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Grease 2 (1982)
Better than it's given credit for
7 November 2011
We saw this movie before the original "Grease," and have always preferred "2." We identify more with the characters, the humor, the whole "superhero shtick," and fell in love with Michelle Pfeiffer long before we saw her in anything else! Lorna Luft as Paulette was a hoot, and we enjoyed the rest of the cast, including the "returning faculty" from "Grease," some of whom we remember from their old TV shows. The bomb shelter scene was especially meaningful to "baby boomer's" who grew up in the 50's and 60's. Our favorite song is "Cool Rider," and the ending chorus to "A Girl for All Seasons" was especially poignant. This was our generation, we are class of '63 in NJ and '64 in Georgia.
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5/10
Something to offend everyone
9 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Sorry - I think "Blazing Saddles" used that first, and that's a much better satire! This is just silliness - we always get laughs out of this, it's not prejudiced against anyone because everyone gets skewered! Also, part of the fun is star-watching, it has a lot of our favorite character actors, including Billy Barty, Mako, Eve Arden! Surely they all realized that it was a bit of froth, and not to be taken seriously. I brought out the VHS because of the recent interview with surviving Munchkins. We would like to have a DVD because my husband, who is deaf, depends on captions or subtitles to get the jokes.SPOILER - It opts out in the end, making it a dream and not based on reality!
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A love-hate relationship
16 September 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I was 13 years old when Sleeping Beauty came out, and was very disappointed in the artwork. Even though we have the video, I seldom watch it all the way through. Tonight I did, and with years of studying cartoonists, styles, I am more disappointed than ever. The "medieval" style is not consistent throughout the movie. It's almost as if each scene had a different lead artist. Sometimes it's stylistic with Hanna-Barbera animation, sometimes naturalistic (dungeon walls), sometimes classic Disney, sometimes it has the psychedelic beauty of Fantasia, my favorite Disney movie!

I DO love the music, which has more to do with Tchaikovsky than Disney. I certainly think the Disney writers provided a livelier and more exciting story line than the original, including condensing the good fairies down to three.

SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW

And I have certain favorite scenes, that will bring me running back into the room when someone else is watching it. I love the "Once Upon a Dream" scene with the animals pretending to be the prince. I think the battle of the dress colors is classic original Disney. The fact that it defies simple logic which would be to use both colors, makes it that much sillier and that much more tragic when the fairies accidentally reveal their hiding place (they never thought to close the flue on the fireplace). I LOVE the battle with the dragon!

For me, each Disney movie has its charms and disappointments - but I'm glad I sat through Sleeping Beauty one more time!
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Kings Among the Commoners
17 May 2004
My husband and I both love this movie, for a number of reasons. 1. We are fans of James Garner in particular, and Jack Lemmon also. As other reviewers have noted, they play off each other extremely well. 2. In NJ, we have two former (rival)governors who share a political column. Every time I see this movie, I think of the column, where they share a grudging respect somewhat like the characters in the movie. 3. None of the reviewers have said much about the "king among the commoners" theme. During their cross-country trek, the two former Presidents find out who their "fellow Americans" REALLY are - illegal immigrants, homeless families looking for a job, gay security guards, etc., etc. That's what this movie's REALLY all about. -Earth Mother
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A new look at an old favorite
27 March 2004
The "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" led me to read Verne's novel for the first time, and to watch the Disney classic again. The Disney film is strictly an action movie (with some humor and character development), and only hints at Nemo's collection of undersea specimens. (After all, dead specimens don't move unless someone is swallowing them!) I like the way it tells more of Nemo's history, which the novel only hints about.

Does anyone know - did Kirk Douglas actually sing? The Trivia tells us that he did learn to play the song on the guitar!

I would like to see Disney update this movie, with the original cast, but "dubbing in" better underwater photography and a more realistic squid!
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Good, but a little disappointing.
21 January 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I read the first two books before seeing this movie. I had hoped for a longer version that would introduce the love interest. I found it firmly based in the first book, but with some changes I found unnecessary.

SPOILER FOR BOOK FOLLOWS The worst change was leaving out the death of The Mog-Ur, since the character was based on a real Neanderthal skeleton and it was the final break between Ayla and the Clan. Kreb's death in the earthquake had so much meaning...it bookended Ayla's early life between earthquakes, and symbolized the ultimate death of the Neanderthals!

Altogether, I found the movie lacked emotional involvement, but so did the book.I think I was expecting more emotional involvement when I could see the people on the screen...would my "eyes have watered" if Kreb died in the movie? Maybe I read the book too close to the movie, and was too busy comparing to become involved.

Incidentally, I was disappointed in the Neanderthal makeup...they didn't look much like the drawing of Neanderthals. Maybe the movie felt they needed to look more "human."
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A Rare Treasure
2 November 2002
I found this at a 4-H Agents Conference...I had never seen it before, possibly because I've always lived in urban areas. I'm such a fan of Wood and Brennan, I took a chance buying it. It shows how 4-H members were able to teach their parents better farming practices. I agree with other reviewers that it could be better... sometimes the logic fails me, but more character development would make a longer film.

The copy I have is very gritty, I'd like to see it re-mastered.

-Earth Mother
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The Hobbit (1977 TV Movie)
Always fun to watch
26 January 2002
I just re-read the book and watched my video of the movie, before I review LOTR and watch the new movie.

The problems are obvious; I don't care too much for Rankin-Bass' cutesy characters, it was a TV movie, and some things obviously fell on the cutting room floor - "When they RETURNED to the elf clearing????" In the movie, they were never there in the first place! And of course, much had to be left out for length.

On the positive side, I love the music and hear it whenever I read the lyrics to the songs in the book. It was part of my generation. I also love the voices - has anyone else noticed that Richard Boone sounds a lot like Keenan Wynn? I like the Tolkien-inspired backgrounds, too. Many other artists have interpreted Tolkien, but he was THE authority! Gollum looks more like Tolkien's description of the character than even Tolkien's own drawing!

Some trivia: In the book, Gandalf never said, "It has the RING of truth," but it's one of my favorite lines...it verbalizes Tolkien's description of Gandalf's reaction to Bilbo's story of his escape from Gollum.

For some reason, R-B had more dwarfs dying in the war (8 instead of 3). Was this anti-war propaganda?

Altogether, I still find it entertaining, and I'd like to see it re-edited (a Director's cut including dropped scenes?), especially smoothing over the commercial breaks that are so obvious in the video. Also, I'd like to see it CAPTIONED for my husband, who is deaf and can't read the lips of animated characters!
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Even better than I expected!
22 August 2001
I had seen Trigger steal the scene - and the blanket - from Hope, and finally got to see the whole movie. What a cast! Bob Hope, Jane Russell, and Roy Rogers. The three stars complement each other, and I'd love to have a copy of a still with the three of them singing together! The movie is a great showcase for Trigger, and Paul E. Burns is great in a Gabby Hayes-like role! Of course, it is not a "politically correct" portrayal of American Indians, but it is typical of its period.
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Evil Dead II (1987)
Why a re-make?
19 August 2001
Warning: Spoilers
***********SPOILERS********* I expected "EDII" to be a true sequel, not a remake. One messenger suggested there were legal difficulties with flashbacks from the original. My son thought this was the story they would have told the first time, if they had enough money. I see them as two different stories, with the same result. At least Ash was spared having to destroy the "remains" of his sister and best friends, as well as his sweetheart!

Another messenger commented that the styles of EDI and EDII are different. I agree EDI was a true horror film, in spite of unintentional humor in the stupidity of the characters and the excesses of gore. EDII was a horror-comedy, showing Raimi's development in that direction. I enjoyed both of them, on different levels.

Like the writer of "what a horrible horrible movie," I was a Campbell/Raimi fan before I learned about these movies. Maybe EDII makes more sense if you've already seen EDI, but most of it makes sense to me, in a warped kind of way. If it were truly logical, it would be a different kind of movie (and a LOT scarier)! I think who turns into a Deadite and why depends on strength of character; Ash was the only one who could resist and overcome the evil within him. EDII makes it clear that his love for his sweetheart helps him.

I think EDII should have ended when he was sucked into the void, like EDI ended when he was attacked by the evil...it would have been a better cliffhanger!

Comparing the two, EDI was a better horror movie, unresolved ending and all. EDII was more the kind of movie I enjoy, where there's more humor.
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The Evil Dead (1981)
Old friends in a gory movie!
12 August 2001
One day I came home as my son was watching a rental of "Army of Darkness." I commented that the battle scene reminded me of Monty Python. He told me I might like it because Bruce Campbell, whom I have admired in Xena/Hercules, Brisco County Jr., and Jack of All Trades, is the star. Then I noticed that the director was Sam Raimi! I was hooked, and got my son the trilogy for his birthday. So today, I watched Evil Dead for the first time.

I usually don't watch gory movies...I outgrew my "horror" phase when I started getting nightmares from them. Knowing the styles of the director and actor, I figured there would be enough humor to keep it bearable. The only humor (other than the "gift" scene) were the stupid mistakes made by the characters and the outrageous special effects, which kept it from being too believable! I'm just glad I didn't see the "shocker" ending before I knew about the sequels...

I enjoyed watching it, but much prefer more recent works by the director and actor.

Back in the 60's, before "slasher" movies, there was a term for this genre...blood and guts, or something like that. Does anybody remember?
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Vastly entertaining and satisfying!
17 July 2001
As a student of the Arthurian legend who is also a Christian, I was reluctant to read the story "from the pagan point of view," but the women's angle was tempting. When I learned it was being turned into a TV movie, with Julianna Margulies as Morgaine, I HAD to read the book before watching the movie! I found the book somewhat "modernized" in that it included characters not in the earliest legends. The movie, even more so, especially shifting to the modern versions of some of the names, and using sets and costumes more fitting to the 12th century than the 6th.

It took me a while to get into the book, but I learned to care for Morgaine, and Margulies really brought her to life in the movie! As I expected, a lot of details had to be dropped for the movie, but they were mostly details I didn't like in the book (two Merlins, Faerie beyond Avalon, etc.)What I did NOT like were the Camelot and Avalon backdrops, which looked flat and unreal!

Of course, now I want to read the book again, at least the ending, to understand some of the changes better.

And, yes, I want to buy the video!
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I consider this movie a classic!
14 July 2001
I was surprised that it only got 6 stars...when I asked my husband how he would rate it, he said 5 or 6 for quality, 7 or 8 for entertainment. I'd give it an 8 or 9 all around! And we've been around for a long time...long enough to have watched the initial release.

It was more than the innovative computer graphics and the last appearance of one of our favorites stars (Robert Preston, doing Harold Hill in Space!), the whole concept grabbed me. It was just tonight that we were watching the video, and I thought about playing Tetris and Dr. Mario, and how it works better if you let your mind wander and your reflexes kick in...I can see the writer playing "Alien Invader" and imagining that it was a training for a real starfighter...hence, the movie!

I love the characters...all of them, even the pug-uglies. They are much more believable than similar characters on Saturday morning TV. I love the small-town community of the trailer court...I kept waiting for someone to tell Maggie that Granny would NOT be alone! I can appreciate the nod to Star Wars, "What if Luke Skywalker had been a real person on our Earth?", then taking the story in a completely different direction while keeping in the final space battle. Yeah, yeah, one against a whole armada is a bit much, but SO MUCH FUN!
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My husband and I would love to see this one on video!
6 May 2001
We are both Walter Brennan fans and fantasy lovers. We remember this fondly from years ago...how we would like to own it! We thought it was Disney because it involved two Disney child actors (from Mary Poppins). Does anyone know whether it has ever been released to video?
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X-Men (2000)
WHAT A TRIP!
22 July 2000
This movie was even better than I expected, and my two daughters, who watched it separately, also agree. I really felt that some of my favorite heroes had come to life. I knew "Dr. X" would be right on target, and was pleasantly surprised that "Magneto" and all the others except "Rogue" were also right on target. "Rogue's" character was changed to fit the new story line, and it worked! Instead of the outlaw mutant overwhelmed by new powers, she became the ingenue and replaced Kitty Pryde as Wolverine's junior partner. Although I was spending some of the time analyzing the movie and the characters, most of the time I was transported to a different world. Judging by the audience reaction, even the skeptics got involved with the story and action. I want to see this in the theater again, and look forward to owning it on video.
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