See what movies are good and not so good... Reviews are from the perspective of a ToonTown guy and select reviewers. There are hundreds of collectible posters available thru ToonTownReviews! Click on any of the images to order safely and securely! (This is the sister site of 'OZ - The 'Other' Side of the Rainbow) ***If there is a copyright issue, please email me by clicking on 'Email ToonTownReviews!' in the Links section and I will provide credit, change it to a link, or remove the post.***


Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Libertine

Starring: Johnny Depp, John Malkovich, Samantha Morton

The Libertine
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Plot: The film follows the second Earl of Rochester's adventures in London, from his passionate romance with a young actress, Elizabeth Barry, to the writing of a scurrilous play which blisteringly and bawdily lampoons the very monarch who commissioned it, Charles II, leading to the Earl's banishment and eventual downfall.

The Libertine
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Review: The newly formed Weinstein Company is giving this wild thing a limited release in the hopes of getting Oscar attention for Johnny Depp. No argument here. You have to admire an actor who finds time between the family franchises of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Pirates of the Caribbean to sandwich in the role of the dazzlingly debauched John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester. It's hard to tell what shocked seventeenth-century England the most about the earl. His depraved poetry? His skill as a cocksman with both ladies and gentlemen? His play about Charles II (John Malkovich) that portrays the king as a giant dildo? This one-of-a-kind spellbinder from first-time director Laurence Dunmore is not afraid to shock. Depp is a raunchy wonder, especially in a time-capsule-worthy opening monologue. Any Wonkaphiles who can't endure watching the earl's nose fall off from syphilis are just wussies.



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Friday, March 03, 2006

The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

Starring: Aaron Stanford, Kathleen Quinlan, Vinessa Shaw, Emilie de Ravin

Directed by Alexandre Aja

In theatres March 10

The Hills Have Eyes
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Within the never ending barrage of studio remakes comes one on the horizon with actual promise: the remake of Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes. What makes this one special is the fact that Craven spearheaded the remake himself and has had his hands in the project from start to finish. He also smartlty enlisted a great director, Alexandre Aja, who recently kicked major horror ass with the film Haute Tension. So far, so good in my book.

The Hills Have Eyes isn't one of Craven's most well-known films and certainly not his best, but it still is a classic to the hardcore horror fans like myself. My guess is that most of you reading this review here know the original film quite well, but the average person or new school horror fan may look at the updated Hills as a rip-off of 2003's Wrong Turn, which is very unfortunate. There are quite a few similarities between the two, and if it weren't for the original Hills, there would've been no Wrong Turn.

The festivities kick into high gear with what I thought was one of the coolest and most intense deaths in the film. The opening is so strong that it can't be topped; the rest of the experience doesn’t kick you in the ass quite like it does. Don't get me wrong. There's more violence and gore but nothing quite as brutal as the first five minutes. So out of the gates they raise the bar pretty high, and although they come really close, it just doesn’t quite get back up there.

This time around there is more explanation as to why these hill people are mutated, which has to do with a small town of miners and their families not letting the government push them out of their homes so their land could be used for nuclear testing. Hell no, they won’t go! Instead, they hide down in the mine shafts, giving the finger to Uncle Sam, and from the fallout become flesh eating mutants. These mutants are in cahoots with the local gas station owner on the main highway, who leads unfortunate travelers toward a "short cut" down a dirt road that doesn’t appear on any maps.

The most recent potential victims consist of a middle-aged detective, his wife, their teenage son, two daughters, the older daughter's husband, and their infant child. As they travel down the dirt road, they hit a string of spikes that blow out their tires and make them crash their vehicle. Of course now they're way out of range to get any cell phone reception. The father, played by Ted "Buffalo Bill" Levine, decides to leave the family and walk back to the service station while his son-in-law (Stanford) heads off in the opposite direction to see what lies ahead. This leaves the women and teenage boy alone to fend for themselves. Things don’t go well for the Carter family.

There are some nice new touches in this version that are absent from the original such as the nuclear testing back story, evidence of various previous victims' belongings and vehicles, and the small town that these people tried to fight for is also used, which adds another element to the film.

The special make-up effects by Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger were top-notch as always; however, I had an issue with some of the mutant designs. The design for the new Pluto just wasn’t scary at all. In fact, it looked so much like Chunk from The Goonies that I couldn’t help but laugh. I think they could have pushed the envelope a bit more in that aspect. I will say that there is one of the coolest axes I’ve seen in a horror film in a long time ... that’s a prop I wouldn’t mind owning. Berger and Nicotero definitely got messy during the making of this film because the gore score is pretty high and they got away with a lot of the red stuff for an R-rated cut (an unrated edition is, of course, planned for the DVD).

Alexandre Aja’s direction was very good minus a few pacing issues, the acting was solid all around, and the screenwriting was great. My biggest gripe is that the filmmakers and studio seemed to ignore similar films that have come out in recent years, especially one that is from the very same studio and was a flop at the box office. I understand that there is this strange thing going on in Hollywood right now that if a film is a remake, people just seem to turn out in crazy numbers whether the original was good or not, so if this trend continues they should be in good shape.

Overall, I have to say this updated version of the Hills Have Eyes is superior to the original. That in itself is a major achievement that can only be said about a small handful of remakes.

*By Sean Clar,


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Pre-teen girls will find 'Aquamarine' just the right color

Warning: If you're a male between 5 and 95, "Aquamarine," a junior chick flick about two pre-pubescent girls who find and befriend a mermaid, could make you green at the gills.

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However, if you are now or ever have been a girl of 8 to 13, you'll be occasionally charmed by the giggly bonds of girlfriends and "guppie love" the film portrays — but also occasionally green at the gills.

Based on Alice Hoffman's popular book, "Aquamarine" (Sara Paxton) is a beautiful 18-year-old mermaid who washes up in the swimming pool of a Florida seaside resort after a storm. She's found by two 13-year-old best friends, Claire (Emma Roberts, niece of Julia) and Hailey (Joanna "JoJo" Levesque, a pop music starlet).

Hailey's divorced mother has accepted a job in Australia. The girls — desperate to stay together — agree to help Aquamarine find love in exchange for granting their wish for Hailey not to move. To their dismay, the object of Aqua's affection is hunky lifeguard Raymond, whom they've mooned over all summer.

Nevertheless, the girls sacrifice him to Aqua and teach her coquettish tricks they've gleaned from teen magazines. It's a bit disconcerting that despite a century of feminism these are the same tricks Scarlett O'Hara used to steal husbands.

As we learned from "Splash" more than 20 years ago, mermaids have their own rules. During the day, they can walk on legs, but revert to a tail at night. Aqua must spend her nights in the town water tank, and trouble, as they say, ensues.

Like a kid with a new toy, first-time director Elizabeth Allen makes us seasick as she uses the camera to randomly speed the action up or slo-mo it down (for lusty shots of dreamboat Raymond). And her powder-pink cotton candy concoction is as insubstantial as the airy kids treat. While it will be gobbled up by preteen girls, it's just too gooey for anyone else.

For those girls, playing mermaid in the pool is a universal rite of passage — soon followed by slumber parties and flirting with boys. "Aquamarine" makes a direct hit on its target by firing on all those fronts.

But SOS, boys — abandon ship.

*By MELINDA ENNIS, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Oscar Talk - A special report

Love is back in Oscars with Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain It's been seven years since a love story won the top Academy Award. Back then, it was a romance between a woman pretending to be a man who falls for Shakespeare. This time, it's two men in cowboy hats.

Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain is positioned to become the first movie with such explicit gay overtones to win best picture, though the film faces tough competition.

Also nominated are Bennett Miller's Capote, the story of author Truman Capote's years of anguish creating the true-crime novel In Cold Blood; Paul Haggis's Crash, a drama about a huge cast of discordant characters intersecting and colliding over a chaotic 36-hour period; George Clooney's Good Night, and Good Luck, the saga of newsman Edward R. Murrow's stand against communist baiting by Senator Joseph McCarthy; and Steven Spielberg's Munich, a thriller following a Mossad hit squad targeting Palestinians implicated in the massacre of Israelis at the 1972 Olympics.

In a year of daring drama, though, Brokeback Mountain has resonated most widely, the top-grossing film among the best-picture lineup, a standard-bearer for gay and lesbian groups and a pop-culture sensation that has prompted endless gay-cowboy jokes.

Adapted from Annie Proulx's short story, Brokeback Mountain stars Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as Western men swept up in a torrid summer fling while tending sheep together in 1963 Wyoming.

Declaring they are not "queer" and that what they have is only a summer thing, the two part ways, marry and have children, then are drawn back into a lusty affair they conceal from their families for years.

Brokeback MountainBrokeback MountainBrokeback MountainBrokeback Mountain
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"It was an opportunity to tell a story that hadn't been put on the screen," said Ledger, a best-actor nominee for his role as Ennis del Mar, a rugged husband and father who's helpless to explain or deny the love he feels for Gyllenhaal's Jack Twist. "The character is so tragic. I really enjoyed how little words he had to express his battle and express his inability to love."

Brokeback Mountain leads the Oscar field with eight nominations, including best director for Lee, supporting actor for Gyllenhaal, supporting actress for Michelle Williams as Ledger's despairing wife and adapted screenplay for Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove) and Diana Ossana.

The film earned honours from key critics groups, won the Golden Globe for best drama and received top prizes from Hollywood guilds representing directors, writers and producers. Brokeback Mountain did lose the Screen Actors Guild competition for best overall cast performance to Crash, establishing the latter as a potential longshot best-picture winner on Oscar night.

But even Haggis, a best-director and screenplay nominee for Crash and a writing nominee the previous year for Million Dollar Baby, has said he expects Brokeback Mountain to triumph at the Oscars.

"I think it really is the year of Brokeback Mountain, and that's a good thing," said Haggis, who is originally from London, Ont. "Ang is one hell of a filmmaker, and the script, as a writer, I'm so jealous, thinking: Damn, look what they did."

Humility is a wise stance for nominees to adopt, so they do not come off as overeager or egomaniacal. Clooney, considered the supporting-actor favourite for the oil-industry thriller Syriana and a directing and writing nominee for Good Night, and Good Luck, has been publicly declaring he does not expect to win anything.

So while Haggis likes the odds for Brokeback Mountain, his own backers feel Crash could pull off an upset.

"Besides being incredibly talented, Paul is an extremely modest person," said Tom Ortenberg, president of Lionsgate Films, which acquired Crash at the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival, where it premiered.

Most major Oscar contenders emerge from Hollywood studios or their art-house divisions. Crash was a rare instance of an out-of-nowhere film picked up by an independent distributor that became a solid indie hit then an awards contender.

Brokeback MountainBrokeback MountainBrokeback MountainBrokeback Mountain
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Along with picture, director and original screenplay, the film's six nominations include supporting actor for Matt Dillon as a racist cop who gets a soul-shaking lesson in humanity.

"Certainly, I don't think many making the film would have anticipated I'd end up getting nominated or that it would be nominated for best picture," said Dillon, whose Crash co-stars include Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Thandie Newton, Brendan Fraser, Ryan Phillippe and Terrence Howard, a best-actor nominee for Hustle & Flow.

While Crash is viewed as the strongest challenger to Brokeback Mountain, the other three nominees each overcame hurdles to make the best-picture cut.

Many had considered Capote and Good Night, and Good Luck as smaller performance-driven films that would do well mainly in acting and writing categories. Yet they beat out such big-studio best-picture contenders as Walk the Line and Memoirs of a Geisha.

A best-actor honour for David Strathairn as Murrow was among the six nominations for Good Night, and Good Luck, an unlikely nominee because of its singular style, shot in smoky black and white, large parts of its story told through archival TV footage integrated into the dramatic action.

Capote earned five nominations, including best-actor front-runner Philip Seymour Hoffman in the title role, Catherine Keener for supporting actress as author Harper Lee and Miller for director.

Before it began screening in December, Spielberg's Munich had been at the top of Oscar-watchers' lists. Its lukewarm critical reception left it looking like an Oscar orphan, though, and some Jewish leaders assailed Spielberg for putting a human face on Arab terrorists.

But Munich stormed back with five nominations, including best director for Spielberg.

Said Spielberg: "I guess I'm just so proud of the academy for the courage it must have taken to give us the best-picture nomination."


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Dave Chappelle's Block Party

Even as he continues on the comeback trail from his self-imposed exile, comic Dave ChappelleDave Chappelle remains teasingly elusive. Fans of his inspired stand-up and shockingly funny Comedy CentralComedy Central series may feel there isn't enough of the star -- or of his freestyle comic fireworks -- in "Dave Chappelle's Block Party." But the formidable line-up of hip-hop and R&BR&B artists should attract hordes of appreciative ticketbuyers to this enjoyable performance doc helmed by Michel GondryMichel Gondry ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"). And if Chappelle tends to be more of a genial host than star here, never mind: His full-tilt exuberance is richly amusing and highly contagious.

A heady spirit of spontaneity permeates the proceedings, suggesting the entire pic, much like the concert it documents, was conceived, planned and completed in a single burst of creative enthusiasm.

Early set-up scenes follow Chappelle around his Ohio hometown as he impulsively invites casual acquaintances, total strangers and even an entire college marching band to a free outdoor concert a few days hence in a Brooklyn neighborhood. (He offers free bus transportation to and from the venue.)

Dave Chappelle's Block Party
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Cynics might suspect Chappelle is merely playing Mr. Nice Guy (and, perhaps, engaging in image enhancement) while Gondry's camera crew captures his every benevolent gesture. But the comic's playful interactions with everyday folks come across as every bit as funny and unforced as his rehearsal room bantering with superstar celebs.

Chappelle continues to pop up periodically throughout "Block Party," either as backstage kibitzer or on-stage introducer. (During one especially funny riff, he pays tongue-in-cheek tribute to the magic of James Brown.) Ultimately, however, the music and the musicians are the main attractions here.

Presented on Sept. 18, 2004, in occasionally inclement weather, the all-day concert includes stellar performances by the likes of Kanye West (tearing his way through "Jesus Walks" with messianic fervor), Erykah Badu (who matter-of-factly doffs her immense Afro wig after a brief rainfall), Dead Prez (swaggeringly militant with their "Turn off the Radio") and the Roots (backed by guest stars Kool G Rap and -- omigosh! -- Big Daddy Kane).

AudAud response borders on the ecstatic when Chappelle intros a reunion of seminal hip-hoppers the Fugees -- including Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean and Prakazrel "Pras" Michael -- who pleasingly perform their trademark cover of "Killing Me Softly."

Using a small army of lensers armed with Super 16 cameras, Gondry (a musicvideo vet) achieves an impressive degree of detail with a minimum of vertiginous hand-held excess. Sound quality is exceptional. Even so, music fans might quibble about the relative brevity of some sets. Presumably, there will be extended performances on the ultimate DVD release.



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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Something New

Cast: Sanaa Lathan, Simon Baker, Blair Underwood, Alfre Woodard, Donald Faison
Director: Sanaa Hamri

Something New
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A Film Review by James Berardinelli

Something New is something old and very familiar. This is an opposites attract romantic comedy, with a racial twist thrown in to add a little spice. Actually, these days, with mixed race relationships becoming commonplace, it's debatable how big a "twist" this is. 30 or 40 years ago, a movie about a black character dating a white one was radical. Today, it doesn't raise an eyebrow. Society's views have changed to the degree where it has become possible to use the premise of the serious Look Who's Coming to Dinner for the sit com-ish Guess Who.

I'm willing to give credit to first time director Sanaa Hamri and her screenwriter, Kriss Turner, for acknowledging the difficulties inherent in a mixed race relationship - complications that go over and above those found in any coupling. If they overdo it, blame it on dramatic license. Hamri's point is that love transcends skin color, and it might not have come across as clearly if the two characters in Something New didn't have as many obstacles to overcome. So we have disapproving parents, disapproving friends, and a disapproving brother.

All of that disapproval is aimed at Kenya (Sanaa Lathan), a successful black businesswoman with a woeful private life. When she embarks upon an unexpected love affair with her landscaper, the white Brian (Simon Baker), no one knows what to think. There's a certain amount of relief that Kenya is flowering, but consternation that she's not opening her petals with someone more "appropriate." Enter the Romantic Complication, in the person of a legal magnate (Blair Underwood) who's rich, charismatic, and smitten with Kenya. So will she choose pale door #1 or darker door #2? Consider the genre if you want the answer.

In actuality, Something New is more Kenya's story than it is that of Kenya and Brian. He's her love interest, not the other way around. The film is presented from her perspective. During the course of the story, we meet her friends and relatives but, aside from a glimpse of his father near the end, the only one we meet who's associated with Brian is his canine companion. This point-of-view, which is atypical of romantic comedies, makes Something New seem a little less like every other romantic comedy out there.

Lead actress Saana Lathan (Love and Basketball) folds herself into Kenya's personality, bringing out the woman's strengths and weaknesses in equal measure - her obsession with business (fueled by the so-called "race tax") and her vulnerability when it comes to her personal life. What could easily have become a caricature is instead developed into a believable, sympathetic, three dimensional character. On the other side of the relationship, Simon Baker is not as compelling, but that may be because he is given less to work with. The chemistry between them is there, however, and some romantic comedy fans will argue that's all that matters.

First-time director Hamri wastes no time showing off her wares. Sometimes it works, but there are times - such as an inexpertly handled lazy Susan shot early in the film - when it becomes distracting. There is one moment worth calling attention to, however. During the scene immediately following Kenya and Brian's first sexual encounter, as they lie together in bed, the lighting (an orange-yellow) is such that they appear to have the same skin color, with their racial differences at least temporarily banished. This is one instance when Hamri is able to use visual cues to italicize her theme.

Something New may not be able to convert die-hard cynics, but it will please romantic comedy lovers of all genders, colors, and persuasions. The film is not riotous, but it is sporadically amusing, and the love affair is respectful of the characters, not fatuous. Something New argues that just because something is familiar, it doesn't have to be stale.

*by James Berardinelli, ReelViews


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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion (2006)

An unstoppable force of nature, southern matriarch Madea may have finally taken on more than she can chew. She has just been court ordered to be in charge of Nikki, a rebellious runaway, her nieces Lisa and Vanessa are suffering relationship trouble, and through it all she has to organize her family reunion. As the reunion approaches, secrets are revealed and tensions rise. Madea must use every tactic in her arsenal to not only keep the peace, but keep her family together.

Also Known As: Tyler Perry's Madea's Reunion

Release Date: February 24th, 2006 (limited)

Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion
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Review: As the Borg say on "Star Trek," "Resistance is futile." Don't even try to get in the way of Madea that pistol-packing, Bible-thumping, larger than life powerhouse and force for good creation of Tyler Perry, who also plays the part. Perry is something of a larger-than-life powerhouse himself, this time not just writing the film, playing Madea, her brother Joe, and her nephew Brian, and composing some of the music but directing as well.

You can't judge this movie with the same standards you would apply to the usual multiplex fodder with its neat categories and linear construction. This happy mash-up of romance, drama, low comedy and high drama works because it is all tied together by Perry's open-hearted conviction. The sincerity of his commitment is the throughline that keeps the audience connected to the story and the characters.

In addition, the crazy-quilt shifts in tone and genre are well suited to a story of a large extended family where at any given moment characters are facing a broad variety of financial, spiritual, moral, psychological, and work-related challenges, even the dreaded math problems that Madea refers to as "Al Jarreau." She might not know the word "algebra," but if there is an extended family member who has a problem with it and -- this is the important part -- is ready to be helped, Madea will find some way and some one who can give what is needed.

The person in need of some help with homework is a young girl who comes to live with Madea when a judge gives her the choice of becoming the girl's foster mother or going to jail for violation of her parole. Many movies would make this the center focus of the story with a series of heartwarming incidents showing us the growing respect and affection between them, but this movie doesn't have time. Medea tells the girl (the marvelous Keke Palmer) to shape up, smacking her on the butt, stands up for her with a bully on the school bus (by smacking him upside the head), promises that homework help, and that's it.

Madea's niece (Lisa Arrindell Anderson as Vanessa) who's moved back in with her, bringing her two children. She has given her life to God and does not want to get involved with a man. But gorgeous bus driver/painter Frank (Boris Kodjoe) is also a committed Christian and loving parent. She is drawn to him, but can she trust herself? Can she let herself trust him?

Tyler Perry's Madea's Family ReunionTyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion
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Vanessa's half-sister Lisa (Rochelle Aytes) is engaged to a wealthy banker (Blair Underwood) who beats her. Her mother Victoria (Lynn Whitfield, channeling "Dynesty-era" Joan Collins) tells her to do whatever it takes to keep him happy.

Through all of this Madea is there to knock down those who are above themselves and lift up those who don't ask or expect the best for themselves. Her brother Joe (also played by Perry) is there to provide vulgar humor. But the heart of the story is the relationship between Lisa and Vanessa and their mother. Perry shows us that Victoria is a victim as well as a predator but does not let that excuse her behavior. Cecily Tyson and Maya Angelou appear as family matriarchs at the reunion, standing in front of a shack that family members once lived in as slaves and then as property owners and telling the group that now is the time to begin to act with responsibility, dignity, and integrity. Madea is Perry's creation, but it is Tyson and Angelou who deliver his real message.

Parents should know that the movie has some mature themes, including child sexual abuse, adultery, out of wedlock children, and domestic violence. There are references to prostitution and drug addiction. Madea advocates corporal punishment. She does not hesitate to whack a child or an adult. The movie also has some crude humor including potty jokes and vulgar references to sex. Strengths of the movie include the portrayal of strong, devoted, responsible, and loving minority characters, positive portrayal of religious conviction as a sustaining force in the lives of some characters, and an explicit commitment by a dating couple to remain chaste until marriage.

Families who see this movie should talk about how Madea always finds a way to help those who are willing to accept it.


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Monday, February 27, 2006

Nacho Libre - Coming Soon

Release Date: June 2, 2006
Studio: Paramount Pictures

Starring: Jack Black, Ana de la Reguera, Héctor Jimenez, Richard Montoya, Peter Stormare

Nacho LibreNacho LibreNacho Libre
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Plot Summary: Jack Black stars as Ignacio (friends call him Nacho), a Mexican priest who moonlights as a lucha libre wrestler to raise money for his orphanage in this comedy from the creators of "Napoleon Dynamite" and the writer and star of "School of Rock."

Thoughts: I finally checked out the trailer for Nacho Libre, Jack Black's next movie and I don't know about you but it cracked me up.

It's from the director of Napoleon Dynamite, so even before watching the trailer you just know it's going to be an off-beat comedy. From the official site, here is the description of the movie:

Jack Black stars as Ignacio (friends call him Nacho), a Mexican priest who moonlights as a lucha libre wrestler to raise money for his orphanage.

Of course you can't judge movies by their trailers, especially comedies, but I have a feeling about this one. Jack just comes off as so earnest in the scenes shown in the trailer that it makes it that much funnier than if he had played it with a wink at the audience.

Also, with the director having been involved in three Mormon-produced films, I have a feeling that this will be funny without resorting to toilet humour and nudity.

It opens on June 2nd.

Check the trailer out here. (med res)


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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Limited Edition 78th Oscar Posters for sale

DS Official Venue Poster - The 78TH Annual Oscars

The OscarsThe Oscars
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"Things are about to get hairy"

Starring: Daniel Tay, Jimmy Fallon, Jon Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, William H. Macy

Synopsis: Legend tells of three magic diamonds that, if in the wrong hands, can be united to create a force powerful enough to freeze the sun. When the evil sorcerer Zeebad escapes from his ancient prison, he vows to exact revenge by deep-freezing the earth forever. Determined to save the world, a fellowship of four unlikely heroes band together to foil Zeebad's villainous plot. Led by the candy-loving mutt Doogal, friends Dylan, Brian, and Ermintrude all embark on an epic adventure to save the world. In order to find the diamonds before Zeebad, they must climb icy mountains, navigate fiery pits of molten lava, sail across vast oceans and pass through a booby-trapped temple guarded by an army of ninja skeleton warriors. Along the way they learn that the most powerful weapon is their friendship - which even Zeebad¹s evil magic cannot destroy.

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Reviews: Here is the deal on Doogal. It was released 2 years ago in the UK and was called the magic roundabout. It had British actors and was funny. The Magic Roundabout was a kids show shown in the UK in the early seventies, this is an attempt to Americanise the movie. They should have left it alone, they've tried to turn it into a LOTR for little kids, shame, shame, shame. Do yourselve a favor get an import of the British DVD.

Great for Kids - Good for parents: Keep in mind this is rated with a 6 year old's perspective snd I'm sure toddlers would like it even more. My son loved it and to me that's all that matters. Sure it was no Shrek but it was what it was - an animated G movie not made by Pixar or Disney. I thinks adults that tolerate G movies will be amused by the one liners. I liked the actors too, I could listen to John Stewart, Jimmy Fallon, Chevy Chase and Whoopi anytime.

I Blame You, Shrek!: well, here is yet another attempt to pull off the humor/wit of a shrek-wanna-be movie. however, it doesnt run as smoothly. the story is some crazy wizard (who's half spring??) wants to freeze the world for some odd reason. so doogal (our hero), after his friend is trapped in ice, must collect some jewels to stop this evil wizard, with his flop-of-a-friends. but i wont ruin anymore of the plot (though thats about it) the computer animation is descent, though not really up to par with more recent movies.

It's rated G, so it's almost too cute. kids will swallow it up, but the parents who have to tag along will probably lose interest fast. nothing seems to 'feel' right with the characters, you want to love them, but you just never do. we really have shrek to blame for this, it started this landslide of animated child/parent humor movies, but nothing else has hit a home run. but kids will enjoy!

Watch the trailer for Doogal


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