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!

The Parent Trap (1961)

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I normally don’t watch BYUTV, but when they’re playing The Parent Trap, then why not? I didn’t intend to drag the whole family into it, I was just trying to be annoying…but they all got sucked into it.

These children of mine were so confused at first. It’s like they’ve never had to sit and listen to dialogue in a film to figure out what’s going on.

My mom was in love with Hayley Mills and had us watch all the movies, but she especially loved Pollyanna and The Parent Trap. She even cut her hair like Hayley – that weird, split down the middle mullet. She called it…’The Rutabaga.’ I feel like she had to force us to watch it, but my kids jumped in with gusto. The girl was watching TV in the other room and just wandered in…and she stayed! She actually chose THIS instead of her current Disney Channel shows.

I absolutely do not remember all the music being by Annette Funicello…but really, who else could it be? She was like the 1960s Selena Gomez. I also didn’t remember all the spousal abuse. She punched him in the fucking eye!

Ultimately, the kids liked the movie, but they said it was “so weird.” If they think this one is weird, I need to get them into the really hard stuff…Old Yeller, Pollyana, The Shaggy DA – all that shit. It will blow their minds…

On a sidenote, the commercials on BYUTV are super weird. They’re all for other weird shows I’ve never heard of. I guess Mormons have special shows? One was for a prank show…they were hiding in high school trash cans. Huh?

Tooth Fairy

As a parent, I must do unpleasant things from time to time…wipe snotty noses and dirty asses, clean up puke, remove pieces of French Toast from my daughter’s nose…and watch Disney movies.

As nice as The Rock is to look at, it wasn’t enough to distract me from the ridiculous message of this film. The Tooth Fairy servitude plot was secondary to the overarching suggestion that adults should tell children that they’re AWESOME constantly or their little lives will be meaningless and full of despair. What kind of fucked up bullshit is that? I am all about encouraging children towards greatness, but at what point does it become harmful? We AREN’T all beautiful unique snowflakes – shielding children from all disappointment may well turn them into little Lohans and van der Sloots. Excessive examples to be sure, but true examples of individuals that have inflated self worth due to never having been told “NO.” Or maybe I am a horrible person…could be either one.

I’m gonna be fucked when my kids start losing teeth…The Rock was giving those little shits wads of cash! Fuck you very much, Disney!

Billy Crystal was like a consolation prize, after suffering through Ashley Judd and her whiny crotchfruit. Stephen Merchant couldn’t take the pain away either.

Is it bad that I got aroused when The Rock was dressed in the pink Tooth Fairy dress? I am a BAD, horrible person, for sure…

 

Enchanted

If I was 5 or 6 years old, Enchanted would have been one of my favorite movies, right up there with The Wizard of Oz and Annie.

It shocks you, doesn’t it? It shocks me, for fuck’s sake. I conscientiously try to avoid letting my kids watch the Disney Channel…more for my sanity, than for any real objection to the shows, notwithstanding Hannah Montana, of course. (I actually kind of like The Imagination Movers…they’re cute in a dorky, High School Band kinda way.) I complain about Disney – especially the Disney Princesses Marketing Machine – ALL THE TIME. For the most part…excluding PIXAR of course…Disney is synonymous with stupid princesses, slutty teenagers in need of rehab and sucking the money out of parents’ wallets. Even so, I kinda liked Enchanted, sappy happy ending and all.

Amy Adams is adorable as Princess Gisele and Patrick Dempsey (I don’t call him McDreamy…I call him RONALD) made a pretty good knight in shining armor. My hate for Cyclops is well documented, but I’ve got to admit that he made a good Disney prince. Susan Sarandon was great, too…but I’ve got one burning question. Can someone tell my why everyone BUT Idina Menzel sang in this film?

So yeah…I can admit when I’ve been beat. I actually liked a Disney/chick flick/family film. I owe someone somewhere some money.

   

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Oh Disney…I should have known better…

Drew Barrymore’s annoying lisp stars as Chloe, a spoiled chihuahua living in Beverly Hills. The standard Disney plot calls for Chloe to get lost in a foreign country (Mexico), make friends with a local that’s totally opposite (a German Shepard named Delgado, voiced by Andy Garcia), while her family (a spoiled caretaker, a hunky landscaper and his lovestruck Chihuahua Papi, voiced by George Lopez) looks for her, all while being chased by a bad guy (a Doberman Pinscher, Diablo, voiced by Edward James Olmos.) From beginning to end, this film was entirely predictable…if you are a 33 year old adult woman. If you are a four year old, it’s complete celluloid excitement – anything could happen! Then again, if you’re one year old, the film is entrancing for about five minutes, then it’s back to trying to turn the TV and set top box off. Beverly Hills Chihuahua appeals to a very narrow demographic.

The best characters in the film were the packrat (Cheech Marin) and the iguana (Paul Rodriguez). At first, I thought that Tommy Chong was doing the iguana, but then I remembered that he’s not a Mexican. Disney rounded up pretty much every Mexican comic they could find…except Carlos Mencia of course. The rumors must be true…he isn’t a Mexican! Or a comic…since he’s known for stealing jokes from George Lopez…

CGI takes some of the fun out of animal adventure films. I fondly remember a silly evening back in college, adding our own narration to Milo & Otis. Sure, we were fucked out of our minds…my point is that making animals talk in films makes it harder to have fun with…of course, maybe that’s why man invented the MUTE button?

I was all ready to blame my kids and claim they forced me to watch Beverly Hills Chihuahua…but that would be a total lie. I DVRed it for me, in hopes that it would be bad enough to make a really good review. Unfortunately, it was absolutely mediocre, which accounts for this absolutely mediocre review.

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 Love Bug

Bruce Campbell + old Disney movie from the 60s = what the fuck?

I can’t think of a lot to say – good or bad – about Bruce’s follow-up to the Love Bug series. It was a formulaic, “25 years later” type of sequel that Disney is so fond of. Fate brings Bruce and Herbie together and of course, Bruce is the last one to believe that maybe Herbie has more than a little personality. My biggest complaint was the complete and utter lack of chemistry between Bruce and his love interest, Alexandra Wentworth. You know who would have been GREAT in that role? Parker Posey. Disney should have gone indie all the way and gotten some fireworks going.

If Herbie the car is inhabited by the soul of the carmaker’s dead wife – why did he name her “Herbie”?

So, if Herbie is supposedly ‘the love bug” – does that mean that when couples start smooching while inside of Herbie, that Herbie is actually there, like a voyeur – watching them? When you think about it, the couple is actually sitting on Herbie’s lap…okay, I am stopping this train at the station, because it’s about to derail into a really disgusting pile of group car sex.

I can’t blame Bruce for taking a paycheck from Disney – over the years, many fine actors have sold their souls to the mouse. What’s one little made-for-TV Movie on his resume?

I don’t exactly feel like I wasted my Sunday morning watching this – at least I didn’t sit through the Lindsay Lohan version.

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!