Best and Worst Films from September 2017

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Best and Worst Films from September 2017

 

 

Best Films from September 2017:

 

3. Talk to Her

September was a solid month for me with the best movies I watched mostly being in its second half. ‘Lepa sela lepo gore’ is an honorable mention for this list and the third place definitely goes to Talk to Her which is in my opinion the best Almodovar film. It is a one of a kind story of two men who befriend each other while their girlfriends are in a coma. The film is very complex both emotionally and thematically and a work of immense power and originality.

Talk to Her Movie Review

 

2. It

It is one of 2017’s best movies for sure. I have been a fan of the novel ever since I read it around ten years ago and finally I got a worthwhile and faithful movie adaptation. The strengths of this movie are twofold: one is its terror and it truly is one of the most frightening movies that I have ever seen and another one is its extremely strong character development which coupled with awesome performances across the board led to amazing character dynamic and emotion.

It Movie Review

 

1. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

And the best movie from September is literally the last movie I watched on the last day of this month and that is The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. This is just such a brilliant film. It features terrific performances from James Stewart, John Wayne and Lee Marvin in the roles that fit each of them like a glove. It also has excellent humor and evident heart at its core. But it is the strongest thematically speaking as its story of politics, the legend becoming a fact and the modernization of the Old West is rich, deep and clever and fueled with a powerful message about the necessities of physical confrontation.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Movie Review

 

Worst Films from September 2017:

 

3. A Ghost Story

I’ve also seen some real stinkers during September and one of them is definitely this pretentious mediocrity. It is not as bad as the rest of the movies on this list are but it is still a mediocre affair. A Ghost Story squanders its awesome premise on terrible, pretentious execution and it is just such a pointless bore to sit through.

A Ghost Story Movie Review

 

2. Amarcord

Amarcord is one of Fellini’s worst movies and that says a lot as he has more than a couple of crappy films in his filmography. This one shows all of his excesses such as the obsession with sex and vulgarities and it is such an overly loud, pointless and pretentious film that is at its core a movie about nothing more than just immature yelling and sex.

Amarcord Movie Review

 

1. Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem

Of course the number one goes to this infamous flick which is by far the worst entry in both Alien and Predator franchises. Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem is infinitely worse than its admittedly silly, but fun predecessor. It is a bad movie by all means with dull action, stupid characters and absolutely horrible cinematography as you cannot see a thing here. I did not expect much in terms of storytelling here, but I at least expected to be entertained and instead I was bored. That is why this first spot is more than deserved for the likes of this nothingness.

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Movie Review

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Ranking the Alien/Predator Franchise

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Ranking the Alien/Predator Franchise

The Alien franchise is one of the best horror series ever whereas the Predator one is an action classic. I love both of these series and because they eventually crossed their paths, I am here going to rank all 11 films from both Alien and Predator franchises as well as the AVP franchise. There are some great films here, but also some stinkers. Without further ado, here is my ranking.

 

 

11. Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem

This easily takes the last spot on my list as the only film here that I thoroughly disliked. I did not expect to see a strong plot and characterization in an AVP film, but at least I wanted good action and I even did not get that. The action is bad here and the visuals here are dark and simply horrendous leading to such a frustrating cinematic experience.

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Movie Review

 

10. Alien 3

Alien 3 gets this low a spot mostly because it is so incredibly boring with only a couple of entertaining and memorable sequences. It is certainly well acted and it was a good idea on paper, but in execution it is absolutely mediocre and such a giant mediocre affair that ranks as the worst in both the Alien franchise and in Fincher’s filmography.

Alien 3 Movie Review

 

9. Alien vs. Predator

AVP is definitely silly and even ridiculous in its many ludicrous plot points and scenarios, but it’s a movie which benefits from strong sets and atmosphere in the first act and such an immensely entertaining action ride in the second half. It is such a fun movie and infinitely better than its successor.

Alien vs. Predator Movie Review

 

8. Alien Resurrection

This movie is frankly a bit underrated and a big improvement over its predecessor. Per usual the characters are quite disposable and the film is at first pretty tedious, but afterwards it becomes more engaging with a couple of memorable sequences. Add to that a very good performance from Winona Ryder and interesting hybrid Xenomorphs and you’ve got one pretty solid flick.

Alien Resurrection Movie Review

 

7. Predator 2

Yes, Predator 2 is the weakest of its trilogy owing to a very boring first half with some racist overtones. However, the third act is so good that it ultimately succeeds as a pretty solid sequel in its own right. I loved that mysterious ending with great Easter Eggs and Danny Glover is a competent substitution for Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Predator 2 Movie Review

 

6. Predators

This is one of the most underrated movies on this list. Certainly it needed more Predators in it and I’m not a fan of Adrien Brody, but the character development is surprisingly strong here and actually the best of the trilogy, the action is fun and the storyline is so authentic and such a different take on the franchise that even its unanswered questions did not bother me all that much.

Predators Movie Review

 

5. Alien: Covenant

Covenant may not be a favorite as evidenced by a pretty polarized reception from fans but I personally really enjoyed it despite its uneven tone and many illogical sequences. I liked some of its characters, the action was overwhelming but so fun and the visuals are excellent, especially of the planet itself. I also liked its dark ending and I am sad that it won’t get a sequel.

Image result for alien covenant gif

 

4. Aliens

Aliens features another incredible performance from Sigourney Weaver in her most iconic role. It also has Newt and they share a great relationship. Some lines of dialogue are undeniably funny and some scenes are so memorable. However, this is still a hugely overrated film which favors action over horror and style. It’s a typical James Cameron movie for better and for worse.

Image result for aliens 1986 gif

 

3. Prometheus

I really like Prometheus as evidenced by this very high third place on the list. It’s a shamefully underappreciated film that has some silly and unbelievable scenes, but such a deep, fascinating mythology and it’s such a different, more sci-fi oriented take on an old franchise that it paid off significantly with many great themes and interesting dialogue. It’s a shame that Ridley Scott was not allowed to continue this intriguing story.

Image result for prometheus gif

 

2. Predator

I am honestly not a fan of 80s action and thus this took some time getting used to. I eventually ended up loving Predator as it’s an undeniably hugely entertaining take on an action film with a killer premise and execution. The characterization is weak, but the action is brilliant, its video game structure is a lot of fun and this movie gave us so many instantly memorable moments. It surely is an action classic.

Image result for predator 1987 gif

 

1. Alien

As the only true, unprecedented classic on this list, Alien easily takes the first spot as it’s one of the finest horror films of all time. Its original and hugely influential premise is given such a fine, restrained execution, it gave us one of the strongest action heroines in Ripley and it gave us the Xenomorph who here looks fantastic owing to some groundbreaking practical effects. It’s a visually stunning, meditative and powerful film that is superbly made across the board and an undisputed genre masterpiece.

Image result for alien 1979 gif

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Ranking 1970s Animated Short Oscar Winners

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Ranking 1970s Animated Short Oscar Winners

The seventies were probably the weakest era not only for Oscar winning shorts, but also for animated short films in general as there just weren’t a lot of the quality ones made during this period. Of these ten, only a couple are great and the rest are either solid or downright mediocre, but here is my ranking of all ten. They were very easy to rank for me personally.

 

10. Frank Film

This is such a stupid, pretentious piece of garbage and it has to be the worst ever Oscar winning cartoon in my opinion. It basically consists of a bunch of unrelated images and nothing of it makes sense whatsoever and nothing is connected. This cannot even be called animation and it is a textbook example of pretentiousness and being artistic for the sake of being artistic.

Frank Film Review

 

9. The Crunch Bird

The ending in The Crunch Bird is funny and it is the only good thing about this whole miserable affair which features awful animation with lazy style and execution and not to mention the voice acting which is simply horrible in its amateurish approach. And everything before that ending was uninspired as the story is weak and the runtime is way too short.

The Crunch Bird

 

8. Leisure

I am getting really tired of these documentary animated shorts from the seventies. they favor images and frames instead of full, fleshed out animation which is very annoying and far from any sort of artistic. Leisure is about, well, leisure which is an interesting, rarely talked about subject matter, but the execution is mostly typical so it is not a particularly good short.

Leisure Review

 

7. Every Child

Every Child is a Canadian animated short film that was made to promote children’s rights and UNICEF. Of course it is thus very admirable and important in its cause. However, the film itself is quite weak as the animation is pretty dull and mediocre and again the acting, this time the mumbling, was quite annoying. A full silent or full talkie approach was sorely needed here.

Every Child Review

 

6. Closed Mondays

Will Winton here wasted his time and significant talent on such a regular stoner picture which lacks any message or point to it whatsoever. Very overrated and overly ambiguous. The only great aspect to it is its stop-motion animation which was absolutely terrific and one of the best of this entire bunch.

Closed Mondays Review

 

5. Is It Always Right to Be Right?

This movie is very important in its message of peace and cooperation. It was very important for 1970 and it is still timely even today. But even though I respected it so much, it was a case of great message over style and substance this time around as its animation is very weak and mediocre with an unfortunate overreliance on live-action segments.

Is It Always Right to Be Right? Review

 

4. Great

Great is not great, nowhere near as great as the title would imply. It is overlong and it is again a pretty typical documentary animation from the 70s. However, what it gets right is the animation which is better than average here and its style was interesting as the film has quite a lot of songs which are so catchy that they made the movie more fun.

Great Review

 

3. A Christmas Carol

I found Alastair Sim’s performance in the main role very overrated here. Extremely overrated and not my cup of tea. The entire movie is too straightforward, but honestly one of the best ones on this list owing mostly to its good execution, pacing and particularly excellent and very competent for TV standards animation. It was also well directed by Richard Williams.

A Christmas Carol Review

 

2. The Sand Castle

The Sand Castle is such a wonderful, extremely authentic short that uses sand animation to groundbreaking, gorgeous effect as it looks absolutely splendid. But it also sounds great thanks to a beautiful score. The pacing is off, but the story is very interesting, moving emotionally and quite epic and grand in a way. This is one of only two true bright spots on this list.

The Sand Castle Review

 

1. Special Delivery

Special Delivery deals with very mature issues, but presents them in a comedic manner which was refreshing to see. It is the kind of convoluted, situational movie that is amusing rather annoying. Also its crazy and weird tone was again good here rather than frustrating. Its animation is certainly crude, but its narrative approach is phenomenal and the story is so delightfully crazy and ridiculous that I loved every second of it. It is by far the best 70s Oscar winning animated short and a deserved winner here.

Special Delivery

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Best and Worst Films from August 2017

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Best and Worst Films from August 2017

 

 

Best Films from August 2017:

 

3. Don’t Look Now

I had such a great month in August and I unfortunately had to sacrifice ‘Raise the Red Lantern’, ‘Baby Face’ and ‘Make Way for Tomorrow’ for this list. This creepy chiller is a wonderfully atmospheric horror film with probably the best ever use of Venice as the setting in a film. It looks great, the film’s structure and editing are very inventive and the twist is unforgettable leading to another incredible horror film from 1973

Image result for dont look now gif

 

2. Planes, Trains and Automobiles

I absolutely adore this comedy flick. It is the best comedy of the eighties as it is not only incredibly funny (hilarious really at times), but also immensely touching and simply wonderful in the relationship between its two characters superbly played by John Candy and Steve Martin. This is the most unique and different John Hughes entry in his filmography and a film that everyone could enjoy as it is so universal and moving.

Image result for planes trains and automobiles gif

 

1. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

And the best film I saw in August is another one from my 7en anniversary series. This one is a 1947 romance that ranks among the best romances ever as the central relationship is incredibly beautiful and heartwarming. I loved the ending and its elegant tone and style, but it is its astonishing cinematography that is its selling point along with Gene Tierney’s powerhouse, career best performance. The film is touching, classical and even poetic in quality and I was mesmerized by it so much that the first place on this list was almost guaranteed for it.

Image result for the ghost and mrs muir gif

 

 

Worst Films from August 2017:

 

3. Day for Night

I saw more great and less bad movies during this month and only the mediocre movies will populate this list. This is a disappointing turn from Francois Truffaut and a movie that is so dull, sappy and typical in its storytelling tactics that I do not understand why the Academy bestowed an Oscar upon it.

Image result for day for night gif

 

2. Alien 3

Alien 3 truly is the black sheep of the franchise and of David Fincher’s filmography being his mediocre directorial debut. It has its moments and Ripley is reliably strong, but the film is more boring than exciting, it insults its viewers by killing the characters from ‘Aliens’ and it is never really creepy and too serious and dramatic for its own good.

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1. The Dirty Dozen

This is the worst film I saw this month. It isn’t bad, but it is pretty mediocre and the worst one from my 7en series for sure. The Dirty Dozen is further proof that war movies are better off as dramas than as action flicks and certainly I myself prefer the more dramatic ones. This one favors action over story and the characters are all overly macho and even annoying.

Image result for dirty dozen gif

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Top Ten TMNT Characters

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Top Ten TMNT Characters List

The 1987 TMNT cartoon benefits from a bunch of memorable characters and actually its characters are the series’ strongest suit. They are fun, highly memorable and most have a great banter between each other. Both groups – the heroes and allies as well as the villains – will get their spots on this list so here we go.

10. Casey Jones

I just never understood the choice to not feature this character more as the show put him in basically just a couple of episodes. Casey Jones is an unforgettable addition to the allied team of the turtles with his interesting look, a great voice and many fun lines. He channeled Clint Eastwood so amusingly.

Image result for casey jones 1987 tmnt

 

9. Bebop & Rocksteady

These two stupid goons are typical stupid and foolish henchmen of the major villain and their shenanigans was mostly repetitive, but you cannot deny their importance as the show wouldn’t be the same without them. I loved Shredder’s devotion to them even if they never, ever managed to do something right and how he insulted them was always funny.

Image result for tmnt 1987 bebop and rocksteady gif

 

8. April O’Neil

Certainly a frustrating damsel in distress for the most part, April was just waiting to be rescued by the turtles for the majority of the series’ run. However, she still proved competent more than a couple of times and even helped the green guys a couple of times too. Her journalism job was well utilized and she was always a wonderful friend to the turtles.

Image result for tmnt 1987 april gif

 

7. Leonardo

Easily the weakest part of the reptile foursome, Leonardo is just too boring for me. Certainly his closeness to Splinter was heartwarming and he provided a lot of the great action scenes, but he was too much of a brave, noble leader and when you take that from him, he was incredibly dull, but at least the other turtles regularly acknowledged that.

Image result for tmnt 1987 leonardo gif

 

6. Donatello

Everything I said above about Leonardo applies to Donatello as well. He is also very boring and he only excelled at being smart and a tech wiz. However, that is why he is better than Leonardo as he helped the turtles probably the most with his various smart inventions and clever solutions to their problems.

Image result for tmnt 1987 donatello gif

 

5. Michelangelo

This surfer dude can definitely get annoying at times with his jargon and obsession with pizza, but you cannot deny that he has a big heart and a great energy. I did not like how he was the butt of the jokes too much. Mickey may not be smart or a leader as the above two turtles, but he is a lot funnier and more entertaining than either of those two.

Image result for tmnt 1987 michelangelo gif

 

4. Raphael

I cannot explain it, but somehow I have always liked Raphael the most of the four turtles and he still remains my favorite one. That is because he is an underdog who is not as popular as the other three, but is actually funnier than Michelangelo with his insightful lines of dialogue and his breaking of the fourth wall consistently provided the funniest bits of comedy in the show.

Image result for tmnt 1987 raphael gif

 

3. Shredder

I thoroughly disliked how he was just competent and powerful in the first season really whereas he was overly comedic later on in the show’s run, but still Shredder is easily one of the best TMNT characters with a great design, excellent personality and a great relationship with Krang. He could be competent, but he could also be really funny at times and I loved his interactions with the rest of the villains.

Image result for tmnt 1987 shredder gif

 

2. Master Splinter

Unfortunately, this rat sensei never got his due as he was used sparingly rather than often and he mostly just got to say some smart lines at the end of each episode. He is a phenomenal master/sensei character and his various words of wisdom were great but also highly amusing. He truly cares for his pupils and I loved his relationship with them. And he was awesome at kicking butt, though we too rarely saw that happen.

Image result for tmnt 1987 splinter

 

1. Krang

And the number one goes to Krang! He just had to be on the top of this list as he is easily the most unforgettable and funniest part of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This intergalactic brain is very smart and actually quite capable as a villain at times, I loved his backstory and his interactions with other one-off villains, but of course what takes the cake is his awesome relationship with Shredder. The two share great banter, but they genuinely care for each other which was evident in their last role in the tenth season. They are in a way the heart and soul of the entire series which is odd for villains, but that is how it is. Krang’s a deserved winner here.

Image result for tmnt 1987 krang gif

 

 

Honorable Mentions:

Lord Dregg – He only appeared in those “Red Sky” seasons and was at first typical, but as he became more powerful and crazier, he became a lot more fun and was a genuinely competent villain when all is settled and done.

Channel 6 Crew – Of these, Burne is forgettable, but Irma and Vernon are important. She can be annoying, but also rather likable and a great friend to April and the turtles. He is awful with his whining and is just a bad human being, but still his cowardice definitely gave us some funny moments.

Rat King – This one is most certainly a typically silly comic book villain, but he has an interesting look, a great voice and he mostly got some of the better episodes here.

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Top Ten TMNT Episodes

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Top Ten TMNT Episodes List

The 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon isn’t exactly known for the greatness of its episodes as most episodes are standard fare. Some, however, are excellent and they represent everything that the show could accomplish when it tried harder. So here are the ten best TMNT episodes from the 1987 show.

 

10. The Old Switcheroo

Splinter and Shredder get their bodies switched with each other in The Old Switcheroo, an episode with a familiar cartoon premise, but executed in such a fine, entertaining manner with many fun scenes. It’s a very amusing episode that actually features a pretty good plan from Shredder for once.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 3 Review

 

9. Pizza by the Shred

This is by far the finest use of the turtles’ obsession with pizza. Usually, that joke got repetitive, but here it was actually used in storytelling as Michelangelo gets a job as a pizza delivery boy with the twist that his boss is Shredder. The episode features a pretty good situational humor and a solidly crafted, fun plot.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 3 Review

 

8. Donatello Makes Time

As deranged scientists go, the one in this episode is as good as they go, certainly better than most as he actually posed some serious threat to our turtle protagonists. But the entire storyline with Donatello’s invention of freezing time is a lot of fun and it definitely is one of the character’s best episodes.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 4 Review

 

7. Shredder’s Mom

Of course I had to include this hilarious episode which gave us Shredder’s mother who is such a hilarious character who shares many personality traits with her son so that was great to witness. The episode is one of the funniest of this bunch as the banter between the two was so amusing.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 4 Review

 

6. Divide and Conquer

This is such a phenomenal ending to the entire series as it gave us such a fantastic final fight with Lord Dregg who was a pretty competent villain in the end. Not only does the action seem smart for once, but also very well thought out as the turtles used their brains fully to kill Dregg. And of course that final scene where Splinter tells them they are now his equals was wonderful.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Seasons 8-10 Review

 

5. Corporate Raiders from Dimension X

Corporate crime is actually a rare subject for this show and here they did it stupendously. It has a phenomenal second appearance from Casey Jones in it and he really stole the show once again, but the entire storyline was very effectively built up with a message for once and with Shredder’s very good planning.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 3 Review

 

4. Casey Jones: Outlaw Hero

An excellent first episode for Casey Jones this is. How the turtles met him and their eventual alliance was so well executed and the entire episode is phenomenally well crafted and hugely entertaining with some great lines as well. It truly is a shame that they did not use this great character more often.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 3 Review

 

3. Shredder & Splintered

This is a phenomenal finale to the best season which was of course the first one. It featured excellent action scenes and great fights and was all around a terrific finale and the best one in the entire show’s run. It gets this third spot for the fight between Shredder and Splinter alone as we rarely got to see them fight and here it was fantastic.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review

 

2. Enter the Shredder

This was the introduction of Bebop and Rocksteady and it was very interesting seeing their backstories. But the entire episode was great for featuring turtles going to the Technodrome and some great fights there. Surely this first season was superb in its action and villains and it only went downhill from here on unfortunately.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review

 

1. Splinter No More

This is in my opinion the very best that this show has to offer in large part thanks to Splinter’s great role. He is an amazing, wonderful character who unfortunately was mostly relegated to supporting, even cameo roles and he here gets the leading role and it was awesome. Seeing him become human and witness everything bad the humans represent was a great story and also a very emotional one.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 2 Review

 

Honorable Mentions:

Sword of Yurikawa – This is another great showcase for Splinter who is a mysterious ninja here and the highlight was seeing him fight his pupils.

Shreeka’s Revenge – This was a terrific showcase of Krang’s backstory as Shreeka is one of his former allies. The banter between the two was great and she was a pretty solid one-off villain.

Invasion of the Krangazoids – Not the greatest episode, but worthy for giving us many Krangs serving Krang alone. Their banter was expectedly hilarious.

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Top Ten Disney Second Dark Age Characters

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Top Ten Disney Second Dark Age Characters List

Disney’s Second Dark Age was very dark indeed as these films are, let’s say, not some of their best. In terms of characterization, they are much better than in either plot or music so this list should be pretty strong after all. So here are the ten best original characters that have arrived during this period.

                     

                          

10. Dr. Jumba and Pleakley

They are not hilarious really, but they are funny from time to time. This alien duo succeeds because of an infectious dynamic they share with each other. They are perfect comic reliefs from this film who never overstayed their welcome and thus they share this tenth spot.

Image result for dr jumba and pleakley

 

9. Kenai

We’ve seen this type of protagonist before who changes from selfish to selfless and caring throughout the runtime. However, Kenai is a really well realized character who transcends that familiarity to him. He is complex and memorable and his relationship with Koda is wonderful.

Image result for kenai brother bear gif

 

8. John Silver

John Silver is the best character from Treasure Planet and the most complex out of the bunch. I loved his buddy/bromance relationship with Jim Hawkins and his shift to the good side was done really well as he never really totally changed and admirably stayed in the grey area.

Image result for john silver treasure planet gif

 

7. Lilo

Stitch is the more memorable part of this duo, but still Lilo is pretty good herself. She isn’t funny as she’s a straight character, but she’s better than most Disney protagonists as she is a relatable heroine and a very realistically depicted kid who is at times unlikable and at times likable.

Image result for lilo gif

 

6. Bowler Hat Guy

This superb character from Meet the Robinsons isn’t really a villain by the time the film ends, but still that doesn’t matter as what we got from him is one amazing backstory which was superbly well written and highly moving in emotion. He’s complex and very memorable.

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5. Koda

Who doesn’t love Koda? He’s such an immensely cute, simply adorable bear cub, but as in the case of Lilo, he is also pretty unlikable at times and annoying as most kids can be. Thus he is realistic, his brotherly relationship with Kenai is beautiful and he truly is a character you root for from beginning to end.

Image result for koda brother bear gif

 

4. Kronk

Now admittedly Kronk is your typical overly dimwitted comic relief cartoon guy. However, he is better than most of his type thanks to Patrick Warburton’s top-notch voice performance and many hilarious lines that he got. His interactions with Yzma are so funny and his funniest scene is the devil/angel one which is hilarious.

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3. Stitch

Stitch is as classic of a Disney character as we got during this new century so far. I loved his dynamic with Lilo, I really admired how funny and yet gross he can be and the highlights are his voices and especially character design which is odd and highly authentic.

Image result for stitch gif

 

2. Yzma

This old hag just had to be somewhere high on this list and this second place was perfect for her. Thin in structure and exceedingly ugly, she is different than most villains look, but what makes her great is her excellent voice, her personality and her relationship with Kronk which produced many of the funniest moments in the film. She is both a competent and a funny villain.

Image result for yzma gif

 

1. Emperor Kuzco

So well developed, absolutely hilarious with his many perfectly delivered funny lines, well voiced and animated, Kuzco just had to be on top of this list as he is simply the greatest character from this decade of Disney films. His interactions with all three characters are excellent, but his wonderfully realized and fun buddy relationship with Pacha takes the cake as the best one. He is arrogant and unlikable at first, but consistently funny with his unforgettable one-liners and I just could not get enough of him in this already hilarious flick.

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Honorable Mentions:

Jim Hawkins – A pretty solid hero in Treasure Planet, Jim Hawkins is less memorable than John Silver, but likable and well developed nonetheless.

Mittens – Easily Bolt’s finest character, this cat is very realistically portrayed as cats go and I really liked both her personality and her look.

Alameda Slim – This underrated goofy villain from Home on the Range got some funny lines and one great, enormously entertaining song.

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Top Five Disney Second Dark Age Songs

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Top Five Disney Second Dark Age Songs

Disney’s Second Dark Age is easily the worst period for the studio not only in terms of the movies themselves, but even more so in terms of the scores and soundtracks as not one of these eleven films is a proper musical and some even have very few or downright no songs. That is why I decided to put together a list of the five best instead of ten songs as there just wasn’t enough to make a top ten this time around. So here we go.

 

5. I’m Still Here

This rock song from Treasure Planet is admittedly not my cup of tea as I prefer pop over rock. However, I cannot deny that it is original for a Disney movie to feature rock songs and this one is easily the better of the two in the movie as it is very catchy and with pretty good lyrics.

 

4. He Mele No Lilo

Now I do know that I am in the minority here as most prefer the other song from Lilo & Stitch, but I like this one better as it is much catchier and much more fun. It took me some time to learn all of the Hawaiian words but I eventually did it. I loved the use of that language here.

 

3. Yodle-Adle-Eedle-Idle-Oo

I really like this silly song! It is an underrated number in its own right. Now Home on the Range is a mediocre movie, but it does have a pretty solid country soundtrack and this country song is a more different Disney song with a great use of yodeling, funny lyrics and accompanied by good, trippy imagery. It is the greatest moment in the film for Alameda Slim.

 

2. On My Way

Most people really despise Phil Collins’ songs in Brother Bear, but just as the movie itself, I deem them pretty good and highly underrated. On My Way is the best of the bunch and although far from the quality of the songs from ‘Tarzan’, it is still the most recognizable, wonderful scene in the movie and this song is very catchy, sweet and just a lot of fun.

 

1. Little Wonders

A hugely underrated song from a very underrated movie, this Meet the Robinsons number is one of my favorite Disney songs for sure. I love it so much. Rob Thomas is the singer here and thus the song is different than your usual Disney ballad, but still it accompanies that beautiful final scene so well and the entire movie too as it features incredibly touching, powerful lyrics and the tune itself is pleasing and strong. It came from an unexpected movie, but it easily takes the number one spot for me here.

 

 

Honorable Mentions:

Look Through My Eyes – This is another strong, highly catchy and fun Brother Bear song that is also moving and strong in its lyrics.

Barking at the Moon – This song from Bolt is a surprisingly solid charmer with very good lyrics, an excellent use of the sound bark and accompanied by a wonderfully sweet sequence.

Little Patch of Heaven – This country number serves so well as the theme of the film. It is sung really well and it is immensely catchy and descriptive in quality.

Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride – Most people love this song the most from Lilo & Stitch, but even though I do like it and it is very catchy and fun, it is the lesser of the two in my opinion.

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Ranking Disney Second Dark Age Films

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Ranking Disney Second Dark Age Films

Disney’s Second Dark Age is by far the worst period that has ever happened to the studio. Most of these movies are just solid, none of them are truly great and only a couple are truly good and a couple are the only mediocre movies that Disney has produced. But even though this was a very uneven, weak and ultimately too different period for Disney, it still gave us a couple of really good movies. Here is my ranking of all eleven films from this very productive period in Disney history.

 

 

11. Chicken Little

By far the worst Disney movie of all time and their only film that got a rotten rating from me, Chicken Little truly is the black sheep of the entire studio’s output. Now the film isn’t terrible as it is pretty moving and fun at times, but for the majority of its runtime it is very uneven, it has two very different movies in it and those do not mash well together and the animation is easily the worst that Disney has ever put out.

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10. Home on the Range

Home on the Range is much better than ‘Chicken Little’ as it should prove a nice distraction for children, its characters are fun and the soundtrack is actually quite underrated with a couple of solid songs. However, the film is very garishly animated, it is awfully frenetic in pacing, aggressive in humor and non-existent in plot. It is one of the rare Disney films that only kids could properly enjoy.

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9. Dinosaur

Dinosaur is such a disappointing film. You have a great idea here, but it was executed pretty badly. I loved its beginning and it truly was epic and some scenes here are very ambitious in scope, but the movie is awfully dated in its CGI animation with pretty mediocre character design. Speaking of characters, they are quite bland and dull and the overall storyline is pretty boring and typical. It is probably the most tedious Disney film ever.

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8. Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Atlantis is another huge missed opportunity. I have a huge respect for Disney for venturing into this very ambitious anime-like project with a much more serious storytelling than usual. However, the end result is decidedly mixed as it has its epic moments and very stellar animation, but awfully forgettable characters and way too much action. It is a movie that should have been exciting and not sluggish and even boring at times.

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7. Bolt

Bolt is a movie for dog persons. If you love dogs, then you are bound to really enjoy it, but otherwise it can get on your nerves with a frustratingly annoying first act and a pretty generic plot as a whole. But the characters, especially sidekicks, are quite solid and the film is well animated and scored. It is nothing special and it is a very forgettable affair, but an enjoyable and fun one nonetheless.

Bolt Movie Review

 

6. Treasure Planet

Treasure Planet is yet another missed opportunity at making a great anime flick which was basically what Disney tried to do here. The animation is very strong and colorful, the mix of old and new in its story is very refreshing and the film benefits from such a strong relationship between Jim Hawkins and John Silver at its core. But it suffers from some pretty annoying sidekick characters, too much action and not enough substance and magic.

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5. Fantasia 2000

‘Fantasia’s pretty underrated, solid sequel is again an extremely uneven work with some segments that just do not work and are frustrating in their many flaws, but some such as Pomp and Circumstance and Rhapsody on Blue are quite inspired in terms of both animation and story. The film is ultimately a success with great segments overshadowing the lesser ones, but the film is undone by those cringe-worthy transitions with bad humor from its annoying comedians.

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4. Meet the Robinsons

The second most underrated film on this list is Meet the Robinsons which is such a pleasant, wonderful romp. It tries too hard with its eccentric characters and it is highly uneven in pacing and tone. But it is ultimately more than a solid effort and a different Disney film than usual with its very interesting and heartwarming futuristic tale. The score and animation are solid, but the Bowler Hat Guy and his story are the ones that really stand out.

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3. Lilo & Stitch

Lilo & Stitch is considered a minor classic for Disney and for many good reasons. It is a great tale of sisterhood that is heartwarming, but never overly sentimental. I loved its message and its painterly Hawaiian backgrounds are gorgeous. The soundtrack is also pretty stellar. But it is its very fun humor and its eponymous characters and their dynamic that really make it a respectable family film.

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2. Brother Bear

And yes, Brother Bear gets the second spot as Disney’s most shamefully underrated film from this period and quite possibly of all time. It is not without its flaws as the ending is too happy, but still this is one wonderful, truly touching story of brotherhood that really resonated with me on multiple levels. The humor is solid, Phil Collins’ songs are a lot of fun and the film juggles the fun with the dark really well. I really like it and I wish more people discover this gem.

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1. The Emperor’s New Groove

And the number one is easily taken by The Emperor’s New Groove which is the funniest Disney film of all time! There is a hilarious joke after joke, gag after gag literally from beginning to end here and it truly is a glorious laugh riot of a movie. But the reason why it ultimately works so well lies in its characterization which is off the roof strong. You have dimwitted and hilarious Kronk here, but you also have such a great villain in Yzma and of course one of the most entertaining protagonists ever in Emperor Kuzco. This infectiously dynamic, hysterical comedy was a different attempt from Disney that paid off stupendously leading to this period’s very best entry.

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Ranking the Space Odyssey Series

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Ranking the Space Odyssey Series

The Space Odyssey series is probably the finest ever science fiction novel series of all time. Arthur Clarke is a fantastic writer and he made a series that is both fascinating and intellectually superlative. I love all of the books in the quadrilogy, but some are better than others and here I am going to rank all four of them along with the two movies.

 

 

6. 2010 (Film)

Although it landed on the last place, I still really liked the movie adaptation of the second book. Sure, the epilogue and the Chinese scientists are unfortunately absent here, but the film is otherwise pretty faithful, some scenes are so great and memorable and the characters are actually better than their book counterparts leading to a pretty satisfactory adaptation.

2010 Movie Review

 

5. 3001: The Final Odyssey

I wanted a better and more memorable ending and the monolith’s purpose here is changed for the worse, but this is still a terrific final installment to this great quadrilogy with a memorable protagonist in Frank Poole, a couple of superb observations from Clarke about religion and politics and a superbly established, intriguing future world.

3001: The Final Odyssey Review

 

4. 2061: Odyssey Three

The characters are sorely lacking in 2061, but its adventurous plot more than makes up for it. The film is such a great exploration of convergent evolution and extraterrestrial animals and this high adventure on Europa was so entertaining and unforgettable. It surely is the most fun and adventurous of the books.

2061: Odyssey Three Review

 

3. 2010: Odyssey Two

2010 is more straightforward than its predecessor, but it honestly worked for me and it did that in spades as it gave me the answers to most of the questions I’ve had about this world before and the answers were satisfactory and fascinating. The book also features a great team of astronauts which consists of Russians and Americans working together and that was admirable.

2010: Odyssey Two Review

 

2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Book)

The choice for the first and second place was extremely difficult for me as I love the book and the film version of this story pretty much the same and both are amazing, but the book isn’t as ambiguous and as artistic which is why it eventually takes the second spot. But still, it is superbly written by Clarke and this was his idea after all and he proved what a great mind he had here. The story is simply unforgettable and classic and the book is filled with many great themes such as evolution, robots and space travel leading to the quintessential science fiction work.

2001: A Space Odyssey Review

 

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Film)

But the film is just a thing of marvel, a beauty to behold on a whole new level and so it tops my list because of its artistry. The classical score is amazing, the effects are the best ever in movie history and the movie is still smart and thematically rich while also being atmospheric and actually very mysterious and ambiguous in quality as you need to see it more than once to fully comprehend its storyline. It is the best science fiction film ever made, one of the finest films of all time and it is the textbook example of how to properly adapt a book into a film. It retains all of the novel’s qualities while adding a touch of artistry and ambiguity to create an original work that stands on its own.

2001: A Space Odyssey Movie Review

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