ToonTownReviews

 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, July 05, 2008

Jurassic Park IV - The Extinction - Coming Soon!

The Wizard can't wait for this "final" sequel to the very cool Jurassic series! I am a big fan of dinosaurs. Loved JP I and JP II, and while JP III, suffered a bit - from the looks of this (possible) JP IV trailer, we are in for a real action packed treat.



Can't wait - coming in 2009

This poster is an idea that comes from www.DarrenStraight.com/blog.

Starring: Laura Dern ... Dr. Ellie Sattler (rumoured) - Sam Neill... Dr. Alan Grant (also rumoured)
  -no others confirmed

Synopsis: Proposed story ideas include the discovery of a deadly prehistoric disease that the revival of the dinosaurs inflicted and which threatens to wipe out the entire human race.


One of the other ideas featured a group of soldiers that were genetically crossed humans and dinosaurs. This was proposed by John Sayles.


Stay tuned to ToonTownReviews for more details as they become available!

 

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Get Smart

Starring:  Steve Carell ... Maxwell Smart

Anne Hathaway ... Agent 99

Dwayne Johnson ... Agent 23

Alan Arkin ... The Chief

Terence Stamp ... Siegfried

Terry Crews ... Agent 91

David Koechner ... Larabee

James Caan ... The President

Bill Murray ... Agent 13

Patrick Warburton ... Hymie

Masi Oka ... Bruce

Nate Torrence ... Lloyd

Ken Davitian ... Shtarker

David S. Lee ... Ladislas Krstic

Dalip Singh ... Dalip


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Synopsis: Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) works as an analyst at Control, a U.S. spy agency that was supposed to have closed after KAOS was defeated. However, KAOS is far from being dead. KAOS penetrates Control and steals the names of all their field agents, and they then begin to kill Control agents around the world. The Chief (Alan Arkin) promotes Maxwell Smart, designates him Agent 86, and partners him with Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway). Smart has always wanted to be a field agent, but he wanted to be partnered with the best, Agent 23 (Dwayne Johnson). Smart is given a little training and some spy-tech gadgets to help him do his job. Smart and Agent 99 have uncovered information of where Siegfried (Terence Stamp), the sinister head of KAOS is located, and they go after him to stop him from taking over the world.
by Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)

Review: (3 stars) by Chris Knight, National Post

Audiences have a right to feel some trepidation at the return of superspy Maxwell Smart. After all, the guy's signature gadget in the '60s TV show was a phone concealed in the heel of his shoe. The only thing more retro-diculous is that it was a rotary phone, which means anyone using it today would be stumped the moment they had to "press one for English."

Add to this the fact that the script for Get Smart is by Matt Ember and Tom J. Astle, whose last film, Failure to Launch, lived down to its name with critics. And director Peter Segal's underwhelming track record includes Naked Gun 3 and Nutty Professor 2. But as Smart himself proved in five seasons of televised espionage, well-meaning bumblers can come out ahead. It might sound counterintelligent to say so, but if you're choosing between this film and The Love Guru this weekend, the smart money is on Smart.

To begin with, Steve Carell doesn't try to fill the shoes (figuratively or cellularly) of the late Don Adams, who originated the role of Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 of CONTROL (an acronym that stands for nothing). Adams played dumb-luck personified, with a nasal delivery said to be modelled after William Powell in The Thin Man. Carell speaks in his own voice and is an effective agent/analyst, although his 600-page reports on the goings-on at KAOS (another non-cronym) try the patience of his fellow agents. Still, he is so needed by the chief (Alan Arkin, who can bark out a one-liner better than anyone) that he is being held back from promotion to the field.



When CONTROL is compromised and its field agents licensed to be killed, the chief reluctantly promotes 86, pairing him with 99 (Anne Hathaway) and creating an age gap wider than the one between their numbers. I thought romantic friction between older guys and young women was de rigueur in the movies, but the writers concoct a complicated backstory in which 99, older than she looks, had plastic surgery after her identity was revealed. This is just one of a few "whatever" moments that doesn't bear close scrutiny, like wondering how they manage seven or eight costume changes while hiking through the Russian wilderness.

The basics of the story are simpler to follow. Siegfried of KAOS (a snarling Terence Stamp) is snapping up nuclear materials with an aim to blackmail the United States for a Dr. Evil-like sum of $200-billion. He is aided by a brace of henchmen. One is Dalip, played by wrestler Dalip Singh and clearly meant to be an homage to Jaws from the James Bond films - though without those metal teeth he is merely a 7-foot-2, 387-pound unstoppable killing machine with no bite. The other is Shtarker, played by Ken Davitian, best known as the fat guy in Borat - and viewers of that film will be relieved to know he does not take his clothes off in this one.

Together, Max and 99 play follow-the-uranium in a bid to stop Siegfried's plan, which takes its inspiration from an old Bugs Bunny cartoon. (There may have been original sin, but there's no original evil.) They've got good chemistry, bantering and bickering like an old married couple, which is handy because it's their cover story. Providing adequate backup are Dwayne Johnson as 23, Bill Murray as 13 (prime-number agents get all the worst assignments), David Koechner as Larabee and James Caan as the President, who raises the chief's ire with his "nuc-u-lar" pronunciation.

The result is equal parts action and comedy, with the latter serving to consistently puncture the aspirations of the former. These deflations are well-timed to create the kind of pleasure and reward you get from popping a balloon at the midway - and like those games, if you miss it by that much, the prize is nothing. Smart doesn't skimp on its action, however, and the final chase through L.A. involving a banner-towing aircraft, a car and a diesel locomotive is a prime example of the old you-think-things-can't-get-any-worse-and-then-suddenly-they-do trick.

The original series was a goldmine of catchphrases, many of which get dusted off for this movie; and while the Get Smart fans in the audience will be salivating for them, it's not a necessary condition to enjoy the film.

Full disclosure: I enjoyed the Don Adams/Barbara Feldon TV show, and even appreciated the 1980 movie The Nude Bomb, probably because I was 11 years old and it had the word Nude in the title. I never saw the 1995 TV sequel, which according the DVD box ran for all of 158 minutes before being cancelled. But to borrow one of Smart's wisecracks, this time I was watching a long-retired spy being reinvented for a new era, walking the line between nostalgia and novelty - and loving it.

 

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The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
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Starring: Ben Barnes ... Prince Caspian

Georgie Henley ... Lucy Pevensie

Skandar Keynes ... Edmund Pevensie

William Moseley ... Peter Pevensie

Anna Popplewell ... Susan Pevensie

Sergio Castellitto ... King Miraz

Peter Dinklage ... Trumpkin

Warwick Davis ... Nikabrik

Vincent Grass ... Doctor Cornelius

Pierfrancesco Favino ... General Glozelle

Cornell John ... Glenstorm (as Cornell S. John)

Damián Alcázar ... Lord Sopespian

Alicia Borrachero ... Queen Prunaprismia

Simón Andreu ... Lord Scythley

Predrag Bjelac ... Lord Donnon

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

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Synopsis: (Contains Spoilers!) "The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian" was the second book published of the seven books in the series. It is numbered Book 4 in recent editions because it is the fourth chronologically. It takes place about 1,300 years after the events of "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe," which was the first published book (second in order chronologically--only "The Magician's Nephew" takes place earlier.) In London, only one year passes between the events of "The Lion" and "Prince Caspian," so the timing of the film had to be brought forward so the actors were not too old. Here is a summary of the story by C.S. Lewis. Following that is a description of the differences in the 2008 motion picture, based on available information.

Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are transposed from a country railway station to an island in Narnia when young Prince Caspian X - who is heir to the throne at Cair Paravel, and is in danger in a battle against the Telmarine seige of Narnia - has blown Queen Susan's magic horn. King Miraz (Caspian's Uncle), a tyrant who murdered Caspian's father (Caspian IX), has claimed the throne. After Miraz's wife Queen Prunaprismia gave birth to a son, Miraz planned to kill off Caspian X. However, young Prince Caspian managed to escape into Old Narnia and unite with "the creatures that lived in hiding." With the help of Glenstorm the Centaur, Trufflehunter (a loyal badger), Trumpkin (a skeptical but dedicated dwarf), Reepicheep (a valiant mouse) and scores of other species of friendly Narnian animals, Caspian forms an army to meet Miraz's countless, mighty human warriors.

In an early battle, the Narnians make strategic mistakes, many animals die, and they are forced to retreat. Trumpkin intercepts the Pevensies shortly after their arrival at the ruins of Cair Paravel (once a peninsula - now the island they were summoned to when Caspian sounded Queen Susan's horn). As they travel toward Aslan's How (the location of the destroyed Stone Table - now an underground fortress, and the loyal Narnians' defense), the war between good and evil escalates. A rebel Narnian dwarf harbors enemies, Aslan appears to Lucy, and the Pevensies finally unite with Caspian.

High King Peter drafts a challenge, which King Edmund presents to the Lords Glozelle and Sopespian. Angered by his counsel's subtle (but intentional) doubt of his bravery, King Miraz insists on accepting the challenge. With both armies surrounding them on the Beruna landscape, Miraz and Peter draw swords and duel fiercely.

In a moment of the fight, Miraz is knocked to the ground. Astoundingly, his own lords stab him in the back and then shout out that Peter has killed him egregiously. All at once an immense battle amasses - the Second Battle of Beruna - as the Telmarines and the Narnians fight for autonomy of the land...

In the culmination of the battle, Aslan renews the land. He calls forth the dryads (tree spirits) to dance again; he awakens the river god, who then destroys a massive man-made wooden bridge over the Fjords of Beruna; and he beckons Bacchus and Silenus, and their merry maidens, who run throughout the landscape as far as the town of Beaversdam celebrating.



In Prince Caspian, humans had come to constitute a large portion of the population in Narnia. But in the Golden Age of Narnia, when the Pevensies fulfilled a prophecy by taking throne, they were the only humans in Narnia. Aslan tells Caspian how his ancestors came into Narnia. He reveals that they actually originated from the same Earth as the Pevensies. Years ago, pirates in the "South Sea" (of our world) came upon an island, and, after entering a cave, fell (through a chasm) into Telmar. Telmar is the country to the West of Narnia. After many years in Narnian time, the Telmarines, who suffered famine and internal conflict, invaded and seiged Narnia. During this time, the animals of Narnia fled into hiding, as the human Telmarines came to dominate the land. Prince Caspian was the tenth in a line of kings by that name.

There appear to be some considerable differences in the motion picture in order to complement the story on-screen. The opening scenes portray the birth of Prince Caspian's cousin followed by a narrow escape in a spectacular chase scene. It is while running away, as opposed to within Aslan's How, that Caspian sounds Queen Susan's horn. The Pevensies are summoned not from a country station, but an underground London railway station. Lewis placed Caspian's character as an adolescent, whereas the actor portraying him, Ben Barnes, is in his mid-twenties. There is a scene in the book in which a hag suggests calling upon the spirit of the White Witch to assist Prince Caspian in a time of desperation. Although this "ritual" is never performed in the book, it is begun in the movie and visually manifested until interrupted by one of Caspian's allies. A night raid on Miraz's castle has been added to the plot as a surprise attack. There are a few additional characters such as Lord Scythley and Lord Donnovan, who, while not a part of the original story, will probably have roles similar to those of the Lords Glozelle and Sopespian.

"Prince Caspian" is a story of deliverance and restoration with some intriguing aspects of Narnian history, culture, and mythology.

Review:  Review by Tamil Movie Reviews

In 2005, the first part of this movie got us some new experience of combustion where you had the best part of fantasy revealed. The first version of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe had a great fiesta of entertainment for all. But on few parts, you had the Christianity promoted through it. Well, that lies from the taste of auteur and we have nothing to comment on it.

Here comes the sequel more spanking than its sequel and this is second of films being made from seven books of Narnia written by C.S. Lewis. A bit away in its theme from the first part, Chronicles of Narnia- Prince Caspian has lot of stuffs for the family audiences. First of all, there is nothing to do with violence, profanity, adult themes. It’s a PG rating and more importance is given to family values. Of course, a war depicted without bloodshed is really a great delight for all the audiences who don’t love bloodshed.

Last time, it was a venture from a wardrobe into a mystic land and this time directly to battle ground. A year has passed and now where are these young Pevensie children?

Peter (William Moseley), Susan (Anna Popplewell), Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and Lucy (Georgie Henley, still a cutie-pie) are waiting for their train in one of the London’s tube station. Over here, they are hurtled into the fantastical land of Narnia where they have to help Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) ascended to the throne. But it is his evil uncle Miraz (Sergio Castellitto) who want him to get dashed down and not get up to the throne. Perhaps, not breaking your guesses, we have the greatest battle between good and evil forces and rest forms crux of the story.

More than human characters in the film, it is animated animals and creatures that makes whole of stupendous performance. Amongst all, there are few characters that make you delighted. An animated lion named Aslan standing in for the resurrected Jesus (voiced by Liam Neeson). But remember that you won’t feel the traces of Lord of the Rings. A sword-fighting mouse (voiced by Eddie Izzard) and assorted bears, badgers, giants, Minotaurs and centaurs do really rock to the splendid stuffs right throughout the film.

Not get more involved with the animated creatures, we have two good performers who have lived up to the expectations. Peter Dinklage as a smarty dwarf and Tilda Swinton as White Witch steals the show. Especially, with Tilda Swinton, she looks far and much differentiated in her approach from her other recent movie Michael Clayton.

Director Andrew Adamson does his best in getting an entertainment show for all and there are many aspects that go over the head of imagination. They look odd and sometimes cause you more annoyed. So, the sequel is good at few parts and in contrast for the rest.

Bottom - Line: Worth revisiting

Verdict: Can watch it…

 

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

WALL•E

Starring: Ben Burtt ... WALL•E / M-O (voice)

Elissa Knight ... Eve (voice)

Jeff Garlin ... Captain (voice)

Fred Willard ... Shelby Forthright, BnL CEO

John Ratzenberger ... John (voice)

Kathy Najimy ... Mary (voice)

Sigourney Weaver ... Ship's Computer (voice)


WALL-E WALL-E
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 Synopsis: What if mankind had to leave Earth, and somebody forgot to turn the last robot off? After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL*E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick-knacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. EVE comes to realize that WALL*E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet's future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). Meanwhile, WALL*E chases EVE across the galaxy and sets an adventure into motion. Joining WALL*E on his journey across the universe is a cast of characters including a pet cockroach and a heroic team of malfunctioning misfit robots.

Review: By Stephanie Zacharek, Salon Arts and Entertainment

This new Pixar movie is an environmental cautionary tale and a story of robot love -- and quite possibly the most melancholy cartoon ever made.



The new Pixar feature "WALL-E" is an environmental cautionary tale, as well as a story of budding love between two robots. And for its first half-hour or so, it's possibly the most melancholy cartoon ever made: Even the color palette of that early section, a mosaic of brownish grays brushed with dusty sunlight, speaks of loneliness, and of desperate cheerfulness in the face of a blank future. In the second half, "WALL-E" becomes less lyrical and more satirical, although even then, its bite is surprisingly sharp. But by the end, "WALL-E" has turned into something else again, a picture that's so adamant about ending on a feel-good note (or at least a feel-OK note) that it betrays the sad, subtle beauty of those early scenes. It must be that director Andrew Stanton -- the man behind the enormously successful "Finding Nemo" -- didn't want to make too much of a downer: Can't be sending all those tots home with the blues, can we? But the picture feels weirdly, and disappointingly, disjointed, something that starts out as poetry and ends as product.


WALL-E is a sort of mobile trash compactor -- his name is an acronym for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class -- and he's the last robot left on a desolate, crumbling Earth, 800 years in the future. WALL-E has a squat yellow metal body and sturdy pincers for hands. He doesn't say much (the noises he does eventually make are provided by Ben Burtt). But his eyes, two lenses perched atop a virtually nonexistent head like a set of binoculars, suggest the all-too-human anxiety he suffers: He has the perpetually worried look of the young Woody Allen.


WALL-E
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Although there are no humans left to avail themselves of his services (we'll find out where they've gone later), WALL-E still dutifully goes about the business he was built to do, scooping up scraps of trash and metal, forming them into solid, compact cubes, and stacking them high: He's surrounded by faux skyscrapers made of these blocks, reminders, maybe, of the great things men were capable of doing before they were undone by greed and hubris. Or maybe they're just comforting artifacts for this lonely little robot, mementos from a time when he was surrounded by life.


As WALL-E roams this forlorn landscape, doing his job simply because he has no idea what else to do, he picks up small treasures, bits and bobs that he thinks (if robots can think) might one day come in handy, and brings them back to his lair: The mishmash includes a Rubik's cube, strings of Christmas lights. WALL-E has one friend -- an elegant-looking art-deco-style cockroach who communicates mostly by clicking and cocking his antennae -- but we can see he longs for something more. Is it possible he's been so well-programmed by humans that he's more human than human? Stashed in his cave is a talisman that WALL-E values more than anything else in his possession, an object that he goes back to obsessively, hoping to unlock his secrets. It's a scratchy videotape of "Hello, Dolly," although only small portions of the tape appear to be functional. And so WALL-E spends his evenings trying to parse the secrets of human connection through musical numbers like "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" and "It Only Takes a Moment." He's bewitched by these fragments of pop art: For him, they're mysterious primers on what it means to dance, or to hold someone's hand. When the music kicks in, it's shaky and faint like a cue beamed in from a far-away galaxy, a place where people used to understand the pleasure of one another's company, or even just the joy that could be found in a throwaway musical number.


There's very little dialogue in the early part of WALL-E, and that section's near-silence only enhances its aura of mournful obsessiveness: Scraps of pop culture that are expendable to us (who ever even thinks about "Hello, Dolly" anymore?) are precious to WALL-E, and they begin to have even greater potential meaning when a lovely girl robot named Eve -- shaped like a sleek white bullet, she resembles a cocktail shaker from a '70s bachelor pad -- comes to Earth on a mission of her own.

There's more to "WALL-E" than just a love story. There would have to be, because as Pixar has gone about building a reputation for meticulous craftsmanship in animation, its pictures have become more ambitious in their narrative and thematic scope as well. Sometimes the company has gone beyond fulfilling those ambitions, as in the case of Brad Bird's marvelous Pixar features "The Incredibles" and "Ratatouille." Other times its movies have seemed to be about nothing but ambition (as in the flashy but lifeless "Cars").


 

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