Sunday 20 Apr

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

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
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Science Fiction

How to Train Your Dragon

None April 1st, 2010

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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