Reel 2 Reel Movie Reviews: June 12, 2005

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


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What a beautifully written movie. From the moment this movie started till the last flicker of light on screen I found myself caught up in the wonder that animated stories of my childhood provided.

Technology has advanced greatly in the past twenty years, especially in the field of animation. I have found that some animated movies spend so much effort on the visual that the storyline falls apart or never makes an impact. This movie will not disappoint in either respect. The animation is top notch, with lifelike characters whose facial expressions and emotions are far more genuine than those of some of the actors we pay to see onscreen. The story itself is a marvelous coming of age tale of a young robot who learns to believe in himself and brings together a mismatched gang of outmode robots to prevent their world from being overthrown by a pair of greedy, self-centred and completely unusual duo.

The diversity of the characters mimics real life, and the message of being happy with oneself is delivered in a colourfully wrapped box with a big red bow.

Notable characters who make the movie worth seeing:

Fender -
Robin Williams (phenominal performance... he has a gift, see this movie for William's alone)
Rodney -
Ewan McGreggor (he lends a perfect voice to this character... giving life to this innocent nieve character)
Tim the Gate Guard -
Paul Giamatti (this guy is just hilarious... playing this tiny little character on a huge power trip)

I even enjoyed the musical score of this movie. This one is definitely a family favourite, and for children of all ages!

Monster In Law


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Bringing Jane Fonda, Michael Vartan and Jennifer Lopez (aka: J-Lo, Jenny From The Block… do you smell a tax shelter scandal?) together for a movie should have atleast brought forth more than just a chuckle or two sprinkled in throughout the movie, but it didn’t. While the storyline is “plausible”, it doesn’t offer much more than what you see in the preview clips: spoiled son of wealthy mother meets, and falls instantly in love with, bohemian, broke-but beautiful girl. Mother makes wild attempts at splitting the two lovers up while still saving face with the son. Mother and daughter-in-law to be become friends in the end and the guests throw rice.

Notable characters who make the movie worth seeing:

Ruby -
Wanda Sykes (This woman was hilarious, credit to the writers of her lines of course... but a magnificent delivery of the material. If it weren't for Ruby's character this movie would have been a complete bore.)

Viola Fields -
Jane Fonda (The best scenes of this movie are indesputably the ones where Viola is throwing her tantrums and having repeated break downs. The best of these scenes is during the tv interview where she pounces on an unsuspecting Britney Spears doppleganger.)

Notable characters for all the wrong reasons:

Charlie -
Jennifer Lopez (It's that I don't believe the sincerity of her character. It's not horrible throughout the movie watching Lopez but there are a couple of scenes where I just rolled my eyes and thought 'where was the director on that shot? why didn't they reshoot that scene? that was completely phony' You'll notice this in the scene where she receives the engagement ring from Vartan and says "Really?".)

Kevin -
Michael Vartan (Believe it or not, he's in the movie... but you'd have to watch the credits to confirm it. If they had pulled a guy in off the street to play the role it would have had as much impact.)

If you're looking for a handful of chuckles and a supporting character who steals the show, this flick is a winner.


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There has been a tremendous amount of hype surrounding this movie... the next Shrek supposedly. While I found the characters loveable and the quips numerous, this movie lacked the same quality of entertainment value I've found in movies like Shrek, Shrek 2, Monsters Inc and Ice Age.

The animation genre is sometimes lacking in appeal for the adult crowd, and I find that Madagascar has come up short in providing enough of the classic one liners found in the likes of
Aladdin , Toy Story and Robots.

Notable characters who make the movie worth seeing include:

King Julian the Lemur - Sacha Baron Cohen
Skipper the Penguin - Tom McGrath
Marty the Zebra - Chris Rock

Notable characters for all the wrong reasons:

Melman the Giraffe - David Schwimmer (worst performance ever, he should stick to movies where his dumbfounded expression gets him some credit).
Gloria the Hippo - Jada Pinkett Smith (while she had some decent moments, on the whole the movie could exist without this character and there be no significant loss.)
Alex the Lion - Ben Stiller (lackluster is the best word I can use here to describe his delivery of lines... he's supposed to be a central character but he just comes across as a pain in the butt.)

While I would recommend seeing this movie, for movie-goers of all ages, I wouldn't get too pumped up about it unless your mom still packs a lunch for you.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants


Being a woman you would think that I would not only flock to this movie, but come bearing a box of tissue, loads of chocolate and three of my closest girlfriends for this anticipated tear fest. While I did manage to sneak some chocolate in, and a McDonald's Big Extra (modified into a quarter pounder), and my closest girlfriend, the tissues were in absentia.

The movie starts out with some heart felt moments, albeit a bit cliche, between 4 teenage girlfriends setting out for the summer with the magic of the mysterious lyrca-laden jeans unbeknownst to them. While the storyline is moving, the onscreen "action" is slow and at times tedious enough to be begging for the next scene to begin. The characters are portrayed as your typical middle-American highschool girlsquad, with the blonde bombshell,
Bridget, the misunderstood artistic genius, Tibby, the shy but beautiful searching-for-herself, Lena, and last but certainly not least, the recipient of the most magic from the jeans (as it is bafflying to the mind that she fit into them as readily as the other three remarkably more petite characters) Carmen, who is struggling with the realities of divorce and the loss of attention from a distant father. The storyline does away with the pulling at the heartstrings approach to drama and inserts a vicious attack by adding a dying child to ensure tears are shed by viewers.

While I left this movie with a streak of emotion on my cheek, I do not feel that it was given the justice that the readers of
Ann Brashares' book would have wanted based on their reviews. Unless you're desperate to see a chick flick, save your money and rent this one.


For the men: under no circumstances should you punish yourself with this movie... even to impress a potential girlfriend or gain brownie points from an existing one.

For the ladies: asking a man to see this movie with you is the relationship kiss of death. If you have to see it, see it with a girlfriend.

Characters Notable and Otherwise:

Amber Tamblyn .... Tibby

Alexis Bledel .... Lena

America Ferrera .... Carmen

Blake Lively .... Bridget

Jenna Boyd .... Bailey

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