49 posts categorized "Children's Cinema"

September 04, 2017

GHOULIES

Colesmithey.comMariska Hargitay makes an inauspicious feature film debut in this trashy little 1984 horror picture from co-writer/director Luca Bercovici.

Michael Des Barres (the former singer of the New Wave super band Chequered Past) plays Malcolm Graves, a cat-eyed Satanic lord whose death isn’t as certain as his creepy mansion’s newest master (Peter Liapis) believes. Malcom's unkempt grave resides on the home's remote grounds.

Colesmithey.com

The great Jack Nance, of David Lynch fame, barely gets any screentime as this cheesy film’s narrator. Between its ‘80s era trappings of ugly fashion and pot-smoking, goofy little ghoulie creatures, and “Time Bandit”-styled demon servants, “Ghoulies” is a misjudged throwback to the much better “Basket Case” franchise that inspired it.

ColeSmithey.com

Still, it’s fun to see Mariska Hargitay with her baby fat playing a disposable teen character in a tight red dress and big hair.

Rated PG-13. 81 mins.

1 Star

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

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June 16, 2017

WONDER WOMAN

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This 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 pal! Your generosity helps keep the reviews coming!

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WonderWomanPosterAs boring and flavorless as a three-day-old grilled cheese sandwich that’s been left out in the sun, “Wonder Woman” is yet another reminder that the superhero genre is a lost cause.

How much longer can Hollywood pursue this thematically bankrupt and soulless children’s movie genre is anyone’s guess. There needs to be a 10-year moratorium on CGI. I'm not kidding. Lars Von Trier could make films for the rest of his career based on this one's budget, and they'd all be 100 times better.

ColeSmithey.com

The filmmakers here (director Patty Jenkins — “Monster”) set modern feminism back a hundred years in more ways than one. The narrative backdrop is World War I. Cough. It took the screenwriters putting the story back 100 years so they could have good guys and bad guys completely removed from the complex problems of the modern world. "Innocent women and children are dying." Uh-huh. Got it.

Wonder-woman

Characters speak with laughably wandering accents that point to poor preparation on the part of actors and filmmakers alike.

Newbie screenwriter Allan Heinberg crafts dialogue that puts fish to sleep. The pacing and editing is so slack that any chance of dramatic suspense is out the window long before the film’s excruciating 141 minutes gratefully ends. Here’s a movie that not even Hollywood’s best editor could find something resembling mediocrity could extract. The best thing the movie has to offer is Lindy Hemming’s inventive costumes design for Gal Gadot’s heroine of (ostensibly) lesbian descent.

Rated PG-13. 141 mins. 

Zero Stars

June 28, 2016

THE BFG — CANNES 2016

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on Patreon to pledge your monthly support.

Thanks a lot pal! Your generosity helps keep the reviews coming!

CANNES, FRANCE —Steven Spielberg’s fudged adaptation of Roald Dahl’s problematic children’s tale of giant (human-eating) cannibals is a drab affair. From its creepy style of animation to its dragging tempo, “The BFG” never engages the audience. It’s not fun. Even those looking to savor a few morsels of gallows humor are denied satisfaction. The film played to packed crowds at Cannes, but few walked out with a good impression of what they saw.

BfgThe story opens in the bad old 19th century London of Charles Dickens. Little orphan Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) gets snatched from an orphanage by a friendly giant (Mark Rylance) who takes his new little human pet to Giant Country. Strains of John Fowles’s “The Collector” come through. There’s also a little “Alice in Wonderland” at play here.

The giant effectively kidnaps 10-year-old Sophie because she has seen him, and will certainly report his existence to others. Nevermind that once ensconced inside the giant’s cavernous dwelling, Sophie can never leave its front door, lest she be eaten by much larger giants with names like Fleshlumpeater or Meatdripper. Oh yes kiddies, it’s “eat or be eaten,” except that Sophie is far too small to ever pose a threat.

THE-BFG2

It’s convenient that the only non-cannibal in the country happens to be a runt who is about five-times smaller than his brethren. The best thing you can say about the friendship that develops between Sophie and the mini-giant is that it’s a perfect marriage of dim wits.

Mr. "Friendly Giant" speaks in “squiggly” gobblefunk language that bastardizes words. Fart, for example, becomes “whizzpoppers.” When the movie sinks to a farting sequence involving the Queen of England, you know you have been brought low. Very low indeed.

The_bfg

Someone could write a Freudian thesis about how, by diminishing a female child character even further than her undeveloped stature, in “The BFG” feeds into the imperialist patriarchy that the story ultimately hands itself over to.

I hated every second of this movie; I couldn’t wait for it to be over. As for Roald Dahl’s easily mocked title (“The BFG”), the author did at least have the decency to let his audience what to expect little from this SPOS.

Rated PG. 117 mins.

1 Star

Cozy Cole

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