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Monsters, Inc. (2001)
A timeless treasure
Following in its footsteps with the making of Toy Story and Toy Story 2, Disney and Pixar have once again teamed up to produce a magical creation. Monsters, Inc. is a film that brings to life the timeless idea of monsters lurking in closets, just waiting to scare children. This movie is not dark or frightening, however it is everything contrary. It is a bright, exciting and lively depiction of monsters benefiting from the screams of children. Monsters, Inc. is one the most original movies of the year, mixing cleverness with comedy. It provides entertainment for all aged moviegoers; children, adults and families alike can enjoy a day at the movies seeing Monsters, Inc.
North by Northwest (1959)
A representation of American ideals
Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest is an adventure-thriller guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat, as well as a film with great ties to American society during the late 50's. As the cold war was in full swing in 1959, threats of world war or even a nuclear war were looming; American's were unsettled, and fear was omnipresent. Roger Thornhill of North by Northwest gave American people a sense of hope in this tense cold war era. He portrays the average man, perhaps even somewhat immature initially, who turns himself into an all-around `good American,' working to fight the spread of communism. Thornhill, along with the ideas embodied in North by Northwest, represents many American ideals at that period in time.
Pearl Harbor (2001)
Pearl Harbor is one of the better movies Hollywood has produced recently. It successfully evokes a wide range of emotions, while taking us back to that infamous day, December 7, 1941. This film induces feelings of passion, vengeance and patriotism in audiences as it portrays scenes involving action, drama, love and even some tasteful humor. It fits many a description of the essence of cinema; the entire movie is outlined principally by sex and violence. These images, however, penetrate the audience with real meaning, contrary to the shallowness some movies guided by sex and violence tend to evoke. The fact that this movie is based on an actual event in American history significantly contributes to the profound impact it has on audiences.
A Knight's Tale (2001)
A successful blend of genres
A Knight's Tale has a mixture of material that can please many types of people at all different ages. During the movie there is some action for the rough, some romance for the affectionate and some humor for the light-hearted. The film is enjoyable, with interesting twists throughout; the opening scene features medieval folks clapping and singing "We will rock you." In addition to Heath Ledger's overall lively performance, the mixture of combat, romance and comedy rounds A Knight's Tale into an exhilarating movie-going experience.
America's Sweethearts (2001)
A waste of perfectly good talent
Although I am a die-hard Julia Roberts' fan, and an advocate for most of her movies, I did not particularly enjoy America's Sweethearts. The movie progressed slowly and the plot (especially the happily-ever after romantic ending) was clichéd. Sitting in front of the screen, I could predict nearly everything that was going to happen. In addition to the commonplace story line, I found the humor to be crude and juvenile; an audience can only take so much of a dog sniffing Billy Crystal. As a whole, this movie lacks depth, and with such an all-star cast (Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Billy Crystal and John Cusack), it seems to be a waste of talent and time.
Shrek is a delight for all ages!
Shrek is a movie like no other. It stands alone in its appeal to people of all ages and in its presentation of comedy, romance, and creative story line. Shrek is a delightful comedy about a crude ogre, an energetic princess, a witty donkey and an uptight ruler. The movie has a brilliant story line, following the path of an initially moody ogre as he discovers friendship and love all in the face of hysterical comedy. The story line is layered for different levels of understanding; it is an enjoyable film for people of all ages. One clever tool Shrek uses to humor the audience is its spoof on other fairy tales. In one scene, Princess Fiona's singing causes a bluebird to explode. And in another scene, the Magic Mirror's description of Snow White is "She may live with seven men, but don't be fooled, she's not easy." While these subtle comedic lines amuse adults, it is the simple humor, such as the movie opening with the ogre sitting in a swamp "farting," that amuses children. The amazing cast of Shrek, including Eddie Murphy and Mike Myers does a great job of living up to their comedic expectations. Shrek has something for everyone; it is a great animated tale that is wonderful for adults and children alike.