Tag Archives: family

Oz The Great and Powerful

OzIn this prequel to The Wizard of Oz, circus magician Oscar Diggs is magically transported to the Land of Oz, where he deals with three witches and uses his illusionist skills and resourcefulness to become the wizard the residents have been expecting through prophecy.

Rating: 8 out of 10

This movie doesn’t hold the same innocent charm of the original film, but it doesn’t want to be. And that’s what makes it so successful. .

Oz is the story of a sheister, a talented but troubled carnival magician who womanizes, lies, disrespects and hussles his way through life. That is, until that famous hot air balloon sweeps him away to a magical world.

And this is where the story really takes off. Oz goes on a wonderful journey, both internally and externally, as he grows into a reluctant hero and leads a group of unlikely characters – not so different from the original. But the greatest similarity to the original masterpiece is what the lion was granted – heart. I really found myself swept away alongside Oz, played well by James Franco and supported with an outstanding cast – most notably Michelle Williams as Glinda. I was really pleasantly surprised by Oz The Great And Powerful. Sam Raimi drove a film rich in stunning visuals, wonderful comedy, sharp performances and – GASP – no music!

Puss in Boots

Voiced by Antonio Banderas, the dauntless feline of legend goes on an animated adventure to purloin a priceless golden-egg-laying goose. To help him on his mission, Puss brings along his friends Humpty Dumpty and the super-stealthy Kitty Softpaws.

Rating: 9 out of 10

This is by far smarter, funnier, more clever, witty, and fun than any of the Shrek films. Each of its unneeded sequels got dumber and dumber, which is why I ignored this spin-off completely. That was a huge mistake.

There were moments where I genuinely laughed out out loud. I delighted in the equisite detail of the animation and the backgrounds that drip with color in a Spanish-inspired fairy tale world. And I adored the theft of classic cowboy and Spanish films that no doubt inspired director Chris Miller (Shrek the Third). There is so much love poured into this film, and it’s obvious in all the detail that layers this movie over and over again.

And the performances are great, from the self-afacing Antonio Benderas, who is lampooning himself in the title role, to Salma Hayek, Zach Galifanakis and Billy Bob Thornton. It’s an awesome cast with a compelling storyline wrapped in a wonderfully crafted film. It’s one of the best animated films I’ve seen in years.

Top 5 kids movies of the 80s

This was a tough list, because there are some great children’s movies that didn’t make the list, like “The Neverending  Story” “The Little Mermaid” and “Labyrinth” and “E.T.” We also should mention that movies like “The Breakfast Club” were not included because those are more targeted to teens. These are movies targeted at kids and families. There was a great selection of kids flicks in the 80s, and these are the ones we hold closest to our hearts.

5. The Goonies: This movie would be higher on the list if it weren’t for a couple corny monologues about “Our time down here” and wishes not coming true at the bottom of a well. But all things considered, this is a classic that’s withstood time. This movie doesn’t feel super 80s, either. Sure, the fashion is a little lame, but this movie could be made now and be a success. Chester Copperpot would be proud.

4. Stand by Me: This was a very sentimental film, but it knew when to pull back and lighten the moment with humor, fantasy and suspense. While the storyline may seem bleak for children — a group of boys goes on the search for the body of a missing boy — the fibers of this film are strong because it’s really about a universal subject all children face: the loss of innocence. All of these characters are someone we knew as children, the abused, the insecure, the weak, the arrogant, the dreamer. It’s not about the goal, it’s about the bonds between friends and the challenges in life they’re trying to escape.

3. The Princess Bride: This film has it all — adventure, romance, hilarious characters, delightful villains, an enchanting world and a classic story with a fresh voice. Rob Reiner did a stupendous job of bringing a romance/fantasy movie that didn’t take itself too seriously. There are elements to this story that can be enjoyed by all ages.

2. Back to the Future: Don’t need money, don’t need fame, don’t need no credit card to ride this train…. But you do need plutonium. I ❤ back to the future. I love Doc Brown, Einstein the dog, Marty, the McFly family, the mean principal, the DeLorean, Biff, and even the soundtrack. Academy Award-winning director Robert Zemeckis (Forest Gump) brings us a fun, adventurous film that bridged the gap between 80s kids and their parents who grew up in the 50s and 60s. I even love the sequels. If you don’t like this movie, you can make like a tree and get outta here.

1. Karate Kid: I must have seen this movie six times in the theater when I was a kid. I adored it. My brother and I karate chopped each other into oblivion — crane kicks and all. This is one of the best coming-of-age movies ever, with a wonderful combination of a come-from-behind tale, action, comedy, and drama. Pat Morita was flawless in his delivery of Mr. Kesuke Miyagi, the teacher, the father figure, the wise man with a broken heart and no family. But he finds those parts of himself again in Daniel Larusso (Ralph Macchio), a Jersey kid new to California that gets picked on by a group of local karate bullies. The two bond, Daniel grows into a man, and becomes stronger while  Miyagi grows softer, less rigid. This is a movie that will always live on — even if there’s remakes. Sweep the leg.