Reviews written by registered user

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121 reviews in total 
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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A Rather Forgettable Toon, 25 April 2004

"Sudden Fried Chicken" stars Herman (a mouse) and Henry (a rooster). Herman notices a poster that will award $1,000 to anyone who will stay in the ring for one round against a champion boxing rooster. He goes to Henry, who is feeling really low about himself, as he is getting bossed and pushed around by his wife. One thing leads to another, and the scrawny Henry is going up against the Champ!

I think I've seen this premise in many other cartoons. This short isn't all that unique or all that funny. The only funny moment for me in this cartoon is how Herman would help Henry get up off the mat. Herman also reminded me of Timothy the Mouse from "Dumbo," in that he was a small mouse that served up advice for his larger friend. Coincidentally, the director, Bill Tytla, served as an animation director on both "Dumbo" and "Pinocchio," which featured a very similar character, Jiminy Cricket. I guess it really is a small world after all!

This short also has its characters doing some rather racy stuff for cartoon characters - like smoking, drinking, spousal abuse, and adultery. However, that's probably taking this cartoon too seriously. I was more bothered by the cartoon's pace, such as jumping from Henry thinking about the contest to him actually participating in it. Shouldn't there have been something in between?

Overall, "Sudden Fried Chicken" did have very few moments, but that's about it. I couldn't find any more information about Herman & Henry to see if they were featured in any other cartoons. My guess is that audiences back in 1946 cared about this cartoon by about as much as I care about it now.

My IMDb Rating: 3/10

3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
A Sluggish Start for Buzzy, 25 April 2004

The "Stupidstitious Cat" stars Buzzy the Crow, a cartoon character I've never heard of, and a cat that is very superstitious. This cartoon starts out promising, as we're introduced to the cat as he's sleeping with his fingers, toes, legs, and eyes crossed. He immediately speaks in rhyme when he talks about his superstitions, sort of like, "Don't step on a crack, or you'll break your mother's back." It's been fifteen minutes since I watched the cartoon, and I can't remember what he said. I guess that's an indication of how memorable this cartoon really is!

The cat also has a unique voice. It almost sounds too humanistic. I guess I was expecting something along the lines of Sylvester. The cat also has a unique mannerism, which I guess is modeled after a popular actor during the 40's, but I'm not that much of a movie aficionado to know who it is. Then we're introduced to Buzzy, whose voice also surprised me. I guess I was expecting Tweety; instead, Buzzy sounds like a gruff construction worker. Jackson Beck, who did the voice of Bluto in the Popeye cartoons, voices him; so, I guess that explains that!

So in typical fashion, the cat wants to eat Buzzy, but Buzzy uses the cat's extreme superstitious worries to his advantage. Like I said earlier, the cartoon starts out funny, but it wears out real quickly. Some of the sayings and superstitions didn't even ring a bell with me (like "Bread & Butter" and lighting three cigars at once?) It was also interesting that Buzzy or the cat's voices never changed. They just kept the same tone throughout, even when they were nervous, angry, or excited.

Overall, the "Stupidstitious Cat" started out like a funny, unique cartoon, but it wore out its welcome. From what I gather here on IMDb, this was Buzzy's first cartoon, and he would appear in only seven other cartoons up until 1954. After seeing this cartoon, I can understand why his status didn't skyrocket.

My IMDb Rating: 4/10

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
It's Tough Being on Your Own, 24 April 2004

"Mary's Little Lamb" seems to illustrate why Ub Iwerks didn't succeed when he left Disney. He is an animation legend and is one of the key figures in the early days of Disney, but somehow he couldn't translate that success in his own venture.

This short does not stand out in any way. It's not funny, unique, or even that well drawn, which is a surprise because Mr. Iwerks was a genius when it came to drawing at Disney. Like Robert Reynolds noted, all the children seemed to be drawn the same, like they all came from one creepy village. The title character, Mary, also was awkwardly drawn and had an odd, badly timed walking style.

Mary, along with the teacher, was also drawn sort of rubbery. At the time this cartoon was made, animators were still having trouble drawing realistic-looking humans. This was evident at Disney when they did "Goddess of Spring," but they were constantly improving to make the beautiful "Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs," whereas Mr. Iwerks seemed to be stuck in this poor animation style.

And I haven't said anything about the songs. Most were absolutely horrible, especially the one "Good Morning" song sung by the teacher and the students. However, they were able to rhyme the song between Mary and the lamb, so I guess that's something. I don't mean to bash on Mr. Iwerks so much, but this was definitely not his best. He was a revolutionary animator in the early Mickey Mouse cartoons and would dabble in more innovative projects when he returned to Disney. He is definitely a legend, but for some reason, he just couldn't make it on his own.

My IMDb Rating: 2/10

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Slightly Likable, but That's About It, 23 April 2004

There are some things about "Cheaper by the Dozen" that are fairly enjoyable. It's a nice enough story that may move some people. I can't claim that I was one of them, but I think my mom found the story to be sweet and touching. The grown-up actors did a fairly nice job also. There's something about Bonnie Hunt that you just can't help but like her. She seems like a nice, down-to-earth person, and she fit into this role very well. Also this movie showcased some rising stars like Tom Welling, Hilary Duff, and Piper Perabo (my personal favorite).

However, there seems to be something manipulative about this movie. Speaking of the rising stars, they only appear in the movie sporadically. I got the sense that they only showed up to work on this movie for just a few days and that the filmmakers found a way to fit them in just to put them on the movie poster.

This movie is mostly about Steve Martin and a bunch of little kids. I thought Mr. Martin did all right in this movie, and I respect him for the very impressive career he has built, but his role in this movie didn't really stand out to me. Years from now, people are going to remember his groundbreaking stand-up career, his stints on "Saturday Night Live," and for movies like "The Jerk" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," but I don't think many will look at "Cheaper by the Dozen" as a prime example of his comedic genius.

As for the story, it's pretty predictable. I saw what lesson this movie was trying to teach us from far away. The kids, for the most part, just seemed bratty and annoying. Then again, maybe their acting was effective, because after the movie, I felt exhausted and happy that I am just an uncle right now.

My IMDb Rating: 6/10. My Yahoo! Grade: B- (Fair)

Cinderella (1950)
32 out of 39 people found the following review useful:
A Symbol of the Disney Magic, 23 April 2004

As a young boy, I always sort of hated "Cinderella," since I was outvoted by my two sisters when my parents were considering what Disney movie to buy. I wanted "Dumbo," but my sisters won out, and we got "Cinderella." They thoroughly enjoyed the movie while I sulked in the back of the room playing with my Star Wars action figures.

A lot has changed since then. My love of the Disney theme parks landed me an internship at Walt Disney World, and I now have two young nieces. I like to showcase Disney to them as much as I can, and we recently watched "Cinderella" together. With my newfound appreciation for all that is Disney, I watched "Cinderella" with a new perspective and was impressed with what I saw.

From the beginning of the movie, though, I didn't quite understand why Cinderella was trapped in such a horrible predicament. Why was she such a slave to her stepfamily, and why couldn't she just run away? I wasn't too sympathetic to Cinderella, but as the story progressed, I found myself becoming immersed in the story. Maybe the eye-catching animation or the fun-loving characters drew me in, or maybe it was the timeless songs. Listening to songs like "Bibbidy-Bobbidy-Boo" and "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" sort of whisked me back to the theme parks. I can picture myself in that carefree and fun atmosphere while looking at the awe-inspiring Cinderella Castle.

Something about this movie just evokes the magic of Disney. That may make many people scoff, but go to the Magic Kingdom and see all the little girls dressed up like Cinderella that are excited to be in this fantasy world, and you'll know what I'm talking about. The images of Cinderella and the glass slipper - as well as Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, and Tinkerbell - embody why Disney is one of the most beloved companies in the entire world.

While "Cinderella" may not be the strongest story, it is sort of iconic in Disney and movie history. It represents that fun, idealistic, and fantasy-like wonderment we held when we were kids. I imagine this movie holds a lot of meaning to many, many people out there. It may not be my favorite Disney movie, but it does represent all that I love and admire about the Company.

My IMDb Rating: 10/10. My Yahoo! Grade: A (Outstanding)

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Solid Addition to the Disney Family, 23 April 2004

I may have a hard time accurately writing this review, as my 4-year old and 2-year old nieces explained many aspects of the movie while we were watching it. But I guess that may be a testament on how good this movie is. My parents rented it so we could watch it with my nieces on the Friday of the week it was released on video. Little did we know, my sister bought this movie, and my nieces knew it pretty well over just a three-day span! That's pretty impressive, especially when they were explaining things I didn't expect kids their age to know about, like spirits.

So what did I ultimately think? First off, the visuals were excellent and a testament to the effectiveness of traditional animation. I especially liked the artistic transition when Kenai changed into a bear. It seemed like the movie shifted from realistic-looking animation to a more cartoon-like and vibrant animation style. While digital animation may be clearer and look of higher quality, there just seems to be more soul poured into traditional animation. Some digital animation has a synthetic look to it, while traditional animated projects seem to reflect the meticulous and hard work that was put in by the animators.

As for the story of "Brother Bear," I enjoyed it for the most part. It wasn't pound for pound the best story I've seen from a Disney film, but it did effectively connect with my nieces. There were some funny moments, like when the moose played a challenging game of "I Spy." There were also cute moments, like Koda's mannerisms in the final scenes. My chief complaint though is from the lesson "Brother Bear" was trying to teach. I kind of rolled my eyes thinking, "Didn't we already learn this lesson in 'Bambi?!'"

Overall, "Brother Bear" is a nice addition to the Disney library. It will connect with people for years to come, but I wouldn't exactly dub it as a masterpiece like "Bambi" or "Beauty & the Beast."

My IMDb Rating: 8/10. My Yahoo! Grade: B+ (Memorable)

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A Somewhat Funny Behind-the-Scenes, 23 April 2004

This British documentary was recently shown on Comedy Central during their "Best of…" week and can also be seen on South Park's second season DVD. I remember seeing many commercials for the DVD showing clips of this documentary, most of which occurs with Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and some other guy in a hot tub. It was funny when I saw it in the commercials, but I was used to seeing it by the time I saw the actual documentary.

Overall, "Goin' Down to South Park" is a fairly funny and interesting look at how South Park episodes are made and of the series' history going back to when Matt and Trey came up with the idea in college. However, there was something about the tone of this documentary that actually felt sort of depressing. It's not as fast-paced, rapid-fire, and as lively as the actual South Park episodes. Instead, it kind of has a slow, dry-wit style, which at times can be funny, but most of the time you're just waiting for something to happen. If you get the chance to watch it, by all means go for it, but I don't think you're really missing much if you never see it.

My IMDb Rating: 7/10

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
So Much to do at Disney World!, 18 April 2004

This Travel Channel special looks at some of the lesser-known things you can do at the Walt Disney World Resort. This special is particularly fun for me, as I worked there over two years ago. My favorite part of the special was the segment on "Divequest," a program at Epcot's "The Living Seas," in which guests can swim in this giant aquarium with all the wonderful fish and interact with guests on the other side of the tank. It was actually kind of heartwarming when they showed a father scuba diving and going up to his little daughter on the other side. It was very sweet and magical, just what Walt Disney World strives for!

Other interesting segments include surfing at Disney's water park, Typhoon Lagoon, before the park opens! My dad enjoyed the segment on "Richard Petty's Driving Experience," and my mom enjoyed the segment on the yacht that takes guests out on the Seven Seas Lagoon, where they can see the Magic Kingdom fireworks and enjoy a world-class meal with their own butler! Now, that's luxury!

There were some segments that I didn't care too much for though. I thought the segment on Magic Kingdom's night parade, "Spectromagic," to be kind of boring, and my mind wandered quite a bit during that segment. I was also confused at why they highlighted "Fantasmic" in this special, because I don't think it's all that hidden.

Nevertheless, this is another fun and interesting visit to the premiere vacation destination in the entire world! Also, be on the lookout for another Travel Channel special, "Walt Disney World Resort: Behind the Scenes," and the Discovery Channel special, "Disney's Thrillmakers: The Art of the Thrill."

My IMDb Rating: 8/10

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Decent Murder-Mystery, 18 April 2004

This movie was just so-so for me. It kept me interested, because I enjoy watching murder-mysteries, but there isn't really much about this movie that is all that unique. Past reviewers have correctly noted that it's formulaic and uses plenty of clichés. However, the movie is unique in the way that we know who the killers are from the get-go, and we see how the detectives try to solve the case.

I particularly found the interrogation scene to be interesting, as it is something I learned in my Business & Society class in a case called the "Prisoner's Dilemma." In fact, maybe I should tell my professor to show that clip when he discusses that case. Hmmmmm.

Anyways, I'm getting off-topic. Like I've said, this is just a so-so movie. The acting is good, with Sandra Bullock playing a talented detective with a secretive past. However, the actors that stole the show are Michael Pitt and Ryan Gosling, who played the teens that plotted the murder. They probably have bright futures ahead of them in the movie world.

So overall, "Murder by Numbers" isn't necessarily bad, but it's definitely not a "must-see" movie. If you happen to come across it and have some time to kill, by all means, watch it. However, if you are looking for a great murder-mystery, I highly suggest checking out "Seven."

My IMDb Rating: 7/10. My Yahoo! Grade: B (Good)

28 Days (2000)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Light-Hearted, Realistic Look at Rehab, 17 April 2004

My mom purchased "28 Days" because she works at a place that fosters people with alcohol/drug addiction, and she was told this movie had a positive message for people trying to recover. After watching this movie, I agree "28 Days" does seem to show a realistic and positive look at recovery (but I don't work in that field, so how can I be totally sure!?)

We're first introduced to Gwen, played by Sandra Bullock, who is an alcoholic party-girl that wrecks her sister's wedding, crashes into a house while driving drunk, and then sent to rehab. Immediately, I dislike this character, especially when she was so disagreeable and in denial at rehab. However, I guess this is probably an accurate portrayal of a character going through something like this.

Nevertheless, the movie progresses, and you start caring for the characters and rooting for them to succeed. Aside from Gwen, other interesting characters include Andrea (a young teen who is addicted to heroin and to a soap opera called "Santa Cruz"), Eddie (a retired baseball player played by pre-"Lord of the Rings" star Viggo Mortensen), and Cornell (a former drug addict and current counselor played by the great Steve Buscemi. This movie is a welcome change for Buscemi, as he is playing a character that isn't psychotic in any way.)

There were some characters I didn't care for though, like Oliver as played by Mike O'Malley. Mr. O'Malley is a fairly funny guy, but I don't think he has the comedic chops to carry the humor of a feature film. I also found the character, Gerhardt, to be more annoying than funny. Most of the time, I couldn't even understand him!

Overall, "28 Days" falls short on a few big aspects. It's supposed to be a "drama-comedy," but there aren't many laughs, and when there were dramatic/traumatic moments, I found that I didn't really care. However, I will give "28 Days" much credit for an accurate depiction of rehab and the type of characters that go through such a trying moment.

My IMDb Rating: 8/10. My Yahoo! Grade: B+ (Memorable)

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