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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Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

Kiki's Delivery Service Movie Review

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Kiki’s Delivery Service Movie Review

Kiki’s Delivery Service is a 1989 fantasy anime film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is Studio Ghibli’s forth film which is solid, but pretty overrated.

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Flying used to be fun

until I started doing it for a living

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Kiki's Delivery Service Movie Review

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It follows a young witch in training. She hits her teenage years and moves to a new town where she starts earning money by delivering packages with her broom. She meets a lot of different people and experiences adulthood. It is a coming-of-age flick which should prove awesome for children and most especially little girls, but it is in my opinion too childlike and girly and it doesn’t have the adult appeal that childlike movies such as ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ have.

That is mostly why I didn’t love it. I liked it more upon my second viewing, but I still think it isn’t better than solid. The plot is somewhat non-existent except that it is a coming-of-age story and although it is too slow at times, I mostly liked its casual approach which is the director’s signature direction. He directed the film really well, that’s for sure.

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Kiki's Delivery Service Movie Review

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Of course Kiki not being able to talk to her cat eventually and losing her flying ability was a metaphor for becoming an adult and losing your innocence and I loved that, a very elegant and heartwarming way to state that transition. The movie is slow, but certainly quite sophisticated and although seemingly too sweet, it does portray many different types of people and some not all that good so it does become more mature at some points, but too rarely.

I’ve had a big problem with its ending. Kiki’s Delivery Service is a film that is leisurely in style and pace and thus its climactic ending felt way out of place and honestly quite ridiculous. It is a typical action-oriented finale that should be reserved for all those stupid family flicks made in USA and seeing Miyazaki resort to that was unfortunate.

Kiki is a good character, though a bit too good natured and somewhat forgettable when put against other strong Ghibli heroines. Jiji’s sarcasm proved to be a lot of fun and again I really liked that only she could talk to him. Their relationship pleasantly reminded me of Lyra and Pan’s relationship in ‘Northern Lights’.

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Kiki's Delivery Service Movie Review

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Osono is charming and Ursula shared a really great scene with Kiki and I loved her artistic background. As for Tombo, he is your typical Ghibli male love interest, but their relationship was admittedly quite sweet and touching. The voice acting is expectedly very good here.

Kiki’s Delivery Service is as superbly animated as you would come to expect from the caliber of this studio and its famous director. The character designs themselves are good, but it is the backgrounds that prove to be a real treat here. I absolutely loved how gorgeous some of the imagery was here. I always loved seaside towns and this town being European in style was refreshing to see in an anime film. I loved how the town looked and it felt so cozy, but the house interiors, the food, of course the nature and every little detail was beautiful to witness and Ghibli’s early films from eighties and nineties really do give hand-drawn animation a great reputation.

The score is also very good and grandiose and different in its style which I loved. Its opening and closing number was also quite sweet. The film is definitely wonderfully made technically and both the script and the dialogue offer some gems in terms of the scenes. My favorite scenes are Kiki’s discussion about art and flying with Ursula, her first scenes in a new town were all phenomenal and her scenes with Tombo and Jiji were all big winners.

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Kiki's Delivery Service Movie Review

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So the film is pleasant and charming, but admittedly too slow at times and I honestly thought that the film was way too simplistic and it definitely ended in a very mediocre, frustratingly annoying manner. It is a movie that is perfect for kids and little girls, but it never has that universality to it that other Ghibli classics have. It is the weakest Ghibli outing from the eighties by far and definitely one of its most overrated films. It is solid, don’t get me wrong, but I’d come to expect much greater things from this magnificent studio and this one is certainly way too overrated for my taste.

Kiki’s Delivery Service is expectedly gorgeously and meticulously animated, very well scored, pleasantly leisurely in pace and style with a good metaphor and it is a charming coming-of-age film that is great for children and especially girls, but it isn’t all that appealing to adults, I found its ending annoyingly too climactic and out of place and although the film is definitely sweet and solid, it is far from great and is actually one of Studio Ghibli’s most overrated works.

My Rating – 3.5

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Paddington (2014)

Paddington Movie Review

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Paddington Movie Review

Paddington is a 2014 British family film directed by Paul King and, although the trailers weren’t promising, it proved to be quite a good film and even magnificent in its own right.

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This family needed that wee bear every bit

as much as he needed you. There. Said my piece

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Paddington Movie Review

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The first thing I noticed about this film is how old-fashioned and traditional it is. It reminded me of all those feel-good family films of the nineties that I grew up with. And the story is, although quite predictable and familiar in that fashion, nevertheless extremely entertaining and engaging from start to finish.

The technical aspects in this movie are absolutely terrific and they definitely help elevate the film to the next level. The direction is surprisingly good, but the art direction and production design is simply astonishing. The Muppets meets Wes Anderson – that’s what this film has been called by some. I honestly think that might be true, but it has to be more of the former, because I absolutely hate Wes Anderson’s films , they are just not for me, so that connection definitely seemed odd to me. But the evident attention to detail that went into this production is amazing to behold and all those wonderful details help the film feel like such a well crafted and rarely well thought-out children’s film.

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Paddington Movie Review

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The next big thing that is certainly a huge plus for this movie is its humor. Wow, never would I expect something like this. The humor is so charming, endearing and filled with so many goofy moments and great lines that can really make you laugh. What of course makes it so good is the fact that this movie can be enjoyed by people of all ages and that is due to the inclusion of various kinds of humor that range from goofy slapstick to British dry humor to pop-culture references. Add to that some excellent messages and wonderful characters and you’ve got a beautiful distraction for the whole family.

Speaking of the characters, the character development here is dealt with surprisingly well. The protagonist is simply endearing, the whole Brown family is interesting and the villain is somewhat funny. But the relationship between Paddington and the father is what drives the film and makes it so human with all the nuances in his character. The acting is also pretty good, not fantastic, but fine nevertheless and serves the purpose.

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Paddington Movie Review

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The pacing and editing are also quite good, but the action is overwhelming and while I know that today’s audiences like that, I dislike too much action and this is the same problem I’ve had with the Toy Story trilogy in that the story, characters and everything is so good, but there is not nearly enough quiet, character-driven or emotional moments to compensate for all that overwhelming action. But that, along with familiar storyline, is the only big flaw I found in this film. Everything else is unexpectedly phenomenal and charming.

All in all, Paddington is a proof that a family film can still be done if it is made with proper care, right amount of humor with all of its kinds, effervescent characters and charming tone and details. It is one of the biggest surprises of 2014 and one of the year’s best films for children.

My Rating – 4

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Home on the Range (2004)

Home on the Range Movie Review

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Home on the Range Movie Review

Home on the Range is a 2004 animated musical western comedy film which is the 45th Disney animated feature film and one of their weakest.

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Call me crazy, but I think these cows got it in for me!

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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This is one of those films that are perfect for kids and I could see myself loving it as a child. I do think that kids should see it regardless what adults think and yes, adults are harsh to it. A bit too harsh if you ask me. Yes, it is one of the worst films to come from Disney Animation Studios, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad as even the weakest Disney flicks are passable and okay as is the case with this one too.

The film is a comedy for sure and it is a musical owing to an abundance of songs, but more importantly it is a western film and that is rare for animation which is why I loved those elements here. ‘Spirit’ from DreamWorks is certainly an infinitely better western film, but this one manages to recreate the 1890s period really well thanks to solid imagery and good southern accents.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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The plot itself certainly takes the backseat to all of the action which is a big problem but it has its moments such as a memorable villain, somewhat well executed last chase and a wonderful ending that is emotionally resonant and sweet. But yes, the film is way too short in its running time to be having this much action in it.

Home on the Range features solid characters in my opinion. Not the greatest, but not bad either. I really liked the dynamic between the three cows and they serve as solid protagonists. Grace is somewhat typical, but Mrs. Caloway is charming and Maggie is quite good, though over-the-top at times. The relationship between the two is the strongest in the film and the casting of Judi Dench and Roseanne Barr certainly helped the movie a lot as they’re great.

Buck is annoying, I have to say. He is one of those sidekicks that only kids could like and to the rest of us, he is actually a waste of time here. Lucky Jack also wasn’t all that memorable and those two henchmen had some good moments, but were ultimately 101 Disney henchmen a bit too much. But I have to say that I really like Alameda Slim. He is a good mix of competent and goofy villain and I loved his singing and that it was used as a weapon. That needed to happen at some point in all these Disney musicals.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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Home on the Range has one of the worst animations ever for Disney. I really did not care for it and it brought the whole movie down significantly. It does have some good details and, as I said, the period is recreated rather well, but the only standout scene is the villain song and the rest are forgettable and actually kind of cheap. Not only does the whole movie look too garish in its colors, but also quite unappealing in its characters as their angular designs are rather off-putting. That is something that ‘Hercules’ did well, but this one fails in my opinion.

Easily the standout aspect of the entire film is its soundtrack and the only truly good thing about it. I really liked it and these songs are very underrated in my opinion as they are not only a lot of fun, but refreshingly different in their country genre and fitting to the tone and setting of the film.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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The titular opening number is actually incredibly entertaining and a good opening for a western film, very fitting to its style and I always say that I love when these films pay attention to its time period and setting which this one did tremendously. Will the Sun Ever Shine Again is very much the same case as with No Way Out from ‘Brother Bear’. It is just not needed as we can see the emotions ourselves and we don’t need the song to spell it out for us. Certainly the weakest song here.

Little Patch of Heaven is so good. Again very fitting in style, so well sung and with fine and charming descriptive lyrics, it succeeds as a very endearing and catchy country song and a very good theme for the entire film. Of course the highlight is Yodel-Adle-Eedle-Idle-Oo. I love this song so much and it is one of the best from Disney’s Second Dark Age. As I said above, it is a very effective scene for our villain and the greatest moment in the entire film, but I just love yodeling so I naturally loved this song as well. Again fitting to the film, it has good lyrics and the tune is just so damn catchy and the visuals are so psychedelic that you gotta love it.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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Home on the Range is definitely too short and actually not all that engaging for that short a running time which is a big problem. The direction is quite weak but at least the performances are good. The dialogue is nothing to write home about too. In the end, it is in my opinion the ‘Oliver & Company’ from the 2000s – a Disney flick which is fun and with a great soundtrack, but so weak in almost every other way that it’s one of the company’s worst movies.

Home on the Range is definitely one of Disney’s weakest films owing to a standard plot, way too much action for its short running time, forgettable supporting characters and garish animation with unappealing character designs. But it is still not a bad movie as it is very good for kids owing to its cartoony and goofy approach, it has good performances and fine protagonists plus its country soundtrack is a lot of fun and quite underrated in its own right.

My Rating – 3

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My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

My Neighbor Totoro Movie Review

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My Neighbor Totoro Movie Review

My Neighbor Totoro is a 1988 family fantasy anime film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is one of Studio Ghibli’s loveliest offerings.

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Well, I’m not sure,

but I could’ve sworn that I saw

both of the girls up in the treetop, laughing

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My Neighbor Totoro Movie Review

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This has to be Ghibli’s most childlike film and that is okay as it is wonderful and so pleasing and gentle that you gotta love it no matter the age. So basically we follow two sisters as they explore the country and the forest while interacting with friendly wood spirits. Yes, this film apparently doesn’t have a clear storyline, but I have to say that I liked it all the more for it.

In real life, rare are sudden conflicts and there are no villains so this film ended up being rather realistic and an original take on an animated film as I cannot think of any other animated flick that did this. It is a wonderful slice of life story for children and their parents and I myself sympathized with the characters and I loved the country setting. Despite not having a clear plot and goal, the film still explores some themes and the most emphasized are those of sibling love, benefits of living in the country and of course the film is as ecological as you’d come to expect from the director. It reminded me pleasantly of my childhood and seeing the two sisters explore the house and the forest is exactly what I did as a kid so it was relatable to me.

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My Neighbor Totoro Movie Review

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Let’s talk about the characters. Satsuki and Mei are such wonderful child characters whom I really liked. As with ‘Grave of the Fireflies’, the film showcases realistically and nostalgically the powers of childhood and how children really interact. Everything is a wonder to them, their thirst for exploration is never-ending and they even portrayed realistically how boys and girls do not get along at an early age and how boys are much more shy. Very well done.

Satsuki having  to care for Mei also reminded me of the aforementioned film and it again shows us how responsible the role of an older child really is. Mei is cute and sometimes funny, but also at times annoying. A very grounded in reality four-year-old. I loved Kanta and his shy interactions with Satsuki were very amusing and of course the grandmother is lovable.

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My Neighbor Totoro Movie Review

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My Neighbor Totoro is a family slice of life film but it is also very much a fantasy flick. Its creatures are so original in design and authentic that they deservedly stood the test of time and are iconic to this day. The dustbunnies are very interesting and the Catbus is such a fantastic creation that is zany in the best way possible. It obviously influenced J. K. Rowling for her Knight Bus. And of course Totoro is such a lovable creature and the mix of cute and large is memorable and he is cute while also being very funny at times.

Hayao Miyazaki directed this film really well and you cannot deny his strong sense of space and time as both the setting and the fifties are very well portrayed here. I just loved everything about this country. The house is quite memorable and of course the forest is beautiful to behold. I loved how we got to see the country jobs and the various amounts of vegetables and fruit shown here can definitely make you hungry.

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My Neighbor Totoro Movie Review

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Yes, the animation is simply gorgeous as is expected from this magnificent studio. The character design of the humans is very good, but it is the creature design that really makes an impact as it is simple, yet unforgettable. The film is beautiful to look at and again highly advanced for its time as both the water and the light are so realistically portrayed.

As for some of the flaws, sometimes the kids yelled a bit too much for sure and the film can definitely be too simplistic and childish to some. I don’t see how a lot of people can like it. I myself did, but it isn’t for everyone. And even though I really liked the inclusion of their mother’s illness and the third act was more emotional and dark while still ending on a very positive note, I still wished that it was a bit darker and more emotional. I loved the film’s ending for sure, but maybe a more ambiguous ending would have been better.

And I loved the properties of the creatures such as the Catbus flying and Totoro making a tree grow to full size in a matter of minutes, but I still would have liked a bit more explanations and more concise rules for the powers as an adult. Again, that is where being a kid really matters as it leads to a better viewing experience of the film.

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My Neighbor Totoro Movie Review

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My Neighbor Totoro is very well paced and although it may be too slow for some, I actually loved its languid pace and that meant that you can enjoy the power of the animation much more. The level of detail in this movie is truly staggering. The dialogue is also solid and some lines are quite memorable. And I have to mention its score as it is beautiful per usual but this time containing a song and its theme song is so endearing catchy and ultimately fantastic. The film has a big heart and very much a timeless appeal to it. It is one of the most wonderfully childlike films that I have ever seen and certainly one of Ghibli’s best works.

My Neighbor Totoro is a gentle, leisurely, simple slice of life film that offers you a heartwarming look into the eyes of a child without ever succumbing to clichéd conflicts and villains and thus it led to an original, more realistic take on an animated film. The characters are lovable, the creatures even more so and the animation is as brilliant as you would come to expect from the studio with a painstaking level of detail. It is a beautiful movie that is timeless in quality and it’s one of Studio Ghibli’s best.

My Rating – 4.5

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Sister Act (1992)

Sister Act Movie Review

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Sister Act Movie Review

Sister Act is a 1992 comedy film starring Whoopi Goldberg. It is such a a charming, fun movie.

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What am I gonna do here?

I’m gonna go crazy!

There’s nothing but a lot of white women

dressed as nuns! What am I gonna do here?

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Sister Act Movie Review

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It follows a woman who accidentally witnesses a murder and has to be put in a convent in order to be safe. There she pretends to be a nun and befriends other nuns, eventually teaching them how to sing and renewing interest in their church.
Yes, the story does sound clichéd in a typical 90s fashion. It is definitely a product of its time – naive and saccharine. However, I still liked it quite a bit despite those odds as it has a certain charm to it and mostly because the characters are so memorable.
Deloris is such an unforgettable protagonist and Reverend Mother is typical, yet very well developed. The two have such a great progressive relationship. And of course Sister Mary Patrick and Sister Mary Robert are such likable comic reliefs. Their group is so much fun.

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Sister Act Movie Review

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Harvey Keitel plays such a tired gangster as he always does and he is certainly boring here. But the nuns are solidly acted and naturally Maggie Smith killed it in a role best suited for her. She is always superb in the role of cold women who eventually show their softer side. As for Whoopi Goldberg, she definitely is a hugely underrated comedic actress and one of the best, especially of its time. She is immensely likable, she gave such a strong performance and her charisma and comic delivery are remarkable.
Sister Act is also a musical in a way as it definitely has a strong emphasis on songs and I liked all of them, especially the entire performances which were a lot of fun. But I would still classify it as a comedy above all else. Of course I did not care for those gangster elements and they certainly were too mild which was expected of this type of movie.
The film is definitely great for kids. But the humor is so good. I loved some of Deloris’s lines which cracked me up and Whoopi is just wonderful here. It is a shame that she only got this movie and ‘Ghost’ when she should have gotten the chance to play in at least one more big movie during the nineties.

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Sister Act Movie Review

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It is well edited and flies by as it is hugely entertaining. Some scenes worked better than the others, but most were either charming or funny. The film is emotional, but rarely overly sentimental. Despite its flaws, it has such an apparent charm to it that I fell victim to it. It reminded me of all those 90s family flicks I grew up with and although I would usually loathe that as I am not a nostalgic person, here I liked it mostly because of the characters.

Sister Act is childish, naive and definitely clichéd, but also quite charming and a lot of fun. It can be quite funny at times so it succeeds as a memorable comedy. The musical performances are also very entertaining and Whoopi Goldberg is just so fantastic here – hugely charismatic and hilarious. The movie is a product of its time, but a sweet one nevertheless.

My Rating – 4

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Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!!) (1980)

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!!) Movie Review

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown is a 1980 animated family film which is the last and to me the weakest of the first four Peanuts feature movies.

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The last time you went away, big brother,

your team won three games in a row

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Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

I don’t know about this one. I have to admit that I wanted to give a four star rating to every Peanuts sequel and unfortunately I just can’t do that this time around as this is a solid film, but definitely weaker than all the rest of the Peanuts entries.

Charlie Brown along with his friends goes to the French country side where he was invited by a girl to stay in the chateau. Eventually, the mystery is revealed – Charlie Brown’s grandfather helped the baron during World War II. That’s it, that is the story here.

Naturally it is interesting and the mystery is handled well, I guess. Plus the setting is a lot of fun. But it isn’t suited for a Peanuts adventure and I just always had the feeling that it lacked the entertainment factor almost entirely. There are some gags here and there, but the film is mostly devoid of humour and adventure, but rather settles on this mystery. So disappointing.

Another disappointing thing about Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown is its very narrow set of characters. I mean a Peanuts movie without Lucy isn’t a Peanuts movie in my book. And Sally is basically not here either. Of those characters that went on this adventure, Charlie Brown is the most disappointing as he is never the loser he is supposed to be here. In some scenes he is pathetic and funny, but mostly he is too dull.

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Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Linus is also pretty forgettable. Pierre has his moments and that girl Violette is likable, but also forgettable. Peppermint Patty and Marcie, but mostly just Patty, save this movie. The highlights were all of Patty’s sequences here for sure. The one where she is sitting with Chuck in the class and tormenting him is hilarious and of course the final scene where Snoopy kisses her is also very funny. Marcie is an expectedly great sidekick too.

Speaking of Snoopy, surprisingly enough, he is another one of the highlights here. He and Woodstock of course. The duo has some surprisingly hilarious scenes here and none of them stall the movie as usual, but add a lot of the charm and pleasant humour to the table. The airplane scene is the funniest, but then again each scene with these two was very good this time around.

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Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown is well directed and edited. Some of the lines cracked me up and as I said the characters here are half-good as half of them deliver, but the other half is thoroughly lacking. I liked the French and chateau setting quite a bit and I liked the journey to there with the driving and flying sequences being a lot of fun. And the mystery is fine, but I wanted this flick to be more of a comedy adventure and it too many times failed in that department. So it ended up being a solid flick, but easily the weakest of all five Peanuts features.

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown has some very funny sequences, the mystery is interesting, the setting is nice and Peppermint Patty stole the show this time around along with Snoopy, but all of the other characters were lacking in my opinion and the film is rarely as adventurous and as comedic as I would have liked leading to unfortunately the weakest Peanuts feature.

My Rating – 3.5

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Time Bandits (1981)

Time Bandits Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Time Bandits Movie Review

Time Bandits is a 1981 family fantasy film directed by Terry Gilliam and starring John Cleese and Sean Connery. It is such a frustrating, disappointing film.

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Dead? No excuse for laying off work.

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Time Bandits Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Now I obviously dislike Terry Gilliam as I do not care for most of his movies and that is why I didn’t like Time Bandits as well. He infuses this movie with his signature and very annoying style and thus ruins what could have been a great family fantasy flick with interesting time travel elements.

The biggest problem is its lack of identity. The film tries to be both a family fantasy adventure and a bizarre, odd comedy for adults and you can’t have it both ways. Some parts were admittedly funny and some scenes were very interestingly conceived and intriguing in imagery and mythology, but for the most part both of these movies failed in my opinion.

That is because the fantasy elements were mostly overly campy and filled with a ridiculous villain and many silly characters such as those dwarfs. Not only silly, but the characters are also annoying and some are even plain unlikable.

As for its comedy, it fails in that regard as well owing to its obvious Pythonian style. And having in mind that I do not like ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’, I naturally disliked that that humor was present here too. So disappointing and not to mention really not fitting to this story.

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Time Bandits Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Time Bandits does have some inspired scenes with awesome imagery and great effects for its time. Its first half contained some clever dialogue and funny lines. And the overall film is certainly original in plot and characters, but done for better and for worse. I just had such high expectations for this film and it left me feeling cold and even bored. In the hands of any other director, this would have turned out great, but in the hands of Terry Gilliam, it ended up being another frustrating experiment.

Time Bandits is such a frustrating movie and another proof that I strongly dislike Terry Gilliam’s style. It does have some interesting scenes and imagery and you can’t deny its originality, but it is tonally inconsistent as it tries to be both a family fantasy flick and an odd, bizarre comedy and it just never succeeds in either of those areas as the humor is overly Pythonian and the fantasy elements and characters are silly.

My Rating – 3

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Snoopy, Come Home (1972)

Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review

Snoopy, Come Home is a 1972 animated family comedy film directed by Bill Melendez. It is the second full-length Peanuts film and it is such a sweet, very enjoyable flick.

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What an independent dog.

He comes and goes as he pleases,

but I have to stay home and fix his supper

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Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Here Snoopy goes to see the girl who was his previous owner and is now sick in hospital. Charlie Brown gets sad because of his absence. This is definitely one of the most emotional Peanuts stories as the film is so depressing and very serious. It deals with its subject matter in an admirably realistic tone which I loved. Especially its second half and of course the ending were so moving and this is one of the best Snoopy stories for sure.

Yes, he is awesome here. Although not as funny as he should have been, I still liked that he was serious and so dramatically and emotionally utilized for once. He is the most mature and most loving here and his cries at his farewell party were just so heartwarming. Charlie Brown is also great and I just loved the emphasis on their loving relationship. I would go so far to say that this just might be their best outing yet.

But the problem with this movie is that it is overly serious. Yes, I loved that, but it still needed humor in it and unfortunately it only has a couple of somewhat funny moments, but certainly not enough. That was very troublesome to me as I’ve come to expect great humor from the Peanuts gang.

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Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

And because it focuses so strongly on Snoopy and Chuck, we unfortunately do not get to see the others from the gang particularly often. Yes, they are there, but they just serve to support Charlie Brown and nothing else. It was interesting seeing Lucy be good and caring to him, but that was still unbelievable and unrealistic having in mind how awful she usually is. Woodstock has his moments of course, but Peppermint Patty and Sally are seriously underutilized with only Linus being good and reliable as Charlie Brown’s friend. As for Snoopy’s girl owner, she is sweet, but just a plot device nonetheless.

Snoopy, Come Home isn’t a musical, but it has a couple of songs in it which was problematic as almost all of them were dull and uninspired. The Sherman Brothers wrote the songs and that was unbelievable to me as most of them are so underwhelming and I wonder why they didn’t do a better job having in mind how they killed it in Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’.

All of them are forgettable and even No Dogs Allowed! is forgettable and underutilized with only its accompanied humor being good. But the titular song Snoopy, Come Home is phenomenal. It is the only great song here, so catchy, so beautifully sung and so melancholic that it works wonders for both the plot and their relationship.

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Snoopy, Come Home Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

The film is solidly animated, albeit it is nothing great except for a couple of really interesting scenery in some sequences. Even though the first act has some overly prolonged Snoopy scenes, the film is mostly well paced and quite involving to watch. I liked the dialogue and I found the script to be surprisingly thoughtful and mature. And of course the flick is very emotional which was great. In the end, it is most certainly not up to par with ‘A Boy Named Charlie Brown’, but as a second film, it is still surprisingly respectable and mostly satisfactory.

Snoopy, Come Home is overly serious with not enough humor and it needed to focus more on the rest of the Peanuts gang, but the focus on Snoopy and Charlie Brown brought a lot of very emotional scenes and it is probably their best story yet. The songs are subpar with the exception of its titular song which is great, the film is surprisingly mature and thoughtful and it features many heartwarming scenes leading to a mostly satisfactory second Peanuts film.

My Rating – 4

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A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969)

A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review

A Boy Named Charlie Brown is a 1969 animated comedy drama film directed by Bill Melendez. It is the first Peanuts feature film and actually one of my favorite animated films period.

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Well, I can understand how you feel.

You worked hard, studying for the spelling bee, and I suppose you feel you let everyone down,

and you made a fool of yourself and everything.

But did you notice something, Charlie Brown?

The world didn’t come to an end.

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A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

I love this movie so much! To me it was such an almost perfect way to transition from specials to a feature and surely enough, this film is better than the majority of specials themselves, at least when it comes to my opinion. They managed to include as much of the classic Peanuts characters and humor and situations as possible and thus becoming a quintessential Peanuts outing.

I loved that it focused on the spelling bee instead of sports as that made it much more enjoyable for a non-sports fan like me. Every spelling bee scene was just terrific. Another highlight is Lucy’s scene in psychiatric booth, that was genius. To me this film is far from perfect and surely it does have too much musical numbers in it and the first act is sorely lacking in comparison to the rest of the film, but the rest is so great that I forgive those flaws.

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A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Of course the ending makes this movie. Wow, rarely have I seen a better conclusion in an animated film. Charlie Brown loses the game and closes in his room and refuses to ever come out. Linus comes in and tells him that he failed, but the universe didn’t come to an end because of it. That line in a nutshell is the reason why I respect this series as a whole. It never sugarcoats, but actually truthfully explains to children that they may continue losing and that winning is uncertain, but it isn’t the end of the world if you lose and that you should continue trying. A fantastic message in such a brilliant, wonderful ending.

Let’s talk about the characters. Charlie Brown is excellent! Rarely has he been this good in a special before or after. I loved that Peter Robbins voiced the character and I loved that he was at his angriest and most depressing mood here. He was relatable and you root for him throughout the entire movie.

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A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Peppermint Patty was surely missed here, but all of the others are here thankfully. Lucy is as hilarious as ever and some of her lines and moments made me laugh out loud. Snoopy was solid, but not as great as the others were. But thankfully this time around his scenes did not take as much screen time as they usually do. Schroeder and Sally are well used, but Linus is one the highlights in one of his best roles ever. I loved the emphasis on his security blanket and he is so endearing here, but he is also there for his friend which made him even more lovable.

A Boy Named Charlie Brown has a couple of songs in it so let me touch upon all of them. The Star-Spangled Banner was out of place and Failure Face is forgettable, albeit being a great scene, but I Before E is very catchy and a great way for children to learn spelling, Champion Charlie Brown is solid and the titular number is certainly quite charming and endearing. The songs are actually quite solid here, at least half of them are.

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A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

The animation is really good and as pleasant as usual with the character designs being faithful and top-notch. The voice acting is of the best variety and using the best of the earlier voices. The score is quite good and the film is stupendously well made in terms of the technical aspects. It is not only well directed, but also polished in its shots and so deft in its editing as it is never slow and never rushed, it lasts for just the right amount of running time. It is always wonderful to watch, the dialogue is as clever as you would expect from the series and the humor is some of the best of the entire series as it made me laugh more than a couple of times with many hilarious parts. I loved its skillful tone too as it balanced light tone with humor and serious tone with drama and messages beautifully. It is overall a tremendously well realized movie and one of my favorite Peanuts stories and one of my favorite animated features as a whole.

A Boy Named Charlie Brown managed to bring everything you want from Peanuts to the table and it did that beautifully. The humor is excellent and some of the lines were hilarious, the characters are superbly utilized with Charlie Brown, Lucy and Linus being the highlights, the film is very well made technically and of course the standout is the final scene which features such a respectable, truly great message for children and it was a beautiful, brave way to end the movie.

My Rating – 5

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