The story follows the Thornberrys, a hodge-podge British family of three generations all living in one souped-up trailer home, as they travel throughout the world documenting nature's wonders. Our protagonist is young Eliza (Lacey Chabert), who has been given a magical gift to talk to animals. Eliza is the quintessential loner, as she is more content with her animal friends than her family's rules and constantly seeks adventure. Along with her chimpanzee companion Darwin (Tom Kane), she manages to get into trouble when she recklessly takes the baby cheetah Akela past the safe boundaries of the desert. Sure enough, malicious poachers snatch up Akela from a helicopter, and despite Eliza's heroic efforts, she's unable to save the cub. Heartbroken and facing rebuke from her bewildered parents, Eliza is shipped off to boarding in school in England. Trapped in the confines of "civilization," Eliza vows to find the lost cheetah cub and to return to her family where she rightfully belongs.
Continue reading: The Wild Thornberrys Movie Review
Fortunately, The Next Best Thing covers very different ground than Affection. Unfortunately, that ground turns out to be providing a platform for Madonna to sing, to show off her yoga skills, and To Show You How Much She Can E-Mote During Her Di-A-Logue, all while affecting a slight (yet very pretentious) British accent. Get outta the way, people, Madonna's gonna act!!! And it isn't going to be pretty. (See also: Evita.)
Continue reading: The Next Best Thing Review
It will probably be honored as a triumph of filmmaking (and indeed has already one the National Board of Review's Best Picture award), but while Gods and Monsters is a good film, it's really more of a curiosity than a legitimate masterpiece.
The adaptation of a fictionalized account of the final days of director Frank Whale (best known for directing the first two Frankenstein movies), director Condon's story is really a simple one, about Whale's infatuation with his gardner Clay (Fraser). That Whale is a not-so-in-the-closet homosexual is pretty clear up front, but for some reason, Clay can't figure that out.
What follows is a series of encounters between the two, the degeneration of Whale's mind thanks to a stroke, and, most curiously, one dream/fantasy sequence after another, wherein Whale relives his childhood, World War I, and his years in Hollywood.
The dream sequence, long known as the biggest crutch a screenwriter can use, works. At least part-way. Because Whale's mind is going south, we are asked to indulge his fantasies as near-reality for him. Like I say, this works, but only up to a point. After two hours, the device has grown stale and predictable.
Still, Gods is a truly good film with a great cast (McKellan and especially Redgrave, playing Whale's maid, both deserve serious praise), and what must have been a tricky adaptation of the novel on which it was based is also a feat unto itself.
A Whale of a tale.
This lighthearted comedy features the Teenage Girl Class of 1998 in a silly prep school that is about to do the unthinkable: admit boys. Amidst the bulimia and the hair dye pranks, there's not much learnin' to be done so why not hatch a plan to get the boys banned for life? All this culminates in an obviously re-edited (the film has lost 20-some minutes of running time and has earned a new, meaningless title) strike with the gals taking over the school.
Continue reading: All I Wanna Do Review
Points for trying to avoid the cruel typecasting fate of Freddy Prinze Jr., but Dunst is pretty far from her element here. As a girl named Silly (Silly!), Dunst takes center stage in a tale told by Lynn Redgrave's aging Celia -- part fiction, part legend. The fishing village where she lives, it is told, has a dark past, caused by an ancient curse that causes the fish to vanish from the local waters once every 50 years. The only way to banish the curse is to sacrifice a girl in the water. And guess who's turn it is to go?
Continue reading: Deeply Review
Far more imaginative and ambitious than the trivial, cash-in features Nickelodeon has made from its other animated TV series, "The Wild Thornberrys Movie" is a funny, original, whimsical but meaningful story of an intrepid 12-year-old girl's adventures in Africa.
Directors Cathy Malkasian and Jeff McGrath get off to a bit of a clumsy start, catching up uninitiated audience members with a rushed, "the story so far"-style prologue that establishes the Thornberrys as globe-trotting naturalists (can-do American mother and pith-helmeted English father host their own cable TV nature show). In the first two minutes a busy voice-over also explains that nerdy heroine Eliza (all freckles, braces and braids) was given the ability to talk to the animals by a tribal shaman, and that she'll lose the gift if she ever tells anyone about it. Obviously this fact will come into play, because it's greatly emphasized.
But soon Eliza's adventures begin in earnest, when she's packed off to boarding school -- on the advice of her priggish blue-blood grandmother -- after almost being kidnapped by poachers while playing with some friendly cougar cubs.
Continue reading: The Wild Thornberrys Movie Review
David Cronenberg's "Spider" is a mesmerizing immersion into the precariously unstable mind of a psychiatric patient who has just been released after 20 years in an asylum.
Living in an orderly but cavernous and colorlessly dreary halfway house in the empty industrial corner of London where he grew up, the haggard, misshapen man in his 30s begins a journey -- into his past and deep into his own mind -- that threatens the tenuous grip on reality that earned him his provisional freedom.
The director's preternatural talent for uncanny atmospherics permeates the film from its very first frames -- the opening credits run over Rorschach-test-like images of the peeling paint on the halfway house walls. But "Spider" is dominated by a few extraordinary performances with the ability to stir visceral reactions from beginning to end.
Continue reading: Spider Review
Salvation Jayne's third birthday bash was a riot of colour and a celebration of a band very much enjoying what they do.
We're feeling the nostalgia this month.
American Thighs was released on this day in 1994.
Gloo is a new supergroup consisting of UK mystic-beat producers Iglooghost and Kai Whiston as well as nu-pop singer/producer BABii.
Listen to her new single Forgive Me now.
His new album Underneath It All is out now.
'Charli' sees Charli XCX continue to innovate, never being afraid to get honest and show her vulnerability.
Angel of the north Sam Fender has finally graced our ears with his highly anticipated debut album Hypersonic Missiles.
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