Tag Archives: children

Movie Review: ‘Old Dogs’ should be euthanized

25 Nov

November 25th, 2009–

 Let it never be said that one-note Robin Williams comedies aren’t thought provoking. All through Old Dogs, which also unfortunately snares Mr. John Travolta, I sat there thinking; who is this movie for anyway? As if in answer, there came peals of middle aged laughter everytime Williams mewled like a child, or Travolta heaved himself in the direction of a cake or a chicken leg. When the dog uncontrollably pisses on the floor I think it generated enough titilation from the audience they might have done the same. No matter, this is an offense on almost nearly every level. Last week I tore apart New Moon, and I think I owe Twilight fans just a smidgen of an apology. Your movie isn’t the worst of the year. Nope. Not even close. Meet Old Dogs. The only trick they should be taught is how to disappear. Continue reading

Movie Review: Odd and lovely ‘Wild Things’

29 Oct

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cinemagrade A+Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are is a strange and wonderful creation, like the book that inspired it. I can understand, however, if many are disappointed by it or don’t care for it at all. Jonze and scriptwriter Dave Eggers have taken the 9 page, 9 sentence Maurice Sendak book about a little boy who retreats into his imagination and transformed it into a 90 minute film about the complex emotions and erratic feelings that drive our early childhood. Continue reading

Fantasia 09 Review: Whose Watching ‘The Children’?

27 Jul

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The Children (R) 84 min. Directed by: Tom Shankman. Written by: Paul Andrew Williams. Starring: Hannah Tointon, Eva Birthistle, Stephen Campbell Moore, Jeremy Sheffield, Rachel Shelly. Cinematography: Nanu Segal. Original Music by: Stephen Hilton.

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I’m a little conflicted about Tom Shankman’s  Brit thriller, The Children. Running only 84 minutes, the first 20 minutes are a little too sedate and clunky, and the last 20 too overtly shock-centered. Those 40-some odd minutes in the middle though, after the film has revved itself up, are nothing short of terrifying. It isn’t very often I’m unsettled by a movie, and even less often that one actually manages to scare me. But like it’s older cousin, Descent, this nasty bit of creepy kid horror intensifies to the point that even ominously structured glimpses of day-to-day life become anxiety-inducing. Forget Orphan, Joshua, The Good Son, or any of those recent milque-toast dramas about bad seed progeny chasing their unwitting parents. The Children reaches all the way back to the The Bad Seed and Ray Bradbury’s short story, The Small Assassin and draws on a deeply-buried fear of those small versions of ourselves we give our lives to trying to raise. Continue reading

‘Alice’ Looks Curioser and Curioser! A trailer for Wonderland finally arrives!

23 Jul

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July 23rd–

Fantasy seems to be in the midst of it’s second wind here in America, finally recovering from the glut of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter imposters; not completely though, afterall what WAS that new Chris Columbus trailer in front of Potter 6?  Part of this new re-birth includes a return to stories and ideas that while fantastical, are a little more difficult to translate to screen. Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are looks to be one of the best movies of the year, but I don’t see any kind of epic structure there. Alice is like that too. The trailer is full of recognizable imagery, especially if you are a fan of the books and not just the Disney film, but the actualy story is rather loose when it comes to narrative. Will Burton work around that by focusing on the characters and the creatures of the world, and letting Alice play tour guide? It looks that way so far. Hey, Im just glad that  we  have a Cheshire Cat that isn’t just Whoopi Goldberg’s face in Zoobilee Zoo make-up. Continue reading