Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"Don't Let's Be Silly!" - "Alice in Wonderland"

Movie Title - "Alice in Wonderland"
Date Viewed - 10/20/10
Ratings - We both give this film 3.5 'shrooms out of 5

Ah, "Alice in Wonderland"...the Disney movie about a drug trip.  Ok, ok, it's a little girl's dream.  But with magic mushrooms?  Disappearing cats?  Strange colors?  Hookah?  Come on.  I think it's fairly common knowledge that Lewis Carroll was an avid drug user, but somehow Disney managed to work with his stories anyway.  There are a lot of moments DH and I both love about this film.  The best scene is definitely the Mad Tea Party.  Almost all of the quotes from that scene crack me up!  DH likes the song "In a World of My Own," while I like "Very Good Advice."  The quality of the animation is a bit lacking, and apparently it was a flop at the box office when it was first released, but I'm glad we got to watch it again.  Disney films are timeless, and it's sadly a rarity when we get to watch them these days.  The voice talents were really stacked in this one, too.  Ed Wynn, Sterling Holloway, and Jerry Colonna, to name a few. I'm not sure how it ranks among all the Disney animated films, but there really aren't many I would rate under a "3" anyway.  Light-hearted fun for a weeknight.

Up Next?  A movie neither one of us has seen..."Almost Famous"

Friday, October 15, 2010

Honesty Is Important in Relationships - "Aladdin"

Movie Title - "Aladdin"
Date Viewed - 10/15/10
Ratings - We both give this film 4 lamps out of 5

Watching an animated Disney film is a very different experience as an adult vs. a child.  In "Aladdin," as with many Disney movies, there are references only adults would understand.  What kid would know Ed Sullivan, "You Bet Your Life," Rodney Dangerfield, or Jack Nicholson?  Those are just a few of the Genie's impressions.  I found them a lot funnier than I did the first time I saw "Aladdin," which was as a preteen back in 1992.  Of course, like most G-rated films, this is a story of good vs. evil, with a happy ending.  It's also a love story, and a story of slavery and the price of freedom.  The absolute best part of this film, for me, is the score.  Anything remotely Menken/Ashman is gold, although Howard Ashman tragically died of AIDS long before this movie was completed.  This is the DH's favorite Disney movie, mainly because of Robin Williams as the Genie, but I think also he identifies with Aladdin a bit more than other Disney characters.  I'm surprised that I didn't remember the scarier parts (the look on Jafar's face as he turns into the snake), or the fairly adult references to harems.  The only parts I really remembered were the songs, which just shows their longevity.  This time, I think I'll remember the jokes and the nice lesson about honesty in relationships.  Overall, this is definitely a movie we'll both be happy to watch with our kids someday.

Up Next?  It's a Disney 1-2 punch..."Alice in Wonderland" (the animated version)

Monday, October 11, 2010

"Don't Call Me Shirley" - "Airplane"

Movie Title - "Airplane"
Date Viewed - 10/8/10
Ratings - We both give this film 4.0 fish dinners out of 5

I'd seen this film many times, but DH had only seen bits and pieces.  It's a comedy classic, so I'm glad he finally got to see the whole thing.  I realize I haven't been posting much about the plots of the films we're watching...I guess I don't want to reveal too much, and I figure it's really more about our reactions anyway.  "Airplane" is a parody of the overly-dramatic "Airport" films of the '70s.  I've never seen them, but I pretty much get the gist.  My favorite character in this film is Johnny, since he has the best lines by far.  In fact, almost every time it gets foggy outside, I usually say, "The fog is getting thicker!  And Leon's getting laaaaarrrrger!"  Pretty much every actor in this film has at least one hilarious line.  Previously, actors like Robert Stack and Lloyd Bridges were more often recognized for their dramatic work, but this film changed all that.  Peter Graves was famous for "Mission Impossible," but this movie made him famous for the line, "You ever seen a grown man naked?"  There are really too many great quotes from this film to list them all.  Perhaps what keeps it from a 5 out of 5 rating is the rather slow romance between Ted and Elaine.  Some of the romantic scenes have their comic effect, but others are a bit of a drag.  Still, there are rarely any dull moments, and I think this film will keep standing the test of time.

Up Next?  Not "Airplane II," since it's tough to get on DVD.  Instead, it's "Aladdin"

Friday, October 8, 2010

You Can't Pluralize the Lone Ranger - "Airheads"

Movie Title - "Airheads"
Date Viewed - 10/7/10
Ratings - I give this film 2.5 amps out of 5, and the DH gives it 3.5 amps out of 5

This is a movie we'd both seen a few times, but I think I found it least funny this time.  I have a hard time buying Brendan Fraser as a heavy metal rocker, and I think his girlfriend is pretty annoying, so I don't see why he doesn't just let her go.  Steve Buscemi was not as well-known when this film came out (1994), although he'd already been in "Reservoir Dogs."  Adam Sandler is doing his typical juvenile SNL schtick, but it's still pretty hilarious.  Lots of pretty famous actors in this film:  Joe Mantegna, Michael Richards, Michael McKean, David Arquette, Judd Nelson, and Chris Farley.  It should be better then, right?  I think a few of the actors are simply miscast.  There are great moments, but nothing that made us really laugh out loud.  Not sure if DH liked it more than me, or he's just more generous with his ratings.  One of the better parts of the film relates to the band's name, which is The Lone Rangers...they don't understand why people keep saying that name doesn't make any sense.  There is a nice subtext to the film about the way a lot of radio stations have changed formats, and how jaded the record industry is.  It made me think about the old days of Pirate Radio.  Good times.

Up Next?  "Airplane"