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15 reviews in total 
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36 out of 49 people found the following review useful:
Get exactly what you expect., 14 November 2005

This is one of those films that you can't ignore the obvious manipulation. Each scene is telegraphed a mile a way, with no real attempt to mark new ground. No, this film is exactly what it is intended to be; holiday good cheer and nothing more. In that respect, the film is successful and in the end, a harmless holiday movie that tries to help us forget all the real world darkness going on.

Tim Allen seems to be carving out a career with these Christmas movies. Though his performance is not even close to his Santa character, he still manages to put in a performance that has some memorable moments (the scene after his fat injection is a hoot). Jamie Lee is over the top and at times can be a little too much, but still, she fits right in with the rest of the decorations that are wrapped around this Christmas tree of a movie. I give it a 6 because let's be honest, it is totally predictable and corny. But as I mentioned, it is a welcome to all the negative things going on right now.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Not the 70's version........and that is a good thing, 14 November 2005

I grew up with the 70's version of this famous book. I loved and still love watching the movie to this day. Though I own it on DVD, any time it is on TV, I stop and watch it.

When I learned Burton was teaming with Depp to make a new one, I knew that it would be a "new" version. I was not disappointed.

I have seen many make references to Depp's characterization of Wonka as being a spin on Michael Jackson. I say that comparison is grossly inaccurate. I felt Depp presented a Wonka who was a lonely, tortured soul, out of touch with the real world. Perhaps it is this that many are drawn to in their connection of Depp's Wonka being a send up of Jackson, but I disagree whole heartedly and say Depp gave us the Wonka that was intended in the book. This man is not going to be the fatherly type. He is going to be eccentric and goofy as well as creepy and dark. All of these are on display in Depp's performance.

Excellent work. I still love the 70's version and it remains a classic story from my youth. But this version has staked it's own unique place.

4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Good.....but could have been much better, 14 November 2005

From an overall message standpoint, this film gets a 10 out of 10. I really enjoyed the the two actors who play the brothers (Jonah Bobo and Josh Hutchenson). I think in the end, the film is hurt by being too much like Jumanji (the other Chris Van Allsburg). I have never read either book, so they may be very similar, but still, no attempt to separate this film from Jumanji was made.

Dax Shepard is surprisingly good as the astronaut, playing basically a straight role. Tim Robbins makes what essentially is a cameo as the dad. It would have been interesting to perhaps utilize his talent and had him more involved in the film, but again, not knowing the source material, don't know how that would have worked out.

The special effects and adventure which made Jumanji fun falls totally flat here. Were it not for the great performances of the kids playing the brothers, this film would have earned a far less rating than 6 from me.

A good film overall, but one that definitely is a DVD rental, if you really enjoyed it, a DVD purchase. But I would save your cinema money for other films this season.

5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Movie suffers from inaccurate marketing......, 24 October 2005

As with M.Night's other movies, I enjoyed this latest outing, especially the performances of the leads. I think the movie suffered in overall response due to a poorly conceived marketing plan.

The movie was sold as a horror film and fans of that genre went into this with that mindset in place. When the film actually turned out to be a look at how we try and protect those we love from the horrors of the "real world", fans were upset and rightly so. As anyone that has enjoyed M.Night's movies, all is not what it would seem. I think the marketing pushed too hard the horror aspect which created an expectation that was not going to be met.

I think if you go into this movie expecting another commentary on spiritual and moral themes, you are going to like this. If you are going into this for the scare factor, you are going to be left empty.

Flightplan (2005)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Pure fluff, 12 October 2005

Jodie Foster seems hell bent on us forgetting those Oscars she won and accept her as an action star. Panic Room, and now Flight Plan, puts Jodie in similar circumstances (fighting off bad guys after money). Don't get me wrong, all in all, this is enjoyable. But it is kind of like a plain hot dog. It satisfies your taste buds, but only for a little while. Soon you are hungry for more. That is what I found myself asking for in this one. There are so many plot holes in this film, you are left at the end frustrated by the lack of exploration or explanation of story arcs that are started yet never finished.

I guess in the end, this movie is decent and it did entertain me enough to not be totally disappointed. But like eating that plain hot dog, I am left knowing there was so much more that could have been added to it, but I started consuming it so had to finish. It satisfied me for a little bit, but not long after, I wanted more.

Not bad.....but not great, 12 October 2005

I have to admit, I came out of Corpse Bride a bit disappointed. It wasn't because the film was bad. It is because it didn't equal or surpass Nightmare Before Christmas.

The film effectively evokes the Burton sense of style and story telling. But something is not quite right. The songs are one thing. Elfman, a great composer and long-time collaborator, seems to just kind of sleep walk through this one. Nothing really catchy in the way of songs, which was a big part of Nightmare. The other thing, the story just kind of left the whole sub-plot of the bride and the duke. There really was no real acknowledgment of their past.

All in all, will be added to my collection, but can't help but feel this was a bit rushed.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A must for any football fans out there, 23 September 2005

A pro football players decent into total self-destruction is played out between moments of comedy, grit and sorrow. Probably my favorite Burt Reynolds movie, it catches him back when he was still acting and not smirking for the camera. Football is a sport that can bring out the best and sometimes worst in people. That is showcased brilliantly in this film.

This film is over 30 years old, yet its themes of betrayal, enlightenment, grit and determination are still echoed on football fields every September through December. I have a feeling it will play for another 30 years and not loose a step.

Good, but too much by the numbers......, 23 September 2005

For football and Sandler fans, this will be a good tide over in between your fix of watching real games. As a film, this is strictly a by the numbers recycle of the older, better, 1974 film. Most of the same story elements are here, as well as dialog lifted straight from the original script. We get some updated dialog to make it entertaining (mainly Rock's quips), but I wish they had tried something a little different with it rather than taken the lazy way out.

In the end though, a good rental for the football fans out there. Possibly a purchase for Sandler fans, though this is by far not his best film. None the less, harmless fun not to be taken seriously.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A surprise, 23 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I went into this movie half-expecting another Linda Blair turn. Come to find out, this actually was not the spook fest that I thought it was going to be. Yes, there are moments that are telegraphed a mile away (the one and only professional witness that can back up the priest's claims meets an expected end before being able to testify), but still, the movie is more a lesson in faith than it is another story about the devil and the Catholic Church doing battle.

It is nice to have expectations of a movie going in and then it turn out to be something totally different. The film doesn't make any new strides in the genre, but it does come from a different angle and has enough chills, suspense and of all things, heart, to make it a nice surprise.

Sahara (2005)
25 out of 45 people found the following review useful:
Pale modern version of Indiana Jones, 20 September 2005

This movie had a lot of potential, but in the end, it just wasn't enough to make me want to see it again. Everything about it seems out of place. The soundtrack music, meant to invoker a certain nostalgia I think, is way out of place in most scenes (the only time it is used effectively is during the land sailing scene). The comedy at times is way too forced. The henchmen have to be the dumbest in screen history. You can forgive a little bit of this given that the movie is trying to take a page from the Indiana Jones trilogy, but they just make the henchmen way too stupid and unobservant.

All in all, I can see why this film did not do the business at the theater that was expected of it. A shame, a good cast, just not a lot there for them to work with.

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