Saturday, August 20, 2011

My Week In Movies - Some Oldies But Goodies

Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across The 2nd Dimension (2011) I'm not a die hard Phineas & Ferb fan but I've seen my fair share of episodes with my kids and it's a really good show. This full length adventure, which just debuted on Disney Channel, is a really well done attempt at taking something usually dished out in 15 minute increments and stretching it entertainingly into 90 minutes. While I was watching it I kept thinking, "Why didn't they do this for theatres?" But by the end I realized that to do the show justice they couldn't have done a "real" movie. There are too many inside jokes and running gags to make this film accessible to everyone. If this were a theatrical film, they would have had to re-establish all the characters and they couldn't have done some of the jokes and references that they were able to do by not worrying about outsiders watching the movie. There's many laugh out loud moments in the movie, in fact I think I got more of the movie than my kids did. My only complaints with the film are the pacing - I wish they would have slowed it down a little - and the look - I would have liked to seen them up the animation and shading a little bit. But in the end, a movie adventure that serves it's characters and audience well.

Cheetah (1989) Do not get me started on how much I love this movie! I'm not sure why, but when I was younger I couldn't get enough of this tale of two American kids spending their summer in Africa and raising a pet Cheetah. Now that I'm older, I see that the writing and acting is a little stiff - and it's not very creative, but it's still an enjoyable movie. I was surprised my kids liked it as much as they did since it's so old...I mean from 1989 and all! It's amazing how much movies have changed in 20 years. This Disney film has no off-color jokes, no rap music not much of anything except a good wholesome adventure about friendship and doing what is right. I still love it!

Here We Go Again (1942) This flick was a real treat. I loves me some Edgar Bergen and you don't come across his stuff all too often. For those of you out of the loop, Bergen was a popular comedian/ventriloquist back in the old days. The cool thing I love about his movies is that they treat his puppets like real characters. Sometimes you'll see his puppet characters, Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd, not on Bergen's lap but doing stuff like driving a car or sitting in a tree. It's a fun little gimmick. This movie also throws in fellow old tyme radio/TV stars Fibber McGee and Molly and The Great Gildersleeve. I had heard of these two other famous radio personalities before but was never exposed to them until now. They are all funny and entertaining as well. The plot of this movie is paper thin at best and just an excuse to hang a string of silly sketches and routines on. It's all simple and funny and it ends with a pretty good chase scene like all good movies should!

Back To The Future (1985) They were showing this on the big screen at a local arts center last week and I had planned to take my son, but some family obligations got in the way so we watched it at home later that night. I was never a really big fan of this classic, it's gotta be at least 23 years or so since I've seen it last. I really enjoyed this time around. It's a real solid movie. And since I don't know every line by heart like most people, I laughed out loud quite a bit. My son liked it but it was mostly way over his head, my wife and I kept having to explain everything to him so he could keep up. I'm sure I didn't fully understand it when it came out in the 5th grade. We didn't go to the movies much when I was little but I can vividly remember my mom taking my brother and I to see this at the old Harundale Mall theatre. I can also remember taping it off HBO for my friend Grant who didn't have cable - and I cut out the cover of the cable magazine with a picture of the movie on it and taped it to the VHS box for him. I was pretty proud of myself on that one. Ahh...memories! By the way, I love Lea Thompson!

Spaceballls (1987) I don't really like this movie. There...I said it. I made a comment about my dislike of this movie on Facebook the other day and I got a lot of virtual dirty looks from people. Mel Brooks is capable of so much more than this. I saw this when it first came out on video and way back then when I was 13, I thought the jokes were all obvious and stale. I love when they make a reference in a movie to the fact that they are in a movie...but Spaceballs does it too much. It kind of ruined that joke for me. I remember when this came out thinking that a Star Wars parody was kind of outdated and unoriginal. I laughed a handful of times but to me this is one of Mel Brooks' worst movies!

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