Tuesday, November 06, 2012

My Month in Movies - October Wrap Up

After cramming 30 movies into as many days in September, I cooled off from the flicks quite a bit this past month. First, there was the 11 days we were on vacation followed by an exhausting experience with some contractors we hired to do some work on our kitchen. Long story short: I only got to 10 films in October - and I didn't do too many Halloween or scary pictures as I would have hoped to. In fact, the majority of my film watching last month was made up of Disney movies.
I stocked up on quite a bit of Disney this month. Some of it in preparation for going to Walt Disney World, others trying to hold on to that Disney Magic after we returned to the "real world". My kids and I watched a bunch of classics. Lady and the Tramp (1955) is one of our families favorites. We ate at Tony's Town Square Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, which is inspired by the eatery in the film, so this was some prep work to get the kids excited about going to the restaurant. It certainly enhanced our visit, having just seen the movie.
Dumbo (1941) is one of my personal favorites, short and sweet at 64 minutes - it's alot of fun for such a quick movie. I wanted the kids to see this because so much of the new revamped New Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom takes it cue from the circus theme of Dumbo. The classic Dumbo ride has recently been enhanced as well as the addition of a Casey Jr. water playground and a Dumbo gift shop. Great movie!
We watched Alice in Wonderland (1951) which was never one of my favorites, but it's certainly grown on me over the last few years. Perhaps in comparison to the dark Tim Burton take on the tale, I find this cheerful and silly Walt Disney version quite enjoyable now.
And my kids didn't have to ask twice the night they suggested we watch The Little Mermaid (1989), one of my all-time favorite movies. Having had the Mermaid shoved down their throats for a week at Disney World, it wasn't surprising they wanted to see it again. Plus, that night we had just come back from a costume party where I was dressed as Ariel's father - King Triton. I looked pretty good if I do say so myself.
Without the kids, I watched So Dear To My Heart (1948) which is just about the most obscure animated film in the Disney library. A story about a young boy at the turn of the century who dreams of raising a prize winning sheep for the county fair. It's a mix of live action and animation, similar to Song Of The South which came out a few years earlier. There are no classic Disney characters to be found in this film, just a ditty called Lavender Blue, which had become somewhat of a Disney standard nowadays. It's good nostalgic entertainment even if it's not nearly one of Disney's best. It is said to have been Walt Disney's personal favorite.
Two more I watched without the kids, the creepy and well-done The Watcher in the Woods (1980). Disney's only foray into horror, this came out a time when the directionless Disney Studios was really trying to figure out they were going to fit into the changing landscape of movies. There's some genuine scares tucked in this picture along with alot of creepiness. For someone who doesn't like horror movie, I really enjoyed it.
As always, I also enjoyed Disney's The Million Dollar Duck (1971). You can't go wrong with a madcap comedy about the Federal Reserve chasing after a kid and a duck that lays golden eggs!
Another Disney World prep film the kids and I watched was Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). My little guys had never seen the original, which I remembered as being much better than the other films in the series. However, after seeing it again for the first time in at least 7 years - it's pretty much just as boring as the other three except for a few references to the Disneyland attraction it's based on.
And the only two non-Disney movie I saw in October were: L!fe Happens (2011), a horrible comedy about a girl trying to raise a kid on her own while all her friends keep partying and living the single lifestyle. It stars Kristen Ritter and Kate Bosworth, both who I really like alot, but this direct-to-everything-but-a-movie-theater film was a real bore! The Magic of Belle Isle (2012) is another movie that seems to have bypassed theaters, however it is a really nice little movie about a slightly odd-relationship between older than dirt Morgan Freeman and 50 year old Virginia Madisen and her daughters. The nice surprise is it's a well-told, mature story that is done without anything inappropriate for children to watch. It's a bit over the top in the sappy department, but it's worth a watch!
October Movie Count: 10
Best New Movie: The Watcher In The Woods
Worst New Movie: L!fe Happens
Best Rewatch: The Little Mermaid
2012 Movie Count: 201

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