8 posts categorized "Children"

September 11, 2011

THE LION KING 3D

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Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. ColeSmithey.com

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ColeSmithey.com You can hardly blame Disney for imbuing its most recently minted animated classic with the 3D treatment in order to introduce "The Lion King" to new audiences. If only it weren't for the inflated ticket price that comes with it, "The Lion King 3D" would represent a welcome revival of a kids movie that combines a strong story with memorable songs and lush use of animation and color that is nothing short of stunning.

For audiences unfamiliar with the story, it follows the adventures of a young lion cub named Simba (voiced wonderfully by Matthew Broderick). As the only son of regional African lion King Mufasa (James Earl Jones), Simba is just beginning to learn important life lessons from his imperious father when Mufasa's jealous brother Scar (Jeremy Irons) carries out a coup d’état that leaves Simba without a home and stripped of his birthright to the throne of the African plain known as Pride Rock.

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In exile Simba makes friends with an unlikely couple of jungle-dwellers. A meerkat named Timon (Nathan Lane) and a warthog known as Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella) teach Simba the pleasures an insect-based diet while he grows to adulthood. A reunion with his childhood girlfriend Nala inspires Simba to return to his homeland and claim his magisterial title. Although too frightening for younger audiences to support its G-rating, “The Lion King” is a children’s movie that holds up over time.

Rated PG. 87 mins.

4 Stars“ColeSmithey.com”

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

February 01, 2009

INKHEART

Welcome!

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.ColeSmithey.comThis ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

 

 

ColeSmithey.comBased on Cornelia Funke's 2003 fantasy kid's novel, director Ian Softley ("The Wings of the Dove") makes a half-hearted adaptation that's further diminished by Brendon Fraser's signature boy scout performance as Mo Flochart. Mo is a "silvertongue" — that's somebody able to physically conjure up characters and elements of reality from any book that they read out loud.

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While on vacation in Italy with his 12-year-old daughter Meggie (Eliza Hope Bennett) bookbinder Mo finds what he's been searching for--an adventure novel entitled "Inkheart" with which he plans to bring back his wife Resa (Sienna Guillory), who was lost to the manuscript some years ago in exchange for a one of its fictional characters.

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Fire-juggler Dustfinger (Paul Bettany) pursues Mo to obtain the book so that he can return to his literary life within its pages.

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Meggie realizes that she too is a silvertongue right about the time that "Inkheart's" diabolical literary-figure-made-flesh Capricorn (Andy Serkis), makes his move with his minions to take over the world.

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Winged monkeys and a minotaur that you don't get a good look at make up some of the mediocre special effects in an unsatisfying kid's movie.

(New Line Cinema/Warner Bros. Pictures) Rated PG. 105 mins.

2 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

 

June 14, 2008

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl

Kit "Mansfield Park" director Patricia Rozema delivers a prudently nostalgic depression-era dramedy about 11-year-old Kit Kittredge (well played by the irrepressible Abigail Breslin) of the American Girl book series. Kit wants to write editorial essays about the Great Depression from a "kid’s-eye-view" for her local Cincinnati newspaper. The dire 1934 economic crisis comes home to roost when her father (played by Chris O’Donnell) loses his car dealership and leaves his family to look for work in Chicago. Kit befriends a couple of child hobos named Will and Countee who take her on a tour of their homeless existence, while Kit’s mom (well played by Julia Ormond) opens the family’s house to boarders in order to keep up their mortgage payments. A rash of burglaries points to Kit’s friend Will as the prime suspect, and she sets out to solve the crimes with the help of her two best friends. A talented cast that includes Joan Cusack and Stanley Tucci, elevate the movie above its after-school-special limitations.

Rated G, 100 mins. (B)

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