Fun family film about a magical board game that hosts many dangers that can only be stopped when a player finishes. The entire cast does their job well, but the only one not interchangeable is Hyde in a double-role as the main character's wealthy stern father and a big-game hunter (hint: intentional parallel). Entertaining from start to finish, but even children in 1995 were likely very aware that the scary creatures on screen were nothing more than special-effects—because of this, it's difficult to ever get lost in the delicious chaos despite all the funny moments and thrills. Still, despite its flaws, the story is interesting enough for the whole family enjoy and the film is good enough to be replayed every few years.
Monday, June 23, 2014
Experimental Jeffrey Dahmer documentary which actually focuses more on the Milwaukeeans during and after his hidden spree. The reenactments are beautifully shot; and Andrew Swant (also the film's co-writer) slides into the monster's skin so smoothly, ultimately humanizing Dahmer without becoming charming or remotely likable. Unfortunately, the three interviewees are not overly appealing, and you can't help but remember that there are many more interesting people who had a thing or two to say about Dahmer. Archival footage included, but is used somewhat minimally. Originally premiered simply as JEFF and was later changed to THE JEFFREY DAHMER FILES when picked up by IFC.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Family-fantasy flick (with touches of science-fiction) about a wannabe-inventor's (Hader) successful creation of converting water into food… and being on an island where sardines is the base of the economy, the clumsy protagonist quickly becomes a hero until the gluttonous and egotistical mayor (Campbell) takes advantage of the device. Lots of laughs for all members of the family; very visual, with a few moments of pretty computer-animated scenery; never a dull moment; and great casting. Mr. T, as the town's athletic cop (with an exact opposite hairstyle as the actor), couldn't have been voiced better by anyone else. Unfortunately, this charming outing is not without its cons, especially with an overly-whacky conclusion. And who would've thought that food falling from the sky would be such a conflict when malnutrition is alive and well? Based on the bestselling children's book.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
An in-depth analysis (and theorization) of the 1982 horror classic "THE SHINING". Anyone who has an understanding and appreciation for Stanley Kubrick's work will not only be entertained, but also fascinated. This documentary that strictly focuses on the perceived meanings can probably only be enjoyed by someone familiar with the film in question as well as an open-mindedness that understands interpretation isn't always limited to the intention of the creator. Whether or not you are completely wrapped around the things discussed in the film, or if you find it completely gibberish, it's hard to deny the appeal of digging through all the layers Kubrick left behind. The film is told entirely through voice-over, a style that's somewhat reminiscent of 2009's THE BILL HICKS STORY… and it works.
Monday, June 2, 2014
Scenic blockbuster about a free-spirited and optimistic princess who teams up an iceman and his loyal reindeer to track down the princess's older sister (the newly appointed queen) who lammed their kingdom after her cryokinetic powers of freezing anything at will was shamefully exposed. Don't forget the loving trolls and the hilarious snowman Olaf in tow. Takes a good 10–20 minutes to actually grab you, and is less for the boys than it is the girl. Musical numbers, while catchy and well-written, occur too frequently… a few which do very little to help drive the plot. Another big-budget with all razzle-dazzle and little heart; however, this outing is worth the wasted time and money in comparison to others that fit the same criticism. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale THE SNOW QUEEN, and underwent several story treatments for years, before being commissioned in 2011.