Moana

 

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I know, I know…I’m late to the Moana party. The girl has been trying to get me to watch it for YEARS, but it just hadn’t worked out until I scheduled a special ‘Movie Luau’ with her. The boy is at Band Camp and the husband is closing all week, so I set up several Movie Nights for the two of us. First up, Moana and Hawaiian Chicken.

Above all else, the songs are the best part of Moana. I mean, Lin-Manuel Miranda – how could they not be the best? ‘How Far I’ll Go’ and ‘You’re Welcome’ are obvious favorites, but I’ve actually had ‘Shiny’ stuck in my head the most. Is it because of my recent fascination with Jemaine Clement? Maybe. Or maybe it’s just a catchy tune, sung by a crab. Oh! I told the girl about the Decorator Crab we used to have – she didn’t know they were a real thing! See – Moana is educational, too.

Please put The Rock in every movie I watch, thank you. Also, I demand a rap breakdown in all of The Rock’s future movies.

I very much appreciated the conscious departure from yet another Disney Princess looking for her Prince story. Maui even pokes fun at the trope by repeatedly calling Moana a princess, which she vehemently denies. Thank you Disney for confirming that not every adventure needs a romance!

I enjoyed Moana very much and want Lin-Manuel Miranda to take over writing all Disney songs this instant!

Next up for Movie Night, From Dusk Til Dawn and Taco Tuesday!

Sherlock Gnomes

 

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Shhhhh, no one tell my kids that I watched this without them.

Will someone PLEASE explain to me what the concept behind this film is? I mean, I understand that the yard statues come to life and have little adventures and shit…but WHAT is Sherlock Gnomes? He doesn’t appear to be yard art, so is he an action figure? A leprechaun or something? I don’t understand why he is tasked with keeping track of London’s gnome population. I mean, I guess he is a gnome, too? But why?

I also don’t understand why Johnny Depp was cast as Sherlock Gnomes. Why do children need to be subjected to his lame fake British accent, when they could’ve just hired a British actor?

And what was the point of Mary J. Blige? Why?

The only part that truly made me smile was the scene in the Chinese knick knack shop, because I have most of the tchotchkes depicted there.

This was not a very good film, utterly lacking the heart of the original. The message was supposed to be about taking people for granted, but the message was too ham-handed for a child to really understand.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Even though it’s only February, I’m going to go ahead and call it – Sponge Out of Water is the most terrifying film of the year. Why? It has a fucking talking dolphin in it.

I fucking hate dolphins. They are the Bill Cosby of the ocean world, trying to lure unwitting swimmers into their underwater rape caves. Dolphins have NO business in a children’s film. It’s a small consolation that the hellspawn dolphin appears to have been voiced by Tim Curry, although I could be wrong.

Dolphin notwithstanding, Sponge Out of Water was a pretty cute film. My son picked it to go see for his 10th birthday. It was either Spongebob or Jupiter Ascending…I’m glad he chose the Sponge, because Jupiter Ascending looks boring.

I laughed my ass off when Bikini Bottom went all Road Warrior – Squidward in ass-less, er tentacle-less chaps! I also noticed a little Clockwork Orange fishy!

There was also a funny Shining moment. My kids laughed, but they had no idea what they were laughing at…

From the commercials, I was expecting more of the film to take place in the real world. I was bummed that only the last 20 minutes were in the real world – that was the best part! We did see it in 3D – at least the cartoony part was in 3D, too. My husband laughed at me when I reflexively ducked Spongebob’s bubbles. Ass.

I had no idea that Antonio Banderas was in it either. Even as a hairy, dirty, stinky, gross pirate…he’s still pretty hot. There’s something wrong with me, isn’t there?

The only thing that was missing was David Hasselhoff. I would have traded that fucking dolphin for a Hasselhoff in a second.

The Rugrats Movie

Total shit.

I tried to make my son watch this movie while I was on maternity leave. It’s about accepting a new sibling, so I thought it might help him deal with having a new baby sister. It sucked, so he wandered away after 10 minutes, while I was stuck on the couch breastfeeding. I ended up watching the whole thing, all the while hoping I would doze off, but I never did.

I find it hard to believe that little kids would like something like this, but I guess they do. At least Rugrats suck less than Caillou.

 

Aladdin

3 years old is a very important age. 3 years old is the earliest at which a child can actually be expected to sit down and watch a film, from beginning to end. That being said, even though my son just turned three, he doesn’t yet seem inclined to sit down an watch an entire movie from beggining to end – not even his two favorites – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Wizard of Oz. Regardless, we (okay, my husband more than me) have been making an effort to make more family programming available to our son. We can’t just continue to let him watch reruns of Two and Half Men (his favorite TV show after Sesame Street) – eventually, he’s going to start getting the jokes!

Last week, we decided to start watching Aladdin. My husband bought me the Platinum Edition DVD 3 years ago when I was pregnant with our son and it hadn’t even been taken out of the shrink wrap yet. Aladdin was the last animated Disney movie that I saw in the theater as a kid – what, 16 is still a kid – up until a decade later when I made it back for Lilo & Stitch. Excepting The Lion King (which I haven’t seen yet, but is widely loved), Disney made some stinky crap in that ten year period. Pocahontas. The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Hercules. Tarzan. The Emperor’s New Groove. Atlantis. Not to mention all the shitty straight-to-video sequels. (A trend which, ironically, Aladdin started with the insanely lucrative The Return of Jafar.) Did Cinderella REALLY need a sequel? I’m sure I’ll be forced to watch them all soon – but for as long as I can, I’m going to try to stick to the good ones.

Aladdin is all about Robin Williams. The film is slow and boring until Aladdin finds that lamp and lets Robin Williams out of his prison. His performance as the genie made it “okay” for big Hollywood stars to do voice work in animated films. Mike Myers just might want to send Williams a thank you card – his big Shrek payday wouldn’t have been possible without Aladdin.

Although Princess Jasmine is the strongest of the Disney heroines up to this point, she’s still just another motherless Disney Princess. That is the ONE thing about Disney that pisses me off to NO end – all the missing and/or dead mothers. I guess it’s no coincidence that Disney Bridal sells Wedding gowns, Maid of Honor gowns and even Flower Girl dresses – but absolutely no gowns for the Mother of the Bride!

As much as I like Aladdin, I still detest “A Whole New World.” However, I don’t mind “A Whole Nude World”.

Back to my kid – his interest in good old fashioned animation is pretty low right now. Unless it was Robin Williams or a musical number, he pretty much ignored Aladdin. Also, he hasn’t asked to watch it again, so I guess that means Aladdin sucked. Oh well, I liked it.

 

The Triplets of Belleville

This movie made me hate French people.

Okay, I realize that’s a completely absurd and silly statement, but throughout the entire film, I kept thinking, over and over, “GAWD…French people really suck!”

It’s a good film though – very entertaining. I was paranoid that I’d have to squint through a bunch of subtitles, but I was pleasantly surprised that it played out more like a silent film than a foreign film. There were a few snatches of French throughout, but nothing integral to the plot.

Although animated, this is definitely NOT a cartoon. The PG-13 rating is definitely warranted. Although nothing too graphically violent or sexual is shown, there a still little moments that are definitely not for kids. I really think that The Triplets of Belleville was out of place in the Oscar Category of Best Animated Film. Not that film wasn’t Oscar-worthy – it definitely was…it just doesn’t operate on the same level as Finding Nemo or Brother Bear. (How the fuck did Brother Bear get nominated? Were there absolutely no other animated films made in 2003?)

Notwithstanding the bizarre animation style and weird plot, the music was friggin’ amazing. A weird combination of what I guess is Cabaret and Jazz music, the songs are catchy, although not exactly radio friendly. I’ve ended up with ‘Belleville Rendezvous’ stuck in my head more than a few times during the past couple of weeks.

I would totally go hang out with the Triplets of Belleville – frog legs are totally yummy. They kinda taste like chicken, but with a musky aftertaste. I wish that Pappadeaux still served them… *sigh*

Lilo & Stitch

That blue thing is EVIL.

Pure, unadulterated evil. I went to see Episode II a couple of weeks ago, and as I was walking down the hallway of the lobby, I swear that little bastard tried to jump out of the poster and get me. All sweet and innocent as you walk by, but then just as you pass…HOLY SHIT…here come the claws!

At first look, it may seem as if Disney has gone off the deep end. Elvis, surfing, Hawaii and aliens – which one of these things is not like the other? But after you watch it, you realize that Disney is finally going back to it’s roots. Not only is Lilo & Stitch nothing like the last decade or so of Disney crap (the last Disney cartoon I saw in the theater was Aladdin!) – it’s actually an original story. I can’t remember the last time Disney animated an original story! (The Lion King, maybe – was it original? Don’t know, don’t care.) Also gone is most of the adult humor found in the last several Disney toons. I love Robin Williams’ genie just as much as the next guy, but Disney proved they can still captivate young and old alike without resorting to Woody Allen impressions.

Not only was the story original, but the animation was beautiful to boot. I couldn’t detect a kilobyte of computer animation – if it was there, it was well hidden. The watercolor backgrounds were unique, although they started to remind me of touristy hawaiian shirt by the end. I read somewhere that Dumbo was the last Disney film to use watercolor backgrounds…

Of course, I am NOT an Elvis fan, but I have to admit he’s growing on me. I am still not sure why Elvis was picked as Lilo’s favorite singer…but really, who else could it have been? No one wants to see a NSYNC alien. Now all I have to do is convince Russ to let me hire a midget Elvis impersonator for the wedding.

Last Friday, before seeing the movie on Monday, I got a Happy Meal…yes, just to get a Stitch toy…I was disappointed to get what appeared to be a Marcellus Wallace action figure. No shit. “I’m prepared to scour the the Earth for that motherfucker. If Stitch goes to Indochina, I want a nigger waiting in a bowl of rice ready to pop a cap in his ass.” Turns out it was ‘Cobra Bubbles’ – the child welfare guy…voiced by Ving Rhames…I could tell he wanted to get medeival on Stitch’s ass!

I should add an extra star to the rating for including one of the Kids in the Hall…but I promised that The Wizard of Oz would be the only five star film. I’ll let you guess which Kid it is.

For the record, that little blue thing is still evil. EVIL!