APOLLO 10 1/2: A SPACE AGE CHILDHOOD (2022)

Written & Directed By: Richard Linklater Cinematography: Shane F. Kelly

Editor: Sandra Adair

Cast: Jack Black, Zachary Levi, Glenn Powell, Bill Sage, Milo Coy, Lee Eddy, Josh Wiggins, Natalie L’Amoreaux 

The story of the first moon landing in the summer of 1969 from two interwoven perspectives. It both captures the astronaut and mission control view of the triumphant moment, and the lesser-seen bottom up perspective of what it was like from an excited kid’s perspective, living near NASA but mostly watching it on TV like hundreds of millions of others. It’s ultimately both an exacting re-creation of this special moment in history and a kid’s fantasy about being plucked from his average life in suburbia to secretly train for a covert mission to the moon.


This film feels more like a loving living memory. That is more an autobiographical look back at childhood in 1969. Nothing about the culture, times, and family life of those times.

As obviously this is a project close to writer/director Richard Linklater’s heart. Where the side plot of a kid experiencing space exploration is to give the film more of a center and a kind of big plot to attract audiences.

That eventually makes good on the promise of that story but is treated more as an afterthought. As not only is it more wish fantasy but also is kind of a metaphor for the last days of innocence before getting older and into not only adulthood but young adulthood where responsibilities pile up and things become more concrete. Though it is handled here as just another episode as part of the character’s youth. 

The film uses rotoscoping animation, a technique the director has used before in previous films WAKING LIFE, and his adaptation of A SCANNER DARKLY. Here it is used more personally which gives the film and its characters a more vibrant life and flexibility that might have been harder to create in live-action. Plus it allows for that time to seem more like an otherworldly fantasy. 

Though its use here is not as outlandish and surreal as his previous projects with it. 

The film is impressive but never quite exciting even though it isn’t designed to be. It more feels like the Billy Joel song WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE. With it being a pop song to groove to but also made up of so many historical references you want to look up the ones you don’t know. So in effect a kind of lesson of sorts also of all that has happened since then. A nice memorial to those times.

Grade: B

ANTZ (1998)

Directed By: Eric Darnell & Tim Johnson 
Written By: Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz & Todd Alcott 
Editor: Stan Webb

Cast: (voices) Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Sylvester Stallone, Jennifer Lopez, Christopher Walken, Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtain, Anne Bancroft, Danny Glover, John Mahoney, Paul Mazursky, Grant Shaud, Jim Cummings 

Z, the worker-ant strives to reconcile his own individuality with the communal work ethic of the ant colony. Falling in love with the ant-Princess Bala, Z strives to make social inroads, and then ultimately must save the ant colony from the treacherous schemings of the evil General Mandible that threaten to wipe out the entire worker population. Themes of individuality run rampant.


This was one of the first animated films to really have an all-star cast of voices and really put the film out like a blockbuster with real stars. It is a hit most studios thought that that formula would work. It worked for a short period of time until the audience realized the story matters too. 

While the ensemble all-star cast is here some are odd casting choices that reek of Stunt casting at times and are More like picking actors who would never co-star together regularly.

One of the reasons now anytime an animated film comes out that it is successful for the most part is more than it seems as there are no purely live-action kids films. Animated is usually the only form of children’s entertainment that is coming out unless you count fantasy films though those are aimed at the whole family.

Woody Allen perfectly cast this as his comedy film with broad humor and from an outsider viewpoint amongst his peers, again an unbelievably gorgeous female lead he gets to romance. Though essentially it also feels like a Woody Allen Movie. Only with more action and outside of New York and of course for a younger audience. 

This film came out against the similarly themed A BUGS LIFE life from Pixar.  which I will admit is more impressive visually, but I find this film to be more all-around enjoyable. This is more pedestrian and not as impressive in the animation. This is kind of basic. Not made to be so special. Full of more enjoyment.

A BUG’S LIFE seemed to think visuals first story second believing the audience to be so enraptured by the animation they won’t care about the other details as much. The same type of thinking that reminds me of the film AVATAR

Grade: C+

ANTZ (1998)

Directed By: Eric Darnell & Tim Johnson Written By: Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz & Todd Alcott

Editor: Stan Webb

Cast: (voices) Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Sylvester Stallone, Jennifer Lopez, Christopher Walken, Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtain, Anne Bancroft, Danny Glover, John Mahoney, Paul Mazursky, Grant Shaud, Jim Cummings 

Z, the worker-ant strives to reconcile his own individuality with the communal work ethic of the ant colony. Falling in love with the ant-Princess Bala, Z strives to make social inroads, and then ultimately must save the ant colony from the treacherous schemings of the evil General Mandible that threaten to wipe out the entire worker population. Themes of individuality run rampant.


This was one of the first animated films to really have an all-star cast of voices and really put the film out like a blockbuster with real stars. It is a hit most studios thought that that formula would work. It worked for a short period of time until the audience realized the story matters too. 

While the ensemble all-star cast is here some are odd casting choices that reek of Stunt casting at times and are More like picking actors who would never co-star together regularly.

One of the reasons now anytime an animated film comes out that it is successful for the most part is more than it seems as there are no purely live-action kids films. Animated is usually the only form of children’s entertainment that is coming out unless you count fantasy films though those are aimed at the whole family.

Woody Allen perfectly cast this as his comedy film with broad humor and from an outsider viewpoint amongst his peers, again an unbelievably gorgeous female lead he gets to romance. Though essentially it also feels like a Woody Allen Movie. Only with more action and outside of New York and of course for a younger audience. 

This film came out against the similarly themed A BUGS LIFE life from Pixar.  which I will admit is more impressive visually, but I find this film to be more all-around enjoyable. This is more pedestrian and not as impressive in the animation. This is kind of basic. Not made to be so special. Full of more enjoyment.

A BUG’S LIFE seemed to think visuals first story second believing the audience to be so enraptured by the animation they won’t care about the other details as much. The same type of thinking that reminds me of the film AVATAR

Grade: C+

NIGHTBOOKS (2021)


Directed By: David Yarovesky 
Written By: Mikki Daughtry & Thomas Iaconis 
Based on the Book by: J.A. White 
Cinematography: Robert McLachlan 
Editor: Peter Gvozdas

Cast: Krysten Ritter, Winslow Fegley, Lydia Jewett 

A young boy named Alex becomes the prisoner of a witch to avoid certain death, he convinces her to let him tell her a scary story every night. Upon meeting the witch’s servant, Yazmin, the two must use their wits to escape her apartment, a magical labyrinth filled with various dangers, before the witch kills them both.


This film feels more like what the GOOSEBUMPS MOVIE franchise should have been. Less goofy with more terror and real-world stakes. So that there feels like there is something truly troubling Constantly and a kind of emotional connection with the audience. Where you actually care about the characters.

A true fantasy film to capture the imagination that can be deadly but also fun and enchanting. 

This film revolves around only a few of them, but it also showcases the power of imagination and through action encourages reading and books. Without really having to spell it out too much.

This film is clearly made for a younger audience but parents and adults could easily appreciate the film. As it does have those moments of danger from the kind of kids in peril movies of the 1980s where parents or guardians are largely absent. 

Krysten Ritter is perfectly cast and shows she is having fun In her role. As she is always engaging and still avid tongued at times literally. Even if one question you might ask is why the platform shoes always.

The film offers animation when stores are being told and sections of the film are always brightly colored. Especially the lad and gardening sections. 

It’s a film that appreciates horror and scary stories. A perfect film for kids around Halloween. As it rises the lie. Between horror and scary for kids. It might be the perfect starter film for them and get them interested more in these types of stories.

Grade: B-

MY GIRL 2 (1994)

Directed By: Howard Zieff 
Written By: Janet Kovalcik 
Based On Characters created by: Laurice Ehlewany 
Cinematography By: Paul Elliott 
Editor: Wendy Greene Bricmont 

Cast: Anna Chlumsky, Austin O’Brein, Richard Mausr, Christine Ebsrsole, Dan Ayckroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis, Gerrit Graham, Ben Stein, Keone Young, Devon Gummersall


Vada Sultenfuss has a holiday coming up, and an assignment: to do an essay on someone she admires and has never met. She decides she wants to do an assignment on her mother, but quickly realizes she knows very little about her. She manages to get her father to agree to let her go to LA to stay with her Uncle Phil and do some research on her mother. Once in LA, she finds herself under the protection of Nick, the son of Phil’s girlfriend, who at first is very annoyed at losing his holidays to escort a hick *girl* around town. However, he soon becomes more involved in the difficult search.


This film is just as warm and charming as the first film. Though weaker overall in feel and subject matter

This is the last film that Howard Zieff directed, because he became increasingly debilitated by Parkinson’s disease. Carrie Fisher was also an uncredited script doctor on this film

It’s character from the first film we feel a connection with and want to see what is happening in their lives, but the movie offers less of a reason. So that it feels more like we are dropping by while something is developing . Which might have. Even the movies aim, it just never feels as compelling and things seem to happen more in a leisurely pace.

Which makes it seem like a film that adults might appreciate more then kids. Unless they are just connected to the characters from seeing the first film.

It goes more into the hippie lifestyle that she is around as well as delving more into a friendship than romance

The thing that is missing is that in the first film it was a coming of age story and we were introduced to her making her way through the world and seeing how her family worked while this outsider came in. As well as including a tragedy that you knew was coming

Though this film feels less needed than that film As it feels more like an unnecessary continuation of a story and characters where we leave half of the character from the original who appear more in a cameo. Which also loses some of the charm. As it’s nice to see them but we don’t get to see as much of them as we would Like.

And now she is dealing more with her uncle form the first film who here has a bigger part and we get to see him more humanized in his relationship with her and a romantic one. So we are dealing with the original character in a whole new landscape which seems smart, but isn’t as precious as the character is older and a lot more knowledgeable. It stays clean but she isn’t as naive.

Here the character is doing research more into her deceased mother which is what take up most of the films actions and time. She is also in a strange location for her. So she is exploring new territory. While being around the counter culture she still manages to stay innocent.

Strangely though older she is less boy crazy and fascinated by relationships. Which seems to be why by the end she finds herself in a minor one. Though still not really having any female friends. Which the film starts with her having but losing them to jealousy.

Anna Chlumsky has always been an earnest actress her performances have always felt truthful and soulful full of confidence. She is charming and is energetic in her performance. That feels adventurous and guides each performance she has. Though at least throughout she stay confident. Which leaves a good message and role model for little girls watching it and seeing themselves In the character. Luckily over the years she has come back as a major actress in adulthood and been Emmy nominated quite a few times on the award winning television show VEEP

Maybe it is that I grew up watching and dealing with the first film emotionally so that when the sequel was finally announced. –I looked forward to it and built it up on my head so that when i finally saw it I couldn’t help but find it disappointing. More as me and other might have grown out of it. As it came too little too late.

Now this is not a bad movie at all. If anything it feels heartwarming

Though it works as a continuation of a character like in the films MY AMERICAN COUSIN to AMERICAN BOYFRIENDS, also THE YEAR MY VOICE BROKE to FLIRTING, only skewing younger. Though offers motivation and moving into more adult themes for the characters here it maintains an innocence for everyone

The supporting characters are fun if not too memorable. The investigation is not that interesting or encompassing they seem only there to keep the story moving and the characters moving allowing for some developments.

Not too much of a side story by introducing another suitor for the uncle’s girlfriend.

This was a sequel that I was looking Forward to even though I was old enough to be skeptical and think how were they going to be able to equal the power (at least for me) of the original. As one Wanted to see the further adventures of Vada. 

Which is exactly what this film does. She is a little older abd the film transports her out of her hometown into sprawling San Francisco. Bigger city for bigger adventures. As this film comes off more as episodic.

The seed are planeted early in the film. When her friend who we last saw her playing. With st the end of the original. Is jealous and ditches her for a boy who seems to constantly be flirting by with vada and vada In turn has no interest in nor picks up on it. 

So as she searches for stories about her mother. The movie revolves around relationships. Her uncle and his girlfriends. Her and the girlfriends son who accompanies her everywhere In her fact finding mission and even her relationship with her mother and accepting her stepmother and her soon to be born Sibling.

That is what most films are about relationships. This one offers a bit of romance between her and the girlfriends son but other then a kids that is as deep as it gets.

One of the charms of the original so is that it came out of nowhere and had a more natural sense of character as well as generally good innocent humor for the most part. So that it felt like a gem out of nowhere that was also felt classical in A small town novel way. It felt comfortable.

Where as this film feels like most of the film it is stretching and feels way too planned out. It feels more designed then coming off natural and it kind of spoils it.

The film Still has some off the wall charm but not enough to make this film feel like it is worth the effort.

Though then Again I might be wrong as I was younger when the first film Came out and more cynical when the sequel came out and might have believed I was above it all. Kids might actually like it. So might those who took the first film to heart. Even though I did and still found myself disliking the sequels

Grade: C

JACK (1996)

Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola
Written by: James DeMonaco & Gary Nadeau
Cinematography: John Toll
Editor: Barry Malkin

Cast: Robin Williams, Diane Lane, Jennifer Lopez, Brain Kerwin, Bill Cosby, Fran Drescher, Adam Zolotin, Todd Bosley, Jurnee Smollett,  Michael Mckean, Don Novello, Keone Young, Seth Smith, Mario Yedidia, Jer Adrianne Lelliott

Because of an unusual disorder that has aged him four times faster than a typical human being, a boy looks like a 40-year-old man as he starts fifth grade at public school after being homeschooled.


This is a feel-good movie that feels at times too artificial.

A kids movie, more from an adult’s point of view that families will enjoy. That tries to capture the winsomeness of youth but reeks of sentimentality and a kind of contempt with an over the top earnestness. That works for the audience but feels pointed and over intellectual at times just to try to explain things in a plausible way. While taking itself too seriously.

It attempts to be a feel-good film so much that it feels like a cop-out or set up to watch Robin Williams be wacky with kids while supposedly being a kid. Letting him loose to be wild and showcase his improv talent while still playing a character convincingly.

If you are a fan or completist of his works then this film is great. As I can admit a favorable bias when it comes to Robin Williams performances. This feels almost like the greatest hits collection. As it shows his range fully in character. As this is a role seemingly written for him. So it is perfect casting with him is the lead being unpredictable and always having a certain playfulness. Though as you watch you get a sense that he is better than the material. Even as the movie is more or less built around him. 

While Francis Ford Coppola tries to make the material and the film more enriched then it is or deserved to be. As to not embarrass himself. Plus gives him the chance to work with Robin Williams. Though the film Still feels disappointing as he tries to bring tone and atmosphere to the material. Just as he did in his previous for hire film THE RAINMAKER.

The film tries to show the joy of youth and ends up coming off more obvious than anything. While some comedic scenes seem misplaced even though they are supposed to be in a kind of reality seem silly more than anything.

Child actor Todd Bodley does his similar oddball schtick he did in the movie LITTLE GIANTS. Though he used his talents better in the kids film LLOYD then here.

Bill Cosby plays a supporting role as a child psychiatrist that feels more like a special guest star and is filmed in a warm loving way. That set the time for his reputation more. That watching the film now is almost sad and scary knowing what we know and scars the movie a bit. In which his performance and character are some of the better things in it.

The film is an interesting contrast of the two comedians working together though mostly in dramatic scenes.

As towards the end the film takes a more dramatic and sad turn, but it also ends up being a life-affirming film for the whole family. As even in It’s More adult scenes it comes off as silly and innocent 

The film in the end is definitely a crowd-pleaser. That you can’t help but smile and giggle at least once or twice.

Grade: C

DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD (2019)

 Directed By: James Bobin
Written By: Nicholas Stoller & Matthew Robinson
Story by: Tom Wheeler & Nicholas Stoller
Based on the television series “DORA THE EXPLORER” Created by:  Valerie Walsh, Chris Gifford & Eric Weiner
Cinematography: Javier Aguirresarobe
Editor: Mark Everson

Cast: Isabelle Moner, Eva Longoria, Michael Pena, Adriana Barraza, Eugenio Derbez, Benicio Del Toro (voice), Danny Trejo (voice), Temuera Morrison, Q’orianka Kilcher, Madeline Madden, Nicholas Coombe, Jeff Wahlberg, 

Having spent most of her life exploring the jungle with her parents, nothing could prepare Dora for her most dangerous adventure ever: high school. Always the explorer, Dora quickly finds herself leading Boots, Diego, a mysterious jungle inhabitant, and a ragtag group of teens on a live-action adventure to save her parents and solve the impossible mystery behind a lost Inca civilization.


This movie is for those who grew up on Dora and are now teenagers. So they make it the same way and to explain her kind of arrested development of sorts. It is explained that she has been growing up in the jungle. So regular civilization and especially high school and its rules and culture are foreign to her. 

This film comes across as cute mroe than anything else. As it offers plenty of danger but also plenty of fun and entertainment.

You know what type of movie you are going to get from the get-go. As this is a film more made for pre-teens that is the kid. If adventure films that have been missing for that audience that offer kids being heroes and while under adult supervision end up being mroe the wise ones.

This is like a modern-day Amblin film. Where there is the threat of danger even though you know there isn’t probably going to be any even for the fates of villains. 

Also, credit must be given to a film that has a psychedelic sequence that is animated. Where the kids trip out from mushrooms and a scene where two scorpions mate on someone’s head.  

What really puts the film in a high is having Benicio Del Toro steak the film With him voicing the character of Swiper the Fox. And Eugenio Debrez provides plenty of comedic Relief as the inept explorer helping Dora and her crew.

While the film has many callbacks to the original animated show that come off as Jokes most of the time. This is a nice wholesome and fun family film. That has little to no cynicism and is rather simple. 

Though would expect nothing less from Director James Bobin director of many modern muppet movies and shows. 

Grade: C+

BIG BULLY (1996)

Directed By: Steve Miner 
Written By: Mark Steven Johnson 
Cinematography By: Daryn Okada 
Editor: Marshall Harvey 

Cast: Rick Moranis, Tom Arnold, Julianne Phillips, Faith Prince, Curtis Armstrong, Don Knotts, Jeffrey Tambor, Tony Pierce, Stuart Pankin, Blake Bashoff, Carol Kane, Cody McMains

David Leary was bullied by Rosco when he was in elementary school. But he got even on the day his parents moved out of town. Now twenty years later, David, who is a successful writer, is invited back to his home town to teach. Everything is great until Rosco, who is still in town, recognizes him. Now suddenly someone is playing mean practical jokes on him. Isn’t David a little too old to be running to the Principal saying “Rosco’s picking on me.” ?


This film reminds me of the Sunday afternoon family Films, Enchanting on that last day of rest where you are recovering from the day before. You don’ t want to waste the day yet want to go easy. Still want to remember every bit of it as you want it to go by slowly as you know what awaits the next day. Back to the rat race.

So films of this are not that good, but I find them relaxing. Not to vital. There are plenty of acclaimed films that go on this day to as they seem so sudden and important on a day full of rest that they stand out. I wish I could say which day I prefer to watch films as each day brings their own mood and a certain kind of magic to whatever you screen. They are like flavored some go better, but mixing and matching also works out well. Leading to strange and aquired tastes. That usually are memorable.

I only wish this film was better overall. It is done in a broad style and is high concept. Yet feels like it was done on a budget. Where things were supposed to be bigger and grander, but things got changed at the last minute and sent the production scrambling.

It sets up a romantic subplot only to sabotage it as a running gag, but then abandon it to a certain degree. Only to reignite it to tie a bow around the ending.

Now while the scenes of rivalry between the two leads are fun. They never seem to rise to a demented degree that is hinted at. It might be because this film is obviously intended for a more family friendly audience. Though it gets partially dark to a degree.

It would seem like perfect casting Tom Arnold as the bully and Rick Moranis as the victim who begins to strike back.

They both play to their strengths. That feels like it could have gotten more mileage if made today or even letting the actors go a little off script and improv their scenes. As they stick to the script they do what is required yet feel handcuffed to the script. Even when some flair is all that is needed to make the scenes feel more alive.

Considering it is directed by Steve Miner a noted horror director. This film could have easily gone a darker more terrifying way like the film NEXT DOOR by James Woods

Tom Arnold is a rare screen actor. He plays Midwest and hulking bullies well. Yet he can also play oversized nerdish characters. Either way the characters he plays are usually full of bluster and talk too much. Yet they always work. Just look at him in EXIT WOUNDS the Steven Seagal movie. OR FROM THE CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE with Dmx and Jet Li. Sure he has a type but he also plays that type extremely well. Though unfortunately he seems more judged for his past personal life and the manner in which he achieved fame and notoriety. Though if given the chance he proves to be quite humorous. Even if not quite over the top funny. He can also play drama look at the films animal factory where he plays his usual type and GARDENS OF THE NIGHT which is really stretch for him playing a mothering pedophile. To this day though not a huge hit, I am shocked he never played the bully in The Tim Allen film JOE SOMEBODY (no offense to Patrick Warburton who was good in that film)

Just as Arnold is good so is Rick Moranis who seemed to be stuck playing these type field though he is better then this one. Which might be one of the reason why he stepped away. Playing the same type on different films that offer no new directions for him. I don’t have to justify his talent as he has a more pedigree career that is evident in most of his roles. As he plays what is required but might be the most interesting character who you want to know more about as there seems to be more then what is shown. All due to his performance. Even if they come off as cliche. And he seemed to be the prototypical nerd stereotype, but also seems to have had been a prototype for the modern day hipster. Just look at half they hairdos he has in his films like STREETS OF FIRE and THE WILD LIFE. Including the fact that is his retirement he has become a noted musician with actual Grammy’s.

The only other cast member who really makes an impression are Curtis Armstrong as a fellow teacher with a nervous condition and Tony Pierce as Moranis’ fireman buddy Ulf, Who is obsessed with fire and flames.

At least the script gives a logical reason for all of the action as the characters slowly go back to their old roles. As Tom Arnold having become weak after going to juvenile jail for an innocent crime. Has been humbled and jot owed. But once his old victim comes back into town. He finds himself empowered and redirected. As he feels like a new man due to this change of events.

As Rick Moranis Ducks him due to a secret from then past he still feels guilty about. That is what keeps him scared at first. The. Finds the strength to fight back. This struggle is mirrors by the leads children basically mimicking this relationship only in reverse roles.

The film comes alive a few times. Especially whenever Moranis’s character is dealing with his old friends from grade school who are all grown up. Which again introduces something interesting then seems to abandon it. As it seems like there are some interesting ideas that are never explored or feel cut out to trim the fat. As this film barely makes ninety minutes. There were plans to do a sequel which never materialized.

The film isn’t deep but it is a nice time waster that you will forget immediately after watching it. If anything it’s a film to watch with your kids to teach a lesson about bullying. And it’s dangers

Grade: C

HOCUS POCUS (1993)

Directed By: Kenny Ortega

Written By: Mick Garris & Neil Cuthbert

Story by: Mick Garris & David Kirschner 

Cinematography: Hiro Narita 

Editor: Peter R. Berger 

Cast: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, Thora Birch, Vanessa Shaw, Larry Bagby, Doug Jones, Charles Rocket, Sean Murray, Kathleen Freeman 

A curious youngster moves to Salem, where he struggles to fit in before awakening a trio of diabolical witches that were executed in the 17th century.


This film has garnered a cult following over the years. Unfortunately, I am not one of that crowd. Even though when it came out I was really looking forward to seeing it. 

By all means, this is a film one should hate, but I don’t. It’s not good but it is cute. Perfect for kids who should love it as it fits in with what would seem to be their fantasy. Mildly scary but not violent and it also includes all the ghostly elements of monsters. Not to mention that is who the film is made for.

It also is a throwback to when movies came out aimed at them that were goofy and maybe simple but relied on stars and not so many special effects.

Another reason it’s not a total failure is that it’s almost like watching a bunch of adults playing dress-up. The three main antagonists Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as a coven of witches watching them. As the witches from the past getting acquainted with modern times and mindsets are silly.

One can admit to having a weakness for Bette Midler movies. Just as some people have a weakness for Barbara Streisand movies. She is just an amazing performer and even as ridiculous as this is. She puts her all into it and seems to be having fun. Her and the cast are the reasons I even watched the film in the first place.

One of the reasons she did this film supposedly is that she passed in the film SISTER ACT. Which revitalized Whoopi Goldberg’s career so she took this hoping for a smash hit. Unfortunately, it bombed and it’s been rare that she has really been on-screen since. Yet over the years, it has become a cult classic.

The film is dated and gaudy but good for children. As it is simple and colorful. If it was made now it would have been a film that would have been a Disney channel original movie.

definitely, a children’s film that tries to be a bigger feature and modernized but ultimately is more a fairy tale or bedtime stories strictly for kids. There is nothing wrong with that. So that it is perfect for it’s core audience.

Directed by Kenny Ortega the movie has certain rhythms which other than having Bette Midler as the star there is a bunch of scenes that revolve around singing or music or group scenes of dancing or crowds moving together.

This is pretty much a Disney original movie you would normally see on their channel. Only at the time when they still made these features for theaters and got big stars to headline. So much bigger-budgeted and higher expectations. So at least it offers a family Film

It has an innocence yet remains dark to a degree. It’s a fun film that never quite got it’s due but finally seems to gain an audience every year due to it being entertaining. You can’t be cynical or dark. Go into this movie or you will miss It’s appeal and nuances

It has a feckless teenage romance story in it that goes nowhere except to maybe appeal to that demographic. Who wouldn’t be going to see this film anyway unless forced to. In the end, the film is perfectly harmless. 

Wait for it on cable or even television, but even they don’t play it that much. But really it’s a movie where looking at the poster you know what you are getting yourself into.

Grade: C+

OLD DOGS (2009)

old_dogs

Directed By: Walt Becker
Written By: David Diamond & David Weissman
Cinematography By: Jeffrey L. Kimball
Editor: Ryan Folsey 


 Cast: John Travolta, Robin Williams, Rita Wilson, Lori Loughlin, Kelly Preston, Amy Sedaris, Seth Green, Bernie Mac, Matt Dillon, Ann-Margaret, Elle Bleu Travolta

Charlie and Dan have been best friends and business partners for thirty years; their Manhattan public relations firm is on the verge of a huge business deal with a Japanese company. With two weeks to sew up the contract, Dan gets a surprise: a woman he married on a drunken impulse nearly nine years before (annulled the next day) shows up to tell him he’s the father of her twins, now seven, and she’ll be in jail for 14 days for a political protest. Dan volunteers to keep the tykes, although he’s up tight and clueless. With Charlie’s help is there any way they can be dad and uncle, meet the kids’ expectations, and still land the account?

Continue reading “OLD DOGS (2009)”