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38 reviews in total 
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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
This movie surprised me...pleasantly., 1 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Me and my wife watched this movie last night and honestly I thought I wouldn't like it. First of all I am not fond of kid actors and this movie had a bunch of them. But surprisingly they were not the annoying kids that usually plague the screen, but fairly well-behaved and respectful. Maybe it was the time era and setting that had more to do with this though. Or maybe since I'm no longer a teen (20 now) I am growing up...who knows.

I enjoyed the music, but I will have to note that some of the selections were a little longer than necessary. This was the only negative aspect I could find to complain about though.

The double plot was well done; and both of the lead boys did a good job of acting.

Herr Heller was my favourite character. He interacted with the boys in a way that appealled greatly to me...the pillow fight tolerance, not punishing Peter for causing the window ledge incident, etc.

Peter was my wife's favourite character. She liked how he started off being jealous but changed once he knew the score. She called him "an appealing lad".

All through this movie is some great classical music. I'm not a classical music fan, but I do listen to it occasionally, so I do appreciate it.

And the architecture of Vienna and other places was a treat during this movie also. I hope it all still exists today.

Unfortunately for this movie, the kids of today would probably express little or no interest in watching it. But then again I would never have watched this movie as a kid either.

Both me and my wife totally and completely recommend this movie for great family viewing (if u can get your kids to watch it). There is nothing even remotely offensive in this movie.

3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Plenty of HAM, a lot of CHEESE & way CORNY., 14 June 2006

Although not total garbage, it's pretty crappy.

The dino stop-motion is worse than the old 1933 version of King Kong, and the dinos look like rubber. The effects are like something from a Nintendo game. The Prism creature looks like a troll doll. Everything in this looks as phony as a nine-pound note.

Acting is something you'd expect from a primary school play. And that horrible piece of crap bike that kid rides is a disgrace. No one could race that junk heap (I'm glad it got vapourised). Azebeth Siege and her codes of kong (is this movie riddled with references to King Kong?) is lame, lame, lame. And there's one scene where this little kid just runs underneath the dino for no apparent reason. And what's with all the moths flying around in the beginning sequence...Did they film this in an old barn?.

The sword fighting with the dino was also way lame. And sacrificing people to the "dragon" (dino)...hmmm...again, somebody's been watching too many King Kong movies.

I wonder what the budget for this was...$2.

It's sort of cool though how this is set up like old serials. Chapter one at least leaves you hanging & shows a preview of the next chapter.

My friend gave us a laserdisc player & a box of movies. In the box were chapters 1 & 2 of this series. We watched the first one. And maybe one of these days when I'm extra bored I'll watch chapter 2...that is if I haven't used the laserdiscs for frizbees by then.

I wonder if laserdiscs will shatter nicely upon impact with a tree...In this case that's about all they're good for. Well maybe some really bored little kids might like Josh Kirby.

King Kong (2005)
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Awesome CGI, good story, & decent acting = wonderful remake!, 28 May 2006

Travis & Annette (as usual)..

This movie seemed a bit long for cinema viewing, but was just right for home viewing. And actually this doesn't reflect on the content of the movie, but more on the greater comfort and control home viewing provides.

ANNETTE: This movie was a wonderfully sensitive remake. Jackson created believable characters which carried the story admirably. Especially impressive was Kong and Ann's relationship. There were a couple of instances of characters being developed and then seemingly disappearing (notably the Jimmy character), but this didn't harm the story. I really liked Jack in this. He was the sensitive man, forced into physical confrontation (which was previously alien to him) for the girl he cares about. Adrien did it well too.

TRAVIS: The CGI for Kong was absolutely the best I've ever seen. That ape was fabulous. Some of the other CGI was of lesser quality (the dino stampede being one instance). But naturally the focus was on Kong so this didn't detract much from the spectacle. Story was nicely developed also with fuller characters than the original 1933 version. I was really pleasantly surprised at how perfect Jack Black was for the Denham role. And that was my favourite character too. It was awesome how I would hate the guy one instant, then want him to get away with his schemes later.

ANNETTE: My absolute favourite scene was the frozen pond with Ann & Kong. This was a wonderful interlude in an otherwise violent episode, and served so well to show the bonding of Kong and Ann.

TRAVIS: Yes, Annette definitely loves that scene. I am forced to watch it multiple times during each viewing. It is a nice scene tho. Now my favourite scene was when Kong did the discus throw with the biplane. That was just awesome! And he got a 2-for-1 shot on it too.

ANNETTE: My rating is an 8 for this. Some scenes (like the dino stampede) seemed a bit excessive. And some characters seemed to have been built up to no purpose. Other than that, it was a magnificent production.

TRAVIS: I also gave an 8. And I also feel some scenes were drawn out too much (especially Kong & Ann staring at each other, the sunset, etc.). And even some of the action scenes seemed to go on beyond the realm of effectiveness. But otherwise, I really liked this movie.

We both definitely recommend this movie. It is decently safe for all but the youngest kids. The worst scenes which could possibly scare kids are the giant bugs, the worms that consume the cook, and when Kong breaks the dino's jaw.

For a remake, this was fantastic. Not many remakes can boast of the quality of this one.

5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
This one is "Red" hot!, 1 May 2006

From Travis & Annette...

Both of us laughed all the way thru this. Massively entertaining.

We didn't expect much after seeing some previews for this. The animation didn't look overly impressive, and we weren't really expecting much out of another story of "Little Red Riding Hood".


ANNETTE: This little gem had a interesting and creative storyline. It was well thought out and the characterisation was wonderful. I simply fell in love with all the characters.

TRAVIS: Oh yes! I loved the characters too. Granny was just cool. The singing goat cracked me up too. I haven't laughed so much at a movie in years. And the puns and the twists the story took really rocked.

ANNETTE: The animation was what I would class as "sub-par". But, you know, I hardly noticed because the plot and characterisation were so well done. And I much prefer a decent story to perfect technique.

TRAVIS: Yep. I've got no complaints with this. The score was lively and the tunes were cool too. Whatever the animation lacked (and it was pretty weak) was more than compensated for by the story, characters, and score. I'm really impressed.

Man, I hope these guys make some more. It was so refreshing to actually have a movie that was really funny and told a decent story. This is a movie I know we're gonna be able to watch many times.

Both of us are in agreement on the rating for this title, and give it a 9 (only reason it didn't get a 10 was because of weak animation).

Absolutely do not miss seeing this, no matter how old you are. (It's safe for all kids BTW).

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Washed out clone!, 22 April 2006

By Travis & Annette: Both of us really liked the Walter Matthau version, but we feel this remake, while adhering to the original story (almost verbatim in some places), was a total bomb.

ANNETTE: The kids were not nearly as cute or spontaneous as in the original. I just couldn't develop much empathy for them. And their interaction with Thornton as Buttermaker was not nearly so humorous and engaging as with Matthau.

TRAVIS: Massive agreement there Annette. I wasn't impressed at all; although I still liked the Tanner kid and his cocky attitude. But, strangely, I was also favourably impressed with the kid that played Kelly. I don't think I've ever seen that kid before, but he might just have what it takes to make a decent actor. Sorry about the vagueness in my reasoning, but I can't really put my finger on why I feel this way. He just had a "presence" that impressed me for some reason even though his character was a lesser one.

ANNETTE: Sadly, Hollywood is very inept it seems in the remake department. Just look at such disasters as "War of the Worlds", "Bewitched", "Dukes of Hazzard" and this atrocity. Usually Travis is much harsher in his criticism of movies than I am. But, in this case, it's the opposite. I felt that, while this movie hashed through the same story, somehow it lost the "soul" of the original. My rating is a 1.

TRAVIS: I'm going with a 4 on this. I was impressed with the Kelly kid, Tanner was still cool, and there was "eye candy" in the cheerleader department (Ouch! Annette socked me for that).

We'll be kind and round up our average to a 3. Our suggestion is watch the original Matthau version and don't waste your time with this poor excuse for a remake.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Not original, but still nice!, 22 April 2006

by Travis & Annette...

Well, we finally agreed on the rating for a movie...woo hoo!. We both give this one a 7.

Most everyone will agree that this movie is almost an exact clone of Jumanji, except for the setting. This doesn't make it bad though.

ANNETTE: Actually I enjoyed this movie just a small bit more than Jumanji. The kids were better actors is the main reason. My favourite character had to be Danny. He was so cute and played his role admirably...a very believable 6-year-old boy.

TRAVIS: Walter was my favourite. I've known some 10yo kids who acted almost exactly like that. Walter was a very realistic character. But both boys were actually quite good. Generally I have issues with kid actors, but these are an exception. The other actors (other than the Astronaut) were relatively minor. And I really didn't care much for the Astronaut although his acting was fine.

ANNETTE: The dialogue between the boys is much improved over Jumanji. It's very typical of what arguing young boys would say to each other. For instance, Walter bragging about his having a robot and Danny being jealous of that fact. And I thought Walter's ending line to the effect of "so you like my eyes..." when his sister is leaving was perfect.

TRAVIS: Strangely this movie reminded me of titles like "Romeo & Juliet" with DiCapprio or maybe "Titus" where it's the same story but set in a different era. In this case of course it's Jumanji set in space. One cute thing that amused me was the deal with the bike. It's in almost every scene...orbiting the house, bumped by the Zorgon ship, and then at the end falling just where Walter was standing.

We both agree effects were mediocre to weak. But that didn't seem to detract from the movie. If you are an effects person it might be an issue.

And we feel this movie is pretty much suitable for anyone to watch. Maybe parents with wee ones should note the very mild language. The words "biatch" & "you suck" are used. Otherwise it's clean.

This is a pleasant little family movie with a decent story most kids can relate to.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
One of us liked It; The other one...hmmm, 23 February 2006

by Travis & Annette.

For the most part this was an enjoyable movie. And it's a fine choice for family entertainment.

ANNETTE: Nanny McPhee's character was my favourite. She has excellent stage presence. Mr. Brown was my second choice. He was actually lovable in a puppy-dog sort of way. The kids were cute but not especially notable. They filled out the purpose of the story fine, but I didn't find myself warming to them much.

TRAVIS: This is not my type of movie, but I'll try to be fair about it. I also liked Nanny McPhee the best, but the rest could've easily put me to sleep. I felt the only decent characterisation was McPhee. Kid actors sometimes get on my nerves a bit, and these were an incessant reminder of that fact.

ANNETTE: Once scene in particular seemed a bit out of character for the rest of the movie...the dancing donkey. But I was so enchanted by the snowy wedding scene. I would like to be married like that. I also enjoyed the food fight more than I usually do that type of thing.

TRAVIS: I ain't getting married in the snow! But it wasn't a bad scene. Often during this film, I was very much reminded of "Mary Poppins" and that "Lemony Snicket" movie (both of which I didn't really care about much). Now, if I had kids, I would still feel really good about having em watch this film; But, for me, even tho I feel it's a decent movie, it's just not my genre. Predictably, the food fight was my favourite scene.

Our combined rating was 7 on this.

ANNETTE: I felt this was a good production, with decent acting and a very good story. Great for families. I'm giving it a 9.

TRAVIS: A 5 is about my limit on this type of stuff. Even "Mary Poppins" couldn't get much more out of me even tho it was highly rated. But I will recommend this as a fun family film. If you have kids, give it a shot.

Oliver! (1968)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Even Dickens himself would like this one., 23 December 2005

Me and my girlfriend, Annette, watched this together and we'll both comment.

Both of us really enjoyed watching this even though it took some liberties with Dicken's work. A lot of Dicken's works are somewhat dark and dreary (including Oliver Twist), but this movie changed all that. It was fun, colourful (both visually and musically), and the characters were more lighthearted.

TRAVIS: Normally, I don't care a lot for musical and dance movies, but the tunes in this production were catchy and lively, and the choreography was awesome.

ANNETTE: That's really saying a lot coming from Travis. I can't emphasise enough how really good the dance numbers were. You can tell, for example, that those boys really worked hard getting the routines down to perfection.

TRAVIS: Three actors really stood out IMO; Nancy (Shani W.), Bill Sykes (Oliver Reed), and Artful Dodger (Jack Wild). Man, that Oliver Reed can really do a good villain. That one scene where you see his eyes thru the mail slot gave me chills down the back...AWESOME. And that kid Jack Wild was a perfect Artful Dodger. And Nancy was fantastic (man, I felt bad when she got killed). She can sing too! Kudos to the casting department on their choices there. I hated the Oliver Twist kid tho. He was just too whiny and wimpy for my taste. (I kept wishing Bill Sikes would drop him off into the mud during the chase scene.) And they shouldn't have had him sing either.

ANNETTE: Acting was truly superb. In addition to the three stars Travis mentioned, I felt Ron Moody (Fagin) did a tremendous job. He was so funny, and at the same time lightly sinister too. The supporting actors were great too. Harry Secombe carried his Mr. Bumble role extremely well. And he has a wonderful singing voice. I saw Mr. Secombe perform in another movie entitled "Davy" where he played an opera singer with pleasing results. The talented Harry Secombe should have been in a lot more movies.

TRAVIS: As I mentioned earlier the story isn't quite true to the book, but IMO it was more robust. This movie was not boring either, as some musicals seem to be. And the continuity kept you moving right along with the characters. The tunes did not detract from the plot or put you to sleep by being too long.

ANNETTE: Any musical movie which Travis watches completely has to be a rare find. And this one is indeed a rare find. It is a very easy-to-watch production which carries the viewer smoothly and enjoyably through to the end. In a day when movies all seem to be effects combined with pretty faces, this was a refreshing interlude.

Our combined rating for this was 8.5 of 10. (We'll round up to 9 in this case.).

TRAVIS: I rated this a 7 mainly because the Oliver Twist kid (Mark L.) irritated me, and his songs were torture to my overly sensitive ears. Otherwise, it was an outstanding movie.

ANNETTE: My rating is a 10. Movies don't get much better than this. And you can tell everyone involved in this production really worked hard to make it what it was...a masterpiece.

Please don't miss this one...even if you normally don't like musicals. It really is a rare treat.

14 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
Both of us say...Dream on, 18 November 2005

This is sort of a double review cause me and my girlfriend watched this together and we both have "thoughts" about it.

My 9yo cousin gave us this movie just cause he liked it...he even got us a couple pairs of 3d glasses to watch it with.

Both of us thought the movie was kid junk, but really isn't that what it was supposed to be? There were some fun spots though.

TRAVIS: Most of the characters I hated. (Too bad Mr. Electric didn't do away with some of em before he was defeated.) They were weak and poorly acted...esp. Max. But I liked Sharkboy for the most part. He had that cocky attitude that sort of appeals to me. And, although not original, some of his one-liners were cool.

ANNETTE: Travis is a bit harsh (as usual), but I'll agree with him about weak and poorly acted characters. I couldn't even identify with Lavagirl, although I thought she was quite attractive. Sharkboy was a really cute guy though. Mr. Electric/Teacher was nothing short of annoying.

TRAVIS: Story was really lame, but it's probably good enough for younger kids. It pretty much bored me tho. Some of the 3d was okay and I noticed it looked a heck of a lot better on our LCD TV than the old one.

ANNETTE: Yes. The story was very weak. But it was colourful, and as Travis noted, should appeal to a younger audience. 3d was fun, but not the best I've seen. We watched this on a 27-inch LCD screen with quite nice results.

ANNETTE: I thought the scene where Lavagirl zaps Sharkboy out of jealousy was the cutest part of this movie. And the way Sharkboy copied the tone of the Jurassic Park character's false calm in his "yell...scream" comment when they were on the "train-of-thought" was sort of humorous.

TRAVIS: Yeah Annette. You would like that zapping scene! My favourite scene was when Sharkboy says "ouch" with that sh*t-eating grin on his face when Lavagirl kisses him.

Well, anyhow, as you can see, we didn't totally abhor this movie. Although I think we both agree the only decent acting was by Sharkboy. For the most part this movie was boring. But that's most likely because we are too old for it. If you've got younger kids, it will probably entertain them adequately. Avg. rating=5.

TRAVIS: I rated this a 4 cause it seemed to be cranked out without much thought. With some extra work it could have been a lot better. The only reason it gets as high as a 4 is cause I liked Sharkboy.

ANNETTE: I rated this a 6 because it seemed to appeal to the audience intended. But I also agree that with more time and attention there certainly could have been a lot of improvement. Perhaps if Rodriguez decides to make a sequel, he will obtain a better story with better actors and surprise us all.

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
"Ornery" I think is the word!, 16 October 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This kid pulls all kinds of crap...and gets away with it! Man, my dad would have killed me had I even thought of this sh*t.

Okay, it's a fun movie, but it seems to be made up of various mini-plots rather than a single main theme: There's the kid screwing up getting to camp so he can win the cup again; then there's the circus poster mishap business; the devious plans of the circus manager's wife against the kid bareback rider; the sleeping pill & lion episode; & Mr. & Mrs. Peck both giving in to the kid scenario.


The movie begins with Billy polishing his prized cup which he has won two years in a row at camp.

Billy is a very mischievous kid who has pulled many stunts and now his parents have forbidden him to go to camp where he can win the cup for the third time (he gets to keep the cup permanently after the 3rd win). This is especially devastating to Billy since he is a braggart and has harassed his rival (who he calls "ice truck") about winning.

Both parents (separately) relent and give Billy money to reach camp. But Billy (and his gang) encounter the circus. When they are cheated by the circus promoter who forges a pass for Billy & his buddies, they attempt to sneak into the circus. But to get back at Billy, his rival "ice truck" snitches on him and Billy has to use the money his parents gave him to pay for circus tickets.

Meanwhile, the woman lion-tamer (wife of circus mgr.) has finagled her way to top billing over the more-talented child bareback rider. But the lion-taming performance is ruined when Billy & his friends put sleeping pills in hotdogs and feed them to the lions.

Now, later in order to get to camp, Billy hitches a ride with the circus and gets acquainted with the young girl bareback rider. And when she gets injured by a malicious act of the woman lion-tamer, Billy dresses as a girl and takes her place as the bareback rider. (This was presumably supposed to be a comical scene, but it only consisted of Billy swinging on the supporting rope trying to hang on to the horse from time to time...although he caught the tail finally.) This was a tough decision for Billy because he knows he'll miss the cup race at camp by subbing in the circus.

But, alas, the lion-keeper gives billy a wild ride in a chariot to the camp and billy enters the race...still dressed as a girl. Billy wins the race with a last-minute flagpole stunt featuring his arch-rival "ice truck".

Even "ice truck's" dad gets (unfairly) bashed by the lion-keeper who mistakes him for Mr. Peck whose name was on the sleeping pill package which was found near the lions' cage earlier.

Thankfully, the woman lion-tamer gets canned by the big wig. (Now, I would have liked it better had one of the lions taken a big bite out of her butt).

All ends well for Billy (imagine that), and the movie ends with Billy again polishing his cup and gloating over his success.

This movie was cute but would never withstand today's standards. I mean, that kid just got away with too much crap. I can just see every parent blaming this movie for all their kids' misbehaviour.

If you like stuff like "Our Gang", "East Side Kids", or "Dennis The Menace" this should entertain you.

Copyrights have expired on this movie and it is available for free download. Quality is good for age of movie. (See forum discussion for download info.)

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