John Fiedler

John Fiedler

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12 Angry Men Review


Essential
Who would have thought that a movie which almost entirely takes place in one room, consists of 12 men who do nothing but talk -- and who don't even have names -- would be such a searing experience? 12 Angry Men is a classic, and an undisputed one at that, a film that is as inspiring as it is well-crafted behind the scenes.

The story is a simple one: 12 jurors are asked to decide the fate of a young man who is accused of killing his father. If guilty, he will be sentenced to the electric chair. Otherwise he goes free. The evidence is overwhelmingly against him: Two eyewitnesses, a murder weapon known to be bought by the killer, and an alibi that he couldn't remember during questioning. Open and shut, but one juror stands alone against the other 11, who'd like to get home in time for dinner. And with that single "not guilty" vote, Henry Fonda's Juror #8 sets off the titular anger.

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The Tigger Movie Review


Extraordinary
Bouncy, flouncy, trouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun. The wonderful thing about The Tigger Movie is it's fun for everyone. And it truly is. Guaranteed to bring both smiles and tears to every face, young and old alike, Walt Disney Pictures' The Tigger Movie is a refreshing surprise.

OK, I'll be the first to admit it - I wasn't looking forward to this picture. Yet another Disney animated epic, jam-packed with computer generated cels, overdone musical numbers, and one-dimensional characters that long ago stopped being characters and became cartoons. "More colorful fluff to sell t-shirts, pajamas and tennis shoes," I mumbled to myself as I took my seat. "Eye candy." But as the curtain drew up to reveal a pre-movie Disney-style mambo from Lou Vega (of "Mambo No.9" fame), I was whisked back to a time when a man named Walt Disney first introduced us to our imaginations.

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A Raisin In The Sun Review


Excellent
Sidney Poitier is on fire, as usual, in this play adaptation -- something in the vein of A Death of a Salesman, Long Day's Journey into Night, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Poitier's family faces racial prejudice as it moves into a new home in an all-white neighborhood while entering an ill-advised business venture that leaves them penniless. The struggle to triumph in the face of adversity transcends the film being pegged as a civil rights picture, and thanks to the leadership of Poitier, a classic is born.

Pooh's Heffalump Movie Review


OK
Points for a descriptive title: This is where Pooh and friends discover the Heffalump, a purple elephant heretofore thought to be mythical in the Hundred Acre Wood.

About an hour long, Heffalump didn't grab my two-year old, who thought the elephant was cute but then wandered away for programming on another TV where more actually happens.

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Serial Mom Review


Excellent
In famous words: they don't make em like they used to.

When they used to make serial killer movies, the serial killers were guys. When they used to make serial killer movies, the serial killers used an axe or a chainsaw. When they used to make serial killer movies, the serial killers weren't happily married with children.

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Simply Irresistable Review


Grim
Picture Like Water for Chocolate set in New York City's dining frenzy--only really boring and stupid.

Sheesh, here we have one of those You've Got Mail-style romances, with dueling heroes (here, Gellar is the little bistro chef, doing battle with Flanery's shopping center epicurian palace). Gellar's little shop is headed south, so it's Flanery to the rescue, right? Well, the secret that makes movies like The Shop Around the Corner work is that the heroes hate each other at first, then grow to love one another. Here, it's love at first sight, courtesy of a magic crab.

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The Tigger Movie Review


Extraordinary
Bouncy, flouncy, trouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun. The wonderful thing about The Tigger Movie is it's fun for everyone. And it truly is. Guaranteed to bring both smiles and tears to every face, young and old alike, Walt Disney Pictures' The Tigger Movie is a refreshing surprise.

OK, I'll be the first to admit it - I wasn't looking forward to this picture. Yet another Disney animated epic, jam-packed with computer generated cels, overdone musical numbers, and one-dimensional characters that long ago stopped being characters and became cartoons. "More colorful fluff to sell t-shirts, pajamas and tennis shoes," I mumbled to myself as I took my seat. "Eye candy." But as the curtain drew up to reveal a pre-movie Disney-style mambo from Lou Vega (of "Mambo No.9" fame), I was whisked back to a time when a man named Walt Disney first introduced us to our imaginations.

Continue reading: The Tigger Movie Review

Pecker Review


Excellent
John Waters lives in two worlds: the trashy and aggressively weird neighborhoods of his native Baltimore and the artsy society circles of New York City. Pecker is his hilarious take on what happens when those two very different cultures collide.

Pecker (Edward Furlong) is a happy-go-lucky teen who loves to carry his camera around town taking quick snapshots of the types of characters who have been populating Waters's films since the '70s. He even lives with some of them: his thrift-shop owning parents (Mary Kay Place and Mark Joy); his foul-mouthed sister Tina (Martha Plimpton), who works as a sassy bartender at the local gay bar; his eight-year-old sister, the hopelessly sugar-addicted Little Chrissy (Lauren Hulsey); and his totally wacky grandmother Memama (Jean Schertler), who cooks and sells pit beef sandwiches on the front lawn when she isn't distracted by her statue of the Virgin Mary, which speaks to her saying, "Full of grace! Full of grace!" Memama doesn't realize that she's actually the one saying it.

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Piglet's Big Movie Review


Good
It's hard to believe that Piglet's Big Movie has made any money over the last two weeks. In an era were kids are used to fancy animation and lots of eye-twitching excitement, this latest entry in the classic Winnie the Pooh cartoons/stories is such an anomaly. Lessons are taught with a pat on the back, not with a blaring soundtrack. You can actually appreciate the detail of the backgrounds and the way the animals talk. And Carly Simon songs are featured throughout the movie. She's old enough to be (gasp!) someone's grandmother!

When you're a revered part of childhoods galore, even Disney can afford not to play overt marketing games. Thank goodness. If I had kids, I would take them to Piglet's Big Movie because it feels like a storybook--you get a chance to take in what's onscreen and not get bombarded with toy advertisements and contemporary alterations (let's say: Tigger as a laid-back, smack talking skateboard champ).

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Cecil B. Demented Review


Extraordinary
Hollywood is a pimp. A fat, cigar-smoking chump wearing a fur hat and 12 gold chains around its fat, hairy chest. All of its stars and starlets are an evil brood of scum-sucking vampires looking for the next percentage take, the next summer blockbuster, the next casting couch to audition on. Pumping out comic-book adaptations, terrible sequels to mediocre films, and remakes of foreign films to the nearest American movie multiplex mall theater equipped with thin walls and bad sound systems. How much longer can the works of Peckinpah, Fassbinder, Fuller, Castle, Preminger, and Lee be placed and forgotten in the wrong sections of the local Blockbuster stores? How many more Silver and Weinstein films can we enduring in this stinky, decaying state of American cinema?

But now, from John "I don't give a shit what you think about my movies" Waters, comes the siren call to all frustrated filmmakers and aficionados: Cecil B. DeMented, a warped and twisted tale of how far a filmmaker will go to create a personal vision of internal and social revolution.

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The Tigger Movie Review


OK

The outcome of "The Tigger Movie," in which Winnie the Pooh's bouncy-trouncy pal sets out in search of others of his stripe, is pretty much a foredrawn conclusion. After all, "the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is I'm the only one," right?

So obviously the spring-loaded, faux feline is predestined to learn that his friends at Pooh Corner are his real family -- and the audience is asked to just enjoy the journey.

What an easy assignment. One hundred-percent in the spirit and style of the timeless Pooh 'toons everyone knows and loves (illustrated book pages turning between chapters and all the familiar trappings), this first full-length feature for Christopher Robin's stuffed animals is an amiable adventure with sweet wit and a warm heart rarely seen in kids movies anymore.

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John Fiedler

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