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As someone who was a young girl during the heyday of "The Little Mermaid", "Beauty and the Beast", and "Aladdin", I have a soft spot for the type of movie that the beginning of "Enchanted" looks like. As someone who grew from a young girl to an adult watching the likes of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (the TV show, not the movie) and reading "Wicked", I also have a soft spot for movies, books, whatever that are willing to change the formula. So it's only natural that I really enjoyed "Enchanted".
The story is a smart one that plays on fairy tale archetypes, showing how dusty some of them are, like the whole meeting and marrying in what seems like a day to live happily ever. It also shows how life might be a little better if we took some lessons from the fairy tales when it comes to love, at least in our declarations of it.
Some have been unhappy with the story that Narissa (Susan Sarandon) has, but there's only so much film that can be made and since this is a movie for children, there has to be something that's black and white.
The performance that sticks out the most is Amy Adams. Every note is pitch perfect. She never plays Giselle with a knowing wink to the audience. She IS a princess come to life, until she's been in the world enough to move into that 3rd dimension character-wise.
Overall, an enjoyable movie for everyone, well except for young boys who don't like princess-y stuff.
American Dragon: Jake Long (2005)
Disney needs help
All that I can say about this show is that the programming execs really need to look at what they are putting out. The concept of a teen aged boy getting/discovering mystical powers had already been done, and far better, by "Danny Phantom." The characters come off overly caricatured, especially Grandpa and Trixie. What were they thinking when they gave Trixie that voice??? The only positive thing about this show is the Huntsman who offers a little mystery to the proceedings. Still he's not enough for me to watch and he obviously wasn't enough for Disney fans either. Maybe fans of Disney shows should write and tell them that they want shows like what Disney had in 2000 or 2001, when quality seemed to be more important than quantity.
Barry Lyndon (1975)
I saw this movie for the first time when I was 12. I found it drab, dull, boring, pointless, and any number of adjectives meaning boring. The only things that stuck in my head was the use of Handel's "Sarabande" and that I felt that Bullingdon was poorly treated. Recently I saw the movie again. What a difference nine years makes! The story was much more comprehensible and felt rather like "Tom Jones" without the convoluted ending. I particularly enjoyed the setting of late 18th- early 19th century Ireland. The story reads like an 18th century novel, in fact besides Thackeray's 19th century novel there are dozens of novels that follow the rises and falls of the scapegrace lads. There was only one disappointment with watching it again and that was finding that Bullingdon was really a pain in the butt. Chalk my feelings of sympathy up to some weird thing for Leon Vitale.
There is one thing that this movie excels in and that is music. The way that Handel's "Sarabande" weaves its way in and out of the last 30 minutes of the film is truly beautiful. It can create tension or simply convey a stately grace. There is also the constant use of Schubert's Piano Trio, if I am not mistaken, which lends a feeling of continental refinement. Kubrick may have had some trouble connecting the audience with his films, but his matching music with what is on screen is unparalleled in my mind.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
I have tried desperately to like this movie. I have been told over and over again by my parents how ground-breaking the special effects were and how mind-blowing the whole movie was. I can see how the effects were amazing, given that they don't look cheap and shoddy even today. Still, a movie ,where the first words don't happen until roughly 25 minutes into the movie, is making a huge mistake. The plot is incomprehensible. I turned around and asked my dad what had happened when the movie finished. There is only one thing that comes even close to saving this movie and that is the perfect marriage that is "Also Sprach Zarathustra" and the discovery of bone as a weapon. Still, nothing can save the movie not the music and not HAL.
Center Stage (2000)
Incredible Dancing....the rest un-incredible
Ballet movies are incredibly rare. Some are good movies even without the dancing and some are bad with great dancing. This movie happens to be an ok movie with incredible dancing. The characters are really caricatures with exaggerated behaviors that come off feeling very afternoon teen special-ish. The plot is incredibly predictable. You can tell what's going to happen to Jody after the first 15 minutes. However, this movie is lucky enough to have no less than three ABT members in its cast. Ethan Steifel is of course arguably the greatest male dancer in the world right now and while I was watching him I was struck with how similar he is to Baryshnikov. His every move looks effortless and gravity-defying. Sascha Radetsky shows that if he was with any other company that he'd be a principal dancer. Julie Kent should prove to be a mixture of Leslie Browne and Gelsey Kirkland and be an inspiration to another generation of girls. Amanda Schull shows a great deal of promise which really shows in the last number. Zoe Saldana is very good and is perhaps the most complex character. She carries off this acting job adequately. Susan May Pratt is of course the only non-dancer who is also lacking in any dance experience. It's actually kind of ironic that her character has to be the most technically accomplished of the students. However, she looks as natural in the environment as do her fellow dancer co-stars. The final dance sequences are amazing. One includes Rachmaninov's "2nd Piano Concerto" and is a beautiful piece. The other ballet is one that illustrates where ballet is heading. Full of flashy colors, flashy costumes, and effects, the sequence also includes some fabulous dancing. As long as you watch it for the dancing, this movie will please you. If you watch it as a movie than you'll be disappointed.
This is one of about five shows that I try and make sure that I watch every week. While the reality craze continues on, this show offers more twists and turns in a single episode than "Survivor" has in an entire season. The acting is top notch and I sincerely hope that if the show does end in the next month or so that all the actors find roles and acting jobs worthy of their skill. The writing is incredible with pop culture references thrown in and an overall sense of whimsy in even the darkest hour. I've often wanted to write a review, but have held back feeling that I wouldn't be able to fully encompass the genius of this show, but with the cancellation I want to get people interested. Most people I know fell for the show the same way that my family did, we watched an episode and thought that it was kind of dumb, but by the third episode we were hooked. The characters are fully drawn so that even Rygiel can be loved, despite his tendency to be the one who causes all of the problems. The story is labyrinthine, but is understandable with patience and is well worth it because soon enough you come to care for the characters as if you knew them. The look of the show is incredible and I would argue looks better than Star Trek, much more real and modern. It deserves more than the cult status given it because it's Sci-Fi because it's more than Sci-Fi. It's about one man's desire to get home something that we've been grappling with since Homer's "Odyssey." Watch this show and you'll learn that there is a real human truth to it, despite it's rather alien appearance.
Elizabeth is not a factual movie. For example, the Spanish ambassador at the time was De Feria and not De Quadra. However, I think that the movie is an accurate portrayal of the character of Elizabeth. She was a strong woman, but as likely to make mistakes because of her youth and relative inexperience with statecraft. The movie captures this perfectly and her character is brought brilliantly to light by Cate Blanchett, who was robbed of the 1998 Oscar. Geoffrey Rush and Richard Attneborough bring a seasoned hand to the production and Joseph Fiennes and James Frain offer new talents in the English acting world. I also enjoyed the use of music especially the anachronistic use of Elgar and Mozart, mainly because I think that the pieces are a perfect fit. This isn't a movie for everyone, but if you love history, intrigue, romance, or just good movie this is an excellent choice.
Amadeus is my favorite movie of all time. I spent much time deliberating this after my dad declared that "The Fellowship of the Ring" was his favorite movie of all time. I love this movie because I love music more than anything, except for books. The music in this film is the most magnificent ever written and if "The Marriage of Figaro" doesn't make you cry than another piece surely will. The acting is simply phenomenal. Tom Hulce is amazing as Mozart and every other performance he does is shaped by this one. I even love the laugh. Still, the best performance is F. Murray Abraham's with his ability to go from madness to utter lucidity in one line. The costumes are amazing and some day if I can I want to design my house like the apartment of the Mozarts. A perfect story, even with the historical inaccuracies, and my pick for the best movie ever made!
Tottoko Hamutaro (2000)
Chicka Chicka, Remember I'm a Ham!!!!
The fact that I watched this show in the first place is enough to show how anime deprived I am. After months and months of only DBZ on Toonami, the Cartoon Network got this show. The concept is easy to understand hamsters who meet during the day while their owners are wherever. The concept also shows that this is not a show that will likely attract "Cowboy Be Bop" fans. However despite my original misgivings, I find the show to be absolutely charming. It's more like American cartoons than most anime and doesn't have the rough fighting that is the hallmark of most anime series at least those that make it dubdom in the US. The show will be well liked by little kids though I forsee that hamsters will be one popular Christmas present this year for Hamtaro viewers. I also like that several of the best voice actors found in anime are voicing this show such as Brad Swaile and Ted Cole. Anyone under the age of 8 should love this show and anime fans should enjoy seeing a different style of anime,
From Hell (2001)
Where exactly would you catalogue this?
I've always had an interest in Jack the Ripper, mostly because the fact that he was never caught could allow my imagination to make all sorts of assumptions. So, I looked forward to seeing this movie. I wasn't very much disappointed. It offered a truly horrible theory on not only who Jack the Ripper was, but why he was murdering the "unfortunates." The historical inconsistencies don't hurt the movie much. If you want the historical truth than go and watch a documentary on Jack the Ripper. The acting is spotty in the cases of Heather Graham and Johnny Depp as are their accents. The rest of the cast is better. I did find Jason Flemyng's character quite a contrast to the others that I've seen him play and if anyone who has watched "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister" will find Mark Dexter's character quite a change. However, the look and feel of the film is superb! The dark and shadowy corners make one feel that Jack the Ripper could be anywhere. I also liked the look because it portrayed a side of Victorian life that is often overlooked! All in all a good film if you want a creepy night of fun.