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James had a happy life in the English seaside about to travel to NYC.
His parents are killed by an imagined rhinoceros and he has to live
with his evil Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge. He saves a spider from
Spiker. A mysterious man (Pete Postlethwaite) gives him a bag of magic
which holds the possibility of going to NYC. James trips and drops the
magic in the garden. A peach starts to grow on a barren tree. Spiker
and Sponge sell tickets to see the giant peach. That night, James takes
a bit of the peach and climbs into it. As he climbs inside, it turns
into stop motion animation.
I really dislike the live action start or ending of the movie. It's not only ugly but it's also tiresome. It's meant to be magical but it reminds me of the badly made Popeye. There is no arguing that the stop motion animation is something amazing. It is imaginative and filled with fun characters. It's also great to see Jack again. The movie could probably use some good catchy pop songs. The reliance on Randy Newman is something done back then and there is no breakout song from this movie. It's an obvious deficiency to do all those talky Broadway songs. It would be better to push more towards action adventures with a consistent villain chasing them. It should have kept up with the rhinoceros as a constant threat. James should have done several hand-to-hand combat with the rino more than that one magical confrontation.
Brittany Aarons (Danielle Panabaker) is a squealing teenage girl living
in the suburbs. She is in love with pop star Jordan Cahill (Taran
Killam). Natasha Kwon-Schwartz (Brenda Song) is a new girl in school
after a couple of years in Europe. Brittany is quickly attracted to
Natasha's worldly life as she hides her Jordan Cahill love. Brittany
accidentally switch phones with Jordan when Eddie (Ryan Belleville)
drops the phone during Jordan's video shoot. The girls start to have a
bit of fun with Jordan's phone.
There is some attempts at making fun of the unanimity and the lack of originality in the suburbs. There are good barbs that are wasted on this teen girl movie that is practicing exactly that. There is little originality or any interesting characters. Brenda Song is playing the cooler edgier girl which kind of says it all. She and Panabaker are fine as teen girls. Taran Killam is not a pop star and doesn't have that vibe. He's probably the biggest problem ... other than the constant squealing.
Nigeria is in a state of chaos after a coupe. Navy SEAL Lieutenant A.K.
Waters (Bruce Willis) and his team are sent to rescue Doctors Without
Borders physician Dr. Lena Kendricks (Monica Bellucci), a priest and
two nuns. Kendricks refuses to leave the helpless villagers behind. The
priest and the nuns stay behind, while Waters leads everybody on a walk
to Cameroon. The Catholic mission is destroyed and everybody is
massacred. Waters kidnaps Kendricks away on the helicopters while
leaving the refugees behind. However when they fly over the destroyed
village, Waters decides to return to help lead the villagers to safety.
The group is relentlessly pursued by the rebel army.
It's a functional drama that devolves into a blow-em-up action movie. It works as the former but not really the latter. The exodus is nightmarish and the massacres are brutal. I like the savagery because it fits the situation. Kendricks is way too naive. Bellucci is doing too much melodramatic acting. It would be much better to have a younger actress so her naivety wouldn't be so glaring. Willis is able to pull it back by giving the movie its reserved intensity. The Hawaiian jungle looks great and is a good substitute. The final battle is too big and too bombastic. Not only is it too unrealistic but it also takes away the grittiness of the rest of the movie. It's a lot of overdramatized unreasonable action. Dropping a few bombs on a mass of troops wouldn't kill them all, and it's highly doubtful that this 3rd world border has an insurmountable fence.
Professor Henry Jarrod (Vincent Price) refuses to sensationalize his
wax museum like all the others. His meticulous work is second to none
but his business partner Matthew Burke wants better attendance. Jarrod
refuses to lower his high brow historical recreations and tries to get
Sidney Wallace to buy out Burke in 3 months. Burke needs the money now
and burns down the building for the $25k insurance. Jarrod refuses and
tries to stop Burke. Jarrod is believed to have died in the fire but
the insurance takes a long time to settle without Jarrod's body. Just
as they give him the $25k, Jarrod is killed by a deformed man who
steals the money. The deformed man kills Jarrod's superficial
girlfriend Cathy Gray and almost kills her sweet best friend Sue Allen.
Police detective Lt. Brennan investigates. The deformed man then steals
Cathy's body from the morgue. Jarrod reconnects with Wallace looking
for investment to reopen a new exhibition with all the grotesque
violence that the public is looking for.
This is touted as one of the early big 3-D movies. Although I didn't see it in 3-D, this has the prerequisite puddle ball 3-D effect. I'm sure that is loads of fun but this movie is even more than that. It's a good mass killer movie. Vincent Price is great even stuck in a wheelchair for most of the movie. The story is compelling and a fun house of horrors. It even has a bit of humor although mostly due to its campiness.
Mumble the penguin and Gloria have a son Erik. All the penguins are now
dancing but Erik is struggling to get the hang of it. All around them,
the ice is melting. Erik and his friends Bodicea and Atticus goes off
to follow Ramon (Robin Williams). They arrive at Adélie-Land led by The
Mighty Sven who can fly and is actually a puffin. Sven and Lovelace
survived an oil slice to be rescued by humans. They escaped to rule the
Adélie penguins. Mumble goes and retrieves the three little guys.
However a giant upheaval blocks off and traps all the Emperor penguins.
Meanwhile, there is a couple of krills (Brad Pitt, Matt Damon) trying
to find their place in the world.
It is loud. It is brash. It's even more colorful than the first one. However the story is a rambling mess. They're trying to incorporate human climate change, have people, other animal characters and even introduces a side story about krills. It's too much and leaves a story without cohesion. Having Brad Pitt and Matt Damon as krill friends may be funny on paper, but it's tough to realize that it is actually Pitt and Damon. The voice work isn't unique enough to make that connection. It probably needs a lot of inside modern references to make that connection. Although they provide some interesting comedy.
It's 2006. Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is an American truck driver
working in Iraq who wakes up to find himself tied up in a wooden box.
He has a cigarette lighter, and he finds a cellphone. He was in a
convoy that got hit by an ambush. He calls various people but has a
difficult time getting help.
There is solid acting from Ryan Reynolds and good camera work from director Rodrigo Cortés despite the limited space. However the limitations leave it feeling very repetitive. There is only so much that the camera can do for this scenario. It's relatively dark and it sometimes slip from tense to boring. That's the repetitive feeling as the director continuously try to ramp up the tension. That also goes for the dialog where nobody seems to be that helpful in an obvious ploy to amp up the tension with every frame. It's one long manipulation that either pulls you right in or leaves you tired of all the pulling. The movie's one and only tone also left me worn out.
Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) is a 16 year old high school kid in
Minnesota. She gets pregnant after one time with her friend Paulie
Bleeker (Michael Cera). She tells her best friend Leah (Olivia
Thirlby). She lives with her father Mac (J.K. Simmons) and her stepmom
Bren (Allison Janney). She decides to give away the baby after going to
the women's clinic. She finds a couple Vanessa (Jennifer Garner) and
Mark Loring (Jason Bateman) in the PennySaver. Mark is a bit of a
kindred spirit but Vanessa is very uptight.
The dialog from Diablo Cody is snappy and quirky. Director Jason Reitman brings that style to the screen. The lines are wacky and sometimes they strike a funny note. There is a rhythm to all the rapid fire dialog and the story sometimes gets to an insightful comment like "I don't know what kind of girl I am." It's also great that nobody has their stuff together and they are not easy stereotypes. The stepmother isn't evil and the couple don't work out the way one expects. It's a fun coming-of-age movie.
It's 1943. 2000 British troops are trapped on the island of Keros in
the Aegean Sea. The Nazis are about to launch a massive assault in six
days. Any escape is blocked by two massive guns on the island of
Navarone. Air attacks has been useless. The Allies send in mountaineer
Captain Keith Mallory (Gregory Peck), defeated Greek Colonel Andrea
Stavrou (Anthony Quinn), explosive expert Corporal Miller (David
Niven), former Navaronite Greek-American Spyros Pappadimos (James
Darren), and knife fighter/engineer Butcher Brown (Stanley Baker). They
are led by Major Roy Franklin (Anthony Quayle). They have to take out
the guns before 6 British destroyers make a run for Keros.
The action is good but a bit old fashion. The action at sea in the storm does get a little confusing. It's not as exciting as I want. The cliff climbing is also very fake with obvious painting and interior sets. Even the shooting and battles are very static. The cameras don't seem to move. I also wish they stop throwing dummies over a big drop. It's obvious that those are mannequins. At least, they are putting a lot of men and equipment on the screen in some of the filler scenes. As for the story, it gets a little gritty for its time while it's also slow in some stretches. The actors are generally too old for the roles. However that gives the movie a world-weary feel. It's good because they are even more of an underdog group.
Alex Whitman (Matthew Perry) is sent to Las Vegas to supervise a
construction project. Isabel Fuentes (Salma Hayek) has just arrived in
Vegas. She's superstitious and believes in fate unlike him. They meet
in a line for the bathroom at a Mexican restaurant. They have an one
night stand. Three months later, she shows up to tell him that she's
pregnant. She takes him back to her parents. Overwhelmed, he proposes
to her and they get married. She is shocked to find that he's moving
back to NYC. Their marriage deteriorates.
I don't find much chemistry between Perry and Hayek. I think it has a lot to do with the backwards relationship between the two. It disrupts the traditional build up of the rom-com formula. It feels like the characters are constantly trying to catch up emotionally to their situation. I actually think they would make a good rom-com pairing otherwise. Perry's joking around could work as long as Hayek is willing to laugh at him. There is a little too little of that going on. The jokes aren't that funny at all.
It's 1920s silent movie era Hollywood. Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) and Don
Lockwood (Gene Kelly) are the biggest stars of Monumental Pictures.
Their public persona is a loving couple but in reality, he hates her
and can't get rid of the clingy Lina. Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor) is
his piano playing childhood friend. Don meets Kathy Selden (Debbie
Reynolds) as he jumps into her car getting away from adoring fans. They
meet again when she jumps out of a cake at a company party.
Monumental's boss R.F. Simpson (Millard Mitchell) is blindsided by the
success of talking picture "The Jazz Singer" and he tries to jump start
his entry with Don and Lina. Cosmo Brown becomes the new music
director. It's a struggle to do something new and worst of all, it's a
struggle for the self-obsessed and delusional Lina with the horrible
voice. The first attempt ends in a laughable disaster. The trio decides
to change it into a musical with Kathy dubbing for Lina.
The moment that Jean Hagen starts talking is the most hilarious thing. She's a real gut buster. Gene Kelly is a cad and a very likable one. Donald O'Connor is solid in being the nice guy second fiddle. His dancing is so energetic. Debbie Reynolds is completely adorable. The songs are incredible and so catchy. The dancing is iconic. Most importantly, the story is actually funny and compelling. For all the pain and tears shed, this movie is worth every praise it gets.
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