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Engaging despite being unbelievable
30 October 2008
Thoroughly enjoyable. I only slightly remember the prior film to this sequel, but it is not needed. This one stands on its own.

There is no point where you will believe this story. It is just too far-fetched with usually mediocre acting (that's child actors for you, though, usually mediocre).

The heart in this story is it's driving force. It's about love and survival; Heidi's love for, well, nearly everyone; the children's love for each other; and more.

Although the cover and title may not seem very promising, it is worth watching. Give it a chance.
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Microcosmos (1996)
More explanation ... then again, maybe not
28 October 2008
Thoroughly enjoyable film, although I did at least in the beginning want more explanation. I wanted to know what that particular spider (or other creature) was called. I wanted to hear things like "Lucky catch. Sometimes a spider will sit for days without a meal." (I don't really know if that's the case.) Little bits of information like that would have been welcome.

But then I became absorbed and realized that it was enough just to observe and learn what was available visually. The use of music to tell the story was not perfect, but good enough. I apparently do not enjoy snail mating as much as the film-makers though, because they chose absolutely beautiful music and it went on entirely too long. Strange.

Nevertheless, I did enjoy this one and I would watch it again. It turns out that when you know more about them and can see their beauty this tiny creatures don't seem so creepy any more.
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Beware of catching dreams!
17 October 2008
This man and his family endure, endure, endure and support, support, support through some of the most trying times a family could go through. He inspires the same sort of loyalty and hard work in his employees and friends.

It is so refreshing to see a movie about good people not compromising their values under pressure, although it nearly never goes the way they plan.

It's easy to believe that the man who pioneered all these safety features, Preston Tucker, would be a man of heart, and that is how he is portrayed here. In fact that is what this movie is; a film with heart.

Watch this but be careful! If you get too close you may catch his dreams.
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Good for some smiles.
8 October 2008
This movie really made me smile. The narration was funny and so were the characters. Sometimes it was over-the-top, but it was supposed to be.

This one is certainly not to be taken seriously.

All of the characters in this movie fit into cookie-cutter molds, and that is one of the things that makes this film such easy viewing. No pretense. No trying to be 'real'.

It feels like a great children's book or comfort food. It doesn't have to be perfect, you love it anyway.

**There is a scene of comic violence that I wish was missing, but the rest of the film is positive and fun for the whole family.
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Charming Littles
5 October 2008
The family in this film is so charming and just adorable. E.B. White is a talented children's book author and this second film sticks to the feel of the first excellently.

The far reaching love of this family is still the central theme with more brother issues thrown in and cool toys and gadgets to really engage young viewers.

An absolutely sweet movie, like the first, with its sentimental moments, but with plenty of action also.

A must see for young families, and I'm sure many not-so-young will love it, too. I did.
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30 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I'm going to begin with the most important and brilliantly accomplished aspect of this masterpiece; the narrative. Spirit and the other horses do not speak. We need to understand them, especially Spirit himself, or there is no point to this film. So, we have as one important element the body language, including facial expressions. These are made more human, for relatability, but at no point do they feel cartoonish or unfitting.

Then, there is the score and songs by Hans Zimmer and Bryan Adams. Words cannot begin to describe how wonderful these are at bringing across the emotions and thoughts of Spirit. They are consistent in bringing out his character. Although, he displays a vast range of emotions as he goes through his journey, it is always him. It flows seamlessly.

One more important element of the narrative was ... the narrator. Not only was a narrator excusable here, but Matt Damon did an excellent job. In this way we are able to hear the voice of Spirit. I personally treasured the opportunity to get to know his character better in this way.

Now, in addition to the multi-layered narrative, we have beautiful artwork throughout. The scenic environment, the majestic horses, the humans and their settlements were all excellent, excellent works. The characters of all are also very well written and voiced. I especially enjoyed Little Creek, and the little girl, as I'm sure many have and will.

If you haven't watched this one yet, whether or not you have children, pick it up. Go ahead and buy it.

********This is where the spoiler is.********

*(The only caution I'd give is that there are some scenes where Spirit was captured and he tries, successfully, to escape that may be frightening for some very young viewers.)
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What a Gem!
29 September 2008
Funny and moving, in different parts and just really appealing. Who doesn't like boy-and-his-dog stories? Well, with this interesting sci-fi twist it adds humor and adventure and makes the story more than the usual.

Definitely one of the funniest things is what he IMAGINES the 'dog' can do versus the reality. (You'll have to watch to find out.) My family and I were laughing our heads off.

I accidentally rented this, not realizing it would be in a foreign language. I do not speak Cantonese, but I don't think this effected my enjoyment to a great degree. And it didn't effect my children's enjoyment either, as I read the subtitles aloud to them and we laughed along to much of the movie together.

There were a couple moments that I thought were lame, but they didn't weigh down the otherwise great acting and inventive script.

It was completely worth my time and I'd absolutely watch it again. (And by the way, non-Cantonese parents, this is a way you may not have thought of before, to show your children that reading can be fun. We may do it again, and this time on purpose!)
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24 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I was enchanted from the start. The music gave an air of wonderment that one could only expect to carry throughout the rest of the film. Main character, Bea, was a very sweet woman who was truly loved by her family, even her in-laws.

Bea's first song, after her husband had died, was so moving. "Who am I going to cook and clean for ... who's going to balance the check book." It showed so beautifully, how a long married couple can come to rely on each other even for the simple things; even just to be there. Her voice, too, was so weak and shaky, which made it strike an even deeper chord, one that a clear, perfect voice never could have.

Then Bea gets whisked off to the Stardust Ballroom by her friends and meets a very interesting man, who seems totally in love with her, if a bit pushy. But, Bea, ever so endearingly old-fashioned keeps him at arms length and sends him home to be sure nothing improper would take place. He's still enchanted. Awwww, how sweet.

Ha! That's when everything quite quickly changes, taking every bit of enchantment, beauty and old-fashioned sweetness out of the rest of the film. Bea invites her new beau, Al, up to her bedroom.

That may be excusable, and I may move on and still enjoy the remainder, but then the same Al who pursued Bea and got her into bed casually announces he's married and Bea decides they just won't discuss it. Ugh! They go on with their affair and she even tells her family, including grandchildren, that the man she's seeing is married.

This was all totally out of character. Taking him to her bedroom was unbelievable in the first place, but when you throw in Al's spouse it is unforgivable. It taints the entire movie and because of this disturbing and completely unnecessary twist I would not recommend it to anybody. The rest of the film would have been infinitely better without Al's wife.
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Made of Honor (2008)
21 September 2008
This film is disgusting. It portrays as acceptable, even good, that somebody would chase after an engaged woman!! Now, for those of you who've seen the previews, you may guess that this man was hardly 'made of honor.' This strikes a lot of the same notes as 'My Best Friend's Wedding' did, but with less effectiveness and a seriously disturbing ending. At least in the other, it showed the course she took to be selfish and childish and just plain wrong.

But, other than that, the acting was weak, except in rare moments. The scenery in Scotland is absolutely beautiful. And the bridesmaids, although not having particularly large roles, are mostly very likable. The bride, too, is a charming woman nearly to the end.

That being said, though, I couldn't stomach watching this one again, as its message is extremely offensive to me. Make your own choice on this one, as I believe my views and feelings on it are severely tainted by moral conflict.
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The Trial of Old Drum (2000 TV Movie)
Worthwhile Watching!
20 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I didn't expect much from this one. It's slow pace and older feeling did not appeal to me, but I ended up really enjoying it.

The story is thick with morals, which, if I were to list them all, would seem too much, but they are not over-done. You do not feel preached to, but are aware of these lessons. I didn't necessarily agree with one, but that didn't lessen my enjoyment much.

The acting for the most part was simply adequate, but there were some brilliant parts where it really mattered. Young Charlie's (Bobby Ednar's) plea for the help of the lawyer was heart-rending. He was also very moving in the scene when Old Drum's life was on rocky ground after Drum had rescued Charlie.

Oh, and I just loved Uncle Lon's (John Shuck's) expression when he was being mercilessly teased, as well as his manner in the court room. Excellent, excellent job. Kathy Garver was also brilliant as his lovingly loyal wife.

And if a movie must have a narrator, something I'd usually rather avoid, let it be Randy Travis. His manner of speaking carries such charm that you can't be too annoyed by being told what's going on rather than just seeing it for your self.

The romance between Charles (Ron Perlman) and Ann (Alexis O'Keefe) is sweet and a nice little side story.

This movie was very predictable, having all the elements you expect from a boy and his dog movie, including the threat of rabies, but since it is so well done it doesn't take much away if anything.

I highly recommend it, and if you have young children watch it with them more than once so that you have the opportunity to discuss those morals that matter to you and really reach their hearts.
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RV (2006)
20 September 2008
This movie had a few good laughs, but mostly just adequate viewing.

As a big comedy fan, I love Robin Williams and Jeff Daniels, who are both great actors whether comedic or not. Williams, however, was not as enjoyable as usual. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it was as if he was only half there for this picture. Daniels, on the other hand, completely immersed himself in his over-the-top character and did as good of a job as can be expected in that type of role.

While the "kooky" family does there job well, though, even perfectly on the part of the adults, the "regular" family is only semi-present in their roles. They don't seem convinced of who they are most of the time. To make that kind of comedy work for me, though, the "regular" has to pull their weight otherwise I can't feel the film; it's emotions and journey, which makes it far less enjoyable.

If you enjoy over-the-top comedy (and poop jokes), you'll likely enjoy this more than I did. However, if you need something a little more solid you could easily skip this one. While not painful, I won't be adding it to my collection.
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Just Okay
17 September 2008
This movie didn't do much for me. Not bad, but not very good either.

The music tried valiantly to evoke emotions that the acting and script just weren't doing on their own. But here's the problem. I'm not the type of person to take special note of the music (usually) and this just goes to show that I really wasn't into the story.

These leading actors are really enjoyable most of the time, but this time, especially on the part of Jennifer Lopez, I was wondering what happened to the usual talent they display.

Despite their flat acting, a good word for the father of the wedding planner, Alex Rocco, has to be put in. This guy did such a great job with his character that I was almost instantly in love with the sweetness and genuine feeling that came across in his overly-involved father role. His part was relatively small, but important and superbly done.

Watch it if you want, but don't expect to be blown away or swept off your feet.
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Love the Book, Love the Flick!
17 September 2008
Now, I'm not one who likes picking apart a film, because of differences from the book, but ... I'm okay with praising it for accuracy.

My children and I had just finished reading the book, when we saw this in the discount section at the store. Well, we just couldn't resist giving it a try. We all truly enjoyed it.

Most of the details are true to the book, but more important than that, the spirit of it remained in tact.

With a strong moral lesson (or two) I really enjoy this just for causing you (and kids) to spend some time thinking about things that matter. It is also very upbeat overall, despite some more serious moments while the characters face large personal dilemmas. The voice talents were impressive and the animation was adorable and engaging.

The only negatives I have to say about this one are not a big deal, but there are two very weak characters. The 'mean kid' is totally unconvincing and pretty annoying and the camp coach is just confusing. (I don't understand what he says or why he is like that. Is it supposed to be funny?) But, since both of their roles are relatively minor, they don't ruin the film. So, sit back with the kids and maybe some popcorn and enjoy.
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17 September 2008
I don't really know what else to say about this. It was dull. Dull, dull, dull.

The acting was fine, but with nowhere to go. And I don't think it made much sense to have the boy as the narrator. I'd personally favor the eldest sister, Kate, or the 'simple' sister, Rose in that role.

So much more could have been done with this film. The character of Father Jack was interesting, perhaps there could have been more with him, or maybe we could have found out more about Kate whom we get almost no understanding of at all. And why did the boy love that summer? We don't actually see enough of him to figure it out.

This movie did not intrigue or entertain. It could have been better, but it wasn't. Try it out if you'd like, but my advice is, 'Don't waste your time.'
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Family Flick
17 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I found this film funny and a good time. There were a couple points that I thought weren't really suited to this leading man (Quaid), but other than that, the acting was great.

I could feel chemistry between 'Mom & Dad' and also the tension between them. The kids also did a great job making the tension real as well as the affection they later have for each other (which we all knew was going to happen, but I'm not bothered by this sort of predictability as most films have many predictable moments and the ones that strive too hard to avoid it usually end up unsatisfying).

Although I can't imagine a situation like theirs ever being successful in real life (two large, but vastly different families coming together), this film does very well in making you forget that just for a while.

It's a clean film suitable for anybody. The charm, the characters, the story, the chemistry, the hijinks; all worthwhile reasons to watch this one.
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Little Surprise
15 September 2008
I hadn't personally heard of this one, until I stumbled across it on IMDb. Decent rating, with that '7th Heaven' kid. (I used to love that show.) I thought I'd give it a try.

What a great find! I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The acting from all involved was excellent. The story was believable. The characters were ones you could understand emotionally (even if you've never been in their shoes).

A story driven piece. It's not about effects or anything superficial. It actually means something.

While I think it was perfectly executed by all involved, I do not give it a ten. It was enjoyable. I really like it, but I don't love it. I think it's basically because I'm not a teen or a young child and that's who it's aimed at.

But, that being said, I would watch it again, and maybe even add it to our families movie library. Give it a try. You, too, may be pleasantly surprised.
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The Wizard (1989)
8 September 2008
This film was a little flat for me, but watchable. It reminded me of the games I played when I was younger. Why do we need more graphics to have fun? Anyways, the acting was mediocre, the drama wasn't dramatic and here's a question, 'Why could they tell just by looking at him that he wasn't "normal?"' I wouldn't have been able to. Strange.

Also, the 'villain' was confusing. I wasn't sure how 'evil' he was supposed to be. He seemed to shift quite dramatically in his character in a way that left me completely unsatisfied.

Good for a little trip down memory lane (for those who played Nintendo, or just a lot of video games). Otherwise, you may want to leave this one on the shelf. Not bad, but not good either.
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What fun!
7 September 2008
This film does have some drawbacks, but it is a really fun one. There are so many interesting twists and turns (if you are willing to believe the unbelievable) and so many interesting characters, that it really made me regret not having watched the first. And now, I also want to watch the third.

Don't let the fact that it is unrealistic bother you though. I don't think the writers were aiming for scientific accuracy, but just a good time (for which they can claim victory).

What I didn't like about it was the violence and profanity, plus a few weak acting moments. I know a lot will not be put off by those first two I mentioned, but they really take away from my enjoyment of a film, and in this case the profanity was completely unnecessary and the violence could have at least been toned down.

The acting for the Biff and Griff characters was too one-dimensional for me and (what's-her-name?) Marty's mom was just not believable in any but her younger scenes, which are brief. (Even though the situation is unbelievable the character acting still should be.) But, regardless of those things, this film is still a lot of fun, especially for sci-fi lovers. Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox never disappoint.
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Boy, Was I Wrong!
7 September 2008
I thought I would love this movie. The lead actors are funny and charming and just, plain good actors. I hadn't seen the previews, but the back of the cover seemed very interesting.

Boy, was I wrong! The acting was good, but not emotionally believable. The movie wasn't fun it was just the opposite ... boring. And if you can't have fun with your film or emotionally connect, whether the emotions are fear, love or what-have-you, what is the point? (This is, of course, excluding films watched strictly for educational purposes.) I was not planning on wasting an hour and an half of my weekend, but I almost always watch the film right to the end, just to see if it will become good (you know, an ending can fix or destroy a whole movie). This one did not turn around at the end however. It was just lame.

If you want my advice, don't waste an hour and a half of your time. There are plenty of good movies out there. So, take a chance with another, because this one is a flop.
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Madagascar (2005)
Kids Love It!
4 September 2008
I watched this with a bunch of kids and there was A LOT of laughing going on! Now, I love these actors, but I thought for this film the acting was a little weak. The kids didn't notice or complain.

The plot was entertaining and (as a mom) I can't help liking the moral hinted at about the love of good friends conquering in the end. (If you're the type of person who doesn't like a moral just steer clear of family films altogether, because they're usually in there, but this one doesn't jump out at you.) There are other films of this type that I prefer, but this one was likable and I would watch it again. I'm sure all of the kids will watch this one again and again AND AGAIN if given the chance.

To sum up, this one is alright for adults, great for kids. Worth taking a look at.
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Wonderful Family Adventure!
30 August 2008
My boys and I had a great time watching this film together. We all found the duet between sibling mice enchanting. I had only vague memories of this film from my childhood, but I remembered that duet; a very beautiful moment.

My oldest just told me to write this; It's the best movie ever!! And the other says; It was a good movie.

We get a movie about once a week and I've just got to say that this was the best time watching a film we've had in a very long time. The characters are varied and all of them are absorbing. Of course, there are elements that are predictable, but it's a kids film. So, all is forgiven.

There are some parts, though, that may frighten very young or very sensitive children, but most will not be afraid and will just be able to enjoy it. I hope you do, too!
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26 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this around the time it came out and loved it then and I still love it.

The acting isn't always perfect, but it's always entertaining. I was never bored. I certainly wish there was less swearing and that the 'almost love scene' was left out, so that I could sit down and watch this with my kids.

John Travolta and Kirsty Ally are both completely lovable in their roles. Although the movie fails to take me through their more rough emotions with them. I don't feel for her when her baby's daddy doesn't follow through with his fatherly responsibilities. And I don't really feel for him over his unfulfilled (at least temporarily) love.

I guess that is what makes this film so fun though. You are not brought down so you can just focus on the fun and uplifting parts without your mind dwelling on the trials of the characters.

I highly recommend this film to anybody who won't get hung up on the little things (and I think that's most people). So, go rent it. It may be old for a film, but it hasn't lost any of it's sparkle. Enjoy.
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Now and Then (1995)
Used to Like It
26 August 2008
When I was a teen I loved this film. I thought it was great.

I don't know what I was thinking. Although the acting is fine, there are so many off elements here that I can't believe I sat through the whole thing.

For one thing, I would not let my teenager watch this. Their focus on sex is astounding for a group of 4 twelve year olds. Yuck! This is sooo disturbing to me. I assume that when I was a teen and that was on my mind constantly I was relating to them and their curiosity, but that also would have caused me to think of those things even more, which is (I'm sure) not what any parent wants for their child.

There are also the regular profane outbursts by one particular child, the fights and more that promote a way of life that is not desirable for children and that I cannot be entertained by them acting it out.

If you are going to watch this, please leave the kids out of it. You don't want them molded into this 'cool' persona.
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Surprisingly Great Film
26 August 2008
I was blown away by this film. I'm one of those people who just takes a risk with movies that don't especially appeal to me sometimes, and I've got to say this one paid off. I mean, Wow! Even my young boys enjoyed the film (5 and 6 at the time), though I'm quite certain this was not geared to their age groups.

This movie was clean, too, which is a great plus. It is so great to sit down to a movie you thoroughly enjoy without profanity, violence (except one very brief scene) or anything else one is likely to find morally objectionable.

This movie brought you along on a journey you are so ready to believe because of the great acting. You feel the vast range of emotions portrayed along with the characters.

I never thought a golf movie would have me at the edge of my seat, but I couldn't help being intensely interested in how this one would turn out. I have nothing to compare it to since I have neither watched golf in reality or on film before, but everyone did a great job in keeping the pace and emotions captivating here. The score also did wonders; excellent, excellent score.

Even if you don't think this would be your kind of film, watch it. You may be pleasantly surprised. I certainly was.
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An Unexpected Hero Movie
4 July 2008
I was completely blown away by this movie. As far as I was concerned it was unappealing. It had an uninteresting cover and I'd never heard of it, but I decided to give it a shot and I am so glad I did!! The acting was very convincing and the story line was completely unexpected (considering that all I was going on was the title). This mother of 10 and wife was an unexpected hero and I am so glad that, not only was her story told, but that I was able to view this moving film. I have recommended this film to countless friends and now I am recommending it to you, especially to women. Watch the film and be inspired to be a better woman!
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