Friday, September 30, 2011

My Week In Movies - You Go, Simba!

The Lion King 3D (1994/2011) Man, it's great to have a classic Disney animated film back up on the big screen. It used to be standard operating procedure for Disney to rerelease it's animated features to theatres every seven years, but when home video caught on and Disney saw the money to be made from VHS sales, the practice faded out. So now it looks like Mickey has found a new hook to bring people back to the cinema to see old movies - 3D. The Lion King was reprocessed into 3D and has since made close to $70 million at the box office. The effect is neat and the movie looks better than ever back on the silver screen and with all the noticeable detail that 3D glasses allow. Some scenes of the film, like the opening and the stampede scene, are simply breathtaking in digital three dimension. Overall, the added effect doesn't do much to the film - it's already a masterpiece of filming that doesn't need any gimmicks to make it an incredible movie going experience. (OMG! I'm all about some 3D Little Mermaid soon!)

Conan O'Brien Can't Stop (2011) This documentary picks up shortly after O'Brien's legendary boot from The Tonight Show. Unable to appear on TV for six months, Conan O'Brien packs up as much of his show as he can and takes it on the road for an exhausting tour of concert dates across the U.S. The film provides an interesting backstage look at the concert tour, as well as serves as document of the concert itself. You also get to see a less polished portrait of the talk show host than any network TV show would ever allow. This is basically a concert film, and like any concert film you're going to enjoy it most if you're a fan of the subject. If you like Conan, this is fun way to spend 90 extra minutes with Team Coco.

Prom (2011) Yes, I must watch every film to carry The Walt Disney Pictures banner! The last big hurrah of the high school social calendar is the centerpiece of an innocent and slightly sappy teenage romantic drama. Even though Prom is an event for 17-18 year olds, 13-14 year old girls is the target audience for this flick which highly romanticizes the event almost putting Prom on the same level as a wedding. It's almost like Romantic Drama 101 for preteens. There's not much original material on display here, with several very familiar storylines overlapping and intertwining. But the movie has it's heart in the right place and is completely free of swear words or sex, which is refreshing for a high school movie.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) Another masterpiece...the first masterpiece from Walt Disney's animation studio, Snow White is a perfect blend of silly cartoon fun, theatrical suspense and perfect storytelling.

Paul (2011) I found this silly sci-fi spoof to be dreadfully boring. Two geeks on holiday to the states to visit Comic-Con, run into an alien in the desert and bring him aboard their RV for a standard "running from the government guys in black SUV's" adventure. There are some clever homages to classic science fiction properties spread throughout the movie, but the simple act of having a cartoon alien drop the F-word every other sentence does not carry a picture.

George Washington Slept Here (1942) I've been wanting to see this one for years. A great classic comedy with Jack Benny and Ann Sheridan moving from the city to an old home they just bought in the country. The house is a bit of a fixer upper and as the weeks go on it becomes more of a fixer upper. This is a great vehicle for Jack Benny who gets to stay close to his TV character and even tosses off a few references to his show in the movie. Good stuff with plenty of laugh out loud moments.

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