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Review of Spider-Man 2

Posted : 6 years, 5 months ago on 28 July 2012 12:09 (A review of Spider-Man 2)

Spider-Man 2 is considered by many to be an improvement on the original, and I think that's a very accurate suggestion. By eliminating some of the flaws of the first, and improving some of the strengths of the first, Spider-Man 2 surpassed the original, and is one of the best super hero films ever created.

Between college, his job as a photographer for The Daily Bugle, and being Spider-Man, Peter Parker has a lot on his plate, and he's not doing that great of a job at any of these pursuits. Yet, as he loses his spidey abilities, Parker considers throwing in the towel, even though a new villain, the 6 armed Dr. Octavian is emerging.

Many of the flaws that were present in the first film have been fixed in Spider-Man 2. One such example is the CGI work, which looks fantastic in this sequel. It's certainly not the best visual effects to appear onscreen, but it's a great improvement over the original.

One of the best parts of the original Spider-Man was the publisher of The Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson. The quick talking, cigarette chomping publisher was consistently hilarious, but his screen time was sadly minimal. In the sequel, his role is greatly expanded, so he appears in more scenes. He remains one the film's highlights.

The nefarious villain, Dr. Octavian, isn't as creepy as Green Goblin, but nor is he as campy. Personally, I wouldn't be able to choose one over the other, but Octavian is a wonderfully sinister villain, though he may be too similar to Green Goblin- in some respects- for some.

Emotionally, the film expands as well, though this improvement isn't quite as dramatic as some of the others. We connect more with the characters (which is also assisted by solid acting by the entire cast), and this makes the film that much more enjoyable.

The romance, on the other hand, is considerably worse than in the original. It feels more cheesy, even a bit more forced. And Mary-Jane is beginning to feel more and more irritating and helpless. It's a shame that there's so much more focus on this aspect of the film than in the original.

The title sequence has been shortened slightly, but it's actually less entertaining than the original's making it seem longer. The title sequence should really be shortened, or perhaps it should be omitted entirely, or withheld until the end.

Danny Elfman's score has improved. The techno effects has been significantly toned down, and there are few (if any) rock oriented pieces. It's still not a great score, but it's a good one, and it serves it's purpose.

Spider-Man 2 both improves on it's predecessor, and provides solid entertainment. Even if cheesy romance create a few slow moments, improved CGI work, intense action, and superb acting make up for the flaws, and more. There aren't many super hero films out there that I've enjoyed, but this is certainly one of them.

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Review of Spider-Man

Posted : 6 years, 6 months ago on 26 July 2012 11:45 (A review of Spider-Man)

Action movies are a dime a dozen. So many are released in a single year, yet so few are actually worth seeing. Spider-Man is one of the few worth seeing. Super hero films have never been all that appealing to me. More often than not, they end up being cheesy, cliched, and often campy. And while certain aspects of the film (most notably Green Goblin's outfit) are indeed campy, Spider-Man holds up very well, especially for a super hero film, and should not be shot down as simply another action film.

The story, as is with many action films, is quite simple. Peter Parker is bitten by a genetically enhanced spider, and is given spider-like abilities. Parker takes advantage of these abilities by doing good and protecting New York from wrong. But when a villain (nicknamed the Green Goblin) becomes determined to get rid of spidey, Parker has to protect himself, those he loves, and the city of New York.

While most action films are soulless excuses for explosions and elaborate fight scenes, Spider-Man is no such film. Spider-Man is smart, and unlike most super hero flicks, Spider-Man has heart.

The film starts off a little slow, truth be told. It's not excruciatingly dull, but the impatient may find themselves a little squirmy during the first 30-45 minutes.

That's okay, because the action really starts picking up after this. There is a very large number of action scenes, and while not all are exciting, they will at least entertain. There are a couple very good and tense action sequences, but the 2-3 inbetween these are usually less entertaining. Many of these lesser action scenes feel a lot like filler, actually.

Danny Elfman composed the score for Spider-Man and for the most part, he did a decent job. The score is grand, and sometimes quite exciting. But overall, it's a little less-than-amazing, and there's a few more rock-oriented pieces than I would've preferred.

Some of the visual effects look a little dated, as do some of the costumes. Even some of the dialogue may strike one as a little hammy, but these are only minor problems.

The biggest problem, however, resides in Spider-Man's run time. The film is roughly 2 hours long, and as such, feels a wee bit bloated at time. The slow beginning, the filler action scenes and even the somewhat tedious title sequence could've all been cut and shortened to create a more reasonable run time. This film could've easily been an hour and a half, instead, slow stretches occasionally appear inbetween action scenes.

The acting is done very well. Tobey Maguire's performance as Peter Parker certainly won't please everyone (his curious stupidity may irritate some), but he does a very commendable job, and the acting feels very natural. Willem Dafoe does very well with the role of the villain, Green Goblin, being both menacing and intelligent.

Still, J.K. Simmons gets the best part as the quick talking, sharp tongued (and woefully underused) J. Jonah Jameson, publisher of The Daily Bugle. Though he appears in only a few scenes, he's certainly a highlight. Spitting out countless quotable lines, JJJ is certainly the most memorable character in the film.

Spider-Man has a few noticeable flaws, but it boasts serviceable action, likeable characters, heart that many action films lack. It may not rank among the best of films, or even the best of action films, but it's a fun ride.

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Review of The Artist

Posted : 6 years, 6 months ago on 25 July 2012 12:40 (A review of The Artist)

When it comes down to it, the Academy Awards aren't always exactly fair. Especially when it comes to Best Picture. Both The Artist and Hugo were nominated for best picture, and both were a love letter to cinema. From there, it should've been obvious one of these two films would win; it just came down to choosing the better picture. And while I personally believe Hugo deserved the honors, The Artist was more than a worthy rival, and was full of charm and spunk.

It's 1927, and George Valentin is on top of the world. He's starring in film after film after film. He was an idol. But things change, and change is precisely what stops George Valentin's career. After pushing a former nobody named Peppy Miller into the acting world, things regarding films begin to change. Silent films are no longer acceptable. Only films with talking can survive the box office now. But George refuses to give in to "talkie" films. So while George suffers, Peppy thrives. And while Peppy only wants to be friends, George is determined to stay away from Peppy and talkie films.

Essentially, The Artist is riding on it's retro feel. Everything from the visuals, to the costumes, to the score is all very retro and nostalgic. And while this is The Artist's primary selling point, The Artist boasts many other attributes.

The story is not entirely original. The apprentice surpassing the master, change, etc. The Artist's story consists mostly of things we've seen before. The trick, though, is that The Artist takes these worn elements in a whole new direction. And of course, the old-fashioned feel helps with that.

The score (composed by Ludovic Bource) is much more important in this film than most others. Due to the lack of dialogue and sound, the music is all you hear. So if the music isn't fantastic the whole way through, it's up to the visuals to impress. Thankfully, the music is not only good, it's superb. With it's cheerful and old-fashioned feel, it's jazzy beats, and heavy (and appropriate) emphasis on the piano, The Artist's score is one the best of 2011.

Yet of course, The Artist won the Oscar for Best Original Score. Frankly, it's hard to say whether it deserved it. This is mostly because my other favorite scores of 2011 (Hugo and The Adventures of Tintin) are so distinctly different from the others, it's unfair to compare them. Ultimately, the score for The Artist is the most broadly appealing, which boosted it's odds at winning (plus, the audience was paying more attention to the music, being a silent film).

The acting was fantastic. There were a couple recognizable names in the mix, but a majority of the cast are unknowns. Jean Dujardin plays George Valentin, whom is constantly conflicted with what he wants, and what the world wants. This was a difficult role to play, but Dujardin nails it, and received a well-deserved Oscar for his efforts. Berenice Bejo also does a fantastic job with her role as Peppy Miller, likewise for the rest of the cast.

Conveying gestures into understandable actions (with surprising minimal subtitles) was not an easy task, but the actors have accomplished this well. Some scenes are so brilliantly acted and executed, they deserve a moment's appreciation.

Mixing drama with comedy, and adding some old school flair makes for a fresh and thoroughly entertaining film. The Artist doesn't quite reach the dramatic heights that the Academy would like us to believe, but it comes close, and serves as a funny and moving depiction of accepting change.

And the dog was cute too.

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Review of Pinocchio

Posted : 6 years, 6 months ago on 12 July 2012 11:05 (A review of Pinocchio)

I doubt Disney would ever produce anything like Pinocchio these days. Disney isn't gutsy enough. To be honest, I still don't know how this got into theaters. Disney scarcely ever makes a film as subtly dark as this. On the surface, Pinocchio is a typical Disney children's film, but underneath, Pinocchio boasts a variety of dark themes that work like a charm. It's a shame Disney will likely never make something like Pinocchio again, because it's just so good.

Pinocchio is a very strange story. Even stranger than I originally anticipated. Geppetto, a wood carver, was quite pleased when he was finished with his wooden puppet, Pinocchio. He was even more pleased when it turned into a real boy. And with Jiminy Cricket as Pinocchio's conscience, what could go wrong? Well, a lot. Temptation proves too much for Pinocchio, and, without spoiling anything, he gets into a lot of trouble.

Part of what makes Pinocchio such a great movie is the characters. Geppetto is a mumbling wood carver who cares a lot for Pinocchio, and is easily excited. Jiminy Cricket, one of Disney's most enduring characters, makes many humorous quips that aimed more at the older crowd. And Pinocchio? He's certainly adorable, but his frequently obliviousness between right and wrong may grow tiresome to some viewers.

There are a few songs in Pinocchio, as one would expect from a Disney film, and while all are pleasant, there aren't too many memorable tunes. Naturally, the most memorable (and most recognizable) tune is "When You Wish Upon A Star," which is a sweet and beautiful song that, unlike the other songs in Pinocchio, has become a genuine classic, and well deserved too.

One memorable scene occurs towards the beginning when the many clocks in Geppetto's house go off at once. There are many sight gags, all of which should evoke chuckles. It's moments like this that really make Pinocchio a treat.

The animation in Pinocchio surprised me. Even for today, the animation is really sharp and detailed. It's certainly one of Disney's more visually dazzling adventures.

I mentioned early in this review that Disney would never make a film like this nowadays, and this is because of some of the slightly questionable themes. One of which occurs near the end where children are kidnapped and taken to an island where they are turned into donkeys, whipped, then sold into slavery. This may seem slightly disturbing, and it is, but it works.

If only Disney still made risks like that. Instead, they often take the predictable path that, while can be sweet sometimes, more often is disappointing.

Pinocchio is a unique Disney film that is better than almost anything Disney has served up in the last decade. It's a shame Disney isn't brave enough to do things like Pinocchio these days. With memorable characters, one of the most enduring Disney songs of all, and a lot of heart makes up Pinocchio: One of Disney's best creations.

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Review of Sleeping Beauty

Posted : 6 years, 6 months ago on 10 July 2012 10:56 (A review of Sleeping Beauty)

Sleeping Beauty strikes me as a rather straight forward movie. There is little in this movie that will strike the viewer as unexpected. Yet, perhaps that's why Sleeping Beauty is still loved to this day, it's pure simplicity and basic story telling.

Sleeping Beauty is a tale we all know. Princess Aurora is cursed by classic Disney villain, Maleficent. The curse states that the princess will die before her 16th birthday. The three good fairies (Flora, Fauna and Merryweather) take the child as their own to protect her, though ultimately, Maleficent manages to prick Aurora's finger, killing her. Prince Phillip, of course, has to kiss her in order to awake Aurora, but that proves complicated.

Sleeping Beauty has many strengths. It's animation was impressive for it's time, and while it looks mostly basic today, the animation's simplicity is part of Sleeping Beauty's charm.

The score, composed by George Bruns, is excellent, as is often the case with Disney scores. Also, the main song "Once Upon A Dream," is very beautiful, but some might argue that it was a bit risky. "Once Upon A Dream" is a very slow, waltz song, which may have bored children, but ends up being one of Disney's most enduring songs.

Most of the main characters are likeable, yet not very engaging. However, there are some bright spots in the character area. The three good fairies steal every scene they're in. They're funny and somewhat eccentric, and extremely memorable. Maleficent was just a bit disappointing, considering her legacy, but her sinister appearance (and epic name) alone make her an entertaining villain. One just wishes she had a little personality, as opposed to being another stereotypical Disney villain. Also, she doesn't seem to have much of a motive for her villainy, other than being bad.

Sleeping Beauty's primary problem is due to it's brief run time of only 75 minutes. Admittedly, there's not much to the tale, but Sleeping Beauty never feels stretched or tedious. In fact, the pace is perfect until Sleeping Beauty falls asleep. After that, the movie moves much too fast, and before you know it, Sleeping Beauty is over. The climax is certainly disappointing, but it's not bad. It's just a little rushed.

While Sleeping Beauty doesn't rank among my favorite Disney Princess films, I can't deny it's entertainment value. And the three good fairies are some of Disney's most memorable characters to date. It's rushed ending and (slightly) underwhelming villain are merely minor bumps in the road. Sleeping Beauty possesses two adjectives that are rarely seen in the same film these days: Short and entertaining.

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Review of Glory

Posted : 6 years, 6 months ago on 8 July 2012 08:24 (A review of Glory)

I want to make it clear that the score I am giving Glory means little to nothing. The reason for that, is because I honestly have no idea how to score this movie. I don't feel like this is the kind of movie that's made to entertain. It's made to make people appreciate what 54th Regiment did. It's a powerful movie, but I didn't find it to be very entertaining. I repeat, I don't think this movie was made to entertain. It exists as a history lesson, albeit, a very powerful one.

Glory takes place during the Civil War. Robert Gould Shaw has been asked to lead an army of black men, the 54th Regiment. Finally getting a chance to do something important, many black people volunteer to be a part of this. Glory is the tale of the 54th Regiment's long, hard journey to battle.

Glory has very good production values, that much can be agreed. Very good cinematography, impeccable acting, etc. Glory is extremely well made and really does the story of the 54th Regiment justice.

The battle scenes (there are three in all) are initially shocking. Not knowing much about how these battles were fought, it was a surprise seeing the action onscreen. The opposing forces merely marched to the other all at once, firing shots as they go. It's nothing like I expected, but it was extremely interesting.

The score (composed by James Horner) was, to be honest, a bit bland. Much of the music sounded the same, with little variety. It works well as background music, but taken away from the screen, it would almost certainly disappoint.

The acting is top notch, some of the best I've seen. Matthew Broderick playing the lead as Robert Shaw impressed me the most. Denzel Washington won an academy award for his performance, and it seemed well deserved.

I recommend Glory, but I can't seem to give it a score that seems fair. While the film held my attention, I wasn't very entertained. The production values are here, and it's a powerful movie, but it's not the kind of film I'd see again. At the risk of sounding repetitive, I repeat: Glory, I feel, wasn't made to entertain. It was made to allow us to understand the sacrifices and achievements of the 54th Regiment, and it succeeds.

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Review of Fantasia

Posted : 6 years, 6 months ago on 6 July 2012 12:25 (A review of Fantasia)

There comes a time in every critic's life, in which they have to give a negative review to a well known and loved classic. Unfortunately, I am in the situation of giving a negative review to one of the best known and best received animated films of all time; Fantasia.

Fantasia really doesn't have a plot of any kind. Instead, it boasts a unique premise. We are introduced at the beginning to a new kind of entertainment called Fantasia. This is a combination of music and visuals. There are three different varieties of this: The first being music that tells a story. The second being music with no particular plot, and the third being music that exists just for music's sake.

After seeing the introduction explaining this, I grew quite excited. I was certainly intrigued, and I was sure the magicians at the mouse house were about to present another true masterpiece. So imagine my disappointment when Fantasia turned out to be little more than a technical demo. An animation experiment, really.

And as such, the animation is a wonder to behold. Visuals are absolutely gorgeous. Abstract images, and defined images are portrayed beautifully creating a visually splendid film. So it's a shame to report that the visuals are one of the few appealing things about Fantasia.

Let's face it, Fantasia is dull beyond reason. Say what you want, but two hours of random images and classical music is way too much for any viewer. I really do appreciate music and movies, but Fantasia simply does not do either art any justice. We want to be entertained. Yet we're presented with little more than a series of laptop screen savers.

Fantasia is probably most popular for the segment titled "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." You've no doubt heard of it (and probably seen it), and know what it's about. For the benefit of you that haven't heard of it, The Sorcerer's Apprentice is about Mickey Mouse deciding to use the magic of a wizard to do a common household chore. Unfortunately for Mickey, the magic gets out of hand and the result is disastrous.

To be honest, I really wasn't all that impressed with this segment. I've seen much better Disney shorts than this. It's not that it was bad, it just wasn't that great. Still, I can certainly agree that this was one of the main highlights. It at least wasn't boring like a majority of the rest of the film.

For a movie about music, I certainly expected a better musical score. In fact, I expected an original score. And at least 75% of the score was classical music by Beethoven and Tchaikovsky among others. And while I have little against classical music, I'm disappointed that Disney didn't bother to bring us a musical score. Fantasia is all about music so for crying out loud, don't use recycled material!

And because the music was composed first, it's been paired up with some bizzare animation that really doesn't blend. There was great potential here for the music. Being a composer myself, the scenes in the film were extremely inspiring, so it was hard to see them wasted with an ill-fitting score. The potential in the music department was huge, yet no one bothered to do anything remotely interesting with it.

I suppose that if the music Fantasia had chosen to showcase was very good, I wouldn't complain as much. But alas, we are presented with the most uninteresting works of the composers' careers! And it doesn't help that the arrangement for these piece are so unexciting. They're not bad, but they're extremely straightforward and uninteresting. If anyone can put a unique spin on tired old tunes, it's Disney. So why did they choose to play it safe? It's basically the same arrangement of these tunes you've heard all your life.

Come on Disney, at least change it up a little! Add some spice to it! Change the instruments, the genre, the feel! Something! It's a shame that in a movie about music, the score becomes the most disappointing part.

Well, maybe second most disappointing. The entertainment value here is the most disappointing. Sure the animation is pretty to look at initially. But after a while, it starts to get pretty dull. With almost no dialogue, no characters (except for the narrator, the "soundtrack" which I'll discuss later, and a brief appearance of Mickey and a wizard), and no plot, it becomes difficult to concentrate on the film. I ended up glancing at my watch as often as the screen.

There are only two truly entertaining bits. The first one occurs right after intermission. This involves the narrator introducing us to a character called, "The Soundtrack." He's a little bar that represents sound. So the Soundtrack does a few impressions for us. I laughed once here, and that's more than I can say for almost any of the rest of the film.

The second entertaining part of the film occurs during the penultimate segment, in which Dance of the Hours is adapted into a ballet with animals. There are a couple decent bits here, but the best part is at the end of the ballet. This is when a group of alligators dance with a group of hippos. This is one of the only times when humor is used during Fantasia, and one of the few times when I was actually enjoying myself.

You can argue that Fantasia isn't necessarily made to entertain. Than what is the point of it's existence? Is the point of a film not to entertain? Isn't that why we all sit around the television or drive to the cinema? To be entertained? We certainly don't watch it to be bored or blankly watch obscure images over a course of two hours. So is there any real reason for Fantasia to exist? I can't think of any.

Despite some beautiful visuals and rare moments of entertainment, Fantasia is a pointless film in almost all respects. It wastes it's gigantic potential on little more than an overlong montage. As a short film, this might've worked. But as a full length feature? Hardly! Fantasia represents a technical achievement, Mickey's most famous role in history, and two hours of my life I'll never get back.

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Review of The Hunchback Of Notre Dame

Posted : 6 years, 6 months ago on 3 July 2012 11:19 (A review of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996))

It's clear that The Hunchback Of Notre Dame is a Disney film. Many of the key components for a Disney film are here. However, there are some shockingly un-Disney like elements here. And while I wouldn't want all Disney films to be like The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, this is a very nice change of pace.

Frollo, a powerful king and a religious man is in charge of taking care of an ugly hunchback named Quasimodo in order to be forgiven of his sins, specifically, an act of murder. Quasimodo is in charge of ringing the bells in the chapel. But Quasimodo wants to be free, yet Frollo doesn't allow it. When Quasimodo finally does manage to escape briefly, he gets into a bit of a mess, but it helped by a rebellious gypsy named Esmerelda. Frollo, however, is obsessed with doing away with the gypsies, but Quasimodo is determined to help the gypsies which throws his life into chaos.

The Hunchback Of Notre Dame has all the Disney staples: Songs, humorous side characters, romance, Alan Menken score, and a happy ending. But Disney has tweaked the formula a bit, this time around.

The Hunchback Of Notre Dame is significantly darker than most other Disney films. While Disney clearly tries hard not to over do it, there are a lot of intensely dark scenes. Depending on your point of view, this could be a bad or good thing. Personally, I think the level of darkness here really works, even if it may be a bit much for younger kids.

One slightly disappointing thing about The Hunchback Of Notre Dame was it's humor. While there are many attempts at humor throughout the movie, I didn't laugh a whole lot. This isn't because the jokes are dumb, they're just, well, not that funny. They seem mostly more geared to the younger audience.

Rarely have I seen a film with so many songs. I'd like to say there's about 10 songs in the film (though some are just reprises). So it's a shame that the songs aren't very good. In fact, many of them are more like poems as opposed to songs. Many don't have a chorus, and they exist primarily to movie the story along. The songs are in great number, but they just aren't very memorable.

There are two decent songs in the film, though. One is the main theme; "The Bells of Notre Dame," and "Topsy Turvy" which wouldn't be nearly as special without the visuals.

And speaking of the visuals, they are stupendous. I feel like I'm always gushing about how great the visuals are when I review Disney films, and even though I always expect great visuals, I'm always impressed every time. And this is no exception.

The voices are a bit of a mixed bag. Tom Hulce has a less than stellar singing voice, but when he's not singing, he brings emotion and sympathy to Quasimodo. Demi Moore does well as Esmerelda, but there's nothing incredibly impressive here. By far the most impressive voice talent here, is that of Tony Jay as Frollo. Frollo delivers a lot of intense lines and musical numbers that Jay nails.

Though I've never been all that impressed with Alan Menken's scores, he really nails this one. With heavy emphasis on bells and choir, Menken delivers a grand and spectacular score to The Hunchback Of Notre Dame.

While lacking in humor and memorable songs, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame is a solid piece of work. Dark themes, a memorable villain, a winning score and jaw dropping visuals makes this a welcome addition to the Disney canon.

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Review of The Adventures Of Ichabod And Mr. Toad

Posted : 6 years, 6 months ago on 2 July 2012 11:02 (A review of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad)

It clearly says at the beginning of the film, that The Adventures Of Ichabod And Mr. Toad is a Disney picture. However, I am convinced that "Disney" is a major typographical error, and this is really a 68 minute long Looney Tunes episode. There is a fine line between Animated Feature and Cartoon, and The Adventures Of Ichabod And Mr. Toad crosses over to the Cartoon side.

The Adventures Of Ichabod And Mr. Toad is a two part film. The first part is a story involving Mr. Toad, a crazed amphibian with no respect for the property of others. He is charged of stealing an automobile, though Mr. Toad claims he did not steal it. His friends and he must prove his innocence.

The second part is about a man named Ichabod Crane. He's skinny and odd, but despite this, he's a real lady magnet. But when attractive Ms. Katrina comes to town, it's a fight for the lady between Ichabod and town bully, Brom Bones.

I don't know why these two stories were combined into one movie. They're completely different from the other. The only thing they have in common, is that they're both exhausting.

Mr. Toad's story has some fun to it. Some of Toad's antics are amusing, and there are a couple of good lines. But overall, it's dull, and the slap-stick goes way overboard.

I decided to remain optimistic though. I had hopes that the second half with Ichabod would be better. Well, I admit: I was wrong. The second half is even worse. There is almost nothing noteworthy in the second half. The songs are dull and rather flat. It boasts an unoriginal story line. Also, somehow, the headless horseman gets worked into the end and it doesn't make even the slightest bit of sense.

The one good bit in the Ichabod half of the film, is a dance sequence where Ichabod and Brom are both trying to dance with Katrina. Yes, this kind of thing isn't all that original, but it's easily the best scene in the film (which, admittedly isn't saying much).

Ichabod's bit also ends with a chase scene between Ichabod and the Headless Horseman (who's involvement doesn't make even the slightest sense). This is incredibly dull and I can't imagine a worse way to end the film.

The animation is mostly bland. But it's kind of silly that the character's lips rarely match what they're actually saying (though this isn't a problem during the second half, where it's mostly narrated).

The Adventures Of Ichabod And Mr. Toad is not a film. It's merely a cartoon disguised as a film (and the veil is relatively thin, at that). Disney rarely makes a bad animated film, but The Adventures Of Ichabod And Mr. Toad is a major exception.

I suppose the reason that Ichabod And Mr. Toad is such a bad film, isn't so much that it's flawed (though it is), it has more to do with it being rather dull and forgettable. It does little to separate itself from the average Saturday morning cartoon. You would be better off watching the Looney Tunes shorts that The Adventures Of Ichabod And Mr. Toad is so obviously trying to imitate.

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Review of While You Were Sleeping

Posted : 6 years, 6 months ago on 1 July 2012 11:46 (A review of While You Were Sleeping (1995))

You should never judge a movie by it's title. This is exactly the case with While Your Were Sleeping. Despite the rather awful title, While Your Were Sleeping is a surprisingly charming movie.

Lucy has no family. Few friends. And virtually nothing to look forward to in life except that cute guy (named Peter) who always comes down to the train station, where Lucy works, and buys a ticket for the train, every day. Then one day, Lucy sees Peter mugged and beaten and thrown onto the train tracks. Lucy ends up saving his life, but through a massive miscommunication, Peter's family thinks that Lucy is Peter's fiancee. But instead of explaining things to Peter's family, she begins to enjoy having a family. But things only get more complex as time passes.

While You Were Sleeping is incredibly cheesy, that much is undeniable. But under the hammy premise (that only gets worse as the film goes on), While You Were Sleeping is lots of fun.

While You Were Sleeping plays out like a long I Love Lucy episode. The filmmakers must have realized this too, as the main character is named Lucy, and there's a brief reference to Ricky Ricardo. Amusing twists (some more predictable than others) are inserted to keep filmgoers on their toes. The result is often hilarious.

The best bits of the film are when the whole family is together talking. They're often rambling about random topics until the end of the conversation that may leave you thinking, "What brought that up?" To make it more amusing, each family member is having a completely different conversation with another. I have trouble describing these parts, it's something you'd have to see for yourself.

While You Were Sleeping is very well acted. While there's nothing award-deserving here, the acting feels natural. The characters are memorable, and often funny. Sandra Bullock plays perfectly as a desperate young girl, and Bill Pullman is convincing as a secondary love interest.

The score (composed by Randy Edelman), while sometimes fun (especially during moments of chaos), the score sounds incredibly dated. The music isn't bad, but the dated themes are a little less pleasant than the rest of the score.

While You Were Sleeping manages to overcome it's cheesy premise and cliches. A committed cast and humorous situations makes While You Were Sleeping a fun, if predictable film.

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