JTurner82's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Pound Puppies - The Legend of Big Paw
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Only youngsters will get a kick out of this toyline-inspired commercial masquerading as a 70-minute animated film, which saves itself (only marginally) from total banality with its lively takes of classic rock songs ("Let's Go To the Hop" and "Duke of Earl", for instance). Otherwise, this rather dreary tale suffers from all the drawback of most kiddie features of this type: flat, uninspired animation, cardboard cut characters and lame slapstick "comic" sequences. Neither the heroes nor the scenery-chewing villain (who SHOUTS just about EVERY LINE!) or his dumb sidekicks have anything in the way of compelling personalities. Avoid this mind-numbing mess of a toy film at all costs; there are better choices to entertain children.

Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

In the Care Bears' third (and final) theatrical feature, the writers attempt to shake things up by throwing our sweet-natured heroes into an "Alice in Wonderland" setting. The film is at its best during the occasional trippiness and interesting touches of Carroll's work - the caterpillar is a traffic cop, the Chesire Cat a rapper, the Mad Hatter a personality-shifting comic (by way of donning different hats -- think shades of Robin Williams), and, oddly enough, the evil wizard's theme song. Unfortunately, this tale is the weakest of the three; its heavy on cuteness and tones down much of the dark edges that benefitted its two predecessors. The villains are also disappointingly lame; the wizard isn't frightening at all, and his two sidekicks Tweedle Dim and Dum (who resemble Beastly from the TV show) are, at best, grating. Perhaps most jarringly, the Care Bears become pawns in this adventure, focusing instead on helping Alice stand in for the Queen of Hearts' (here portrayed as a kindly ruler) missing daughter. In doing so, much of their personalities are reduced to shells of their former selves (if they had any). THE CARE BEARS' ADVENTURE IN WONDERLAND is fun for young and the young at heart, but at best, it's a forgettable family film.

The Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

To call CARE BEARS MOVIE II an official sequel to its predecessor (hardly an example of great filmmaking, but pleasant enough for children) would be misleading. The movie is rather bizarrely disconnected from the events of the first film, and that's one of its biggest problems; the Care Bears and Cousins meet each other for the first time in the previous film, yet in this all of them are shown to grow up together in a place called the Kingdom of Caring, almost as if to make viewers forget the first film. That would make this a technical prequel, but the better term for it would be rehash/remake. The time gap logic is also strange: in one sequence the Care Bears and Cousins "grow up" in less than two minutes (to a saccharine musical number) yet the children on earth are still the same age. Continuity issues aside, the film looks pretty much what you'd expect for a movie of this kind: cheaply animated and with characters that are, at best, indistinguishable. That said, this sequel does have its points of interst. The focal plot involves an unlucky camp girl who enters a Faustian bargain with Dark Heart (a shapeshifting menace who primarily appears as a cloud of smoke but mostly as a devilish-looking camper boy). Dark Heart, incidentally, isn't altogether evil: (spoiler) at the end he is shown to have a heart (hah!) and is reformed. That's something that rarely happens in childrens' films, much less ones based on merchandising toys. However, the "breaking the fourth wall" moment where the Care Bears ask the audience to show how much they care in order to revive a fallen victim is too goofy to be believable or effective. CARE BEARS MOVIE II is passable for undemanding kids, but that's all it is.

The Care Bears Movie
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Cheerful songs by Carole King and Paul Sebastien and the pleasant voice of Mickey Rooney as the narrator brings some merit to this animated tale about the titular characters who try to bring goodness to disillusioned children. Even so, THE CARE BEARS MOVIE is more for younger aged children, for the themes presented therein are often saccharine and quite young. It's not an example of great animation either, produced rather quickly in eight months time, resulting in a look that seems like, well, marginally better Saturday morning cartoon television animation. The characters aren't all that genuine either, and with the exception of Grumpy Bear (arguably the most interesting), the other bears don't really stand out. The positive messages of friendships and caring are valuable, to be sure, but there are better examples of animation promoting similar messages. Aside from King, Sebastien, and Rooney's contributions, THE CARE BEARS MOVIE gets points for the occasional delve into spooky territory. The Spirit of Magic (with a sepulchral voice supplied by Jackie Burroughs), although cardboard cut, makes a solid, manipulative villainess, and the spell casting scenes and the climax get points for edginess. The plight of the unfortunate Nicholas, who gets waylaid by said spirit, is also more interesting than that of siblings Kim and Jason. OK entertainment for kids, but kids only. At least this is superior to the CGI series of today.

Heaven & Earth
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

With HEAVEN AND EARTH, Oliver Stone completed his trilogy of Vietnam war films, which included PLATOON and BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY. Not having seen either of those two films, I cannot make any comparison, but HEAVEN AND EARTH is, for the most part, a very moving and harrowingly powerful production. It's based on the real-life story of Le Ly Hayslip, an unfortunate Vietnamese woman who spends a tragic childhood in her wartorn country and, unexpectedly, becomes successful in America. The first half of the movie features some of the most horrifying war images ever put to film (especially a long, arduous torture scene involving honey, ants, and snakes), making it difficult to bear, yet at the same time it's the strongest part of the film. The second half loses a lot of the narrative's momentum, however, as it focuses on Le Ly and her doomed marriage to her emotionally unstable husband, tortured war veteran Steve Butler (Tommy Lee Jones). That said, there is one very passionate scene in which Steve confesses the vile deeds he was forced to commit during his time in Vietnam which had me riveted. The pain and grief Jones puts into his performance is nothing short of mesmerizing. Aside from that, the film is gorgeously photographed, and Kitaro's musical score does a phenomenal job of illustrating a tragic pastoral of Vietnam. Despite its faults, HEAVEN AND EARTH is still worth a look, but be warned, it's not a pleasant movie to sit through by any means.