Bolt (2008)

Bolt Movie Review

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Bolt Movie Review

Bolt is a 2008 computer animated comedy film which is Disney’s 48th animated feature. It is one of their weaker efforts.

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They always pick the cute ones, the ones that look

like you, Bolt, but the rest of us never come back out

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Bolt Movie Review

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So we follow a white shepherd dog named Bolt who is a dog actor in a superhero show and once he gets separated from his human person, he sets out to find her along with his new friends, a cat and a hamster, and along the way he has to learn to cope with the fact that he doesn’t really have superpowers.

Now, a disillusioned protagonist is a familiar concept and a dog setting out to find his master is also a very tired story been told countless times by now. The movie is interesting as it deals with both of those things, but it is still a very unoriginal film and that is probably why it is ultimately forgettable and one of Disney’s weaker flicks.

Now in terms of storytelling, the film doesn’t really flow all that well. The pacing is off and although the film is very entertaining and sometimes even sweet, the beginning does drag and the film definitely started in a very unappealing manner. The ending is sweet, but typical. And the film shines in the middle parts where you get most of the adventure and fun humor.

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Bolt Movie Review

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So let’s talk about each of the film’s characters which are surprisingly solid in development. Bolt himself is honestly a bit boring as he is portrayed as too good-natured and heroic. He is fine, but a typical protagonist nonetheless. Penny is also a forgettable Disney kid, but the relationship between the two is heartwarming of course.

Bolt shines in its supporting characters as both Mittens and Rhino are such good sidekicks. Rhino the hamster is a lot of fun with his many nerdy lines and the concept of a hamster in a bowl is interesting and different. Mittens is the film’s finest character. I understood from the beginning that her backstory involves a human, but it was still a well done backstory. And I really liked how she was at first an unlikable cat, but Bolt grew on her eventually and the two became friends.

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Bolt Movie Review

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This is basically a dog film made for dog persons. I honestly think that a dog person is bound to like this movie much more than non-dog people and the film is definitely fun and charming, but so cliched and forgettable. I myself am in the middle section. I am a dog person so the film was suited for me, but I still could not deny its unoriginality and the overall forgettable nature to it. I don’t know what it is about it, but it is one of those movies that are at first quite enjoyable and you do love it in the moment, but quickly forget it afterwards much in the vein of ‘The Rescuers Down Under’ and ‘Meet the Robinsons’.

But dogs are well portrayed and cats as well. Stereotyped, but those stereotypes are mostly realistic so I did not mind it. The designs of the animals are actually different than usual and the film is memorable in its characters’ looks for sure. The humor is quite stupendous. I really laughed out loud a couple of times and the scene that shows how dogs make cute faces to get food and how cats cannot quite do that was hilarious.

Bolt is not a musical, but it does have two songs nonetheless. I Thought I Lost You is a very forgettable, typical number, but Barking at the Moon is honestly a lot of fun. The song is accompanied by such a cute sequence and I loved how catchy it was and how well it utilized on the barking sound in its lyrics. Jenny Lewis was much better here than Miley Cyrus.

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Bolt Movie Review

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Speaking of Miley, she did a good job as Penny. Her voice is too recognizable, but she did okay. Susie Essman is excellent as Mittens and Mark Walton is very funny. John Travolta does not have that recognizable a voice so he was pretty good as Bolt.

The animation here is very good. The film looks and sounds too much like a Pixar movie, but still the visuals are mostly quite good for 2008 and it looked quite polished and especially accomplished in the character design department. The score is solid, the pacing is bad and overall the film is emotional, but sometimes a bit too emotionally manipulative. It is one of the weaker Disney films, but for Second Dark Age, it is quite solid.

Bolt is one of the weaker Disney films as it is very forgettable, the storyline is mostly pretty generic and some parts were not as fun as the others were, but it is well animated with especially good character design, the voice acting is solid, the humor is actually quite good and the film is moving at times and mostly just a lot of fun, especially if you’re a dog person.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Full Monty (1997)

The Full Monty Movie Review

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The Full Monty Movie Review

The Full Monty is a 1997 British comedy film starring Robert Carlyle and Tom Wilkinson. It is a solid, but overrated film.

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He’s fat, you’re thin, and you’re both fucking ugly

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The Full Monty Movie Review

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The film is about a group of friends in England who start a male striptease act to gain money. Now, this was obviously a very bold and interesting idea for a film back in 1997, but for now unfortunately it isn’t as we have ‘Magic Mike’ now and that movie goes much further with this story. This is still a better film, but not by much.

That is because it lost its edge by this time and the film really isn’t all that sophisticated as critics proclaimed it is. It actually deals with a lot of themes such as obesity, homosexuality, unemployment and mostly body image and fathers’ rights. But because you have just ninety minutes, most of these themes are left unexplored and barely touched upon.

The Full Monty is still entertaining and definitely a lot of fun, but not as well crafted and somehow rushed. The characters are solid, but there are too much of them in my opinion and thus some are left entirely unexplored such as Guy and Lomper who are forgettable, underutilized and their eventual romance was barely hinted upon.

I honestly had a big problem with the film’s subplot with Nathan. Kids should not watch their father naked and doing striptease and that was just wrong to me. I got why they did it, but still they could have maybe gone with a different route.

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The Full Monty Movie Review

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But Gaz is a relatable character and especially his friend Dave with his obesity problem. Their friendship is great and the actors did a great job, especially Robert Carlyle and it was so weird seeing him so young here.

The Full Monty has a couple of really great scenes and it really benefits from being a British film in location and dialect, but it is never really hilarious and it thus fails as a comedy. The score is pretty solid and the use of its famous songs is excellent. The film is engaging, pleasing and sometimes even charming. But it just did not deserve all of those Oscar nominations and is frankly never great.

The Full Monty has a couple of excellent performances, a good use of its soundtrack, many fun scenes and it deals with some interesting themes, but it doesn’t really explore all of those themes, some characters are underutilized, some plot elements were troublesome and the film is overall just solid and never as great as critics say it is as it is very flawed and it lost its edge after all this time.

My Rating – 3.5

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Planes, Trains and Automobiles Movie Review

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles Movie Review

Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a 1987 comedy film directed by John Hughes and starring Steve Martin and John Candy. It is one of the decade’s finest comedies.

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You wanna hurt me? Go right ahead if it makes you feel any better.

I’m an easy target. Yeah, you’re right, I talk too much. I also listen too much.

I could be a cold-hearted cynic like you… but I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings.

Well, you think what you want about me; I’m not changing.

I like… I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me.

‘Cause I’m the real article. What you see is what you get

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles Movie Review

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Two guys sharing time together during their prolonged trip home where they have problems with each mode of transportation is a very simple, yet ingenious idea for a movie executed superbly here. This is basically a toad trip film, but much deeper than most of the similar flicks.

John Hughes surely is one of my favorite directors, but I was pleasantly surprised to witness that he was as great at an adult comedy as much as he was great at teen movies. It’s a shame that he didn’t do more of such movies, but at least what we got here is a classic for the ages.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a funny movie, at times even hilarious. Its humor is subtle and great and the kind of humor which relies on situations and facial expressions and I love that. The actors did most of the heavy lifting here, but the humor is also great thanks to such a smart script and truly terrific dialogue, courtesy of Hughes of course.

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles Movie Review

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Steve Martin is phenomenal here and this is probably his best role ever. I am usually not a fan of him, but here he was so relatable and even funny and a great dramatic counteract to Candy who is also excellent here and better than usual. The film made me love these two actors whom I usually did not like and that is a testament of how great it truly is. Their dynamic is gold and their chemistry is absolutely terrific. This is a great example of how comedic performances can be just as strong and should be just as treasured as the dramatic ones.

But the movie is great because it also has a lot of heart at its core. The ending is lovely, but most of the scenes between the two really were terrific and some were heartfelt such as Candy’s honest speech about his personality. The two counteract each other so well as they are so different, but I still could see how they would become friends so I bought that plot progression even though it was typical. The film counteracts the comedic scenes with some great dramatic stuff so well and that is why it is such a classic.

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles Movie Review

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Now the movie is not without its flaws. Some of the scenes in the second half, mostly in the car, and that extended action scene were not as interesting as the rest of the film and the ending is naturally too emotional. Sweet, but emotional. And of course the realization that Del doesn’t have a family or a house came as no shock to me as it was quite obvious. But the movie is so well paced, directed and really well scored that it ultimately rendered those minor flaws unimportant.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a rare 80’s comedy that really works and that truly is a classic for the ages. John Hughes gave us a different movie than usual for him here and thus proved his greatness, but Martin and Candy’s performances are also top-notch as is the excellent dialogue and script which balances the humor with a lot of drama and heart. Nifty and thoroughly pleasing, touching and funny, this film certainly is a genre gem.

My Rating – 4.5

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Porco Rosso (1992)

Porco Rosso Movie Review

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Porco Rosso Movie Review

Porco Rosso is a 1992 animated adventure comedy film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is one of the weaker Studio Ghibli offerings that still has a lot to offer.

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I’d rather be a big than a fascist

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Porco Rosso Movie Review

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The subject of aviation is naturally very dear to Miyazaki, but somehow he never really knew how to utilize all that strong love for it. ‘The Wind Rises’ was problematic and Porco Rosso is no exception. It is a film that is just solid and I’d come to expect much more than solid from this director.

So the film is about an Italian World War I ex-fighter ace who was transformed into an anthropomorphic pig. The film is interesting for being the only Miyazaki film that is very realistic and could have happened in real life, everything except the curse part of course. Its Italian location is interesting and unique for the studio and I love the 30s decade so this was pleasant for me naturally.

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Porco Rosso Movie Review

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But I have to agree with the director himself who stated that he made an adult movie for children. And that is exactly the major problem of Porco Rosso in a nutshell. It is realistic, it has politics and history in it and yet somehow the movie is not serious as it tries to be fun and funny. It is fun and funny at times, but this tonal inconsistency just felt off for me and ultimately the movie did not work as much as it could have had he decided on just one consistent tone.

I found its first act somewhat abrupt as it starts in a rushed way and it did not introduce me to its characters and its world properly. The third act of the film is where it is at its silliest and most childish and although amusing, it felt too silly in contrast to everything that came before it. The second act is easily the best one as it features some strong characterization, humor and wonderful drama.

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Porco Rosso Movie Review

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Porco himself is very memorable and I really liked his character as he is a departure from the usual heroes from the director, or should I say heroines. His story is excellent and I loved the hint at the end that his face may be restored to human. Fio is such a wonderful, subtly feminist character and she is a lot of fun and has some great energy. The relationship between these two is the heart and soul of the film.

Donald Curtis is somewhat typical as an antagonist and again that fight at the end was silly, but Madame Gina is memorable as a love interest and I really enjoyed the love story in this movie and I even found this triangle to be pretty solid.

Porco Rosso is so well animated. It isn’t quite on par with the previous Ghibli films as it isn’t as artistic and the backgrounds are sometimes lacking, but the designs of the characters are so good, especially that of the protagonist, and the film is pleasing in color and quite endearing. The flight scenes are so well executed and I loved the attention to detail that went into the animation of airplanes. It is evident from this movie how much Hayao loves aviation.

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Porco Rosso Movie Review

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The score is also stupendous. It isn’t as memorable as say the score from ‘Grave of the Fireflies’ or ‘My Neighbor Totoro’, but it is very fitting to the story and feel of the movie, not to mention the locations, and I loved how fun and retro it felt.

The movie is well paced and edited in spite of that somewhat rushed first act. It otherwise flows really well and the direction is as strong as usual. I also thought that the dialogue is quite solid and I loved the conversations between Fio and Porco and his origin story is so well told. So the movie is not one of Ghibli’s strongest and it is more in line with ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’. Still, it is endearing and charming enough that I can’t criticize it too much.

Porco Rosso is a problematic movie. The animation is as wonderful as usual for the studio, the characters are memorable, I loved the relationship between Fio and Porco, the locations of the film are different and interesting and the film is so well scored and charming and endearing for the most part. However, I have to agree with Miyazaki himself that this is an adult film for children and it thus felt odd both conceptually and tonally. It struggled with its tone too much, the first act is somewhat rushed and the third act is silly leading to one of Ghibli’s more humble offerings.

My Rating – 3.5

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Meet the Robinsons (2007)

Meet the Robinsons Movie Review

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Meet the Robinsons Movie Review

Meet the Robinsons is a 2007 animated science fiction comedy film which is the 47th Disney animated feature. It is such a solid, underrated Disney flick.

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Why is your dog wearing glasses?

Oh, because his insurance won’t pay for contacts

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Meet the Robinsons Movie Review

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I really like this movie and it is actually one of the better Disney films from their Second Dark Age. It is definitely underrated, but I can see why some people may not like it and it definitely isn’t the most memorable film out there. But despite its structural problems, the story remains its biggest strength.

Yes, Disney movies usually have stronger characters or music than the plot, but this time around it is most certainly the opposite case. This is probably the best that the company did regarding the future as I prefer it over ‘Treasure Planet’ honestly. It is a darn good time travel flick that utilizes on its premise so well and it never became a retread of ‘Back to the Future’ that it easily could have become. It is its own thing.

I liked the first act as it introduces you to its story and main characters well. And of course the third act is where the movie absolutely shines as it is filled with such a wonderful family drama so well executed. The highlights are what they did with the villain, the scene at the orphanage which was emotional and of course the sky writing scene is beautiful. I adored that ending with one of my favorite Disney songs playing in the background and when they showed Walt’s quote about moving forward afterwards, well, it just made my day and I was so emotional.

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Meet the Robinsons Movie Review

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But that second act is so problematic that it seriously affected the movie and hurt it from being quite good to just solid. I am talking about the characters. They are problematic in this movie and the Robinson family are a lovely bunch and the film has a lot of heart. However, they are too eccentric. I loved some of it, but the movie tried too hard that eccentricity card to the point of being overwhelming. And the family has so many members that it was hard keeping up and it seriously affected an otherwise solid character development.

Let’s talk about that family. The frogs are ridiculous and I just could not get past that no matter how cute they were. They felt tacked in on the movie needlessly. The various uncles were forgettable and most of the men in the family were not memorable at all. The robot himself is much less annoying than B. E. N. from ‘Treasure Planet’, but that is because he was less used and not because he was anything special to begin with.

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Meet the Robinsons Movie Review

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Lucille and Bud are the only really memorable members of the family and I loved both of them, so quirky and full of heart. And the wife also had her moments, but was your typical cartoon wife in some ways. But let’s talk about the big three characters: Wilbur, Lewis and the villain. Wilbur is very good and although somewhat typical, I loved his relationship with Lewis and that brotherly/fatherly relationship was very interesting.

Lewis is called Cornelius in the future and I really enjoyed that the movie did not employ that usual bullcrap with not supposed to be meeting yourself in the future or past and actually had the two of them meet. A very rewarding scene emotionally. Lewis is a good protagonist, not great, but good for who they were trying to portray and is better than most modern Disney main characters.

The Bowler Hat Guy is the very best character that Meet the Robinsons has to offer by far. At first I was slightly annoyed by his comedic presence, but still his design and voice were quite interesting and he was cartoony, but also felt like a human being in the end. Yes, he isn’t a villain and is in the end explained that he is Goob in the past and I loved that twist, so well done. Lewis helping him eventually was wonderful and I loved how he genuinely felt sorry for what he did. An excellent story for him and a great characterization.

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Meet the Robinsons Movie Review

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The animation is such a great improvement over ‘Chicken Little’ that it was honestly baffling to witness. It still needed some work in the backgrounds that honestly looked poor for the most part, but I really enjoyed its colorful approach and the designs of the characters are quirky and quite authentic in their own right. This future was fun over serious, bright over dark, imaginative over realistic and I honestly loved it, especially the buildings and the transportation.

Meet the Robinsons has just a couple of songs in it as it isn’t a musical. Another Believer is tonally in line with the movie’s feel itself, but I just did not enjoy it that much as it is forgettable and almost too modern. But Little Wonders is just, well, wondrous! A very underrated song that is the best of this era for the studio, it wonderfully accompanies that emotional ending and is so well sung by Rob Thomas and although catchy, it is more moving and poignant in its approach with such heartfelt lyrics.

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Meet the Robinsons Movie Review

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The film features a surprisingly strong humor and it is the funniest Disney has been since ‘The Emperor’s New Groove’. Some of the lines from Bud as well as the line about T-Rex’s small hands were just hilarious and I was honestly caught off-guard at how funny some moments were. The film is weakly paced and so incredibly rushed as it needed a much bigger runtime to tell this rich story. But overall it is one of Disney’s most underrated and most endearing modern efforts.

It is way too rushed in its pace and that second act is enormously chaotic to the point of hurting the movie tremendously as it has way too much energy and way too many characters in it, but Meet the Robinsons is otherwise a very solid, underrated Disney film with an animation that is a big improvement over their last effort, one great song, very good main characters and a superb “villain” and above all an original, so well crafted and heartfelt story with a surprising amount of wonderful humor in it.

My Rating – 3.5

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Tillie’s Punctured Romance (1914)

Tillie's Punctured Romance Movie Review

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Tilly’s Punctured Romance Movie Review

Tillie’s Punctured Romance is a 1914 silent comedy film directed by Mack Sennett and starring Marie Dressler, Mabel Normand and Charlie Chaplin. It is such a good, underrated movie.

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He ain’t no good to neither of us

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Tillie's Punctured Romance Movie Review

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The movie is about a fat lady who inherits a lot of money from her supposedly dead uncle and Charlie is after that money and marries her with his girlfriend opposing to it and everything leads to a big scene. Now the movie is great, especially for its time, as it portrayed two very strong, admirable female characters and for 1914 this should be respected.

The film ends with the two women befriending each other and realizing that they don’t need Charlie who was awful to both of them. That final moment is unforgettable in its simplicity and big heart and it made the movie a classic for me.

It is weird seeing Charlie Chaplin in such a villainous role, very weird actually. But he still did a very good job per usual and this is his first feature effort and he showed how great he was instantly. But Mabel Normand is even more memorable and she was very charming and likable here.

But of course Marie Dressler stole the show from both of them. I loved her in ‘Anna Christie’ which I’ve watched pretty recently, but it was great seeing her in a silent movie which were her roots and she absolutely killed it in this role. Her physical comedy and gags were the best of the three and she is easily the funniest and most charismatic person here. The fact that she stole the show from Chaplin himself really says a lot about her enormous talents.

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Tillie's Punctured Romance Movie Review

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Tillie’s Punctured Romance is the world’s first feature comedy and it aged so well. It was shocking to see such a weak response to the movie on Rotten Tomatoes when I myself really enjoyed it and it is one of the period’s better films. Definitely underrated and should be watched and respected more by today’s audiences.

Now yes, the film relies too much on slapstick comedy, more specifically on kicking people in the butt. That was overplayed for laughs here and was frankly a bit annoying at times. However, where the film shines is in its charming and very memorable characters and a great scenario solidly played for laughs in many scenes.

The highlights are the first meeting of Tillie and Charlie, I loved seeing a theatre going experience of the 1910s and of course the ending made the movie for me. Tillie has had enough and she starts shooting people at the party at the mansion and afterwards the action is taken to the docks and we witness the arrival of the Keystone Cops.

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Tillie's Punctured Romance Movie Review

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They are great and everyone is great here, but Tillie stole the show naturally and I loved her crazy shooting everyone and everywhere. There is some great action to be had here with the cars and this entire scenario was so perfectly executed that it was worth waiting for the entire film which is so well edited and directed for the most part, but excels because of its action and acting.

Tillie’s Punctured Romance is the world’s first feature comedy and it holds up so well and is very underrated. The story and scenario are so well played for laughs and the ending is glorious in its action spectacle and with such a wonderful final scene. Its female characters are admirable for its time and seeing Chaplin in the villainous role was quite interesting. The dynamic between the actors is great and Marie Dressler excelled in portraying this memorable, funny protagonist.

My Rating – 4.5

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The Boss Baby (2017)

The Boss Baby Movie Review

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The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby is a 2017 animated comedy film by DreamWorks Animation. It is an okay, passable diversion and nothing more than that.

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Can’t we just share?

You really didn’t go to business school, did you?

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The Boss Baby Movie Review

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The plot follows a baby who is a secret agent in the secret war between babies and puppies. Yes, that is this movie in a nutshell and, needless to say, it is so far from a high-concept idea that the movie just never managed to get away from that silly and too simplistic premise. They did the best they could mostly, but that was still not enough.

I thought that the movie actually had pretty solid world building for a silly plot such as this one. Some of the scenes such as everything in the Baby Corp as well as the entire final scene which was intriguingly ambiguous were terrific and entertaining, but I do think that the film struggles with finding its audience. It is way too convoluted and detailed in its plot for kids and yet it was so obviously made for them. The perfect balance was not always struck here.

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The Boss Baby Movie Review

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Let’s talk about the characters. The titular boss baby is a mixed bag for me. I liked how memorable and fun he was and caring for his brother yet I wanted more edge from him. I thought that according to its trailers, the movie would have been more adult-oriented and yet the baby himself is way too mild and too much on the good side. But Alec Baldwin did a really good job in the role.

Tim Templeton is your typical yet likable and realistic kid and I have to say that the film nailed their relationship. Their brotherly bond and love is wonderful and all of their scenes together are the highlights of the movie which is actually very sweet and childlike which I did not expect.

The parents are thoroughly forgettable, but the villain is pretty solid though again typical. The baby’s employees were too childish, but I did like that Gandalf alarm clock. The movie is mostly just about the baby and Tim so the other characters suffer consequently.

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The Boss Baby Movie Review

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The Boss Baby actually features some pretty solid animation from time to time. Yes, it is your typical overly polished and garish CGI animation of the 2010s, but it does have a couple of surprises up its sleeve. I am talking about those imaginary sequences which were cute and charming. The pirate ship was so well incorporated into the story. And the pop-up book segment was the most inventive of the bunch. Sometimes the movie was surprisingly inventive visually, but those moments came too far and few in between.

I found its score forgettable and to me the humor is where the movie dropped the ball almost entirely. Yes, some moments were admittedly chuckle-inducing, but most of it was overly childish in its approach and most of the jokes were overly simplistic and cartoony. The kids should find this movie mostly great, but for anyone older than 12, it should prove a challenge.

The action is way too overwhelming, at least it was to me personally. Again the reason why it is better suited for kids than adults. Some of the set pieces and action scenes were so long and silly and goofy that only the children could properly enjoy them, but I myself found the movie to be overly frenetic to the point of being exhausting at times.

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The Boss Baby Movie Review

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The Boss Baby has a lot of heart at its core, but in its sibling relationship, though the strongest, it’s also very derivative and your typical animated flick stuff. The ending is interesting, but I still saw it coming as it is a very predictable flick. It is a harmless little flick that is actually far from the worst that DreamWorks produced, but it is also far from truly good or solid too. But as I said, it is harmless and I do not get why some would object to it so harshly. It is along the line of ‘Home’ on my DreamWorks ranking list.

The Boss Baby is not a particularly good movie, but it’s a harmless, passable entertainment best suited for kids. It is way too frenetic in its action and too goofy at times, but also surprisingly sweet and touching in its brotherly relationship. But it is just okay as the humor is ultimately lacking and the movie never really overcame its ridiculously silly and simplistic premise. Some plot points were interesting and some of its animation was even inventive, but most of it was your typical DreamWorks fare and nothing more than that.

My Rating – 3

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Movie Review

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Movie Review

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is a 1972 French comedy film directed by Luis Bunuel. It is an overrated, plotless film.

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You’re better suited for making love than for making war

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Movie Review

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This is such a typical Luis Bunuel work and it is one of his weaker ones in my opinion. It shows all of his excesses and problematic qualities in one frustrating package. I get that it has the theme of hypocrisy but it wasn’t executed well at all.

It seemed that it had no plot at all. It was just an excuse to feature a surreal, farcical adventure with a bunch of friends who want to have dinner together but are always interrupted. It had potential as it deals with interesting themes, but only the first act was interesting and the other ones were either dull or annoying.

Some segments worked but others did not. I liked some of the sexual stuff here, but some was frustrating. As for those surreal dream sequences, they were okay, but far from the director’s best. He shows again with this movie that he was great as a short subject director and not as feature director as ‘An Andalusian Dog’ remains his best effort.

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Movie Review

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is well acted and mostly well made, but overlong and frankly boring in some scenes. Its type of humor is so obviously French in its situational and odd comedy and it mostly did not work great. I didn’t smile, let alone laugh, once and thus this is a failure for me as comedies are supposed to make you smile. It received the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and it is not the worst film to get that award, but is one of the weaker ones.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is your typical Luis Bunuel film which relies too little on plot and makes no sense for the majority of time. Some segments worked, but most did not and the film was even annoying at times. It is your typical French comedy that isn’t really funny and is rather overrated.

My Rating – 3

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Chicken Little (2005)

Chicken Little Movie Review

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Chicken Little Movie Review

Chicken Little is a 2005 animated science fiction comedy film which is the 46th Disney animated feature and easily their worst one.

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Hold your horses, here! And horses, hold your breath

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Chicken Little Movie Review

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Yes, I have to say that it is easily their worst film ever made. ‘Home on the Range’ is the only one that comes close. These two came at the same time and were the lowest point that Disney hit. It isn’t a horrible movie as it has its strengths (more on that later), but there is no denying the sheer unoriginality of its plot and many terrible choices in its production.

Let’s start with the story. Chicken Little never has any identity and it struggles because it never decides what movie it wants to be. At first it is a faithful adaptation of its source, then it veers to tired baseball drama and afterwards it goes to full extraterrestrial science fiction. There are a couple of movies you have here and neither of them are good.

I myself disliked the baseball one the most as I am not a fan of sports and especially of this stupid sport so those scenes bored me. They weren’t terrible, but were just too typical in execution and, not to mention, implausible. As for its science fiction elements, I wasn’t a fan of them either. The film is basically a rehash of ‘The War of the Worlds’ and maybe even the 2005 version as they were released in the same year. The aliens, the ship, everything reminded me of that with a touch of ‘Signs’ added. DreamWorks’ ‘Home’ is similar in plot and especially in ending, but frankly a better, more enjoyable film.

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Chicken Little Movie Review

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As I said above, the film isn’t devoid of good things and certainly the family drama is quite solid and it provides a couple of moving moments with their last conversation and embrace being quite touching. This is the heart of the entire film and the only aspect that provides any sort of emotion or storytelling.

Certainly the relationship between Chicken Little and Ace is quite strong and the movie should have focused on them even more. Ace is a very likable character, but unfortunately Chicken Little is not. He is obnoxious at times and just not a lovable protagonist as the story needed. That mostly stems from Zach Braff’s annoying performance and voice. The voice casting in this film is truly horrible and of the worst kind.

The film has some good characters such as Ace and Little’s team is pretty solid with a fine dynamic between them. Runt of the Litter is your typical nervous sidekick, Abby as this ugly duckling and love interest is okay, but forgettable and all of the other kids and “villains” are typical and not at all memorable. Fish Out of Water is the most lovable character here as his design is interesting and he has some good moments here.

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Chicken Little Movie Review

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Chicken Little’s animation is very mediocre and one of Disney’s first. So basically Disney struggled at the box office and before they acquired Pixar and before John Lasseter came to the studio, they decided to finally go to computer animation as their last resort and the results are beyond lackluster.

This is obviously a first attempt as the character designs are all over the place and not the greatest and the animation is unpolished, choppy and at times frankly very dated. It just feels incredibly dated and weak when compared to other films of its time such as ‘The Incredibles’. But it is better than ‘Madagascar’s animation, that’s for sure. I just wish that Pixar lent them a hand at this production as they were clearly not ready. And it truly is a shame that we got only two hand-drawn Disney flicks after this one. It breaks my heart.

The soundtrack is, well, horrible. I have to say that the soundtrack is the worst aspect of this movie and the one that entirely ruins it to no possible redemption. That is because it isn’t original and it is filled with an incredible amount of forced, frustrating pop culture references and pop music at just the worst times when the movie needed to be slower and calmer. I just hated the use of the songs here, really despised them.

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Chicken Little Movie Review

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Chicken Little is thus very weakly paced and the structure is just bad. The score, other than those reused songs, has its moments and is okay, but I wished for original songs or no songs at all. It has a very short running time and thus the use of those songs is entirely redundant. The dialogue is not great and the film’s humor is also pretty subpar. It truly is Disney’s worst film, but having in mind that Disney never made horrible and truly bad movies, surely this one isn’t bad as well and is just very mediocre.

Disney never made a truly bad, horrible movie and surely Chicken Little has its moments, some good characters and the family drama is moving, but it is still a very mediocre affair that is filled with annoying pop music, just terrible voice casting, quite subpar CGI animation as it is their first computer animated effort and an unoriginal plot that lacks identity and feels like two different movies put together. It truly is Disney’s worst film ever.

My Rating – 2.5

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Big (1988)

Big Movie Review

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Big Movie Review

Big is a 1988 family fantasy comedy film starring Tom Hanks as a boy who makes a wish to be old and he becomes a 30 year old man.

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And I’m three months older than you are, asshole!

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Big Movie Review

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This is a film that has quite a unique and interestingly very original and rarely explored premise. The beginning with the machine is very well executed and memorable. But the middle of the movie is Big’s weakness because it is filled with typical movie tropes that are reminiscent with so many 80s and 90s family films. It also has some very naive scenes that are hard to believe and illogical. And it can get pretty cheesy and familiar. But the film’s third act gets it back on the track with a phenomenal exploration of its central theme – childhood versus adulthood. And her realization and their emotional goodbye is such a warm and heartbreaking scene and also a perfect conclusion to a heartwarming story that seems as if it came right out of a fairy tale. It is so good and effervescent.

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Big Movie Review

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The characterization is pretty good as is of course the acting. Tom Hanks is expectedly superb in the protagonist’s role and he plays Josh Baskin perfectly, always making you remember that the character is in fact a lot younger because he embodies that inherent childlike behavior that is essential for the role. Elizabeth Perkins is wonderful as Susan Lawrence, his love interest. Her performance is very good and the character is surprisingly poignant, realistic and very likable. Her relationship with Josh is very endearing from start to finish and she possesses an inherent charm. The other characters are all quite forgettable, but those two are great and his best friend Paul is a likable and also very realistically depicted kid.

The direction is quite good, but the score is stupendous, very beautiful and moving at times. The dialogue is also quite solid and the editing is mostly good. The film benefits from its offbeat premise and a lot of heart at its core.

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Big Movie Review

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Big should have been funnier and that is my problem with it definitely. It has its charms, but it should have been funnier having in mind it is a comedy above all. And that middle of the film with some boring office sequences and a lot of unnecessary characters with naive behaviors definitely ruined the movie. But this is a children’s movie from the eighties and such problems in the script are expected. And the kid should have been ten instead of thirteen years old because it is much more realistic for him to be younger. However, the movie manages to transcend above those clichés with its very original and incredibly moving ending. And professional acting and endearing characters certainly don’t hurt.

It has its flaws including some cheese factor and some naive sequences, but Big is largely a stupendous family movie with charming characters, great Tom Hanks in the central role, some wonderful themes, heartbreaking ending, nice score, quite offbeat and very well used premise and a lot of heart at its core. As family films from this period go, it definitely is quite underrated in its own right.

My Rating – 4

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