Worth A Second Glance

I love movies.  I love going to the theater and becoming engrossed in story for a couple hours.  However, I rarely pay attention to critics’ reviews of movies.  Too many times, it seems that they’re judging a movie based on criteria that seems better left to the Academy Awards judging committee.  Who cares if the cinematography is amazing in some movie?  Tell me about the story!  Was it compelling?  Did it suck you in?

I used to pay attention to reviews . . . until the critics panned movies that I personally felt were completely wonderful, or praised films that I found dull or annoying.  In this blog, I’ll discuss some of the movies that I think received bum reviews (I’ll discuss the overrated ones another time).

Hook

According to Rotten Tomatoes, Steven Spielberg “…directs on autopilot…” in this movie, and Hal Hinson from The Washington Post claims “…it’s not a movie for which you can build a deep affection.”

I have to respectfully disagree, Mr. Hinson.  I can’t help but get all sentimental whenever I watch this movie.  I personally find it magical to watch Peter Banning realize that he’s actually Peter Pan from Mr. Barrie’s story, all grown up.  I feel Peter’s frustration when the Lost Boys take him under their wings, in an attempt to help him remember his roots, and even feel his joy when he finally realizes that his happy thought was his son being born.  And when Granny Wendy asks the newly-reborn Peter Pan to “…give us a skwunge…” I erupt into happy tears every single time.

Yes, the Lost Boys’ hideout looks like it was done in a sound stage, but that’s because it WAS!  There are so many movies that are done in the same fashion that people love that it’s ridiculous that people pooh-poohed this movie for that very same thing.

Atlantis

Susan Wloszczyna from USA Today claims Atlantis “…remains lost as it vaporizes from memory…” and Entertainment Weekly gave it a C+, calling it a “…Disney dud…”

A Disney dud???  This movie was a wonderful adventure, taking us far below the surface of the Earth to find a lost civilization that we see is still surviving, though it’s on its last legs.  There’s humor, romance, action, and the bad guy(s) get their comeuppance.  What’s more impressive (to me, at least) is that they do this all without the trademark songs and cute animal sidekicks that you normally find in a Disney animated film.  Not that I don’t enjoy those elements in an animated film, but it’s not always necessary, and can often detract from the film (Pocahontas could have been a better movie without them).  This is a gem of a movie that should NOT be overlooked.

I also want to throw The Princess and the Frog, and Tangled into the “overlooked animated movie” category.  These two films were AMAZING!  The stories were strong, the characters, ditto, and the music of both was so wonderful that I actually bought the soundtracks off of Amazon.  I haven’t bought an animated movie soundtrack since Disney’s Hercules.  How these two movies were overlooked in the Best Song category, I still can’t figure out.  Tangled has some lovely songs, especially I See the Light.  And from Almost There, to Dig a Little Deeper, the entire soundtrack of The Princess and the Frog is a mecca of N’awlins Jazz and Southern Baptist style music.  Songs of similar quality from movies like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin actually won the Oscar for Best Song when they came out, so I’m not sure what happened here, but I think the Academy needs to rethink what they deem “quality” movies and music.

Just so you don’t think it’s only kid’s movies that I feel were overlooked, I’d also like to submit for your viewing pleasure:

The Truman Show

While I don’t think this movie was panned, per se–and while Jim Carrey did win a Golden Globe for his performance–this movie was nominated for only three Oscars (none of them “Best Actor” for Jim), and didn’t win any of them!  The Truman Show is such an amazing testament to the spirit of being yourself, despite what “the world” wants you to be or do!  I still get choked up every time I see Truman decide to opt for the unknown (and possibly less-safe) world than the one he’s known all his life, that was created specifically for him.  It might not be the same type of emotional story as was shown in Life is Beautiful, Saving Private Ryan, or The Thin Red Line (all three of which were nominated that year), but it’s still a worthy example of the indomitable human spirit.

And for those of you who don’t care for Mr. Carrey’s movies, I beg you to give this a chance anyway.  It’s not his typical movie.  It’s magical enough that you might even forget it’s Jim in the role.

For those of you who haven’t seen any of the movies I’ve listed, PLEASE, take a chance on one of them.  I can almost guarantee you’ll find something worthwhile in them, and who knows?  You might end up enjoying them even more than you thought you would.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cminichino
    Sep 14, 2012 @ 08:09:15

    I have quite a different set of favorites, Alyx — I may be the only person who loved Godfather 3, for example, and I’m forever feeling bad for Sofia Coppola for how she was panned. She was supposed to be a shy, awkward young woman and she played it beautifully.

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Sep 14, 2012 @ 08:14:39

      I can definitely see you being a fan of the Godfather movies, Camille. And, while I’ve never seen Sofia’s performance, I totally understand what you mean by people playing the role they’re meant to, but getting dissed over it.

      Reply

  2. Dana Fredsti
    Sep 14, 2012 @ 08:58:08

    I am very fond of The Truman Show, Alyx. I also see the appeal of Hook, although I have some issues with it. I haven’t seen Atlantis. Camille, I haven’t seen GF3, but I saw a scene with Sofia Coppola and yeah, I don’t get why she got such crap over her performance!

    Reply

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