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Over the Hedge Review


OK
Audiences who peek Over the Hedge at DreamWorks' latest creation are destined to find a homogenized animated feature that's as polished as the pop-up suburban neighborhood that houses the bulk of the action. Blessed with beautiful visuals, Hedge furthers the notion that animation remains the only genre capable of improving in quality quite literally from film to film. Too bad the top-notch art is married to a standard comedy script that's instantly forgettable.

R.J. (Bruce Willis) is a smooth-talking raccoon who lands in hot water when he tries to steal food from a hibernating bear (Nick Nolte). To spare his life, R.J. now has one week to recover a red wagon full of junk food or meet a grizzly fate. Lo and behold, the quick-thinking con artist crashes into a family of foraging beasts as they arise from their winter slumber. Led by neurotic turtle Verne (voiced by neurotic Garry Shandling), the animals invade the pop-up planned community that surfaced while they slept and begin to rummage for sweet treats.

Continue reading: Over the Hedge Review

Brother Bear Review


OK
Brother Bear is the very Disney tale of a young bear-hating man named Kenai (voiced by Joaquin Phoenix) transformed into a bear and embarking on a journey with an orphaned cub. It's beautiful look at, but minor and sort of inert. I don't deny Disney the right to make a minor cartoon now and then (part of the industry's problem is the expectation that every cartoon should be a $200+ million blockbuster), but Brother Bear is oddly thin. Even the gorgeous visuals fade from your head as you leave the theater.

It goes down pleasantly enough as you watch. In fact, Brother Bear is rife with wonderful details. A prologue establishes only that the story takes place "a long time ago"; this allows the artists a certain freedom in their creation of a vaguely North American environment. There are rustling trees, blocks of ice, and swirls of light, all with an unfussy natural flow, not to mention gorgeous colors (it's not for nothing that the frame switches to a wider aspect ratio once the lead character turns into a bear).

Continue reading: Brother Bear Review

The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave Review


Terrible
Ever wished longingly for the glory days when you could watch "Late Night with David Letterman" and catch a little bit of that wacky Super Dave Osborne, the stuntman who just can't get things right? Well now you can relive those happy moments at your leisure, by taking Super Dave home in his theatrical -- er, straight-to-video -- debut: The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave!

What, you aren't frantically dialing your phone to reserve your copy at the video store yet? Take off your shoes and put down the car keys. If this video has proven anything, it's that what can be funny for 1/2 a minute probably usually won't make it for 91. Oh, how Super Dave proves it.

Continue reading: The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave Review

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