Resurfaced Short Reviews, Part I

These are Resurfaced short or quickie reviews written in 2002 or earlier. For more information, please visit this link: Resurfaced Reviews.

Anastasia

Anastasia (1997)

Rating

Director

Don Bluth, Gary Goldman

Screenplay

Susan Gauthier, Bruce Graham, Bob Tzudiker, Noni White, Eric Tuchman

Length

1h 34m

Starring

Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Christopher Lloyd, Hank Azaria, Bernadette Peters, Kirsten Dunst, Angela Lansbury, Rick Jones, Andrea Martin

MPAA Rating

G

Basic Plot

A fictious idea about what really happened to the heir of the slaughtered Romanov Royal family, Anastasia. She’s been in an orphanage without a clue to her identity or her family. She goes out in pursuit of her own background.

Review

In a Disney-like full-length Animated movie, Fox brings us the story of Anastasia. At least the story that they’ve fictionalised, since no one knows what happened to the mysterious Anastasia. With paltry animation in comparison to Disney, Anastasia attempts to revolutionize the Computer Animation industry, but fails miserably with poor blending and limited use. The music box and Rasputin’s crystal have the pasted onto appearance. Where Disney takes Computer Animation and uses it for background and interesting crowd sequences, Anastasia uses it in the foreground where it should not be. Joining the voice-over ride is Disney-vet Lansbury who provides a dignified dowager, a surprising Kelsey Grammer whose accent generally masks his vocal identity. Meg Ryan, who, unless you knew beforehand she was the voice, you never would guess and a similar fate to John Cusack. The rest of the voices are rather amateur, except for the recognizable talent of Hank Azaria. The music pales in comparison to Disney’s, but a few songs sparkled from the waters. All that remains is to look at the story and plot itself. I am surprised that I found as much substance as I did in the plot. Comparable in plot to most Disney films, Anastasia is a wonderfully told and executed film. Technical circumstances cut the films grade down from what it could have been, but it’s a good start from the man who brought us the wonderful All Dogs Go to Heaven. Good luck and lets get that animation fixed!

Awards Prospects

This film will be relegated to the Music categories with a nomination for Comedy/Musical Score and POSSIBLY a nomination for Original Song. It’s a weak year, anything can happen.

Review Written

Unknown

The Apostle

The Apostle (1997)

Rating

Director

Robert Duvall

Screenplay

Robert Duvall

Length

2h 14m

Starring

Robert Duvall, Farrah Fawcett, John Beasley, Miranda Richardson, June Carter Cash, Walton Goggins, Billy Bob Thornton, Billy Joe Shaver, Rick Dial, Todd Allen

MPAA Rating

PG-13

Basic Plot

The Apostle is the story about an Evangelical preacher who is blind of his own sins and continues preaching God’s Word.

Review

Robert Duvall plays Sonny, a Evangelical preacher who has spent his life shouting and dancing God’s ministry. As with many stereotypical preachers of this sort, Sonny finds himself in situation after situation that would cause other pastors to blush. He’s an abusive husband, an alcoholic and eventually performs an unspeakable act for which he must run away from his life and assume a new identity: The Apostle EF.

The film contains about an hour of preaching and the remaining hour passes between dramatic events and transitions between preaching.

I’ve never been the kind of person to sit through long sermons and not fall asleep. I resisted great temptations throughout this film to keep from doing so. Robert Duvall’s capable acting helped as did the acting of Farah Fawcett and Miranda Richardson.

Outside of some great acting Apostle doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on. Many things step out in my mind as being insensible to be placed in the movie, others are understandable, but feel pointless.

One of those parts of the film is Billy Bob Thornton’s racist convert. This character means nothing to the film and it could stand alone without him. Not to mention shaving off about 30 minutes of fluff.

If you can stand to sit for two hours and listen to a sermon and really want to see Robert Duvall’s performance by all means go see it, but if you’re not as patient as I tried to ben this is not the film for you.

Awards Prospects

Oscar possibilities for Robert Duvall are high, but his competition is too fierce.

Review Written

Unknown

Bambi

Bambi (1942)

Rating

Director

James Algar, Sam Armstrong, David D. Hand, Graham Heid, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Norman Wright

Screenplay

Perce Pearce, Larry Morey, George Stallings, Melvin Shaw, Carl Fallberg, Chuck Couch, Ralph Wright (Story: Felix Salten)

Length

1h 09m

Starring

Bobby Stewart, Donnie Dunagan, Hardie Albright, John Sutherland, Peter Behn, Tim Davis, Sam Edwards, Paula Winslowe, Stan Alexander, Sterling Holloway, Will Wright, Cammie King, Ann Gillis, Fred Shields, Margaret Lee, Mary Lansing, Perce Pearce, Thelma Boardman

MPAA Rating

Approved

Basic Plot

Bambi, a young foal in the wilderness, his mother raises him, his father watches from a distance with only a disciplinary step or cautious word to the young deer. Along his life’s path, he meets several woodlang creatures including an impatient young rabbit, Thumper and a aromatic skunk, Flower. Through his life Bambi must suffer through death and destruction, while seemingly all alone.

Review

Bambi is clearly one of the best Disney Animated features ever made. Falling behind a few recent classics and the brilliant Fantasia, Bambi takes a step down in the fancy and the spectacle of the Disney Musical and instead focuses on the life and death in nature. We see man as the fearful oppressor whos willful destruction of nature Walt Disney instilled heavily into the film and is still as topical today as it was then. Bambi’s tackling of death as an issue for children is masterfully done and beautifully tearful. The animation is far superior to most of the Disney works prior to the 90s, it has a stark realism and a magnificent beauty to it that is so difficult to capture with animation. The fires and the streams are two brilliant examples of this feature. While the fires are harsh and paralizing rain filling stream is smooth and energetic. The song that is feature over this part is a wonderful melody that you wouldn’t expect from Disney. Listening to the discussion on the videocassette after the film on the making of Bambi, we discover that another song had been written for that scene and surprisingly, it was better, more crisp and more lively than the film version and would have been a superb substitute. Perhaps what shocks me the most is that now, watching this film as an adult, I wonder to myself how I could have forgotten so much of this endearing film and forgotten its brilliance. I don’t know if I can answer that, but rest assured, this film will remain with me for as long as I live, but I know I’ll be revisiting before too long.

Review Written

Unknown

Batman & Robin

Batman & Robin (1997)

Rating

Director

Joel Schumacher

Screenplay

Akiva Goldsman

Length

2h 05m

Starring

Arnold Schwarzeneggar, George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, John Glover, Elle Macpherson, Vivica A. Fox, Vendela K. Thommessen

MPAA Rating

PG-13

Basic Plot

Once again, Batman must stop evil from destroying Gotham City. This time, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy and Bane are the villains. Mr. Freeze wants to revive his beloved wife. Poison Ivy wants to destroy those pesky humans ruining plant existence. Bane is just a muscle bound super being created by Dr. Woodrue. Along for the ride is sidekick Robin and Alfred’s niece Barbara Wilson who become Batgirl.

Review

I was totally livid after seeing this film. Joel Schumacher took Batman and ran it into the ground. His direction left a lot to be desired, he was too quick with his shots and made the city more glamorous than seedy as Tim Burton did. George Clooney is the worst Batman to date and seems to be stuck in ER mode. Alicia Silverstone wastes her talent to pursue a mindless part. Arnold Schwarzenegger can’t get any good lines, he seems to be stuck in one-liner mode and gives one of his poorest performances to date. Uma Thurman’s talent is hidden here, but her character seems to be the most fleshed out of the new additions and revived the powerful female villain role that needs to return. Chris O’Donnell seems to window dressing and his performance is identical to that of his previous in Batman Forever. Leaving poor Alfred to carry the film, he and Commissioner Gordon are the only characters that have been in every film, and they prove that they’re still the only viable option in the Batman series. Joel: Give the series a rest or pass on the torch to someone who understands Batman.

Awards Propsects:
Technical is the only place this film has a chance and not even a good one at that. I predict no awards or nominations.

Review Written

Unknown

Bicycle Thieves

Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Rating

Director

Vittorio De Sica

Screenplay

Cesare Zavattini, Oreste Biancoli, Suso D’Amico, Vittorio De Sica, Adolfo Franci, Gherardo Gherardi, Gerardo Guerrieri (Novel: Luigi Bartolini)

Length

1h 29m

Starring

Lemberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell, Elena Altieri, Gino Saltamerenda, Giulio Chiari, Vittorio Antonucci, Michele Sakara, Fausto Guerzoni, Emma Druetti, Carlo Jachino

MPAA Rating

Not Rated

Basic Plot

In order to accept his new job, Antonio must have a bicycle, but someone steals it.

Review

Vittorio De Sica is one of the many directors that filmed during the Italian Neorealist movement. World War II had made film supplies and actors in Italy a rare commodity. Filmmakers were forced to shoot on extremely low budgets, on whatever film stock they could get a hold of and with nonprofessional actors.

“The Bicycle Thief” is a product of the Neorealist movement and is proof that you don’t have to have huge budgets to make a great film.

Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani) has just been given a job. He is required to have a bicycle. He returns home desperate to get his bicycle out of hock. His wife, Maria (Lianella Carell), pawns her linen sheets so that Antonio can keep his job and bring in money to support the family.

On his first day on the job, Antonio is pasting a poster featuring Rita Hayworth on the side of a building in the city, when someone comes up and steals his bike. Antonio chases the young man as far as he can, but loses him in the midst of the crowded city streets.

Depressed and violated, he returns to get his bucket and then pick his son, Bruno (Enzo Stajola), up after work. He confesses to his son that someone has stolen the bike and after dropping him off at home, Antonio goes off to wallow in his misery at a local tavern.

What follows is one man’s desperate attempts to retrieve his bicycle and reconcile the loss. Maggiorani is a natural in front of the camera, as are most of the actors. You wouldn’t guess that they were nonprofessional if you didn’t already know.

The big surprise is little Stajola. He gives one of the finest children’s performances in film history. His performance wrings true emotion out of the hearts of viewers.

Vittorio De Sica pulled together a magnificent film that took home the second Academy Award for Foreign Language Film 50 years ago in 1949. Filmed in Italian, “The Bicycle Thief” is a charming and heart-wrenching motion picture.

Review Written

February 12, 1999

Big Business

Big Business (1988)

Rating

Director

Jim Abrahams

Screenplay

Dori Pierson, Marc Rubel

Length

1h 37m

Starring

Bette Midler, Lily Tomlin, Fred Ward, Edward Herrmann, Michele Placido, Daniel Gerroll, Barry Primus, Michael Gross

MPAA Rating

PG

Basic Plot

In the 1940s in the small town of Sleepy Hollow, two sets of identical twins are born in the same hospital on the same night. One set to a poor local family and the other to a rich family just passing through. The dizzy nurse on duty accidentally mixes the twins unbeknown to the parents. Our story flashes forward to the 1980s where the mismatched sets of twins are about to cross paths following a big business deal to close down the Sleepy Hollow factory.

Review

With sometimes interesting performances, Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin work well together, which is a little more than can be said about the supporting players, sometimes sitting idle with very little interest. Midler and Tomlin bring the film from its darkest recesses to be a better than average film that more than delights at times, yet more then we care to see doesn’t.

Review Written

Unknown

The Birds

The Birds (1963)

Rating

Director

Alfred Hitchcock

Screenplay

Evan Hunter (Story: Daphne Du Maurier)

Length

1h 59m

Starring

Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette, Tippi Hedren, Veronica Cartwright, Ethel Griffies, Charles McGraw, Ruth McDevitt, Lonny Chapman

MPAA Rating

PG-13

Basic Plot

Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece about legions of birds that terrorize a small family.

Review

Tippi Hedron’s a scream and Jessica Tandy is cruel. Both women give The Birds a large boost, not to mention the deliightful direction of the master. Suspense, horror and amazement are just three of the emotions generated by this classic of Hitchcockian cinema.

Review Written

Unknown

Cemetery High

Cemetery High (1988)

Rating

Director

Gorman Bechard

Screenplay

Gorman Bechard, Carmine Capobianco

Length

1h 20m

Starring

Debi Thibeault, Karen Nielsen, Lisa Schmidt, Simone Reyes, Ruth Collins, Tony Kruk, Diavd Coughlin, Frank Stewart, Kristine Waterman, Carmine Capobianco, Donna Davidge, Michael Citriniti, Tony Giglio

MPAA Rating

R

Basic Plot

A Group of girls decide its time to rid the world of scummy men and go on a murder spree that turns men into sniveling cowards at the hands of women.

Review

The Hooter Honker and the Gore Gong are pale shapes that warn of coming nudity or violence, but they only mask the true stupidity a movie can achieve. Occasionally funny remarks, such as the “Anything I want….Anything you want” tirade, are few and far between and serve to pick up a disastrous movie before it digs its grave deeper. Pitiful acting, directing, scripting and overall filmmaking put this film in the dumper with few other stinkers. Going for campy, witty and cult-like feel, it falls onto its knees to suck up the sludge of the passerby.

Review Written

Unknown

Charlotte's Web

Charlotte’s Web (1973)

Rating

Director

Charles Nichols, Iwao Takamoto

Screenplay

Earl Hamner Jr. (Book: E.B. White)

Length

1h 34m

Starring

Debbie Reynolds, Paul Lynde, Henry Gibson, Rex Allen, Martha Scott, Dave Madden, Danny Bonaduce, Don Messick, Herb Vigran, Agnes Moorehead, Pam Ferdin, Joan Gerber, Robert Holt, John Stephenson, William B. White

MPAA Rating

G

Basic Plot

A pig who grows up on a small farm gains multiple spectators with the aid of a rat named Templeton and a brilliant arachnid, Charlotte.

Review

Charlotte’s web is purely kiddy fair, it encompasses all that’s good and bad about children’s animated features of the ’70s and on into the ’90s. While the fantasies of Templeton in his drunk stupor are fantastically funny rest of the film feels like a plot torn directly from a ’40s family film. Its characters are defined and well-voiced, but don’t have much more life than that. Children will fall in love with this film, as will most adults, but sometimes a family film isn’t more than conventional plot devices and standard musical compositions.

Review Written

Unknown

Con Air

Con Air (1997)

Rating

Director

Simon West

Screenplay

Scott Rosenberg

Length

1h 55m

Starring

Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames, Colm Meaney, Mykelti Williamson, Rachel Ticotin, Monica Potter, Dave Chappelle, M.C. Gainey, John Roselius, Renoly, Danny Trejo, Jesse Borrego, Nick Chinlund, Angela Featherstone, Jose Zuniga, Landry Allbright, Steve Eastin, Kevin Gage

MPAA Rating

R

Basic Plot

Cameron Poe, after defending his wife’s honor in a brawl and killing a man, is sent to prison. Years later, he is released from prison to return to his wife and post-imprisonment-born child, however, he must hitch a ride on a dangerous prison transfer plane. Through a series of events convicts take over the plane and plan their escape, while Cameron Poe remains on the inside to stop them.

Review

With some good acting and some overacting, Con Air was better than the average summer fare of late. The film, however, does not achieve the ultimate ratings. Why? Because the direction was slow and plot was old. It was an action movie with half of it spent using old action film action. I was slightly bored through some parts, happy with others, it’s nothing more than a good action film, but doesn’t quite achieve greatness.

Awards Prospects

This is not an award worthy film, however, if the song, by Trisha Yearwood and by LeAnn Rimes is written directly for the picturen it is a big contender for Best Original Song.

Review Written

Unknown

Death Race 2000

Death Race 2000 (2000)

Rating

Director

Paul Bartel

Screenplay

Robert Thom, Charles Griffith (Story: Ib Melchior)

Length

1h 20m

Starring

David Carradine, Simone Griffeth, Sylvester Stallone, Mary Woronov, Roberta Collins, Martin Kove, Louisa Moritz, The Real Don Steele, Joyce Jameson, Carle Bensen, Sandy McCallum

MPAA Rating

R

Basic Plot

The year is 2000. For 20 years, a dictator has ruled America and held a deadly, cross-country race, where the pedestrians are worth various points. A resistance group is determined to end these races and bring about a happy regime.

Review

David Carridine is Frankenstein only two-time winner of the race. One of his competitors, Joe Viterbo, is played by a pre-Rocky Sylvester Stallone.

The other contestants are a Nazi woman, Matilda the Hun, a cowgirl named Calamity Jane and a Romanesque Nero the Hero, played by Roberta Collins, Mary Woronov and Martin Kove, respectively.

Once the race begins, a hyperactive commentator covers the event making comments about each bloody point.

The characters are paper thin and the plot is paint-by-number, but the cheeky quality of events is worth of a cult following.

Review Written

Unknown

Fierce Creatures

Fierce Creatures (1997)

Rating

Director

Robert Young

Screenplay

John Cleese, Iain Johnstone, Terry Jones, Michael Palin

Length

1h 33m

Starring

John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin, Ronni Corbett, Carey Lowell, Robert Lindsay, Bille Brown, Derek Griffiths

MPAA Rating

PG-13

Basic Plot

A rich developer, played by Kevin Kline is intent on buying property and either making them profitable or shutting them down. He purchases a Zoo where the animals are less fierce than the humans. It is Rollo’s obligation to turn the Zoo profitable or force the zoo to close. Ineptly trying to assist, mainly chasing after Willa Weston, Jamie Lee Curtis, is the developer’s son, also played by Kevin Kline.

Review

The best comedy comes in the beginning and dies off fast. No where is there a lick of good acting and the slap stick to the film is quite old. The Monty Python troupe seem to have lost what it takes to make an intelligent comedy, because this one is not.

Awards Propsects

No hopes for awards or nominations.

Review Written

Unknown

Flatliners

Flatliners (1990)

Rating

Director

Joel Schumacher

Screenplay

Peter Filardi

Length

1h 55m

Starring

Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin, Oliver Platt, Kimberly Scott, Joshua Rudoy

MPAA Rating

R

Basic Plot

Medical students begin to explore the realm of near death experiences, hoping for insights. Each has their heart stopped and is revived. They begin having flashes of walking nightmares from their childhood, reflecting sins they committed or had committed against them. The experiences continue to intensify, and they begin to be physically beaten by their visions as they try and go deeper into the death experience to find a cure.

Review

While a bit of bad acting can ruin a film, its subject matter and visual appeal can often save it. With some bizarre and intriguing vision sequences, Joel Schumacher displays why he took over the Batman franchise, but not why he killed it.

Review Written

Unknown

The Full Monty

The Full Monty (1997)

Rating

Director

Peter Cattaneo

Screenplay

Simon Beaufoy

Length

1h 31m

Starring

Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy, William Snape, Steven Huison, Tom Wilkinson, Paul Barber, Hugo Speer, Lesley Sharp, Emily Woof, Deirdre Costello, Paul Butterworth, Dave Hill, Bruce Jones

MPAA Rating

R

Basic Plot

Out-of-work steel workers decide to make some money by stripping.

Review

Gax and Dave (Robert Carlyle and Mark Addy) are out-of-work steel workers whose family lives appear less than perfect.

Gaz and his wife, Mandy (Emily Woof) have been divorced and share custody of their son Nathan (William Snape). Dave’s wife, Jean (Lesley Sharp), attended a Chippendales show, giving Dave a lower self-esteem because of his own obesity.

An idea comes to Gax that they can make very good money if they perform a strip show. They meet with indignance and ridicule, for the most part, from people who discover their plan.

In search of someone to teach them how to dancey seek their former boss, Gerald (Tom Wilkinson), who attends dance classes with his wife. He, too, has been fired and has yet to tell his wife of their impending financial distress.

They discover their fourth member trying to kill himself by pumping his car’s fumes inside. Lomber (Steve Huison) lives with his mother and takes care of her in her aging condition.

They then hold auditions for the remaining two members. The first is named Horse (Paul Barber) and the last Guy (Hugo Speer). Horse has a bad hip and guy can’t dance.

From that point on ir practice is seldom perfect and always funny.

Carlyle is fantastic and Addy is sympathetic. The remainder of the cast is acceptable and generally above par.

The writing is funny and the direction generally good. The bad parts come with the production.

Being a low-budget, British film Full Monty is not technologically adept. However, it is acceptable for its origins.

The choice of songs for the film is interesting. The little amount of original score, penned by Anne Dudley, isn’t terribly imaginative, but appropriate.

The Fulll Monty is a hilarious film that proves to be an honorable crowd pleaser.

Awards Prospects

Being a comedy, its chances for best picture are small as with each of its other nominations.

Review Written

Unknown

Fun and Fancy Free

Fun and Fancy Free (1947)

Rating

Director

Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, William Morgan, Bill Roberts

Screenplay

Homer Brightman, Harry Reeves, Ted Sears, Lance Nolley, Eldon Dedini, Tom Oreb (Story: Sinclair Lewis)

Length

1h 13m

Starring

Edgar Bergen, Dinah Shore, Luana Patten, Anita Gordon, Cliff Edwards, Billy Gilbert, Clarence Nash, The King’s Men, The Dinning Sisters, The Starlighters

MPAA Rating

Approved

Basic Plot

This film comprises two Short Stories. The First is Bongo, based on a story by Sinclair Lewis about a circus bear and his unknown escape from a Circus Train Car. He must learn how to survive in the wilderness and get along with the creatures of the wild. Bongo is narrated by Dinah Shore. The second half of the film is the short Mickey and the Beanstalk. This retelling of the classic fairy tale pits Donald Duck, Goofy and the determined Mickey Mouse trying to rescue a beautiful harp from the grasp of an evil giant. Beanstalk is narrated by a live-action sitting with Edgar Bergan, Charlie McCarthy, Mortimer Snerd and a wise little girl. The two stories themselves are linked by way of Jiminy Cricket, who narrates the opening of Bongo and then takes part in the Beanstallk section with Edgar Bergen.

Review

First linking parts with Jiminy Cricket and then the set with Jiminy and Edgar Bergen and Friends. These section are neither lively nor particularly well made. The story of Bongo, is the best of the two, a seldom seen short in the Disney realm, Bongo is a cute bear who loves his unicycle. The story of love and triumph over tribulation is excellently voice by the wonderful Dinah Shore and a wonderful story. The last part, Mickey and the Beanstalk has been seen so many times that one never would have thought that it was part of an original work and paired with a better story. Mickey, Donald and Goofy, together for, I believe first time, really are well-matched and the opening section being pressed into the sky by a rapidly advancing beanstalk is well animated and rather funny, but once they get inside the Giant’s castle, it gets rather tired and dated. I would give Bongo an A-, Beanstalk a B+ and with the Jiminy interim whole film averages to the lower grade.

Review Written

Unknown

Hercules

Hercules (1997)

Rating

Director

Ron Clements, John Musker

Screenplay

Ron Clements, John Musker, Donald McEnery, Bob Shaw, Irene Mecchi

Length

1h 33m

Starring

Barbara Barrie, Roger Bart, Mary Kay Bergman, Corey Burton, Danny DeVito, Jim Cummings, Keith David, Tate Donovan, Paddi Edwards, Susan Egan, Samantha Eggar, Cheryle Freeman, Kathleen Freeman, Matt Frewer, Amanda Plummer, Bobcat Goldthwait, Hal Holbrook, Charlton Heston, Wayne Knight, Roz Ryan, Paul Shaffer, Rip Torn, James Woods

MPAA Rating

G

Basic Plot

Based loosely on Greek Mythology and more specifically that of Hercules. Born to Zeus and Hera, Hercules is discovered to be the future slayer of Hades, who decides to prevent this from happening by sending his stooges Pain and Panic to kidnap Hercules and make him Human. Hercules was force-fed an elixir to turn him human, however he did not drink the last drop and retained his god-like strength. However, being partially human, he is forced to live life as a Mortal on Earth.

Review

Tired music caps an uneventful film with some great moments, but not as many as recent Disney. The music is rather old, with a few gems, I heard some Pocahontas strains within the musical, composed by aging composer Alan Menken. It’s time to let him go, but Disney can’t seem to do it. The gospel numbers breath the best life into the film, while a Broadwasy-esque tune called “I Won’t Say” and a horrible song named “One Last Hope” cap the low end of the music. Enough about the music, other parts I was unimpressed by included the labor-filled Hydra and the inability to make believable human-like characters. All of the developments in drawing realistic human characters seen most recently in Beauty and the Beast and Pocahontas seemed to be left behind in pursuit of the more childish ones of Aladdin. Lips don’t match words, chins swirl to some catastrophic ends. The best drawn character is that of Meg whose face is rather nice and makes you wish the others were drawn better. However film is still quite entertaining and develops a nice story and believable characters (despite the animation). Overall, with the low-spots in animation and song story, characters and the way the songs blend in helps to make this a good stay at the theatre while rather disappointing compared to recent Disney fare (live-action excluded). This film ranks just above Aladdin in the recent film line which goes: 1. Beauty and the Beast, 2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 3. The Lion King, 4. Pocahontas, 5. The Little Mermaid, 6. Hercules, 7. Aladdin.

Awards Propsects:

None Yet.

Review Written

Unknown

Jesus Christ Superstar

Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)

Rating

Director

Norman Jewison

Screenplay

Melvyn Bragg, Norman Jewison

Length

1h 46m

Starring

Ted Neeley, Carl Anderson, Yvonne Elliman, Barry Dennen, Bob Bingham, Larry T. Marshall, Joshua Mostel, Kurt Yaghjian, Philip Toubus

MPAA Rating

G

Review

A film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic musical Jesus Christ Superstar.

This film is moronic, slow and is only saved by a brilliant score and a great performance by Yvonne Elliman. The rest of the film sits boringly on a pedestal. The film starts with a busload of students arriving in the desert to put on a musical, this is where the film goes wrong. In a musical of this depth, an epic is the only format it can easily be displayed in. The costumes were rather infantile and the sets aren’t very interesting. Jesus Christ Superstar makes a better musical than a movie.

Review Written

Unknown

The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book (1967)

Rating

Director

Wolfgang Reitherman

Screenplay

Larry Clemmons, Ralph Wright, Ken Anderson, Vance Gerry (Book: Rudyard Kipling)

Length

1h 18m

Starring

Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, Bruce Reitherman, George Sanders, Sterling Holloway, Louis Prima, J. Pat O’Malley, Verna Felton, Clint Howard

MPAA Rating

G

Basic Plot

Based on the Novel by Rudyard Kipling Jungle Book is the story of a young boy raised in the jungle. Throughout his late single-digit-years boy meets many strange creatures in the Jungle, all of which can talk.

Review

Rudyard Kipling’s story saves this older Disney film from being antiquated and boring. Its music is bearable, but lacks the oomph that many earlier and later Disney Animated features possessed. The voice-overs are exceptional, but I can only stand to hear “The Bare Necessities” so many times.

Review Written

Unknown

Killer Klowns from Outer Space

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

Rating

Director

Stephen Chiodo

Screenplay

Charles Chiodo, Stephen Chiodo

Length

1h 28m

Starring

Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon, Michael Siegel, Peter Licassi, Royal Dano, Chris Titus, Irene Michals, Karla Sue Krull

MPAA Rating

PG-13

Basic Plot

When a small town is invaded by aliens from outer space who are capturing and killing the townspeople, no one takes them seriously. Why? The aliens all look like circus clowns, weapons appear to be something a clown would use, and all have painted on smiles. Only a few of the young people in the town realize the danger and of course no one believes them. Armed with an ice cream truck they try and rescue their friends.

Review

A clever film that is certainly a cult classic. Intelligent humor and sometimes absurd situations make this film a fun low-budget romp. Acting really leaves nothing to be desired and some of the direction is flat, but this film delights and entertains.

Review Written

Unknown

Metropolis

Metropolis (1927)

Rating

Director

Fritz Lang

Screenplay

Thea von Harbou (Novel: Thea von Harbou)

Length

2h 33m

Starring

Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Fitz Rasp, Theodor Loos, Erwin Biswanger, Heinrich George, Brigitte Helm

MPAA Rating

Not Rated

Basic Plot

It is the future, and humans are divided into two groups: the thinkers, who make plans (but don’t know how anything works), and the workers, who achieve goals (but don’t have the vision). Completely separate, neither group is complete, but together they make a whole. One man from the “thinkers” dares visit the underground where the workers toil, and is astonished by what he sees.

Review

A visually pleasing film, Metropolis is easily one of the greatest films every made. Completely silent, with dialogue in title cards, Metropolis runs smoothly from scene to scene. Fritz Lang has created a long-lasting piece of art, his imagery is spectacular, especially the opening sequence of the undulating gears and pumping pistons. The imagery is splendid with some great scenes developed, including the giant mouth. A great portrayal of modern society then and now. There are workers and there are the drivers. The drivers spend their day in frivolous pursuits while workers slave away to make a living and provide a service to their society.

Review Written

Unknown

Mimic

Mimic (1997)

Rating

Director

Guillermo del Toro

Screenplay

Matthew Robbins, Guillermo del Toro (Story: Donald A. Wollheim)

Length

1h 45m

Starring

Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam, Alexander Goodwin, Giancarlo Giannini, Charles S. Dutton, Josh Brolin, Alix Koromzay, F. Murray Abraham

MPAA Rating

R

Basic Plot

After a set of scientist breed a special insect Judas breedy introduce it to the sewers of New York City in order to wipe out the roach population which are carrying a disease that is killing off the city’s children. Years later they discover that there’s a new menace in the sewer system and it can mimic humans.

Review

Wattching the film was refreshing, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a good horror film that captures the spirit of the genre as well as tells the tale adequately, leaves suspense and develops its characters. While the characterization isn’t as good as it was in A Nightmare on Elm Street or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Mimic keeps the suspense up. It keeps its story believable and doesn’t go overboard on scientific backgrounds and words to back up every detail to the plot, but enough to make you feel that it’s at least feasible. One confusing moment at the end prevents the film from being a lot better as well as some mediocre acting. More horror like this and the genre could be easily revived.

Awards Prospects

Not Likely to win any awards or nominations this year.

Review Written

Unknown

Mondo Trasho

Mondo Trasho (1969)

Rating

Director

John Waters

Screenplay

John Waters

Length

1h 35m

Starring

Mary Vivian Pearce, Divine, David Lochary, Mink Stole, Bob Skidmore, Margie Skidmore, Berenica Cipcus

MPAA Rating

Not Rated

Basic Plot

Multiple stories interwoven with little to hold them together other than a frame of celluloid. The film features a hit-and-run accident, foot fetishists, visions of the Virgin Mary and a chicken foot grafting sequence.

Review

John Waters is not known for his great movie making, at least not until Pink Flamingos. Mondo Trasho is just what its name suggests, an hour-and-a-half of putrid violence and stupidity with no redeeming qualities.

The film is shot in black-and-white and with almost every aspect of the film handled by Waters, its choppy look makes it even more eroding. Divine’s presence can’t even jolt this film into life. Mondo Trasho is like Frankenstein if his ideas for creating a human had failed and the town torched him anyway.

Review Written

Unknown

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.