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One of my favorites...
27 August 2006
One of the few more-modern animated films I still enjoy; maybe that's because it doesn't happen to revolve around "The power of friendship/love/whatever" and isn't some sappy love story, like many of Disney's drek has been (though it does have a minor, slightly sleazey love-ish story in the background). Dreamworks is a breath of fresh air in times like these, it would seem.

The plot works on many levels; it's straightforward enough for the general kid to understand and enjoy, but is piled under levels of wit and more jokes that rely on understanding more of it, making it balanced and still funny the 150+th time I watch it.

The songs are catchy (as can be well-expected from the good man Elton John), the characters are lovable yet total sleazeball con-men, and the humour is on many levels; and with it, it brings many good, memorable lines ("'For three days?!' 'YES! Don't even breathe!'" and "'You're buying your own con!' 'At least I'm not DATING mine!' '... oooh, low blow.'" come to mind).

As a basic rundown, there's Miguel, the fun-loving, more light-hearted of the two con-men; he tends to appreciate the beauty in fun and people. Tulio, the other half of the duo, has a bit more preoccupation with material possessions and wealth, though he still remains human. Then there's Chel; the seducer from the city of gold, able to help the two (at a price). And our main antagonist? Tzekel Khan (spelling unsure), a rather nutsy high priest and speaker for the gods, who proves to be... well, a basket case.

The animation pulls itself off well; the movie is bright and colourful, but not a kiddie flick at all- rather, it's humorous on all scales- my friend's 6-year-old-brother, I, and my 55-year-old dad agree. The Road to El Dorado is enjoyable on all accounts. If nothing else, consider renting it.
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Rent (2005)
I'm not a musical fan...
27 August 2006
Now, trust me. I am NOT a musical fan. I've always seen them as corny, rather pointless, and... well, unenjoyable to sit through with characters randomly bursting into song and dance numbers on crowded streets. This is the one exception so far.

I have not had the pleasure of seeing the stage production as of yet; I hope to eventually. The songs are why I got into it; the catchier tunes, such as La Vie Boheme, Seasons of Love, and I'll Cover You, I had seen used elsewhere, and thus my curiosity lead me to eventually rent RENT. And I don't regret it. It has since become one of my favorite films.

It does not fear to tread where some would call taboo; the film takes AIDS, sexuality, death, and other such subjects head-on, while still managing to make the film memorable (And not in a "I can't believe I watched that utter tripe" way). The songs, while I still find the concept of 8 fully-grown people bursting into song in a resteraunt rather ludicrous (and yet very, very fun!), it manages to work. The film doesn't serve entirely as a vehicle for the songs; and yet, it doesn't stick to one long, solid plot- which isn't bad, in the case of RENT.

It has cut out several songs from the Broadway production (as well as the majority of Goodbye Love), as I know; and yet, while it would be pleasant to have them in, the film doesn't suffer horribly.

Yes, I know you'll all wonder "how do the all know the words?" or "how did she just get up and sing like that?". But it's a musical; in musicals, people know the words. Musicals obey different rules than typical films.

Don't view it looking for anything else; enjoy it for what it is, instead of despising it because of what it's not.
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