REVIEW: Aladdin [1992]

We’ve all got swords. I forgot how refreshingly simple Aladdin is. Disney and Pixar utilize such elaborate narrative set-ups today that their films don’t rely on charm and fun alone anymore. That’s not to say this one does since its ability to put its hero and heroine on equal footing rather than blindly relegating the latter into mere “love interest” status is very effective for this era. But you wouldn’t be blamed for having a good time with Robin Williams‘ manic impressions regardless of the plot his larger-than-life presence augments…

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REVIEW: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb [2014]

“They’ll burn up like tiny scarabs in Sinai” It appears director Shawn Levy and new screenwriters David Guion and Michael Handelman have thrown the jokey nature of Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant‘s Battle of the Smithsonian away to bring the Night at the Museum series back to what first made it a success. Secret of the Tomb reminded me a lot of the original installment with a thinly veiled metaphor once again providing the dramatic arc for Larry Daley’s (Ben Stiller) adventure, this time showing a need to say…

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REVIEW: Night at the Museum [2006]

“Keep a lid on it, Butterscotch” While based on a 1993 children’s book by Milan Trenc portraying a museum security guard discovering how he must protect the people outside from the dinosaur skeletons that come to life inside, Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon‘s cinematic adaptation of Night at the Museum bears more of a resemblance to another family friendly fantasy franchise ending its trilogy the same year as theirs began. I’m talking about The Santa Clause, an enjoyable holiday journey of the heart wherein a divorced dad hoping to…

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Posterized Propaganda August 2013: ‘Elysium,’ ‘The World’s End,’ ‘Short Term 12′ & More

“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. Summer is coming to a close with a five-Friday August jam-packing all the leftover big budget actioners that have been biding their time to distance themselves from the likes of…

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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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REVIEW: Jumanji [1995]

“Til the dice read five or eight” If asked who my favorite illustrator was growing up, I’d always reply Chris Van Allsburg. My elementary school years in Florida saw our librarian reading us many of his lusciously detailed books and I fell in love with the paintings as well as the stories. So when I saw that Jumanji had been made into a film, I was very excited. I think I really had fun watching it back in 1995 and revisiting it today kept a lot of that childish enjoyment…

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REVIEW: August Rush [2007]

“The music is all around us; all you have to do is listen” I don’t know if August Rush shows the makings of success like her father Jim, but Kirsten Sheridan has crafted something beautiful. Credit the writers for sure, however, Sheridan has put it all together into a very nice package. This is a fairytale above anything else and one should overlook any eccentricities or impossibilities of real life, this is not meant to show truth. Instead we are shown a romantic tale of conquering all odds in order…

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REVIEW: Shakes the Clown [1991]

“Saddle up Chuck!” Quite the interesting film from the warped mind of Bobcat Goldthwait. Shakes the Clown is his debut as a writer/director and tells the story about an alcoholic clown who, while passed out drunk, is framed for the murder of his boss and mentor. From the catch phrase “Loved by children. Desired by woman. Adored by bartenders everywhere” I was expecting something a little more perverse and out there. Instead, we are given a pretty run of the mill, mediocre comedy where the bumbling hero and misfit friends…

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REVIEW: Happy Feet [2006]

Happy Feet = Brainwashing Propaganda There will be spoilers, however, I highly recommend you not waste your money on this atrocity anyway, so please read on. Let me preface this rant with the fact that I am neither religious nor political. I could care less that liberal Hollywood treats their movies as agenda pushing media because I like a good story. The Constant Gardener really played with your sensibilities about what is happening in African countries and whatnot and how America is the cause, etc. However, the film was about…

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REVIEW: House of D [2004]

“I need the Dad face one more time” David Duchovny has crafted a beautifully touching film with House of D. It is a coming-of-age story of sorts as his character narrates what happened to him around his thirteenth birthday. Being that his own son, in France, is now turning into a teenager, he feels that the time is finally right to tell his wife the reality of his past. Much happened to the young Tom Warshaw in the days leading to what should have been a joyous date. He was…

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