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Unsuitable for little girls who loved the original film
Disney had been criticised for sugar-coating the legend of American Princess Pocahontas in 1995. They had obviously since taken the criticisms on board as proved right here in this direct-to-video sequel and I seriously wouldn't recommend this title for very young viewers. This just goes to show how right Disney were to fictionalize the true story because while this sequel retains Pocahontas's adorable animal friends, the same looks, same backdrop, more songs and yes more fiction this sequel is truer to the historic legend and, certainly for a child, is quite disturbing. In the first film, Governor John Ratcliffe is portrayed as greedy, pompous and mean but here he is pure evil! He is nastier than ever and guess who he's out to get next! Yes, I'm afraid it's Pocahontas! Upon her arrival in England, he abuses her, torments her and even stops at nothing to get her killed and his plan in doing so couldn't be more sick! There is even a sequence where Ratcliffe humiliates her at the royal ball and then if that's not bad enough... we see bear-baiting!!! King James I is portrayed here as cruel and arrogant (he too plays a part in torturing Pocahontas) and it begs the question; was the real King James I like that? Pocahontas does triumph in the end, overcoming all the despicable prejudice she had received by the English, wiping out Ratcliffe, uncovering all his deadly lies, confronting King James, discovering that John Smith is not dead and also finding a love, this time for life.
If your children liked the original 1995-cartoon, don't expose them to this (especially if the child is below 11 years old) as it contains mild language, torture and some distressing scenes.
Historically inaccurate?... Who cares? This is Disney!
This film does not do the expected job of transporting you back to the day when this historic legend really happened back in the early 1600s, instead, true to Disney form, it unravels yet another fairytale just with a Native American makeover. True there are Native American backdrops, some Native American music and, of course, Native American people but has been dusted with typical Disney fairytale magic and is not to be used as reference to the true story if you want it told accurately. But it wouldn't be Disney to bring the legend to life as such but to bring it to fairytale and fictional twists. Pocahontas' pets Meeko the raccoon and Flit the hummingbird would never have existed in true life, would they? Neither would Grandmother Willow. This was to be suitable for kids as well as grown-ups so Disney did their stuff and the result is very positive yet very underrated. The movie has received major criticism for its inaccuracy. Pocahontas and John Smith are lovers here and history states that they probably weren't at all and it is a known fact that Pocahontas was, in real life, much younger than in her Disney depiction (and not half as beautiful) and John Smith was much, much older than the handsome young man he is depicted to be here but what did the critics expect the film to contain - serious violence, serious war scenes, Pocahontas being held captive for a long time, Pocahontas being murdered at just 21? It'd be ordeal of a film experience for children and here we have a beautiful love story symbolizing the triumph of peace over war; plus brilliant songs, a haunting music score, lush animation and well-selected voice talents.
As it is based on a true story, there is some drama here that could never be taken away, even from a Disney adaptation. Also, unlike other Disney fairy tales, we have a sad ending, a very sad ending. If I told you the ending I'd be telling! So you'll have to watch and find out. It is definitely worth your time - it isn't all doom and gloom and adults might also like it.
The AristoCats (1970)
Everybody - in this movie - wants to be a cat!
I think that this is based on a French story but I know neither the title nor the story itself.
Never before in this world have I ever seen such a loved and overprotected family of cats! Their wealthy owner is a former opera singer and she is almost never seen not holding and obsessing over them wherever she is! She can never stop cuddling them - even while dancing with an admirer! "Meow, meow!" they should say (in English "put me down, woman!"). She is madly obsessed with her cats and it doesn't end there... she even inherits her will to the cats! What would they benefit from lots and lots of money, being pets? It isn't just Madame who has this burning obsession of the cats; there's Frou-Frou the horse and even a MOUSE, for heaven's sake! Those cats are treated like and are regarded as royalty! Now I think people are too hard on the film's 'villain' Edgar the butler; he is overjoyed to hear that Madame will inherit her fortune to him - until he hears that the cats will get the money first and and poor Edgar is dismayed, especially knowing he'll die long before the family does. Like I said, how will a fortune benefit cats? He plans to catnap them and later drown them - how could he turn the idea down when it's so easy to accomplish?! Even if it is done out of greed?
He doesn't drown them thanks to the antics of a duo of hound dogs and so begins the classy Duchess and her three fiery kittens' adventure as they find their way back home. Along the way, they meet Abraham de Lasey Guisuppe Casey Thomas O'Malley, a lovable alley-cat who falls tail over heels for Duchess, two well-to-do English geese whose constant hysterical laughter never fails to cheer me up on a blue day and Abraham de Lacey Giusppe Casey Thomas O'Malley's best friend Scat Cat and his gang of alley-cats. What will Edgar do when he is dismayed to find that the cats managed to return home? You'll have to watch and find out because this movie is fun and vivacious! Full of sentiment, laughter, adventure and jazzy music... "I'm ready maestraw!" Ha ha, I find that so funny. The female kitten Marie says it and it's just such an iconic quote.
Certified U and suitable for children of all ages with no violence, sex/nudity or bad language - 100% clean!
I'm the reviewer! I'll decide when the it's the end of the review... it's the end of the review! Ha ha!
Stand by Me (1986)
"Stand by Me" is Stood by me Always!
Earlier this afternoon on Channel 5, I had the great pleasure in watching 1980s classic "Stand By Me". It was just as perilous and as adventurous as I expected and I give two thumbs up for this fantastic movie! Want specific words to describe the film; magnificent, powerful, adventurous, sometimes dark, suspenseful, American, touching and full of danger and that's what I love about the whole thing - people living dangerously; anything or anywhere humdrum ain't for me! I like living dangerously but obviously not quite as dangerously as our four leading teen-aged boys who venture forth to find the body of a dead person. I knew one of them was rather a wimp on remembering the back of a DVD cover but I can never remember the cast names as this was my first viewing but I do know that one of those boys was River Phoenix - GOD, was he gorgeous!! - who is no longer with us; dying of a drugs overdose in 1993 at a painful 23 years old.
The film runs for almost an hour and a half (100 minutes including commercials on Channel 5) and is certified 15, containing frequent moderate bad language, brief street violence and some strong threat. Sorry kids, you miss out!
Come Dine with Me (2005)
"Come dine with me?"... No way!
This is one of the most irritating, cocky, brash, exasperating TV shows ever! My mum loves it and it's just finished on Channel 4 (sarcastically) but, fear not, I'm writing this review on a Friday and tomorrow, as always on Channel 4 on a Saturday late afternoon, multiple episodes of the show are broadcast (but thankfully we're all out tomorrow and so we'll probably miss it - YIPPEE!!!
It's such a lovely idea which makes it even more of a shame that it is so god-damned ANNOYING! I feel like pulling my hair out when I so much as catch snippets of this programme and, do you know the most annoying bit of the show? DAVE LAMB!!!!!!! He never appears to know what "shut up" means nor how to! He's enormously annoying and, I'd say, what his active mouth needs is a strip of duck-tape - JUST so I can regain sanity for a little while! A very, very poor television programme which had long overstayed its welcome! I'm surprised the show saw its first month running!
Gake no ue no Ponyo (2008)
A Hans Christian Andersen fairytale retold in lush oriental beauty!
I watched this film on DVD yesterday with my sister and I fell in love with it. It's heartwarming and romantic and full of lush colours and I do hope Hans Christian Andersen will look down from the heavens upon this Japanese creation and smile with a warm heart.
The romantic leads focus on a couple of young children as opposed to "The Little Mermaid". When you see Ponyo as a "goldfish", you just want to love her and take her up in your arms and her 5-year-old human boyfriend felt nothing other than those things when he saw her. As he takes care of her, a tender romance starts to form as she requests to be human too.
What I adore about this film is that there is virtually no heartache whatsoever contained - nobody tries to separate Ponyo and her boyfriend and the importance of family is rampant.
I'm putting two thumbs up for this movie and I'd put up more if I had more than two (which would be a bit disturbing).
Toy Story (1995)
One of a kind! - the first computer-animated film and a touching story of friendship
This movie is just awesome! Bearing in mind that this was a film from 1994/95, the quality of the realistic 3D animation is stunning and what a perfect way to start a new era! Just as a new form of animation comes to life, a vast number of toys magically come to life when their child-owner Andy is out of the room. Maybe that's a true-to-life symbolisation! From the word go, every single one of those toys have become so famous and iconic. Argos (especially), Toys R Us, Amazon, Woolworths and more have never, since the film's 1995-release, been without stock of them! Like it says in the summary, it's a heart-warming story as well as a funny, super-cool movie about a pull-string ragdoll (Woody) whose popularity is short-lived as Andy gets a Buzz Lightyear action figure for his birthday as a result of new electronic toys hitting the market proving to be better than a just a ragdoll. Understandably, Woody is jealous of Buzz and can't stand his guts. He's an arrogant, self-interested toy but, more than anything else, an total, utter idiot.
All the toys have their own personalities; there's Little Bo Peep who has a soft spot for Woody, Slinky Dog who likes Woody and is very friendly, Rex the world's most IRRITATING dinosaur ever, RC, the RC who revs up and down rather than talks and then there's Mr Potato Head and he is VILE! So, so mean and frequently rude. He seems to have some kind of vendetta against Woody for no reason I can think of. Then, he creates his very own campaign to destroy Woody in order to avenge Buzz when Woody's the one who has felt lonely and unwanted for so long! You'd think it'd put children off the authentic Mr Potato Head by Playskool! Oh yes and there's one more toy I didn't mention - Lenny, the toy-sized pair of binoculars. He was voiced by Joe Ranft who contributed in the story development of "Toy Story" and is now sadly no longer on this earth. He was killed when the speed of his car went beyond control, crashed through the wall of a bridge and plunged into the river below. The Pixar team miss him terribly...
JOE RANFT 1960-2005
An Extremely Goofy Movie (2000)
Goofy! You're bang out of order!
He's learnt nothing from the original 1995-movie! When his now adult son Max sets off for a new life of independence with his pals PJ and Bobby at college, Goofy can't resist going with him! Goofy is suffering with the Empty-Nest Syndrome and this affects work, so, hey presto, he'd fired.
The point is that Max is TRYING to get away from his selfish dad but Goofy can only focus on his own relief of not suffering a year without his 'little Maxie'. At first, Max is (too) tolerant of having Goofy with him, understanding how sad he must've felt. But there are more embarrassing situations Goofy creates to humiliate his son; Gets him out of bed very early in the morning, embarrasses him in a clothes store, getting him to clean up the room with spades and just as Max offers a pretty girl a seat next to him, Goofy rushes to take it before her and Max's new-found enemy Brad offers her a seat instead! In time, Goofy gets romantically involved with the college librarian which doesn't fail to keep him out of his son's hair and does all three of them a lot of good but things soon take a turn for the worst. Max feels increasingly harassed by his obsessive father and is furious with him for beating him in the College X-Games (this wouldn't have happened if Goofy never went to the college).
"OH DON'T YOU GET IT?!! I AM TRYING TO GET AWAY FROM YOU! I'M NOT A LITTLE KID ANYMORE!! NOW JUST LEAVE ME ALONE AND GET YOUR OWN LIFE!" Goofy, if you were my dad I'd disown you! Any road, this movie shows what medicine Goofy needs for his Empty-Nest Syndrome; a woman in his life! After so long, Goofy finds getting his mind off Max less painful as he and Sylvia head off into the sunset fora new life of their own.
A Goofy Movie (1995)
It's hard to be cool - AND LIVE A LIFE - when your dad is Goofy!
The tag-line couldn't be more appropriate! It IS hard to be cool when your dad is Goofy! Lucky he's not my father or yours, eh? Poor young Max! Goofy's cool dude 14-year-old son Max will go as far as taking it upon himself to ruin a school assembly by the principal to impress his bashful girlfriend Roxanne (Principal Mazor is the principal's name - WHY???!!! Something a little more fictitious would've been better I'd say). Even when he's in big trouble with Mazor he can only think of the fact that he's failed to impress Roxanne - he thinks! She loved his dance on the stage and would love to go on a date with him!... Not if Goofy's got anything to do with it! He is completely obsessed with his son 'Maxie' as he always patronizingly calls him and whisks him away from home to go on a holiday, against Max's will! Goofy doesn't give a toss about Max and his love-life and now Max is very much likely to lose Roxanne! To the end, Goofy is totally selfish and even reduces to taking enjoyment in cruelly humiliating Max at the most worn-down theme park I've ever seen! Luckily enough, the opportunity to break free of Goofy's clutches occurs when he goes to sleep in the car and Max has the map right in front of him! Max quietly makes alterations to the map taking them both to Los Angeles where Max intends to join a famous pop-star to make for a good enough excuse for missing his date with Roxanne. What else was the poor lad supposed to do?! I'd have done the same! So when Goofy finds out about Max's plan by looking at the map himself, he is in no position whatsoever of feeling angry with his son!...
GOOFY: You lied to me! MAX: I had to - you were ruining my life!
Why should anybody have their lives being ruined?! Anyway it all ends happily because Max both builds a bond with Goofy and finally wins his girlfriend over!
The film is "Carousel" - the plot is a Roller-coaster!
You might think that with a title like "Carousel" you have a cheerful, light-hearted film - and it is in parts but other parts are tragic, sad and even violent.
It's the story of handsome but arrogant and selfish casanova Billy Bigelow (Gordon MacRae) and his developing romance with a smitten young lady called Julie but the carousel-owner Mrs Mullin is after him too (even though she looks a little too old for him). But Billy marries Julie and just when a happy ending was on its way with a baby girl, disaster strikes. When caught stealing aboard a ship Billy tries to escape resulting in a fatal accident. Both his women were at his side as he was died. Years later, his daughter has grown up and is part of a great multi-talented musical number then tragedy strikes for her; she kisses a funfair guy and everybody laughs at her. Billy was hardly a gentleman when he was alive so he has been given a single day to redeem himself and communicate with his daughter, urging her to do well in life.
The musical numbers are thoroughly outstanding; the dancers were incredible and the songs were nice but a few of them were frankly rather forgettable with no particular rhythm. I do hear that the play was longer than this movie; that's a shame, then there'd be more to the story.
"Carousel" is simply a beauty in the collection of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musicals.
Sadly, the star Gordon MacRae died of mouth-cancer and an attack of pneumonia at the not-so-old age of 64 (1921-1986).
It is certified U for Universal but does contain some mild language, violence and one distressing scene.