Some brunettes went to the movies and all I got was this lousy t-shirt (rating movies I've just seen in the theater)

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  • October 12th 2006:
  • My Super-Ex Girlfriend (adult comedy & super-hero satire starring Uma Thurman, Luke Wilson, Anna Farris & Eddie Izzard)
  • report pending Rating: 4/5
  • August 20th 2006:
  • Garfield 2 (silly but enjoyable british tribulations of everyone and their cousin's favorite non-PC cat)
  • report coming up Rating: 3/5
  • August 13th 2006:
  • Pirates of the Carribean: Dead man's Chest (non-disneyish Disney pirate story starring Johnny Depp, Bill Nighy, Stellan Skaarsgard, Jonathan Pryce, Jack Davenport and, oh yes, also Keira Knightley & Orlando Bloom)
  • report coming up Rating 4,5/5
  • May 2006:
  • X-Men 3 (the final chapter in our beloved mutants' on-screen adventures starring Sir Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, James Marsden, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin, Rebecca Romijn, Kelsey Grammer & Hugh Jackman)
  • report coming up Rating 3/5
  • February 2006:
  • Les Bronzés 3, amis pour la vie (classic french comedy directed by Patrice Leconte, written by and starring Josiane Balasko, Michel Blanc, Marie-Anne Chazel, Christian Clavier, Gérard Jugnot & Thierry Lhermitte)
  • report of this movie was written but lost, will repost it soon... Rating: 4/5
  • December 28th 2005:
  • Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (heroic-fantasy exploitation directed by Andrew Adamson, starring relative unknowns, mythical creatures and talking animals)
  • Hmmm, first things first: I am not familiar at all with the books written by C.S. Lewis but I am very familiar with the Disney empire and the damage it's been doing for decades... Though I wouldn't go as far as them, I can relate to the radical people who label Disney a "tool of imperialistic propaganda"... anyways, this movie (and the scheduled subsequent ones) comes too late in the grand scheme of recent heroic-fantasy popular upsurge and can only feel like exploitation of the LOTR and Harry Potter successes... As stated earlier, in my review of Star Wars III if I recall correctly, more is more often than not NOT better and here is definitely the case once more... The moviegoer is buried under an avalanche of creatures (mostly from greek mythology and therefore highly unoriginal, if that matters), from Minotaurs to Fawns to Gryphons to Phoenixes to Cyclopses... At the risk of repeating myself, I have never even held a CS Lewis book in hand, let alone read it, so I can't clearly judge on this matter but I strongly suspect that the Disney machine has sanitized the story of all its somber violent and sexual allusions... I mean, the climax of the story is a huge battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil (yawn) and yet, there is not one, NOT ONE, drop of blood to be seen on screen... The magic that rules Narnia must be of a very clean kind, I guess... Finally, as if my point hadn't been made clear by now, I find it very ironic and cynical (and here I should acknowledge that my girlfriend pointed this out to me) that the guy directing this would be the co-director of Shrek, an animated movie that makes fun of the Disney philosophy at every possible twist and turn of its plot... So, basically, stripped of all my prejudice and my view of life and my set of values, I have to admit this movie is impressive with all its special effects and is a good popcorn movie but I am a human being, I have certain guidelines in my personal and social life and I cannot accept such blatant exploitation which in the end delivers a shallow empty story trinkled with all of the Disney mannerisms that I can't stand anymore... I bloody have reached my quota of close-ups on children crying for this 00's decade... This will be a 2,5 out of 5 and I expect people to disagree, thank you.
  • December 4th 2005:
  • Harry Potter IV: The Goblet of Fire (magical best-seller directed by Mike Newell, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes and a whole lot more british and international actors)
  • It's no secret that I am not a Potter-maniac...I have actually only seen Philosopher's Stone and Prisoner of Azkaban on DVD, have never seen Chamber of Secrets and have never come close to any of the books... But my missus enjoys the whole saga very much so I accompanied her to the theater for my very first big-screen Potter experience... And I can't say much wrong about it... While I had been mildly entertained by Philosopher's Stone and quite puzzled by the story of Prisoner of Azkaban, I really enjoyed Goblet of Fire... Firstly, I believe the Mike Newell touch helped a lot as there were many cleverly humorous moments throughout the movie to counterbalance the otherwise dark mood of you-know-who's reincaranation in a fully operational human body... The acting was as usual, from moments of brilliance from miss Watson to some utter tripe by one Danny Radcliffe and a spotless performance from the all-star cast of teachers... On a sidenote I found it a bit ironic that Gary Oldman's name would appear so highly placed on the ending credits when he only appears as burning coal via optical effects for a five-minute span... I know I usually complain about movies overfilled with special effects but here, except for a few instances (the bottom of the dark lake being one), I always found them 100% relevant to the story... This, after all, is supposed to be a purely magical endeavour... And with this fourth episode more than the ones before, the magic worked on me... It'll be a four out of five!
  • November 21st 2005:
  • Palais Royal ! (french comedy written and directed by and starring Valérie Lemercier, also starring Catherine Deneuve, Lambert Wilson and assorted references to the belgian and british royal families)
  • I laughed a lot... But still, I'm highly aware of the fact that this movie is rooted so much in our western european cultures that it probably wouldn't draw many laughs from people in other parts of the world... Yet, the casting is one of the best in a french movie this year, the dialogue is snappy, the situations are well-thought and the satire is point on... I'd give it a very high rating on a purely personal level but because of the cultural references that block the movie from a worldwide appeal, I'll settle on a 3.75 out of five.
  • November 7th 2005:
  • A History of Violence (A modern classic directed by David Cronenberg, starring Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, William Hurt, Ed Harris and relevant blood)
  • As any fellow listologist who has ever shuffled through my lists knows, I am a Cronenberg devotee so for once I did pay attention to what the critics had to say before I saw the movie myself... and yes, it's a bit mainstream for a Cronenberg piece but it's definitely not a mainstream movie per se... I particularly enjoyed the double rhythm of the movie, the "normal life" parts being very slow and quiet and then the pace exploding in the scenes of violence... Of course, this movie has to be commended for its message of redemption and its overall understanding of the growing social value (if not virtue) of violence in our developed western societies... the whole cast is tremendous, Viggo casting aside all doubters who are still stuck on Aragorn, Bello proving she is currently underutilized by Hollywood and Hurt and Harris putting on performances worthy of consideration as their all-time best... Visually speaking, it definitely is tamer than early Cronenberg works but the sex and the violence are so realistic I genuinely cringed a few times at both... As a fan of the director and most of the cast, I have consciously tried to find flaws in this movie and didn't any, so it'll be a 5/5 rating and a definite invitation to go see this movie if you haven't already, thank you!
  • October 21st 2005:
  • Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Frame-by-frame plasticine animation by Nick park, Steve Box and a whole bunch of other people, starring Wallace, Gromit, Lady Tottington, Vincent Quatermain, huge vegetables and rabbits howling at the moon while pounding their chests)
  • Needless to say, this was a definite must-see for a long-time W&G devotee like myself... on the wake of the disastrous fire that ravaged the Aardman wharehouses, it's become very hard to review this masterpîece without getting emotional... First extremely great quality of The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is that it manages to introduce our beloved couple to people who would see them for the first time (it is after all, the first real W&G feature movie) without feeling redundant for the addicts who have seen A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave too many times for (creatures) comfort... Naturally, the subtle and sometimes not-too subtle humor is all over the celluloid and the script is as should be expected from W&G: tight and relevant yet zany and bordering on nonsense... Wallace and Gromit are, after all, definitely british, aren't they?... Another reason to rejoice and be left in awe is to think that this took so much work and preparation and concentration... Shooting plasticine at one frame a second IS hard work... and yet, or maybe because of all this work involved in the animation, the background is filled with subtle jokes and significant variations... which ensures that repeated viewing will be a very pleasurable experience indeed as it's impossible to catch all the jokes in the first viewing... And as personal experience showed once more this time, people will react in different ways to different situations and not everybody laughs at the same time which basically means there were laughs all the time in the theater... And what more could we expect from our cheese-crazy bachelor and his ever-reliable silent partner?... Oh, oh and a completely personal note, my girlfriend and I had the surprising pleasure to get before the Curse of the Were-Rabbit was shown a 15-minute featurette relating the Christmas of the Madagascar penguins... So it'll be a 5/5 for Wallace and Gromit and a 5/5 as well for the whole movie experience of that evening.
  • October 10th 2005:
  • The Brothers Grimm (Twisted fairytale for the 21st century, directed by Terry Gilliam, starring Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Peter Stormare, Jonathan Pryce, Monica Bellucci and assorted fairytale characters)
  • Hmmm, it would be too easy to cast this movie away as simply "the dark side of Disney"... especially when the Disney industry did its best throughout the decades to strip the fairytales of their frighteningly moral content... Anyway, as with any Terry Gilliam movie (Brazil, Twelve Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in las Vegas, should you ever forget what kind of creative genius we are dealing with here), nothing is easy in The Brothers Grimm but yet everything is crystal clear, keeping in mind that a crystal is very, very multi-faceted... Chills and laughs, clever dialogue and silly one-liners, this one has it all... The acting is adequate but pales in comparison to Ehren Kruger's wicked script who escapes the trap of just aligning the fairytale characters with not much reason other than "because we can" à la Von Helsing... Yes, some moviegoers will be reminded of Sleepy Hollow, some of Lord of the Rings, some maybe of Ghostbusters... but hey, that's quite a good bunch to be compared to, isn't it? Anyway, the truth is that this is by far Gilliam's most straightforward family-friendly politically-correct movie ever but still I would be cautious about showing it to under-teenagers and to "the moral minority"... The special effects are enchanting, to say the least and what could possibly be wrong with a movie that opens with "Once upon a time" and ends with "And they all lived happily forever after..." (fade to black) "... or maybe not"... Terry did good and to think this is not his best work will once again put to shame most of Hollywood's moviemakers... Ah, yes, it's after all a perfect 5 out of 5 for the overall enjoyment I got from all aspects of the movie.
  • September 19th 2005:
  • Land of the Dead (Zombie reflection of our times, written&directed by George A. Romero, starring Simon Baker, John Leguizamo, Asia Argento, Dennis Hopper and those ever-lovin' blue-eyed zombies)
  • Ok, I am and have always been partial to Romero's zombies movies so I walked in the theater with high anticipations... And the bottom line remains I have not been let down at all... I might switch in hyperbole mode right away and claim this is the best movie of the four by a wide margin... For what the others (at least Dawn and Day) delivered in pure, unalduterated gore, this one makes up for with the crispest, sharpiest most on-target depiction of the "global village"... to sum up, yes the september 11th attacks can never be forgotten or forgiven but yes, some explanation can be found for them in the way the world today is "ruled" by a few and "suffered" by the biggest mass of helpless people... Romero achieves his vision and mission in the way that at the end of the movies (except for a handful of human heroes) all the zombies are much more "human" than most humans are... So, yes, because it's an important factor in Romero's works, it should be noted that the gore is a little toned down here... not in the quantity, mind you but rather in the showing of it (most of the dismemberments happen in darkness or shadow)... And this slightly more subtle use of stage blood and rippable protheses gives more way to the irreparocheable acting (Baker, Leguizamo, Argento-a personal favorite and Hopper all give sense and purpose to theit well-written characters) and to the ultimate message of the movie: the real enemy of mankind probably comes from inside the society rather than outside and quite frankly, if you don't do anything about it, your "leaders" will bring you to the slaughter... Yes, Land of the Dead is a call to arms for a more "social" world (oooh, what an anti-american word)... and it's about damn time!! It's a 4.5 out of 5.
  • July 20th 2005:
  • Fantastic Four (Super-hero fiction, USA, Fox and Marvel, starring TV megastars Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis and Julian McMahon)
  • Any fellow Listologist who took time to sample my contributions to the site knows I am a serious super-hero addict and moreover a Marvel follower... so the release of this summer blockbuster was a big deal for me... and I wasn't left disappointed at all... the action scenes and special effects are spot on, the acting is adequate especially given the fact that most of the cast comes from TV series and most of all the dialogues are snappy, very enjoyable and purposely give depth and personality to the characters just as they do in "the world's greatest comic book"... Doctor Doom is the only charcater being mostly revisited and tweaked for the movie format but this new version was cleverly conceived and plays out very convincingly... the only letdown factor is that FF follows what must now be called a pattern for Marvel super-hero movies and parts of the script, especially the bits who are supposed to be surprising, won't be any surprise if you know a thing or two about the Richards already... case in point, my girlfriend reacted much more than I did to some instances in the movie when the moviegoer is not supposed to know what happens next... so all in all, probably the first Marvel super-hero flick that's directed towards an unknowing audience rather than a fan base... which is, I believe, a good point because X2, on the other hand, was sometimes too cryptic for non-supporters of the mutant cause... In the small scheme of recent Marvel movies, I'd say FF ranks just below the X-Men and Spider-Man franchise but above the Hulks, Blades, Daredevils and Punishers of late... and I give it a very personal (fantastic) Four out of a possible Five.
  • June 28th 2005:
  • Madagascar (Animation, USA, from Dreamworks)
  • Granted, I had high expectations regarding this piece of 3-D animation... I just can't explain why... but the fact is I have not been let down by the story and I certainly didn't get disappointed by the jokes... even in french dubbing, the dialogue remains sharp and though this is clearly more targeted at young children than Shrek, the sometimes subtle references to past movies gives adults some jokes of their own... the message about "going back to the wild life" can be interpreted as a metaphor for today's inhuman busy life in big crowded cities but it never burdens what is first and foremost a fun animation movie... graphically speaking, computers have gone even a bit further with blue cloudy skies and fire torches seeming more real than ever... anyway, and to cut short, I enjoyed it very very much and I give it 4,5 out of 5 for its overall feelgood silliness.
  • June 12th 2005:
  • Les Enfants (Dramedy, France, written&directed by Christian Vincent, starring Gérard Lanvin, Karin Viard & a nice bunch of acting children)
  • A tentative translation of this movie's title could be: "Children, yours and mine" and that says all about this sweet&sour piece of everyday (and very much "nowadays") chronicle... Granted, you never laugh out loud or sob wildly but you smile more often than you frown watching this subtle story played very realistically by two of today's best french actors... the premise bears all the potential: a divorced father of two meets a divorced mother of two and from there they try to rebuild life as a big happy family... so obviously the strength of the movie is not in the plot itself, it's the incredible acting that never makes this feel like a movie at all but rather a real plunge into real people's lives without, of course, the nit-grit of real-life documentaries... and, yes, the kid actors handle themselves quite correctly... last but not least, as should be expected from any french movie of this kind, the dialogues are spotless... so, this is one hour and forty minutes of my life that I enjoyed tremendously and I can only recommend people who can have access to this movie to check it out without fear... the subject is universally human enough so that the few french cultural references in the story are not an obstacle to feeling involved in this simple yet effective piece of storytelling... Yep, I give it 4 and a half out of 5
  • May 24th 2005:
  • Star wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (Space Opera, US, written&directed by George Lucas, starring Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDarmid & a green thingy named Yoda)
  • Ok, I did, I said I wouldn't but I gave in to the hype and I gave a few of my precious Euros to the real-life Empire (read: Lucasfilm, ltd.) Huhuhmm (some throat clearing here) First things first: yes, it is the best one of the new trilogy... this said, I still am not convinced that we needed any of this new trilogy at all to begin with... The same thing will always bother me: I can't be convinced by any means that The Empire as we see it depicted in Episodes 4 to 6 only took 18 years to conquer the whole galaxy... And this transpires in Revenge of the Sith: though the film is fairly long (146 minutes), the galaxy-changing events it's supposed to explain and cover are RUSHED... Anakin's final switch to the dark side is so sudden and fickle that it's hard to swallow... the build-up and inner struggle before he switches is ok but the switch itself was hardly believable... and the slaying of Jedis is completely botched... they all get killed almost instantly and in a matter of hours... And I seem to remember that in episodes 4 to 6, the Emperor had somehow implied that Darth Vader, Lord of the Sith had tracked down and killed all the Jedis himself and it had taken him a while to do it... anyway, my last piece of criticism would be that once more, this movie (and basically this whole Anakin trilogy) proves that more is not always good (let alone better)... Case in point: the space battles and the lightsaber fights... it feels to me that in the original trilogy both had stronger meaning because there were simply fewer of them and here, especially in the avalanche of visual effects that is Revenge of the Sith, there is a risk of simply getting jaded if not bored about lightsabers, as exemplified by Droid General Grievous and his four-saber attack on Kenobi... anyway, and as always on such a sensible matter (and I know there are hard-core Star Wars fans on Listology), this was my humble opinion and nothing more... now, on to the rating... If I had been a fan of this trilogy, Revenge would earn a well-deserved 5 out of 5 but I'm not and after being subjected to more that 2,200 special effects and probably about the same amount of not-very-well written dialogue lines in the span of two hours and twenty minutes, I'll give it a very fair 3,5 out of 5.
  • May 21st 2005:
  • Creep (Horror, UK, written&directed by Christopher Smith, starring Franka Potente, Sean Harris & a dog named Ray)
  • This classically-built piece of sheer horror deserves many accolades because I enjoyed it a lot... granted, some of the thrills and spills in the first part of the movie are very cliché... but the London Underground as a setting is quite original, the actors are very believable in their depicting the fear, the pain and the torture... last but not least, I enjoyed it because it is definitely not a "tongue-in-cheek" horror movie, this stuff was written and directed to shock, disturb and disgust audiences and it reaches that goal easily... I give it four points out of a possible five.
Author Comments: 

This ongoing list will simply be rating the movies I've seen recently in the movie theater... which is a place in which I hadn't been seen in a long time... it's no fun going to the movies all alone... but my new girlfriend is a movie-goer... so I expect to find myself sitting in the dark staring at moving images on a big silver screen much more often than before..

Ooh, Creep sounds good! I'm forever on the lookout for a good horror film - so many of them are parodies or played for humour these days. The Grudge was the best one in recent memory. Saw was well-intentioned, but fell a little short of its target, IMO. I'll have to check out Creep soon.

I'll be looking forward to reading your opinion about it...

where do you live?

uh? what's that got to do with anything? why you wanna know? I'm from Belgium... you got a problem widdat? (He says agressively, slowly pulling his switchblade comb from his backpocket...)

Since you talked in euros i was curious, you had a Shakira cd so i thought you might have been from Spain, but if you were from spain, you probably wouldn't be obsessed with brunettes.

Thankfully Shaki sells CDs worldwide, not just in latino-hispanic countries...

Yeah but i would say she sell her english cds worlwide not the spanish one, i'm surprised by that.

Really enjoying these reviews, thanks for posting them! I am happy to see that Fantastic Four might be rentable, after the shellacking it took from critics.

Also, between Descent (not that you've necessarily seen that one) and Creep I'm starting to get jealous of the horror movies we in the U.S. can't see yet!

Hey, Jim. Just wanted to throw my 2 cents in (2p?) about horror film. I think it's a good thing that horror film in the U.S. is getting some decent funding these days, and it's pretty cool that it's so heavily inspired by Korean and Japanese horror. However, they're all sort of starting to look like clones of each other, and they tend go for style and big names at the expense of honest, rough and ready scares. The UK has a pretty strong history of horror film (and horror in general, what with Jack the Ripper and all). In general, I think Europe is just getting on with the business of trying to create a fresh, scary film instead of following the trends.

Horror movies as a genre are really in need of fresh ideas and mostly, in my humble opinion, of a return to seriousness... Atmosphere is much more important than blood and gore, I believe and if the setting of the movie is too ironic or self-parodic as in the Scream series the mood is ruined right from the start and we're only left with attempts at cheap shock and overuse of fake blood... I will always cherish movies such as the classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween or Dawn of the Dead because even if they sometimes had room for humor within their story they always commanded to be taken seriously... and as I point out in my review, Creep is such a movie... there's only a handful of gory scenes (the grossest one being only suggested by noises and a few spurts of blood on the "monster"'s face) and the atmosphere does the whole work... I understand the new wave of japanese horror works in similar ways and that can only be good...

I actually have nothing at all against gore in horror films. Some of the best scenes in Romero's films are when you see people being pulled apart by zombies. However, I heartily agree that there's much room for humour in horror. As with Romero, (or more recently, Shaun of the Dead , you can have humour mixed with social commentary mixed with scares.

And while I agree with what you say about the importance of atmosphere, I think sometimes people can try too hard. Atmosphere is essential; Halloween would nothing without its atmosphere. But what bothers me now is that films like The Skeleton Key are going for broke on atmosphere, and have ended up with what looks to be a mess of scenes that are comprised of Kate Hudson looking scared with mascara running down her face. I suppose that's the price of hiring a "name" actress to star in your film. Also, as much as I'm looking foward to Dark Water , I'm starting to miss horror films made on smaller budgets with unknowns. Films like that have a roughness that provide as much atmosphere as anything else. The gloss of Hollywood is starting to feel a little like shiny new packaging. There's not much scary about shiny new packaging.

I definitely agree about Romero and the dismemberment of soldiers as in Day of the Dead... I have to confess though I am not a specialist on horror movies and I still have plenty of classics and recent ones to see to start having a really strong documented opinion about the genre... all I can say is that, as in almost any movie genre, I can enjoy over-the-top so-gross-it-can-become-silly movies such as The Exorcist or Candyman and at the same time get lots of scares out of low-key no blood-no fx classics such as Robert Wise's The Haunting or John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness...
Anyway, thanks a lot for all your comments and for keeping my lists alive...

No problem. I wrote a term paper on 80's slasher films at once and I tend to get a little bit lively when I get to talk about horror. I've been keeping an eye out for "Creep" since reading your review of it, but I haven't come across it yet.

Yeah, I think for the most part horror movies in the U.S. were following the Scream mold too much (as much as I enjoyed that movie) and is now making too many Asian remakes (although I preferred The Ring to Ringu, probably because I saw it first). You still get some good ones thrown in with some originality (the polarizing Blair Witch Project being an obvious one, and I liked the first Final Destination).

Oh, speaking of Asian horror, where the hyped Ringu and Ju-On let me down a bit, a different movie snuck up on me. I just saw the Korean movie A Tale of Two Sisters and liked it quite a bit. Check it out, if you haven't seen it.

Augh. All those parody films where staring to get on my nerves. Scream was brilliant, bringing a self-awareness to horror that hadn't been there before, and making excellent use of the conventions of horror film to cleverly parody the original genre, while simultaneously creating its own scares. Clever and well-done. The subsequent parodies and parodies-of-parodies and clones of Scream that did nothing but surgically remove the cleverness, were all getting a bit much. It was a great relief to see some fresh, interesting horror coming out of the Far East. However, I worry slightly that not much new is coming out of that genre after the first few times, either. Ringu/The Ring brought mythology and technology together in a style that unsettled the audience with its strangeness. (BTW, I actually preferred Ringu, probably because I saw it first.) The Grudge took away all our safe havens (you can't hide in your bed any more, an office building's clinical openness is no comfort, etc). But as I mentioned in my response to Cramoukji, the latest crop of horror films are starting to look a little uninspired. I would like to see A Tale of Two Sisters if you recommend it, though. I'm critical of horror films, but I'm still a slave to watching them. What can I say, they're a weakness.

well, thank you, jimmy jim jim... and rest assured I will keep updating this list as soon as I see a movie in the theater... of course, releases here in Belgium are usually delayed from releases in the US and I don't usually go see a movie on its first day out but I will always put my review in as soon as I've seen the movie so I can express the first fresh thoughts and emotions into the review and I don't have time to think too much about the movie and end up with a review that sounds too much like what professional movie critics would say.

Re: 1) The Brothers Grimm
I heartily agree. It is wonderful to see a genius who is trying something... even if it doesn't always work. Especially if it doesn't work. I now have several animal metaphors:

Terry Gilliam is like a great high wire artist who insists upon walking the tightrope whilst carrying a trained seal in his arms. Even in failure it is spectacular. He's also like a spider weaving the most beatiful silk and creating either amazing webs or a sparkling Gordian knot. He also seems to enter horse show jumping contests riding on a buffalo... whilst carrying a trained seal.

Again, I am grateful that he constantly pushes the envelope and thinks big even in little films. He told us what he was doing right from the beginning. He makes Pink Bunkadoo trees. "Six hundred feet tall, bright red and smelled terrible." I get frustrated at people who slag Gilliam for almost any reason and then complain about "so-called artists." Isn't Gilliam all you could ask for in an artist? There are so few like him.

As for acting that "pales in comparison" to other stuff in his films: I feel that Gilliam uses actors in much the same way that he used his animated cut-outs in his Python salad days. They are things to be moved around a certain setting. I think that he's great at choosing actors with great Deppth and then hopes that they can keep up with his careening career. Can't wait to see Tideland ...whilst carrying a trained seal.

couldn't really have said it better myself... though I am sometimes referred to as a great metaphorist but yes, naturally, obviously, I do utter much better metaphors in my native French than I ever could and would and will in this here anglo-saxo-german idiom...

For what it's worth, I saw Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe , and also read the book as a child. I don't remember the book incredibly well, but as far as I can tell, the film sanitized nothing. The source material was as lacking in originality as the film. I don't recall being impressed with the book, even as a relatively un-educated child, and one of the things that puts me off is the overt Christian sentiment in the source material.

I realize many people don't agree with me at all, and see the book as a treasure from their childhood. I hope those people enjoy the film, but for me neither the film nor the book have much to offer in the way of interesting story-telling, compelling characters or philosophical food for thought. Certainly as a film, this can hardly compare with recent book-to-film adaptations which show themselves to be competently created as both adaptations of their source material, as well as successful films in their own right.

Well, thanks for these infos... Then I understand it was a natural for Disney to tackle the adaptation of these books instead of others that could have been made into film... Thanks for correcting the title, I didn't know the original title and only tentatively deduced it by translating the title used for french-speaking releases... And I also understand why JRR Tolkien would loathe CS Lewis's works when pressed to give his opinion about it...

I figured the title was translated - one of my little hobbies while travelling through Europe was to see all the different versions of film titles.

JRR Tolkien wasn't the only writer to dislike CS Lewis's novel(s). Phillip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy has gone on at length about CS Lewis's work. Pullman actually wrote HDM as a kind of antidote to the Christianity in Narnia. Clearly, I lean heavily towards the Pullman fan club rather than the Lewis fan club.

Well, I've gots huge gaps to fill in my knowledge of heroic fazntasy litterature... but for the fun of it, with the popular and commercial results of heroic fantasy movies recently, what would you say is most lilkely to happen next: a remake of Conan the Barbarian ? An attempt at adapting Stephen King's The Dark Tower for the big screen ? Or maybe more classic works being translated into a screenplay like Moorcock's Elric or Anne McCaffrey's dragon stories ?

Well, last I checked, Pullman's own His Dark Materials trilogy was in production. God forbid it suffers from the same mediocre special effects that appeared in Narnia . At least the story will be more interesting - it couldn't fail to be. What with the charismatic "is-she-good-or-is-she-evil" woman (as opposed to the Witch Queen, who was just evil), the heroic co-star Lyra whose talent appears to be that she's a pathological liar, the giant warrior polar bear named Iorek Byrnison, and THREE parallel unique-but-similar worlds, I'll be in line to see this film the second it opens.

Plus - is God dead? Is growing up a sad loss of innocence or a gaining of wisdom? Are children's weaknesses actually strengths in disguise? And just what is "Dust", anyway? Boy, I'm getting excited just talking about it.

As for Stephen King's The Dark Tower, I've never read it, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if someone attempted a film version. Peter Jackson has raised the bar regarding the scope of works that can now be translated to the big screen.

Well, you've whetted my litterary appetite about mister Pullman's works.

Agreed for sure on Wallace and Gromit. I completely loved it, and I personally think it was worthy of "Best Picture" nomination.