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2 items from 2014

‘The Emperor’s New Groove’ a humorous defiance of time and space

19 February 2014 5:34 AM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

The Emperor’s New Groove

Written by David Reynolds, Mark Dindal, and Chris Williams

Directed by Mark Dindal

USA, 2000

With Disney leading its 1990s renaissance with self-serious tales accounting Greek (Hercules), Native American (Pocahontas), and Chinese (Mulan) empires, it may seem like a slight against the Disney-fication of the South American pre-Inca empire to present a through-and-through comedy. Indeed, The Emperor’s New Groove was fully prepared to be another historical drama firmly planted in the Disney canon under the title of Kingdom of the Sun, but thanks to economic troubles (Read as: really weird circumstances best covered in the documentary The Sweatbox. Look to Josh’s piece and the Mousterpiece Cinema podcast for further reading and listening.) its fate was left to the comedic stylings of Mark Dindal. It’s the sort of destiny that may have lead New Groove to the realm of films like its predecessor in Disney-proper, »

- Zach Lewis

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Blu-ray Review: ‘Haunter’ Does More Than Simply Haunt

14 February 2014 2:08 PM, PST | | See recent news »

Chicago – Director Vincenzo Natali’s name always gets my attention. You always get the sense tha the’s trying to do something new. He first came to prominence with “Cube” (1997), which is a gorily stylistic bit of cheap psychological horror masquerading as science fiction. “Nothing” (2003) put two men in a literal void reminiscent in some ways of the classic and surreal Chuck Jones Looney Tune “Duck Amuck”. “Splice” (2009) offered an updated Frankenstein myth mixed with sexual politics and a critique of profit-driven genetic engineering.

Rating: 3.5/5.0

So, it’s a little surprising to see him tackle something as careworn as the classic ghost story. “Haunter” has been called a scary version of “Groundhog’s Day”. In reality, from its opening frame, it’s clear that Natali is after far more than simple scares or genre mashup. He’s treading old ground in surprisingly novel fashion (especially compared to his mainstream peers »

- (Adam Fendelman)

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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

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