REVIEW: Zootopia [2016]

“Where anyone can be anything” In the tradition of Happy Feet (climate change) and Monsters University (fraternity life), Disney’s Zootopia has transposed adult themes onto PG-rated family fare again. Whereas those previous two were misguided—the former shoving a political agenda down kids’ throats without warning and the latter proving a weird stamp of approval on questionable activities we hope our children will show moderation towards—this one’s worthy cause of harmony and inclusivity is age-appropriate and universal. It takes a hard left into #BlackLivesMatter jurisdiction with blatantly satirical comments confusing youngsters…

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REVIEW: O Menino e o Mundo [Boy & the World] [2014]

Writer/director Alê Abreu‘s O Menino e o Mundo [Boy & the World] is nothing if not a breath of fresh air against the animation medium’s otherwise stagnant aesthetic of glossy computerized fare. Not only does he dive back into a traditional hand-drawn style, he does so with an un-polished rough-edged crayon texture to make it appear as if a drawing on a piece of paper has come to life. The way he makes environments disappear so his titular boy Cuca is left with nothing but a white void and the…

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REVIEW: Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome [1985]

“He can beat most men with his breath” It’s said that Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is based (without credit) on Russell Hoban‘s science fiction novel Riddley Walker. This could be true, but to my eye the finished product bears a striking resemblance to the 80s fantasy aesthetic thus far utilized during the decade. More of a parallel than to its own predecessors: low budget 70s cops and robbers actioner Mad Max and gritty dystopian epic The Road Warrior. Its first half in Bartertown is the Wild West of Star Wars‘…

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REVIEW: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior [1981]

“I’m just here for the gasoline” Welcome to the “Wastelands”. This is the Mad Max I remember—a desolate post-apocalyptic future riddled with mohawk-toting, S&M leather-wearing marauders bearing teeth and chaining submissives/human guard dogs on leashes until the fight needs some extra wild. It’s no surprise Hollywood changed the name from Mad Max 2 to The Road Warrior before release while refusing to call attention to it being a sequel in promotional materials because it’s a different beast altogether. With Mad Max‘s unparalleled international success positioning George Miller to choose his…

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REVIEW: Happy Feet Two [2011]

“Sometimes you have to back up to go forward” It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I loathed Happy Feet. As a concept the film seemed quite solid—cute penguins dancing, a modern soundtrack to tap along with, the comedy stylings of Robin Williams—but the final result was an ambush of politics and sexuality I’m not quite sure belongs in a film targeted towards children. Its ugly duckling mantra of finding yourself and treading your own path no matter what does inspire, but George Miller and company couldn’t let…

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Posterized Propaganda November 2011: Too Many Characters!

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Hark! The holidays are upon us! While that signifies the beginning of what should be the glorious awards season flood of quality work only the lucky few of us attending…

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REVIEW: A Bug’s Life [1998]

“Flaming Death!” When watching A Bug’s Life for the first time in a long while, I couldn’t help but see the comparisons with last year’s Happy Feet. As far as the main storyline goes, they are very similar: an outcast doing what he can to fit in while also attempting to be special. It just goes to show you how much better that film could have been without its liberal diatribe conclusion. A lot of people disagree when I say that I really like Pixar’s sophomore effort. It doesn’t manage…

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REVIEW: Ratatouille [2007]

“He calls it his Tiny Chef” Brad Bird is by far the best writer/director of animated films coming out of America in a long time. Besides Hayao Miyazaki, there is no one else with the track record that this guy has. From The Iron Giant to The Incredibles to now Ratatouille, Bird just gets better and better with each new move. This new Pixar installment is definitely the most intellectually stimulating yet, but really which of his films haven’t been intelligent first, kiddie-catering second? Ratatouille is by all means cinematic…

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REVIEW: The Iron Giant [1999]

“Duck and cover” I finally took the time to see writer/director Brad Bird’s first foray into feature length film with The Iron Giant. Hearing how great of a film it was and the success of his Pixar debut The Incredibles, I’ve been seeing the movie on my shelf for a while now, just waiting to finally be viewed. If you thought his last movie had heart, you need to see this one. While being based on a book, I’m not sure if it is the original source material or Bird’s…

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REVIEW: Monster House [2006]

“It’s gonna be a bloodbath” I really wasn’t sure what I’d be getting with the new film from Robert Zemeckis, utilizing his technology from the enjoyable Polar Express. I have been intrigued by the buzz I heard saying that Monster House was a bit darker and scarier than parents initially thought when taking their children. Also, being nominated for the animation Oscar, along with the wonderful Cars and utter garbage Happy Feet, I put the dvd in with some nice anticipation. Thankfully the animation is leaps and bounds better than…

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Top Ten Films of 2006

The day has come where all that movie watching during the year, all that money given to Hollywood players who need none of it, and all those buttered popcorn induced coronaries boil down to one person’s ego-trip of compiling a list of the best of the best. I now join the list of film-snobs everywhere with my top ten films of 2006. If you have been reading my reviews you will know that I don’t care too much about how the film was made, but instead how much I enjoyed…

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