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Picture - Eartha Kitt Cheltenham, England, Monday 28th April 2008

Eartha Kitt Monday 28th April 2008 performing live on the opening night of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival at the Pittville Pump Room Cheltenham, England

Eartha Kitt
Eartha Kitt
Eartha Kitt
Eartha Kitt
Eartha Kitt

Erik The Viking Review


OK
First things first: Terry Jones' Erik the Viking is not a Monty Python film. In fact, only two Pythons appear in it at all.

The film is based on Jones' own children's stories, about vikings living in the dark, war-torn age of Ragnarok. Fed up with all the killing and looting, Erik (a not-so-famous Tim Robbins) leads his villagemates on a quest across the sea to find Valhalla, which involves a magical horn, the edge of the world, an island with no violence (which is a problem for vikings), and of course the usual pillager vandal types on their tale.

Continue reading: Erik The Viking Review

The Emperor's New Groove Review


Good
I'll be the first to admit I didn't expect much from The Emperor's New Groove: More Celine Dion-esque song-and-dance numbers, cuddly characters that become cross-promotion devices in McDonald's Happy Meals, and Hollywood stars trying to gain credibility by adding a voice-over job to their resume.

I was dead wrong about all of those things.

Continue reading: The Emperor's New Groove Review

Kronk's New Groove Review


Weak
By now you know the drill: Disney follows up just about every animated movie, large or small, with a quicky DVD that can't hope to compare with the original film.

Kronk's New Groove, the successor to the tragically underseen The Emperor's New Groove, is really no different. As the title suggests, the sequel focuses on Kronk (Patrick Warburton), a relatively minor character in the original film (he was the hapless and oblivious bodyguard of the villain), who's now made good in his life as a restaurateur.

Continue reading: Kronk's New Groove Review

Anything But Love Review


Good
The production values in Anything But Love are primitive, the story is derivative, performances are sometimes awkward and, yet, there's a reason it did well in eight festivals. This courageous film takes itself completely seriously and expresses an ardent vision of its subject: the music and styles of the '50s.

Though it's too limited in scope and budget to be -- as the ad copy would have it -- a celebration of the "style and sensibility of Technicolor musicals," co-writers Robert Cary and Isabel Rose have put together a fairytale story line with a Sweet Home Alabama dilemma: Their heroine has to choose between the rich guy and the dedicated, artistic type; between financial independence and a hazardous career.

Continue reading: Anything But Love Review

The Emperor's New Groove Review


Good
I'll be the first to admit I didn't expect much from The Emperor's New Groove: More Celine Dion-esque song-and-dance numbers, cuddly characters that become cross-promotion devices in McDonald's Happy Meals, and Hollywood stars trying to gain credibility by adding a voice-over job to their resume.

I was dead wrong about all of those things.

Continue reading: The Emperor's New Groove Review

The Emperor's New Groove Review


OK

How does Disney do it? How does the studio keep cranking out these cartoons that are so wildly entertaining and seemingly fresh even though it uses the same ingredients year after year?

"The Emperor's New Groove" has all the off-the-shelf elements of your standard Disney 'toon: Beady-eyed baddie? Check! Incompetent henchman? Check. Historical locale and/or exotic cultural setting? Check. Wisecracking animal sidekick? Check. Doofus male lead? Check.

Yet here I am again, absolutely loving this latest assembly line production because it's sprightly, clever and fun, fun, fun.

Continue reading: The Emperor's New Groove Review

Holes Review


OK

A rare kids' flick that engages youthful intellect and heart instead of patting youngsters on the head and spoon-feeding them stock anecdotes and tie-in toys, "Holes" is a fun family flick with a manifold plot about a smart, quiet teenager who gets the fate-fueled chance to reverse his family's hereditary bad luck.

It seems a curse was put the great-great-grandfather of curly-headed moppet Stanley Yelnats (Shia LaBeouf), and the trickle-down effect has landed the kid at a parched, ghost-town-like juvenile rehabilitation center in West Texas -- ironically called Camp Green Lake -- for a crime he didn't commit.

The venomous Warden (Sigorney Weaver, delighting in the role's sneering, sinister qualities) has a strange idea for building character in her charges: the boys spend every single day digging five-foot-deep holes in the dry lakebed. Her policies are enforced by the Mr. Sir, a classically menacing, beer-bellied, bow-legged figure played by Jon Voight in a scene-stealing standout performance. Sporting a graying Elvis pompadour, a villain's pencil mustache, twitchy wild eyes, and a low-slung holster, he's the kind of baddie who makes you giggle while making your skin crawl too, as he squints in the faces of potential escapees and seethes that in the desert "the buzzards'll pick ya clean by the end of the third day."

Continue reading: Holes Review

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