Movie Reviews from December 06

ReviewReviewReviewReview Mad Hot Ballroom Dec 29, ’06 10:19 PM
for everyone

Category: Movies
Genre: Documentary
I have been a fan of good documentaries on film for quite some time now, and I’d have to say that this one was a fresh of breath air, as most of the best ones of prominence in the last few years have been based on things that seem, well, negative…

Here we follow a few 10-12 year olds in their New York City public elementary schools, learning the art of sociablility, manners, and chivalry – all through the art of learning ballroom dancing… We watch the children as they head to the city wide championships… A lot of these kids don’t come from favourable situations, and so to see the hope in their eyes, is worth the price of ticket admission – or to buy the dvd..

This movie is cute, fun, will have all watchers chuckling, and choosing their favourite child to follow (my one was the observant Cyrus – check out his approach to the judges)… This is one movie that you can always come back to if you need cheering up… not loaded with facts as documentaries will often do in their education of the public on issues – just a good sweet time had by all… can’t think of anything negative about this movie at all…

I consider this movie a classic, one that you can always come back to when you need a bit of cheering up… this is the movie that the terrible “Take the Lead” tried to portray… Even if you don’t like dancing, this one is worth watching… It’ll have you putting yourself or taking your children to salsa lessons…

ReviewReviewReviewReviewReview Casino Royale Dec 29, ’06 10:30 AM
for everyone

Category: Movies
Genre: Action & Adventure
(this one is dedicated to my sister in Melbs – Fiona Snare for always commenting on the film reviews…)

This film is based on the first of the James Bond books of Ian Fleming… I remember reading these books in Intermediate (Junior High)… In this encounter with the debonair 007 we find ourselves discovering how Bond became, well, Bond…

Daniel Craig is by far the best Bond since Sean Connery (who will always be the best), and I must say the best “actor” to play Bond… Daniel Craig captures the emotional dimension of Bond that leads him to become what we now know as 007…Also, this movie has everybody young and old that has seen this movie, learning the rules or becoming reaquainted with good old Texas Hold Em’…

I mean the movie alone is worth watching for the first 20 minutes with some riveting action obviously begging the question “would Pierce Brosnan been able to jump around and move like that?” Daniel Craig adds that “Transporter” aspect to the film in the way that he is definitely a man of style, yet he can stand up to the best of them, and not necessarily with the use of some pen laser gun he got from Judi Dench…

I think this is one of the best movies of the year, with the only downfalls being it’s length, the awkward yet necessary romance with his leading lady drowning the last quarter of the movie, and the poker game just goes on and on, and you almost forget, this isn’t The Sting or Maverick, this is James Bond…

ReviewReview Charlottes Web Dec 28, ’06 12:43 PM
for everyone

Category: Movies
Genre: Kids & Family
OK so I read the EB White book in primary (elementary) school… Was hoping this movie would do for me what Peter Jackson did for me reading Tolkiens books in the same class at school… unfortunately it was not the case…

OK so let me get straight to it – the story is similar to the Ugly Duckling tale, but this time involving a pig “Wilbur” who is rescued as a runt by Dakota Fannings character and taken to her uncles farm across the road for rearing… Wilbur battles regularity and the inevitable end of his life as the three strips of bacon in your Wendys burger you ate last week…

Charlotte the spider (voiced by Julia Roberts) does what she can to save Wilbur from this end…

So many flaws with this depiction, I left the theatre a little dissatisfied…

– Too much voice talent not enough time staying true to the material? (I mean they’ve got Oprah voicing farm animals, with Andre 3000 and Cedric the Entertainer – though Steve Buscemi was a favourite)
– Cow flatulence in a movie that is based on a book which has kilograms of class?
– Was Dakota Fanning believable as Fann? or was she just being Dakota Fanning
– Wilbur looked like Babe’s rejected cousin… (Ba-con, Ba-con – 3 strips of Bacon)
– Charlotte looked like a hippie with a beard (hard to imagine Julia Roberts with a beard)

Just a little short… Babe did it twice, and this played out like Babe 3, not an inspired classic like the book…

(I wanna see a movie version of Where the Wild Things Are… that was my favourite book in my first two years of School “Go Bailey Road!!”)

ReviewReviewReview Last Holiday Dec 28, ’06 12:15 PM
for everyone

Category: Movies
Genre: Comedy
OK two rappers as the lead actors… and no it ain’t a review for Idlewild… This is Last Holiday starring the amicable Queen Latifah, and her love interest played by LL Cool J…

Latifah’s character lives a life stuck in average and good enough… Though when struck with the news that she has three weeks to live due to a tumour in her brain, she decides to take her Last Holiday…

This movie then enters into that “What if?” territory… 80’s star Timothy Hutton plays the onlooking with envy Mr Kragen – who hilariously time after time in his pursuit of uncovering Georgia (Latifah) and her true intentions on her last holiday… Gerard Depardieu plays Chef Didier who is Georgias idol, and together they provide the best eye candy for those who love to see good food on film… my mouth was literally watering at some of the cooking scenes!

Good fun, a little long at 2 hours, but well worth it… Latifah has redeemed herself from that terrible Taxi movie (other two of hers I enjoyed in her larger than life flamboyancy was “Beauty Shop” and “Bringing Down the House”)

(Latifahs best moment though is still “All Hail the Queen” – a Hip Hop classic album – 5 stars)

ReviewReviewReviewReview Flushed Away Dec 28, ’06 11:00 AM
for everyone

Category: Movies
Genre: Animation
(I’ll keep this one short) This one in a midst of a sea of somewhat mediocre animated films (Open Season, Happy Feet, Ice Age 2, The Wild, and dare I say it, Cars) this one was the one that stood out for me amongst the animated films of the year… I know it will be overlooked as an animated movie in comparison to the aforementioned movies, but when it comes to pound for pound laughter this one takes the cake…

Now the stand out animated English speaking feature film of the year may go to Monster House (although I wasn’t a big fan of the film myself – still wondering who the target audience was with that one), but in my opinion, Flushed Away had me laughing more than I have at an animated film that I have for a while… Hugh Jackman and (again) Kate Winslet provide the lead voice talent amidst a great sea (forgive the pun) of stars… Think country mouse meets city mouse…

Only thing I have against it is the setting and the utter grossness of it being set in a sewer with the sweetest characters being tunnel rats, smelly toads, and of course, them slugs… The slugs alone are worth twice the admission price!

I won’t give you the plot – just go ahead and check it out for yourself… A laugh and a half of full creamed english styled humour… From the makers of Shrek and Wallace and Gromit comes my favourite (although it won’t win the oscar – maybe the oscar the GROUCH, get it, trash – ok quit while you’re ahead) animated movie of 2006

(Oh and I liked HOODWINKED too, that was funny!)

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