due respect to "Under the Sea", "Kiss the Girl" and other fine numbers—captures the buoyant idealism that drives this mythical tale and sets it sailing. Like her voice, Ariel's desire—that she knows how to want—is sure, smooth and strong.

Like many teenagers, Ariel is too strong for her own good, and she is drawn into the lair of Ursula the witch, a man-hating sea beast who preys upon innocents by robbing them of their virtue. Ursula grants Ariel's wish for legs—under a false pretense that may enslave Ariel and destroy Triton's kingdom. It is a race against time, with Ariel's friends— Sebastian, Flounder and a dim seagull named Scuttle (Buddy Hackett)—rallying to her side.

Awash in aquamarine with vibrantly handpainted sequences and bursting with Howard Ashman's and Alan Menken's delightful tunes, The Little Mermaid is, frankly, perfect. Each expression, note and detail serves the simple story and its romantic theme. No superfluous joke-telling here.

Every positive character is heroic—a rare achievement, even in 1989—with each of Ariel's allies physically acting to advance his values. While Ariel plunges to save Eric, Eric enters an inferno to spare his loyal sheepdog, Max—Max bites Ursula—Flounder hits with his fins—Sebastian strikes back—and everyone from Scuttle to King Triton strives to be his best. Of course, Prince Eric slays the picture's deadliest monster, in a scene reminiscent of dragon slayer Prince Philip in Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty.

Ursula, a demonic hag who lives through the misery of others, is an imposing villain, and her signature song, "Poor, Unfortunate Souls," remains a campy take on her parasitic psychology. Though known for a terrific score, the script by Roger Allers and co-directors John Musker and Roger Clements, is flawless. From Eric's acceptance of a female at the reins to Triton's realization that fathering means letting go, it is filled with subtle insights. It celebrates the virtue of independence.

On one level, this is a boy-meets-girl musical cartoon and nothing more. But there is real artistry here for those able to imagine an inviting, wonderful world of color, music and action, with strong characters and a radical theme—that personal happiness comes first—stylized in a fairy tale ending with the human, for once, as the ideal.


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Cinderella review

Posted : 10 years ago on 30 June 2008 11:41 (A review of Cinderella)

Walt Disney's CINDERELLA takes a story everybody's familiar with and embellishes it with humor and suspense, while retaining the tale's essential charm. Disney's artists provide the film with an appealing storybook look that emanates delectable fairy tale atmosphere. It is beautifully, if conventionally, animated; the highlight being the captivating scene where the Fairy Godmother transforms a pumpkin into a majestic coach and Cinderella's rags to a gorgeous gown. Mack David, Al Hoffman, and Jerry Livingston provide lovely songs like "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" and "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" that enhance both the scenario and the characters.

Even though CINDERELLA's story is predictable, it provides such thrilling melodrama that one shares the concerns and anxieties of the titular heroine and her animal friends. Both the wicked stepmother and her dreadful cat Lucifer present a formidable menace that threatens the dreams and aspirations of Cinderella and the mice. It is this menace that provides the story with a strong conflict that holds the viewers' interest. The film's suspense, however, is nicely balanced by a serene sweetness, especially in the musical numbers. It is in these segments that reveal the appealing personalities of Cinderella and her friends, moving the viewers to care for them. Overall, Walt Disney's CINDERELLA is wonderful family entertainment that has held up remarkably well after half a century.


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The Only One!

Posted : 10 years ago on 30 June 2008 11:40 (A review of Beauty and the Beast)

The only animated movie to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination, and it deserved it.

Magic from the opening prologue to the final credit, "Beauty and the Beast" is the last real classic to come from the Disney crew before John Lasseter came along. This was one of the few movies I happily paid to see twice in the cinema, and sitting in a sparsely-populated Friday night audience (I was living in Barbados at the time, and it was hardly the most artistic place on Earth... it was a crying shame that there was hardly anyone there while "Home Alone 2" went through the roof) the second time, the magic remained.

You all know the story, so apart from pointing out the movie's one flaw (the prince's spell had to be broken before he turned 21 or he would remain a beast forever; so if it was cast ten years before the events of the movie, wouldn't that mean he was 11 when the spell was cast...?), let's look at how well the movie works. You have a monster who's more human than the movie's medallion-man villain; you have a heroine who's PC but engaging with it; you have a supporting cast of magic utensils who wisely never upstage the couple at the centre of this love story (and despite the Disney animated trappings, it IS a love story); and you have a captivating story, beautifully told.

The movie's also got wonderful design of its French setting and characters, with the ballroom scene a standout (the tiny but appreciative audience were impressed by the sight of the Beast and Belle in their evening wear - the only time I've ever seen cartoon characters get wolf-whistled in a cinema); and Alan Menken's score is his finest work for the Mouse, with matchless lyrics from the late and much lamented Howard Ashman - how many musicals can you name where ALL the songs are brilliant? But ultimately it's the movie's very real heart that makes it a keeper; the cliche "You'll laugh, you'll cry" is all too true in this case. A lot of movies called 'classic' don't deserve that appellation, but this one does.

I'll be slaughtered by anime fans, but what the hell... one "Beauty and the Beast" is worth a thousand "Akira"s. And "Shrek"s. And, I'm willing to bet, "Treasure Planet"s. This is a truly adult animated feature that's also one for the entire family. Forget "The Silence of the Lambs" - this is the real best picture of 1991.

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My Favorite!

Posted : 10 years ago on 30 June 2008 06:18 (A review of V for Vendetta (2005))

In 2005, Silver Pictures and Warner Bros. (The Matrix trilogy) made a movie called V for Vendetta, based off of the comic books of the same name. It cost $54 million dollars to make, but made $131,411,035 worldwide by July of 2006 and is #144 on the IMDb top 250.

The basic plot of the movie follows a girl named Evey as her path intersects with the title character. He is essentially a terrorist, but the movie makes you feel sympathetic toward him, since his goal is to start a revolution to overthrow the extremely oppressive government, and at the same time, kill the people responsible for sending him to a camp to be tested on, as a subject intended to die for scientific knowledge. However, he blew up the camp and left, taking the number on the door, V, as his identity. This is the barest level of the plot, but the plot itself is extremely deep, twisting until the very end.However you feel about the Wachowski Brothers after the Matrix trilogy, this movie fully redeems their scriptwriting talents in my eyes.

Natalie Portman plays the role of Evey. While I was unimpressed with her in the Star Wars prequels, she shines here, accurately portraying her character's transition from scared, innocent little girl to freedom fighter heading a revolution that will change everything. Hugo Weaving plays the title role, and while he didn't get to show much emotion in The Matrix, he plays this role with gusto, taking more than a few pages from the Shakespearian acting school. While this is usually a sign of a ham actor, here it fits perfectly with the lines coming from V's mouth, causing both the lines and the actor's motions to flow and complement each other perfectly. Stephen Rea plays Finch, a detective trying to figure out the motive behind V's actions. He plays the role fittingly, portraying not just a man with a job, but an obsession. He chases down every lead, just trying to unwrap the mystery, even if it is not likely to lead anywhere. I could keep going on about the actors, but I'll just wrap it up by saying that no one is a bad actor here.

As I mentioned earlier, the script is incredible. The lines are almost written for the actors. In particular, V's lines are memorable and stunningly deep, for the writers of The Matrix. One example of such a line, followed by an even better exchange, is uttered at the beginning of the movie. Upon being asked by Evey who he is, V replies "Who? Who is but a function of what, and what I am is a man in a mask." She responds, "Well I can see that," and his response to that statement? "Of course you can. I'm not questioning your powers of observation. I'm merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man his identity." With these lines, V sets himself up as a deep, intelligent individual, who isn't afraid of engaging in a lively repartee. In many scripts, these lines would be called hokey or stilted. But in this movie, the lines are very poetic, almost beautiful, and that is something that is not seen near often enough in modern movies.

The movie was directed by James McTeigue, as his debut role as the main director, though he had worked on many previous films as assistant director. Honestly, until I looked him up on IMDb, I had no idea that this was his premiere film. He has a gift for knowing when to cut, when to pan, and when to show everything for maximum effect. As a film, it is above average in the directing apartment, beating out several of the dull character dramas easily, but still not quite up to legendary status like Spielberg. But as a debut film, it is absolutely stunning. If this is what he can do in his first movie behind the helm, I cannot wait for his next movies to be released.

The music in the movie is well played, with a couple of uses of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, the second time very emotionally, along with several other pieces by such varied artists as Black Label Society and The Rolling Stones. Every time a new piece of music is played, it fits the mood of the scene very well, never being out of place, and always doing its part to add emotional impact to every scene, whether it be laughter (not very common, but there is a scene with Yakety Sax playing) or tears (very, very common).

This movie is one of the best movies to come out of the year 2005, and is one of the most moving movies based on a comic book. The scriptwriters redeemed themselves, Natalie Portman proved she could act (shocking, I know) and the director proved that he is ready to be the grande fromage on set. This is one movie that I believe everyone should see. It is a bit depressing, but if you are tired of all these mindless action sequels coming out every year, watch this. If you've seen it, watch it again. If you prefer mindless action, watch it anyways to see what you are missing. This is not only one of the best movies of the year, it is one of the best movies I've ever seen. No one should miss it. Assuming they are old enough to not run around trying to blow up the Parliament because of it.


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