Reviews written by registered user
GEM-20

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57 reviews in total 
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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Remake? Shmeemake! This is great!, 16 August 2005
8/10

The new "Freaky Friday" is a very fun movie. It seemed that Disney decided to get it right this time. The original was released in 1976; the latter 1970s was not the best of times for Walt Disney Productions.

In this new version, everyone in the cast is a delight! After seeing "Herbie: Fully Loaded," I wanted to see more of Lindsay Lohan. Hey, I am 41, but I am glad to say that I am one of her new fans. She is both pretty and quite talented. Of course, for us "older folks," there is also Jamie Lee Curtis and Mark Harmon. Harmon plays the straight man to Curtis; she is hilarious here.

"Freaky Friday" was fun for my entire family. It comes with our complete recommendation. And the DVD is a kick too!

Enjoyable work of an old story, 27 July 2005
7/10

When I first heard that they were making a new "Chocolate Factory," I couldn't see any reason. The original is a classic, and was the first movie I went to as a kid.

A refreshing take on the new film is that it is not simply a remake of the 1971 movie. This one tells you much more about Willy Wonka and the operation of the factory. There are a few updates to the story: Mike Teevee is a video game nut!

There are some very hilarious moments in the movie. I won't spoil them and tell you what to look for, but be prepared to laugh. Also, this film shows more of Johnny Depp's talent. His Willy Wonka is completely different from the great Jack Sparrow he played in "Pirates Of The Caribbean."

Everyone in my family had a good time with it, so it comes with our recommendation. I did not feel compelled to compare it to the 1971 movie. That one will always have a special place in my heart, but this new version of the story is wonderful!

Since it is made my Tim Burton, you will see his style everywhere. One small aspect of it that I did not care for was that it takes place in the winter. Everything seemed so cold and dark at first. In the 1971 film, it is a beautifully sunny day when the children arrive at Wonka's factory, giving the feeling that everyone is about to enter a fantasy land.

Still, this new one will not disappoint. Fun and funny stuff!

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful again!, 29 June 2005
8/10

My family and I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It was one of those rare occasions where the audience applauded at the end! The majority of the people stayed and watched the credits until they were over.

It is for this reason that I am at a complete loss when someone like Roger Ebert trashes it and says that the film is terrible. I can't understand that. Do they not have kids? Would they prefer that children avoid innocent fun like this and watch a darker film like Harry Potter? All of the Herbie movies are only meant to be fun. This is a delight!

Of course, it must be remembered that this film is a sequel. For anyone to get a complete understanding of Herbie, I recommend looking at the original 1969 movie, "The Love Bug". Of course, the creators of "Fully Loaded" operated on the assumption that we all fully grasp the Herbie concept. Did you read that, Roger Ebert?

Seeing Herbie again is like seeing a friend or relative you haven't seen in a long time. It is funny how my kids referred to the car as "him" and not "it"! This movie also makes them think of the new Beetles as females! The theater we went to had one of the original 1963 VW Beetles, that was used in the filming of the first two Herbie films, parked in the lobby! I have no idea what it is worth, but it was in mint condition.

Lindsay Lohan is quite charming here! I definitely will watch for more with her in the future. I am sure that Disney will release this on DVD by Christmas. I will buy it for sure!

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Amazing because it was real, 23 May 2005
8/10

"The Right Stuff" is a wonderful movie, and it made me realize how different things were in the era, long before Vietnam, Watergate, and 9-11. It was a time of hopes, dreams, and triumphs, when men literally flew by the seats of their pants. In this 21st century, we never hear of any program that operates like this. The period from 1947 to the early 1960s was a fantastic time. Perhaps there was more imagination and spirit then.

Disney released a set of programs that were produced in the 1950s that depicted quite accurately how man would operate in space. They detailed how to get to the moon and Mars. I marveled at how these were accurately calculated, years before real space missions were accomplished.

"The Right Stuff" covers such history, beginning with Chuck Yeager's breaking of the sound barrier in 1947. He did it not for money or glory, but simply because he wanted to. Certainly, with broken ribs and a lot of pain, it was an even more difficult task, but he accomplished it nonetheless.

After seeing this film, you understand exactly what the "Right Stuff" is. Like mountain climbers who do it "because it's there", or paratroopers who jump because they "can't think of a better way down", there is a quality to the bravest who do something because they feel they have to. This film beautifully demonstrates that.

I recommend this film for all to see. It is a beautiful positive, beyond space tragedies like the shuttle accidents. It is so well filmed and finely acted, I almost felt that I was there with them.

All of Me (1984)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Martin kept getting better, 25 April 2005
7/10

Steve Martin's early movie efforts seemed to be very hit and miss. When "All Of Me" was released in 1984, he began to finally hit a stride of one good one after another. They took full advantage of his physical nature, and he convincingly portrays someone who is partially inhabited by someone else (Lilly Tomlin).

While it is not his best film, it is certainly not his worst. I recommend it to any Steve Martin fan. My kids enjoyed it as well; of course their first contact with Martin was in "Cheaper By The Dozen". Lilly Tomlin was also quite enjoyable in this picture.

Rated PG, there is little to find offensive. Great fun!

Robots (2005)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Kids love it. I yawned., 15 April 2005
4/10

Often in computer-animated films, it seems that the intention of the filmmakers is to dazzle us with visuals that would simply be impossible to realize or create any other way. That works when the story is also filled with heart, and the environment in which the characters populate has at least some reality.

"Robots" has none of that. It comes across as a Pixar wannabe, but fails miserably. Perhaps the creators hoped that we would be entertained by celebrity voices, but even that is tiresome. Robin Williams has done marvelous films over the years, and his voice worked perfectly in Disney's "Aladdin." Here, it is not funny, but is merely mildly appealing.

It was fun to hear Mel Brooks again; I will give the movie that. But his portions are not that much. Ewan McGregor's voice is wasted on this. His talent really shines in the more recent "Star Wars" films. In "Robots" he is practically unrecognizable.

Children will love "Robots". My kids did. On the other hand, I almost fell asleep in several portions. I was not impressed. I did not see a magical world that seemed astounding like the underwater settings of "Finding Nemo." This looks more like someone hoped to create splendor in a junkyard.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Just beautiful!, 8 April 2005
7/10

Films that show people who are able to live simpler lives in unusual situations always fascinate me. This was a film that captivated me through every frame. It is filmed with such beauty that the images are quite striking.

I especially enjoyed how it demonstrates a difference between these rural situations with big city life. Cities are shown with high-speed imagery; cars fly by with incredible ferocity. This is then followed by transitions of killer whales surfacing, schools of fish swirling around, and monkeys jumping from tree to tree.

Native people are seen in canoes, or are hiking carrying long spears for the hunt. This film did not leave me with a sudden urge to live their kind of lives; however, I enjoyed what I saw.

It does not portray people as necessarily evil or bad for the earth as much as it demonstrates our need to care for what we have. This is the only Earth we know of. Let's take care of it.

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Great Family Entertainment! Even adults can love it!, 28 March 2005
7/10

This is a wonderful movie in a lot of ways. Everyone in my family enjoyed it. The animation is excellent and easily demonstrates that there are plenty of producers who create films that are as visually brilliant as anything that comes from the Disney Studio.

One difference from the normal Disney fare is that this Dreamworks movie does not feature some wise-cracking side kick for comedy relief. And, there are no sudden moments where the characters break into song. I am sure that a scene at the beginning of the film would not appear in a Disney picture: the birth of Spirit. But it is done tastefully and is not offensive at all. "Spirit" was a great breath of fresh air. Don't get me wrong. I have loved Disney for years and will continue to do so.

"Spirit" is another example of great animated fare. As soon as it was over, my kids wanted to watch it again. I had the same feeling. I thoroughly recommend it.

Bambi (1942)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Truly amazing on DVD!, 22 March 2005
8/10

The recent re-release of "Bambi" was something I was not in an immediate hurry to buy, but I am sure glad I did. In fact, it is the perfect DVD companion to the "Disney On Front Lines" collection that recently came out, because it was in theaters during World War II.

Here again is a movie that went through a pain-staking restoration. In fact, the Disney people had to go through the film frame by frame, correcting colors and scratches that built up over the years. Hosted by Patrick Stewart, the documentary was very interesting. The final result is incredible to look at, for the film does not look like something that was released 63 years ago.

This collection has some additional fascinating extras that really make it worth the purchase. Stewart explains about meetings Walt Disney had with others in the studio. On this DVD, they were re-enacted by actors for a voice over that showed how a lot of "Bambi" was put together. Whoever it is who performed the Walt Disney voice, he sounds exactly like him.

Beyond that, this is an extremely captivating work. Disney remarked that a portion of the film was inspired by something he had done in a Pluto cartoon, and a side-by-side comparison demonstrates it.

This is truly great stuff for any Disney collector. For myself, I have always been enthralled by all of the incredible accomplishments Walt Disney had done in his day. I truly recommend this. Certainly, "Bambi" is a great film, but this DVD manages to make it even better.

28 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
The best of the Duke for everyone, 14 March 2005
8/10

Obviously, John Wayne had a long and distinguished career in the movies. Of course, he was merely playing himself time after time. In this movie, that works wonderfully well.

He plays Wil Anderson, a man in his 60s with little else he can do but hire a classroom of boys to help with a cattle drive. This makes for a fun outing for anyone in any age group. Roscoe Lee Browne is well cast here. His scene with Colleen Dewhurst is very well played. Bruce Dern is great, too!

My son, who is a big fan of "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones", pointed out the John Williams music in "The Cowboys"; it is very good indeed.

"The Cowboys" is my choice for the movie to introduce people to John Wayne. It definitely makes you want to see more! Out of four stars, I rate it: ***.5


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