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The Shaggy Dog Review


Weak
In the summer of 2003, Disney scored with its update of Freaky Friday, employing the talents of gifted writer Leslie Dixon (Mrs. Doubtfire), Jamie Lee Curtis, and a pre C-cup Lindsay Lohan. The movie not only was a surprise box office hit, but very funny. Lohan deservedly became a star, a fact people are starting to forget, and we re-discovered Curtis's crack comic timing.

Now, with Pixar and DreamWorks making family films kids and parents cherish for different reasons -- The Incredibles being a prime example -- Disney would have been smart to stick to the formula that earned Freaky Friday over $110 million at the box office and critical kudos. It doesn't seem that difficult.

Continue reading: The Shaggy Dog Review

Max Keeble's Big Move Review


Good
Good news! Max Keeble's Big Move is the greatest movie ever made... if you are 12 years old. Its depiction of junior high is surprisingly enlightening; kids from all over can identify with these simple characters. There's plenty of preteen gossip, wacky school staff members, and drooling over attractive girls. Thus it is a sure-fire hit for its unabashed target audience.

Unfortunately, I'm not 12 years old, and I really didn't need to be reminded of those times I spent fighting with teachers, standing up to bullies, and getting poor grades. So if you're not in the 11- to 13-year-old target market, this film is only remotely amusing.

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Snow Day Review


Very Good
It's tough for a Texas boy to relate to the concept of a snow day. We had the occasional sleet day or hurricane day, sure, but snow? Whether you live in the tundra or not, I'm sure everyone can relate to the real story of Snow Day, the tale of a boy who pines for the school beauty, a girl far above his station with whom he never has a shot.

Maybe we can relate a little too well. This story has literally been done to death (it feels practically like a remake of 1995's Angus), but at least Snow Day is reasonably funny along the way. Thanks to the movie's "fresh new stars," Snow Day feels newer than it should. And thanks to leading kids Mark Webber (Drive Me Crazy) and Schuyler Fisk (daughter of Sissy Spacek), the movie has a lot of charm and heart.

Continue reading: Snow Day Review

Max Keeble's Big Move Review


OK

Even when presented with a reasonably original idea for a kids' movie like "Max Keeble's Big Move," Disney can always find a way to bleed all the color out of it and give the resulting product that Mouse House assembly-line feel.

Max (Alex D. Linz), our hero, is a diminutive, idiosyncratic seventh-grader with a rubbery face and a hurricane hairdo, who starts junior high on the wrong foot, running afoul of two bullies and the conniving school principal on the first day of class. The original idea in here is that just when he's sure he's in for a miserable year, his father announces the family is moving away, and Max realizes he has a golden opportunity to assert himself and wreak some havoc without any consequences.

Max concocts a plan to humiliate the bullies, expose the principal's illicit designs for the school budget, and make time with a ninth-grader (Brooke Anne Smith) so babelicious that she gets Britney Spears' "Hit Me Baby (One More Time)" as her very own theme song.

Continue reading: Max Keeble's Big Move Review

Snow Day Review


Weak

Somehow, the kid movie genre made it all the way to 2000 without a feature about rugrats running rampant in celebration of snow-closed schools. It's such a great idea that it's hard to imagine nobody thought of it before.

Alas, nobody did. So now enter "Snow Day," a production of kiddie cable network Nickelodeon, in which a band of neighborhood children resolve once and for all to defeat their most wicked adversary -- the sinister Snow Plow Man (Chris Elliott), who takes great glee clearing the roads so efficiently that the kids never get two days off in a row.

This winter, the kids (lead by young Zena Grey, "The Bone Collector") vow to do whatever it takes -- snowball fights, dirty tricks, laying traps, playing chicken with the giant plow and even kidnapping the plow man's scary pet bird -- to get that second snow day.

Continue reading: Snow Day Review

Summer Catch Review


OK

With the normally vapid, blank and bloodless Freddie Prinze, Jr. heading up the cast and a bikini-heavy ad campaign, the amateur baseball movie "Summer Catch" looked to be a brain-dead, college-age "Bull Durham" wannabe. So imagine my surprise to find it an amusing and likable -- if shallow and sometimes bumbling -- romanticized comedy about emerging ballplayers itching for their big-league chance.

The picture takes place during in the summer baseball season at Cape Cod, where college athletes from all over the country come to play for free and hopefully get discovered by major and minor league scouts. The on-the-diamond parts of the picture are poorly structured and dependent entirely on play-by-play narration that isn't backed up by the action on the screen. ("The big story so far is Ryan Dunne...," says the announcer. Oh yeah, why's that?)

The characters are stock and two-dimensional -- the party animal (Matthew Lillard), the flamboyant show-off rival (Corey Pearson) of the struggling-with-his-inner demons hometown hero (Prinze).

Continue reading: Summer Catch Review

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Steve McQueen Becomes Youngest Recipient Of BFI Fellowship

Steve McQueen Becomes Youngest Recipient Of BFI Fellowship

The '12 Years A Slave' director will receive the accolade at the London Film Festival in October.

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'Mulholland Drive' Named By Critics As Greatest Movie Of The 21st Century

'Mulholland Drive' Named By Critics As Greatest Movie Of The 21st Century

Critics from all over the world were asked to name the best movie of the past 16 years.

Green Man 2016 - Live Review

Green Man 2016 - Live Review

Green Man has become a festival season highlight.

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Zena Grey Movies

The Shaggy Dog Movie Review

The Shaggy Dog Movie Review

In the summer of 2003, Disney scored with its update of Freaky Friday, employing the...

Max Keeble's Big Move Movie Review

Max Keeble's Big Move Movie Review

Good news! Max Keeble's Big Move is the greatest movie ever made... if you...

Snow Day Movie Review

Snow Day Movie Review

It's tough for a Texas boy to relate to the concept of a snow day....

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Max Keeble's Big Move Movie Review

Max Keeble's Big Move Movie Review

Even when presented with a reasonably original idea for a kids' movie like "Max Keeble's...

Snow Day Movie Review

Snow Day Movie Review

Somehow, the kid movie genre made it all the way to 2000 without a feature...

Summer Catch Movie Review

Summer Catch Movie Review

With the normally vapid, blank and bloodless Freddie Prinze, Jr. heading up the cast and...

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