I’m not much of a dream warrior, more of a heavy sleeper who snores a fair bit!
A heavy week on the content from The Walt Disney Studios,
An Extremely Goofy Movie (2000, Douglas McCarthy, Australia/United States Of America) **1/2
Charming, at times, but it’s hard to get behind a cookie cutter animated film that features as insufferable of a character as Max Goof. He’s the antithesis of Goofy, he smarts off, he’s pretty dumb, and he lacks anything resembling respect. Obviously he’s supposed to be different than his father, but he is so different, and in such an awfully executed way, that watching him for the majority of the film was a chore. The parts with Goofy soar, but they are in the minority and can’t boost the film past the limitations of a character like Max Goof.
Donald’s Vacation (1940, Jack King, United States Of America) ***
A pleasant little film, Donald’s Vacation is funny and charming, and that’s why it’s a fun film to watch. Donald Duck gets himself into trouble, and I laughed while he was up to his foolish shenanigans, knowingly grinned at the well done animation, and had a fun time with this short film. I watched this on a bus on my way to DisneyWorld, and let me tell you something, even in that setting the easy going hilarity of Donald Duck comes through in crystal clear fashion.
The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (1998, Rob LaDuca & Darrell Rooney, Australia/United States Of America) **
I smiled a few times, and it held my interest in parts, but overall The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride is what one should expect from a straight to DVD Disney Animation feature. The story is bland and far too similar to The Lion King. The characters that stay on from the original have a small amount of the spark that I loved the first time around. The new characters add little to the proceedings as they never feel like they are truly a part of this universe. The animation is where The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride most falters, as it is noticeable shoddy throughout. There’s one scene that involves flames on the ground where the flames were so obviously computer effects against an animated background that they were laughably bad. In summation, a few charming moments, but overall pretty bad.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006, Gore Verbinski, United States Of America) **
As bland as a film can be, that’s the best way to describe Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. The problem with Gore Verbinski’s film is that it never tries to be more than a bridge piece between two other films. This isn’t a sequel so much as it is the slight respite before Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End. The CG is impressive, but the characters are bland, the action is laborious, and the entire production is overblown to the extreme. The film as a whole fails to leave any sort of mark beyond being the forgotten film in a franchise.
A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987, Chuck Russell, United States Of America) ***1/2
Dreams aren’t uncommon territory in film, especially in the horror genre. However, there are very few movies that handle dreams in a way that truly interests me. A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is one of the few movies that does splendid things with the concept of dreams. Not only does Chuck Russell’s film come up with inventive scenarios in the dreams, the dreams are used to tell the story of the characters in the film. We know that one boy has control issues and fears the lack of control he has over his life. All it takes is one dream for us to know this, and we know this without tons of mindless exposition. The dreams in A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors also provide substance to the characters, as well as moving the plot along. At the same time Mr. Russell crafts a film that makes fine use of its effects and in implementing its horror and slasher elements. Christopher Nolan and fans of Inception should take note, because A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors shows how to make an actual worthwhile film about the dream landscape.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End (2007, Gore Verbinski, United States Of America) *
Ugh, where to begin with this one. It’s kind of hard to watch a franchise with such promise go down the shitter so quickly. Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End is an example of Hollywood gone wrong. A film so bloated, overwrought, overlong, and excessive in every way that it never comes together as a well made motion picture. There’s zero chemistry between the two romantic leads, the attempt at some sort of love quadrangle was clumsy and never felt real, and the action just goes on and on without any thrill behind its execution. This should have been a sad end to a promising franchise, but Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End is nothing more than a bumbling effort in a franchise that refuses to die.
A pretty sad week at the movies, but one film easily stood out above the rest of the crowd. A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors takes home movie of the week honors. Until next week, watch more movies!