[Netflix] Movie Review – Jaws

My mother has the paperback copy of Jaws in her book collection. I have read it, but it was many, many years ago. I’ve also watched Jaws the movie before, but it was many years ago. As of writing this, Jaws, Jaws 2, Jaws 3, and Jaws: The Revenge are all on Netflix. Jaws (the book) is also at my local library.

The stars have aligned and now I’m reading the book and watching ALL the movies, starting with the original. A very young Richard Dreyfus stars in this movie, alongside Roy Schneider and Robert Shaw. This story also features the New York town of Amity. I know.

It’s the classic tale of Man vs Beast and reminded me a bit of Ernest Hemmingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, and if I ever get around to reading it, we’ll throw Moby Dick in this category too.

Toss in a Mayor who wants to do what’s best for the town’s economy and ignores the issue and you have a scene for a killer great white shark. To me, Jaws is firmly set in the land of classic books, and the movie does justice to the book. In fact the movie is probably now a classic itself.

Get it on Amazon

[DVD] Movie Review – Disney’s Babes in Toyland

This is an older Disney movie musical starring Ray Bolger (also known as the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz), Ed Wynn, Annette Funicello and Tommy Sands. It is set in Toyland, the land of fairy tales and toymakers. But not all is fun and games as the evil Barnaby (Bolger) plots an evil deed with two hired thugs to turn a happy wedding upside down.

I first watched this movie as a child off a VHS tape, and now as an adult I own the DVD and still enjoy the songs especially The Forest of No Return, its a children only scene from the movie. But my favorite scene is the battle of good and evil at the end before everyone returns home to finally have a happy wedding.

There are also some slow love ballads between Tom (Sands) and Mary (Funicello) to show how devoted they are to each other and give some substance to the story. The unfortunate Toymaker (Wynn) gets caught in the middle of Barnaby’s plot, but ultimately he has a happy ending too.

Everytime I watch this movie I get a sense of nostalgia and suddenly wish I was a kid again.

Get it on Amazon

[DVD] Movie Review – The Wizard of OZ

Another classic from my childhood and a book series I undertook reading a couple of years ago. The Wizard of Oz is a classic in many ways and many of you will already know the movie itself. After all, Somewhere Over the Rainbow is a beautiful, iconic song that can stand on it’s own, and Judy Garland does it justice.

Alongside Miss Garland, Ray Bolger, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Frank Morgan, Charley Grapewin, Pat Walshe, and Clara Bandick star is this wonderful children’s movie.

I was even an extra in my school’s rendition of The Wizard of Oz. I always found the forest of the Cowardly Lion and the first visit to the Wizard two of the scariest parts of the movie. My favorite part is the ending, where Dorothy makes it home after her friends have found their own rewards.

If you’ve never heard Judy Garland sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow, you are missing out and therefore I provide you the opportunity to correct this. And for those of you who have already heard this song, I offer you a repeat chorus.

Get it on Amazon

[Netflix] Movie Review – Mary and the Witch’s Flower

This movie that I stumbled upon on Netflix is based on a children’s book, The Little Broomstick, by Mary Stewart. Now I haven’t read this, and didn’t even know about growing up, but I found it on Amazon and put it on my wish list.

After watching the movie, I know how the “little broomstick” fits in. This is an anime type animated film from Studio Ghibli (a Disney company). I have and do watch Anime on a semi-regular basis, so this is nothing new for me.

I love that the kids are the stars and the adults are evil (well some of them). This is another movie where the kids are clearly underestimated by the adults who think they know better.

Even though Mary is the main character, I’d like to make an official petition for the Little Broomstick, which makes such a valiant effort throughout the entire movie, and it’s the name of the book the movie is based on.

If you have Netflix, I suggest a watch of this fantastic movie.

[DVD] Movie Review – The Revenant

Based on the novel by Michael Punke which is based on a 1915 poem The Song of Hugh Glass, the movie, the novel, and the poem both detail the life of Hugh Glass, whom is played by Leonardo DiCaprio in this movie.

I read the book back in high school and loved this survival and revenge story in the Old West. I really wanted to this movie in theaters but didn’t quite get the job done, so I have it on DVD now.

After some bad luck and a bear attack, the group he’s traveling with leaves him for dead. Hugh battles his way through injuries, attacks from a rival native tribe, and winter storms to find the man who betrayed him.

I’m finding that I have a lot of DiCaprio movies in my collection, something I wasn’t aware of until watching this movie. I guess that means he’s a good actor I like or he makes a lot of good movies.

[DVD] Movie Review – Bedknobs & Broomsticks

 

I watched this growing up, and it’s part of why I love movies that blend live action and animation (see Who Framed Roger Rabbit or The Incredible Mr. Limpet). Movies don’t really do this anymore, if needed there is 3D animation for characters that can’t be actors.

Anyway, I also really like Angela Lansbury, and this is a young Angela. Also David Tomlinson is a treasure and really should have been in more Disney movies. There is a lot of nostalgia here for me, and so that is my bias here. Fair warning.

The Isle of Naboombu is a great sequence, and I love the ending where she finalizes the last spell to fight off the invaders (this movie takes place in WWII fyi). And, of course, since it’s Disney there’s a variety of lovely songs and dances to go along with the action.

 

[DVD] Movie Review – Coraline

Coraline is a novel by Neil Gaiman, who is known for his dark fantasy work. This movie is pretty much just that, an animated dark fantasy, that almost borders on non-child-friendly.

Dakota Fanning voices Coraline Jones the main character, with Jennifer Saunders as a supporting character, and various others filling out the cast. Wybie is a extra character not found in the book, so that Coraline wouldn’t have to talk to herself.

I’ll remind everyone that I like dark movies (see Gothika) and this is a dark movie. To me animated dark movies are maybe a little too scary for their targeted audiences, so if you’re a parent maybe watch it before you show it to your kids.

Having said all that, I like this movie. I happen to like movies where the child fights for their parents. I do believe children are underestimated quite a lot of the time, so when the plot has the child as the savior I think it rocks. All the characters have parts to play, which I like too. They aren’t just shuffled to the side, they add to the story.

Again, I like this movie, and now I want to read the book!