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Raven_Z

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9 reviews in total 
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2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Tremendous Potential, But Somewhat of a Disappointment..., 7 February 2005

The Proud Family follows the exploits of 14 year old Penny Proud, and her group of friends and family.

This show has the potential to be a great show. Penny is an extremely likable character, being kind, smart, level-headed, and all around a good kid, with the occasional foray into juvenile idiocy. The problem emerges in the show's realism.

Penny's friends are cruel and undependable. While it's a fact that this is often how the friendships between teenage girls operate, it does not make for good television. LaCienega is snobbish and cruel to the other characters, and Dijonay is undependable, willing to sacrifice Penny for her own means at any moment. Zoe is by far the best (personality-wise) of Penny's friends, and even she leaves much to be desired.

Penny and her friends are often victimized by bullies. This is a common theme in children's shows, yet The Proud Family does nothing to educate one on what one should do if being bullied, and offers no justice. The only thing the show seems to be teaching children is that if you report bullying to an authority figure, then you're sure to be victimized even further (Which is often not the case in real life).

Adding further to the show's offences is the occasional venture into fantasy. Throughout most of the series, The Proud Family is quite settled in reality, with an extreme level of realism. However, every once in a while an episode occurs that diverges completely away from the show's internal logic, and requires a complete suspension of disbelief - for example, an episode where Al Roker begins talking to Penny through a television set.

The shows animation is beautiful, if a bit dull and lacklustre (A personal choice however, not a technical one). However, this isn't enough enough to make up for the unpleasantness of watching a show that is show severely grounded in reality (On most occasions) - there's little appeal in watching Penny be betrayed by her friends and attacked by her peers, episode after episode.

874 out of 965 people found the following review useful:
Sadly Misunderstood, 10 December 2004

South Park is one of the most misunderstood, and also the most intelligent shows on television.

South Park is a satirical look on most anything from Western society - politics, the media, today's youth, celebrities, violence in our society, and much much more. However, instead of presenting these issues as they are, they alternately project them through the exploits of four young boys in South Park, Colorado.

Unfortunately, many people take the show solely at face value, refusing to see the intelligence in it - South Park is admittedly filled with racist and sexist jokes, along with other offensive material. The problem lies within the fact that most people don't seem to understand the concept of satire and self parody.

I admit that I, myself, was one of these people - for years I refused to watch that "garbage," until finally a friend forced me to actually watch a whole episode, and I realized that the show was actually making a point.

So, if you haven't done so, go - watch an episode. You'll feel smarter when you're done.

Pocahontas (1995)
A Great Film! ...At First Glance..., 11 November 2004

Pochahontas tells the story of a Native American girl who, with her tribe, lives on the coast of the eastern United States when the British arrive in their attempts to colonize the area. Curious because of a dream she's been having lately, she follows on of the Englishmen, John Smith, and the two fall in love. They have to work together to stop a war between the native tribe and the English, caused by their bias for each other.

On the surface, this is a great Disney film. It has all the ingredients - good songs, good animation, cute love story. However, there are several issues with the film:

Firstly, and I know many of you are sick of hearing this, but the historical inaccuracies. I know that Disney makes changes to everything, and they have to - they make children's movies! If kids saw the original version of The Little Mermaid, they'd probably be horrified! But I just can't overlook how much is brushed over in this film. I'm sure most of you are aware of the true story of Pochahontas - twelve years old, kidnapped by John Smith, carried back to England where she died of TB on the day she was supposed to leave and go back to North America, etc etc etc. I completely understand that Disney couldn't very well make *that* into a movie, but yet, every time I watch Pochahontas, the actually history plays in the back of my head.

But hey, it's a kids movie. They don't know this stuff.

My other problem is that Pochahontas is the start of the downfall of Disneys classic animation. You can see obvious cracks in what used to be fantastic films, and Pochahontas is the beginning of that. The songs, while great, feel forced in this movie - you sit there and question why they're just singing in the woods. Previous Disney movies pulled off the songs without you wondering such thing. Then there's the storyline.

While Pochahontas would definitely be considered "Classic Disney," particularly in comparison to animated toons they're producing today (Not all bad, but definitely different!), it has a definitive "feel" which separates it from it's predecessors. My only explanation is the seriousness of the plot. While all previous Disney films had serious issues going on in their plots, they still remained lighthearted. "Pochahontas" has to rely on a raccoon and a humming bird to provide the occasional comedic relief. For the rest of the film, you have America's predominantly white population having to watch about how their ancestors were murderers, and apparently cared about nothing more than gold (A generalization I didn't appreciate. While I understand that what the Europeans did to North America's natives was horrible, I find it hard to believe that every single person coming out of Europe had a cash register for a heart, and didn't care about the land at all). I'm not denying the validity of the topic, but it's a bit too heavy material for kids.

I like "Pochahontas." While not being one of my all-time favourites, it's still a dang good Disney film, and it will always be considered a classic. However, this film can be plotted as the exact moment when the face of Disney began to change, and thus started it's relial on computer animation as opposed to classic, hand-drawn animation.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A Show of What Life is Really About, 15 October 2004

The Drew Carey Show was a fantastic show - possibly because I could identify with it. Normally, I'm not a huge fan of sitcoms (and ABC sitcoms at that!), but for some reason, this one just clicked. This wasn't like the Friends crew, who sat around in their beautiful clothes, with their impossible-to-own apartments. Instead, these were just regular, slightly-funnier-than-average guys. They were us!

Now, apparently the later seasons of the show really began to stink. I wouldn't know, because I wasn't even aware that it was on the air anymore! I honestly had no idea that it was still running, after around 2000. This can be attributed to ABC's incompetency, as usual mishandling one of it's more popular shows.

ABC's theme seems to be, "Hey! This show has potential! Let's not advertise it! We'll just see how it does all on it own...and, to sweeten the deal, let's change timeslots every other week!"

And so, the Drew Carey Show didn't stand a chance. Luckily, it's now being aired in reruns on FOX, who are slightly less sporadic than ABC for jostling their time schedules. Watch it if you get the chance.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Amy Poehler - Weekend Update, 10 October 2004

To be honest, I'm disappointed in Amy Poehler's new spot on Weekend Update. It's not that I don't like her, but she's too nervous, and seems to spend most of her time just emulating Tina Fey. But hey, it's only the second episode - she might find herself.

Personally, I think they should have used Fred Armisen, who is really funny, but still relatively unknown. Finesse Mitchell might've done well too, or Jeff Richards (Except SNL axed him!). I think all of them would have tried to do things a little different, just to prove themselves, and I think the results may have been good.

Oh well, who knows?

"Downtown" (1999)
6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Yet Another Show Falls Prey to MTV Idiocy, 26 July 2004
10/10

Downtown is the story of nerdy, toy-boy Alex, and his adventures while living in his first apartment in downtown New York. While having a rather unexciting job in a copy store, his life is frequently made more exciting by his wild partying sister Chaka, who often takes advantage of Alex's apartment to crash after clubbing. Also wandering in and out of his life is his despondent best friend Jen, his dream goth-girl Serena, disgusting ladies-man Goat, and Chaka's squad of high school friends - dreamy Mecca, tagger Matt, and wannabe Casanova Fruity.

A truly one-of-a-kind show, Downtown has been overlooked and under-appreciated since it's creation. As usual, MTV cancelled one of it's best shows after only one season, so it has sadly faded into obscurity. I'd advise you to grab any opportunities to see this show that come up.

18 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
A Truly Under-appreciated Show, 24 July 2004

Undergrads follows the life of "Nitz" Walsh during his first year in state university. The camera focuses not only on Nitz, however, but also on his three friend from high school - Nitz's roommate, the clueless womanizing Cal, drunken frat boy attending community college Rocko, and antisocial elitist Gimpy, who attends "Teckerson Tech."

All of these characters are funny and likable, and are only enhanced by the supporting characters - "The Dougster," the helpless loser RA, Jesse, Nitz's new sarcastic friend, Gimpy's legion of loyal followers, and of course, Kimmy - Nitz's long-time crush from high school, whom he followed to SU.

Undergrads is a show to be loved and cherished, not only because it's a funny, quirky cartoon, but also because of it's realism. Undergrads is, ironically, far more realistic than shows such as Dawson's Creek and Felicity, which is often parodied on the show - it deals with many of the real experiences students go through in university, everything from having to deal with the student loans people to the infamous "Freshman 15."

Sadly enough, Undergrads is an amazing show with incredible potential - meaning MTV canceled it. Like other priceless gems such as Downtown and Clone High, Undergrads was canceled after the first season, leaving only thirteen precious episodes. My advice - watch this show whenever the opportunity comes up, and by all means, buy the DVD.

A Disappointment to Die-hards, 21 June 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers within.

What can I say? I've only seen this film once, so I'll have to see it as least once more to fully judge it, but so far, it's been a disappointment.

I'm well aware of the difficulties of converting a novel to film, but the mistakes made in this movie were novice, and often made no sense. Why on earth is it that a book which is longer than the first two has a shorter film? Logically, one would expect it to be somewhat longer, if not greatly.

Instead, PoA is the shortest film, and it's obvious by the amount of information that is left out and jumbled up. Things are rarely given time to develop, and information is instead suddenly given with no apparent reason, making it awkward for the actors.

Most surprisingly, things are often changed for absolutely no reason. For example, the scene in the book in which Harry, Ron, and Hermione overhear a discussion about Sirius Black and James Potter in the Three Broomsticks is now changed to Harry sneaking in with his invisibility cloak - Ron and Hermione are left outside, because they're "underage." The information given in this scene is incredibly jumbled, and I found it difficult to understand. For a person who has never read the book, it is likely even more confusing.

The relationship between Black, Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, and James Potter is never really explained, and nor is any explanation of their abilities as animagi given. Worst of all, no explanation is given for the significance of Harry's stag Patronus.

Quidditch is given little air-time in this movie - the one movie in which it should have been given the most. Oliver Wood fails to appear in his last year at Hogwarts, and the only match seen is the one in which Harry is attacked, not when they win the Quidditch cup. Joining Oliver Wood on the missing list is Cederic Diggory and Cho Chung, both of whom become important characters later.

Most disappointing is the scene in the Shrieking Shack. The reason why they're in the Shrieking Shack is never given. The scene in the Shrieking Shack was the perfect moment for the confusing information from the rest of the movie to be sorted out, with Sirius and Lupin cooly explaining themselves. Instead, the entire scene consists of some yelling, wand waving, and Harry attacking Snape for no apparent reason.

The acting in this film is fine - albeit somewhat awkward with all of the information the actors are expected to drop in a random conversation. However, for the first time, I'm disappointed with the choice of actor for a character. While Emma Thompson plays Sybil Trelawney perfectly, David Thewlis disappointed me as Remus Lupin. I found he looked nothing like I pictured him, and his acting was too forceful for the constantly quiet-and-ill Lupin. Also disappointing is the presence of Snape and McGonagall in this film - or lackthereof. Both almost completely fail to appear.

While this film constantly has a confusing element within it, due to poor scriptwriting, even more confusing is how the Hogwarts grounds changed from their appearance in the first two films to the hilly mountains they are in this one. Did Hogarts suddenly change location without notifying the rest of us?

Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban isn't a BAD movie, but it's not the greatest either. By far the worst of the three Harry Potter books now on film, PoA is hurt by the director's attempt to cram the longest of the books so far into the shortest of films. It would have done better to have instead made PoA an incredibly long film - the number of children who went to Titanic proves that youth doesn't mean you can't withstand a long film.

Let's just hope that the Goblet of Fire is put into two films, just for accuracies sake.

9 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
A Bit Brainless, But Still a Good Watch..., 3 June 2004

The First Wives Club, while being an amusing flick, should not and can not be compared to the novel of the same name. As a matter of fact, some of the problems many people have with the film virtually disappear in the novel.

Annie Paradise, played by Diane Keaton, is far more annoying on screen than on page. In the film, Annie is anxious, neurotic, and just plain wimpy, in comparison to the novel Annie who happens to be quiet, and somewhat "over-nice." While many find that this film is disturbingly feminist, Annie's actions are far more forgiving in the novel, which has an array of background characters which Annie's husband exploit (While in the movie, all that he does is marry her therapist). This is completely forgotten in the screenplay, where Annie's family of two sons, and a daughter with Down's Syndrome, is now whittled down to one daughter, Chris the Lesbian. One can hardly blame Annie for her actions in the novel, where Aaron Paradise, her ex-husband, favors one son and forgets the other, can never accept his handicap daughter, and steals all of her trust fund and gambles on the stock market, losing it. In the film, she just appears to be an embittered woman.

Bette Midler's character of Brenda remains very similar in personality, but very different in sexuality. Her children too, get an overhaul in the novel's transition to film, but since none make much of an appearance in either, this is irrelevant. In the novel, however, Brenda's money problems are much greater, and her anger with Morty who "welsched" on her is so great that there's not much of a chance of her wanting to get back together with him -- besides the fact that in the novel, he's in prison, and Brenda realizes, albeit somewhat late in life, that's she's a lesbian. Instead, she gets together with her feminist lawyer who helps her take on Morty.

Elise Elliot, played by Goldie Hawn, is the most shocking change of character. Elise Elliot of the film is shallow, vain, and out of work because of her impending age. Elise Elliot (Atchison) of the novel is down-to-earth, classy, intelligent, and battling to enjoy her life while still following her mother's advice of how a wealthy heiress should live. Bill, her husband, commits crimes that are minor compared to the other Wives' husbands - as one of the richest women (by inheritance) in the world, she only asked that Bill would try to give her as normal of a life as possible. Instead, her cheated on her multiple times. Elise gets involved in Bill's downfall very little, however, and he brings it upon himself by falling in love with a self-destructive young woman named Phoebe.

While I enjoy both the movie and the book, the comparison is depressing. The film is filled with self-righteous feminism, and is the story of three women who can't seem to handle the fact that their marriages have now ended -- and all men appear to be pigs. The novel is intelligent and funny, and the women only bring justice to their husbands, letting "the punishment fit the crime." Also, in the novel, how a person acted depended on who they were, not their sex. All three Wives find love in new men (or in Brenda's case, women).

While watching the First Wives Club, one must remember to take all of it's actions with a grain of salt - it is merely an exaggeration of an idea. The novel is one of justice, and an excellent account of the lives of "WASPs" in New York -- don't blame it for how it's been adapted.