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Review of The Sword In The Stone

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 28 June 2012 11:10 (A review of The Sword in the Stone (1963))

The Sword In The Stone is a major disappointment. It's by no means a bad film, it's just disappointing. What I expected to be an origin film was really just a silly film about a boy with a wizard for a teacher.

Don't let the title deceive you, this is not a movie about a sword in a stone, it's about a skinny young boy named Arthur- whom everyone calls Wart- who has a rather ruthless and obnoxious father and older brother. While hunting with his older brother, Kay, Wart discovers a wizard named Merlin and his frumpy owl, Archimedes. Merlin is convinced that it is his job to tutor the boy, and that's all there is to it.

There's not nearly enough plot to last even the short 79 minute run time. This might've worked as a 15 minute short film, but as a feature length film, The Sword In The Stone feels padded and tedious. There's just not enough material.

Which is a shame because The Sword In The Stone has so much potential. This could've been a marvelous rags-to-riches story, but alas, it's just a Ben Kneobi, Luke Skywalker tale.

The Sword In The Stone does have some bright spots though, make no mistake. While a majority of the characters are dull and forgettable, Archimedes is at least slightly amusing, and Merlin is the real main character, and he steals all the scenes anyhow. The protagonist, Wart, is likeable, if mostly forgettable.

The animation is shockingly bland. Despite a beautiful underwater segment, The Sword In The Stone has little visual sparkle.

There are songs too, but like many of the characters, they're forgettable. They're not bad by any means, just forgettable. At the minimum, they're not dull and that's good enough for me.

The score, by recurring Disney composer George Bruns, is disappointingly mediocre. However, there's a wonderful jazz piece utilizing the piano during a scene in which Merlin uses magic to wash dishes. This is the only part of the score I can recommend, unfortunately.

Some of the scenes are funny, if somewhat pointless to the actual story. The quarrels between Merlin and Archimedes are particularly amusing. There's also one scene towards the end, where Merlin battles a witch in a fun, yet completely illogical duel of magic.

While The Sword In The Stone lacks a real plot, and ultimately has nothing to do with the sword in the stone, it's an occasionally fun ride with enough humor to be a mildly enjoyable diversion.

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Review of The Little Mermaid

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 27 June 2012 11:47 (A review of The Little Mermaid)

The Little Mermaid is often hailed as one of Disney's best films. By some, it's considered Disney's best film, period. So after years of merely hearing about The Little Mermaid, I finally got the chance to judge for myself.

Ariel, a young mermaid of just 16, is fascinated by the world above sea level. But her father and king of the ocean, Tritan, as well as a musical crab named Sebastin, is worried for her safety. But after saving a human, Prince Eric, from drowning, Ariel is determined to go back to the surface and not only see him, but to marry him as well. Naturally, Tritan doesn't allow it, so Ariel finally betrays her father, and accepts magic from the sea witch, Ursula. Ariel is transformed into a human, but only can remain as such for 3 days. If she fails to kiss Prince Eric before those three days are up, Ariel will belong to Ursula. And it doesn't help that Ariel completely loses her voice as part of the deal.

I'll admit, I wasn't all that impressed during the first 20 minutes to half hour. Yeah, the animation was nice, and the songs were spectacular, but it was all just a little...good. I was expecting "great," so merely "good" was a little disappointing. Thankfully, The Little Mermaid quickly got better after this.

The songs, as I just mentioned, are spectacular. There's the grand "Part of Your World," the upbeat "Under The Sea," the sinister, "Poor Unfortunate Souls," the romantic, "Kiss The Girl," and my personal favorite, "Les Poissons," which is a song that Eric's chef sings about the art of making sea food meals, much to Sebastin's distress.

The characters are generally memorable. Sebastin is a bumbling stick-in-the-mud, Scuttle is loony and terribly stupid, and the film's villain, Ursula, is certainly one of my favorite Disney villains. However, I found Ariel to be a bit of a brat, and Prince Eric is no different than any other prince Disney has produced.

I personally didn't see anything in the score that could've caused The Little Mermaid to win an academy award, but alas, it did. That's not to say the score (composed by Alan Menken) is completely dull, because there are some moments where the music really shines, it's just a little underwhelming for an award-winning score. The lyrical songs are much better.

The Little Mermaid is undeniably entertaining. There are moments of fun, moments of romance, and lots of memorable songs and characters. In the end, it's not my favorite Disney film, and it's not quite a masterpiece, but I'd be a liar to say I didn't have a good time.

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Review of Antz

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 26 June 2012 11:46 (A review of Antz (1998))

For the first 10 minutes, Antz made me smile, sometimes laugh, and for the most part, was quite enjoyable. My doubts towards the usually mediocre Dreamworks had faded; but only for a little bit. The quality dropped just a wee bit after the first 10 minutes, but I was still enjoying myself. The film holds up for another 20 minutes, and then it's rarely amusing again.

The main character, Z, is tired of having decisions made for him. He doesn't want to be a worker, and he's sick of being forced to things he doesn't want to do. Through a crazy chain of events, Z becomes a war hero, is accused for kidnapping Princess Bala, and ultimately, begins his journey to Insectopia, where he can make his own decisions, and live in paradise.

After the first 30 minutes, Antz decides to movie the story in a completely different direction and what could've been an entertaining film turned into another mediocre Dreamworks entry.

Part of the reason Antz was such a disappointment were the characters. They're simply unlikeable. At the minimum Dreamworks managed to at least develop personalities for the characters (though there are several exceptions) but none of them are very likeable. Bala is a brat, Z is a bumbling idiot, and General Mandible; the film's villain, is often confusing.

Mandible has no motive for his villainy, and is ultimately forgettable for his lack of personality or originality.

Antz is the second CGI movie ever made, so I might have forgiven Dreamworks for the ugly animation. However, the first CGI film (Toy Story) had considerably better looking animation, so Antz really has no excuse.

The character designs are atrocious. You can't tell the difference between a female ant or a male ant until they talk! The design of the ants face and head look like a bad version of E.T. right down to the skin tone. It's just downright awful.

And the voice acting is also rather disappointing. The voices lack energy and a vast majority of the lines sound flat. With so many big names, I had expected more. Perhaps that's why I was so disappointed.

The score however (composed by Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell) was incredible (especially during the beginning where there are a lot of jazzy songs). The music is perhaps the only thing that tops it's competitor film, A Bug's Life. However, there's an incredibly silly lyrical song that's played during the credits that has nothing to do with the movie and it's just awful. I don't know what Dreamworks was thinking by adding this song into the credits.

The thing that surprised me the most about Antz, though, was how non-family friendly the film was. Some scenes take place in an ant bar, some language that shouldn't be allowed in a children's film, and a LOT of violence. I scarcely ever see films with such a high body count. Hundreds if not thousands of ants are killed during a war, one of which was decapitated. One bug ends up falling to his doom and we see the impact. For a teens on up film, this may not be a big deal, but for a movie for kids, this is unacceptable.

While Antz does have some brief moments of inspiration, it ends up being another mediocre film from Dreamworks. With bad animation, bad story, bad voice acting, and a lot of slow parts, Antz is a relatively pointless affair. Antz has some redeeming qualities, but ultimately, the best thing about Antz, is that it reminds us how good A Bug's Life is.

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Review of The Avengers

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 24 June 2012 12:15 (A review of The Avengers)

This review may contain a few spoilers. But at this point, everyone has already seen The Avengers, and if you haven't already, you're probably going to see it anyway. So why even bother with a review? Because there's no way I can say that I dislike The Avengers without explaining myself.

I'm not big on super heroes. The only film I've seen related to The Avengers is Iron Man 2, which I wasn't impressed with. So maybe I'm not the target audience for this film, but shouldn't a good film be tailored for ALL audiences?

The Avengers tries to be a smart and complex film, but in the end, the film is just about Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, and Thor teaming up to stop Loki, who's bent on world domination.

The Avengers irritates me. A lot. And the reason for that (well, one of the reasons) is because it's all about the money. The Avengers doesn't take any risks. I probably could have told you exactly what was going to happen in the movie before I even saw it. The story held only one surprise, and it wasn't a pleasant one. The surprise was Loki's plan for world domination: Aliens.

Yup, The Avengers isn't just a cash grab, it's another alien movie. And the aliens aren't the only problem. Far from it. The Avengers is campy to the point of laughter. It's filled with cheap escapes and hammy dialogue.

I mentioned a moment ago that The Avengers is just a cash grab that doesn't take any risks. Allow me to elaborate on that, if you haven't already disowned me as a critic.

At the near ending point, Iron Man has to launch a nuclear missile into a portal to stop the alien invasion. After succeeding, it appears Iron Man may be dead. In the end, he lives. Surprise, surprise. If Iron Man dies, there can't be any Iron Man sequels, and one of the primary selling points of The Avengers won't be around for The Avengers 2.

Marvel has a huge money maker, and they know it. They weren't going to kill off Iron Man, they'll miss out on sequel opportunities to make even MORE money! A plot twist or a super hero dying would've made The Avengers a better film. But in the end, it's a predictable and straightforward film.

Of course, I knew The Avengers wasn't going to be an intellectual film, but was it too much to ask that The Avengers might be a little more than a trace-the-lines action movie? For crying out loud, audiences have endured 6 films in anticipation of The Avengers. I think at this point, Marvel should've given as a quality product.

The action is nothing new. There was nothing regarding the action that I haven't already seen. There needed to be a new twist to the action or something. But all we get is basic beat-him-up-and-deliver-one-liners fights. The sheer scale of the action and the speed and manic in which it is delivered was enough to evoke artificial excitement from audience members, but surely SOMEONE had to see how cliche this all is.

And then there's the humor which consists almost entirely of predictable one-liners. Nearly all the humor in this movie has been presented in the same way in other films. But audiences aren't laughing because it IS funny, audiences are laughing because it's SUPPOSED to be funny. Otherwise, there would be little laughter at all. Sure, some of the dialogue was pretty funny, but I scarcely laughed at all.

And nothing even really happens for the first hour and a half. Everything that happens in The Avengers feels pointless and uninteresting.

But I suppose The Avenger's isn't all bad. The acting is decent, but not incredible. There aren't going to be any award nominations for acting, but the acting is serviceable.

As expected, the special effects are incredible. Even if I didn't enjoy the film much, the special effects were incredible. There's enough eye candy to make The Avengers at least endurable.

And the score by Alan Silverstri, while often generic, has more than a few bright spots. I was pleasantly surprised by the score, even if it there were a few missed opportunities.

And speaking of pleasant surprises, I was quite impressed at how well The Avengers managed to juggle all the super heroes, giving each ample screen time, and not letting one take over the rest. I expected Robert Downey Jr. to steal the show, but for the most part, the parts were balanced well.

The Avengers isn't completely terrible, but I can't excuse The Avenger's laziness. There were no risks taken, everything is very straightforward. I wasn't expecting a masterpiece, but I was hoping The Avengers wouldn't be completely pointless. A villain is bent on world domination, so a bunch of people join together to stop him. Is that the best you can do Marvel?

Ugh, forget it Marvel, I'm not seeing The Avengers 2. If I ever want to see a quality super hero movie, I'll wait for The Incredibles 2.

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Review of Brave

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 23 June 2012 04:12 (A review of Brave)

Last year, Pixar gave us Cars 2. Critics and audience members alike were appalled at the product. It was no where near the masterpieces that Pixar had brought us previously. But while it wasn't perfect, I still enjoyed Cars 2. But I definitely didn't want Pixar to keep making movies like Cars 2. I wanted more masterpieces. So Brave comes along. The film that everyone is hoping will save the day and remind us all why we love Pixar.

Unfortunately, many critics aren't all that impressed with Brave, and while MOST of the critics liked it, the reception has been a little disappointing, especially when you consider how well the rest of the Pixar films have done. Brave is being considered one of the worst Pixar films.

But I think this is bizarre. I'm not quite sure why this is being met with such lukewarm reception. Brave is nothing short of a masterpiece. In fact, it's one of Pixar's BETTER films, in my opinion.

Brave (originally titled The Bear and the Bow) is about a princess named Merida who wants to be an archer. Unfortunately for her, Merida's mother, Elinor, wants Merida to be a bit more ladylike. Merida puts up with her mother, but when she's being forced to marry before she's even ready. There's an argument between the Merida and Elinor, a witch, and next thing you know Elinor is a bear. So Merida must change her mother back to a human and at the same time, regain her bond with her mother.

Brave has all the ingredients that every good movie needs. For one, the characters are very memorable. I doubt any of them will replace anyone's favorite Pixar character, but they're funny and well developed.

Also, Brave is very funny. It's not as humorous as Up or the Toy Story films, but there's enough gags to entertain adults and kids. Admittedly, some of the humor feels a bit more tilted towards the Dreamworks canon, but I still found myself laughing often.

The last main ingredient; heart. And Brave has heart to spare. Pixar has almost always managed to make me cry, I don't mind saying. But then came Cars 2. Sure it made me laugh, and the animation impressed, but I never felt any real emotional connection with anything going onscreen.

But Brave reminded me why I look forward to Pixar films every year. I did cry at times, and there were times when I held back tears. Brave is one of the most moving pictures I've ever seen. Seeing Merida and Elinor's relationship grow as the film progresses, and the sacrifices they make for each other is particularly moving. Rarely do I feel so engaged with the characters.

Some critics were complaining about the uneven tones. From soft mother-daughter scenes, to boy-ish humor. I actually LIKED the shifts in tone. There were times when things got a little tragic and humor really helped to lighten the mood.

Patrick Doyle composed the score for Brave. This is his first time scoring a Pixar film, and having heard very little of Doyle's scores, I wasn't sure how I'd like his music. Well, Doyle has proved himself a hundred times over. I was extremely impressed with the score, and hope to see Doyle compose more Pixar films in the future.

The voice acting is, as usual for a Pixar film, superb. The voices are a little more recognizable this time around, but in the end, I wouldn't have changed anything. Kelly MacDonald does a more than respectable job as Merida, while Emma Thompson does excellently as mother (though unfortunately, she spends most of the movie as a bear). And Billy Connoly does a hilarious job as Fergus, Merida's rambunctious father.

And naturally, the animation is gorgeous. Easily outdoing any of Pixar's previous films. Trees, water, mist, hair, all of the above. Pixar does an eleven-out-of-ten job on their animation, making Brave the best looking animated film of the year thus far.

Brave is being unfairly labeled as one of Pixar's weaker films, and a merely decent film. Brave is, in fact, a masterpiece and hopefully the so-so reviews and the female protagonist won't stop male audience members from seeing it. Cars 2 was decent, but left me nervous as to Pixar's future. Brave has put all those fears to rest. Pixar is back baby: Hopefully forever.

Note: Brave was preceded by a short film entitled La Luna. This was both imaginative and magical. Don't come late or you'll miss it, and you will not want to miss this.

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Review of The Untouchables

Posted : 6 years, 5 months ago on 15 June 2012 11:30 (A review of The Untouchables (1987))

I saw a movie earlier this year called Valkyrie. It was about a group of men who were determined to assassinate Adolf Hitler, and were willing to go to great heights to do so. For the most part, though, Valkyrie was dull and uninspired. And while The Untouchables reminds me distinctly of Valkyrie, The Untouchables is far from from dull or uninspired.

Similarly to Valkryrie, The Untouchables is about a group of men- A lawman named Elliot, a cop named Jim, an accountant named Oscar, and a cop-in-training named George- who all share an interest in bringing a villainous man to justice. In this case, it's Al Capone. With alcohol made illegal, Al Capone is making a fortune illegally selling booze. Elliot and co intend to prove Capone is guilty, but Capone has his resources.

Like Valkyrie, The Untouchables is superbly acted. You really believe in the characters. Their loss is yours. They're unforgettable; all thanks to the actors. Kevin Costner is a believable family man. Sean Connery gets more one liners than the rest of the cast combined. Charles Martin Smith is the nerd-becomes-cool characters and acts with personality to spare. But most of the kudos has to go to Robert De Niro, who plays Al Capone. He's easily the most iconic of the characters in the film, and he's appropriately nasty.

Unlike Valkyrie, we're given some top-notch action. We don't just get one or two decent action scenes; we get a whole mess of them, and none of them are cheap or forgettable. They're all thrilling and heart-pounding. All of them, unique show-stoppers. Just a sampling; a gun fight with smugglers on a bridge, the classic "train station" scene, and a frantic roof-top chase.

The score has become quite iconic, so I'll spend a little time discussing it. Composed by Ennio Morocone, the score is a clever mix of incidental music, jazz, and retro 30's music. And while the score is memorable, and undeniably incredible, the percussion often overpowers, and some of the music in the "sweet" scenes is a bit too run of the mill for my taste. And while this does make the score a little less excellent, it is, unarguably fantastic.

The cinematography is wonderful. There's one scene in particular where the camera plays the point of view of an assassin, sneaking around someone's house at night time. It's scenes like this where the cinematography really shines.

The Untouchables is a fun and sometimes frantic film, with a memorable score, fantastic acting, and some unforgettable action sequences. And while I wouldn't say it's quite untouchable, it's unexpectedly smart and entertains to the last minute.

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Review of The Black Cauldron

Posted : 6 years, 5 months ago on 13 June 2012 04:07 (A review of The Black Cauldron (1985))

I never thought Disney could get it so wrong. But they did. The Black Cauldron is quite possibly, the worst film to come from the house of mouse. It's aggressively un-Disney, but unfortunately, that works against this shockingly awful fantasy film.

The Black Cauldron is a story about a young boy named Taran who wants to be more than a pig-keeper. His wish comes true, though, when it turns out that his pig, Hen-Ren can predict the future and create visions. Taran is told by his master Dallben to go into hiding with Hen-Ren, in order to protect the location of the mystical Black Cauldron from the Horned King. On the way, Taran meets a young princess named Elionwy, an old musician named Fflewddur, and a cowardly ewok-like creature named Gurgi.

I knew this film was doomed as soon as I learned the pig was psychic.

The characters, unfortunately, are neither memorable, nor likeable. Taran is always drowning himself in his sorrows, Elionwy is an obvious stereotype, Gurgi fails to evoke laughter, and The Horned King's tiny assistant is easily the most annoying cartoon character ever depicted.

Had I not seen the Disney logo preceding the film, I would never have guessed The Black Cauldron was a Disney film. It's surprisingly dark, and there isn't much humor. In fact, the few times there are attempts at humor, they usually fall flat. I don't recall ever laughing during The Black Cauldron.

Another typically uncharacteristic thing about The Black Cauldron, was how dull it is. I never found myself thrilled, but I was constantly bored. The Black Cauldron just cannot excite the audience in the slightest.

Regardless, Elmer Bernstein provides a very good score, even if it takes a bit to warm up.

But The Black Cauldron is, at least, a visual treat. Many effects are simply stunning. The animation is wonderful, especially for a film of it's age. It's just a shame that there wasn't a decent movie to accompany the visuals.

Disney is usually reliable when it comes to their animated films, so it was certainly shocking to see a Disney film this bad. It's too dull, the characters are annoying, and the logic of the film is constantly changing. Outside of the lovely visuals (and an occasionally lively score), there isn't much to recommend in The Black Cauldron.

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Review of Treasure Planet

Posted : 6 years, 5 months ago on 11 June 2012 12:01 (A review of Treasure Planet)

Treasure Planet has not been greeted with negative reception, by any means. But compared to other Disney films, the response has been lukewarm at best, and Treasure Planet was a major box office flop. But here's the catch: It's really good. Like, really, really good.

Treasure Planet is inspired by the Robert Louis Stevenson's classic, Treasure Island. Having not read the book myself, I cannot judge how closely the movie follows the book (my guess is not much due to the fact that this is an outer space adventure), but it provides a wonderfully entertaining yarn anyway.

Jim is something of a rebel, but it's mostly his Dad's fault for leaving him and his mother at such a young age. Jim is constantly in trouble with the law, and his mother doesn't know what to do with her nearly-adult son. But when Jim gets a map from a deranged sea captain, Jim hopes to redeem himself and bring back the gold of Treasure Planet. A canine friend named Doppler tag along, as the two sail on a ship with a questionable crew, a cyborg cook named Mr. Silver, the captain named Amelia, and a host of others.

The characters are instantly memorable. Yes, we have the stereotype "cute" character in the form of a shapeshifting alien named Morph. Yes, we have the stereotype villain in the form of a sneaky spider named Scroop. And yes, we have the stereotype "humor" character in the form of a robot named B.E.N. (who I didn't find all that funny at all). But there's a slew of original characters elsewhere.

The protagonist, for example, Jim is a slightly different glove than the kind Disney usually likes to wear. Far from perfect with a messed up moral compass, Jim is rebellious, and doesn't like to take orders, but we see him change throughout the movie into a much more respectable chap.

Likewise, Mr. Silver, who is the film's primary villain, never really knows if he wants to help Jim, or deploy his villainous plot to take the booty of Treasure Planet for himself. He's an interesting villain, far more interesting than almost any other villain that Disney has brought us so far.

The visuals are incredible. Stunning. Really some of Disney's best. The same technology used in Disney's, also gorgeous, Tarzan film has been employed here with even better results. CGI backgrounds and often props mix with traditionally animated characters creating a visually superb film.

And of course, Treasure Planet is hilarious. While B.E.N. is more than a tad annoying, he has some redeeming lines, and there are lots of other humorous characters as well. Captain Amelia gets a lot of great lines, and Doctor Doppler is equally funny.

The score was unexpectedly wonderful. This is really some of Disney's best work in the music department. Composed by James Newton Howard (a composer I've had mixed feelings about), the score balances emotion and playfulness skillfully, applying enough strong, triumphant tunes as well for some of the more grand scenes.

Unfortunately for Treasure Planet, there is a montage that occurs just before the halfway point, that was just screaming for the score to kick in and deliver the musical masterpiece to get it nominated for Best Original Score. Alas, Treasure Planet has decided to insert an incredibly irritating lyrical song instead. The song has an extremely loud and annoying sounding drum section, and an ill-fitting electric guitar. What could've been the centerpiece of the film, turns out to be the worst part, and this really is a shame.

Treasure Planet shocked me by delivering one of Disney's best films so far. There's an abundance of memorable characters that you really care about, beautiful animation, and it's naturally hilarious.

And while these are all important traits for a film, Treasure Planet also has something even more important: A heart. Treasure Planet doesn't settle for artificial sentimental stuff that so many other films have adopted and use only to attract a broader audience. Treasure Planet brings us a genuinely emotional film that I will not soon forget.

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Review of Alice In Wonderland

Posted : 6 years, 5 months ago on 6 June 2012 04:48 (A review of Alice in Wonderland)

Alice In Wonderland really is a mixed bag. I know that's hardly a way to begin a review, but when you've got a bag as mixed as this, it's hard to know quite where to start. I never can tell what Alice In Wonderland is trying to be, whether a drama, an action movie, a comedy, but it appears to be juggling all three at once, which provides mixed results, as I mentioned previously.

Instead of being a mere adaption of the Alice In Wonderland book, Tim Burton instead creates a story that occurs 13 years after. Alice is set to marry a lord who she does not want to marry at all. Demands from her mother and parents of Alice's predetermined husband further confuse and frustrate Alice. So to escape it all, she follows a familiar rabbit into a rabbit hole, and we all know what will happen from there.

Or do we?

Since this is, in fact, 13 years after the original Wonderland incident, things have changed. Wonderland (or Underland, as we learn it is called) has become a much darker, and dangerous place. Alice is destined to slay a beast called the Jabberwocky, but she doubts herself, and the Red Queen wants her killed.

It's all a little bit more complicated than it needs to be. But Underland is all about complications.

I will start by pointing out Alice In Wonderland's biggest strength: The visuals. Between the magnificent makeup, the ridiculous costumes, the outrageous hair, and stunning special effects (and they are stunning sometimes), Alice In Wonderland is one of the most visually captivating films ever made.

But if only everything else was as wonderful and undeniably incredible as the visual effects. The characters, while mostly amusing, feel a little bit...predictable. Tim Burton usually likes to recreate the characters, but instead, we get virtually the same characters from the book (and animated Disney movie), with little exception. True, Burton tries to flesh them out a bit more and add additional back story, but it does little to separate the characters in this adaption from the animated version.

The acting, like the film, is a huge mixed bag. That's not to say that there are BAD actors. All the acting is very good, it's just expected. Predictable, like the characters. Most everyone is played by the book, with no special spin on almost any of them. Johnny Depp disappoints in his role as the Mad Hatter. He needs to be over the top and ridiculous. Instead, he's just rather ordinary. What happened to the wacky, bizzareness that be brought us in Charlie In The Chocolate Factory?

But this isn't always the case with the acting. Helena Bonham Carter (as the Red Queen) is as outrageous and ridiculous as she needs to be, and more. Her acting is by far the most impressive in the film. Carter ends up doing the performance Depp should've done, but doesn't. One performance I didn't expect to like was Anne Hathaway's as The White Queen. "She's much too recognizable." I thought. And I was right. But she does perfectly. She's extremely dramatic and flowy, and she does a marvelous job.

Without doing any research on the score beforehand, I knew that it was composed by Danny Elfman. After looking it up after the film, I was proven correct. Here's how I knew: It sounds like all his other scores. Yes, Elfman's a great composer, but all his scores sound alike, each borrowing elements from his last score. If Elfman can't get his act together, Burton may need to look for a new composer.

My last opinion about Alice In Wonderland may be the most important: It makes sense. Well, mostly anyway. It's not nearly as whimsical and bizzare as it should be. It's actually, relatively straight forward. Alice In Wonderland just isn't weird enough. It needs to be more odd. More outrageous. The animated version did a much better job at this.

I wanted to like this film. I wanted to love it. But Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland just isn't the film it should be. But it's not half-bad. If you haven't already seen Alice In Wonderland, it's not a bad diversion; it's just not a very good one.

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Review of Pooh's Heffalump Movie

Posted : 6 years, 5 months ago on 4 June 2012 10:45 (A review of Pooh's Heffalump Movie)

Pooh has proved itself to be as dependable as Pixar. I've never been disappointed thus far with a Winnie the Pooh film, and they've all provided strong, whimsical, and entertaining adventures. And then came Pooh's Heffalump Movie.

Pooh's Heffalump Movie stars Roo, who decides to hunt and capture a heffalump that's on the loose. Roo does find and capture the heffalump (named Lumpy), but it's not as scary as Pooh and friends think, and Roo becomes fast friends with the creature.

Pooh's Heffalump Movie has unfortunately decided to pander more to younger kids this time around. Most of the gags will only appeal to toddlers, and the whimsy that has surrounded previous Pooh films is almost completely gone.

Pooh and the gang is back, more or less as you remember them, though with a few exceptions. Owl is completely omitted, and while we see Christopher Robin briefly in the credits, we never hear him speak.

I was originally skeptical about the newest addition to the cast, the heffalump named Lumpy. But I didn't mind him. I don't think he brings anything new to the cast, and I'm certainly not sad that he hasn't returned to most of the future outings, but he wasn't annoying (mostly), and he was a little cute.

There are a couple songs, which are dull and instantly forgettable. In addition, there are occasionally songs playing in the background, which didn't hurt the film at all, but it did little to improve it. There's not much to say about the score; it's mostly mediocre.

The animation is certainly a cut above that of Pooh's Grand Adventure, but there's nothing jaw-dropping to see.

I scarcely remember laughing at all during the movie. I'm sure this is superb for younger children, but I was usually bored. If you have kids, they'll probably love this. But if you came expecting the heart, fun, and whimsy of previous Pooh films, you'll be sorely disappointed as I was.

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