Category Archives: Movie Reviews

Movie Review – Mulan

Mulan

Starring the voice of Ming-Na Wen, B.D. Wong, Eddie Murphy, Miguel Ferrer and Pat Morita

Directed by Barry Cook and Tony Bancroft

This film was my annual birthday film. I see a movie every year on my birthday, and this year I picked Mulan. You’ve got to love the Disney animated film. They represent the idealization of society! Every woman is babe, every man is a hunk, and everyone has a goofy sidekick! You instantly know who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy. I mean, if I could live in any fantasy world I would pick Disney animated movies.

I will admit, I was a little worried when I first heard of the plot of Mulan. A woman who disguises herself as a man so she can join the army. Therefore, her ailing father won’t have to. How could this be a musical? Well, Disney pulls their usual charm, and it is indeed a musical. When we first meet Mulan, she’s getting ready to go meet the village matchmaker, and she soon discovers she wants much more to life than simply being a wife. When Shan-Yu and the Huns breach the great wall, the call goes out for one man from each family to join the army. Mulan has no brothers, so her ailing father joins, and so then she disguises herself as a man and takes off to join the army! In order to look out for Mulan, her ancestors send Mushu, a midget dragon who can be a full-blown guardian again if he brings Mulan home alive. Oh, and somewhere along the way Mulan falls in love with her captain, Shang.

That’s pretty much the plot. As with the ususal Disney animated film, the animation is beautiful! The songs, well, they aren’t as good as they could have been. Disney has had trouble doing a decent soundtrack since The Lion King. Mushu, however, with the voice of Eddie Murphy, is the funniest sidekick since the Genie in Aladdin. Every scene he’s in will have you laughing out loud. The best scene, however, is this skinny-dipping scene where Mulan tries to disguise her womanhood while swimming with three other soldiers! The only drawback to this film is the songs. Why can’t Disney have the courage to do a non-musical? But hey, I bought the soundtrack, so I should quit whining. It is Disney’s best animated film since Lion King.

3.5 Nibs

Movie Review – The Truman Show

The Truman Show

Directed by Peter Wier

Written by Argh! I can never remember, I’m going to quit doing this

Starring Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Ed Harris

A lot of people have been raving about this film, so naturally I had to go see it. Of course, we had all heard the doubts about weather Jim Carrey could do dramatic work or not. We were also fairly aware of the premise at this point: Jim plays Truman Burbank, a man who was legally adopted by a corporation, and raised inside a giant TV studio where his family and friends are nothing but actors, and he is the only real thing in his world. And of course, things begin to unravel.

I was really looking forward to this movie, and it delivered. Jim Carrey can do drama. Calling him the next Tom Hanks is a bit much, but Jim is good. I also really liked how this movie was set up. For the first half, it is as though we are actually watching The Truman Show. We see Truman and his made-up world the way Truman’s audience does. Then, when we are allowed behind the scenes, we get to meet Cristof (Ed Harris), the show’s creator and director. What I liked about Harris’ performance was, even though he was sick and twisted enough to do this to Truman, he really did care about Truman.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you the end the way my sister did. Let’s just say that Truman’s flight to freedom is one of the most inspirational movie scenes in a while. This is definitely a great movie, and I hope it will be remembered come Oscar time.

4 Nibs

Movie Review – Godzilla

Godzilla

Directed by Roland Emmerich

Written by Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, and 2 other guys who’s names escape me

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Hank Azaria, Maria Pittilo, and Godzilla

First of all, let me just say that I saw this after the backlash started about how much it sucks and that it has no plot. This “negative hype” made me want to see if it was really that bad. I had been waiting for this movie ever since I first heard that an American studio picked up the rights. I wet myself when I saw that first trailer in front of Men in Black. And, when I heard that the people who made Independence Day were making it, that just made me want to see it that much more. I loved ID4. So, needless to say, I was really looking forward to this movie.

It delivered. This is just the kind of movie I was expecting. This is the general plot: a giant, fire-breathing lizard created by French nuclear tests is sighted in the South Pacific. This thing, dubbed “Godzilla” by the American press, begins nesting in New York City. It’s about to give birth to a bunch of babies that threaten to overtake the planet. Our crack team of people to stop this thing consists of: Nick (Broderick), a biologist who specializes in radioactive mutations, Philippe(Reno), a French secret agent sent to stop the thing, and two intrepid reporters, Audrey and Animal (Pitillo and Azaria), covering the story. But, the real star is Godzilla.

He trashes New York like nobody’s business. The scene where Apache helicopters are chasing him through the streets of New York is a visual effects masterpiece. And, when the babies hatch and start chasing our heros through Madison Square Garden; it’s just beautiful. There are homages to Jurassic Park of course, the babies are very raptor-ish, but this film rocks. This is just what to expect from summer entertainment. Good, mindless fun that gets you out of the sun. Despite what the press says, I loved it.

4 Nibs

Movie Review – Deep Impact

Deep Impact

Directed by Mimi Leder

Written by a group of people who I can’t remember (my apologies)!

Starring Tea Leoni, Elijia Wood, Robert Duvall, and Morgan Freeman

I was always kind of ho-hum about this movie. I wasn’t too eager to see it, but then, I didn’t object to seeing it. So, when visiting my grandparents in Red Deer and getting kind of bored, I wasn’t too objectionable when my sister said “Let’s go see it!” So, I went and saw it.

This is generally how the plot goes. A comet is sighted heading towards earth, threatening to wipe out all life as we know it. There are 3 stories: the personal struggles of Tea Leoni, the reporter who revealed the comet to the world; the personal struggles of Elijia Wood, the boy genius who discovered the comet, and the personal struggles of Robert Duvall, the head astronaut leading the mission to try and stop the comet. Morgan Freeman is the President of the USA, in charge of everything. And I emphasize personal struggles. This is not a sci-fi/action fest like I was hoping for. This was very much a drama. And not a very good drama.

I’m not sure how to describe it. Just watching the characters on screen going through their personal struggles, I felt as though something were missing. We know these are all good actors. But, something just wasn’t there. It rang hollow, so to speak. Someone described it as “a warmed over TV movie,” and that’s about how I feel about it. But, when the comet hits (yes, it does hit, sorry if I spoiled the end), there are fabulous special effects. When the mission to stop the comet actually lands on the comet, it’s just spectacular. All in all, it was good, but it could have been great.

3 Nibs (I really liked the special effects)