Friday 25 Jul
 
 

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0

Sorcerer

William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0
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Science Fiction
 

How to Train Your Dragon


None April 1st, 2010

dragon
Here's 2010's likely first Oscar nominee for best animated film, the tale of Viking lad Hiccup (Jay Baruchel, "She's Out of My League"), who wants to become his village's top dragon slayer ... until he meets a real dragon and discovers that everything his people know about the beasts is wrong.

Yes, the message of "How to Train Your Dragon" is that we ought to learn about the things we fear before we start blowing stuff up. Not a bad message at that.

The supporting voice acting is excellent, especially from Craig Ferguson (TV's "The Late Late Show") as Gobber, the one-handed, one-legged blacksmith; Gerard Butler ("The Bounty Hunter") as Hiccup's alpha male father, Stoick; and America Ferrera ("Our Family Wedding") as Astrid, budding feminist/dragon-slaying Viking, and I bet you won't find that description for another female character this year.

The direction is from Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders ("Lilo & Stitch") from a screenplay by the directors with Adam F. Goldberg and Peter Tolan, and suggested by a series of books by Cressida Cowell.

The film is pretty funny and although the dialogue is laced with anachronisms, they aren't of the pop-culture variety that has already dated pictures like "Shrek." Hiccup's relationships with and discoveries about parents, friends and the natural world will resonate with kids. I liked the 3-D effects, but don't think they're necessary to an enjoyment of the film.

Unless "Toy Story 3" turns out to be a lot more than the third udder on their first cash cow, this could be a year when a non-Pixar film wins the big door prize, and my guess is that "Dragon" will have a better chance than most. "”Doug Bentin
 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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