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15 reviews in total 
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5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
The little movie that could, 23 April 2011

Given the length of the original novel (so long that this film adaptation is a trilogy) it's inevitable that the film can only do so much in its time frame (it doesn't show, for example, much of Hank Rearden's history). But given money and time constraints (plus the inevitable reaction left-leaning film critics will and have given it), it does extremely well. Ayn Rand's masterpiece is a tribute to the creators, the producers, the innovators--who have to weather the looters and second-handers who try to bring them down.

Any fan of big-government is sure to hate this, which makes a point against government over-regulation. In the world Rand wrote of, the likes of railroad exec Dagny Taggart, steel magnate Hank Rearden, and oil baron Ellis Wyatt are nearly perfect in their talents and dedication, but the "looters" try to bring them down (even Taggart's own brother, and Rearden's wife). In a world where oil shortages add to the general misery and railroads need to carry much of the products we use, Taggart tries to replace aging rails and equipment with highly effective Rearden Metal. Leave it to the likes of Wesley Mouch and his Washington allies to pass laws to bring her down. She can make a train run 250 mph over a solid new bridge in Colorado, but the looters call it "unsafe". The odds are against Dagny and her cohorts but how can one not feel proud when they see her brilliant train running across the beautiful countryside? The discovery of a wonder-motor could help so many people but the enemies she faces are determined to bring her down.

The casting, acting, plot, and so on are top rate. Again the only slight disappointment is that given the time constraints, much had to be left out (maybe this would have been a better bet as a TV series?) but there is still much to enjoy. WE are John Galt. Much like the story of the Little Train that could (I think I can, I KNOW I can!), this film, on and off screen, is a testament to dedication and persistence. (The film's producers say that a possible part 2 would be out in 2012, and part 3 in 2013.)

Grown Ups (2010)
2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Hot fun in the summertime, 3 July 2010

A fun summer film that is (mostly) for the whole family. A few dead spots but most scenes do click, with memorable characters, pratfalls, and sight gags. Some basketball teammates (who were about 12 in 1978) re-unite when they attend the funeral of their beloved coach. They bring their own families to a "lake house" and soon find that the free-spirited goofiness of their childhood hasn't faded, even if they are supposed to set good examples for their kids.

Filmed mostly on Boston's North Shore at Chebacco Lake in Essex MA (it was fun to see the basketball game at the end, which took place at a park quite familiar to me--home to a long running folk music festival). May-December romances and spoiled kids; "fugly"-looking teammates who father gorgeous daughters (well, two out of three...); using a bug zapper to fry bacon, and daring stunts at a water park, this film is a goofy, enjoyable romp that shows some boys who become "grown ups" but don't forget their inner kid.

5 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Good natured spoof of the Left, 16 May 2010

I was expecting it to be pretty funny. Actually it was laugh out loud hilarious! And a good positive message, too! Kevin Farley plays a Michael Moore-like director, Michael Malone. He is recruited by some terrorists to make a training film. He is haunted by ghosts such as JFK, Gen. Patton (Kelsey Grammar), the Angel of Death (Trace Adkins), and George Washington (Jon Voight). Washington shows him the church he used to pray at when New York City was the nation's capitol. Across the street...Ground Zero.

JFK shows him how we should "pay any price, bear any burden" for freedom. Patton shows him war is sometimes necessary--if we hadn't fought the Civil War, we might still have slavery! The film shows us "the Real America" and the price we have to pay for freedom. There are tons of sight gags and physical humor (think Three Stooges, or the "Airplane" films director David Zucker gave us). The film spoofs A Christmas Carol and shows the folly of Malone trying to ban July 4th. Can he learn the error of his ways? Anyone who enjoys "Airplane"-like humor will surely like it. (And stop calling me Shirley.) I wonder if liberals will attend (after all, that "evil" Bill O'Reilly is in scene shows Malone and comic "Rosie O'Connell" appearing on O'Reilly's show--and "O'Connell" unleashes a hilarious bit about Christian terrorists. Yes, we wouldn't have to go through airport security if those priests hadn't hijacked those planes!) Then there's the protest rally where the protesters can't stop repeating anything Malone says! Anything Malone says! Or the production number done by Columbia professors showing why they spread their politics to their students: so they can relive the glory days of "1968"! (Think "Hair"...)

4 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
For kids, kids at heart, and slapstick fans, 16 May 2010

Yes I did see Furry Vengeance, a couple weeks after its premiere. It got a lot of bad reviews but some middling ones and some really liked it. Yes, it's really geared for kids but I enjoyed it too. Not a huge laughfest though there were some chuckles and laughs, some predictable stuff, lots of slapstick, but I figured it'd be OK for a bargain matinée. I was partly interested because I'm a "furry" and also it was filmed near my home (in Topsfield and Beverly, MA)

Some of the animals/CGI animals looked fake but at times they seemed plausible, and there were some buggin'-out-eye moments (think the old Tex Avery cartoons). Lots of cute, mischievous raccoons, skunks, squirrels, bears, foxes, etc... did it seem like a ripoff of Over the Hedge? Yeah, but they didn't talk in this movie. They make animals noises though at times it comes close to human speech ("don't do it!," the raccoon seems to say while on the plane with Dan (Brendan Fraser) and his boss). Dan, his wife, and teen son move from Chicago to Oregon for a year and help a bigwig plan a huge housing development. The animals fight back!

Of course, there's an awww moment toward the end when the raccoon is caged and re-united with his/her(?) cubs and Dan realizes: "You were protecting your family..."

Good for bargain matinée or DVD rental, maybe.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Dogzilla, or just a huge friendly pup?, 29 November 2009

After Norman Bridwell's books and the PBS TV series came this movie about a huge red canine. As in the TV series, animals communicate with each other but humans can't understand them (though the animals can understand human speech, as when Clifford overhears the next door neighbor asking Emily Elizabeth's family why they were spending so much money on dog food). Here, Clifford and his dog pals T-Bone and Cleo decide to join a traveling carnival show of "Larry's Amazing Animals". Clifford feels bad that his family does have to spend so much money on food for him, so he runs away from home.

First when Clifford and pals arrive in the big city, they cause a panic as he strides down the streets. But he finds the carnival and they go across country to compete in a contest for a lifetime supply of food; as it turns out, a dogfood bigwig really wants Clifford to be a big pet for his daughter.

As the film moves on, Clifford is torn between continuing with the Amazing Animals or returning to Emily Elizabeth. Other than a jealous ferret named Shackleford, the animals take a liking to the huge pooch. He has to decide whether to seek fame and food, or return to the family that loves him. But Larry's Amazing Animals are a bit of a family, too.

The characters here seem more rounded and real than their flat TV counterparts. Bright colors, good use of light and shadow, and fun characters. Even an adult like me (admittedly a fan of cartoons and "giant and tiny" animals) appreciated this film. Young kids should enjoy it mostly, and it has some good positive messages.

0 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Fox(es) on the run, 26 November 2009

A lot of work went into the design and stop motion animation and a lot comes out. Mr Fox promised the wife he'd give up his wild animal ways and stick to newspaper columns, but you can't take the chicken-stealing ways out of a fox. Ultimately it leads to war with humans, and it's vulpes vulpes' ingenuity and pluck that might just give them a chance.

With a son and nephew (Ash and Kristofferson) learning to appreciate each other; a piano playing mole; Willem Dafoe-voiced security rat; Bill Murray's lawyer/badger; a fast talking rabbit chef and rabid beagles (don't forget the blueberries! Beagles love blueberries.) Visually looks great (would have to watch again to catch various in jokes, etc) and it was funny. Enjoyed.

Whistle, click-click. That's my trademark.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
An only dog meets an only boy, 14 August 2009

Superb, emotional film (with some comedic moments) about a lonely boy whose dog changes his life. We look back at our youth with both joy and sadness (the second because it can never really come back, but we do have memories). The film's score accents the period and the story.

There is also a bit of hero worship of Dink by Willie, but his idol falls short of expectations upon returning from the war.

Filmed in Canton, Mississippi (there is a museum there with film memorabilia). Jackson, Miss. native Willie Morris, the author, sadly did not live to see the premiere of this film, having died seven months before.

The Minis (2009)
5 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Little People Big Team, 3 May 2009

An inspiring tale, full of great music and some funny moments. The messages here: believe in yourself, follow your dreams, and never give up. Four dwarf men want to raise money for the son of one of the men to go to college, so they form a basketball team and get Dennis Rodman to join them. Rodman's agent (the funny Richard Portnow) encourages them, as it will improve his image and make them money. (Though of course he's not above exploiting the dwarfs for an embarrassing ad endorsement!)

There's a cow-obsessed gal from Paris (...Texas); the dwarf waitress who befriends the smallest of them, Chevy ; his Worm-ness himself, and Chevy, (Gabriel Pimental)who thinks a risky limb-lengthening operation would help him. Can this ragtag team of little guys win?

Fast paced action and catchy music enlivens the story, which is suitable for all ages.

47 out of 70 people found the following review useful:
Knock knock, whos are there, 14 March 2008

It's interesting to see a pretty big creature like Horton concerned with protecting the tiniest creatures of all...even if the others in the jungle of Nool may not believe that's he's right about all those tiny people on the speck (well, maybe Rudy, the Sour Kangaroo's son, may think he could be right...)

Lovable characters like Horton, who can be serious at times (and is truly determined) but also wild-and-crazy, full of imagination and whimsy. Like the mayor, who is determined to protect his city from the dangers they're now being exposed to (who will protect the protector? "A giant elephant, up in the sky!... Don't bother to look, he's invisible...")

Had to admit a tear--of joy--rolled down my cheek at the end. Highly recommended! The look of the film is visually stunning, and a good voice cast (CBS Radio's Charles Osgood narrates; the mayor and his wife are Steve Carrell and Amy Poehler, and Jim Carrey of course is Horton. Carol Burnett plays the sour Kangaroo. And Jesse McCartney voices JoJo, and let's just say he didn't have too many lines to remember :)

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Worth seeing for Pogo and Chuck Jones fans, 27 January 2008

This came out when I was seven but I only just saw it recently (on YouTube). It had been out on VHS but is not yet on DVD. I enjoyed seeing Kelly's characters come to life via the animation directed by Chuck Jones and Ben Washam; as for the voices, Jones himself is Bun Rab and Porky Pine and Kelly winds up doing P.T. Bridgeport, a song-and-dance-bear at the start--with June Foray just perfect as Pogo and Mlle. Hepzibah. The characters are cute and the backgrounds attractive (I feel like moving there to be with the critters!)

It's too bad more wasn't done with Pogo in animation (I have yet to see the 1980 "I Go Pogo" claymation effort).

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