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The Exorcist (1973)
Watch it at night (possible spoilers)
I first saw a cut-for-TV version. Half the scary stuff was edited out and I saw it during the day, so it had no effect on me. I could see why it was scary, but it just was not scary itself.
Then a few nights ago, I had the opportunity to watch the uncut version. It was scary, but I had to stop it halfway through (Dad made me--he wanted to watch another video) so I watched the rest of it the next morning, so I came to this conclusion: Watch it at night, because during the day, it's not as scary.
Disneyland: Sunday Drive (1986)
OK...not the best movie ever, but if you are willing to endure 1986 TV production and Hillary Wolf's extremely romantic ideals about love (not to mention poetry worse than that written in the book "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"), you might get something out of it.
Wolf is Christine, one of two kids who are accidentally kidnapped when Paul Sheridan (Ted Wass) mistakes a car for his own identical one. Same keyholes and everything.
Sheridan is on his way to an interview when he pulls over at a roadside eatery. At the same place is the aforementioned identical car, driven by William and Joan Franklin (Tony Randall and Audra Lindley) on a Sunday Drive (gaah...too many history questions to last me this one movie). Christine is their niece, and she has a brother, John Elliot. Christine and John Elliot hide under a blanket in the back seat, while Sheridan's dog Bud (a German Shepherd) is under an identical blanket--also in the back seat. So naturally the cars get mixed up. Added to the mix is Franny (Carrie Fisher), a woman Paul picks up in order to get her to Australia (she has to catch a boat, and her broken-down car was robbed--talk about an emergency!). You can guess what happens next.
Might be clichéd, but I didn't mind it at all.
Is it just me or have all the previous comments been penned by Aussies?
Anyhow, I watched this film expecting to see cell animation. I was rather surprised when instead I got a computer-animated movie. And, although a little choppy (I never noticed that in any previous CGI films, so I'm bringing it up here) there are some nice visuals. Oh, and yes, there is a story.
The story is that Alice, the youngest person ever to go into space, is propelled forwards through time. She crashes in Lapland, and is rescued by Ewan and a stewardess robot we know as "Maria".
Anyhow, the thing spins off into a convoluted plot involving Alice's son Nero and a freedom fighter. But who is the enemy? Is it Nero or is it the fighter known as Nikolai? I'm not going to tell here.
All I'm going to say is: look for the video. I just don't know whether or not it's available
The Worst Witch (1986)
Remarkably faithful show
I read part of the book in Grade 2. Then I saw the series only recently. Naturally, I couldn't resist seeing the movie. After a somewhat slow start, I found the movie to be somewhat enjoyable.
Now i have finally read the books and I must say this movie is the most faithful adaptation yet.
What happens (for those who haven't bothered to click the "plot summary" link for the entry) is this: Mildred Hubble has always been an underachiever at Cackles Academy. And when she gets a tabby cat instead of the standard black cat, she finds herself on the receiving end of teasing from Ethel Hallow (the highest-ranking first year). So she turns Ethel into a pig. After being reverted to human form, Ethel vows revenge. And Mildred gets selected for her class's Hallowe'en presentation...in front of none other than the Grand Wizard (aka non other than the great Tim Curry). SO Mildred is disgraced, Cackles is disgraced and it's about to be taken over anyhow.
And I have just given away the entire plot of the movie, without actually giving away any spoilers.
The plot also appears in episodes 3, 4 and 5 of the Worst Witch TV series (however it is altered--now Ethel's adventures as a pig include a trip to the farm and that part plays out as a separate story).
It's an excellent kids show, based on a still-enjoyable book series. However, one wonders why they didn't make movies of "Worst Witch Strikes Again" and "A Bad Spell For The Worst Witch"
Kurogane Communication (2002)
Well, I didn't enjoy this anime too much originally but it did pick up towards the end of the first DVD. And since then, it has been growing on me.
Basically, Haruka has survived a war that bombed the rest of the world to bits. She is cared for by by Spike (the young boy type of robot), Trigger (a bad trigger-happy robot), Cleric (a mentor, the Japanese version calls him "Cleric-sensei"), Angela (a mysterious human-hating warrior) and Reeves (the meanest-looking robot ever to wear a frilly pink apron).
The mysterious warrior Angela is probably the most interesting of the lot, on this show's small scale.
And although the DVD I have says "13 up", there's little I would stop a kid from seeing. Sure, there's some nudity, but in all three cases it's very brief and nothing is shown. Then again, I have only seen the first volume and I have no idea what's in the second or third.
Honey, I Shrunk the Audience (1994)
How DID they do the mice?
As basically all posts have said, this is a pure fun 3D movie. Basically you are entreated to a ceremony at the Imagination Institute, honouring Wayne Szalinski for his inventions. And he is asked to demonstrate his famous shrinking ray by shrinking some luggage. Unfortunately, the ray goes out of control and it shrinks you. Before you get shrunk, however, there are some gags which involve duplicates of mice that will have the youngsters freaked (and the rest of us wondering exactly how it was done).
Rick Moranis is, of course, in top form as the inventor he originated.
If you get the chance to see this, don't miss out.
I last saw this show when I was 10, and it was an interesting game show. What happened was Eden Gaha (never really watched Scott McRae) would show his contestants something on the Vidiot Screen (I don't think it was called that, but it was a screen with the word VIDIOT) and then ask questions about whatever was shown.
Compared with today's Aussie kids' game shows like Download, this is a classic (it had questions I couldn't answer, so therefore...)
Darkside Blues (1994)
This is a movie that starts AND ends in the middle, at the expense of those who came in in the middle
This is going on my list of movies that I want people to avoid. No way am I ever going to recommend it.
Basically, this character called Darkside comes in to a 1984-style Tokyo through a hole in the ground, causing...umm...errm.....ahh...ummm....some things to happen. None of it is fully explained. However, unlike 2001 and Blair Witch 2, where some of the appeal comes from the unexplained, this movie is a confusing waste of time.
We are given potentially interesting stuff that just sits there inert for the whole movie. Never once do we hear a basic explanation of the impact that bad dreams have on our life. And we'd like to. And what on earth does it have to do with the movie? Nobody knows, and by the end of the movie, nobody cares.
Watch Evangelion instead. At least that can be explained.
I have seen all 6 episodes of the series, and while it is childish and rather cheesy (look at the special effects for Zoetrope 366's suit in the hypertime scenes) it still managed to offer a bit of fun.
The story for this episode is that 25th-century scientist Irwin 1138 has invented the Nullifier, a machine capable of...well, something large scale. If it wasn't large-scale, he wouldn't bother scattering it all over time and space. Anyhow, this rival scientist called Zoetrope 366 (apparently a reference to George Lucas, just like Irwin 1138/THX 1138) steals the coordinates and Irwin is forced to pursue him through to 1994, where the first piece is kept.
Here, young Josh Kirby enters the story. Until now, his only excitement has been racing his bicycle to school. But when he finds a glass bone in his dog's kennel, he suddenly ends up joining Irwin and magical creature Prism on a journey to ancient England, where he has to get the second Nullifier piece. Unfortunately, some weird disturbance has dinosaurs in England...
Not TOO bad. This is probably the best one of the lot.
Still very smurfy.
I used to watch the Smurfs back when I was at least 5. And the appeal of the show hasn't dimmed. BTW: I'm 18 now.
Recently I read (or should I say "smurfed"?) one of the original Belgian comics, "L'Oeuf et les Schtroumpfs" ("The Smurfs and the Egg", where a giant egg begins to grant wishes), which also featured "Le Centième Schtroumpf" ("The 100th Smurf", where Vanity's mirror creates a new Smurf) and "Le Faux Sctroumpf" ("The False Smurf", where Gargamel disguises himself as a Smurf). And I enjoyed them all, despite the fact that they were in French (a language I studied in school)
And the cartoon is still a "smurfy" cartoon. Worthy of a smurf next time it comes on.