Reviews written by
(Kristycoolbeans@comcast.net)

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26 reviews in total 
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85 out of 99 people found the following review useful:
1 of the best movies EVER!, 25 January 2005
10/10

This is a movie you'll enjoy no matter how old you are; it's not just for kids. It's got a message to keep fantasy alive, for good reasons, that every watcher will agree with! Bastian (Barett Oliver) is having a hard time getting over his mother's death & spends most of his time in dreamland. His teachers & father want him to get serious, & he's a constant target for bullies. Hiding out from them 1 morning in an old bookshop, he meets Coreander (Thomas Hill), the reclusive owner who piques his curiosity about the book he's reading, but warns it's not "safe". Since Bastian loves reading, he "borrows" the book, The Neverending Story. Reading it in hiding, he glimpses Fantasia, an incredible world of rock-biters, night hobs, gnomes, a Child-like Empress who's dying of a mysterious illness. The quest to find a cure is appointed to Atreyu (Noah Hathaway), a young warrior who goes through amazing journeys. Bastian becomes more wrapped up in this book than any other he's read, sharing Atreyu's sadness & horror. What he doesn't realize is that he himself is in the plot of the book - he must choose a new name for the Empress. As Bastian tries to follow the characters' adventures & to choose whether he can do his task, you'll become entranced w/the characters and touching plot. The movie shows fantasy is a big part of reality, & it's important! Watch for yourself, & BELIEVE!

16 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Accent on Magical!, 6 January 2005
10/10

Awesome magical movie with Irish myth creatures, Romeo & Juliet, some original funny parts thrown in - I give it a 10! New Yorker Jack Woods (Randy Quaid) rents a summer cottage in Ireland, where he has a run-in with a local beauty. Then he has another - he's the 1st human to discover Leprechan leader Seamus Maldoon & his family living there! While keeping his hesitant friendship with them secret, Jack fixes things up with the girl, Kathleen, & falls in love. Meanwhile, Mickey Maldoon sneaks into the Trooping Fairy (aka Fairy) midsummer ball with friends - & falls for Princess Jessica. But as the "Troopers" & Solitary Fairies (aka Leprechans) are natural enemies, neither Seamus nor King Boric (Roger Daltry) is pleased. Nor is Grogan, Jesssica's hothead cousin who wants revenge for the crashed party. When Mickey refuses to fight, his friend does - & is killed, since the Grand Banshee (Whoopi Goldburg) punishes fighting fairies with mortality. Mickey kills Grogan in return, starting war. (Farmiliar - play where the lovers' families are enemies, girl's cousin kills man's friend, man kills him?)The 2 escape their feuding families, but their friends die in battle - & unlike "Romeo & Juliet", Nature falls apart while the Little People neglect it. Jack is asked to make peace - but when Kathleen discovers a shocking secret about him, he has problems & a need for peace of his own. This is a great movie w/action, fantasy, romance, & humor - not to mention Ireland's beauty surrounding it. A classic not to be missed!

You Wish! (2003) (TV)
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Interesting..., 20 January 2005
10/10

I was surfing, not expecting to find anything good, when I saw this on TV. I stopped, deciding I had to finish seeing it. You Wish was really good, somewhat funny but also made me think. The story's about Alex (A.J. Trauth), who's so mad at his younger brother Stevie (Spencer Breslin) that he uses his peace offering magic coin to wish him out of his life. Of course, he doesn't believe it'll work, so he's shocked when he awakens to find it did! Stevie's a TV star, Terrence Russell McCormack (on the show Where's Stevie, of course). Alex is a rich, popular football star w/parents who treat him like royalty & the most popular girl in school as his girlfriend! But he finds out it isn't all good - his new popular jock friends' idea of a good time is tormenting his old friends, Abby (Lalaine) & James (Ari Boyland), who now hate him. & of course, after a while he misses Stevie. Now he enlists Abby's help to track down Terrence & another magic coin. This is better than most movies I've seen where the main character's wish gets them anything they want for the 1st few days, but then suddenly causes chaos. Alex enjoys his wish for a long time, though gradually realizes he's unhappy. The acting was good. The only problem: I thought playing "1000 Miles" during the depressed scene was weird - it overdid the emotion a bit. I got all choked up watching this; it's a good reminder about sibling love. I'd love to see this again.

7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
What the heck happened?, 22 February 2005
2/10

I was disappointed when I rented this - the only reason I bought it was partly for loyalty, partly to see if I missed something, if it was any better than I thought...No, in case you're wondering; it was just as lacking the 2nd time I saw it; now I'm just waiting to give it away. A lot of things were left out of this movie that made the 1st 3 so enjoyable, not just Dean Jones. I was a little surprised that he wasn't around, since his character makes a mega-comeback in Monte Carlo, but if he was in this film it'd be a black mark on his record. Jim Douglas has retired, & leaves Herbie to his nephew Pete. He & his friend Davey doubt it'll win a race, so just plan to return home w/it. When they see how fast it can go, they change their minds & decide to race in Mexico - but get delayed 50 times. Paco, a native pickpocket who swipes their & a smuggler's wallets, is invited by Herbie to hide in the trunk. He's taken along on the ship that'll get them all to the race - but is caught. The stupid pirate-obsessed captain accuses Pete & Davy of kidnapping, & when Herbie tries to rescue Paco, he orders Herbie to be thrown overboard. After landing and escaping once more, Paco finds Herbie - & runs into the smugglers, who inform him that the wallet he returned is empty. Now he steals "Pete's" wallet which really belongs to the thieves, & is forced to escape both by fleeing w/Herbie, the captain, & a few women Pete & Davey "befriend" on the boat, to stop the smugglers from stealing goods. The bull-fight they get into along the way's a highlight in the movie - partly because there's not much else to look forward to. Herbie's name was never used; the only name he gets is "ocho" from Paco. He can't swim - it's pretty clear he's lost that ability over time; in Love Bug he skates right over water, in Rides Again he sinks before floating like a human, here he drops like a rock & barely survives. The men pretend to like the women they meet on the ship, but it's just to get support in the race, & there's no sign that they've been forgiven. Nobody except Paco & Louise (1 of the women), had no idea until near the end that they were dealing w/a car that had brains or power. It isn't proved by a race either - for all the trouble they go through to enter him in a race, it isn't shown. I don't understand why he helps Paco the thief, even if he is loving. The title confuses me - it's a reference to Herbie's being covered w/bananas as a disguise, but that was 5 minutes at the most. He was also "dressed" as a taxi w/signs all over - but that didn't amuse me. The only thing that could've made this more disloyal to the series was if they'd excluded the car Herbie. I was so bored w/this I forgot the plot & characters. A good example of a bad sequel.

9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Neverending Story Dies, 30 December 2004
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The box worried me since it said "final chapter" of the trilogy. But the 2nd movie was almost as good as the 1st (that's saying something; I rarely like sequels), so I tried it thinking it'd be OK. What a mistake! A trilogy ends when a character grows too old to adventure (Free Willy 3); his personality is off; an actor looks/sounds too different (Batman & Robin); or an important person is cut (Free Willy 3). This had all, & it wasn't SUPPOSED to end! Bastian's dad remarries, so he moves to a new school, where he's attacked by the Nasties. He escapes into the Neverending Story but leaves it lying around so the Nasties find it & plan to bombard the Nastiness on Fantasia (& thus Bastian) & Earth. (The reason isn't given; they just use nastiness like a theme.) He returns to Earth to escape Fantasia, but some characters travel too (don't know why; I thought the Story never went wrong). Now he has to get the book, & the Auryn which his jerky stepsister swipes. Richter doesn't look or sound like Bastian, who's bitter & demanding; Falkor looks like a dog & has less advice to give; the Emperess was cold. Even the Auryn didn't glimmer like the 1st, or whir and shine like the 2nd; just glowed & hummed! The Nasties look like they've been held back 15 years & aren't scary; they're more like poltergeists than bullies. The crustacean was a better villain; too bad it wasn't 1st. The bark troll & gnomes (weren't they large in the 1st?) knew too much about Earth - "Call the fire dept! Good thing there's only 1 Bux in the phone book! We need to find Bastian's address!" Falkor, the wisest, didn't know about planes or Chinese dragons. (The "dragons" scene was funny; gives the movie a 1, but didn't save it.) Atreyu wasn't even around! That explains why it was so hard fighting the Nasties, but the book predicted karate (of all things) & Falkor scaring them off - it never predicts! & if they heard, why didn't they fight, especially when Bastian admitted he only took 2 lessons? The weirdest thing was his dad - he'd seen the Story before, but was blank when he heard Bastian had been missing & stole it. Bastian didn't tell either. This had none of the magic of the 1st 2 - where the trilogy should have ended - probably because the setting & villains were in Earth. What a waste! If you have seen the 1st 2, don't look at this off-the-wall misfit. If you do, don't say I didn't warn you.

Big Fish (2003)
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Spectacular, 7 January 2005
10/10

This is a 10, but it's hard to say why. Guess I like the love & hope theme. Unimaginative Will Bloom (Billy Crudup) doesn't feel like he knows who his father Edward really is. Ed was absent more than present in his childhood, & on his return told fantastic, wild stories about his visiting a witch to view his death, fighting then befriending a giant, winning his wife by working in a circus, unexpectedly assisting a bank robbery. They began to annoy Will - not only were they fake; they were constantly told to friends, to his chagrin - especially the 1 of how Ed caught a giant fish (hence the title) on Will's birthday. By the 1000th time he's heard it, at his wedding, he's had enough. After a 3-year feud, Sandra Bloom (Jessica Lange) informs Will that Ed's dying of cancer, & she wants to see them together. At their reunion, Will begins to learn who Ed is through flashbacks of stories. Whether told by young Edward (Ewan McGregor) or old Edward (Albert Finny), they're enchanting. But he still doesn't get a straight answer. When he pleads, "Just be yourself," Ed replies, "I've been nothing but myself since the day I was born. & if you can't see that it's your failing, not mine!" He learns gradually there's truth in the "amusing lies" - but before he knows his father, Ed is nearly gone in the flesh. Now in his last hours, Ed begs his son to do the seemingly impossible - tell a story. This is a touching movie, maybe because the gripping family problem is interrupted by tales that'll cause laughter and thinking at once. 1 of my relatives cried over it. We remember this as the movie where he was most emotional (I did the 2nd time). It gives a new view of truth, hope & love. A winner.

5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Real enjoyable; I liked it, 6 January 2005
9/10

I'll admit this loses in a contest w/the original, but I still liked it a bunch. I just found a few things off: Bastian's innocence has shortened, his hair lightened (& the Empress' curled), he "gained" courage & confidence in the 1st but seemed to have lost some (it would've made sense if he never returned to earth to lose it); he kept some though - he didn't fear storms, bullies, or his father's shortness. But as opposed as I am to sequels, this was a hit. Bastian re-enters Fantasia to rescue it from the Emptiness, & a group of villains who are determined to stop him so Fantasia will be destroyed & stories will disappear. They've also put a spell on the Auryn, which Bastian uses to wish when in need, so that for every wish he loses a memory. The villains were believable - how often does a henchman change sides? I liked that Bastian's father read the Story, dropping his "I'm an engineer, I see what I see" attitude to let imagination in. Though the funny characters Rockbiter met in the 1st weren't around, there were still funny parts - "Give me 5! 5 what? Those walls must be dangerous. So that's what they mean by remember. I'm IN this book?" It was touching. a drippy, feel-good movie. It was only a small step below the 1st, but that was phenomenal, so anything would have to be. Purists of the book won't like it - unlike the 1st, this made only a meager attempt to follow the story. But it's still a 9. Ignore negative remarks - it's good.

16 out of 29 people found the following review useful:
Brilliant!, 9 January 2005
10/10

An awesome adventure that lets you forget it's fantasy - it's as powerful & exciting as the dragons! Bowen (Dennis Quaid) is a knight of the Old Code of Camelot (needless to say, it's good & honorable), & teaches it to his student, Prince Einon. But during a rebellion, cruel King Freyne is killed - & Einon is wounded badly. Bowen & Queen Aislinn (Julie Christie) visit a famous, wise dragon who donates 1/2 his heart to let Einon live, after his vow that he'll be a merciful king, unlike his father. But after Einon heals, he enslaves the villagers to work for him, & scorns Bowen's beliefs. Bowen is enraged at the dragon's polluting his soul, & vows to hunt him down. 12 years later, he hasn't found his prey but has made up for it by killing every he finds. Then he meets Draco (Sean Connery), the world's last dragon, who's determined to put up a fight. As an alternative to fighting a stalemate battle, Bowen agrees to "slay" Draco for $. Draco reveals dragons are gentle & don't attack unless provoked. Meanwhile, Einon falls in love w/Kara, the girl who accidentally injured him, after he kills her father. Aislinn helps her escape, knowing what it's like to be a tyrant's wife. Kara is the 1 person in the village brave enough to fight Einon (Except Bowen, but he's too bitter to bother w/him anymore), & when she meets Bowen & Draco, she persuades him to join her in a fight. Now, along with the village rebels & Brother Gilbert, a hilariously pinheaded monk, they set out to change their lives - though Draco has a secret about Einon that could cause the difference between winning & losing. The animation here is great - it seems real, just like the characters. It's exciting & will keep you hooked till the end. I'd recommend it to an adventure-lover.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Bummer, 27 March 2005
3/10

NOTE: I haven't seen 1 episode of the puppet TV series...but that only stopped me from being biased against the movie, not from disliking it. I enjoyed the actors, most of the characters were OK, the visual effects were fine. There was only 1 problem w/this movie - but it was a big 1: the plot. I worried there wouldn't be much left to get after the lengthy ads that gave so much (even minute details that were barely mentioned in the movie) away & the little bit the box added. Still, I was intrigued by a movie of rescue missions & cunning villains. Turned out I was right, they gave away WAY too much of the plot for there to be ANY major surprises left, & the movie was so guessable I was bored. Wait - not true, that wasn't the whole problem. Boredom hit w/the weirdness of events. Before I touch that, I'll sum it up: Left at home as usual, Alan Tracy gets to prove his worth when the Hood traps his father & brothers in space (by rescuing John, whose craft he launched a missile at for bait) & his friends' Fermat's & Tintin's families on Tracy Island. After escaping, the 3 must stop the Hood from using the 3 crafts still on Tracy Island as bank-robbing devices. What saves my score being lower are lines that sometimes made me laugh. I needed to - I was bored & impatient because of everything else. The Tracys are trapped through most of the movie so Alan & the others can be shown as heroes, true enough. Still, they were shoved into the background the whole time! I barely caught all the names, & only recognize John. We should have met them at the beginning to know them! The story was odd - instead of outsmarting the Hood, the heroes are discovered right away, forced to make a (extremely long) run from the Hood's gang before they can actually do anything, & are trapped at least once, in a freezer w/their families (if I forget another time, sorry - I tend to forget the plot of boring movies). The climax scene wasn't the rescue that happened too fast to be impressive; we were stuck w/battling the Hood, who was already in the process of robbing the Bank of London. The only amazing thing about that is they couldn't get there faster. Also, I didn't mind Parker or Lady Penelope (much) but was disgusted that they had to assist the rescuing/fighting process. If the movie focused on the kids as the heroes, why did they need help?! If Alan had the thought that taking on an important rescue like this would get him to be a Thunderbird (bet he did), that was a mistake - he should have held his breath for getting it next year, after he made up the days he spent daydreaming in school. The only things I didn't see coming in this movie were: the Hood was Tintin's uncle, exactly how he trapped the Tracys, the gift of telepathy & its side-effect of weakness, & of course the villain's fate at the end was a surprise. Everything else - yes, even the ending, was predictable, either by what I'd heard beforehand about the movie, or events building up to it. How can something look so exciting yet be so dull? Let me know if you can think of the answer, but just know - it's possible, this succeeded wonderfully!

Madagascar (2005)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Pretty good, 23 June 2005
8/10

This is better than a few Dreamworks movies but doesn't match up to some others, so it's comfortably in the middle of non-Disney animated films. At the Central Park Zoo, Alex the star lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the impulsive zebra (Chris Rock), Gloria the hippo (Jana Pinkett Smith), & Melmann the hypochondriac giraffe (David Shwimmer) are ingenious pals who agree that life is good. Except Marty, now celebrating his 10th birthday (similar to 40 for humans), who wonders what life would be like outside the cage & is inspired to escape after seeing a group of psychotic penguins plotting to. When he actually chooses to head to a wildlife preserve in Connecticut via the Grand Central Station trains, his 3 friends follow him, rather than risking calling authorities & having him shipped off - only to find themselves, the penguins, & a group of chimps who want to party at Grand Central Station, on a boat toward Africa. The penguins escape their crates, imprison the captain, & steer the boat toward Antarctica instead - but they do it so clumsily the original 4 are knocked overboard & end up on a mysterious island void of humans. Alex, who's always been quite at home in the City, is furious at his former best friend. The 4 of them stumble upon a group of lemurs who're party animals, & welcome the group after Alex manages to scare off their old enemies, a band of vicious fusas - except Maurice (Cedric the Entertainer), who's afraid of him. Meanwhile, the New York "giants" discover life isn't always greener on the other side of the fence when Alex starts unconsciously attacking his friends out of hunger & grows claws, causing him to be banished from the lemurs' territory, while the others witness savage wildlife attacks. Ironically, this scene is 1 of the most memorable, because of Louis Armstrong's "It's a Wonderful World" playing. This is a hilarious movie - the penguins steal the show & their reaction when they reach Antarctica is especially funny. I also loved how they always referred to Marty as "monochromatic" when they themselves are (I doubt anyone counts their beaks). The giant sign made of wood reading "HELP" on the beach falls apart to form another word, but I won't spoil that. The lemurs constant dance to "Move It" is funny, & the sign "Wild Street Wild" was creative. The only thing I wasn't crazy about were that a few characters weren't developed very much. Except for King Julian XIII & Maurice, & possibly Mort the Mouse Lemur, the party of lemurs isn't introduced but I guess that makes sense since they're supposed to be a crowd of 1 mind. On the other hand, it was just too strange that we knew little about Melmann or Gloria, except that he's a neurotic panicking creature who can't stand disease or nature, & she's a maternal, pleasant character. Also, the animation was superb, except when showing the characters transformed into eyed steaks - that hallucination just didn't convince me anybody was actually seeing it. Still, the movie overall was great. Definitely good & worth the time.


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