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Just Like Heaven (2005)
Ravishing... Very fine.
This film makes a really fine treat for everyone. It's naturally engaging and is one of those romantic comedies that truly stand out.
With a simple story and a strong chemistry between Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo, nothing could go wrong. I think this will help workaholics to stop for a moment and take time to reflect on the beauty of life. It could also give a new hope for people who lost their love to rediscover it when the right time comes. The cinematography is stunning. I thought the garden is ravishing and projects a sense of magic.
"Just Like Heaven" will ultimately land a spot in my list of favorite movies (alongside other romantic comedies I enjoy like "Sleepless in Seattle", "Only You" and "Forget Paris").
Marie Antoinette (2006)
A ball full of royalty fun
For a film that revolves around a well-known figure in historical records, Marie Antoinette does deliver a sense of uniqueness. Now we've read a large number of negative critics surrounding Sofia Coppola's newest project on the media, including the fact that it flopped in its Cannes premiere. I thought it was going to be just another biography film. But as a die-hard moviegoer, I never let any review drag me away from seeing a film. So I did give this movie a go when it was screened in the cinema as part of the 8th Jakarta International Film Festival. Guess what? It was stylistically done that it became a personal favorite!
So everyone knew about the youngest queen in the history of France who drowned herself in a world of luxurious living and who later committed a crime of treason, which then led to her execution and the downfall of Versailles. This is a re-telling of her life story with a refreshing take. While many critics are not satisfied with the dense plot of the film, I think I understand Coppola's vision. Yes, the movie may not be the best one of 2006. It lacks historical and political perspectives, which are crucial elements that provide strong background information about that era. Yet I believe it wasn't what the director intended to do. All she wanted was to show the main character from a personal point of view, which is why the Antoinette portrayed in the film resembles a typical young woman who enjoys what life has offered her and sometimes she loses track in its complexities, leading her into the world of gambling, drinking and affairs which are incontrollable. This makes her more humane and close enough to real life.
While there's more to be told after Louis XVI, Marie and their children left the house, I guess this is for the message to be clearly conveyed: that you can lose everything you possess if you can't take control of them. In addition, the reason is probably to show the story from a lighter side while getting rid of the darker thematic elements.
It may seem silly to historians who demand a serious, accurate depiction of the main character. But accuracy is way beyond the filmmakers' mind while making the movie, and what's left is a unique interpretation of Antoinette. Combined with Kirsten Dunst's all-out performance, a series of rocking 80's music and vintage props, what could possibly go wrong? It's actually an interesting cross-over.
Yes, this is like an over-the-top French biographical film with a Hollywood twist. Weak screenplay? A lot of people said so. But sometimes we forget there's more to a movie besides the story. Pay attention to the brilliant, colorful cinematography, music video-like angles and fancy costumes. What you get is a total gem and a ball full of royalty fun. Oops! Don't forget the yummy cakes, too.
Brother Bear (2003)
An instant classic in the tradition of "Bambi"!
Finally, Disney's back with the original 2D animation style in this heart-warming new film...and that's what I've always been expecting from future Disney releases, although I know I'm most likely to be let down, since the company declared to completely concentrate with 3D style soon enough. But there's no point in giving up too fast.
The message of "Brother Bear" is simple yet substantial: it's all about brotherhood and the need to accept others just the way they are. When his oldest brother Sitka (D.B. Sweeney) is killed by a grizzly bear, Kenai's (Joaquin Phoenix) hatred towards bears rises to its maximum. So he manages to hunt the bear down and kill it. He does succeed. However, at the same time, he's magically transformed into the animal he mostly despise! To return to his human form, Kenai must travel to a mountain 'where the light touches the earth', as instructed by the shaman of his tribe, Tanana (Joan Copeland). While he's on his way, he's accompanied by a spunky, cute bear cub named Koda (Jeremy Suarez), and it was then that Kenai realized how everyone needs to be loved no matter what they look like. Together, both Kenai and Koda must overcome the dangers they face along the journey, including the ongoing threat from Denahi (Jason Raize), Kenai's other brother, who's hunting them down because he mistakes Kenai for the bear who took away Sitka's life.
Believe me, this film is worth your money. Even if you're not a major fan of Disney movies, you're going to love this. All the emotions and the funny moments as well as a great degree of spectacular animation are captured here, which makes "Brother Bear" an instant classic in the tradition of "Bambi". In addition, the two moose brothers, Rutt and Tuke (voiced by comical actors Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas) make interesting sidekicks.
For those of you who haven't seen the movie, I urge you to give it a shot. It's everything that makes a wonderful Disney experience. Your satisfaction is totally guaranteed!
Shake, Rattle and Rock! (1994)
Rock 'n' roll is here to stay!
In my opinion, this is a simple yet enjoyable movie filled with rock 'n' roll and swinging tunes of the 60's. A "fresh" alternative for those who are chilling at home with their friends and are longing to see a standard comedy. Definitely worth checking out for fans of Renee Zellweger.
Though it's not far away from clichés, it's still fun enough to watch. Just take it as it is and don't expect too much from it, knowing it's a typical "feel-good" movie. So relax, take off your shoes, grab a comfy sofa, and start watching. There's a special appearance by Paul Anka, in case you didn't notice.
This is what Disney sequels should be like!
A lot of Disney sequels nowadays are a HUGE let down to the original classics. But `Scamp's Adventure' is one of the exceptions. The moment that I first saw the trailer in the "Little Mermaid II: Return To the Sea" DVD, I had a feeling that I was gonna enjoy this movie. I was so excited for it to come out. So when "SA"'s finally released, I wouldn't wanna miss the chance to buy it and watch it at home. And guess what? I DID like this movie! It kinda reminds you that no matter how much you are longing for freedom and discover the world outside on your own, home is always where the heart is, and your family could've been (and should've been) the one you turn to in the end, 'cause they're "always there to catch you when you're falling".
Though it could improve more on the dialogue, I am completely satisfied with the film. It's packed with great storyline, rich animation, fun-loving characters (whether old or new), excellent voice talents, and unforgettable songs. I think Scott Wolf is great in playing the mischievous Scamp, and Alyssa Milano fits perfectly as Angel. So are the other actors. I love all the songs, including the "Junkyard Society Rag" one, "I Didn't Know That I Could Feel This Way", and "Always There".
All in all, 10/10 for "SA"! This is what Disney sequels should be like. Well done! One thing though...Why is Lady sorta left out with only a few lines to deliver?
Lady and the Tramp (1955)
An all-time classic favorite!
"Lady and the Tramp" is indeed one of my all-time favorite Disney movies. I just love every single bit of it! The story, the characters, the music, the stunning animation style...everything is amazingly done!
This is exactly what today's Disney flicks have been lacking- they don't recapture the spirit and magic of the original Disney masterpieces like this movie and the other Disney classics such as "Bambi", "The Aristocats", and "The Fox and the Hound", except for contemporaries like "The Lion King", "Toy Story", "Tarzan", "Beauty and the Beast", and "Mulan", which are still well-set up.
Okay, back to "Lady and the Tramp". This movie deserves ten out of ten stars, and those of you who haven't seen it yet have gotta watch it. It's not presented only for the youngsters, but also for those who are young at heart. If you really enjoy it as much as I do, don't miss the astounding follow-up to the original in the delightful "Scamp's Adventure"!