Red Riding Hood, Not so Little Anymore

3.5 stars out of 5 (above average)

Hoodwinked Poster
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Note: I was completely wrong about this film.  Hoodwinked is a film that was made to try and cash in on the “animated films with attitude” craze that was occurring in the early 2000’s.  This craze began with Antz in 1998, and continued until 2010 or so.  Currently, I would give this film a 1.5 (terrible).  That being said, please enjoy my review of the film from 2006 below.

Hoodwinked is Little Red Riding Hood with some new characters that add new excitement to the story. I especially liked that it used other fairy tale characters such as the Three Little Pigs, Fuzzy Wuzzy, and Peter Cottontail remade as Boingo the Bunny. Granny also has a whole new bag, and it’s not filled with goodies-it’s filled with extremes!

This movie starts at the end when Red (Ann Hathaway of The Princess Diaries 1 and 2) is going to visit Granny (Glenn Close of the 101 Dalmatians movies) but finds the wolf (Patrick Warburton from The Emperors New Groove) in a granny costume. Then Granny comes out of the closet bound and gagged seconds before the woodsman comes crashing through the window yelling “Ahhhhhhhh!” and carrying an axe. During the confusion someone steals Granny’s famous treat recipe and the rest of the movie is about Nicky Flippers (a smooth detective played by David Ogden Stiers) and Chief Grizzly (gruffly played by Xzibit) trying to find out just who the thief is. They interview all 4 of the suspects and with each story it all starts to slide together like pieces of a puzzle.

Compared to Shrek, this is a different format but it gives the same kind of feeling. They might have been trying to imitate Shrek but it was better because it had a little bit better music, it was a little bit funnier, and I liked the bad guy better, but I won’t say who it was! (My mom didn’t agree with me on this-she liked Shrek better because of Donkey.)

They could have improved it by deleting the stupid singing goat, but other than that it was pretty good. I give this 3 1/2 stars. It is rated PG for some mild action and thematic elements.

The “King” of all Movies!

5 out of 5 stars (One of the best movies I’ve ever seen, period)

Note: This is one of my absolute favorite movies.  The acting is great, the script is able to effortlessly blend action, spectacle, romance, emotion, and humor, and it gives the entire cast some of their best work to date (including the controversially cast funnyman Jack Black, who proves his dramatic abilities here.)  If you like epics, see this film.  It runs a full 3 hours, but it is worth the length.  Please enjoy my review below.

Move over Lion King, there’s a new ape in town!

This is no Mighty Joe Young. This is more incredible than The Incredibles. More swinging than Spider-Man. More gigantic than George of the Jungle! More terrific than Tarzan! It’s the one, the only, KING KONG!!!

Carl (Jack Black) is a movie producer with a wild mind for films. When he hears the CEO is planning to fire him, he slips away to a ship that will take him to the destination of his next film, Skull Island. Everything’s going the way it’s supposed to be. Carl has got a crew, a beautiful female (Naomi Watts), a writer (Adrien Brody) and an actor to do the stunts (Kyle Chandler). No problem, right? Wrong. Once they get on the island, the native people who live there don’t take too kindly to the crew. They attack the crew members and later steal Ann, Jack’s female, to offer as a sacrifice to Kong.

Once Carl and the crew go into the jungle to search for Ann, they battle dinosaurs, giant snails, and huge cockroaches. Kong is busy saving Ann from three dinosaurs and ripping one’s jaw open, which I found very sick. They finally rescue Ann, find Kong, and chloroform him by throwing a bottle of the stuff into his eye. They then put him on a ship and take him to New York.

Then it’s a love story between female and ape. King Kong is such a hero he saves Ann three times. In one scene in New York, Kong is playing with Ann on the ice in Central Park. Basically he is ice skating on his behumpus. My mom thought it was romantic when they were playing on the ice, but I liked it when the ice exploded as the military shot a gun at Kong. From my perspective, violence rocks but romance makes me want to barf.

This movie has the kind of violence you see in Jurassic Park but it’s funny in some ways, too. When Carl offers a native child some chocolate he violently grabs Carl’s arm and bites him. I had to hide behind my mom’s scarf when the natives were offering Ann to Kong, because if you see the natives you’ll get nightmares for the rest of your life (or maybe a week). Cover up!

I think it stunk that they made King Kong into a show animal. He seemed human, just like your regular everyday Robert De Niro. I’m not sure who Robert De Niro is, but Kong looked like the kind of guy who should be named Robert De Niro.

Will Kong ever escape New York City? Will Ann marry Kong? Will Kong return to his island home?

I gave this movie five stars because it was so good my mom didn’t even want to leave her seat to go to the bathroom. Hint: Don’t drink a giganto sprite.

Rated PG-13 for frightening adventure violence and some disturbing images.

Roar, swish, aaahhhhh!

3 out of 5 stars (average)

The Chronicles of Narnia is magical.

After their mother sends them away to be safe from the war that’s happening in their country, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy find themselves being taken to live with Mrs. MacReady. She has a personality like poisoned honey. Soon after they get in the house they try to make their new home fun by playing a game of hide and seek. Lucy can’t seem to find a good hiding place til she goes in a room with a mysterious wardrobe. She goes into the wardrobe and finds herself in Narnia, a magical place that is as white as snow!

Once in Narnia she meets Mr. Tumnus, one of the local creatures, who informs her that all children are supposed to be turned into the White Witch. He hides her instead of taking her in, and explains the situation to her. Anyone who stands up to the White Witch gets turned into a statue. The White Witch may sound good but here she’s the bad guy! (The lion, Prince Aslan, is the good guy. When he comes to Narnia it turns into spring again.)

Mr. Tumnus takes her back to the entrance of the wardrobe and Lucy tries to explain what just happened to her brothers and sisters, but the others do not believe her. Later Edmund goes into the wardrobe after Lucy and looks for her. Instead of finding Lucy he meets the White Witch and she is really nice to him. Edmund finds out she’s evil after the others go into the wardrobe and he wanders off into her castle.

I’m not going to tell you what the castle looks like because I want you to see it for yourself. I will tell you that this movie is really good because it takes fairy tales and action and puts them together. It was a longgggg movie, but the characters are enjoyable. It is rated PG for pretty darn good. It was even a little bit bet

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ter than Harry Potter.

Yours, Mine, and Ours: a Houseful of Fun

3 out of 5 stars (Average)

yours_mine_and_ours_2005_2046_posterch1This is one of my earlier reviews.  My opinion on this has changed from a 3 out of 5 (average) to a 2.5 (decent).  I would still recommend it for those who want a family comedy with humor for all ages.

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe … she had 10 kids and not a clue what to do. Well, actually, in the new movie “Yours, Mine, and Ours,” she (Rene Russo playing Helen) was young and beautiful and perfectly happy with her colorful, artsy life. Then she met a military man (Dennis Quaid playing Frank) she used to date in high school and after that it was love at “second” sight! He has 8 kids of his own!

Then Helen and Frank decide to get married. They move into a lighthouse that needs a light. And it needs to be rebuilt. The kids aren’t happy because their parents are very different. Frank’s kids are military material and Helen’s kids are messy-messy free-free. Frank starts giving the kids bathroom schedules and other rules that are new to Helen’s kids because they’ve never known what it is like to be in the military. At one hilarious part, one of Helen’s kids pulls the fire alarm to get all of Frank’s kids out of the bathrooms!

One night the kids decide to try to break their parents up by playing tricks on them. They squirt toothpaste all over Frank’s sink and organize Helen’s studio and make it colorless, and then finally they throw a big party to finish them off while Frank and Helen are away at a military party. Their plan to split their parents up works, and Frank decides to take a job as the commandant of the entire Coast Guard. There’s just one hitch — he has to leave the family and do his job in other places.

What I really liked about this movie is that it is full of laughs like when they paint the family pig blue. I didn’t like the fact they want to split their parents up! Kids of all ages will like this movie because it has a little of everything — music, comedy, and romance. Rated PG for mild crude humor. I rate it PG for “Parenting Greatness.”

Voldemort’s Back!

3.5 out of 5 stars (above average)

He saved the Sorcerer’s Stone, he ventured into the chamber of secrets, and he rescued the Prisoner of Azkaban. Now, he’s back again and this time he has to deal with the Tri-Wizard tournament, his first crush, and Lord Voldemort!

Harry Potter returns in the fourth movie in the series. After having a dream that Voldemort is back in power, Harry Potter’s scar hurts and he gets a little worried. Soon after, he and the Weasely’s go to the Quidditch World Cup where wizards from all around the world compete in a special Quidditch game. After the game, Harry’s suspicions are further confirmed when Death Eaters show up on the grounds and the “Dark Mark” is seen in the sky.

Once back at school, Professor Dumbledore announces that Hogwart’s students will compete in a legendary event called the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Only not just Hogwarts students compete, there are two other wizard schools as well. One kid from each of the three schools gets to compete in the tournament and face three mind boggling challenges. The way a student can enter the tournament is by writing his or her name on piece of parchment and putting it in the goblet of fire. You must be 17 to compete. Somehow Harry’s name comes out of the goblet as the second competitor from Hogwarts! Everyone is confused and Harry is curious as to who put his name in the Goblet.

Will Harry find out who put his name in the goblet? Will Voldemort show as himself? Will Harry win the tournament? Find out in this film that is so magic, it will make you soar to all new places!

Rated PG-13 for Sequences of Fantasy Violence and Frightening Images

Zingling Zorgons, it’s “Zathura”!

3 out of 5 stars (average)

note: This film was a mainstay of my childhood.  I enjoyed the action, yet couldn’t stand the consistent arguing of the two main characters.  I got over it as I got older, as well as realized that their arguing was important to the movie.  Also, the film stars Josh Hutcherson And Kristen Stewart before they were household names, so that’s a bonus.  Please enjoy my review below.

From the world of Jumanji comes a new space adventure.

A young boy named Walter and his brother Danny live with their father (Tim Robbins) because their parents are divorced. The problem is that Walter (Josh Hutcherson) and Danny (Jonah Bobo) are two brothers who fight all the time. They are never nice to each other. One day, when Danny asks his brother to play ball with him, he accidentally hits him in the ear. His brother gets mad and chases him through out the house. He finds Danny hiding in the dumbwaiter and lowers him down to the dark, scary basement.

Down in the basement he finds the board game Zathura. Danny comes back into the house and asks Walter to play with him. Walter says “no” because he thinks Danny will cheat. Danny starts the game by pushing the go button, not knowing that a card will pop out and say “Meteor Shower.” The next thing they know, a real meteor falls from the sky and breaks the card. Then more meteors fall into the living room but no where else.

Next, they look out the window and see they are in space. They find they have to keep on going on, until the end, to get home. So they wake their sister up (Kristen Stewart) and she thinks it is night time and she is late for her date. She goes to the bathroom and gets ready, so they keep on playing. The next card they get is the “Frozen” card. Their sister gets in a trance and is frozen for five turns!

After the frozen card the “Your Robot is Defective” card pops out. Then they get a card and it says “You are visited by Zorgons.” A big space ship comes up and shoots big bullets at the house. Somehow the Zorgons go away.

Then its Danny’s turn and he gets a card that says “Rescue Stranded Astronaut.” What d’ya know, a real live astronaut (Dax Shepard) comes to their door and says, “You have a real Zorgon problem.”

Will Walter and Danny ever get home? Will they ever learn to like each other? Find out in this film that is so amazing you won’t want to leave the theater until it’s over!

I liked this movie because it was full of adventure, romance, and mystery. (I’m adding in the romance for the teens that may see it). I took my teenage babysitter and she liked it. She said it reminded her of Jumanji.) Some parts were slow, but some parts were funny. It is rated PG for fantasy action, peril, and some language.