Film Review: The Call of CthulhuSubmitted by Krogenar on Wed, 02/09/2011 - 14:10
Reviewing any film that attempts to bring H.P. Lovecraft's work to the big screen usually has this reviewer standing inside a protective pentagram and loading up on amulets to protect me from some serious bad movie mojo. For definitive proof, I offer up for sacrifice The Dunwich Horror. May an eldritch demon from out of time and space rend that celluloid nightmare forever and ever. Amen.
Even movies that are not explicit recreations of a Lovecraft story and merely aspire to have 'Lovecraftian' elements (monsters with tentacles, insanity-provoking encounters, etc.) usually fail spectacularly. Some filmmakers have successfully incorporated Lovecraftian elements (In the Mouth of Madness and the Hellboy franchise, in addition to ReAnimator and From Beyond) but they are surprisingly rare and require that the producers take some serious artistic license. In The Call of Cthulhu Lovecraft fans will finally find some relief -- a faithful telling of an HPL story that works.
Film Review: Despicable MeSubmitted by Krogenar on Wed, 07/14/2010 - 09:26
Gru (Steve Carell) is perfectly content with his life as a super-villain -- (or, 'suber willain') -- until a new villain puts the brakes on his reign by stealing the Pyramid at Giza and replacing it with an inflatable fake. The new villain, Vector (Jason Segel), is a high-tech bozo that seems modeled on Bill Gates. Gru must steal a shrink ray gun from Vector in order to pull off the greatest criminal scheme of all time -- he's going to steal the moon. When he's unable to get inside Vector's hideout he notices that three little girls who sell cookies door-to-door are able to get inside Vector's headquarters. Gru whispers, "Light.... bulb!" Gru adopts the girls to use them in a plot to get inside Vector's hideout.
Predictably, Gru's heart softens to the three girls and he makes them skull-shaped pancakes and reads them bedtime stories (laughably referring to their request for 'Three Little Kittens' by saying, "Really, you like this? This is garbage!"). Despicable Me is wholesome, funny children's fare with inventive sight gags and will satsify adults because Gru mocks sappy children's fare even while being a part of it.
Film Review: Toy Story 3Submitted by Krogenar on Mon, 06/28/2010 - 13:14
Woody, Buzz and the gang return for a third (and likely final) installation of the Toy Story franchise. Their owner, Andy, has finally grown up and is now 17-years-old, packing for college. Woody and his fellow toys must cope with the fairly adult themes of facing the future, leaving behind childish things, and even the possibility of their own destruction, or at the very least the breakup of their toy 'family'.
The plot gets rolling when their human owner is given an ultimatum by his mother: decide what items are going to college and which are going into the attic. Woody is the sole toy marked for 'college' and the other toys rejoice on his good fortune. A misunderstanding, however, put the other toys on the curbside in a garbage bag! Woody rescues them from the garbage truck but the toys are heartbroken that Andy would abandon them. They decide to hide in a box marked for donation to Sunnyside Daycare.
Sunnyside appears to be a paradise for toys, making the toy tyrannosaur exclaim, "Finally, we're gonna get played with!" Sunnyside appears to be a Shangr-La for toys because they don't have 'owners' that grow up and discard them -- but not everything is as it seems at Sunnyside.
Film Review: Spirited AwaySubmitted by Krogenar on Sun, 11/22/2009 - 01:00
A 10-year-old girl is swept into a fantastic world of monsters, witches and spirit-beings, and is forced to rescue her parents and grow up in the process.
Director Hayao Miyazaki's story centers on a mystical bath house -- a business run by a powerful witch named Ubaba, who services the myriad spirits of nature who need refreshment and rejuvenation. The story starts when a young girl, Chohiro, who unwittingly follows her parents through an ancient tunnel which leads to a gorgeous valley.
Film Review: 9Submitted by Krogenar on Fri, 09/11/2009 - 09:28
A group of sentient rag dolls (also known as 'stitch-punks') fight for survival in the ruins of a decaying post-apocalyptic world.
9 is a full-length adaption of director Shane Acker's 2005 short film of the same name. The story feels very original, and yet somehow the plot ends up being very easy to deduce. It seems marketed to children, but some of the images (the cat monster in particular) would probably be too terrifying for small children. This seems like a movie that would be great for precocious children or childlike adults.
Film Review: Ice Age 3Submitted by Krogenar on Mon, 07/06/2009 - 21:32
Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is the latest installment of the popular animated series that follows the adventures of an unusual prehistoric herd comprised of Manny the Mammoth (voiced by Ray Ramano), his mammoth wife Ellie (Queen Latifah), Diego the Sabre-Toothed Tiger (Denis Leary) and Sid the the Sloth (John Leguizamo).
Manny and Ellie are pregnant, and Manny is in a constant state of excitement and worry -- dashing about with hot water in a tortoise shell. Diego is less excited, wondering where exactly he fits into the herd, and ends up heading off on his own. Sid, voiced wonderfully by Leguizamo starts the plot rolling when he finds three eggs in a frozen crevasse.
Film Review: UPSubmitted by Krogenar on Sun, 06/07/2009 - 07:32
With Disney PIXAR's newest release 'UP' they've created a movie so beautiful in terms of execution and plot, that you should really stop reading this review and go see it immediately. The movie is about love, loss and hope -- all while remaining screamingly funny and action-packed. UP will be loved by children, but even moreso by adults. Heed my words - don't read any further, just go see it.
Film Review: Madagascar 2Submitted by relantel on Thu, 01/08/2009 - 15:59
We had missed seeing Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa when it was first released earlier in the fall. Since the birth of our son on Christmas Eve, Monday [Dec 29, I'm late to publishing this] marked the first point where my wife felt comfortable taking the baby out, and we managed to find a major theatre still playing the film, albeit 20 minutes away, in a newer AMC outfit. It was the only listing for Madagascar 2 across Northern Virginia, so off we went.
Film Review: Star Wars: The Clone WarsSubmitted by relantel on Mon, 09/08/2008 - 15:01
On Labor Day (September 1st), we took our four-year-old to see the new Star Wars animated film, the "Clone Wars". Originally I thought Lucas was not involved, but IMdB belies that, crediting him with being the Executive Producer. It was ok, but I don't know if I would recommend it.