Barry Dennen

Barry Dennen

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The Dark Crystal Review


OK
Is there such a thing as a children's cult film? The Dark Crystal may be as close as we have, but Jim Henson and Frank Oz's collaboration won't keep many of today's kids entertained for long. Kooky creatures are the lasting legacy of the film; the story doesn't inspire much excitement -- as one puppet (whose mouth barely moves when he talks) is tasked with healing a broken crystal and thus thwarting the impending rule of a gang of other, evil puppets. His journey takes the form of an almost casual stroll through his magical kingdom, as he encounters one outlandish creature after another en route to victory. Overly simplistic, I'll frankly take Labyrinth when it comes to fantasy puppet movies.

Jesus Christ Superstar Review


OK
I've never seen Jesus Christ Superstar or Godspell on stage, and while I appreciate the desire to spread the word of God via mass media (especially if it involves singing), I've just never been able to get into these overwrought productions (see also Hair), especially if they were made in the 1970s.

WhileSuperstar is a period piece set during the last weeks of Jesus's life, it also contains strange anachronisms like guns and cars -- designed to tell us, presumably, that Jesus's works are still relevant today. But it also misses the point on a lot of those lessons -- why, during his rampage against the money changers, is he destroying the stands of people selling glassware and vegetables? Thou shalt not eat greens? Hmmm.

Continue reading: Jesus Christ Superstar Review

The Dark Crystal Review


OK
Is there such a thing as a children's cult film? The Dark Crystal may be as close as we have, but Jim Henson and Frank Oz's collaboration won't keep many of today's kids entertained for long. Kooky creatures are the lasting legacy of the film; the story doesn't inspire much excitement -- as one puppet (whose mouth barely moves when he talks) is tasked with healing a broken crystal and thus thwarting the impending rule of a gang of other, evil puppets. His journey takes the form of an almost casual stroll through his magical kingdom, as he encounters one outlandish creature after another en route to victory. Overly simplistic, I'll frankly take Labyrinth when it comes to fantasy puppet movies.
Barry Dennen

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