Blayne Weaver

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Return to Never Land Review


Excellent
Nothing against Disney, but I find it sad that Return to Never Land ranks among the best movies released in 2002 thus far. Every year I hope Hollywood will break tradition and release quality movies during the first few months of the new year. But every year, January and February roll around, and every year, the same putrid junk finds a home at the multiplexes.

This year is no exception. Given the competition, Return to Never Land, sequel to the classic Peter Pan, is more worthy of your precious time than most of what's showing on the big screen this month.

Continue reading: Return to Never Land Review

Manic Review


OK
When troubled teen Lyle (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) goes postal, gets put in restraints, and is commited by his mother to a juvenile mental facility, we get sent there, as well. Suddenly, we're in institutional surroundings much like that in Girl, Interrupted -- only we stay there. We don't get to escape and have an adventure on the outside. What's worse, we're subjected to digital video camera work that is tortuous enough to bring out whatever manic manifestation there might be lurking on the edge of our frontal lobe. It's cinema verité and as subjective as a camera can be.

The backstory on Lyle is that he attacked a kid with a baseball bat. Yes, the guy taunted him during a baseball game, and Lyle has had his share of troubles at home -- all of which is going to come out in therapy -- but that's why he's considered enough of a menace to society and to himself to make him a candidate for Northward Mental Institution, a spa for undisciplined youths run by therapist-in-charge Dr. David Monroe (Don Cheadle). Totally tight-lipped at first, Lyle commands attention by the sheer unpredictability of how and when his fast fuse of rage will ignite into violence.

Continue reading: Manic Review

Return to Never Land Review


Excellent
Nothing against Disney, but I find it sad that Return to Never Land ranks among the best movies released in 2002 thus far. Every year I hope Hollywood will break tradition and release quality movies during the first few months of the new year. But every year, January and February roll around, and every year, the same putrid junk finds a home at the multiplexes.

This year is no exception. Given the competition, Return to Never Land, sequel to the classic Peter Pan, is more worthy of your precious time than most of what's showing on the big screen this month.

Continue reading: Return to Never Land Review

Return To Never Land Review


Grim

With this week's theatrical release of "Return to Never Land" and the video release of "Cinderella 2" on February 26, Disney has blatantly abandoned any and all pretense of making cartoons for love, for art or for the entertainment of children. Flimsy, forced, fabricated sequels to beloved classics are about one thing: money.

Disney has been doing straight-to-video sequels for years, but until recently the studio has had the decency not to desecrate its more timeless pictures. Now it seems anything is fair game -- even stories that end with the clear and definitive summation that "they live happily ever after."

"Peter Pan" has a little looser finale and has, of course, been sequelized once before. But while Steven Spielberg was reverential, funny and wonderfully creative in the liberties he took in "Hook" -- starring Robin Williams as an stuffy adult Peter who rediscovers his inner child -- "Return to Never Land" is nothing but a recycling of the same tired themes Disney has beaten to death in nearly every animated feature they've released in the last 15 years.

Continue reading: Return To Never Land Review

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