Posts Tagged ‘robin williams’

Cedar Rapids – A Town, Uninsurable

Posted 17 Jul 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Cedar Rapids, USA, 2011

Directed by Miguel Arteta

Cedar Rapids is a character piece. Not just a screwball comedy, though it is that.Most of the time during this film, I thought to myself, “This feels like an Alexander Payne movie.” Payne, for those unaware, directed wonderful and heartfelt movies like Election (1999) and Sideways (2004). Sure enough, by the time the credits rolled, Payne’s name was listed as a producer for the picture; his fingerprints are all over it, though this is a bit more screwball than anything he would normally direct. The actual director here, Miguel Arteta (Chuck & Buck, The Good Girl), doesn’t have the handle on human sympathy that Payne might, but he certainly hits it pretty close to home. Certainly pretty far from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which doesn’t seem to hold much sympathy for those who pass through it. Read More

Coraline – Henry Selick And The Giant Letdown

Posted 02 Jul 2011 — by contributor
Category Animation, Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Scott Martin

Coraline, USA, 2009  Coraline is a 2009 stop-motion 3D fantasy children's film based on Neil Gaiman's 2002 novel of the same name.

Written and Directed by Henry Selick

Based on the Book Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Henry Selick, notable director of The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), is hit or miss. With James and the Giant Peach (1996) and the aforementioned Nightmare under his belt, I’m not quite sure where he went wrong. Those two organically energetic and bright films were followed by Monkeybone (2001), and the soulless concoction of Coraline. His heart might have been in the right place, and I’m sure his intention outweighs the validity of the project, but it’s been years since I’ve seen a film so bereft of heart. This is not to imply that heart means something jolly or even fun, but rather a passion for craft, mainly. The film as a whole winds up being depressing, mainly because of this lack, and ugly for a slew of other reasons, and while moments of the film remain frightening, as does the entire idea behind it, there’s something intangible that’s hard to abide. Read More

Robots

Posted 23 Aug 2009 — by contributor
Category Animation, Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Corey Birkhofer

Robots, USA, 2005

Directed by Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha

Rodney Copperbottom and Herb Copperbottom

Hello again, folks. Thanks for checking in. This time around, I’d like to switch gears from live-action and focus on a 20th Century Fox animation called Robots. Being a huge fan of all forms of animation, from old fashioned cell to state-of-the-art CG, the little kid inside of me still gets a little giddy every time I’m about to watch an animated film I haven’t seen yet. It was no different when I happened upon a film released in 2005 that I had heard very little about, called Robots. Now I’ll go and see just about anything Pixar puts out, but I’ve had mixed feelings when it comes to Fox’s animation attempts. I want to see Fox put out great works so Pixar has some competition to keep them on their toes, but unfortunately, Robots was definitely a movie that I did not get into.

Spoiler Alert

The premise is simple: the Copperbottoms (voiced by Stanley Tucci and Dianne Wiest) are a happy robot couple who live in their peaceful world, filled with spare parts and resources in abundance. They decide to build their own robot son, Rodney Copperbottom (voiced by Ewan McGregor) and raise him the best they can. Rodney is a good son with dreams of becoming an inventor like his hero Bigweld (voiced by Mel Brooks). Rodney’s inventions never seem to quite work out the way he intends, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to show his latest invention to Bigweld and become a famous inventor in the big city. So here we have a simple “small town boy wants to make it in the big city” premise that seems like a reasonable enough base from which to build. Despite its lack of originality, I was still intrigued enough to go along for the ride at this point. Unfortunately, things went downhill from here.

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