REVIEW: Maleficent [2014]

“Goodbye, Beastie” Let’s be honest, Disney’s Sleeping Beauty is a bit of a bore. I remember my sister often wanting to watch when we were kids and me having none of it until the end’s fire and brimstone and menacing dragon spawned from the tale’s creepy, wide-smiling villain. Did I understand the fairy’s reason for cursing the princess? No. I’m not quite sure I realized the political ramifications of her baby shower invite getting lost in the mail until it was explained to me last night after watching Maleficent—the Mouse…

Read More

REVIEW: Snow White and the Huntsman [2012]

“Have I not given you all?” What happens when a fairy tale depicting an innocent princess saved by a litany of characters on her way to the crown turns into an epic battle with heroine in full armor storming the castle herself? Well, we discover just how flimsy a character the titular Snow White actually is. A prisoner for years while an evil queen brought darkness upon her kingdom, the young girl’s escape into the hallucinogenic Dark Forest proves nothing but a sense of survival. She has no skills at…

Read More

REVIEW: Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey [2011]

“Kevin comes alive through Elmo” I was a Jim Henson kid growing up in the 80s. The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and “The Jim Henson Hour” were staples in my household and I even made my parents take me to see The Witches theatrically at eight. But where I enjoyed the stories and fantastical places his characters took me, Kevin Clash took a shine to the full theatricality of this genius. As a high school kid in Baltimore he hand-sewed his own puppets after watching Henson explain how on TV, performed…

Read More

REVIEW: Alice in Wonderland [2010]

“Off with your head!” With a knack for creating imaginative worlds that can be both dark and colorful simultaneously, director Tim Burton seems like a natural fit to adapt the Wonderland of Lewis Carroll’s novels. However, for every inventive Big Fish or Edward Scissorhands come the atrocious re-envisionings of Planet of the Apes and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. So, let’s just say I was scared going into Alice in Wonderland because, while the setting and art direction seemed perfect, I couldn’t help remember how bad his work from pre-existing…

Read More

REVIEW: Halloween II [2009]

“Hit the bricks Dorothy” The second Halloween II—same name, no relation at all, (or so I hear, never saw the other). Rob Zombie seems to have decided that his selling out and doing a Hollywood budgeted horror remake left a little to be desired. So, for his second go-round, he went back to the well and what got him on the shortlist to even direct that first film—creepy carnie mayhem. This film is not good, by any means, yet it does have some really great style and aesthetic. Unfortunately, it…

Read More

REVIEW: El laberinto del fauno [Pan’s Labyrinth] [2006]

“My mother told me to be wary of fauns” Finally Buffalo is able to see the phenomenon El laberinto del fauno [Pan’s Labyrinth] for itself. All the hype and the acclaim have definitely raised expectations for this film by visionary Guillermo del Toro. For myself, I really just wanted to see a del Toro film outside of the Hollywood realm. Sure I liked both Blade II and Hellboy, but it’s the other Spanish language films, Cronos and The Devil’s Backbone, that have been intriguing me for years. After watching his…

Read More