Reviews written by registered user
|60 reviews in total|
Hasbro has captured lightning in a bottle with a cartoon revelation so
pure and enchanting, it has captured the attention of even guys who
wouldn't normally like My Little Pony. The pilot episode became one of
the biggest animation related events since the release of Avatar: The
Last Airbender. Lauren Faust has taken her unique character design
style and warm-hearted characterizations and breathed new life into My
Little Pony. The result is a new spin on the franchise that's super
cute but not saccharine with just enough added snark and outrageous
But it should not be looked at as another My Little Pony cartoon. Instead, it should be looked at as a good show that just happens to have characters from the franchise. But instead of being girly or cheesy, the show has winning humor and wonderful characters. The kingdom feels like it has real places with real neighborhoods. The families have brothers and sisters and older ponies. Magic returns to the ponies and feels real instead of tacked on. There are not too many villains in this show but there are a couple monsters. However the real conflict and drive of the show, and what makes it so interesting, is in seeing how different and varied the personalities of the characters are and how they often act like real friends, complete with disagreements. This is the most educational version of My Little Pony yet. However, unlike preschool cartoons, the lessons don't feel forced or pandering.
This is one of the most remarkable cartoons yet. Truly it is a great achievement.
Man I have never seen a movie more utterly boring and haphazard than this movie. League of Extraordinary Gentleman pilfers many great literary works to give us flat, uninteresting characters that are merely products of their own misinterpreted clichés from the literary versions(i.e. Doctor Jeckyl is no longer a tormented man but a hulking brute who is a slave to his "drink"). The plot is shallow and riddled with clichés(how many times are we going to get the cliché of somebody accused of being a traitor but it's really somebody else?). The character Nemo, who was a great, complex man in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, is reduced to a laughable character in this film. That was the last straw. If you want to see a retro "fantasy with technology" movie, see the infinitely better Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.
They call it movie MAGIC for a reason. These days it seems like movies
try to be as big, loud, empty and obnoxious as possible or as stuffy,
self-important and as overbearing as possible. Check the average
explosion-fest summer popcorn flick for proof. Or even worse, look no
further than the overrated Hero, a movie which critics are raving about
but in my opinion, only loved to hear the sound of its own voice and
really doesn't deserve to take away the Oscar, while this movie slips
under the radar. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow marks a return
to what movies really SHOULD be like--spectacles of wonder, beauty, and
awe and vehicles that transport you to fantastic other worlds. It is a
movie that is as much fantasy as it is science fiction. It is a movie
of an alternate history that probably could've, or should've, been,
much like the video game Crimson Skies. It is a throwback to the
sensibilities of the golden era, with a soft, fuzzy look that's not
quite black and white and not quite technicolor.
The visual and narrative aesthetics unfold like a vintage comic book, with simplified yet personable characters, both heroic and villainous, and campy yet not too cheesy dialogue. Campy Buck Rogers style themes abound, with retro ray guns and transforming fictional aircraft. Yet the robots remind me more of The Iron Giant or Castle In The Sky.
Despite all this retro appeal(that might not appeal to some people), the CGI elements, which is practically everything but the actors, are pure 21st century products of modern movie-making. The action sequences are genuinely exciting and don't feel hollow or mechanical, which is pretty impressive considering what comprises most of this movie. But it never forgets its sense of fantasy and wonder and accesibility to kids of all ages. It drives you to the edge of your seat, but then it smiles and winks at you. It is much like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for today's era. As a "fantasy in a modern era" movie, this is the film League of Extraordinary Gentleman should've been. As a film in general, this movie is pure fun through and through, if you've got the right heart for this kind of stuff. Too bad Hero will no doubt garner the most praise and awards while this sleeper hit will slip under the radar. It may not be a masterpiece, but I'd rather a movie not try so hard and be just fun than try to look over the top and seem shallow, or even worse, try to be too artsy and just seem pretentious.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Oh my did the critics ever get it wrong with this one. I'm not a big
fan of martial arts films or of Jet Li, but I loved Crouching Tiger,
Hidden Dragon, and I went to see this on the recommendation of my
sister, who said it was better than Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Plus it got a good rating from TV Guide, a source I trust the most out
of all the review sites. Not only was Hero inferior to Crouching Tiger,
Hidden, but it was one of the most horrifyingly pretentious, stuffy,
and self-important movies I've ever seen. While Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Dragon gave us characters that we could care about, had a sweeping
sense of grace and beauty, and allowed us to get emotionally absorbed
into their world even outside the fight scenes, Hero merely gave us
overwrought icons and a backwards tracking plot that allowed the main
story to stay stuck within the same scene for the entire movie. The
reward for the audience's patience is something of a puzzle for me, and
I'm having a hard time figuring out what the big deal. The title of the
movie is called "Hero", and yet everybody dies and the villain wins.
And the movie justifies this by spouting out some imperialist
propaganda stating that the only way through peace and unification is
through an evil act.
Like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero has that fancy wire fu flying and tries too hard to be philosophical. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, however, is also refreshingly straightforward, easy to follow, and is beautiful in its portrayal of martial arts, the world, and its romance. Hero, on the other hand, gets bogged down in heavy themes and merely loves to hear the sound of its own voice. The fight scenes don't work as well as in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and one or maybe more fight scenes seem to serve no purpose. Hero is, indeed, beautiful and certainly more intelligent than the average Jet Li flick. But all this color and flair is put to no practical or entertainment purpose. I'd rather a movie be just a little bit shallow and bubblegum feeling and be entertaining(like The Matrix movies) than be too intelligent and seem stuffy. But what do I know? All the critics loved it, so maybe you might too. I'll stick to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Heck, even Brotherhood of the Wolf is better than Hero.
Don't confuse my comment with Hollywood junk, which is just pure trash that
is entertaining only in fits. The Red Violin is artistic junk, meaning it is
a movie that tries to be inspired and that isn't bad, but it isn't very
entertaining at all.
I caught The Red Violin on Bravo, home of all the "artsy" movies, not knowing what it was all about and not knowing that it was supposed to be a "masterpiece". I hate it when people toss about that term like it has no meaning because this movie is most definitely not that. A masterpiece implies a movie that not only has narrative finesse but narrative cohesion. The Red Violin is not even entertaining, so it definitely doesn't have the first. At first, I thought The Red Violin was a cool foreign film. But as the movie progressed, it became clear that it wasn't even that. The movie is all about one single solitary violin and what happens to it over the centuries. Sure there are groups of characters that pop up and tell their stories around the violin, but there is no single main character or even groups of main characters. The players don't stick around long enough, and in the end, it's all about the stupid violin. I don't know about the rest of you, but it's hard to care about a violin. The movie jumps about between the centuries so much like they're some kind of cool plot device, that I was uncertain what was going on. As such, it most definitely lacks narrative cohesion. As such, it most definitely is NOT a masterpiece.
I don't know what most people saw in this movie. I guess it's one of those movies that everybody but me seems to think is one of the greatest movies of all time. I don't think it's even entertaining. It's not a bad movie, but it's got too many flaws, is just boring, and is just way too artsy and self-congratulatory for its own good. I like artistic foreign films. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Brotherhood of the Wolf. But The Red Violin is should be thrown into the reject pile. 4/10.
Having seen The Powerpuff Girls Movie, I was suddenly reminded of this movie. I guess I might as well let it be known that I don't like Nicktoons. Nickelodeon used to have good stuff, but I've long since lost all respect for them. Jimmy Neutron is more of the same Nicktoon pandering garbage. Jimmy is whiny and unconvincing, and the only reason for any attachment with the audience is the fact that he's a geeky outcast that nobody loves. This makes him seem fake, like he's less of a character and more a bunch of stereotypes. The other characters are flat, two dimensional, stereotypical jokes. None of this would be too bad if the characters were bouncy and interesting. Unfortunately, they're not even half alive. Many of the characters are rude and unappealing. The villains, if you can call them that, are especially stupid. The humor is occasionally inventive, but many times it's boring, childish, and too straightforward. The message about the importance of your parents is simplistic, pandering, and crammed down your throat, rather than being worked into the movie cleverly. Even then, it's nearly drowned out by the segment that seemingly condones bad behavior. Late in the running, the movie tries to go for heart, but it feels forced and simplistic, sticks out like a sore thumb, and comes much too little too late. Finally, the animation, especially the background, has no sense of art or fun. Quite frankly, it's unimpressive. While one notch above the pathetically lousy Osmosis Jones and several notches above such fare as the Pokemon movies and the Rugrats movies, Jimmy Neutron is just one boring, sugary, pandering "been there, done that" fare. Even though the dvd is out, skip this dog of a movie and just go check out The Powerpuff Girls, which this movie is vastly inferior to.
Amidst a year of big eye candy live action movies that will make a ton of
money and lame teen comedies that everybody but me seems to find funny, a
movie like The Powerpuff Girls isn't likely to stand out. However, this
fresh little charmer should be given more than just a fair shot. Sour
disappointments like Attack of the Clones and Undercover Brother pale in
comparison in many themes and elements to this bouncy, giddy
Last year was a very good year for computer generated animated movies. For me, though, only Shrek wowed me. Monsters, Inc. was a good if fluffy entry from Pixar. Ice Age was also amusing but left a somewhat bitter taste in my mouth. And I don't even want to know about Final Fantasy. This year, it seems that low budget traditionally animated movie reign supreme. Two appear to be duds. Hey Arnold the Movie looks like very cheap, rank garbage. I'll reserve judgement on Spirit, but needless to say I won't be rushing out to see it until it's available for rent at a video store. Then along came Lilo and Stitch, and I was overjoyed. Never before have I felt so alive watching an animated movie. Now add this movie to the "good" pile. It's not Lilo and Stitch, but anybody who thinks that it's trying to be needs to have their brain re-wired.
Granted, you need to be a fan of the series to enjoy the movie. Or at the very least, you have to be open-minded and willing to check out what all the fuss is about. No doubt many critics will pick at the movie's "cheap animation". If you're looking for Disney style brilliance, watch another movie. The Powerpuff Girls has its own brand of style that I still find to be superior to flatly drawn, pandering animated movies like much of Don Bluth and fare like Ferngully. Unlike all of the other cartoons-turned-big-screen movies, The Powerpuff Girls is actually fun to look at. Many scenes are positively magical, some where the animation becomes more fluid than usual to suit the need, others that are a dizzying array of exciting camera angles and colors. In fact this movie is so hyperactive, you'll either go "WOW!" or "What?"
The scripting is a hundred times more well thought out than any of its "cartoon based movies" counterparts that came before, whether it's Transformers, Pokemon, or Winnie the Pooh with The Tigger Movie. The Powerpuff Girls is smooth and clean and never overstays its welcome. There are no cliches, no plot points that seem weird, no sudden changes in pacing and direction that plague many animated and live action movies. The characters are oddly endearing, and there are many moments of warmth and just feeling good. The relationship between the professor and the girls is strangely touching. Other moments are genuinely shocking, heartbreaking, and dramatic in a light kind of way. The climax is suitably ridiculous, with bad puns galore, but there is no shortage of excitement. There is also a running gag in this movie that is quite unexpected. Yet ultimately what makes this movie shine is what's buried beneath this cream puff movie, a message about accepting the gifts that make one special and unique as well as the importance of showing love to those that are shunned and deemed "freaks".
Fans of the series will notice that this movie is not as zany as most of the series' episodes or many of Disney's movies. Yet The Powerpuff Girls was a welcome surprise that I was initially wary of. It is a fresh, light-hearted, bouncy break from the mess that is 2002 and is quite the refreshing change from modern Disney. Go ahead and see Men in Black 2 if you want, but I, personally, would wait until Two Towers came out and skip everything else in favor of Lilo and Stitch and this movie. No, The Powerpuff Girls isn't going to floor you. But if Lilo and Stitch is this year's filet mignon, then The Powerpuff Girls is this year's peanut butter and jelly sandwich--simple, sometimes hard to swallow, but ultimately delicious.
This movie reaffirmed my belief that the critics are nothing but a big bunch
of paid-off, self-absorbed idiots. This is possibly the single most
underrated animated movie ever created, surpassing a level of underratedness
of even the great masterpiece of 1981, The Fox and the Hound. Lilo and
Stitch is not merely a mild cartoon flick with Saturday morning level
animation. This is an outstanding flick with gorgeous animation. It is
bouncy, engaging, shockingly heartwarming and stunningly sincere. These are
all traits I enjoyed in The Fox and the Hound that I find in few other
animated movies. Here, there are no good guys or bad guys, just a group of
characters, some realistic, others cartoony, playing out one of the most
beautifully simple and simply beautiful stories I've ever seen in a Disney
I've always enjoyed an animated movie than didn't try to make a big deal out of everything, hence my love of The Fox and the Hound and now this movie. Not everything needs be laugh-yourself-silly funny. Nor does everything need to have slick computer graphics or obnoxiously detailed animation. Don't get me wrong, though, Lilo and Stitch has wonderful animation. It is reminiscent of the earlier days of Disney where the animation was simple yet fluid and beautiful and the backgrounds were joys to behold. Here, the backgrounds are watercolors, like in the Disney movies of old. While I have a small hunch a few computer graphics might have been used, mainly in this movie watercolor backgrounds were used where in any other animated movie, a computer generated image would've been used, and the result is a hundred times more beautiful and effective.
Some of the things I find fault with most of modern Disney after The Little Mermaid include sappiness, bad and overblown musical numbers, insistance on jokey humor, fake or set up climaxes, and an even bigger instance on putting said jokey humor inside a dramatic scene, weakening its impact and making it feel fake or set up. Lilo and Stitch has none of that. It's never sappy. There are no musical numbers other than Elvis songs, beautiful Hawaiian music, and a touching lullaby. The humor is very funny but character driven. The climax is very entertaining and exciting and nowhere near as ridiculous as many Little Mermaid era Disney fight or chase scenes, and there are no rude interruptions of unnecessary parts.
As far as I'm concerned, you can take movies like Tarzan and Hunchback of Notre Dame and just flush them down the toilet. If you think the best thing to happen to animation in a while are movies like Shrek, Ice Age, or Monsters, Inc., guess again. This it right here. I doubt it will win Best Animated Movie at the Oscars, but not only do I feel it should win, but I also believe it should be the Best Movie of the year. While all the critics are going gaga over this year's loud and obnoxious action films, Star Wars Ep II included, Lilo and Stitch reaffirms basic values and never forgets true storytelling. To sum it up, if you only need to see one movie this year, see Lilo and Stitch. If you only need to see one animated movie this year, despite what critics like Berardinelli seem to think, skip Spirit and see Lilo and Stitch. I confidently call it the best animated movie anyone's ever done since The Fox and the Hound and deserves no less than a 10/10.
Who on earth made this big time stink? Even if there was supposed to be a moral about tolerance and putting aside differences to achieve a common goal, which I doubt, the completely abysmal script utterly annihilates what little depth there was. The rest of the movie is a monstrous bore. The villain overacts really, really, really, really badly. The laughable special effects look like they came from from the Buck Rogers era rather than from the Star Wars era. The fact that any critic could deem this movie a sci-fi classic is a puzzlement indeed.
Foreign films like this get no respect, and it's hard to see why. Popular
American films are often noisy, cheap feeling, shallow, and drowning in
special effects, yet it is the foreign movies that get trounced and laughed
Much like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, another underrated gem, Brotherhood of the Wolf is restrained but stylish and populated with imaginative characters. Unlike most movies, I went into this one not knowing what to expect. Oh sure, I've heard the praise on tv and seen one good review, but it wasn't enough to tell me just exactly how good it was. And having not seen the bad reviews, I wasn't spoiled or set up to be disappointed. It turns out to be the right choice because I have no idea where all these bad reviews came from.
The beast in this movie is cleverly realized as the astute viewer will notice that it is not a werewolf or a product of monster movie conventions. While over the top, the beast in this movie could just as easily pass itself as another natural animal, despite its terrifying and vicious nature. And bravo to the movie's creators for throwing out horror movie cliches. If you think men and women in horror movies are divided into the running, screaming, panicky people and the super cool macho men and women, then watch this movie because it has none of it. The beast in this movie is far more stylish and clever than that. It delivers its terror and the right moment and in the right doses. It remains hidden in shadow, hardly ever seen, by audience and by character. By the time it kills, it's already too late, but before it does that, both the character and the audience are on the edge, gripped by terror and wondering where the hell this blasted creature is.
Then there's the other side of the movie's story. Brotherhood of the Wolf isn't a monster movie but a detective story/period piece/romance novel with a little martial arts thrown in. In this movie, the people are nervous and angry at each other, but it isn't because of the beast. Something else is going with this movie, but it remains hidden until the very end. The movie then ties the beast with this hidden machination of the movie in a very clever way. Everything comes together nicely to climax in a stunning ending that will blow your mind. In the meantime, we get lots of action, terror, style, and sex.
Don't believe what you hear about this movie being ugly, brutal, long, boring, and incomprehensible. The movie crafts its story cleverly and masterfully and ties its slowly unfolding elements into each other. Oh sure, a lot of people will hate it. But if you have the right mindset for it, it's a brilliant and thrilling ride and the most fun I've had in a long time.
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