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items tagged with animated movies

It Ain’t Over ’Til It’s Ogre: "Shrek Forever After" and "MacGruber"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-05-23 21:15:00
Shrek Forever After

SHREK FOREVER AFTER

Has there ever been a cinematic storybook adventure - to say nothing of an animated, comedic one - as profoundly joyless as Shrek Forever After? It's not just that the subject matter for this latest, potentially last, and certainly least of the Shrek series concerns middle-aged dissatisfaction and inertia, themes that aren't exactly conducive to lighthearted escapism. The bigger problem is that nearly everything about the film, from the plotline to the jokes to the voice acting, is lethargic and heavy-spirited, and that air of fatigue is likely intensified if, like me, you catch it in 3D, with the gray of your eyewear dulling the movie's already-pretty-dull color palette. From its opening beats, Shrek Forever After feels less like a follow-up than the grudging fulfillment of a contract obligation, and I left this third sequel feeling about 10 years older than I did before it began.
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Trouble Bath: "Hot Tub Time Machine" and "How to Train Your Dragon"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-03-29 13:47:33

Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Rob Corddry, and John Cusack in Hot Tub Time MachineHOT TUB TIME MACHINE

Early in director Steve Pink's new comedy, miserable fortysomethings Adam (John Cusack), Nick (Craig Robinson), and Lou (Rob Corddry) decide to cheer themselves up with a weekend retreat to the beloved ski lodge of their youth, taking Adam's similarly downbeat nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) along for the trek. In the 24 years since the friends' last visit, the lodge has turned into a weathered dump. But their old room still has a jacuzzi, and after a debaucherous night of liquor, cocaine, and bubbling hot water, the four men awaken, and gradually discover that they've been magically transported to 1986. Gazing at the agent of this disruption with the space/time continuum, Nick says, "It's like some kind of ... hot tub time machine." And then, with the slowest of head movements and the deadest of deadpans, Nick turns and stares down the camera, as if to say, "Are you freaking kidding with this?"
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Old-School: “The Princess & the Frog” and “Invictus”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-12-13 22:33:04

The Princess & the FrogTHE PRINCESS & THE FROG

Like many of you, I'm sure, I've grown somewhat nostalgic for the hand-drawn animated Disney musicals of a long-ago era -- by which I mean the early '90s. But I'll be honest: Almost nothing about the previews for the studio's The Princess & the Frog convinced me that the old Disney magic was, at last, about to be recaptured.


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The Fox and the Hounds (and the Aliens): “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “Old Dogs,” and “Planet 51”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-11-29 21:18:54

Fantastic Mr. FoxFANTASTIC MR. FOX

Film scholars widely agree that 1939 remains the strongest year ever for American movies. But I'm starting to think that, as the decades pass, 2009 might be seen as a comparable year for animated movies.


Read More About The Fox And The Hounds (And The Aliens): “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “Old Dogs,” And “Planet 51”...


Marley and Me: "Disney's A Christmas Carol," "The Fourth Kind," "The Men Who Stare at Goats," and "The Box"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-11-08 21:18:25

Disney's A Christmas CarolDISNEY'S A CHRISTMAS CAROL

For the most part, Disney's A Christmas Carol - the third of director Robert Zemeckis' features to employ the process of performance-capture animation - is a strong, serious, stunningly well-designed piece of work, and an unexpectedly resonant take on Charles Dickens' holiday classic. But I do feel compelled to ask Mr. Zemeckis a question: Must everything be transformed into a Hollywood thrill ride?


Read More About Marley And Me: "Disney's A Christmas Carol," "The Fourth Kind," "The Men Who Stare At Goats," And "The Box"...





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