March 2011 Archives

Contest: Win a DVD of Strawberry Shortcake: Puttin' on the Glitz

Do it for the children.
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Released on March 22nd, Strawberry Shortcake and her friends are Puttin' on the Glitz in this DVD release that also features printable coloring pages. The character started as a greeting card illustraton back in 1977 and went on to star and went on to star in TV specials, a movie, and video games. Cinema Sentries and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment are working together to bring one lucky reader a chance to win the DVD. There are two ways to enter. For your first entry, simply retweet the following post on Twitter: Tweet this Then for a second entry,

Tangled (2010) Blu-ray Review: Disney's Last Princess Movie Ends on a High Note

I can't recommend Tangled strongly enough.
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Comedy, romance and adventure, Disney delivers all three mightily in their 50th animated feature Tangled. In November 2010, Disney announced that they would no longer be making princess-based fairy tale animated features. I wasn't overly shocked by the news since there hasn't been a great princess movie in quite sometime, but was sad at the same time since The Little Mermaid and Beauty and The Beast are on the list of my favorites movies of all times. The Princess and the Frog was enjoyable while I was watching it, but I doubt it would ever warrant a second viewing. Tangled

Sucker Punch Movie Review: Visually Stunning Live-Action Anime

A badass film that's really cool to watch.
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Zack Snyder, Director of 300 and the Watchmen, brings another visually stunning and exciting film to the big screen. But while this film has the look and feel of a graphic novel combined with classic anime, it's actually an original screenplay written by Snyder and Steve Shibuya. The story is about a young girl who is only referred to as Baby Doll (Emily Browning), who finds herself committed in an insane asylum by her evil stepfather who is furious when he discovers that his wife's fortune was left to her two daughters instead of him. When he decides to take

Sucker Punch Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Review

Some intriguing covers, but unnecessarily extended.
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Zach Snyder's latest directorial effort has had a heavy marketing effort touting its impressive visuals in advance of its theatrical release this week, but far less publicized is the film's intriguing soundtrack. It's not an orchestral score, it's not a collection of new radio-friendly songs, and it's not even an array of classic artist recordings. Instead, it's reimagined and extended cover versions of familiar songs originally performed by artists that most sane people wouldn't dare to cover, including Roxy Music, The Pixies, and The Smiths. The songs were apparently selected for their lyrical relevancy to the project, but listeners

The Snob Seven: Movies for St. Patrick's Day

A few favorite films to watch on this Irish holiday.
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No matter your taste, this list should have something for your St. Patrick's Day viewing. The Quiet Man (1952) In a partnership that saw director John Ford and actor John Wayne create more than 20 films together, The Quiet Man was atypical being that it was a romance. Wayne plays Sean Thornton, an Irish-born American, who returns to his family's farm. He falls for Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O'Hara), but her brother "Red" Will Danaher (Victor McLaglen) stands in the way by refusing to give up the family dowry. This leads Sean and Red into an epic fist fight that

The Lincoln Lawyer Movie Review: Guilty of Being a Very Good Film

If you are looking for well-written thriller, make an appointment with The Lincoln Lawyer.
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Based on the novel of the same name by Michael Connelly, The Lincoln Lawyer stars Matthew McConaughey in an impressive performance as Los Angeles attorney Michael "Mick" Haller. Mick's a slick manipulator of the legal system; a guy who plays all sides to his advantage while defending his less-than-model-citizen clientele and annoying the police. However, he meets his match when, at the request of bail bondsman Val (John Leguizamo), he represents Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillipe), a Beverly Hills rich kid accused of attempted rape and murder. The case seems like easy money, and even better big money, with Louis vehemently

4192: The Crowning of The Hit King DVD Review: A Solid Hit But Not a Home Run

A good albeit incomplete story.
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This 90-minute documentary on the career of Pete Rose, which was released on February 22nd 2011 by Rivercoast Films, is certainly a well-told story. Unfortunately it may have been a no-win situation for the producers as this project is inevitably hindered by that which is untold, and ultimately leaves the audience feeling uncomfortable. One can tell from the start that this is going to be a classic tale told in a simple fashion that harkens back to the summer days spent playing the game that most of us grew up on, yet it is also clear from the start that

Tom and Jerry Fur Flyin' Adventures Volume 1 DVD Review: Fun Stuff For All

A pleasure to watch these fourteen early episodes again.
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As we all remember, Tom and Jerry were the precursors to the wonderfully subversive Itchy and Scratchy on The Simpsons. The only difference is in what is acceptable now versus what was acceptable then. Although Tom (the cat) was the "bad guy" and Jerry (the mouse) was the "good guy," Jerry always won out in the end. With Itchy and Scratchy, this setup is taken to ridiculous lengths, but always with the same outcome. The little guy wins. Having taken these scenarios for granted since I was a little kid, it was a pleasure to watch the fourteen early episodes

Bambi Diamond Edition Blu-ray Review: The Prince of the Forest is Born

My thoughts wandered to all of the better films in the vast Disney archives, which are more interesting and entertaining.
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Based on the book Bambi, A Life in the Woods by Felix Salten, Walt Disney's Bambi was released in 1942 and is the company's fifth animated film. Although it is hard to for me criticize anything Disney-related, as I revisited Bambi, my thoughts wandered to all of the more entertaining films in their vast archives. The film starts with all of the forest animals gathering together for the birth of the new prince, a deer named Bambi. Thumper, an outspoken bunny rabbit, becomes Bambi's closest friend and introduces him to various elements of the forest while teaching him how to

Contest: Win a Music on Film Book, This is Spinal Tap or West Side Story

Win a copy a book that explores one of these musical films.
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Cinema Sentries and Hal Leonard have teamed up to give three lucky readers the opportunity to win a book from Limelight Editions new series Music on Film. The paperbacks are 4.75" by 6.25" and as their press release states, "each book highlights one musical film from every angle." This is Spinal Tap is the 1984 comedy classic about the struggles of an aging rock band from the creative minds of Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Rob Reiner. The music ranged from hard rock songs "Hell Hole" and "Big Bottom" to a previous incarnation of the band during the

Book Review: Music On Film: This Is Spinal Tap by John Kenneth Muir

A backstage pass into all things Spinal Tap.
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The fact that This Is Spinal Tap (1984) is considered an iconic film today is almost a miracle, given the circumstances in which it was produced. The movie seemed doomed from the start, and only a series of fortunate coincidences allowed it to be made at all. This and all the background one would ever need about the picture comes from the excellent new book Music On Film: This Is Spinal Tap by John Kenneth Muir. The Music On Film series is a new line of books from Limelight Editions - an imprint of the Hal Leonard publishing house.

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