Fantasia (review)

I saw a rerelease of *Fantasia* in Radio City Music Hall when I was probably 6 or 7, and the ‘Night on Bald Mountain’ sequence scared the bejeezus out of me. It still does.

Paulie (review)

I was not looking forward to watching Paulie, expecting the usual sitcomish antics that seem to pass for family viewing these days, so I was delighted to find an old-fashioned — in the best way — kind of movie. Disney used to make movies like this: uncynical but with a bit of an edge, wholesome without making you want to gag, sweet without sending you into a diabetic coma. Before Disney’s live action movies sunk to the level of a UPN sitcom, you could count on family films like Paulie (a Dreamworks release) to allow the bad guy (here, the lab director played by Bruce Davison) to be redeemed simply by witnessing an unselfish act, and to let you bawl your eyes out without feeling silly as only sentiment animal stories can.

Star Wars Trilogy: The Special Editions (review)

A recent episode of Showtime’s Stargate SG-1 featured this delightful line: ‘We’re afraid you’re gonna dark side on us,’ one character says to another who’s under the sway of the enemy. The mythology of Star Wars has presented us with a new verb: ‘to dark side.’ I love it.

Mulan (1998) and Hercules (1997) (review)

Damn! Mulan is thisclose to being not just a brilliant animated film, but a brilliant film, period. It has a dramatic story, a heroine who kicks butt, a villain who kicks butt, a square-jawed hero with a not-so-nice side, and some of the most sweepingly gorgeous visuals since Beauty and the Beast. But Mulan is dragged down by insipid songs that feel tacked on and silly, inappropriate sidekicks and secondary characters.

Bean (review)

Eenie Meenie Beanie Meanie My introduction to the Beanster came on an overnight Virgin Atlantic flight from New York to London in 1992. This was my first time flying Virgin, and I was totally blown away by those little televisions in the seat backs. I had planned to sleep my way to London, but instead … more…