Reviews

121 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
3/10
A Rather Forgettable Toon
25 April 2004
"Sudden Fried Chicken" stars Herman (a mouse) and Henry (a rooster). Herman notices a poster that will award $1,000 to anyone who will stay in the ring for one round against a champion boxing rooster. He goes to Henry, who is feeling really low about himself, as he is getting bossed and pushed around by his wife. One thing leads to another, and the scrawny Henry is going up against the Champ!

I think I've seen this premise in many other cartoons. This short isn't all that unique or all that funny. The only funny moment for me in this cartoon is how Herman would help Henry get up off the mat. Herman also reminded me of Timothy the Mouse from "Dumbo," in that he was a small mouse that served up advice for his larger friend. Coincidentally, the director, Bill Tytla, served as an animation director on both "Dumbo" and "Pinocchio," which featured a very similar character, Jiminy Cricket. I guess it really is a small world after all!

This short also has its characters doing some rather racy stuff for cartoon characters - like smoking, drinking, spousal abuse, and adultery. However, that's probably taking this cartoon too seriously. I was more bothered by the cartoon's pace, such as jumping from Henry thinking about the contest to him actually participating in it. Shouldn't there have been something in between?

Overall, "Sudden Fried Chicken" did have very few moments, but that's about it. I couldn't find any more information about Herman & Henry to see if they were featured in any other cartoons. My guess is that audiences back in 1946 cared about this cartoon by about as much as I care about it now.

My IMDb Rating: 3/10
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
A Sluggish Start for Buzzy
25 April 2004
The "Stupidstitious Cat" stars Buzzy the Crow, a cartoon character I've never heard of, and a cat that is very superstitious. This cartoon starts out promising, as we're introduced to the cat as he's sleeping with his fingers, toes, legs, and eyes crossed. He immediately speaks in rhyme when he talks about his superstitions, sort of like, "Don't step on a crack, or you'll break your mother's back." It's been fifteen minutes since I watched the cartoon, and I can't remember what he said. I guess that's an indication of how memorable this cartoon really is!

The cat also has a unique voice. It almost sounds too humanistic. I guess I was expecting something along the lines of Sylvester. The cat also has a unique mannerism, which I guess is modeled after a popular actor during the 40's, but I'm not that much of a movie aficionado to know who it is. Then we're introduced to Buzzy, whose voice also surprised me. I guess I was expecting Tweety; instead, Buzzy sounds like a gruff construction worker. Jackson Beck, who did the voice of Bluto in the Popeye cartoons, voices him; so, I guess that explains that!

So in typical fashion, the cat wants to eat Buzzy, but Buzzy uses the cat's extreme superstitious worries to his advantage. Like I said earlier, the cartoon starts out funny, but it wears out real quickly. Some of the sayings and superstitions didn't even ring a bell with me (like "Bread & Butter" and lighting three cigars at once?) It was also interesting that Buzzy or the cat's voices never changed. They just kept the same tone throughout, even when they were nervous, angry, or excited.

Overall, the "Stupidstitious Cat" started out like a funny, unique cartoon, but it wore out its welcome. From what I gather here on IMDb, this was Buzzy's first cartoon, and he would appear in only seven other cartoons up until 1954. After seeing this cartoon, I can understand why his status didn't skyrocket.

My IMDb Rating: 4/10
3 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
It's Tough Being on Your Own
24 April 2004
"Mary's Little Lamb" seems to illustrate why Ub Iwerks didn't succeed when he left Disney. He is an animation legend and is one of the key figures in the early days of Disney, but somehow he couldn't translate that success in his own venture.

This short does not stand out in any way. It's not funny, unique, or even that well drawn, which is a surprise because Mr. Iwerks was a genius when it came to drawing at Disney. Like Robert Reynolds noted, all the children seemed to be drawn the same, like they all came from one creepy village. The title character, Mary, also was awkwardly drawn and had an odd, badly timed walking style.

Mary, along with the teacher, was also drawn sort of rubbery. At the time this cartoon was made, animators were still having trouble drawing realistic-looking humans. This was evident at Disney when they did "Goddess of Spring," but they were constantly improving to make the beautiful "Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs," whereas Mr. Iwerks seemed to be stuck in this poor animation style.

And I haven't said anything about the songs. Most were absolutely horrible, especially the one "Good Morning" song sung by the teacher and the students. However, they were able to rhyme the song between Mary and the lamb, so I guess that's something. I don't mean to bash on Mr. Iwerks so much, but this was definitely not his best. He was a revolutionary animator in the early Mickey Mouse cartoons and would dabble in more innovative projects when he returned to Disney. He is definitely a legend, but for some reason, he just couldn't make it on his own.

My IMDb Rating: 2/10
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Goin' Down to South Park (1999 TV Movie)
7/10
A Somewhat Funny Behind-the-Scenes
23 April 2004
This British documentary was recently shown on Comedy Central during their "Best of…" week and can also be seen on South Park's second season DVD. I remember seeing many commercials for the DVD showing clips of this documentary, most of which occurs with Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and some other guy in a hot tub. It was funny when I saw it in the commercials, but I was used to seeing it by the time I saw the actual documentary.

Overall, "Goin' Down to South Park" is a fairly funny and interesting look at how South Park episodes are made and of the series' history going back to when Matt and Trey came up with the idea in college. However, there was something about the tone of this documentary that actually felt sort of depressing. It's not as fast-paced, rapid-fire, and as lively as the actual South Park episodes. Instead, it kind of has a slow, dry-wit style, which at times can be funny, but most of the time you're just waiting for something to happen. If you get the chance to watch it, by all means go for it, but I don't think you're really missing much if you never see it.

My IMDb Rating: 7/10
1 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Slightly Likable, but That's About It
23 April 2004
There are some things about "Cheaper by the Dozen" that are fairly enjoyable. It's a nice enough story that may move some people. I can't claim that I was one of them, but I think my mom found the story to be sweet and touching. The grown-up actors did a fairly nice job also. There's something about Bonnie Hunt that you just can't help but like her. She seems like a nice, down-to-earth person, and she fit into this role very well. Also this movie showcased some rising stars like Tom Welling, Hilary Duff, and Piper Perabo (my personal favorite).

However, there seems to be something manipulative about this movie. Speaking of the rising stars, they only appear in the movie sporadically. I got the sense that they only showed up to work on this movie for just a few days and that the filmmakers found a way to fit them in just to put them on the movie poster.

This movie is mostly about Steve Martin and a bunch of little kids. I thought Mr. Martin did all right in this movie, and I respect him for the very impressive career he has built, but his role in this movie didn't really stand out to me. Years from now, people are going to remember his groundbreaking stand-up career, his stints on "Saturday Night Live," and for movies like "The Jerk" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," but I don't think many will look at "Cheaper by the Dozen" as a prime example of his comedic genius.

As for the story, it's pretty predictable. I saw what lesson this movie was trying to teach us from far away. The kids, for the most part, just seemed bratty and annoying. Then again, maybe their acting was effective, because after the movie, I felt exhausted and happy that I am just an uncle right now.

My IMDb Rating: 6/10. My Yahoo! Grade: B- (Fair)
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Brother Bear (2003)
8/10
Solid Addition to the Disney Family
23 April 2004
I may have a hard time accurately writing this review, as my 4-year old and 2-year old nieces explained many aspects of the movie while we were watching it. But I guess that may be a testament on how good this movie is. My parents rented it so we could watch it with my nieces on the Friday of the week it was released on video. Little did we know, my sister bought this movie, and my nieces knew it pretty well over just a three-day span! That's pretty impressive, especially when they were explaining things I didn't expect kids their age to know about, like spirits.

So what did I ultimately think? First off, the visuals were excellent and a testament to the effectiveness of traditional animation. I especially liked the artistic transition when Kenai changed into a bear. It seemed like the movie shifted from realistic-looking animation to a more cartoon-like and vibrant animation style. While digital animation may be clearer and look of higher quality, there just seems to be more soul poured into traditional animation. Some digital animation has a synthetic look to it, while traditional animated projects seem to reflect the meticulous and hard work that was put in by the animators.

As for the story of "Brother Bear," I enjoyed it for the most part. It wasn't pound for pound the best story I've seen from a Disney film, but it did effectively connect with my nieces. There were some funny moments, like when the moose played a challenging game of "I Spy." There were also cute moments, like Koda's mannerisms in the final scenes. My chief complaint though is from the lesson "Brother Bear" was trying to teach. I kind of rolled my eyes thinking, "Didn't we already learn this lesson in 'Bambi?!'"

Overall, "Brother Bear" is a nice addition to the Disney library. It will connect with people for years to come, but I wouldn't exactly dub it as a masterpiece like "Bambi" or "Beauty & the Beast."

My IMDb Rating: 8/10. My Yahoo! Grade: B+ (Memorable)
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Cinderella (1950)
10/10
A Symbol of the Disney Magic
23 April 2004
As a young boy, I always sort of hated "Cinderella," since I was outvoted by my two sisters when my parents were considering what Disney movie to buy. I wanted "Dumbo," but my sisters won out, and we got "Cinderella." They thoroughly enjoyed the movie while I sulked in the back of the room playing with my Star Wars action figures.

A lot has changed since then. My love of the Disney theme parks landed me an internship at Walt Disney World, and I now have two young nieces. I like to showcase Disney to them as much as I can, and we recently watched "Cinderella" together. With my newfound appreciation for all that is Disney, I watched "Cinderella" with a new perspective and was impressed with what I saw.

From the beginning of the movie, though, I didn't quite understand why Cinderella was trapped in such a horrible predicament. Why was she such a slave to her stepfamily, and why couldn't she just run away? I wasn't too sympathetic to Cinderella, but as the story progressed, I found myself becoming immersed in the story. Maybe the eye-catching animation or the fun-loving characters drew me in, or maybe it was the timeless songs. Listening to songs like "Bibbidy-Bobbidy-Boo" and "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" sort of whisked me back to the theme parks. I can picture myself in that carefree and fun atmosphere while looking at the awe-inspiring Cinderella Castle.

Something about this movie just evokes the magic of Disney. That may make many people scoff, but go to the Magic Kingdom and see all the little girls dressed up like Cinderella that are excited to be in this fantasy world, and you'll know what I'm talking about. The images of Cinderella and the glass slipper - as well as Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, and Tinkerbell - embody why Disney is one of the most beloved companies in the entire world.

While "Cinderella" may not be the strongest story, it is sort of iconic in Disney and movie history. It represents that fun, idealistic, and fantasy-like wonderment we held when we were kids. I imagine this movie holds a lot of meaning to many, many people out there. It may not be my favorite Disney movie, but it does represent all that I love and admire about the Company.

My IMDb Rating: 10/10. My Yahoo! Grade: A (Outstanding)
37 out of 44 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Undiscovered Walt Disney World (2003 TV Special)
8/10
So Much to do at Disney World!
18 April 2004
This Travel Channel special looks at some of the lesser-known things you can do at the Walt Disney World Resort. This special is particularly fun for me, as I worked there over two years ago. My favorite part of the special was the segment on "Divequest," a program at Epcot's "The Living Seas," in which guests can swim in this giant aquarium with all the wonderful fish and interact with guests on the other side of the tank. It was actually kind of heartwarming when they showed a father scuba diving and going up to his little daughter on the other side. It was very sweet and magical, just what Walt Disney World strives for!

Other interesting segments include surfing at Disney's water park, Typhoon Lagoon, before the park opens! My dad enjoyed the segment on "Richard Petty's Driving Experience," and my mom enjoyed the segment on the yacht that takes guests out on the Seven Seas Lagoon, where they can see the Magic Kingdom fireworks and enjoy a world-class meal with their own butler! Now, that's luxury!

There were some segments that I didn't care too much for though. I thought the segment on Magic Kingdom's night parade, "Spectromagic," to be kind of boring, and my mind wandered quite a bit during that segment. I was also confused at why they highlighted "Fantasmic" in this special, because I don't think it's all that hidden.

Nevertheless, this is another fun and interesting visit to the premiere vacation destination in the entire world! Also, be on the lookout for another Travel Channel special, "Walt Disney World Resort: Behind the Scenes," and the Discovery Channel special, "Disney's Thrillmakers: The Art of the Thrill."

My IMDb Rating: 8/10
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Decent Murder-Mystery
18 April 2004
This movie was just so-so for me. It kept me interested, because I enjoy watching murder-mysteries, but there isn't really much about this movie that is all that unique. Past reviewers have correctly noted that it's formulaic and uses plenty of clichés. However, the movie is unique in the way that we know who the killers are from the get-go, and we see how the detectives try to solve the case.

I particularly found the interrogation scene to be interesting, as it is something I learned in my Business & Society class in a case called the "Prisoner's Dilemma." In fact, maybe I should tell my professor to show that clip when he discusses that case. Hmmmmm.

Anyways, I'm getting off-topic. Like I've said, this is just a so-so movie. The acting is good, with Sandra Bullock playing a talented detective with a secretive past. However, the actors that stole the show are Michael Pitt and Ryan Gosling, who played the teens that plotted the murder. They probably have bright futures ahead of them in the movie world.

So overall, "Murder by Numbers" isn't necessarily bad, but it's definitely not a "must-see" movie. If you happen to come across it and have some time to kill, by all means, watch it. However, if you are looking for a great murder-mystery, I highly suggest checking out "Seven."

My IMDb Rating: 7/10. My Yahoo! Grade: B (Good)
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
28 Days (2000)
8/10
Light-Hearted, Realistic Look at Rehab
17 April 2004
My mom purchased "28 Days" because she works at a place that fosters people with alcohol/drug addiction, and she was told this movie had a positive message for people trying to recover. After watching this movie, I agree "28 Days" does seem to show a realistic and positive look at recovery (but I don't work in that field, so how can I be totally sure!?)

We're first introduced to Gwen, played by Sandra Bullock, who is an alcoholic party-girl that wrecks her sister's wedding, crashes into a house while driving drunk, and then sent to rehab. Immediately, I dislike this character, especially when she was so disagreeable and in denial at rehab. However, I guess this is probably an accurate portrayal of a character going through something like this.

Nevertheless, the movie progresses, and you start caring for the characters and rooting for them to succeed. Aside from Gwen, other interesting characters include Andrea (a young teen who is addicted to heroin and to a soap opera called "Santa Cruz"), Eddie (a retired baseball player played by pre-"Lord of the Rings" star Viggo Mortensen), and Cornell (a former drug addict and current counselor played by the great Steve Buscemi. This movie is a welcome change for Buscemi, as he is playing a character that isn't psychotic in any way.)

There were some characters I didn't care for though, like Oliver as played by Mike O'Malley. Mr. O'Malley is a fairly funny guy, but I don't think he has the comedic chops to carry the humor of a feature film. I also found the character, Gerhardt, to be more annoying than funny. Most of the time, I couldn't even understand him!

Overall, "28 Days" falls short on a few big aspects. It's supposed to be a "drama-comedy," but there aren't many laughs, and when there were dramatic/traumatic moments, I found that I didn't really care. However, I will give "28 Days" much credit for an accurate depiction of rehab and the type of characters that go through such a trying moment.

My IMDb Rating: 8/10. My Yahoo! Grade: B+ (Memorable)
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
A Fun and Interesting Visit
4 April 2004
"Walt Disney World Resort: Behind the Scenes" is just plain fun, particularly for Disney World fans, guests, or cast members (all of which I am)! This special allows viewers to revisit Disney World and learn more about it, such as its history and how some of the attractions work. I guarantee that if you're a fan, you will smile at least once when watching this special. I know I did after I watched it recently, and I've seen it around five times! My favorite parts of this special include its segment on Epcot's Test Track (an area I worked at frequently), how they approached George Lucas to become involved in the Disney parks, and the notion of putting more hotels on property and making them unique, not like matchboxes.

One thing I found interesting was how much credit the people interviewed for this special gave to Disney CEO Michael Eisner for revitalizing the Disney Company. As I'm writing this review, he is under intense scrutiny and criticism from Roy Disney and many Disney fans. I find it kind of odd that people are so willing to criticize Mr. Eisner for the box office failures of "Treasure Planet," but yet they don't give him credit for such things as "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" and Disney-MGM Studios. I, myself, am hesitant to completely criticize or commend Mr. Eisner on the successes or failures of Disney projects, as I'm just not sure what control he has over them. So with regards to the praise for Mr. Eisner in this video, I'm not entirely sure if they're exaggerated, but I find it's a welcome change compared to all the criticism I read about him on the Net everyday.

With all that said, this special is just a fun and interesting way to look at Walt Disney World. It can be a little long and repetitive (maybe because I've seen it too much), but it's still a great way to rekindle those fond Disney memories. Keep an eye out for it on the Travel Channel.

My IMDb Rating: 9/10
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Comedy Central Presents: Dane Cook (2000)
Season 3, Episode 4
9/10
Hilarious, Off-the-Wall Special
29 March 2004
It's probably not very fair for me to write this review about Dane Cook's Comedy Central special since I've seen it about five times. It's a popular one for Comedy Central to show and is always at the top of the list whenever they have viewers choose countdowns for the best "Comedy Central Presents" specials. Even though I'm very familiar with the jokes, they still are pretty funny. I especially like the bits about the "finger" and how guys and girls view dance clubs. As Dane notes, "You'll never hear a guy go, 'Screw chicks tonight, bro! I gotta dance!!'"

Two of the bits that I personally didn't find too hilarious were the "Christ Chex" joke and going in a time machine to slap his dad when Dane was conceived. "I'm your son from the future! Hahahahaha!!!" The latter bit reminds me of something Bam Margera would do on the MTV show, "Jackass." I liked some parts of that show, but the stuff Bam did to his parents was pretty cruel and annoying. As for the "Christ Chex" bit, I'm just not too much of a religious person to really get involved in that joke. Just a difference of opinion.

All that aside though, this is one hilarious special! Nearly all his jokes and mannerisms had the audience and I laughing our heads off. Dane also makes the most use of the cameras and the audience that I've ever seen in any "Comedy Central Presents" special. He is hilarious to watch and is a one-of-a-kind comedian. Hopefully, some big things will happen in his career, and we'll hear much more from him.

My IMDb Rating: 9/10
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Big Fish (2003)
10/10
A Touching, Imaginative Film
29 March 2004
"Big Fish" is the type of movie that made me think about the good things in life and inspires me to make the most of my life. We all know someone in our lives that would tell some big stories that would let our imaginations run wild, particularly when we were little kids. "Big Fish" centers on a father that does this frequently and a son that doesn't know whether to believe anything his father has told him.

All the stories are fun and intriguing with great directing and imagery from Tim Burton and fine acting by everyone involved in this picture. Albert Finney and Ewan McGregor (who I just realized is one of my favorite actors, possibly because of my Star Wars bias) effectively bring the adventurous storyteller, Edward Bloom, to life. Both actors were just fun to watch in this movie as was Danny DeVito, in a perfectly fitted role as a circus owner/ringmaster, and the beautiful Alison Lohman as the object of Ed Bloom's affection.

However, there were some moments in the movie that did test my patience a little. The movie was a little long, some of the lighting in the scenes was pretty dark, and I realized I preferred watching Ed Bloom's stories acted out rather than just hearing Ed Bloom talk about them. Whenever I have talked to someone like Ed Bloom, who goes off on stories like he did, I'd probably roll my eyes and tune them out. Maybe I won't do that anymore!!

All that aside, though, this is one hell of a movie! It has a lot of heart and imagination, and it actually choked me up a little. It definitely got to me in a very good way. When this comes out on DVD, I will definitely add it to my collection, enjoy it for years to come, and maybe share the magic with others!

My IMDb Rating: 10/10. My Yahoo! Grade: A (Outstanding)
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Wonderland (2003)
7/10
Gritty Drama with Odd Casting
27 March 2004
When I first heard about "Wonderland," I was intrigued by this startlingly true story about porn legend John Holmes and his involvement in a mass murder. I almost forgot about it until I saw it at Hollywood Video and persuaded my parents to rent it. Upon watching the movie, I was a bit iffy about it at first. The plot is very choppy, jumps around a bit, and employs a lot of loud music. I was beginning to think this was going to be a disappointment if it was going to turn into a classic rock music video (nevertheless, the soundtrack is great!) Finally, the movie gets on track and we learn about the Wonderland murders from two different perspectives. It's a very interesting, intriguing story, and it makes me appreciate the comforts of my life.

Reflecting back on "Wonderland," I must say that I'm kind of baffled by the casting choices. Val Kilmer did a fine job portraying John Holmes, but I don't think they look very much alike. Mr. Holmes was a pretty homely-looking guy who could only get on film for his big you-know-what. I also found it kind of hard to watch two great television actors, Lisa Kudrow and Dylan McDermott, in mismatched roles. I think they both did fine, but it was kind of depressing to see the fun-loving Kudrow playing such a depressing role, that of John Holmes' ex-wife. As for Mr. McDermott, it was kind of awkward to see him playing such a tough thug after watching him for years as the head lawyer on "The Practice."

Other casting mishaps included Kate Bosworth & Carrie Fisher (I just didn't know what they were doing in this picture), Janeane Garofalo & Christina Applegate (I barely even noticed them), and the awful cameo by Paris Hilton (please stop hiring this girl!!). So I'm not really criticizing the acting, I'm just confounded by the person in charge of casting.

Even though it has its mishaps, "Wonderland" is still an interesting and decent picture. There's just something about movies based on actual events that I find fascinating.

My IMDb Rating: 7/10. My Yahoo! Grade: B (Good)
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Hope Ranch (2002 TV Movie)
8/10
A Good Life Lesson
27 March 2004
When my parents rented this movie, and I saw Lorenzo Lamas on the cover, needless to say, I was more than skeptical of the quality of this film. It still holds the trademarks of a made-for-TV movie with its cheesy dialogue and cheesy acting (particularly Ernesto), but "Hope Ranch" is a nice film with a positive message.

This movie is even more meaningful for my family and I, as my mom works in a juvenile corrections facility. While that job sounded pretty daunting at first, its purpose is commendable; that is to rehabilitate troubled youth and turn their lives around. "Hope Ranch" illustrates one way programs can do that by laying out discipline and responsibility on the kids for practically the first time in their lives. They show that through hard work and dedication, kids learn that they really are important and can contribute something meaningful to society.

To my surprise, I actually recommend this movie. It has a great message and shows that we shouldn't give up on people. Don't expect Oscar-worthy performances, a groundbreaking story, or anything like that. It is, after all, a movie made for the cable channel Animal Planet. Despite its budgetary constraints, "Hope Ranch" still gives a positive message out in a very effective way.

My IMDb Rating: 8/10. My Yahoo! Grade: B+ (Memorable)
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Dogpile on The Cat!!!
27 March 2004
After hearing all the horrible reviews and complaints about "The Cat in the Hat," my expectations were mighty low, but yet I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. So when my mom rented it, I thought I would check it out, and hey, it was free for me!

"The Cat in the Hat's" style of humor is very odd to say the least. The screenplay is written by writers from "Seinfeld," the "Clerks" animated series, and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" - all shows that I love - but these writers just didn't make the proper transition to the family genre. I can only think of two moments that I thought were genuinely funny - the "magical" lawyers and the melodramatic music The Cat plays on the organ. It just seems like they tried to make a family-friendly "Saturday Night Live," and it just failed miserably. I think they had a problem determining whom this movie was for. It can be too vulgar for the family set, and it's just too unfunny for the grown-up set.

I also question how the cast members approached this movie. If you check out the outtakes on the DVD, there are quite a few instances of curse words that are bleeped out. Now, I admit I'm partial to Disney, and I'm sure there's swearing that goes on in their movies, but they don't document it! I'm also somewhat troubled when Alec Baldwin swore every time he screwed up a line, even in front of child actor Spencer Breslin. I'm sure Spencer has heard those words before; but c'mon, Alec, hold your tongue!!

The characters were also extremely annoying. One of the most annoying things a person can do is laugh at their own jokes, and that's exactly what The Cat did, ALL THE TIME! It drove me nuts!!! As for Thing 1 & Thing 2, they just seemed demonic and possessed as they scrambled around everywhere, speaking an unintelligible language. They reminded me of the "Teletubbies." (There's just something about a baby's face in a sun that just freaks me out!) Alec Baldwin's villain was also super-annoying. Why was he so bent on sending Conrad to military school, and how could Kelly Preston's character ever fall for him?

As you can see, there are just so many things to criticize "The Cat in the Hat" about (oh, and I can't forget the Paris Hilton cameo!) However, I will say that the visuals were pretty good, and they stick in your head for a while. Also, Dakota Fanning is a fine, little actress, even though she seems to be getting typecast as the uptight kid, because her acting abilities are up there with veteran actors. Other than that, "The Cat in the Hat" is just a disturbing picture that is a slap in the face of the great Dr. Seuss.

My IMDb Rating: 3/10. My Yahoo! Grade: D (Dreadful)
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Just Boring and Annoying
27 March 2004
Now, I normally don't like it when people summarize a movie by saying it's just a certain way, but that's all "Mona Lisa Smile" was to me - boring and annoying.

It started out with some promise - a new professor going to a prestigious all-girls academy and is overwhelmed as her students bombard her with their vast knowledge of the textbook. But after that, I couldn't care less. The professor then "opens her students' eyes" just by asking them if what they are looking at is any good.

Maybe that's another reason that I didn't like this movie - I just don't understand the world of art. I didn't understand the fascination the professor and the class had when they took a field trip to see that one painting. I'm sure the art world says it's a masterpiece, but it looks like scribbling to me!!

I also find it hard to believe that these students are so inspired and involved in this class, particularly Julia Stiles' character, who is hoping to go to law school. As a college student, I can tell you that if you're a senior and you're taking Art 100, you really don't give a flying you-know-what about art!!

So not only did I find the movie unrealistic, I found it excruciatingly boring as there was no major conflict or hurdle for the characters to overcome. All that was confronting the characters was how the world was back then. What could one really do to change that, but do what you really want to do in life? To me, that just doesn't make for a particularly interesting story.

So without an interesting conflict, there wasn't an interesting conclusion. In fact, the conclusion just kind of confounded me as I just didn't understand how the characters were so moved by their teacher. I know this comparison has been made by so many people before, but if you're looking for a good, inspirational teacher movie, go with "Dead Poets Society."

My IMDb Rating: 4/10. My Yahoo! Grade: C- (Disappointing)
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Fantasia 2000 (1999)
9/10
Another Breed of Fantasia
27 March 2004
My mom recently joined the Disney Movie Club and purchased this movie. One night I was babysitting my niece when it was time to go to bed. Normally I put in the original "Fantasia," and she is out like a light in less than ten minutes. This time I put in "Fantasia 2000," thinking it would do the same thing. However, my niece stayed up much longer than expected and was intrigued by what she was watching as she asked me about the flying whales.

I think this second version of "Fantasia" embarks in the same spirit as the first one, but it is a little more mainstream than the 1940 masterpiece. As a kid, I never really cared for the first "Fantasia," as I thought it was too long and boring. I didn't appreciate fine music and animation at that time. "Fantasia 2000" still uses classical music, but it uses pieces that are more familiar like Beethoven's "5th Symphony" and "Pomp and Circumstance." There's also a solid story to follow in each piece, whether you're watching New Yorkers pursue their dreams or watching Donald Duck take on the role of Noah by herding up two of each animal. Then there's the length of the movie, going from two hours in the first "Fantasia" to a family-friendly 75 minutes in this version.

So even though the two Fantasias are the same, they are sort of different reflecting the time periods they were made in. "Fantasia 2000" uses crisp and beautiful animation and tells some fun stories, but it isn't as innovative and daring as its father. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; it's just different and still quite enjoyable. Heck, I always enjoy a good, funny appearance from my favorite cartoon character, Donald Duck! Overall, "Fantasia 2000" is a worthwhile and beautiful film to the eyes and the ears.

My IMDb Rating: 9/10. My Yahoo! Grade: A (Outstanding)
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Now That's Infotainment!
27 March 2004
The best thing about "Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom" is that I actually learned something from it! Who knew I would learn something from a cartoon at the age of 22?! I've never been that involved in musical instruments, but it was very interesting and easy to learn from TWP&B on why horns are shaped the way they are. The short is also hilarious as we see how the caveman learned to make music in their primitive ways and how that music evolved over the ages. It's also fun to see the cavemen collaborate with the modern-day symphonies. There are just some great gags and jokes throughout this jam-packed cartoon.

We're also reintroduced to that school of singing birds from the cartoon short, "Melody." They were fun, but I thought they were a little annoying in this short. I was glad when they made the transition to the cavemen, because those cavemen stole the show! I've even seen them make cameos on the recent cartoon series, "Disney's House of Mouse." Hey, maybe we can even see them in the theme parks!!! That would be fun!

There are a lot of memorable and educational moments from this cartoon, and it will always remain a classic. In my opinion, the only thing holding it back a little are those birds. They've done better! Better just let the cavemen get the show going!!

My IMDb Rating: 9/10
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Melody (1953)
8/10
Learning from the Birds
27 March 2004
It's been quite a while since I've seen a cartoon with that school of singing birds. I remember seeing them when I was a kid in this short and in "Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom." It's a very fun and interesting concept as the birds teach the viewer about different aspects of music. Too bad this series didn't extend past TWP&B. The drawing style is very fun and carefree also. This is just a fun cartoon. I especially enjoyed the song that details the life of a human being.

However, it's not perfect, in my opinion. Near the end of the short, things get a little manic, and the short jumps to different songs and stories without notice. What starts out as a look at singing, melody, and the life of humans through a bird's perspective, turns into a bunch of stories and songs that just zoom on by the viewer. You can definitely notice "Melody's" 3-D roots as birds and objects fly toward the screen at a rapid pace. Too bad I didn't have the glasses, or they would have flown right at me!

Overall, "Melody" is still a solid and fun cartoon that will delight kids today and strike a chord of nostalgia with grown-ups. It has its drawbacks, but it's still a very enjoyable short!

My IMDb Rating: 8/10
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
The 76th Annual Academy Awards (2004 TV Special)
7/10
Anything Can Happen...?
26 March 2004
At least that's what host Billy Crystal said in the commercials leading up to the 76th Annual Academy Awards. On the contrary, the 2004 version of the Oscars was probably the most predictable and surprise-free show in the Academy's history. The only thing surprising about the ceremony was just how predictable it would be; in particular, the perfect 11-for-11 award night for "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King." Even the awards to the actors were predictable as odds-on favorites Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, Charlize Theron, and Renée Zellweger took home Oscars. If only there were any surprises like a Bill Murray, Naomi Watts, or a Johnny Depp win. Nevertheless, the standing ovation for Sean Penn was nice and respectful (even though I didn't really care for his jab at the President, but he deserves recognition for his fine film career).

Despite its monotony, I still somewhat enjoyed the ceremony. Billy Crystal was as good as ever and never lost a beat throughout the three-hour-plus event. His opening video sequence was great also, especially with controversial Michael Moore being squashed in a Lord of the Rings spoof. However, the most hysterical moment went to Will Ferrell and Jack Black as they sang "You're Boring," the unknown lyrics to the music that comes on when winners go a little long on their acceptance speech. Even director Blake Edwards added some humor in his Lifetime Achievement Award, by speeding his wheelchair through a wall and making a very nice speech about all the people that contribute to Hollywood from actors to writers to that one janitor guy!

So the three-hour event did have its moments. There was some good comedy thrown in, some nice music (not exciting music, but nice music), and at least I was able to root for at least one film in each category. Too bad I haven't seen "Return of the King" yet, or it may have been an even better night!

My IMDb Rating: 7/10
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
21 Grams (2003)
9/10
Gripping Drama
26 March 2004
I've just read some user reviews, and the term "powerful" is used a lot. While I enjoyed this movie, was gripped to it throughout the film, and was impressed by the acting, I just didn't find it all that "powerful." It's an interesting story, but I wasn't moved to tears or anything like that. In my opinion, "21 Grams" is a solid, intriguing drama.

One of the things that sticks in my mind is how director Alejandro Iñárritu had the story jumping all over the place. Now, I'm not a prude that demands all movie plots be completely linear, but I was puzzled at times on why he did jump around. What exactly was the point of going to the point of the accident where the camera is centered on the yard worker and his leaf blower?

Nevertheless, Mr. Iñárritu still did a fine job. I thought Benicio Del Toro shined the most out of this very talented cast. He definitely deserved the nomination; although, I still prefer Ken Watanabe's performance in "The Last Samurai." Naomi Watts' performance was also stellar and maybe deserved the actual Oscar (although I haven't seen Charlize Theron in "Monster" yet). As for Sean Penn, he did a fine job also, but his performance was more quiet and subtle than the others.

So overall, "21 Grams" is a fine movie and worth seeing. To me, it's not groundbreaking, but other viewers may find otherwise.

My IMDb Rating: 9/10. My Yahoo! Grade: A- (Almost Perfect)
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Trail Mix-Up (1993)
8/10
What a Beauty!
6 March 2004
The years were good for Roger Rabbit and the animation crew. It was three years since the previous Roger Rabbit cartoon when "Trail Mix-Up" was released, and the animation was quite contrasting compared to the first two Roger shorts. The visuals are almost up to feature-animation quality and are quite crisp and beautiful. Just imagine what Roger Rabbit cartoons would look like if they were made today!

"Trail Mix-Up" has some very inventive and funny gags; like when Roger runs for safety only to have an unbelievably tall tree crash down on him miles away, and when numerous mini-Rogers appear after Roger goes through some buzz saws. This short even features Jessica Rabbit's sexiest appearance out of all the cartoons (and probably the feature too!). Who knew a cartoon character could accomplish such a thing. Man, I feel like the ultimate nerd by writing that! :P

While watching "Trail Mix-Up" again, I had a hard time remembering why I prefer "Roller Coaster Rabbit" to this. All the gags were top-notch and hilarious, with a sexy Jessica Rabbit thrown in, and then we get to the ending. The water-skiing bear was pretty funny, but it all turned too manic and just not all that funny when they returned to the "real world." I don't know what exactly it was, but maybe I just didn't like seeing a national monument be destroyed or to even see Baby Herman harmed. The ending just didn't sit well with me.

Aside from that, this is still a pretty good cartoon. There are plenty of laughs, and it's just a beauty to see.

My IMDb Rating: 8/10
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Tummy Trouble (1989)
7/10
The Danger of Rattlers
6 March 2004
"Tummy Trouble" is my least favorite of the three Roger Rabbit shorts, possibly because the setting is pretty ordinary. The other two shorts feature more interesting stories in places I like to go (amusement parks and national parks). "Tummy Trouble" is very similar to the opening cartoon in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," in which Roger is running around protecting Baby Herman; only to be the victim of some physical gags that get more and more severe as the cartoon progresses. This isn't to say that I didn't like the comedy displayed in "Tummy Trouble." I especially liked the fall from the sky in which Roger crashes through all the floors in the hospital. I also thought Roger "catching" the elevator was pretty funny.

Also there were some things that stuck out to me while watching "Tummy Trouble." In the beginning of the cartoon when Roger visits Baby Herman in the hospital room, you can see a diagram of the inner body of Mickey Mouse hanging on the wall along with a picture of the doctor that appeared in a classic Bugs Bunny cartoon. I also thought Baby Herman was pretty funny and memorable in his on-screen persona. Then we get to see the Baby Herman we know and love after the cartoon is over. Lastly, I just liked the title card of the cartoon with the wording, "Walt Disney Pictures and Steven Spielberg present…" Wow, you just don't see that too often, and we probably never will again!

My IMDb Rating: 7/10
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Thrillingly Funny!
6 March 2004
"Roller Coaster Rabbit" is my favorite of the three Roger Rabbit shorts. I thought that many of the gags throughout the cartoon were very clever and funny. Those that I found most memorable included the chase through the carnie games, Roger and Baby Herman riding off the film reel, and Jessica Rabbit making a cameo with Droopy on the railroad tracks with Jessica yelling a coarse "SAVE ME!!!" when Roger asked what she was saying. There's just something funny about Jessica having to switch from her sexy, sultry voice to one where she yells and criticizes Roger. It's just a striking difference!

There were also moments in the cartoon that kind of took me back, like when Roger falls into the bull's "droppings." Yeah, that was kinda gross! And I wasn't entirely sure what Baby Herman was reaching into when he tried to get his balloon. Despite these quasi-shocking moments, "Roller Coaster Rabbit" is quite inventive and has some good laughs from beginning to end. It's just a great cartoon short all around!

My IMDb Rating: 9/10
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

Recently Viewed