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James and the Giant Peach (1996)
Roald Dahl's weakest to date.
A British orphan's, James Henry Trotter, dreams of emigrating to New York City are scuppered when his parents are killed surprisingly by a rhinoceros who appears 'from nowhere'. As a result, he is forced to live with his two spiteful aunts, Spiker & Sponge, who treat him like a labourer and feed him very bad food. One day, James receives a peach from a mysterious stranger. He explores the inside and enters in a strange world, which may lead to his dreams coming true again. James & The Giant Peach is based on Roald Dahl's weakest novel. Tim Burton and Henry Sellick's film adaption is a larger disappointment compared to the book. I, of course, mean no offence to them as their other films, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline prove a lot better than this garbage. Here are the reasons why James & The Giant Peach is toxic. What you, as a viewer, are analysing as you watch the film is a synopsis which is exactly the same as in the novel; completely random, lost and quite frankly, dumb. There is no reason why a rhino would eat a human being (or two as shown in the film), and in England as well. I'd probably understand if it was from a zoo, but that's where the characters belong. This brings me onto the next bad point; the acting. It is abysmal. There are too many repeated lines i.e. the aunts stating, 'Work, work, work' and lines such as 'How dare you disagree' said over and over again. Anybody who writes a screenplay needs to think carefully about the dialogue you use. Joanna Lumley was so much better as Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous and Victoria's mother in The Corpse Bride. But it's Paul Terry who makes a huge mess of the film. He overacts and quotes some of the worst lines in cinematic history. Even the songs cannot grow any excitement. Instead they include the most overrated melodies and over-repeated songs. That's The Life? It'll tire anybody sitting on a seat in a cinema and cause butt-ache. The songs are absolutely abysmal and the film is simply the worst to have been associated with Walt Disney Pictures (distributor), the second being the equally toxic Pocahontas, whose songs ain't as bad as on this. Good animation work though.
The most important film list ever!
Personally, I hadn't viewed the whole episode, but I had viewed the entire list (including the films that were nominated). The reason for the high star rating is because I believe it is the most important list films for any film viewer and lover to analyse. 'Cheers' in question are in relation to themes of inspiration. This means that each film contains a main message. For instance; The Wizard Of Oz's message is 'There's No Place Like Home', To Kill A Mockingbird warns viewers to stay away from racism. There are some films from my personal top ten included in this list. Among them include ET The Extra Terrestrial, Pinocchio (which is the only cartoon on there did you know), Schindler's List and Thelma & Louise. (see reviews) The films I'd watched so far include: It's A Wonderful Life, To Kill A Mockingbird, Schindler's List, Rocky, Mr Smith Goes To Washington, ET The Extra Terrestrial, Miracle On 34th Street, Saving Private Ryan, Bridge On The River Kwai, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Shawshank Redemption, Wizard Of Oz, Field Of Dreams, City Of Lights, Lawrence Of Arabia, On The Waterfront, Forrest Gump, Pinocchio, Star Wars IV, Sound OF Music, Gone With The Wind, 2001 A Space Odyssey, Color Purple, Day That Earth Stood Still, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Braveheart, Rain Man, Ben Hur, Thelma & Louise, Ten Commandments, Babe, Fiddler On The Roof, Karate Kid and Chariots Of Fire.
Quality song, quality synopsis, simply the best Disney movie (and of course version) ever!
The 2nd animated feature to have been made by Walt Disney, Pinocchio is based on the novel of the same name by Carlo Collodi. Set in Italy, the Pinocchio in question is a marionette created by Gepetto and metamorphosed by the Blue Fairy after Gepetto's wish. Guided by a talking cricket, Jiminy Cricket', the puppet must learn the rights and wrongs and prove himself brave, truthful and unselfish in order for Gepetto's wish to become entirely true. Although Snow White & The 7 Dwarfs marked Disney's introduction to feature movies, Pinocchio, it's follower, is arguably the best film Disney has ever produced! The film is darker than most cartoons and will freak out every child who watches it. The scene where Strombolli, the greedy puppet expert, kidnaps Pinocchio is bad-ass and the magical Pleasure Island will touch more nerves, because it demonstrates that making a jackass out of yourself will make you feel worse. The whole work of art warns children, well any viewer, never to accept advice from strangers. Examples are shown by the foxy Honest John and his feline sidekick Gideon. Another enchanting element about Pinocchio are the representations. Being a fox, Honest John is a symbol to slyness (eat ya heart out Kubes!); Pinocchio is convinced that John is telling the truths, but is he? The location; Pleasure Island is a murkier version of Neverland. It's holiday reps allow the boys to behave badly, but the boys somehow make jackasses of themselves. Monstro, a monstrous sperm whale, could easily be compared with monster movie characters i.e. Godzilla, the Incredible Hulk and Bruce the shark. Pinocchio uses a superb voice cast; one of the actors being the famous ukulele player Cliff Edwards, who voices Jiminy Cricket and deservedly won an Oscar for the best original song 'When You Wish Upon A Star', simply the best song in the world! It apparently was an anthem for World War 2 and the lyrics depict a dream coming true, part of the subject matter. The film also had an Oscar for the best original score, and an excellently written one too, because the music creates the atmosphere, in particular, during the haunting Pleasure Island scene. Pinocchio is a very much recommended film if no viewer has viewed it yet. Attracting generations of children and loved by grandparents, this film remains a classic and is so much better than Bambi.
Schindler's List (1993)
Do not miss this.
Schindler's List is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally and on a true story about a German factory worker, Oskar Schindler, who is a member of the Nazi party and due to his decreasing number of employees, employs the Jewish residents in his factory. Schindler's List explores the true dark side of the Second World War. Unlike most World War Two based movies, Schindler's List is based on the Holocaust; the cruelty of the Jews during the period. The film is also a history lesson; it explores all the years of the war; starting from 1939, the start of the war, to the very end, although the main focus is Oskar Schindler whose actor is Liam Neeson (Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, A-Team movie). The character, not only is represented as a womanizer and laid-back, but he is obviously the odd one out; he does not see the Jews as bad people unlike the other Nazis and because it is his job to employ factory workers, cannot resist temptation in saving the Jews from the camps, where the Jews are imprisoned. This shows the message that working on the evil side is the only way to rescue innocent people, which is what would have occurred during a brutal era like World War Two. This is why the film deservedly won the Academy Award for Best Picture. John Williams' incredible score links very well with the German Jewish culture, but also represents sadness and bleakness in the story, because it tempts the viewers to feel sympathy for the Jews. The black and white tone also suggests the darkness of the story, but also links with the 1940s setting when most films used the colour tone. Even if it looks older than other nineties movies, Schindler's List was definitely a modern film; for one reason, the film combines black and white with colour; the first shot consisting of a group of Jews paying respects to Oskar Schindler is filmed using colour and the viewer will easily spot a tiny amount of colour during one of the crowd scenes. Another reason is due to the following actors in the film; Ben Kingsley (Gandhi, Thunderbirds movie) who plays Ishaak Stern, Ralph Fiennes (Wallace & Gromit In The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit) as Amon Goth and Caroline Goodall (Hook) the actress of Emilie Schindler. Schindler's List was directed by Steven Spielberg who won an Oscar for Best Director and is considered one of his best works ever. It proves that Steven does not just direct thrilling adventure movies!
The French Connection (1971)
The French Connection is based on two real life cops, James 'Popeye' Doyle (Gene Hackman (Poseidon Adventure, Superman, Antz)) and Buddy Russo (Roy Scheider (Jaws)) who track down a heroin smuggler (Fernando Rey) transporting the drugs from France to America. Popeye Doyle is represented as a quick tempered and tough guy which deservedly earned Gene Hackman an Academy Award for Best Actor. The film itself is actually worth the watch, because the cinematography itself is absolutely stylish; the use of Point-Of-View shots and cuts reflects a hard hitting aspect of reality and creates a documentary feel. Most of the settings take place in France and New York. The scenes involving a car/train chase gives pure excitement and by all means, keep watching for the ending, because the ending is another example of cinematic history.
Fun under the sun
The 3rd film to be released by Mr Steven Spielberg, the king of the cinema, Jaws is arguably the best . When Jaws was released, it became a worldwide hit, bringing fear to the audience about swimming in the ocean, as shown by the tag-line 'Don't go in the water' and a poster displaying a simple image of a woman swimming on the surface of the sea and a fierce looking creature at the bottom about to eat the woman. The synopsis; on a vacational island, a number of swimmers are dragged in the ocean by an underwater monster and it falls to police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider (The French Connection)), shark expert Matthew Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss (Close Encounters Of The 3rd Kind, Always)) and working class fish hunter Sam Quint (Robert Shaw (From Russia With Love)) to destroy the creature once and for all. Unusual for the horror genre due to the summery setting, Jaws depicts a truly haunting view on vacations by the sea and the scenes with Hooper swimming underwater will shock the daylights out of every film watcher who watches the film. Jaws is also highly recommended for anybody who has not seen it, because it covers the following messages; Do not swim on your own, do not swim late at night and sharks can see colors very easily.
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Shakespeare messed up!
The film is based on one of William Shakespeare's plays about two rival families and one from each family falling in love and their relationship basically causes controversy between the groups. Baz Luhrmann's film is a basic modern version of the Shakespearean play, but the film itself does not work. Luhrmann uses modern clothes and weapons etc, but he has kept the Shakespearean dialogue. The dialogue and the modern elements do not mix together well. The acting is dreadful and immature and the fight scenes are badly choreographed. Nice try for a modern version Luhrmann, but West Side Story is better than this one. Message; Luhrmann shouldn't touch Shakespeare.
The fifth animated feature to have been produced by Walt Disney (if one counts Fantasia as an animated feature), Bambi focuses on a young deer who learns what it is like living in an endangered forest this includes communicating with other animals, forming friendships with a rabbit, a skunk and an owl, getting a girlfriend and losing a relative to the power of human hunters. Since its release, Bambi has achieved what could be described as 'cult' status. It remains popular with young generations (obviously including children) and, strangely and apparently, forced Paul McCartney to switched to vegetarian meals. However, this does not make Bambi any better than Dumbo, Fantasia or Pinocchio. Bambi is famous for the classic but phony tear-jerking scene involving the title character, one of his relatives and hunters. Apparently, this scene made some viewers cry. But not everybody who saw that scene did. There is simply no evidence why it is that tear-jerking. But deep down, Bambi's plot is very basic and very understood by children and nature lovers and the funky song Little April Shower is enjoyable to sing along to.