djnau29's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Winnie the Pooh

"Winnie the Pooh"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating: *****/5

Directed by: Stephen J. Anderson
Don Hall

Produced by: Peter Del Vecho

Written by: Stephen Anderson
Clio Chiang
Don Dougherty
Don Hall
Brian Kesinger
Nicole Mitchell
Jeremy Spears
Kendelle Hoyer

Based on the books by: A.A. Milne

Narrated by: John Cleese

Starring: Jim Cummings
Tom Kenny
Craig Ferguson
Travis Oates
Bud Luckey
Jack Boutler
Kristen Anderson-Lopez
Wyatt Dean Hall
Huell Howser

Songs by: Robert Lopez
Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Music & Lyrics)

Score Composed by: Henry Jackman

Inspired by the A.A Milne stories, it's business as usual in the Hundred Acre Wood. Pooh wakes up absolutely famished and he happens to have no honey. So that sets him out on his journey, which is ultimately derailed-first by a contest to find Eeyore a new tail.Pooh later finds a note from Christopher Robin that reads: "Gone out. Busy. Back soon." But then Owl misinterprets the note, proclaiming that the boy has been captured by a creature called a "Backson." Soon, the whole gang is on a wild quest to save Christopher Robin from the imaginary culprit. It turns out to be a very busy day for a bear who simply hoped to find some honey. (Disney)

Disney's fifthy Winnie the Pooh theatrical release since Pooh's Heffalump Movie and the second to be developed by Walt Disney Animation Studios since the original 1977 film in over 35 years. The story is very well told with much like the first film, it opens in Christopher Robin's room with his toys and is told from a book which plays a big role in the film as the characters interact with the letters in the pooh when they sometimes walk out of the picture as well as the narrator John Cleese. I thought they've woven the stories seamlessly with each other instead of form of three separate stories in a package film like the first film. I don't see this in anyway a follow up to the original which is far for unfair to compare the two films but i do think of it as a stand alone piece. Which, Disney did a terrific job for what they set out to do is to create a beautiful film that teaches the valve of friendship to a new generation of kids.

The animation is especially beautifully done and true to the watercolor style of first film. It is so refreshing to see hand-drawn animation in full glory on the big screen. The voice cast all did a terrific job with their roles, Jim Cummings who has voiced both Pooh and Tigger since 1988 return for this film which was smart for Disney to keep him for the two most beloved characters because people of my generation who are familiar with his vocals. The rest of the cast are new and each put their own interpretation and all serve their roles with justice. I especially liked Christopher Robin in this film because he looks more like a child than a teenager in the original film and Jack Boulter gives him a British accent and they going back to its country origin roots from the book into this film unlike the original Christopher Robin is more American. Other voices i liked are, Tom Kenny, Craig Ferguson, Travis Oates, Bud Luckey, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and Wyatt Dean Hall.

The score composed by Henry Jackman who adds a sweet and whimsy charm to the fun and mayhem of the film. There's also some familiar cues from the original film can be heard on soundtrack. One track in particular "Main Title Sequence/Winnie the Pooh" plays the same music from the opening sequence in the original film which. My favorite tracks on the soundtrack includes "Pooh Greets the Day","Get You Tiggerized!", "Woods and Words/Backson Tracks", "Picnic and Beehive Chase", "Stuck in the Pit/Baloon Chase", and "A Honey Happy Ending". The Songs written by Broadway composer and lyricist of Avenue Q, and The Book of Mormon Robert Lopez and his wife Kristin Anderson-Lopez are so catchy, witty, and fun for both kids and adults and are every bit as good as the songs from the original film. My Favorite song from the film is "The Tummy Song", "The Backson Song", "It's Gonna be Great", and "Everything is honey". Zooey Deschanel vocal is a perfect fit for this film, she adds a nice mix of sweet when she sings "A Very Important Thing to do. She and gives an acoustic guitar contemporary flare to the new version of the theme song and the end credit song "So Long".

So overall, It's a nostalgic classic that will bring a smile to your face with its charm, and whimsy wit. The stories are very well woven into one stories and the movie isn't formulated into separate stories. While i do agree that the running time is a little short for me and could have been longer even though i know this is meant for little children and kids these days are usually so high-maintenance that they lose interest and become too distracted to sit through a movie, but that is not always the case for some kids as most cartoons in the past prove you can hold a kids attention for the full length. The animation is worth viewing all its glory on the big screen and remains true to the original films watercolor style. The music is also very good and extremely catchy songs and good companions to those that the Sherman brothers have wrote for the original film. I recommend this film to any fans of the Pooh Franchise and the whole family will have a wonderful time at the movie theater.

Work Cited
Disney. "Movie Synopsis". www.disney.go.com. Disney Enterprise, Inc., n.d. Web. 20 July 2012.

Avatar
Avatar(2009)

"Avatar"
Review By: Doug Nau

Rating:*****/5

Directed by: James Cameron

Produced by: James Cameron
Jon Landau

Written by: James Cameron

Starring: Sam Worthington
Zoe Saldana
Stephen Lang
Michelle Rodriguez
Sigourney Weaver
Giovanni Ribisi
Joel David Moore
C. C. H. Pounder
Wes Studi
Laz Alonso

Score composed by: James Horner


When his brother is murdered, paraplegic Marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) decides to take his place in a mission on the distant world of Pandora. There he learns of greedy corporate figurehead Parker Selfridge's (Giovanni Ribisi)intentions of driving off the native humanoid "Na'vi" in order to mine for the precious material scattered throughout their rich woodland. In exchange for the spinal surgery that will fix his legs, Jake gathers intel for the cooperating military unit spearheaded by gung-ho Colonel Quaritch (Stephan Lang), while simultaneously attempting to infiltrate the Na'vi people with the use of an "avatar" identity. While Jake begins to bond with the native tribe and quickly falls in love with the beautiful alien Neytiri (Zoe Saldona), the restless Colonel moves forward with his ruthless extermination tactics, forcing the soldier to take a stand - and fight back in an epic battle for the fate of Pandora. (The Massie Twins)

This being James Cameron's first movie since Titanic in 1997 with his latest movie Avatar is the most incredible experiences I've ever seen had even though I didn't see it in 3d but I prefer watching movies traditionally but that's just me.The story has a very fascinating concept and the scope of it is so epic, although the story is in more or less ways cliched.I notice some very similar themes it shares with Pocahontas and FernGully:The Last Rainforest and even reminiscent at times with Jurassic Park but in no way its bad at all. It's safe to say its far better then most of the movies in released in the past years and shows it really doesn't matter if a movie has similarities from other films if it does it in a new way that distinguished it self from the rest. People may recall that The Lion King had many similarities to Bambi and its been considered to be one of the best movies ever made. Showing that Avatar is not the only high profile file film that has references or similarities in storytelling wise.

The animation/visual effects are some of the best looking I've ever seen, so much tender, love ,and attention was put into. It's so amazing especially in the battle sequence, my jaws dropped to the floor throughout the whole sequence. they've mixed in with the live-action portion so nicely with the computer graphics that it's not just a film with big spectacle effects but one that has an involving and compelling story that beautifully blends the action of the movie. The cast especially as an ensemble did a great job the standouts go to Sam Worthington who gets my vote for favorite breakthrough male performance. Zoe Saldona also gets credit for standout performance for her powerful emotions she put into her role, as well as Stephan Lang was also fantastic even though you love to hate his character, other noteworthy performances are Sigourney Weaver,Michelle Rodriguez,Joel David Moore,and Laz Alonso.

The Score by James Horner is the most magnificent music I've ever heard,so beautiful and epic. It incorporates tribal chants and some of the Na'vi language was used in the soundtrack, most noticeable in "Jake's First Flight" which is one of my favorite score pieces. Other favorite musical cues includes "You don't Dream in Cryo. ...","The Bioluminescence of the Night","Becoming one of 'The People' Becoming one with Neytiri","Quaritch","War", "Thanator Chase", "The Destruction of Hometree",and "Great Leonoptryx". Horner also did the theme song for Avatar "I See You" with Simon Farnglen, who produced the song "My Heart Will Go On". It's such a beautiful pop ballad sung by Leona Lewis. A winner for the writers behind the song for it fits perfectly with the whole mood of the greeting, as well as to comprehend someone. It doesn't compare to the sad theme song of Titanic, which is a good thing because the song is meant to be written for the love relationship between Jake and Neytiri.

So overall, this is a must see film of the year. Not only is it one of the best movies of 2009, its one of the best movies of the decade.It is cliched in parts of the story; however, these cliches to me are forgiven for its truly immersive, action-packed, and visually stunning experience of the imaginative dream-like world of Pandora.

Work Cited:
The Massie Twins. "Plot Summary for Avatar." IMDb. IMDb.com, Inc., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2012.

Gedo senki (Tales from Earthsea)
½

"Tales From Earthsea"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating:****1/2/5

Directed by: Goro Miyazaki

Produced by: Toshio Suzuki
Tomohiko Ishii

Written by: Gorō Miyazaki
Keiko Niwa

Based loosely on the first four in the book series by: Ursula K. Le Guin "A Wizard of Earthsea", "The Tombs of Atuan", "The Farthest Shore", & "Tehanu"

Starring: (original Japanese)
Bunta Sugawara
Okada Junichi
Aoi Teshima
Jun Fubuki
Kaoru Kobayashi
Queen: Yui Natsukawa
Cob: Yūko Tanaka
Teruyuki Kagawa
Mitsuko Baisho

(English Dub)
Timothy Dalton
Willem Dafoe
Matt Levin
Cheech Marin
Mariska Hargitay
Blaire Restaneo
Jean Smart

Score Composed by: Tamiya Terashima

Tales From Earthsea loosely based on a combination of plots and characters from the first four books of Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea series. Something bizarre has come over Earthsea. The kingdom is deterioring. People are beginning to act strange... what's beginning to see dragons, which shouldn't enter the world of humans. Due to all these events, Ged (also known as "Sparrowhawk") (Bunta Sugawara), (Timothy Dalton), a wandering wizard, is investigating the cause. During his journey, he rescues Prince Arren (Okada Junichi), (Matt Levin), a young distraught teen-aged boy. While Arren may look like a shy young teen, he has a severe dark side, which grants strength, hatred, ruthlessness and has no mercy, as he flees from home. He then joins Sparrowhawk on the quest, and moving closer to their intertwined destinies, they cross path with Tenar (Jun Fubuki), (Mariska Haragitay), a former priestess, and her disfigured adopted daughter Therru (Aoi Teshima), (Blaire Restaneo). With Sparrowhawk's magical powers, all of them must band together to defeat the evil Cob (Yuko Tanaka), (Willem Dafoe) and his henchman Hare (Teruyuki Kagawa), (Cheech Marin) before Cob's mania to immortality destroys Earthsea.

The story is by no means bad at all, but it's not perfect, my main problem with the movie was Arren's motives at the beginning. I don't want to tell what he does but it wasn't executed well as there's a lot of other stuff happening before the moment that we didn't get a enough time to develop his character's motives so it wasn't so rushed. But as the plot progress it becomes more fleshed out and rather complex in themes and its underlining messages, as it deals with immortality, and facing the consequences of ones actions that the story's narrative feels very poetically told. I have watched both Japanese with English subtitles and English version and in my opinion are excellent voice casts, as for which is better really depends because I personally prefer the Willem Dafoe deep and chilling voice for Cob over the original because he sounded like a girl when he's not a women, yeah a bit of a miss cast for the Japanese's but the rest are so fantastic I especially loved Aoi Teshima as Therru, the English Therru is wonderful to, who both show off their sweet and beautiful voices, as they sing a very lovely song in the movie.

The animation and visuals are breathtakingly gorgeous, some truly splendid spectacle. I especially liked the dragon sequences towards the end of the movie, it's so beautifully animated and a very touching moment with Arren and the dragon. The score composed by Tamiya Terashima is so epic and some truly stunning melodies.My favorite tracks for the soundtrack are "Disaster:Dragon", "Haitaka: Runaway", "Journey", "Clouds", "Man of the Land", "Parting: Fear of Shadows", "Extortion: The Temptation of Immortality", "True Name: Awaking", and "Fire of Life".The as I told about early in this review "Therru's song" is a truly beautiful song especially it's Japanese version.

So overall while Miyazaki's son attempt to his father's legacy is a great effort, not quite up to standards to his father but still a worthy addition to the Ghibli canon. The animation is so vibrantly stunning and beautifully drawn, and the score is some of the best I've ever heard. Although, the beginning of the movie felt really rushed but the rest of the movie is actually really good. This is by far one of the most underrated movie. It's not perfect and also very dark and dreary film, but still an enjoyable experience for fans of Studio Ghibli.

The Wizard of Oz

"The Wizard of Oz"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating:*****/5

Directed by: Victor Fleming
(uncredited)
Mervyn LeRoy
Richard Thorpe
King Vidor

Produced by: Mervyn LeRoy
(associate producer)
Arthur Freed

Written by: Noel Langley
Florence Ryerson
Edgar Allan Woolf


Based on the novel by: L. Frank Baum "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"

Starring: Judy Garland
Frank Morgan
Ray Bolger
Bert Lahr
Jack Haley
Billie Burke
Margaret Hamilton
Charley Grapewin
Clara Blandick

Songs by: Harold Arlen (Music)
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg (Lyrics)

Score composed by: Herbert Stothart


The Wizard of Oz Based on the 1900's children's novel "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum. When a nasty neighbor tries to have her dog put to sleep, Dorothy takes her dog Toto, to run away. A cyclone appears and carries her to the magical land of Oz.but she's also in trouble with the Wicked Witch of the West, who seeks revenge for the death of her sister; the Wicked Witch of the East, for which she blames Dorothy, before the Wicked Witch of the West catches up with them. Wishing to return, she begins to travel to the Emerald City where a great wizard lives. On her way she meets a Scarecrow who needs a brain, a Tin Man who wants a heart, and a Cowardly Lion who desperately needs courage. They all hope the Wizard of Oz will help them. (Vogel)

This is a wonderful family classic, It isn't light or cutesy at the least its so vibrate, magical,enchanting and lavishing, that's also very heartwarming and charming. I loved how at the beginning is in black and white, then when she lands in Oz is all colors, that was very clever to have totally different tones in color from Kansas and the land of Oz.It so gorgeously shot! and still looks and feels fantastic for today's standard even the special effects are great.The acting is incredible and I loved Judy Garland; she's good but does come off looking like an adult dressed and acts like a little girl. Margaret Hamilton is the true standout, she is the best witch I've ever seen on screen and plays such a mean and scary witch so brilliantly. Other note-worthy performances are Ray Bolger as Hunk/The Scarecrow, Bert Lahr as Zeke/The Cowardly Lion, and Jack Haley as Hickory/The Tin Man all three of them are fantastic.

The songs with music by Harold Arlen and Lyrics by E.Y. "Yip" Harburg is one of the best and most irresistible song I've ever heard. My favorites being "We're off to see the Wizard","The Jitterbug" (a deleted song not in the movie but on the soundtrack), "The Merry Old Land of Oz","Ding-Dong The Witch is Dead", but my all time favorite song and the standout is "Over The Rainbow"; Judy Garland sings this song so beautifully. It's also my pick for most beautiful song I've ever heard. The score composed by Herbert Stothart is so whimsical, magical, spellbinding, and one of the best scores I've ever heard. My favorite instrumental pieces are "Miss Gluch","Cyclone","Munchkinland","Threatening Witch","The Apple Orchard","The Cornfield","Poppies","The Spell","At The Gates of Emerald City","Magic Smoke Chords","The Haunted Forest",'The Witch's Castle", "Dorthy's Rescue", and "The Jitterbug attack".

So overall this is not only one of the best fantasy films its also one of the best musical. Its a timeless classic for the entire family.The songs are wonderful with a fantastic score.One of the best old-Time movies I've ever seen that stills amazing even to today's standards.

Work Cited:
Vogel, John. "Plot Summary for The Wizard of Oz". IMDB. IMDb.com, Inc., n.d. Web. 20 July 2012.

Snezhnaya koroleva (The Snow Queen)

"The Snow Queen"
(Снежная королева)
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating: *****/5

Directed by: Lev Atamanov
Nikolay Petrovich Fyodorov


Produced by: Lev Atamanov

Written by: Nikolai Erdman
Lev Atamanov
Georgiy Grebner
Nikolay Zabolotskiy (1957 lyrics)

Based on the Fairytale by: Hans Christian Andersen "The Snow Queen"

Starring: Vladimir Gribkov
T. Linnik
Anna Komolova
Galina Kozhakina
Mariya Babanova
M. Sinelnikova
Sergei Martinson
Yelena Ponsova
Vera Bendina
Yanina Zheymo
Yudif Glizer
V. Popova
Alexey Konsovskiy
Irina Murzayeva
M. Svetlova

Score Composed by: Artemiy Ayvazyan

The Snow Queen is based on Hans Christian Andersen's fable about a cold-hearted queen of the frozen north who steals away young Kay and takes him to her ice palace. Kay's (Anna Komolova)friend Gerda(Yanina Zheymo)gets worried when Kay does not come home, and so she sets out to find him. Along the way, she meets an eccentric flower woman (V. Popova), a prince (Vera Bendina)and a princess(T. Linnik), a magical reindeer (Alexey Konsovskiy), a talking court raven(Yelena Ponsova), and many other fantastic characters. Once Gerda discovers that Kay is in the Snow Queen's (Mariya Babanova) palace, she has to find some way to save him in spite of the formidable queen. (Mannikka)

A Russian animated foreign film produced by Soyuzmultfilm studio is a lavishing and magical overlooked gem that is very poetically written. The story is one of the most beautiful love story I've ever seen with a compelling female protagonist Gerda, very determined and strong-willed young girl not going to just wait for someone rescues and save her best friend Kay cursed and kidnapped by The Snow Queen a Heartless cruel person who make kay forget everything in his past. The Snow Queen is the most beautifully drawn villain I've ever seen and one of my favorites. Ol Dreamy the narrator of the movie who uses his magical umbrella to cause Han to sleep and dream wonderful stories, which he then writes as fairy tales.He really reminds me a lot of Jimmy Cricket from Pinocchio.

The Score by Artemiy Ayvazyan has composed such a lush and wonderful score evokes the beauty of the movies. The animation is also gorgeously drawn and very fluid in movement that feels dated but still a work of art.Although the sound effects is rather poorly done and low key. The character voices overs are all very good but the standout being Mariya Babanova (The Snow Queen)who brings such dimensions to the very isolated villain. Other worthy voice overs are Vladimir Gribkov (Ol Dreamy) Alexey Konsovskiy (Deer), Sergei Martinson and Yelena Ponsova (The Raven & Court Raven), and Yanina Zheymo(Gerda).

So overall this is a masterpiece one of the most beautifully told fairy tale I've ever seen up their with Beauty and the Beast. The Characters are so compelling and engaging.
Soyuzmultfilm have produced a classic gem for all ages.

Work Cited
Mannikka, Eleanor. "Movie Info". www.Rottentomatoes.com. Flexster, Inc., n.d. Web. 20 July 2012.

Up
Up(2009)

"Up"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating:*****/5


Directed by: Pete Docter
Bob Peterson

Produced by: Jonas Rivera
John Lasseter
Andrew Stanton

Written by: Bob Peterson
Pete Docter
Thomas McCarthy

Starring: Edward Asner
Christopher Plummer
Jordan Nagai
Bob Peterson
Peter Docter
Elizabeth Docter
Delroy Lindo
Jerome Ranft

Score Composed by: Michael Giacchino


Carl Fredrickson(Edward Asner), a little boy and a dreamer who idolizes the adventurer Charles F. Muntz (Christopher Plummer). When he meets Ellie, who also worships Munts, they become close friends. However Charles Muntz falls into disgrace, accused of forging the skeleton of the monster of Paradise Falls. He travels in his blimp to South America to bring the monster back alive but is never seen again. Eventually he Carl grows up and marries Ellie. They promise each other that they would travel together to Paradise Falls and build a house there. Many years later, Ellie dies and Carl, who's lonely, refuses to move from their house despite the offers of the owner of a construction company. When Carl accidentally hits a worker that damaged his mailbox, he is sentenced to move to a retirement home. However, he uses many balloons to float his house in order to travel to Paradise Falls. (Carvalho)

Up is Pixar's most deeply uplifting and emotionally enjoyable movie they've ever done. The story is crafted so beautifully mixing charm and wit in to it to make it pleasant for children as well.The characters are very complex, compelling, and well developed. Carl becomes your stereotypical grouchy old man but mourning the lost of his wife by going on an adventure to there dream place Paradise Falls "A Land Lost in Time" by flying house tons of balloons instead of going to a retirement home. Charles F. Muntz, who inspired Carl and Ellie to follow in the same footsteps, is one of the more realistic villains than your average villain plotting and plotting, who starts out as someone who people adore but turns into crazy,paranoid, and homicidal after he was accused for faking his discovery of a 13 foot-tall bird(Kevin's Species) killing anyone he thinks is out to take his shining glory.

My favorite of the all the characters is Dug the Dog who you can actually hear him say what he's thinking through his
collar, very smart and clever and he is on my list of best cartoon animal ever.The voice cast does also does exceptionally well, standout includes Christopher Plummer, the vocies behind Kevin and Dug; who also are director and co-director of this film, Jordan Nagi as Russel, and Edward Asner as Carl.The Animation helps the movie out with is beauty and rich texture. To describe the visuals in one word, Gorgeous!!

The score composed by Michael Giacchino, who's no stranger to Pixar with such films as The Incredible and Ratatouille. He perfectly evokes the whimsical and charming, as well as sweet aspects with such scores pieces as "Married Life","Carl Goes Up", and "Stuff We Did". Michael even packs in some of the more intense moments with such pieces as "52 Chanchki Pickup", "Escape From Muntz Mountain", and "Seizing The Spirit of Adventure". He mash all these elements in the movie so elegantly that the soundtrack is well worth it. One of the best scores I've ever heard. The Soundtrack also includes sound effects such "Carl's Madien Voyage" which is when the house goes up into the air,"Meet Kevin in the Jungle". We also get a little song called "The Spirit of Adventure".

So overall not only is this one of the best animated movies of the year, its one of the best movies of the year. It's also another winner for Pixar as they keep getting better every time. One of the finest animated movie ever made and Pixar's very best work in my opinion.

Work Cited
Carvalho, Claudio. "Plot Summary for Up". IMDB. IMDb.com, Inc., n.d. Web. 20 July 2012.

Charlie St. Cloud
½

"Charlie St. Cloud"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating ***1/2/5

Directed by: Burr Steers

Produced by: Marc Platt
Ben Sherwood

Written by: Craig Pearce

Based on the Novel by: Ben Sherwood "The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud"

Starring: Zac Efron
Kim Basinger
Ray Liotta
Amanda Crew
Charlie Tahan
Donal Logue
Dave Franco
Augustus Prew

Score Composed by: Rolfe Kent

Based one the novel "The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud"; by Ben Sherwood. Charlie St. Cloud (Zac Efron), a small-town hero and an accomplished sailor who has it all: the adoration of his mother and younger brother, and a Stanford scholarship. His bright future is cut short when tragedy strikes, taking his dreams with it. Now Charlie is torn between honoring a promise he made years ago and pursuing his new found love with a former high-school classmate comes a story of hope, second chances and the transformative power of love. (Universal)

Charlie St. Cloud is one of the most wonderful movie I've seen this year. It's very endearing and quite compelling. The story is not only a love story, its also about grief, miracles, letting go, moving on, & second chances. The story packs in so many different levels of emotions and drama, as well as some comedy, and romance. There also elements of sports add to the story mainly sailing boats, but also a little of baseball. While I can see that it will discourage male audiences who don't like to sit through a chick flick, but I thought it was one of the better so-called chick flick I've seen, one that's very well-written and quite affective.

The cast were all great but credit goes out to Zac Efron's and new-comer Charlie Tahan's that gives this movie soul and heart. This is by far one of his best performance I've seen. Other note-worthy performances goes out to Amanda Crew who had great chemistry with Zac Efron, and Charlie Tahan has bright future ahead after this movie he was very good. It's also worthy noting of Enrique Chediak's beautifully done cinematography really captures the lush landscaping.The score composed by Rolfe Kent, who crafted such lovely music in the movie. I hope they decided to release a soundtrack of Kent's beautiful score.

So Overall, this is one of the most underrated movie I've seen of 2010. It may be a movie for those who love chick-flicks, but its in my opinion one of the better chick flicks I've seen one that is very heart wrenching and wonderful, its worth a watch, but its Zac Efron's performance that gives the movie soul and heart. By far one of his best performances since Hairspray. It's unfortunate this movie is getting such harsh reviews from critics,In my opinion it didn't deserve that much negative reception. I liked it, its an quite compelling and well made drama, beautifully shot, and good acting from the cast.

Work Cited
"Charlie St. Cloud". Universal Studios Entertainment. Universal Studios Home Entertainment, a Division of NBC Universal, 2010. Web. 20 July 2012.

Cowboys & Aliens
½

"Cowboys and Aliens"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating: **1/2/5

Directed by: Jon Favreau

Produced by: Brian Grazer
Ron Howard
Alex Kurtzman
Damon Lindelof
Roberto Orci
Scott Mitchell Rosenberg

Screenplay by: Damon Lindelof
Alex Kurtzman
Roberto Orci
Mark Fergus
Hawk Ostby

Story by: Mark Fergus
Hawk Ostby
Steve Oedekerk

Based on the Graphic Novel by: Scott Mitchell Rosenberg

Starring: Daniel Craig
Harrison Ford
Olivia Wilde
Sam Rockwell
Paul Dano
Clancy Brown
Keith Carradine
Noah Ringer
Adam Beach
Abigail Spencer
Ana de la Reguera
Walton Goggins
Julio César Cedillo
David O'Hara
Raoul Trujillo
Brendan Wayne

Score Composed by: Harry Gergson-Williams

Based on the graphic novel by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg a lone cowboy leads an uprising against a terror from beyond our world. The film takes place in 1873 in the Arizona Territory, a stranger named Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles on his right wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don't welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford). It's a town that lives in fear, but Absolution is about to experience fear that no one can scarcely comprehend as the town is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known. Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he's been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force, with the help of the traveler Ella (Olivia Wilde), he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents-townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors-all in danger of annihilation. United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival. (Universal Pictures)

While, Cowboys and Aliens is not as bad as it thought it would but still not that good either. My main problem with the film is that the title to me suggest that this is an expensive B-movie entertainment status that is not meant to be taken seriously, however after seeing the film I didn't find myself entertained as much as i thought it would be the title but feels more like they went on a straight-forward dramatic piece but ultimately falls in the ridiculously silly rather than ridiculously fun. It almost seems like the writers were not sure which direction to take with this piece, whether they wanted to play up the entertainment more or go for a dramatic A-Movie. It would have done the title justice if they had played the comedic up to another level of fun. I understand they're paying tribute to the best of both genre (Western & Science fiction) in one film but its a missed opportunity for the creative team to go beyond from dramatic to crazy fun.

The effects are quite good especially the battle sequences and the spaceships are nicely done. Although, the so-called aliens are rather stupid in this film because there way to freaky and too big to be called Aliens the look more like freaky monsters. They could simplified the aliens to not look like creatures and add scenes with the aliens to expand their roles to give their means of aliens attack more substance to its title. The cast gives their best efforts but ultimately the characterizations fell flat mostly specifically Olivia Wilde's role is a big waste of screen time and adds nothing to the dynamics of the supporting characters. Harrison Ford is the standout performance who is the only one adds the slightest bit of entertainment in the entire film. While Daniel Craig is pretty good but his face seems to be very emotionless through most of the film.

The Score composed by Harry Gergson-Williams is so fantastic. It has a very mysterious and eerie orchestration to give the score a melodramatic feel to the action, and uses guitars to add a balanced of whimsy to the western elements to the score. It is so well done that its quite something to listen, one of my favorite action score I've heard. The score My favorite tracks include "Jake Lonergan", "Palms to Heaven", "Col. Woodrow Dolarhyde", "Attack & Abduction", "Emmett's Close Encounter", "Jake's Army", "Godspeed", "I See them", "Return to the Cabin", and "See You Around".

So overall, it was not nearly as terrible as i thought it could have been but still isn't that great and has its major flaws. The effects are nice in some aspects of the film mainly in the battle scenes and the Spaceships are nicely done with the exception of the so-called aliens who look more like big creatures then aliens. While I loved the Williams score is just about the only few best parts of the film, as well as Harrison Ford who takes the cake in standout performance adding the slightest bit of entertainment in the entire film. While, the story could use more work and should have played the entertainment card to a whole another level to do the title justice to what it suggest as an outlandish concept. It's worth the watch but is an unfortunate dud. I recommend you rent this movie to see for yourself.

Work Cited
Universal Pictures. "Plot Summary For Cowboys and Aliens". IMDB. IMDb.com, Inc., n.d. Web. 20 July 2012.

Nanny McPhee
Nanny McPhee(2006)

"Nanny Mchpee"
Review By: Doug Nau

Rating:*****/5

Directed by: Kirk Jones

Produced by: Lindsay Doran
Tim Bevan
Eric Fellner

Written by: (Screenplay)
Emma Thompson

Based on the "Nurse Matilda" Books by: Christianna Brand

Starring: Emma Thompson
Colin Firth
Angela Lansbury
Kelly MacDonald
Celia Imrie
Imelda Staunton
Derek Jacobi
Patrick Barlow
Thomas Sangster
Eliza Bennett
Jennifer Rae Daykin
Raphaël Coleman
Samuel Honywood
Holly Gibbs
Hebe and Zinnia Barnes as Agatha

Score Composed by: Patrick Doyle

Nanny Mcphee based on the "Nurse Matilda" books by Christiana Brand is about a widow father named Cedric Brown, of seven ill-behaved children who've already chased away 17 nannies. But when a mysterious voice tells Mr.Brown to hire Nanny Mcphee (Emma Thompson), she arrives at the Brown's home and teaches the kids to learned how to behave properly. Then Great-Aunt Adelaide(Colin Firth) tells him he must be married by the end of the month or she'll separate the children, he tries to find women but they were all chased away by his children, due to their belief all stepmothers are evil like Lady Termaine in the fairy tale Cinderella. Not realizing the consequences of their behavior, so the kids go to Selma Quickly(Celia Imrie) and admit what they did and ask to give a second chance and they will be married. Will the kid really find the perfect woman for their father?

The Story, although very similar to Mary Poppins-esque type of fare but without singing and dancing. It still is very creative and fresh take on the same story that is more wittier and considerably darker then Mary Poppins but still manages to delights and charms, while teaching some valuable lessons. Emma Thompson is amazing she not only wrote the screenplay for the movie but also starred in the title role of Nanny Mcphee and she absolutely nails the character so brilliantly. The rest of the cast are all very strong including Anglea Lansbury as Great-Aunt Adelade, Colin Frith as Cedric Browns, and Kelly MacDonald as Evangeline. The kids all did a very good job too!

The costumes and sets are visual eye-candy and colorful. The film was very lovely shot and so great to look at! The score composed by Patrick Doyle is so sprightly enchanting and fits very well with the English country side victorian setting. One of his best work I've heard of his. My favorite tracks from the soundtrack are "They've Eaten the Baby", "No More Nannies", "A Clockwork Mouse", "I Did Knock!", "Measle Medicine", "Soup De Jour", "Lord of the Donkey", "Kites in the sky", "Bees and Cakes", and "Snow in August".

So Overall, this is one of the best family movie I've ever seen, its so heartwarming, witty, and magical. Emma Thompson is magic on screen and on paper. It really shows her gift of storytelling and talent as a performer. The sets and costumes are so colorful and lavishly beautiful. This is the new Mary Poppins put still charms and delights children as well adults.

Work Cited
Davison, Max. "Plot Summary of Nanny Mcphee". IMDB. IMDb.com, Inc., n.d. Web. 20 July 2012.

Nanny McPhee Returns

"Nanny Mcphee Returns" (also known as Nanny Mcphee and The Big Bang)
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating: *****/5

Directed by: Susanna White

Produced by: Tim Bevan
Eric Fellner
Lindsay Doran

Screenplay by: Emma Thompson

Based on the "Nurse Matilda" Books by: Christianna Brand

Starring: Emma Thompson
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Asa Butterfield
Lil Woods
Oscar Steer
Ralph Fiennes
Rhys Ifans
Maggie Smith
Sam Kelly
Ewan McGregor
Eros Vlahos
Rosie Taylor-Ritson
Sinead Matthews
Katy Brand
Bill Bailey
Nonso Anozie
Daniel Mays

Score Composed by: James Newton Howard

In the newest installment of Nanny Mcphee takes us to a struggling mother, named Isabell Green (Maggig Gyllenhaal), who's husband is overseas fighting a War. She lives in a scenic valley with two sons and one daughter; Norman (Asa butterfield), Megsie (Lil Woods), and Vincent (Oscar Steer). So when their two spoiled cousins, Cyril (Eros Vlahos), and Celia (Rosie Taylor-Ritson) are sent to live on their farm and another war is being fought between the two sets of children. As the situation quickly gets out of hands, Nanny Mcphee (Emma Thompson) suddenly brings much- needed sense of order to this out of control household. In time, she does just that using magic to teach the children the importance of getting along, and gradually winning their trust in the process. But when the piglets escape from their stall, kids must work together to recover the family farm's most-valued assets or risk losing everything their father worked so hard to build before he went off to War. (Buchanan)

The story now takes place in the 20th century, with World war II as the settings backdrop for the story. which I thought was smart as well as touching. As it gives the movie a more realistic tone and new meaning into Nanny Mcphee's 5 lesson, much different from the original's whimsical and silly atmosphere. All the improvements worked to the movie, because it doesn't strive to be like the original, so in a way its a sequel that stands on its own to feet while still maintaining the essentials of the first film. It's even got me excited as to what Emma Thompson will have in store for the third movie. For those who haven't seen the original do not need watch the previous film to enjoy this new film. Although I highly recommend you eventually do see the first after or before if you want to.

Ms. Emma Thompson is once again fantastic as Nanny Mcphee, need i explain more but i just love her that much. anyways the childs actors who played the Green children and Gray children were all great as well. other worthy performances included Maggie Gyllenhaal, who was especially wonderful in this movie. I also quite liked Maggie Smith, she was quite funny and I love who her character ends up being an now elderly woman "Baby Agatha Brown" from the first. The original score for the first film was composed by Patrick Doyle, but this film is this time composed by James Newton Howard and its his most beautiful work I've ever heard. He keeps the original's whimsical and sprightly energy, while still keeping the score fresh and original. My favorite tracks from the soundtrack are "Coping Very Well", "The Person You Need", "The British Museum of Poo", "Small c, Big P", "Stop Fighting Immediately", "Animals on the stairs", "Pursuit of the Piglets", "Synchronized Stouts", "Triumphant Trapper", "Phil's Contract", "Speeding Through London", "The Blue Wire", "An Explosion-Free Day", "The Burp heard 'Round the World", "The Harvest", "Leaps of Faith", and "Animated Titles".

So overall, Emma Thompson has done it again! The new film is ever bit as magical, witty, and charming as the first; were all excellent including Maggie Gyllenhaal, Maggie Smith, and all the child actors and of course the standout Emma Thompson delivers yet another brilliant performance. I would say this is by far my favorite Nanny Mcphee movie and one I highly recommend it to not only for fans of the first; if they have open minds to not compare it to the first and jut sit back and enjoy it, and anyone who hasn't seen the original.

Work Cited
Buchanan, Jason. "Movie Info". Rottentomatoes.com. Flixster, Inc., n.d. Web. 20 July 2012.

The Iron Giant

"The Iron Giant"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating:*****/5

Directed by: Brad Bird

Produced by: Pete Townshend
Des McAnuff
Allison Abbate
John Walker

Screenplay by: Tim McCanlies

Story by: Brad Bird

Based on the novel by: Ted Hughes "The Iron Man"

Starring: Jennifer Aniston
Harry Connick, Jr.
Vin Diesel
Eli Marienthal
Christopher McDonald
John Mahoney

Score composed by: Michael Kamen

'The Iron Giant' loosely based on the 1968 novel "The Iron Man" by Ted Hughes Hogarth (voice of Eli Marienthal), an imaginative nine-year-old boy who daydreams of alien invasions and doing battle with Communist agents. One day, Hogarth hears a local fisherman talk about something that surpasses anything he could dream up: a fifty-foot robot that fell from the sky into a nearby lake. Needless to say, Hogarth's mom, Annie (voice of Jennifer Aniston) finds this a little hard to swallow, but when Hogarth finds the robot (voice of Vin Diesel) and fishes him out of the water, his pal Dean (voice of Harry Connick Jr.), a beatnik sculptor who also runs a junkyard, offers to help by hiding the robot with his salvage. A government agent named Kent Mansley (voice of Christopher McDonald) soon gets wind that there's a mechanical invader of unknown origins in the neighborhood and wants to wipe out the potential threat. However, the robot (which loves to eat metal and is learning to talk) turns out to be friendly, and the boy in turn tries to teach his new pal the ways of humans. (Moviefone.com)

The story of The Iron Giant takes place in 1957 at the height of the cold war is a perfect choose to set the main action during the time of the cold war in the story arc. The title character in the movie the giant is portrayed as a child-like innocents. The have done an incredible job bring the giant to like so convincingly and not over done that we fall in love with the giant character at the end. The film also has a sophistication and good moral themes of prejudice, and fear. The animation is very beautifully exquisite and has an old-fashion retro feel in the landscape and setting. I give high praises to the animators achievement in animating the giant, is so well done and not to over done. He is one of the most memorable cartoon character in an animated film.

The vocal performances by the cast were all fantastic. I especially think Vin Diesel was the standout vocal for his work on the giant who does such a brilliant job giving the character a child-like sense of innocent and not doing over the top and unrealistic performance give the convincing that gives the character such life. Other voice talents that were good is Eli Marienthal as Hogarth Hughes, who captures his curious and energetic spirit of adventure and wonder. Christopher McDonald is also great as the ambitious, but arrogant and paranoid coward who is determined at all cost to destroy the giant even if it means putting the townspeople's lives at stack.

The Score composed by Michael Karmen capture the essential retro feel of the 50's and the music has a lot of sweet, tender, and sentimental moments in the film. One of my favorites is when Hogarth tells the giant "Souls don't die" in which he said his mother told him that all good souls live on forever even after death. There's also some moments in the film when the score becomes more intense and thrilling sequences, like when the trains collides into the giant.

So overall this film is sadly considered underrated animated film is one of the most endearing gems I've come across. The animation is exquisitely beautiful and has such a charming retro feel in the setting and landscape. It is a must see for anyone to enjoy and be touched by this enchanting and wonderful masterpiece in animation history, its a shame this isn't as well known as some of the other animated films. This deserves to be on my list of best animated movies ever made.

Work Cited
"The Iron Giant Plot Summary and Details." Moviefone.com. AOL Inc., 4 Aug. 1999. Web. 120 July 2012.

Return to Oz
Return to Oz(1985)
½

"Return to Oz"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating: ****1/2/5

Directed by: Walter Murch

Produced by: Paul Maslansky
Gary Kurtz (Executive)

Written by: Walter Murch
Gill Dennis

Based on the novels "The Marvelous Land of Oz" and "Ozma of Oz" by: L. Frank Baum

Starring: Fairuza Balk
Nicol Williamson
Jean Marsh
Piper Laurie
Matt Clark
Sean Barrett
Denise Bryer
Brian Henson
Lyle Conway
Pons Maar
Emma Ridley
Justin Case
John Alexander
Deep Roy
Jon Jacobs
Bruce Boa
Tansy

Score Composed by: David Shire

Based on the second and third book in the Oz series by L. Frank Baum, Dorothy Gale (Fairuza Balk)has recently come home to Kansas from the Land of Oz is now almost back to perfect health since the incident of the tornado, only she cannot get that wonderful place out of her head. She frequently talks about it and cannot get any sleep at night. Aunt Em (Piper Laurie) worries about her health/well-being. Thinking that she is suffering delusional depression and acute insomnia, She decides to take her to see psychiatrist in another town and treat her with electric-shock treatment and take those nasty dreams away from her head, she is rescued by a mysterious girl who leads Dorothy, back in Oz. When she tries to find her old friends in the Emerald City, she learns that they've all been transformed to stone by the Nome King (Nicol Williamson) It's up to her, Billina (Denise Bryer), and their new friends, the clockwork Tik-Tok (aka the royal army of Oz), Jack Pumpkinhead (Brian Henson), and Gump (Lyle Conway)to defeat Mombi (Jean Marsh) and the Nome King and restore Oz. (McDougall)

Although for some reason this movie is considered a sequel to the 1939 MGM musical film, but after watching the film I found this to be a completely new interpretation of the Oz stories and what happens to her mentally after she returns home. While, Ive never read the Oz books, but from what I've heard from Oz fans from watching an acclaimed fan-made documentary title "Return to OZ: The Joy That Got Away" you can watch on youtube (really fascinating insight from Oz fans on this film) that this film is the most faithful to its original source material then all other previous film adaption. However the film make quite a few references and lots of homages to the 1939 film whether intentional or not, an example of some is a prologue in Kansas where the supporting actors foreshadowing characters in Oz, and the Ruby slippers. Well, unfortunately this decision to try to transcend people of the 1939 film into this film only to have contradict the directors new take on on the Oz stories and confusing people into thinking this is a sequel to the 1939 film, because this film has virtually no resemblance to the 1939 film to be considered a predecessor. On top of that its too dark and intense to be a kid movie.

The thing that made the film intense is not the surreal visuals but its realism in both subject matter and tone has changed from the 1939 whimsical charm to a dramatically serious and somber tone and more of a fantasy adventure. The opening scene with Dorothy lying in bed sleepless is just utter melancholy. The films utilizes innovated special effects one of them is for The Nome King and Nomes they used claymation stop motion to blend him into the mountain as if he's part of the rock structure. The creatures and character of Oz are brought to life with animatronics puppetry designed by Lyle Conway who also voiced the Gump character. The result is nothing short of spectacular how the Oz character look like realistic fantasy creatures and not just people dressed up costume. The sets are quite stunning to look at especially Mombi's place is one of the most beautiful set I've ever seen and The Nome Kings Mountain is fantastic and the make up department gets points for making Nichol appearance resemble the rock walls.

The cast were all fantastic with Fairuza Balk being the standout performance, who plays the role with such depth and believability, in fact I actually prefer Balk's portrayal of Dorothy then Judy Garland. Don't get me wrong as much as I love her iconic performance she come off like a grown adult dress and acting like a little girl. Another great supporting performance included Nichol Williamson who plays duel roles as Dr. Worley and plays an over the top villain The Nome King and does such a tremendous job with the character you wish they would of shown more of his character. The Score composed by David Shire has composed one of the most beautiful and melancholy fantasy score I've ever heard. It stunningly reflects the films somber and intense parts with some occasional moments of whimsical music play after when Dorothy defeats the Nome King title "The 'Return to Oz' Rag March" on the soundtrack. My favorite tracks included "Dorothy Remembers/Home/The Ride to Dr. Worley's", "Ozma/The Deserted City/The Wheelers/Tik Tok", "Mombi's Hall of Heads", "Jack Pumpkinhead", "The Flight of the Gump", "Dorothy and the Nome King/The Ornament Room", "The Defeat of the Nome King/ Restoration", and the "Finale & End Credits (Theme From "Return to Oz").

So overall the is one of the most unusual films in cinema history, but its one that is very well done and tells a whole different Oz and this Oz I'm starting to like more and more each time I watch the film. I feel that it is unfair to compare the two films because this new Oz film has little resemblance to 1939 MGM film, and the references to that film only contradicted the films new interpretation of Oz and only confused people into believe this is actually a sequel to the 1939 film. I personally don't find this to be anything but a new Oz that emphasizes the Fantasy adventure with no singing and dancing but tells a story that blends the surreal with as much realism to convey the emotional impact of the film. The visual while very old school 80's fantasy film, it still holds well and looks impressive when watching the film. It is not a movie meant for children but teenagers will find this adaption interesting and the adult should find this entertaining if you like fantasies with a dark side. It is worth watching to see it for yourself and you may be surprised with this dark but marvelous new Oz.

Work Cited
McDougall, Nichola. "Plot Summary For Return to Oz". IMDB. IMDb.com, Inc., n.d. Web. 20 July 2012.

Alice in Wonderland

"Alice in Wonderland"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating *****/5


Directed by: Tim Burton

Produced by: Richard D. Zanuck
Joe Roth
Suzanne Todd
Jennifer Todd
Written by: Linda Woolverton (screenplay)

Based on the novels by: Lewis Carroll "Alice's Adventure in Wonderland" & "Through the Looking-Glass"

Starring: Mia Wasikowska
Johnny Depp
Anne Hathaway
Helena Bonham Carter
Crispin Glover
Michael Sheen
Stephen Fry
Matt Lucas
Alan Rickman
Marton Csokas
Tim Pigott-Smith
Lindsay Duncan
Geraldine James
Leo Bill
Frances de la Tour
Jemma Powell
Eleanor Gecks
Eleanor Tomlinson

Score composed by: Danny Elfman


A sequel to original Alice books by Lewis Carroll,A now Nineteen year old Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is attending party at a lavish country estate when she sees a White Rabbit with a pocket-watch dart into the bushes. Curious, she follows the rabbit to an enormous tree, and tumbles down a hole that takes her to Underland (a.k.a Wonderland), a strange world inhabited by anthropomorphic creatures in search of someone to save them from the dreaded Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter), who has assumed control of the kingdom by decapitating anyone who dares disagree with her. According to a scroll detailing a historical timeline of Wonderland - including events that have not yet taken place - it is Alice who will set the kingdom free by defeating the Jabberwocky, a powerful, dragon-like creature under the control of the Red Queen. But is this Alice the same Alice who appears in the scroll? While some of the creatures of Underland have their doubts, the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) and his friends are certain she's the same girl who previously visited them years ago. When the Red Queen kidnaps the Mad Hatter, Alice attempts to free her friend and locate the one weapon with the power to slay the Jabberwocky, thereby restoring the White Queen (Anne Hathaway) to the throne, and bringing peace back to Wonderland.

This movie is very spellbinding,enchanting,magical,and witty. Tim Burton has done a fantastic job with this version of the movie. The only other adaption I've seen of Alice is the animated movie and to be honest I've never got very connected to Wonderland or the characters as most people did its mostly just a series of strange events and meeting wacky characters on drugs, not to say I didn't liked it i just didn't get emotionally into the world of Alice. I love that this Alice has an actually story that I really got into the world of Wonderland and the characters including the title character have so much more dimension that I even was emotionally connected to the characters that was lacking in the animated version and so much darker.

The visuals in the film are so beautiful and stunning, the best part of the whole movie and so rich. Some of the best looking computer animation I've ever seen. My favorite animation moments are when Alice falls down the whole, The Red Queen's Castle, and the battle sequence with Jabberwocky was really cool. The standout is of course the one and only Johnny Depp my favorite actor does another brilliant performance as Tarrant Hightopp (more commonly known a the Mad Hatter) even it felt like Jack Sparrow in Wonderland yet it adds the characters emotion very well kudos to him. No doubt he'll once again get more nominations with this performace. Other noteworthy performances by Mia Wasikowska who we may see more often after this movie, Helena Boham Carter is wicked crazy as Iracebeth of Crims,(a.k.a The Red Queen), and Ann Hathaway is wonderful as Mirana of Marmoreal (a.k.a The White Queen).

The Score by Danny Elfman captures the film whimsical aspect and its magical and darker aspects for a truly enchanting and rich score. Its one of the best scores I've ever heard.Danny is one of my favorite film composers of all time. My favorite tracks through out the soundtrack is "Alice Theme","Propsal/Down the Hole","The Cheshire cat","Bandernated","Alice and Bayard's Journey", and "Into the Graden".

So Overall Tim Burton such a brilliant job with this new telling of Alice and one of the best fantasy movie I've ever seen. The visuals are a real treat for the eyes and imagination. I would love to read the original books by Lewis Carroll now after seeing this version.

Quest For Camelot

"Quest For Camelot"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating: ***/5

Directed by: Frederik Du Chau

Produced by: Andre Clavel
Dalisa Cohen
Zahra Dowlatabadi

Written by: (Screenplay)
Kirk De Micco
William Schifrin
Jacqueline Feather
David Seidler

Based loosely on the novel by: Vera Chapman "The King's Damosel"

Starring: Jessalyn Gilsig
Cary Elwes
Gary Oldman
Eric Idle
Don Rickles
Jane Seymour
Pierce Brosnan
Bronson Pinchot
Jaleel White
Gabriel Byrne
John Gielgud
Frank Welker

Songs by: David Foster (Music)
Carole Bayer Sager (Lyrics)

Score composed by: Patrick Doyle

Based loosely on the novel "The King's Damosel" by Vera Chapman, In the days of King Arthur's Camelot, a renegade knight Ruber (Gary Oldman)plots to take the throne by turning his henchmen into formidable monsters, forcing the widow of a Round Table knight he killed to use her privileged access to the King's castle and, most importantly, stealing King Arthur's symbol of power, and the magical sword, Excalibur. When she kidnaps the widow, her young rambunctious daughter, Kayley (Jessalyn Gilsig), who dreams the seemingly impossible dream of becoming a Knight, escapes to both warn the King and try to recover Excalibur. Along the way, she meets up with a young blind hermit, named Garrett (Cary Elwes), a goofy two headed dragon, Devon and Cronwall (Eric Idle and Don Rickles),and a mysterious silver winged falcon. Together, they endeavor to find the sword to save the kingdom.

The story is basically a rip-off of Disney, but very uninvented and blend, although the story wasn't all to bad it has an interesting take on the Arthurian legend, but was so poorly executed, it really could have been so much better but its screenplay was the films ultimate downfall. The characters are really dull and uninteresting. Kayley looks a lot like Belle from Beauty and the Beast if she were in medieval time period. The most interesting characters are Garrett and Ruber, who is a great villain, thanks to the incredible voice works of Gary Oldman.

Speaking of voice actors there actually pretty good, I also like Don Rickles and Eric Idle as the two-headed dragon they are quit a funny pair. The thing I found odd were the chooses for the characters singing voices, while Andrea Corrs, Byran White, Celine Dions, or Steve Perry matched the actors voices. Here you have actors like Jessalyn Gilsigi (voice of Kayley), Cary Elwes (voice of Garrett), Jane Seymour (voice of Juliana), and Pierce Brosnan (voice of King Arthur), who most of them are British Actors with english accents and yet you pick american singers
to do the singing, its rather noticeable between the two voices.

The animation is best suited for a direct-to-video fare, but has some nice moments, especially the Rock Ogre was really cool piece of computer animation. I also like the the forbidden forest scenes were pretty awesome as well, that's one of the more interesting part of the film. The songs were single handle the best part of the film. Some of the best I've ever heard, but unfortunately are useless and doesn't help the film much, and songs like the villains song "Ruber" and "If I didn't have you" doesn't do any justice, they weren't very catchy or had and rhythm there were better off if they just cut the singing and talk during those numbers.

My favorite songs are "Looking Through your Eyes", "On my Father's Wings", and "I Stand Alone", but the standout and one of the best songs I've ever heard is "The Prayer". This is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard and fits perfectly with the "Quest" Theme of the movie, unfortunately the scene this song is used in the film didn't even fit well with especially since while the song is played you got an action/chase sequence going on is distracting to the essence of the song and its beauty. The score especially is one of the best I've ever heard, I especially really Doyle's Instrumental music for the songs are fantastic, some of the songs underscore works better than with its vocals.

So overall this is a very uninspired piece of animated film making but it wasn't all bad it had strong potentials but wasn't met to what it could have been, with a better screenplay it could have been so much better. The songs were already overall good with the exception of "Ruber", and " If I Didn't have you". The music was what kept me from giving this movie a "rotten" rating.

The Black Cauldron
½

"The Black Cauldron"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating:****1/2/5

Directed by: Ted Berman
Richard Rich

Produced by: Joe Hale
Ron Miller

Written by: Lloyd Alexander (novel)
(Screenplay)
David Jonas
Ted Berman
Richard Rich

Based on the Book Series by: Lloyd Alexander (The Chronicles of Prydain)

Narrated by: John Huston

Starring: Grant Bardsley
Susan Sheridan
Freddie Jones
Nigel Hawthorne
John Hurt
John Byner
Arthur Malet
Eda Reiss Merin
Adele Malis-Morey
Billie Hayes

Score composed by: Elmer Bernstein

The Black Cauldron based on Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain book series, which in turn is based on Welsh mythology. It's about a young man named Taran (Grant Bardsley), an assistant Pig-Keeper with boy his dreams of becoming a great warrior. Hen Wen, an Oracular pig, is kidnapped by an evil lord known as The Horned King (John Hurt), who hopes Hen will show him the way to the Black Cauldron; which has the power to create an army of deathless warriors. With the help of a stubborn Princess named Princess Eilonwy (Susan Sheridan), an exaggerating middle-aged bard, named Fflewddur Fflam (Nigel Hawthorne), and a fuzzy little creature named Gurgi (John Byner), Taran will try to save the world of Prydain from the tyrant ruler the Horned King.

Disney's 25th animated movie "The Black Cauldron" is a very ambitious and different then most Disney movies. The story almost reminds me of "The Sword and the Stone" but much darker and epic. There are some really amusing characters, my favorites being Grugi; he is so adorable, and the Witches (Orddu,Orwen,and Orgoch); are so entertaining. The villain of the movie The Horned King is the creepiest person I've ever seen. Although, the main characters are not the strongest but isn't entirely to blame for why they feel One-dimensional when you have many other weird supporting characters. Although Princess Eilonwy is not our average Disney Princess, she's very outspoken and doesn't take crap from anyone but has a sweet tender voice.

The animation in the movie are some of the best looking I've ever seen, and the effects are so amazing, the artistry and technically brilliant effects are truly astonishing.There's a lot of really spectacular and visually memorable Disney animated sequences. My favorite sequence is the Dead Army scene with the black cauldron and the castle destruction go down in Disney animation history for most fantastic sequences in a Disney movie. The cast delivered brilliant vocal performances, especially John Hurt takes the cake for standout vocal with his eerie and deep voice. The score composed by Elmer Bernstein who has crafted such haunting and eerie music such as one of my favorites from the soundtrack are "The Horned King Appears","The Army of the Dead", "The Cauldron Appears ",and "The Horned King". It also has a Welsh-Celtic influence style to the score that fits very well in the world of Prydain. Ohter favorites pieces inculded the "Prolouge","Forbidden Forset/Gurgi","Hen Wen Captured","King Eidillig of the Fairfolk","Morva/The Witch's","After Them","Escape From the Castle","Castle Destruction & Escape", and "The Second Bargain".

So Overall this is one of the most underrated movie I've ever seen. It's one of my all-time favorite Disney movies. Although the characters are weak there are some memorable including the charming and funny Gurgi, The Witch's of Morva, and the villain in my opinion is one Disney's crowning achievement for crafting the most creepy and scary Disney villain.The animation are quite a spectacle in this movie with really amazing effects. It's some of the best-looking animation I've ever seen and some of Disney's best they've ever done. Disney's grandest efforts I've seen of theirs!

Beauty and the Beast

"Beauty and the Beast"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating:*****/5

Directed by: Gary Trousdale
Kirk Wise

Produced by: Don Hahn

Written by: Linda Woolverton

Based on the Fairy tale by: Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont "La Belle et la Bête"

Starring: Robby Benson
Paige O'Hara
Richard White
Jerry Orbach
Angela Lansbury
David Ogden Stiers
Bradley Pierce
Jesse Corti
Rex Everhart
Hal Smith
Jo Anne Worley
Kimmy Robertson
Tony Jay

Songs by: Alan Menken (Music)
Howard Ashman (Lyrics)

Score Composed by: Alan Menken

A young beautiful and intelligent girl named Belle (Voiced by Paige O'Hara) lives in a nearby France village as she cares for her father Maurice (Voiced by Rex Everhart),an inventor.Belle is view by townspeople as "odd" because of her love of reading books, and ignores the attentions of a local towns hero Gaston (Voiced by Richard White), who she perceives him as "rude and Conceited".She revels her loneliness to her father who promises that his new invention a wood-chopping machine would be the start of a mew life for them. On his way to the fair, Maurice stumbles upon a foreboding Castle in the woods and gets thrown into a dungeon by the castles occupant-a huge savage Beast (Voiced by Robby Benson). Belle comes to rescue her father and offers to take his place as the beast's prisoner.On her first night at the castle she discovers that the castle's house staff have been transformed into Enchanted objects by the same magic spell that turned their master into a Beast. Years ago he once was a young prince but turned into a Beast by an Enchantress disguised as a beggar women as punishment for his selfish behavior and unkindness, An Enchanted rose offered to him severs as an hourglass for the prince, it would bloom until his 21st year if he could learn to love another and earn their love in return by the time the last petal fell then the spell would be broken, if not he would be doom to remain a beast for all time. As she remains in the castle their apprehension turns into affections and eventually the spell is broken.

Disney's 30th Animated movie Beauty and the Beast is a masterpiece, not only is the favorite Disney movie but its my all-time favorite movie ever! I loved this movie ever seen I was little and now that I'm getting older this movie still love this movie even more.The sheer scope of the film in animation,music,characters,and story is absolutely incredible.Some example of my favorite animation parts in the movie is the Ballroom sequence is so amazing with its use of computer animation and camera will blow you away. Another is the prologue at the beginning is very interesting to introduce the story with stain glass art is so vivid and fresh from what all the fairy tales with a book.

The songs written by Howard Ashman are some of the best songs in a musical, there's not one single dull song each are really wonderful, but my favorite song out of all is the Title song "Beauty and the Beast" sung beautifully by Angela Lansburg (Voice of Mrs.Potts)its the most beautiful song I've ever heard both lyrically and musically.Speaking of music the score composed by Alan Menken is his very best work in a Disney movie, its lush and rich, my favorite piece of classical music are the transformation scene,the prologue, and the West Wing scene.

The story is very different from your average fairy tale as much as I love Snow White,Sleeping Beauty,Cinderella etc. but Beauty and the Beast has more very realistic tone to this movie with a very meaningful moral that the others didn't have.The characters are especially well developed like the Beast who at first seem like a monster but is just anger with himself and becomes a protagonist later in the movie,Gaston who at first is the hero but turn into the main antagonist,and Belle who is a different from the other Disney Princess Belle is a very strong and intelligent heroine.

So overall this is the most beautiful movie I've ever seen.It's my favorite of all the Disney Fairy Tale,the songs and music are some of the best ever written for a movie with a lush score by my favorite composer and The animation is some of the best looking I've ever seen.So this is by far the all-round Best movie ever made!!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating:*****/5

Directed by: David Hand
(supervising)
William Cottrell
Wilfred Jackson
Larry Morey
Perce Pearce
Ben Sharpsteen

Produced by: Walt Disney

Written by: Ted Sears
Richard Creedon
Otto Englander
Dick Rickard
Earl Hurd
Merrill De Maris
Dorothy Ann Blank
Webb Smith

Based on the fairytale by: The Brothers Grimm "Snow White"

Starring: Adriana Caselotti
Lucille La Verne
Roy Atwell
Pinto Colvig
Otis Harlan
Pinto Colvig
Scotty Mattraw
Billy Gilbert
Eddie Collins
Moroni Olsen
Stuart Buchanan
Harry Stockwell

Songs by: Frank Churchill (Music)
Larry Morey (Lyrics)

Score composed by: Paul J.Smith
Leigh Harline

A beautiful girl, Snow White (Adriana Caselotti), takes refuge in the forest in the house of seven dwarfs to hide from her stepmother, the wicked Queen (Lucille La Verne). The Queen is jealous because she wants to be known as "the fairest in the land," and Snow White's beauty surpasses her own. The dwarfs grow to love their unexpected visitor, who cleans their house and cooks their meals. But one day while the dwarfs are at their diamond mine, the Queen arrives at the cottage disguised as an old peddler woman and persuades Snow White to bite into a poisoned apple. The dwarfs, warned by the forest animals, rush home to chase the witch away, but they are too late to save Snow White from the poisoned apple. They place her in a glass coffin in the woods and mourn for her. The Prince (Harry Stockwell), who has fallen in love with Snow White, happens by and awakens her from the wicked Queen's deathlike spell with "love's first kiss".

"The one that started all..." and this timeless story still holds up to its standard very well with generation of audiences today it's simple but adds a whole another dimension of entertaining and sentimental moments, as well as drama down right scary and chilling scenes, for example the scene when Snow White runs in terror through the forest with imaginary creepy eyes leering at her, it is worth noting the big reason for its scary parts is largely thanks to the The Evil Queen is one of the best and most scariest villain behind Maleficent, as well as the most beautifully drawn female villain ever. Speaking of the characters I really loved the Seven Dwarfs, their very funny, my favorite of all the Dwarfs is Dopey, who's the funniest and most adorable. Snow White is most sweetest and childlike of the Disney princess. The artistry of the animation is so beautiful and ravishing, some of the best looking animation I've ever seen. The scene where Snow White runs through the forest is the most creepy and chilling scene in any animated movie I've ever seen.

The Songs are some of the best Disney has ever written. There so memorable and charming, I especially I love "whistle While you Work", "With a Smile and a Song", and "I'm Wishing/One Song". The standouts of them all are "Heigh-ho", and "Some day my prince will come" (such a beautiful song). The Score composed by Paul J. Smith is so lush, richly detailed, and one of his best work ever. My favorites are "Overture", "Magic Mirorr", "Far into the Forest", "Chorale for Snow White", "Have a Bite", "Love First's Kiss", "I been Tricked", and " Let's See what's upstairs".The voice cast was fantastic some of the best ever assembled, My favorites are Roy Atwell as Doc, Pinto Colvig as Grumpy, Otis Harlan as Happy, Pinto Colvig as Sleepy, Scotty Mattraw as Bashful, Billy Gilbert as Sneezy, and Eddie Collins as Dopey. I also really love Adriana Caselotti, I know she voice is very high-pitched vocally but she offers a distinct voice that totally fits her character. The standout being Lucille La Verne who voiced her so fantastically good and scary as The Evil Queen.

So overall this is not only the best Disney movies I've ever seen, its not a crown jewel in the Disney canon because its history as the first full length feature film, but a huge achievement in artistry and in setting the standards for animated films of today. The songs are so charming and beautiful, some of the best I've ever heard. The animation is some of the best looking and most beautiful drawn animation I've ever seen.

Tangled
Tangled(2010)

"Tangled"
Review By: Doug Nau

Rating: *****/5

Directed By: Nathan Greno
Byron Howard

Produced By: Roy Conli
John Lasseter
Glen Keane

Written By: Dan Fogelman

Based on the fairytale by: The Brothers Grimm "Rapunzel"

Starring: Mandy Moore
Zachary Levi
Donna Murphy
Brad Garrett
Ron Perlman
Jeffrey Tambor
Richard Kiel
M. C. Gainey
Paul F. Tompkins

Songs by: Alan Menken (Music)
Glenn Slater (Lyrics)

Score composed by: Alan Menken

An elderly witch named Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy) witnesses a single drop of pure sunlight hit the ground, creating a magical flower with the ability to heal the sick and hurt, and uses it to keep herself young when she sings to it. Years later, the queen of a nearby kingdom falls ill while expecting a child. Her guards, searching for a cure, find the mysterious flower. They make a broth out of the flower, which heals the queen and she gives birth to a girl named Rapunzel. Gothel learns that Rapunzel's golden hair retains the flower's healing abilities as long as it isn't cut, but if it is cut, it turns brown and loses it's magic power. Gothel kidnaps the child and isolates her in a tower, raising the girl as her own daughter. However, every year on Rapunzel's birthday, the kingdom sends thousands of floating lanterns into the sky longing for their lost princess to return.

18 years later and Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) now a young adult and her hair has grown 70 feet long, lives in the tower with her pet chameleon, Pascal. She is curious of the outside world,and asks if she can leave the tower for one day to see the floating lights but Mother Gothel will not allow her to ever leave the tower. One day a charming and handsome thief named Flynn Rider (Zachery Levi) on-the-run from the palace guards after he steals a tiara, he finds the hidden tower and hides there, only to be hit in the head with a frying pan and taken captive by Rapunzel. She strikes a deal with thief to act as her guide to travel to the kingdom to see the floating lantern for one day and in return she give him back the tiara, which leads the unlikely duo off on an adventure with lots of action-packed escapade, full of magic, humor, and lots of hair.

Disney's 50th full length animated feature film is one of the most expensive animated film to-date, and the second most expensive movie ever made behind Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.It has become Disney biggest hit for an animated movie since the Disney Renaissance ear of the late 80's and through the 90's and its a fantastic one too, one one the best animated movies I've ever seen. While its been warmly received by both critics and audience alike. If Princess and the Frog was just the beginning of a new era of the Disney animation then this is definitely a huge sign that shows Disney is heading into a new era of Disney renaissance. While some people have said that it goes into Dreamworks style sitcom gags and sass.Well to that I say screw all the people who think of such nonsense. Obliviously those people don't get that Dreamworks spoof off these films and often uses a lot pop culture references. Where Tangled is pure Disney Magic and such a Wonderful and clever addition into the classic Disney canon. The story of Tangled is so cleverly written, it does have a modern-edge to the classic fairy tale, but isn't just another spoof of a fairy tale we see often now a days, pure classic storytelling; great story, music, characters are bright and wonderful, and a memorable villain.

The characters are so lively colorful and very entertaining. I love Rapunzel she one of my favorite Disney princess and Flynn Rider is one of my favorites of the Disney princes. The Pub Thugs were awesome, but I absolutely adore Pascal and Maximus they were so funny and engaging. The cast all did a fantastic job in bringing the character to life, and were just as good vocally, Mandy's has such beautiful voice and was quite surprised how good of a singer Zachery Levi is one of the best vocals for a Disney prince. The standout performance is Donna Murphy who does such a brilliant job with the character, who is one of the more colorful villains, very entertaining but can be very possessive character.

The animation is some of the best looking animation I've ever seen. The characters movements and expressions were so fluid unlike most computer animated films were the characters in movement feels restrained and limited. The visuals are so stunning and gorgeous, the most beautiful animation. I especially love the Lantern sequence when the floating lanterns rise illuminating the sky, a classic and beautiful moment in the film. You can tell the animation was handled with such great care and attention to details, especially Rapunzel's long hair was maneuvered is so well executed.

The songs by legendary composer Alan Menken, who also did the score, and lyrics by Glenn Slater. They done such a great job with the songs. There some of the best songs I've ever heard. I love Menken's uses of Medieval music and 1960's folk rock with acoustic guitar to create the songs and score. I love "When Will my Life Begin?","Mother Knows Best" is one of the best villain song in a Disney movie, and "I've Got A Dream" is a witty and fun song. My absolute favorite song in the movie is the duet between Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. It almost reminds me of "A Whole New World" from Aladdin. This song will go down as a classic Disney song, one that everyone will recognize and know what its from. The Score composed by Alan Menken is his best score since Beauty and the Beast, Once again Menken displays his incredible musical versatile talent. My favorite tracks from the soundtrack are "Flynn Wanted", "Horse with no Rider", "Kingdom Dance", "Waiting For the Lights", "Return to Mother", "Realization and Escape", "The Tear Heals", and "Kingdom Celebration".

So overall not only is it one of the best movies of 2010, but one of the best animated movies ever made. The animation is stunning and the most beautiful animation I've ever seen, absolutely gorgeously done. The lantern scene is my favorite animation sequence in the movie. The songs are the best I've ever heard and Alan Menken's best score since Beauty and the Beast. The story is so cleverly written with witty dialogues, and isn't another spoof of a fairy tale but pure classic Disney storytelling. The cast were all fantastic and even wonderful singers. This is a winner for Disney, and a must see film for people of all ages.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating: *****/5

Directed by: Rob Marshall

Produced by: Jerry Bruckheimer

Based loosely on the Novel By: Tim Powers "On Stranger Tides"

Written by: Ted Elliott
Terry Rossio

Starring: Johnny Depp
Penélope Cruz
Ian McShane
Geoffrey Rush
Kevin McNally
Sam Claflin
Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey
Greg Ellis
Damian O'Hare
Stephen Graham
Óscar Jaenada
Gemma Ward
Richard Griffiths
Bryson Carvalho
Keith Richards
Judi Dench
Derek Mears
Sebastian Armesto
Anton Lesser
Roger Allam
Paul Bazely

Score Composed by: Hans Zimmer

Additional Music Composed by: Eric Whitacre
Hila Plitmann
Eduardo Cruz
Geoff Zanelli
Rodrigo y Gadriela

The fourth and standalone installment of the film franchise and based loosely on Tim Power's novel On Stranger Tides picks up were the last film left off with Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) heading out to find the Fountain of Youth. We find him in London looking for a crew to take him to the Fountain where he cross path (and swords) with Angelica (Penélope Cruz) the ravishing pirate whom shares a dubious past and his love interest, who forces Jack aboard the Queen's Annes Revenge, the ship of legendary pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane). Jack finds himself on a unexpected journey the fabled Fountain of Youth and must use all his wiles to deal with the barbarous Blackbeard and his crew of zombies.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides restores the franchises sense of entertainment values of the original film, and the fact the film's screenplay by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio aspires for a more clear and coherent plot is a big sign the creative team behind the film has started from scratch and not letting the same mistakes that happened with the last two previous films by them not going overboard with plot and effects. Speaking which the visual effects in this installment unlike the last two films do not over power the from the films main plot and action but enhances the sequences that it will just fly right over your head that is computer graphics The action is also while not quite as epic as At World's End but is still quite awesome and edge off your seat excitement especially the battle at the Fountain of Youth.

The cast were all terrific including the newcomers to the series bring such a breathe of new energy to the franchise. Penelope Cruz, who brings much spunk, sex appeal, and feisty attitude as Angelica. Ian McShane is also fantastic as the cruel and menacing Blackbeard, although my only nitpicking flaw I had with his origin could have been further developed, because he is not as sympathetic of a villain like Barbossa and Davy Jones, but I think that he wasn't suppose to be because underneath his menacing ways is someone who will do anything to show what supposed bad ass of villain when he is afraid of his own demise.

The returning cast which include Geoffrey Rush and Kevin McNally are as usual great in their roles and Johnny Depp once again knock it out of the park as Captain Jack Sparrow. The opening scene with Jack dressed up as the judge is one of the most brilliant comedic scene Johnny Depp as done in his career and the best scene in the whole movie. It only proves just how much of a genius character actor of our time. I personally don't see how anyone could say its tired-some and boring, to those people I've you probably don't have any sense of humor even if it hit you in the face.

The score composed by Hans Zimmer with additional music composed by Eric Whitacre, Hila Plitmann, Eduardo Cruz, Geoff Zanelli, and the Mexican musical duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, who also performed some of the music in the film. The keeps maintains the original themes from the first film but Hans Zimmer give it a fresh new spin with a little flavor of Mexican Salsa music and acoustic guitar to the underscore. My favorite tracks include "Guilty of Being Innocent of Jack Sparrow", "Angelica", "Mutiny", "The Pirate that Should Not Be", "Mermaids", "Palm Tree Escape", Blackbeard", "On Stranger Tides", and "End Credit".

So overall this installment is the best pirates film since the original and a wonderful return to the sense of fun and wacky humor with a more coherent plot to follow that was the main problem from the last two films. The cast as a whole were terrific and the newcomers breathe new energy and life to the series including Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane. While, my only nitpicking is Blackbeard's original could have been a bit more explanation but for the material Ian received for this role is really great. The visual effect add a nice touch to the sequences and do not over power the main action like in the last two films. This is obviously the start of a brand new set of trilogy for the franchise.

Howl's Moving Castle

"Howl's Moving Castle"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating: *****/5

Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki

Produced by: Toshio Suzuki

Written by: (Screenplay)
Hayao Miyazaki


Based on the novel by: Diana Wynne Jones "Howl's Moving Castle"

(English Dub)
Starring: Jean Simmons
Christian Bale
Lauren Bacall
Billy Crystal
Emily Mortimer
Josh Hutcherson
Blythe Danner
Jena Malone
Mari Devon
Crispin Freeman
Mark Silverman
Liliana Mumy

(Japanese Original dub)
Chieko Baishō
Takuya Kimura
Akihiro Miwa
Tatsuya Gashūin
Ryūnosuke Kamiki
Haruko Katō
Yayoi Kazuki
Mayuno Yasokawa
Yō Ōizumi
Akio Ohtsuka
Daijirō Harada
Rio Kanno
Tomoe Hanba

Score composed by: Joe Hisaishi

Based on the novel by Diana Wynne Jones, is about a young woman named Sophie (Chieko Baishō)(Emily Mortimer)is cursed by the Witch of the Waste (Akihiro Miwa)(Lauren Bacall), turns into an old woman (Jean Simmons), and is unable to tell anyone of her plight. Unable to continue her job at her mother's hat shop, she goes to the ambulatory castle of the notorious wizard Howl and insinuates herself into his household. Sophie befriends Calcifer (Tatsuya Gashūin)(Billy Crystal), the fire demon who powers the castle and who is bound to Howl (Takuya Kimura)(Christian Bale) by a contract, the terms of which Calcifer cannot reveal. They promise to help each other with their problems. Like Calcifer, Howl can also see through the Witch's spell, and he and Sophie fall in love. Sophie helps Howl confront his former teacher, and the Witch of the Waste.

This is another winner from master filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki it has such an incredibly imaginative fairy tale of child-like sense, enchantment, and wit.It was rather reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast told in a new and original way.I was so fascinated by the world of the movie even though I had no idea what world they lived in but that's because I didn't read the book, I'll put this on m list of book I want to read but it wasn't until I looked up online about it that I found that the world is call Ingary. Although the book would give me a better sense of this wonderful world of Howl's Moving Castle.

The animation is so beautiful and elegant in detail and visuals. I love the Howl's magical moving castle was my favorite eye-candies, I also love the stairs part where Old Sophie and The Witch of the Waste climb those long stairs, one of the most memorable scenes in the movie. My favorite character in the movie is Calcifer, voiced by Billy Crystal I sounded a lot Timon from The Lion King, at first I even though it was Nathan lane, but was I wrong. I really liked Christian Bale voice for Howl was at time rather creepy. Other great voice overs I liked are Lauren Bacall (The Witch of the Waste), Jean Simmons (Old Sophie), and Emil Mortimer (young Sophie).

The Score by Joe Hisaishi is some of the most stunning music I've ever heard, there so much elegance even at the most intense parts of the score is beautiful. My favorite cues from the soundtrack are "Merry-Go-Round of Life","Stroll Through the Sky","The Witch of the Waste","Wandering Sophie","The Magical Door","To The Lake of Stars","Sulliman's Magic Square (Return to the Castle)","The Secret Cave","Moving","The Flower Garden","Love of War","Sophie's Castle", and "The Boy who accepted the Star".

So overall Howl's Moving Castle is one of Miyazaki's most ravishing movie with fantastic animation and stunning score.

Coraline
Coraline(2009)
½

"Coraline"
Review By: Doug Nau

Rating:****1/2/5

Directed By: Henry Selick

Produced By: Claire Jennings

Written by: Henry Selick (Screenplay)

Based on the novel by: Neil Gaiman


Starring By: Dakota Fanning
Teri Hatcher
Keith David
Robert Bailey Jr.
John Hodgman
Jennifer Saunders
Dawn French
Ian McShane
Carolyn Crawford

Score Composed By: Bruno Coulais

Songs By: They Might Be Giants

Based on the 2002 novel by British author Neil Gaiman about A young girl named Coraline(Dakota Fanning)moves to an old house, who feels bored and neglected by her parents. She finds a hidden door with a bricked up passage. During the night, she finds the door and not bricked up, she then goes through the passage and finds a parallel world where everybody has buttons instead of eyes, with caring parents and all her dreams coming true. When the Other Mother (Teri Hatcher)invites Coriline to stay in her world forever, the girl refuses and finds that the alternate reality where she is trapped is only a trick to lure her to keep her forever, Coraline must count on her resourcefulness, determination, and bravery to get back home - and save her family.

Coraline is a great movie,The Story is very imaginative though very much like a creepy version of Alice and Wonderland with a little bit of The Chronicles of Narnia and you get a spine-chilling fantasy adventure. Although it's not quite as good as the book, but Henry Selick does the book justice and I highly recommend it to anyone who's a fan of the book. It's no surprise since he was the guy who directed The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach, this was a perfect film for him.

My favorite character isn't the titular character Coraline to me the real star of the book is the Black Cat(voiced by Keith David) and they kind of cut down his part down quite a bit which i think is the movies big downfall. This is in part of the movies character addition of Wybie (voiced by Robert Bailey, Jr.), Although I must admit that his addition is well done and not one at was all that pointless but you feel that it would be good even if he wasn't in the movie because the cat is the most awesome character in the book.

The animation is so vividly stunning, and beautifully done its even greater that its stop motion animation which we hadn't seen in a while. My favorite animation sequences in the movie are the one scene after Coraline finds all three stone and the outside of the house flakes away into nothing but white is so cool, another would be inside the house near the end of the film when the floor transformed into a spider-web trap when Coraline tried to escape is so magical and the scene is pretty intense with the witch.
The cast does a very good job each suits the characters voice's very well, the standout is of course being Keith David as the Black cat his voice fits the character perfectly.Other notable cast is Dakota Fanning as Coraline, Teri Hatcher as Mother and Other Mother, Jennifer Saunders as Miss Spink, Dawn French and Miss Forcible, and Ian McShane as Mr. Bobinsky.

The Score composed by Bruno Coulais a French composer who I think were going to here about more often who does a very beautiful job with the score, one of the best score I've ever heard, with such haunting melodies as the "End Credits"; which Ironically is placed in the first track of the soundtrack then it was used in the film, "The Famous Mister B","Ghost Children","The Theater","You Know I Love You" and "Playing Piano".One music in particular uses as the theme for the character Coraline which is "Exploration".The Soundtrack even includes songs written by the band "They Might Be Giants" such as, "Other Father's Song", and "Sirens of the Sea" both are very whimsical and catchy, my favorite being the "Other Father's Song".

Overall its one of the best movies of the year, a very well made adaption of the novel while it not as good but still faithful to the book and won't have fans leaving in disgust.

The Princess and the Frog

"The Princess and the Frog"
Review By: Doug Nau

Rating:*****/5

Directed by: Ron Clements
John Musker

Produced by: Peter Del Vecho
John Lasseter (executive producer)

Written by: Ron Clements
John Musker
Rob Edwards
(Screenplay)

Ron Clements
John Musker
Greg Erb
Jason Oremland
Don Hall
(Story)

Based loosely on the novel: E. D. Baker "The Frog Princess"

Inspired by the Fairytale by: The Grimm brothers "The Frog Prince"

Starring: Anika Noni Rose
Bruno Campos
Keith David
Michael-Leon Wooley
Jim Cummings
Jenifer Lewis
John Goodman
Oprah Winfrey
Jennifer Cody
Peter Bartlett
Terrence Howard

Songs by: Randy Newman (Music & Lyrics)

Score Composed by: Randy Newman

'The Princess and the Frog' is an American fairy tale, Broadway-style musical set in the French Quarter of New Orleans at the height of the Roaring Twenties. A prince named Naveen (Bruno Campos) from the land of Maldonia is transformed into a frog by the evil scheming voodoo magician Dr. Facilier (Keith David). The frog prince mistakes a girl named Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) for a princess and has her kiss him to break the spell. The kiss does not break the spell, but instead turns Tiana into a frog as well. Together, the two of them must reach the good voodoo queen of the deepest, darkest part of the Bayou, Mama Odie (Jenifer Lewis), while befriending a trumpet-playing alligator Louis (Michael-Leon Wooley) and a hopelessly romantic Cajun firefly named Ray (Jim Cummings) along the way.

Disney's 49th animated film The Princess and the Frog is a landmark in animation for its triumphant return to traditional hand-drawn animation the gift of new life once again. This is what classic animation is and its such a breathe of fresh air from the computer animations and avoids the 3d glasses.The story hits all the right notes, engaging character, a kick-ass villain,and catchy songs.The message is both classic Disney and very heartwarming.It also has its darker elements than a usual Disney animated films and very fast-paced but still nicely told so you have time to dwell on the scenes and its beautiful animation.Its some of the best looking animations I've ever seen. It really show what Disney is truly the best at which is hand-drawn animation. My favorite animation sequences would be the "Friends on the other side" - very trippy musical number and a reminiscent of "Be Prepared" From The Lion King and "Hellfire" From The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and the part when Tiana and Prince Naveen turn back into Humans; its the most beautiful sequence in the whole movie.

The characters are very fun and engaging, the cutest character being Ray the Firefly is my new all-time favorite animal cartoon character. The most entertaining are Mama Odie and Louis. The main Disney princess who isn't a princess at the beginning until the end of the movie makes history as the first black-Disney princess and does it in a very tastefully without being racist which some are complaining it is. Tiana's a very hard working and independent woman almost like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. The main Disney prince Naveen is very carefree princes and wants to have fun. The main antagonist Dr.Facilier (a.k.a "the Shadow man") is among the best Disney villains although not very muti-dimensional but some the best villains of all time aren't very dimensional either.The cast is some of the best vocal acting I've ever seen with the standout being Keith David, Jenifer Lewis, and Jim Cummings.

This also marks the return of Disney animated musical its a shame Alan Menken and Glenn Slater didn't get to do this movie since he would do justice but I think Randy did a wonderful job with the Songs and Score.Although he'll never match the standard of Alan menken. Randy Newman gives the score a little of each type of music from Jazz, Blues, Gospel,and Country keeping it very authentic and fits very nicely with the setting while maintain the little touch of Disney Magic. The Songs do as there suppose to due move the along forward in a catchy way. The Standouts being "Almost There","Friends on the Other Side","Dig A Little Deeper","Ma Belle Evangeline", and "Down in New Orleans". The least favorite being "Gonna Take you There" is a very repetitive but fits well in the category of "Travel Song".

The Princess and the Frog is classic Disney and a grand comeback to Disney.The score is amazing and the best I've ever heard. The animation dazzles beautifully. My pick for not only one of the best Disney movie ever made but also the best movie of 2009. The magic of Disney is back and is hopefully officially stay like this and reclaim its reign as the kings of animation.

The Hangover Part II
½

"The Hangover: Part II"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating: ****/5

Directed by: Todd Phillips

Produced by: Daniel Goldberg
Todd Phillips

Written by: Scot Armstrong
Craig Mazin
Todd Phillips

Starring: Bradley Cooper
Ed Helms
Zach Galifianakis
Justin Bartha
Ken Jeong
Jeffrey Tambor
Jamie Chung
Bryan Callen
Mason Lee
Paul Giamatti
Sasha Barrese
Gillian Vigman
Yasmin Lee
Nirut Sirijanya
Nick Cassavetes
Mike Tyson

Score Composed by: Christophe Beck

Two years after the bachelor party in Las Vegas, Phil Wenneck, Stu Price, Alan Garner, and Doug Billings jet off to Thailand for Stu's wedding. Stu's plan for a subdued pre-wedding brunch, however, goes seriously awry. After a quiet night on the beach with a beer and toasting marshmallows by the camp fire. Stu, Alan and Phil wake up in a hotel room along with Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) in Bangkok. Doug is back at the resort, but Teddy is missing, there's a monkey with a severed finger, Alan's head is shaved, Stu has a tattoo on his face, and they can't remember any of it. The wolf-pack retrace their steps through strip clubs, tattoo parlors and cocaine-dealing monkeys on the streets of Bangkok as they try and find Teddy before the wedding.

The Second installment of the original 2009 hit comedy, what I was afraid would happen did because, Scot Armstrong, Craig Mazin, and Todd Phillips screenplay was essentially the same story structure of the first but not quite as fresh and hysterical, I still thought its very funny and somehow managed to work just the only major difference from the original is its in a new setting, instead of returning to Las Vegas they go to Thailand, Bangkok. Which, explains why they've even made the sequel more raunchier and crueler that is often times quite disturbing for most people to take in a rated-R movie. By raising its level of raunchiness helped maintain some of the original shock value while most people will be turned off by it. So to put its simply if you laughed your ass off watching the first you'll bound to laugh half your ass off at this film despite the noticeably darker tone of this installment.

The cast are to be largely commended in their respective roles that made them movie stars, especially the four main wolf pack including Bradly Cooper, Justin Bartha, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis who is not only the standout for his hysterical performance but takes the cake for some of the best one-liners in the film. I also thought Ken Jeong is really fantastic and another standout comedic performance. Crystal The Monkey was also really funny and almost stole the show for her off the charts adorableness on screen in every one of the scenes she's in. During the credits they once again show pictures of the night is wrong and funny. I won't revel what happens to some of the characters but its pretty f*** up but the pictures are still hilarious.

So overall, while this installment might not have match the standard to the original nor as fresh, as fresh as the original but if you laughed your ass off and loved the first film you'll more then likely laugh half as much in this sequel. It's essentially the movie but put in a much different setting which would explain they made the film much darker and the raunchiness has been risen another notch which might detract some people but is still one of the most funniest films I've seen and is worth the trip if you'd loved the first film and have seen it many times.

The Hangover
The Hangover(2009)

"The Hangover"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating:*****/5

Directed by: Todd Phillips

Produced by: Todd Phillips
Daniel Goldberg

Written by: Jon Lucas
Scott Moore
Todd Phillips
(uncredited)
Jeremy Garelick (uncredited)

Starring: Bradley Cooper
Ed Helms
Zach Galifianakis
Heather Graham
Justin Bartha
Jeffrey Tambor
Heather Graham
Sasha Barrese
Rachael Harris
Ken Jeong
Mike Epps
Mike Tyson

Score Composed by: Christophe Beck

Doug Billings(Justin Barthia)and Tracy Garner(Sasha Barrese)are about to get married. Two days before the wedding, the four men have a bachelor party with Doug's two best buddies Phil Wenneck (Bradley Cooper)and Stu Price (Ed Garner), and Tracy's brother Alan Garner (Zach Galifianakis) - hop into Tracy's father's beloved Mercedes convertible for a 24-hour stag party to Las Vegas. SPhil, a married high school teacher, has the same maturity level as his students when he's with his pals. Stu, a dentist, is worried about everything, especially what his controlling girlfriend Melissa(Rachael Harris) think, because she disapproves of traditional male bonding rituals. Stu has to lie to her about the stag, telling her that they are going on a wine tasting tour in the Napa Valley.Regardless, he intends on eventually marrying her, against the advice and wishes of his friends. And Alan seems to be unaware of what are considered the social graces of the western world.

The morning after their arrival in Las Vegas, they awaken in their hotel suite each with the worst hangover. None remembers what happened in the past twelve or so hours. The suite is in shambles. And certain things are in the suite that shouldn't be, and certain things that should be in the suite are missing. Probably the most important in the latter category is Doug. As Phil, Stu and Alan try to find Doug using only what little pieces of information they have at hand, they go on a journey of discovery of how certain things got into the suite and what happened to the missing items. However they are on a race for time as if they can't find Doug in the next few hours, they are going to have to explain to Tracy why they are not yet back in Los Angeles. And even worse, they may not find Doug at all before the wedding.

I can't remember the last comedy I've seen at the movies that has made me laugh out loud more then any other has in a very long time. The screenplay by Jon Lucas, Scott Moore, Todd Phillips, Jeremy Garelick is outrageously clever from beginning to end and laugh your ass off hilarious that's also a little raunchy and at times a little disturbing. The cast especially help boost the film with great comedic timing and delivery with memorable one-liners.Although the standout of them all has got to be Zach Galifianakis(Alan Garner) with his hilarious humor and physicality he brings the character that literally steals the show ever time he's on the screen. But that's only the beginning stay after the movie ends and the show all the hilarious and provocative pictures taking on that night is one of the best parts of the movie. The cast also includes some cameos most noticeable Mike Tyson,and Wayne Newton,Carrot Top found in the photo slides at the end credits.

So overall The Hangover is an instant classic,not only is it the best comedy of the year its one the best movies I've ever seen.Get ready to laugh your ass off. No doubt I'll be going to see the sequel that is planned but I'm also having mixed reactions for it. While I did notice some points in this story in the end that they could use for the sequel but my worry would be that it could be like watching the first but slightly different and mostly unoriginal, but we'll just have to what and see in 2011.

Michael Jackson's This Is It

"Michael Jackson's This is it"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating: ****/5

Directed by: Kenny Ortega

Produced by: Randy Phillips
Kenny Ortega
Paul Gongaware

Starring: Michael Jackson

Songs by: Michael Jackson

Legendary musical superstar Michael Jackson (a.k.a The King of Pop) takes the stage one last time in this theatrical concert film compiled from over 100 hours of rehearsal footage for the 50 shows he had been scheduled to perform at London's O2 arena at the time of his death. Take a trip behind the scenes to see the mastermind behind such classic pop hits as "Thriller" and "Billie Jean" prepare for the concert that would have crowned his entire career. Produced in collaboration with the Estate of Michael Jackson, the film details the elaborate preparations that took place for two months beginning in April of 2009.

"This is it" isn't the what it could been but is forgiven for all the Jackson's incredibly raw rehearsal footage from the King of Pop! Michael Jackson that will live up to the ambitions of the fans. The performances are really amazing and the set design is really beautiful but my pick for the standout is the Earth song, incredibly powerful performance.Other noteworthy performances is "Thriller"; I especially loved the tribute to The Haunted Mansion in the video at the beginning during the performance, "The Way you make me feel", "They Don't really care about us", and "The Jackson 5 tribute; especially love the beautiful rendition of I'll be there.

What is my problem with the film the lack of insights into the creative process behind the scenes of the show. It made the film feel really choppy in what they wanted to and didn't give us a real sense of the sheer scope of Michael's vision for concert, because its really fantastic performance we were shown from the footages. Despite that minor flaw I think people will get over it and just enjoy the movie for the music and performance. I'm love his work, he has the best male vocals in pop music I've ever heard, as well as the best dancer I've ever seen and he doesn't disappoint in This is it. He so slick and in totally in the moment of each songs in the movie and doesn't show a man who was sick or unable to perform the grueling rehearsals, maybe a little too skinny but nothing else and still got some really mad skills.

So overall not quite as good as it could have been but ultimately is a respectable tribute to a truly amazing performer he is.I had a great time watching all the performances and the electrifying music presented in the movie. It a must see for anyone fans and music lovers! It may disappoint as far as if your looking for insightful facts about the shows development but is totally forgiven.

Water for Elephants
½

"Water for Elephants"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating: ****1/2/5

Directed by: Francis Lawrence

Produced by: Kevin Halloran
Gil Netter
Erwin Stoff
Andrew R. Tennenbaum

Screenplay by: Richard LaGravenese

Based on the Novel by: Sara Gruen

Starring: Reese Witherspoon
Robert Pattinson
Christoph Waltz
Tai the Elephant
James Frain
Hal Holbrook
Paul Schneider
Ken Foree
Tim Guinee
Mark Povinelli
Scott MacDonald
Jim Norton
Richard Brake

Score Composed by: James Howard Newton

Based on the novel by Sara Gruen tells the story of Jacob Jankowski(Robert Pattinson), recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train and enters a world of freaks, drifters, and misfits. A second-rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus animals. It is there that he meets Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August(Christoph Waltz), the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie (Tai), an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her.Its a story of a love between two people that overcomes incredible odds in a world in which even love is a luxury that few can afford.

While, I'll admit, I have never read the original novel. I will only judge solely from watching the film and not comparing the book. This was a lot better then I thought it would be this is a movie women will love and guys can sit through the film without feeling like they've drop their balls. Richard LaGravenese's screenplay may not be quite as compelling but has a good balance of melodrama, romance, and mischievous humor as well as captures the darker and animal cruelty aspect of the circus. It feels old-fashioned but is told with such grace, and charm. Which makes this film a perfectly acceptable entertainment for all ages. Although, I know no animals were harmed in the making of this film, the abusive moments were pretty hard to watch at times. The film is also set in the early 1930's of the Great depression and focus on a traveling circus to which Rodrigo Prieto's cinematography has an old-fashioned feel to the setting but vibrantly captures the colorful and charming atmosphere of the circus spectacle.

The cast did were exceptionally good including Rob Pattinson, who was surprisingly good and had more of a charming, and looked more clean-cut in this film then in the Twilght films. Both he and Reese Witherspoon had nice chemistry with one another.I especially thought supporting cast like Mark Povinelli was fantastic as well as Christopher Waltz who plays circus owner August Rosebluth even though at time I did not like his character but he was truly fantastic in the role, but the real star of the show is Tai who plays Rosie and has major part in the film, especially towards the end had me clapping in the theater for Rosie who will melt your hearts.

The score composed by James Newton Howard is so beautiful and captures the charming appeal of the greatest show on earth and romance of the 1930's. The score is one of the most gracefully soundly music I've heard that also captures the darker and emotional aspect of the film. The movie also has some songs from that period play in the certain parts of the film including "Button Up Your Overcoat" by actress and singer of that time Ruth Etting, "I Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl" by Blues singer Bessie Smith, and "Stomp Time Blues" by jazz band Jasper Taylor & His Statestreet Boys. My favorite tracks include "Did I Miss it", "Circus Sets Up", "Circus Fantasy", "Jacob Sees Marlena", "Rosie", "I'm Confessin' That I Love You", "Jacob Returns", "Don't Tell Him What Happend To Me", "Shooting Star", "Baptism - Jacob & Rosie", and " The Stampede/ I'm Coming Home".

So Overall,its the best movie I've seen about the circus that's a very old-fashioned and gracefully told historical tale with melodrama, romance, whimsical fun of the circus, is a perfect film for all ages. Rodrigo Prieto vibrant cinematography captures the captures the movies circus atmosphere is the most appealing part of the whole movie, The cast all did exceptional jobs and Rob Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon had nice chemistry with one another. I also liked Mark Povinelli, and Christopher Waltz were all fantastic but the true star of the show is Tai the Elephant who will melt your hearts at the first time she appears. I would like to read the novel after watching this film.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End

"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating: ****/5

Directed by: Gore Verbinski

Produced by: Jerry Bruckheimer

Written by: Ted Elliott
Terry Rossio

Based on character's by: Ted Elliott
Terry Rossio
Stuart Beattie
Jay Wolpert

Starring: Johnny Depp
Orlando Bloom
Keira Knightley
Geoffrey Rush
Bill Nighy
Tom Hollander
Jack Davenport
Chow Yun-fat
Naomie Harris
Stellan Skarsgard
Kevin McNally
Keith Richards
Jonathan Pryce
Lee Arenberg
David Bailie
Martin Klebba
Christopher S. Capp

Score composed by: Hans Zimmer

Additonal music by: Lorne Balfe
Tom Gire
Nick Glennie-Smith
Henry Jackman
Atli Örvarsson
John Sponsler
Geoff Zanelli

The third and so-called final installment to franchise picks up the second film left off. Elizabeth Swan(Keira Knightley), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and the crew of the Pearl sail off the ends of the world (literally) with the help of mysterious Tia Dalma (Naomie Harris) and the late Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) who has been raised by the dead to save Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). He has been condemned to the terrible fate of remaining in the void of Davey Jones' locker for eternity. After Elizabeth, Will, and Captain Barbossa rescue Captain Jack Sparrow from the the land of the dead, they must face their foes, Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) and Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander). Beckett, now with control of Jones' heart, forms a dark alliance with him in order to rule the seas and wipe out the last of the Pirates. Now, Jack, Barbossa, Will, Elizabeth, Tia Dalma, and crew must call the Pirate Lords from the four corners of the globe, including the infamous Sao Feng, to gather to the Brethren Court. The Pirate Lords want to release the goddess Calypso, Davy Jones's damned lover, from the trap they sent her to out of fear, in which the Pirate Lords must combine the 9 pieces that bound her by ritual to undo it and release her in hopes that she will help them fight. With this, all pirates will stand together and will make their final stand for freedom against Beckett, Jones, Norrington, the Flying Dutchman, and the entire East India Trading Company.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is a very long movie much longer than the last two films combined and the plot of this installment feels more of a Greek tragedy story, which is a total departure from the last films lighter tone, and the screenplay by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio suffers from the same fate Dead man's chest did which the ways quite too many plots that's at times hard to follow. However, with that said that doesn't mean it wasn't entertaining at all thanks in part to the returning cast bring such charm and wit especially Johnny Depp who I'll never get tired or bored of watch him as Captain Jack Sparrow that it easily redeems the much darker film than the previous films. The main disappointment to me is the fact that they didn't have any allusions to the classic ride like in the The Curse of the Black Pearl and even a little in Dead Man's Chest but there was hardly any in this installment, only a snip of audio clip from the actually ride can be heard after the crew goes down the waterfall to World's End, which is cool but they could of tried harder to not stray away from the films original inspiration.

The visuals effects is even more amazing then the last film, especially considering the budget grew to a staggering $300 million, not only is it double the original's budget as well as $75 million more than Dead Man's Chest, it also brakes the record for most expensive film ever made. Most of the budget obviously put to use in the computer graphics and went into extreme detail, which I can't argue is so stunning and some of the best visuals effect I've ever seen in a film. The Action sequences is also more beefed up than Dead Man's Chest, by far one of the best sequence not only in the whole movie but I've have ever seen is the Maelstrom battle. One word to describe that whole scene is mind blowing.

The score composed Hans Zimmer, with additional music composed by Lorne Balfe, Tom Gire, Nick Glennie-Smith, Henry Jackman, Atli Orvarsson, John Sponsler, & Geoff Zanelli is a swashbuckling good time for any one who loved the first two soundtracks. This score for this installment features all the wonderful themes I loved and even adds a bit of Chinese flavor music to the score. Hans Zimmer and the director of all three Pirates film Gore Verbinski have also contributed music for the movies theme song called "Hoist the Colours" with lyrics by the writers Ted Elliott and Teddy Rossio, it tells the story of how Calypso was imprisoned in a human body by the pirate king, which represents the pirates ideology fro freedom. My favorite tracks include the song "Hoist the Colours", "The Pirate Lord of Singapore", "Bathhouse Fight", "At Wits End", "Multiple Jacks", "Souls at Sea", "Up is Down", "Lord Cutler Beckett", "Seduction", "The Brethren Court", "Calypso", "What Shall We Die For", "Maelstrom", "I Don't think Now is the Best Time", "Just Good Business", "One Day", and "Drink up Me Hearties".

So overall this is a departure from the last two films which feels more like a Greek Tragedy rather then the more lighter tone and humorous fun, but was not terrible like people have made out both this installment and Dead Man's Chest it was the most entertaining three hours I've spent watching a film that long in running time. It's a satisfying conclusion to an overall fantastic trilogy. The Visual effects is an amazing wonder to behold especially the Maelstrom sequences is the most mind blowing action sequence I've ever seen in cinema theater. The cast were all excellent and the returning cast bring the film a much needed charm and wit that was lacking in this film with it being more darker tone from the last two films. The Story is hard to follow at first but it gets better and better after many repeats of watching the film which i recommend everyone to do before they jump the boat to quickly and say its so bad when really isn't all that terrible as people have made out for both Dead Man's Chest and At World's End.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
½

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating: ****1/2/5

Directed by: Gore Verbinski

Produced by: Jerry Bruckheimer

Written by: Ted Elliott
Terry Rossio

Based on Characters by: Stuart Beattie
Jay Wolpert
Ted Elliott
Terry Rossio

Starring: Johnny Depp
Orlando Bloom
Keira Knightley
Bill Nighy
Jack Davenport
Stellan Skarsgard
Kevin McNally
Tom Hollander
Lee Arenberg
Mackenzie Crook
Naomie Harris
David Bailie
Jonathan Pryce

Score Composed by: Hans Zimmer

Additional Music Composed by: Lorne Balfe
Tom Gire
Nick Glennie-Smith
Henry Jackman
Trevor Morris
John Sponsler
Geoff Zanelli

The second installment of the film franchise picks up where the first movie left off, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightley) are to be married. However, this is interrupted when their both are arrested for aiding in the notorious Captain Jack Sparrow's (Johnny Depp)escape. Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander), will lift all charges, if Will can hunt down Jack and bring him back to Beckett, along with his magic compass. However, Jack has other problems. Years ago, he made a deal with Davy Jones (Billy Nighy) to raise the Black Pearl. Time is up. His part of the deal was to give Davy Jones his soul. Once Will finds Jack, unaware of the current situation, Jack coaxes Will into boarding Davy Jones's ship, the Flying Dutchman, and retrieve a mysterious key. This key opens the chest that contains Davy Jones's secret. With it, you can control Davy Jones and his fearsome beast, The Kraken. Once Will retrieves said key, Davy Jones is hot on his trail, now hunting down both Jack and Will. It is now, only a matter of time, before something happens. Hopefully the pirates can reach the chest and stop Davy Jones, before he reaches them and sends them all to a watery grave.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is noticeable much bigger then the original not just in story, but production values which shows much of money went into the visual effects. Also the films budget grew $85 million dollar more from the originals $140 million dollars, which makes the cost of this films budget $225 millions. However, they've put tender and care with the stunning visuals, in the end the result is so spectacular and even better then the original. The movies problem lies within the screenplay by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio is bogged down by too many plots which was a bit complicated at first to follow but after couple more view you pick up the piece didn't realize the first time. There also isn't mush allusions of the classic ride like there was in the original I assume that because most of it had already been shown in the original that the only noticeable allusion to the ride in which the films were inspired by is when they go to visit Tia Dalma the beginning of that scene reminded me a bit of the swamp scene at the beginning of the ride. Also, the tone has gotten much darker from the originals lighter tone but the movie still manages to entertain the hell out of me from beginning to end. So as long I had a great time watching it is definitely in my opinion a worthy successor.

The action sequences are ten times more epic and action-packed in this film than the original, my favorite sequences in the film are with the Karken is so amazing and exciting especially towards the end with with the ending at will shock you. Most of the cast from the original return to their role respectfully and they all did a fantastic job, especially new cast member Bill Nighy as Davy Jones was excellent and one of the films standouts besides Johnny Depp, who knocks it out of the park yet again as Captain Jack Sparrow. I also thought Orlando Blooms and Keria Knightly character's this time around was more interesting to watch as they maintain there personality, while they grow Keria's character's becomes more pirate-like of themselves.

The score composed by Hans Zimmer with additional music composed by Lorne Balfe, Tom Gire, Nick Glennie-Smith, Henry Jackman, Trevor Morris, John Sponsler, and Geoff Zanelli, is much bigger in scope then the original. The music in this film has an electric beat to the music to which Zimmer has cleverly plugged the orchestra instruments to guitar amps which gives the score a epic feel and even utilizes a Pip Organ, and a musical box. The music is even more better than the original, one of the best score for an action flick I've heard. My favorite tracks included; "Wedding Crasher", "I've Got My Eye on You", "This Way Direction", "Times Up", "The Pelegostos", "Dinner is Served", "Escape The Pelegostos", "Tia Dalma", "The Flying Dutchman", "The Haunted Dress to Tortuga", "Two Hornpipes", "Dave Jones Suite", "A Family Affair", "Summoning The Karken", "The Karken Suite", "Very Much Alike", "Fight Over the Key", "Wheel of Fortune", "A Jar of Dirt", and "Hello Beastie".

So overall while I do think its not as great as the first but I will say it is a worthy successor and doesn't feel like it was rehash of the original. It still was one of the most entertaining time I've had in the theater. Although, the film is much bigger than the first in scope and tone but manages to keep me glued to my sits from beginning to end. The only negative thing is bogged down by too many complicated sub plot, but the visual effects are so stunning and ten times more action packed than the first.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

"Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating: *****/5

Directed by: Gore Verbinski

Produced by: Jerry Bruckheimer

Screenplay by: Ted Elliott
Terry Rossio

Story by: Ted Elliott
Terry Rossio
Stuart Beattie
Jay Wolpert

Starring: Johnny Depp
Geoffrey Rush
Orlando Bloom
Keira Knightley
Jack Davenport
Jonathan Pryce
Lee Arenberg
Mackenzie Crook
Kevin McNally
Zoe Saldana
David Bailie
Greg Ellis

Score Composed by: Klaus Badelt
Hans Zimmer (Theme)

When Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), the daughter of Governor Swann (Jonathan Pryce), is kidnapped by a group of pirates led by Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and taken aboard their ship, The Black Pearl.Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), the young man who loves Elizabeth despite the fact that she has already been asked in proposal by Commodore Norrington (Jack Davenport). Will sets out to rescue her but he can't do it alone, so he enlists the help of swashbuckling ship captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). Together, the two chase after The Black Pearl, but they soon discover that the captain and crew aren't your average pirates. Cursed to remain between the living and the dead, Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush)and his men look like skeletons when basked in the moonlight. When it is revealed that the only thing that can break the curse is Elizabeth's blood, Jack and Will are faced with a race against time and a battle against the undead to save the Governor's daughter.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is the best entertainment and action flick ever created that was inspired by the classic Disney theme park attraction. The film incorporates scenes from the rides fans will be able to pick out.Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio screenplay is extremely humorous and rousing action -packed ride for all ages to enjoy. The fighting sequences are very thrilling and well shot, my favorite sequences are the 'Raid on Port Royal' and the 'Battle of Isla de Muerta". The visual effects add a nice touch, its especially done well with the walking death that is the crew of the Black pearl and the effects are not overly done, that you barely even notice that its computer graphics.

of laugh-out-loud moments thanks mostly in part of to Johnny Depp's loony and funny portal as Captain Jack Sparrow in such a hysterical and brilliant performance of a life time. The other actors in the cast did exceptional jobs especially Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa, and Kevin McNally was awesome and funny as Joshamee Gibbs. The score composed by Klaus Badelt and Hans Zimmer (Themes) is one of the most eerily mysterious feel to the music and swashbuckling epic score I've ever heard. My favorite tracks included "The Medallion Calls", "The Black Pearl", "Walking Death", "Will Dexterity", "Walk the Plank", "Captain Barbossa", "Blood Ritual", "Moonlight Serenade-To The Pirate's Cave!", "Pain", "Underwater March", "Skull & Crossbone", "Bootstraps' Bootstraps", "Pirates March", and "One Last Shot - He's a Pirate".

Overall this is a this is one of the best, and most entertaining action flick ever, its a classic. Johnny gives his most brilliant performances of his life and knocks it out of the park, absolutely hilarious. The cast all did exceptional jobs as well and the action sequences are edge of your seat excitement and very well shot and they did over load the film with computer graphics that you almost barely notice the difference between live action and computer animation. This is one of the best action flicks I've have ever came across and one of Disney's best films they ever done.

Disneynature African Cats

"Africans Cats"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating: *****/5

Directed by: Alastair Fothergill
Keith Scholey

Produced by: Alix Tidmarsh
Keith Scholey

Narrated by: Samuel L. Jackson

Score Composed by: Nicholas Hooper

African Cats, tells the true story of two animal families in the wild by using real-life footage. The film focuses on a young lion cub named Mara being raised by her mother, Layla, a mother cheetah named Sita who is raising five newborns, and Fang, the leader of a pride defending his family from a banished lion with so many species competing for space and food in the savannah, the animals must figure out the best way to survive. Mara, a 6-month old cub, who aspires to follow her mother Layla's footsteps. Layla suffers a serious injury from a fight with other animals, making it more difficult for her to tend to Mara. As a result of the injury, Mara faces an uncertain future, and her loyalty to her mother is challenged.

Sita, the adult cheetah, tries to protect her newborn cubs from the various dangers of the Savannah. She regularly has to leave her cubs in order to hunt food, risking the possibility of them being attacked by lions, hyenas, adult male cheetahs, and other large mammals. Separately, Fang, the leader of the pride, has recently broken his tooth in a battle with another animal. A rival group of lions headed by a lion named Kali are trying to dethrone Fang, and Fang must prove that he is still the king. Life on the Savannah is full of challenging conditions and eager competitors, but the animals must all find a way to survive. Although all three of the stories take place on the African Savannah, each adventure operates independent of one another.

This is such a spectacular documentary film of wild-life I've ever seen, because it not another factual documentary you watched in high school but the film actually has a story that is very engaging and entertaining, yet simple to follow. It also has a heartwarming message about the power of mother's love for her cub. The result is almost like a real-life version of The Lion King if it was a live action film. The camera work is incredibly well done especially with the close up and slow motions shots of the cheetahs running, as well as astonishing scenery of the African Savannah. The film also features all your favorite animals from Giraffe, Elephants, Ostrich, Wildebeest, etc. but the real stars are the Lion and Cheetahs. Samuel L. Jackson provide the narration for the film and the action and while at time he seems a little too dramatic during moments that are suspenseful but I still thought he did a very good job telling the story.

So Overall I absolutely adore this film its a must see for anyone who love these magnificent feline animals. I love the fact that there's a story that's engaging, almost as if mother nature is bringing the story to life. This almost felt like this is how a live action Lion King would be like The footage of the African Savannah is so breathtakingly striking. Samuel L. Jackson did a good job telling a story while maybe he was a little too dramatic but fits well in the really suspenseful moments. It is the best documentary I've have ever seen!

Fantasia
Fantasia(1940)

"Fantasia"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating:*****/5

Directed by: Samuel Armstrong (Toccata and Fugue in D Minor)
(Nutcracker Suite)
James Algar (The Sorcerer's Apprentice)
Bill Roberts
Paul Satterfield (The Rite of Spring)
Ben Sharpsteen
David D. Hand (Meet the Soundtrack)
Hamilton Luske
Jim Handley
Ford Beebe (The Pastoral Symphony)
T. Hee
Norm Ferguson (Dance of the Hours)
Wilfred Jackson (Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria)

Produced by: Walt Disney

Written by: Joe Grant
Dick Huemer

Narrated by: Deems Taylor

Starring: Leopold Stokowski
& The Philadelphia Orchestra

Score Composed by: Johann Sebastian Bach
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Paul Dukas
Igor Stravinsky
Ludwig van Beethoven
Amilcare Ponchielli
Modest Mussorgsky
Franz Schubert

In this Review for Walt Disney 3rd animated feature film Fantasia which was once initially titled The Concert Feature his most ambitious undertaking ever I will review and tell you about each segment and rate them.The film consists of eight animated segment set to pieces of classical music as conducted by Leopold Stokowski, orchestra performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra, Deems Taylor provides the live-action introductions to each segment. When Fantasia was initially released in 1940 it was not an instant success got mixed reaction from critics and It failed to generate a profit or large commercial audience at first, and the limitations in reproducing Fantasound left Disney in financial straits. It didn't make profit and popularity until its re-release to theaters in 1969 and rose to classic status it is today. The segments in the film included:

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor: ***/5
The first segment in the film features Live-action shots of the orchestra illuminated in colors, backed by superimposed shadows. The number segues into abstract animated patterns, lines, shapes and cloud formations synchronized to Johann Sebastian Bach "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. The segment is full of colorful abstract patterns, while not quite one of my favorite segments but still great to see all the patterns, shapes, and lines beautifully flows in sync with the music.

Nutcracker Suite: ****/5
The second segment in the film with a music composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky presents with selection of pieces from the ballet and depicts the changing of the changes of the seasons from summer to autumn to winter with no plot. It features a variety of dances are presented with Fairies, Fish, Flowers, mushrooms, and leaves, including "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy", "Chinese Dance", "Dance of the Flutes", "Russian Dance", "Waltz of the Flowers". I love this segment because i adore the colorful eye-candy delight and sprightly beautiful segment, and I really liked the dancing mushrooms guys in the Chinese dance part, and also the fishes Arabian Dancing fishes part charming to.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice: *****/5
The third segment in the film with music is composed by Paul Dukas and based on the 1797 poem "Der Zauberlehrling" features Mickey Mouse as an apprentice of Sorcerer Yen Sid, who attempts to perform some of his master's magic trick before knowing how to control them. This is by one of the most memorable and endearing of all the segments in the film. It is one of the best segments in the film and a signature classic Mickey short.

The Rite of Spring: *****/5
The fourth segment in the film with music composed by Igor Stravinsky is a visual history of the earth's beginnings is depicted to sections of the ballet, from planets formation to first living creatures followed by the reign and extinction of the dinosaurs. This is one the most incredible display of dynamic animation in any animation I have ever seen with the dinosaurs fighting each other is quite amazing artistry. This is one of my very favorite segments in the movie and one the greatest achievement in animation history.

Meet the Soundtrack: ****/5
After intermission, we are introduced the animated soundtrack in the fifth segment in the film, in which he demonstration of how sound is rendered on film, initially a straight white line can change into different shapes and colors based on the sounds played is very brilliantly done and very entertaining to watch.

The Pastoral Symphony: ****/5
The sixth segment in the film with music composed by Ludwig van Beethoven, features mythical ancient Greek world of centaurs, fauns, cupids, and other figures from classical mythology. A gathering for a festival to honor Bacchus, the god of wine, is interrupted by Zeus who creates a storm and throws lighting bolts at the attendees. I really enjoyed this segment I mostly liked the Winged-Horses were so adorable especially the baby horses. The backdrop of the is set in Mount Olympus is depicted in a lush and colorful landscape.

Dance of the Hours: *****/5
The Seventh segment in the film with music composed by Amilcare Ponchielli, is a comic ballet featuring Madome Upanova and her ostriches students; representing the dancers of the morning,Hyacith Hippo and her hippo servants; representing dancers of the daytime, Elephanchine and her elephant troupe; representing the dancers of the Evening, Ben Ali Gator and his rival Alligators; representing dancers of the night. The finale sees the chaotic chase that ensues between all of the characters seen the segment until they eventually decide to dance together and end with the palace collapsing in on itself. This is also one of the entertaining and witty segments with the dancing Ostriches, Hippo, Elephant, and Alligators.One of my favorite segment in the film.

Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria: *****/5
The eighth and finale segment in the film is a combination of two musical pieces composed by Modest Mussorgsky (Night on Bald Mountain) and Franz Schubert (Ave Maria) features Chernabog the demon devil summons evil spirits restless souls from their graves. The spirits dance and fly through the air until driven back by the sound of an Angelus Bell as night fades into dawn. A chorus is heard singing Ave Maria as a line of robed monks is depicted walking with lighted torches through a forest and into the ruins of a cathedral. Chernabog is a crowning achievement with villains as he is the most dynamic Disney villain in history.

So overall this is Walt Disney's crowning achievement and a masterpiece in artistry and its brilliant mix of classical and visual storytelling is nothing I've ever seen done before. This movie displays some of the best animation I've ever seen. This was way beyond its time when it was initially released and is nothing like anything that ever been achieved in animation and visual storytelling. Anyone who enjoys classical music and artistry in animation is astonishingly display in full glory in this fantastic movie.

Iron Man
Iron Man(2008)

"Iron Man"
Review By: Doug Nau

Rating:*****/5

Directed by: Jon Favreau

Produced by: Avi Arad
Kevin Feige

Written by: Mark Fergus
Hawk Ostby
Art Marcum
Matt Holloway
John August

Starring: Robert Downey Jr.
Terrence Howard
Jeff Bridges
Gwyneth Paltrow
Shaun Toub
Faran Tahir
Leslie Bibb

Score composed by: Ramin Djawadi

The Playboy wolf and an engineering genius Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is a successful CIO of the Stark Industries, a weapon company founded by his father and his partner Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), who is second in command and had worked with his father. Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow)is Tony's personal assistant, who she has a crush on. While in Afghanistan demonstrating his ultimate Jericho Missile, he and his military convoy are attacked by a group of terrorist called the Ten Rings and is seriously wounded ironically by his own weapon. The Ten Rings want Tony to build them a missile in three months.While being held captive he meets Yinsen and together they create a powerful armor suite to escape the cave where he was arrested. When is rescued and returned home he announces that Stark Industries will cease manufacturing weapon and dedicate his time to improving the armor by installing a propulsion system to fly and crafting it with gold and titanium. However, Pepper discovers that Obadiah has been selling Tony's weapons to the terrorist group in Afghanistan and he betrayed Tony by using his data to build a prototype armor for himself, transforming it into the ultimate weapon called "Iron Monger"

Iron Man is a masterfully made action and superhero movie, its really epic, and quite funny with its clever dialogues. The whole cast were so fantastic, Robert Doweny Jr. was especially brilliant; the standout. He's one of best male actor in Hollywood. Also, other great performances include Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, and Gwyneth Paltrow. My favorite line the whole movie is the scene at the end he flat out tells the press his identity as Iron Man for even more fame. Let me say what genius writing! The characters are all great and so well developed. Tony Stark will go down as one of my favorite character and superhero of all time for not only being a kickass superhero but a character with brilliant humor and great character qualities.

The visual effect are so amazing, Its some of the best looking I ever seen, truly stunning. The action is so mind-blowing some of the best action sequences ever seen in cinema. You won't resist being dazzled by the visual and special effects. The musical score by Ramin Djawadi is one of the most electrifying and rocking score I've ever heard. It brilliantly blends electric guitar with classical orchestra a fresh approach to a superhero score. It even includes a jazzy-instrumental version of the original cartoon theme composed by John O'Brien & Rick Boston played while Tony is playing crabs. My favorite tracks on the soundtrack are "Driving with the top Down","Vacation Over","Golden Egg","Section 16","Iron Monger", and "Arc Reaktor".

So overall Iron Man is a masterpiece and has become one of my new all-time favorite movies. The action sequences are so fantastic, as well as amazing visual and special effects. The story is one of the more creative and well wriitten superhero movies. Its one of the best superhero I've ever seen next to The Dark Knight. I highly recommend that everyone should put this movie on their must-See list, its that good and I'm not into these types of movies but this one I think everybody will love.

9
9(2009)

"9"
Review by: Doug Nau

Rating: *****/5

Directed by: Shane Acker

Produced by: Tim Burton
Timur Bekmambetov
Jim Lemley
Dana Ginsburg
Jinko Gotoh

Written by: Pamela Pettler (Screenplay)
Shane Acker (Stroy)

Starring: Elijah Wood
John C. Reilly
Jennifer Connelly
Christopher Plummer
Crispin Glover
Martin Landau
Fred Tatasciore
Alan Oppenheimer

Score composed by: Deborah Lurie
Danny Elfman (Themes)

Based on the Oscar-nominated short film same title and same director; After an apocalyptic war between human and machines, the world is completely destroyed and without human life. The burlap doll 9(Elijah Wood)awakes without voice and finds a weird object in the middle of the debris that he brings with him. While walking through the ruins, 9 is attacked by a machine called Beast but he is saved by another doll called 2(Martin Landau)that fixes his voice. 2 brings 9 to meet his hidden community, leaded by the coward 1(Christopher Plummer). When 2 is captured by a machine, the newcomer 9 convinces the other dolls to go with him to rescue 2. However, 9 places the device that he found in a slot and activates a lethal machine called BRAIN. The burlap dolls are chased by Brain and despite the advices of 1 that they should hide, 9 organizes an attack to destroy BRAIN.

9 is such a fantastic movie, I absolutely loved it! Shane Acker has directed his first full-length animated movie and his first masterpiece.I know it may seem a little too much to say but that's how much I really liked the movie.The story seems strange but its really fascinating concept, that's pretty complex, dark, and very deep in emotions.One of the most spellbinding animated movies I've ever seen.The visuals is well worth seeing this movie, its so incredible well-details in setting and cinematography.The cast all did such a wonderful job bringing human-like qualities to these rag dolls, my favorite vocal performances are Christopher Plummer as 1, Elijah Woods a 9, and Jennifer Connelly as 7, and Crispin Glover as 6. The characters are very compelling my favorites in the movie are 6,3 & 4,9,8,and 2.

The Score by Deborah Lurie that includes Theme music by Danny Elfman is one of the best scores I've ever heard, I hope I'll hear more from her because these music are so intense, eerie, with such favorites as "Winged Beast","The Machines","Slaying the Cat Beast","Return of the Machines",and "Reawakening". It also evokes a softer and more beautiful side with such cues as "Sanctuary","Reunion/Searching for Two","Burial","Return to the Workshop",and "Release". I also really like the end on "Welcome Home" by rock band "Coheed and Combria" it fits well with the movie and I especially really love the intro you hear is quite possibly the best intro I've ever heard. One word to describe the song is EPIC!

So Overall this is one of the most underrated movie of 2009 and yet I thought this is one of the best movies of 2009. I think this movie will most likely have a cult following with audiences. It deserves a lot more recognition then its gotten not only for its story but brave,and compelling storytelling.I Hope we'll be seeing more of Shane Acker in the near future.