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Friday, November 28, 2008

Meaning of the Stars

By John C.

One Movie, Five Views rates out of four stars. Stars are probably the most used method of rating a film, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best. I personally find they’re one of the worst. The iconic Thumbs-Up or Thumbs-Down, that Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel used, the brilliant idea of a Fresh Tomato or a Rotten Tomato, used by review tracking website Rotten Tomatoes, or even the idea of the See-It, Skip-It or Rent-It system, that they use on the new At The Movies, are some of the best ways of rating a movie. Even though there can be varying degrees to those three rating systems, they are still pretty much one or the other, there isn’t a grey zone where it gets confusing.

If I could change having stars, I would. They appear to be easy to the reader, but they are actually quite difficult to the reviewer. After much thought, here are my personal opinions on how I use the stars*:

**** Should be reserved for groundbreaking films, ones that have blown me away, something that exceeds in every aspect.

***1/2 This rating is practically the same as ****. It’s only difference is, it would be given to a great film, that is not really groundbreaking. This rating is, for me, pretty much the same as ****.

*** This can mean two different things, Really good, but not quite ***1/2, or good, but just above **1/2. It can also be right in the middle, so it needs to be taken in conjunction with the whole review.

**1/2 I consider this rating to mean it’s worth seeing, but not necessarily in theaters, on DVD. In other words, it’s worth a rental. This can also be used for a sequel that is worth going to see, but doesn’t really live up to high standards set by the first.

** This means you can pretty much skip it. Although, it can also be used for movies that are so bad, they're good. ** Movies may still have some redeeming qualities, so are sometimes worth a rental.

*1/2 This is reserved for movies that are not at all worth seeing, and just downright bad.

* Just plain awful. Stay away at all costs.

* Reviews are meant to be an artistic analysis of film, not a star rating. No star rating should be taken out of context of the review. This could result in serious misuse of someone's thoughts.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all our readers in the U.S.A., have a Happy Thanksgiving!

In honour of American Thanksgiving, here are James P.’s thoughts on the classic Holiday movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

This will also be starting a series profiling Christmas and Holiday movies both new and old. These films will not be rated out of stars.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Release Date November 25th, 1987

Rated PG for strong language and sexual humour

John Hughes (dir.)

Steve Martin as Neal Page

John Candy as Del Griffith

Laila Robins as Susan Page

Michael McKean as State Trooper

Kevin Bacon as Taxi Racer

Dylan Baker as Owen

Edie McClurg as Car Rental Agent


Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Review By John C.

Even though I am not American, every year for American Thanksgiving, I make it a point to watch John Hughes’ classic comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Although it is hilarious, it is also surprisingly sad and moving. Partly because of the back story of shower curtain ring salesmen Del Griffith, and partly because of John Candy. It is already an excellent performance, but the fact that he died at too young an age, makes it even more heartfelt and poignant. This is a holiday movie with true heart, and true laughs. This is a great movie and a true holiday classic, if you haven’t already seen it, go out and watch it. It is really worth buying, because if you watch it once, you will want to make it a yearly tradition. Go relax and enjoy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Four Christmases

November 26th, 2008

Rated PG-13 for some sexual humour and language.

Seth Gordon (dir.)

Alex Wurman (music)

Vince Vaughn as Brad

Reese Witherspoon as Kate

Robert Duvall as Howard

Sissy Spacek as Paula

Jon Voight as Creighton

Jon Favreau as Denver

Mary Steenburgen as Marilyn

Our reviews below:


Four Christmases Review By John C.

**1/2 (out of four)

“You can’t spell families without lies” says Vince Vaughn’s character, Brad, in the new holiday movie Four Christmases. And it’s true, you can’t. Despite it’s title, Four Christmases feels like it should be taking place at American Thanksgiving instead of Christmas, but I guess “Four Christmases” sounds better then “Four Thanksgivings”. While it is funny and has it’s share of laugh-out-loud moments, it lacks the real heart that has been evident in many other holiday comedies, like Planes, Trains and Automobiles, and is not as funny as National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

This doesn’t mean it’s not still mildly worth seeing, the actors, leading and supporting, all get in their share of laughs, and the story is pretty good. It’s about a shallow couple who always ditch Christmas for the beaches of some hot country, and tell their families that they’re going off to do missionary work. But when all flights are canceled, they are forced to visit each of their parents, and both sets just happen to be divorced, hence the title Four Christmases. If you are excepting a sweet story of redemption, this is not it, even by the end they are still pretty shallow.

I liked watching Robert Duvall, Jon Voight, and Jon Favreau. Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon worked well as the two leads, and the whole supporting cast is made up of well known actors. But, is not really something that needs to be seen in theatres, as it would play just as well (if not better) on DVD, in time for next Christmas.

While it is by no means a classic, it is still fairly entertaining, and at a brisk speed of only 88 minutes, it doesn’t feel like your wasting too much time, either.


Four Christmases Review By Erin V.

**1/2 (out of four)

Four Christmases is about Brad, (Vince Vaughn), and Kate, (Reese Witherspoon), a couple who always try to avoid the holidays with their families by pretending that they are doing missionary work in foreign countries. In reality they always go for a nice vacation on the beach, but this year, due to bad weather, all flights are canceled, and they are seen on the news at the airport by their parents. Now, with no excuse, they are forced to go see his father, and his mother, and her father, and her mother. (Both of their parents are divorced, hence the four Christmases.) Of course, being the kind of comedy that it is, things don’t really work out all that well. (If you’ve seen the trailer, you have a fairly accurate depiction of what this movie will be like.)

This was by no means a brilliant comedy, or movie for that matter. I have seen Christmas comedies that I have enjoyed a whole lot more than this one. For what it is, it is all right, and there were some laughs in certain scenes - but it doesn’t feel very Christmassy. This could have been any holiday, and I would have believed it just as much. Most Christmas movies that I have seen have more heart than this, and the characters are at least trying to like each other and get along by the end.

In short, I wouldn’t recommend going out to the theater to see this one, especially considering what else there is out right now, (like Bolt). But still, if you’re curious, it’s only 82 minutes long, and could be worth a rental on DVD.


Four Christmases Review By Nicole

**1/2 (out of four)

Four Christmases is a funny and satirical physical comedy, about our dysfunctional society. It revolves around Kate and Brad, an unmarried couple who have a dilemma in common. Both of them are embarrassed by their families, and neither of them want to introduce the other to their respective parents, (both of whom are divorced couples). So they lie to their parents, saying that they are going on missionary work, when in reality, they are going on vacation to Fiji. But the flight gets canceled, and when Kate and Brad are interviewed on the news at the airport, the truth gets out. Both Kate and Brad have to visit all four of their parents’ houses for Christmas. From Brad’s redneck father’s house, with his two amateur wrestler brothers, to Kate’s wild little nieces and nephews, neither of them enjoy being with their dysfunctional families.

Some of the best laughs come from the dialogue between Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon. This film, as well as having some good laughs, also points out, (albeit in a very cynical way), the problems with today’s world of divorce, lying, lack of communication between family members, and the very damaging effect that the disintegration of a solid family unit has on people, especially children. It is apparent why Brad is afraid to marry Kate, because of a fear of commitment to love. One of the funniest, and most offensive scenes in the movie is when Brad butchers a nativity play, because he does not understand what Christmas means.

Although this movie is called “Four Christmases,” this film never gets into the Christmas spirit. The best scene in the movie is at Kate’s father’s house. In this scene, the family says grace, and a sense of love and forgiveness is present. This is the only scene in which love, and the true meaning of Christmas is portrayed. Sadly, this doesn’t last long, and even in the end, the families are not forgiven. (But there is some hope in the final scene that this may have to change.)

This movie is funny, but also sad in it’s reality of our antisocial society. While not suitable to bring the family to, due to it’s content, this movie is worth renting at any time of year. Sometimes it is good to laugh at what is wrong in our world.


Four Christmases Review By Maureen

**1/2 (out of four)

Tis the season for holiday movies. Four Christmases is a new addition to the list of holiday themed comedy films that will be rented around Christmas time for years to come.

Four Christmases is about a young, shallow couple, Brad, (Vince Vaughn), and Kate, (Reese Witherspoon), who find themselves forced by circumstances to visit their respective divorced parents. The pair had avoided spending previous Christmases with their families for reasons that become obvious as the movie unfolds. Each visit is a disaster. The family members are obnoxious and the humour crude and played for cheap laughs. Fortunately Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon are solid actors with a good sense of comedic timing and help this movie rise above the somewhat cynical view of families and holiday celebrations.

There are many funny scenes in Four Christmases particularly the irreverent and somewhat offensive nativity play. While I laughed along with the rest of the audience, I found it hard to feel any sense of Christmas spirit at any point in this movie. Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer not to be cynical when it comes to Christmas. I enjoyed watching this movie while I was in the theater, but it won’t be on my list of must watch movies for Christmases to come.

I would say that if you find yourself at a mall with a movie theater and want to end your Christmas shopping excursion with some light holiday entertainment and have a few laughs, by all means go see Four Christmases. Otherwise wait till next Christmas when it’s a rental. Keep in mind this isn’t really a family Christmas movie. This one’s for 14 and up due to language and more adult humour.


Four Christmases Review By Tony

**1/2 (out of four)

Determined to avoid the stress of their divorced parents, Brad (Vince Vaughn) and Kate (Reese Witherspoon) enjoy their shallow unmarried life together. Caught stranded at the airport on local television, they realize they won’t get away this Christmas without painful visits to each of their parents’ homes. In the first visit Brad is humiliated by his redneck father (Robert Duvall) and wrestling tag team brothers (Jon Favreau & Tim McGraw). Next Kate is forced to relive her past with her mother (Mary Steenburgen), her charismatic preacher lover (Dwight Yoakam) and her sister (Kristin Chenoweth). Then Brad must deal with his mother (Sissy Spacek) who has taken up with his childhood friend. Finally, they end up at the home of Kate’s father (Jon Voight). As the day goes on Brad and Kate both discover things they would never had revealed about each other. Seeing her sister and sister-in-law with their kids Kate wonders whether she and Brad should take their relationship that much further, but Brad balks at first. You can guess the epilogue. There are a lot of gags along the way, and the strong cast all live up to their stereotypical roles.

Four Christmases won’t be a Christmas classic, but it is an entertaining comedy, at least worth renting. _____________________________________________

Consensus: Four Christmases has a few good laughs, and a strong cast. While not one to make sure to catch in theaters, it is worth a rental. **1/2 (out of four)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Flash of Genius Soundtrack Review

Written By E. Corrado

This is the review for the Flash of Genius soundtrack. The music was composed by Aaron Zigman. The soundtrack was released November 4th, 2008. The soundtrack for Flash of Genius is 43 minutes, and 25 seconds long.

The quiet themes in the Flash of Genius score capture the mood of the movie perfectly. With the right amount of tension, Aaron Zigman creates a score of music for the life of a man who’s rights as an inventor have been denied. With this soundtrack, the feel that it created was sometimes light, often appropriately intense, yet also calming at times. It actually makes a soundtrack of nice background music, especially since the dynamics are fairly even throughout when compared to other soundtracks. The arrangement of the instruments as each takes the main theme in time is amazing in the sense that the same theme takes on a life and personality of it’s own. The string section works perfectly creating the often veiled feel of the theme, as does the inclusion of the piano and flute. It is as though we are hearing a theme that has been around for a long time, yet still does not want to be fully revealed.

While the music on the CD is not in the exact order that it was in the movie, (unlike how some soundtracks are arranged), it was put together really nicely, keeping the flow from one track to the next without repeating itself by putting similar tracks beside each other. Indeed, unlike the bonus track Vis Vitae, which runs 10 minutes, many of the tracks on here are short ones, with 8 being under a minute each. But all of them deserve to be here, and while short, they are long enough to get across their meaning to you. (As a matter of fact, a good example of shorter tracks is on the WALL•E soundtrack by Thomas Newman, as these were also short themes just as important as the longer ones.) As for the tracks on Flash of Genius that are longer, they have a nice sense of development that is well executed, and edited. And of course, like all movie soundtracks, they are edited down for length from what you’ve heard in the movie. It is nice when the choice of music to feature on the CD is chosen in such a way that it tells the story in itself. And that is the case here. Flash of Genius is a well put together soundtrack that is a great complement to the movie, but stands well on it’s own as well.

Bonus Track: Vis Vitae

The bonus track here, Vis Vitae, is a wonderful chamber work. It to me is a testament to what this movie is, and tells the story on it’s own. This piece is almost 10 minutes in length, the longest on the disc. It begins with a disjointed version of the theme that runs throughout the movie. By 1 minute in, the music’s changed and has the feeling of water droplets running down a windshield, (this is with the theme still playing, although now mixed with this.) As the piece progresses to the 2 minute mark, it changes once again with the strings both carrying the theme and running against it. Then, the theme breaks up around 2:30 minutes in, only be picked up with the soft piano accent from The Warehouse track around the 3 minute mark. I love the variations of the theme here as it progresses, coming to a complete pause by 4:30 minutes. Still, the strings are not quite sure where they are going, yet they seem to have a purpose doing it, just like Robert Kearn’s struggle in the movie. Just after 5:30 minutes the quiet piano is back, which blends into the quiet, yet unsure string theme. The original theme heard several times on the soundtrack comes back around 7:45 minutes in, or about 2 minutes from the end. As this theme appears to be bringing the piece to a gentle moving closure, the disjointed strings from the beginning make a final appearance 1 minute from the end, and close the piece on that point instead. From the combination of parts of The Warehouse theme, and the theme from Mustangs, this is an interesting, and wonderful piece of music, that stands well on it’s own like the rest of the soundtrack, but tells the story of the movie so nicely.

Friday, November 21, 2008


November 21st, 2008

Rated PG for some mild action and peril.

Byron Howard (dir.)

Chris Williams (dir.)

John Travolta as Bolt (voice)

Miley Cyrus as Penny (voice)

Susie Essman as Mittens (voice)

Mark Walton as Rhino (voice)

Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Calico (voice)

James Lipton as The Director (voice)

Greg Germann as The Agent (voice)

Diedrich Bader as Veteran Cat (voice)

Our reviews below:


Bolt Review By John C.

**** (out of four)

When a poster has the name of Miley Cyrus, and is advertising a Disney movie about a dog that will be presented in 3-D, it could easily just be a cash grab. But Bolt is not. The 3-D is not the old red and blue, it’s the digital kind where two images (one for the left eye and one for the right) flick back and forth at a higher frame rate then usual film, so when you wear the special glasses, it gives the illusion of depth, (without the glasses, it just looks like a perfect double image), the glasses draw the light into your eyes, so that each eye sees pretty much the same thing. You can get more info on Real D 3-D at it’s official website www.reald.com, or on Wikipedia.

The film would be great if you didn’t see it in 3-D, but the extra 3 dollars make the experience a bit better and more fun. But enough about 3-D, and on to my thoughts on the film. The story is a lot of fun, and the premise is interesting for an animated movie, where a character who plays a hero on a TV show thinks it’s all real, and is shocked to find out it’s not, (it could be described as a cross between Toy Story, The Truman Show, and is also a bit like Tropic Thunder, only in reverse), The characters are fun and funny, (especially the pigeons, who are hilarious), and the animation and visuals are great.

The action scenes are exciting, on and off the Bolt TV show, including car chases, set pieces on the back of moving vehicles, and one impressive grand finale, (which, be warned, could be scary and disturbing to some young kids, so take the PG rating into effect). John Travolta is perfectly cast as Bolt, as are Susie Essman as Mittens the cat and Mark Walton as Rhino the hamster.

It’s not quite up to the standards of Pixar, but Pixar has set the bar so high that nothing else can really compare no matter how good it is. Bolt is though, the closest Disney has ever gotten to Pixar, and it is really great. Having quite enjoyed Disney’s other two CGI movies, and really loving this, I actually can’t wait to see what they come out with next.

2008 has been a great year for animation, and Bolt should not be missed, so go see it with kids, or just go by yourself, and either way you’re sure to have a great time. I can’t really resist saying this, so I won’t, Bolt is truly fully awesome.


Bolt Review By Erin V.

**** (out of four)

In the new Disney movie, the title character Bolt, (voice of John Travolta), is the star of a TV show - which he thinks is real. And so, when an episode is taped with a cliffhanger, he believes that his owner, Penny, (voice of Miley Cyrus), who plays his owner on the show as well, is truly in grave danger. Since filming will not resume until the following week, he doesn’t know that she’s all right and breaks out of his trailer at the studio. He ends up accidentally brought across the country where he starts his efforts to try to find her. As he journeys back to California from New York he teams up with a cat named Mittens, (voice of Susie Essman), and a hamster named Rhino, (voice of Mark Walton), who like Bolt, believes that the show is real.

The fact that Bolt believes his powers so deeply, even in the ‘real world’, makes his delusion very real in the sense that, you really believe that he believes this. At first he easily finds an answer to anything that challenges his delusions, but it gets harder for him. The characters are very appealing in this movie, especially Bolt, Mittens, and Rhino. Each one has their own unique personality, and that’s one of the many things that makes this movie really work.

The voice cast does a great job in helping to bring the characters to life here, and John Powell’s musical score is amazing in the action, quieter, and more emotional scenes. I liked the design of the animal characters especially, and the scenery was very good. The Real D digital 3D actually works well, (unlike the red and blue 3D), and was especially effective in providing a sense of depth in landscape scenes. The chase scenes that are in this movie look spectacular using these effects, and unlike some 3D movies, it was not used as a reason to throw stuff at the screen, but instead to help move the story along.

I would definitely go see this movie again, and I would recommend it as well. While this isn’t WALL•E, it is a very well made film, and a very enjoyable one at that. Older kids, and adults will probably really enjoy it, but just take into account though, that the rating is a mild PG and with good reason. There are scenes here that could be very frightening to young children.

If you’re looking for something to go to, Bolt is one of the must see movies in theatres right now. This is a quality movie, and one that will be enjoyed by the whole family.


Bolt Review By Nicole

***1/2 (out of four)

Bolt is a white German Shepherd, who stars as a superdog in a television program, along with a girl named Penny. Problem is, Bolt has the delusion that he really is a superdog. (Penny, in the meantime, wants Bolt to be a pet and not an actor, who lives in a trailer.) When a cliffhanger episode of the Bolt TV program finishes filming, Bolt believes Penny is really in danger, and sets off to find her. He gets lost along the way, and meets up with other animals, a cat named Mittens, and a hamster named Rhino. Together, they set off on a series of cross-country adventures, in a quest to find Penny. In the end, Bolt realizes that one doesn’t have to be a superdog to be a hero.

Bolt is a fun movie. John Powell’s score is exhilarating and amazing, and really captures the mood of the film. Some of the funniest parts of the movie are the scenes which make fun of the entertainment industry, (especially the way media exploits child actors). One of Disney’s finest, Bolt contains some of the best action sequences in animation. While not quite Pixar, this film has the quality of being an animated movie which doesn’t try to be too cute. Some scenes involving characters in peril will frighten young children, but this film is still a good one to bring the family to. The Real D 3D works quite well, and adds an element of depth to the animation, but even without the 3D, this movie is still worth seeing. Bolt is one movie you don’t want to miss this holiday season.


Bolt Review By Maureen

***1/2 (out of four)

I really enjoyed seeing Bolt. I especially enjoyed the Real D, 3D experience. There are a lot of exciting chase scenes, explosions and a fire that really worked in 3D. Even the non-action scenes worked well.

This movie would still work well even if you couldn’t see it in 3D. It has a good story line, lots of action, a good soundtrack, funny dialogue, very likable characters, and a strong cast, (including Miley Cyrus as Penny). Bolt is well voiced by John Travolta, and Mittens the cat, (Susie Essman), and Rhino the hamster, (Mark Walton), are fun to watch. Also fun to watch are the pigeons. As is often the case in animated films, a lot of the humour will go over kids heads. Some of the scenes are scary for younger viewers. Because the Bolt story line involves a story within a story, younger kids will have trouble differentiating between the Bolt TV show scenes and the Bolt real life scenes. A lot of the action may seem too real.

Overall, at the heart of this story is a friendship between a girl and her dog, and the friendship between Bolt, Mittens, and Rhino as they go on their adventure to reunite Bolt with his person, Penny. It is the thread of friendship that makes this movie really nice to watch. The action, the humour, and the special effects make it all the more special. I would highly recommend this one for families to see either in 3D or not. This is a real holiday treat. Just keep in mind the mild PG for the youngest of viewers.


Bolt Review By Tony

*** (out of four)

Bolt, the latest Disney animated feature is better than the two previous ones, Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons. With Pixar’s John Lasseter as executive producer, it combines some of the qualities of Pixar with the weaknesses of Disney. (In my opinion Pixar is to Disney as Mac is to PC.) The two clips available on Apple.com illustrate what I mean. The opening Chase clip, up to Pixar’s high standards, would not be out of place among the classic film car chases. The Rescue clip on the other hand typifies the heavy-handed slapstick and negative stereotypes of previous Disney films. Some have suggested that the skinny figures painted by El Greco came from some form of astigmatism. Maybe the opposite is true for some Disney artists. It is refreshing that plus-size characters are used, but making them spherical in shape is just grotesque. Moreover, as in Chicken Little, the relative sizes of characters are inconsistent. Bolt is usually shown to be not much bigger than the cat Mittens and the hamster Rhino, and in the chase scene is tiny beside his “human” Penny standing on her scooter. However, when Penny gets down and hugs him, Bolt is almost as big as she is and his head is actually bigger than hers.

Despite these minor problems, Bolt is really a good film. It has a well-written script and excellent voice actors. The use of special effects and other superhero conventions are well lampooned. The premise of an actor on a cross-country mission who finds out he really does not have super powers and has to rely on others (reminiscent of Buzz Lightyear) is a strong one. In his first voice acting role, John Travolta captures the irony of this perfectly. The minor characters are also well drawn and acted. Watch for the obnoxious agent, the perfectionist director, and the regional pigeons, especially the New Yorkers and the Hollywood partners.

The Disney Digital 3D™ theatrical version added nice depth without any of the problems of earlier 3D systems, but you wouldn’t miss all that much without it–the 1080p high definition clips we saw on our big imac were also beautiful to watch. In other words, unlike some recent 3D blockbusters, Bolt doesn’t need to be in 3D to be worth seeing.


Consensus: Bolt is a very entertaining movie, especially in 3D. It is well made, has likable characters, and good voice acting. This will be a movie no doubt enjoyed by families for years to come. ***1/2 (out of four)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Star Wars: The Clone Wars; an Interview with the Music Composer Kevin Kiner

Written By E. Corrado

When did you find out you were going to be working on ‘Clone Wars’? Two years ago in November or December of 2006. After I did an audition for it, I ended up getting the job.

What was it like working on ‘Clone Wars’? First of all it was very intimidating and daunting. John Williams did a fantastic job with the Star Wars movies and Star Wars definitely has some of the most memorable themes. I got support, input, and honest opinions from the people who were working on the project about what what they liked and didn’t like.

What were the challenges, if any, that you faced while working on ‘Clone Wars’? Well, George Lucas wanted every planet to have it’s own theme. It’s like there would be a Bulgarian planet, an African planet, and an Egyptian planet musically, so I had to research different types of music, and all the little idiosyncrasies that their music has. For the orchestra, every week you’re bringing in a different combination of styles.

How do you think the ‘Clone Wars’ movie compares to the original ‘Star Wars’ movies? Star Wars: The Clone Wars did not start out as a movie. It was originally going to be a three part TV series. But George Lucas liked it so much that he wrote a beginning for it since it already had an ending. From the beginning I was working on a TV show, and when it became a movie, I rewrote it to have a more orchestral feel, since it was being recorded with a 90 piece orchestra. It’s also animation, so that’s different as well.

When did you know that you wanted to be a composer? Probably not until after college. I was on the road conducting for a band, and I would have to arrange pieces for different instruments. I also played guitar, but I realized that I was better at composing and arranging than guitar. Arranging is a very natural step in composing, since if you have a violin for example, but no part for violin, you have to write something new.

When composing music, what software do you use, before it goes to the orchestra? Logic Pro, and Logic Audio which are from Apple.

Are there any scores that you’ve done that you aren’t happy with, or think that you could have done better? I’m pretty happy with most of the stuff I’ve done. Part of the process of composing, is thinking ‘should it go like this, or like that’, but you end up figuring it out and you kind of like what you’re doing. If I could change anything I’ve done, I would probably do the first few episodes of Superboy over again. At first, the music was written in the style of Miami Vice. Looking back, this was not a very good idea, but that was only for the first 6 episodes or so.

What was your favorite movie, or TV show to write music for, and why? Well that’s kind of hard, since it’s like trying to choose who’s your favorite child, but if I had to pick a few, I would have to say, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, CSI Miami, Stargate, and The Visitor.

What was your favorite part of doing the music for ‘Clone Wars’? Getting to be in that world. I grew up being a huge fan of it, and I really liked exploring that since it’s so sophisticated. The first time I saw Star Wars in 1977, I had never heard anything like that music.

The Star Wars: The Clone Wars soundtrack was released August 12th, 2008 in stores, and August 16th, 2008 on iTunes.

Friday, November 14, 2008

This Month’s Overlooked Film

Chosen by: John C.


Release Date March 18th 2005 (Limited)

Rated PG for thematic elements, language, some peril and mild sensuality

Danny Boyle (dir.)

Alex Etel as Damian Cunningham

Lewis McGibbon as Anthony Cunningham

James Nesbitt as Ronnie Cunningham

Daisy Donovan as Dorothy

Jane Hogarth as Mum

Enzo Cilenti as St. Francis


Millions Review By John C.

**** (out of four)

When you finish watching Danny Boyle’s Millions, you know you have just seen something special. From the opening scene where a house is literally built before our eyes, you will be mesmerized right through to the end. Part of what makes the movie so special is the acting. The two young actors are amazing, and fit well with the adults around them. Alex Etel plays Damian Cunningham, who can name off any saint and tell you their date of birth and death and what they were patron saint of. So naturally, when a bag of money falls from the sky, he thinks it’s a gift from God, and wants to give it to the poor. His brother, Anthony (Lewis McGibbon), thinks they should spend it, and wants to use it to gain popularity at his school. The story is told through the eyes of Damian, as he has visions of various saints, and gets taken on a journey of having to decide what is right. If I had to make a list of my favorite films, Millions would have to be there. Partly because I love it, and partly because it wouldn’t feel right if it wasn’t there.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire

November 12th, 2008

Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language.

Canada Rated 14A; Language may offend, violence.

Danny Boyle (dir.)

A. R. Rahman (music)

Dev Patel as Jamal Malik

Madhur Mittal as Salim

Freida Pinto as Latika

Anil Kapoor as Prem Kumar

Irrfan Khan as Police Inspector

Our reviews below:


Slumdog Millionaire Review By John C.

**** (out of four)

The first question is: Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire can be described as A) A Triumph, B) A Failure, C) A Waste of Time, D) Not That Good. The answer is A) A Triumph, and that is my final answer, because all the other answers are wrong. The second question is, should you go see it? The answer is, yes. Jamal Malik has gone on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and when he actually starts to win, they accuse him of cheating. The story is told in flash backs as he tells the tale of his life, and how he came to know the answers.

It is loosely based on the adult novel Q & A, by Vikas Swarup. The overall plot is similar to the book, but apart from a few scenes, it is totally different. After you see the movie, just think that the book is more violent and disturbing than the movie, and then wonder why I saw the book listed as a read for 9 to 12 year olds, a age that this movie is definitely not appropriate for.

Some of the scenes are disturbing and hard to watch, even though their is hardly any blood. It proves that sometimes what you don’t see is more effective than what you do. It would have taken away from the movie if we, the audience, had been distracted by visible gore. There are some scenes were you cringe at the thought of what’s happening, but are glad they have decided not to show it.

The director, Danny Boyle, also made a movie called Millions, which is one of my favorite movies. Both movies are very different and unique, and if you didn’t know that they shared a director, you wouldn’t think they had anything in common, which just shows you how brilliant and diverse Danny Boyle really is.

The story is powerful, and the acting is amazing. Despite the darkness of the story, the last half-hour is uplifting and extremely suspenseful. This is one of my favorite movies this year, and I would be surprised if it doesn't pick up a nomination for Best Picture.


Slumdog Millionaire Review By Erin V.

**** (out of four)

Slumdog Millionaire is the story of Jamal - a young man in India who goes on a game show in order to find what he wants most. Told through a series of flashbacks as his life reveals him the answers, this is a powerful film that makes you think like no other one this year. Throughout the movie, we see the hard life for Jamal as he grows up in the slums of India. Going on the quiz show, we see in a certain sense, is his destiny. But no one knows how one ‘slumdog’ could know all the answers without cheating, so he is arrested in order to force him to explain every answer that he comes by... hence the flashbacks to certain points in his life.

As the movie progresses, so does the amount that you are hooked by it. This is a film that truly grips you from the start, and does not let go until long after it’s over. The acting is amazing by the actors playing Jamal, his brother Salim, and his friend Latika - three actors each - from childhood to young adulthood. As you watch this movie, you care about what happens to these kids who are practically alone in this world, each trying to find a different technique of survival - whether good or bad - as they grow older. Whether it is a scene of a chase through the crowded streets of India, or in the closed set of the game show, there is suspense throughout the movie as it takes it’s unexpected twists and turns.

This is an amazingly emotional, and poignant film. The editing is very well done - closely edited in certain parts, but not to an extreme. The musical score fit well, coming through to the point where it is there, yet not distracting. Throughout the scenes, as the film built up to it’s end, you realize that this will not be a film soon forgotten. It is an excellent piece of work which shows an amazing side to life that we don’t think about. This is a must see film especially for those who are trying to be more involved with social justice issues. This is a very important, well made, (at times hard to watch), and amazing movie. This definitely would be worthy of a Best Picture nomination.


Slumdog Millionaire Review By Nicole

**** (out of four)

Loosely based on the book ‘Q & A’ by Vikas Swarup, Slum Dog Millionaire is a powerful, and deeply moving film. Told through a series of flashbacks, we see how Jamal, an 18 year old ‘slum dog’, ends up on ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’, (his only motivation for being there is his love for Latika.) Of course, the game show host believes that Jamal cheated, so Jamal is taken by the police. Jamal, after enduring heart-wrenching abuse, recounts how a different incident in his life taught him every answer to the questions on the show. From surviving as an orphan with his brother Salim, and friend Latika, to escaping the violence, crime, and corruption that people around him turn to, Jamal grows into a young hero who you will root for to the end.

Despite the fact that young actors dominate this movie, this is not a family film. Scenes of torture, war, crime, and gun violence are an integral part of the story. However, Jamal’s innocence throughout the movie, as well as his quest to find Latika, make for a compelling film that will hold you on the edge of your seat. Tragic at times, this is an excellent film that will open your eyes to real human rights issues that plague our world. An amazing movie that, despite the fact that it is hard to watch, has an ending that will leave you with tears of joy. You will not come away from this film unmoved. Don’t miss this one.


Slumdog Millionaire Review By Maureen

**** (out of four)

Slum Dog Millionaire is a powerful, intense movie that was at times difficult to watch, but impossible not to watch. Jamal is a young man from the slums of India who ends up on the TV game show ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’. His ability to correctly answer each question on the show is explained through a series of flashbacks to his childhood.

Jamal, his brother Salim and childhood friend, Latika endure many difficult and tragic situations that shape who they become as young adults. This movie doesn’t hold back in terms of the realism of the violence and abuse that exists in the slums of India. The realism of the poverty and corruption is what makes Slum Dog Millionaire absolutely compelling to watch.

Actor Dev Patel does an excellent job in making Jamal a character you want to see succeed and finally be rewarded for everything he had to endure earlier in his life. The game show segments with the sleazy game show host are exciting to watch and the ending of the movie is very satisfying. It helps that the intensity and violence in the film is offset be a touching romantic scene at the end.

Normally this would not be my type of movie. However Director Danny Boyle, (Millions), did an excellent job with this story. This is an Oscar worthy movie. I would be shocked if it doesn’t receive any nominations. See it if you can. This is not for children.


Slumdog Millionaire Review By Tony

**** (out of four)

As Slumdog Millionaire opens, 18 year old Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) is about to answer the final question for 20 million Rupees (roughly half a million dollars), on the Indian version of So You Want to be a Millionaire. This show has the most vile host imaginable (Anil Kapoor), who reminded me of Dennis Miller at his worst. Suddenly, to ensure a quick response, we see Jamal’s face being slapped by police. Within the first minute, British director Danny Boyle has us hooked for the next two hours.

Both the recurring multiple choice quiz show and “enhanced interrogation” scenes are in fact clever framing devices. Jamal was arrested for allegedly cheating on the quiz, since no “slumdog” could know all the answers. As the police inspector (Irrfan Khan) plays back each videotaped quiz question, Jamal relates through flashbacks the incidents that revealed the answers. As a small boy, Jamal and his older brother Salim, along with a girl named Latika, had fled from their Muslim slum when it was attacked by a Hindu mob. They were picked up from a garbage dump and taken to a so-called orphanage, but Jamal and Salim ran away once they saw that life there would be even worse than before. After surviving for several years on the streets, an older Jamal and Salim returned to the old neighbourhood to rescue Latika, with whom Jamal believed lay his destiny. After several more years, as the live quiz show goes to air, the now young adults Jamal, Salim (Madhur Mittal) and Latika (Freida Pinto) rush headlong to a brilliant conclusion. As always, my synopsis is deliberately vague so as not to spoil the surprises.

Despite a brief group dance scene during the closing credits, this is by no means a conventional Bollywood film. There is no effort to make slum life pretty and there are brief scenes of brutality. However, Slumdog Millionaire is an inspiring fantasy of destiny bringing lives together. It is a beautiful film to look at. Brilliant editing, both of pictures and sound, keep the intricate narrative structure clear and suspense sequences exciting. The cast is consistently good, including the child actors in flashbacks. The eclectic musical score by A. R. Rahman is effective, i.e. always appropriate while unobtrusive.

In short, Slumdog Millionaire is an outstanding film, one of the year’s best.


Consensus: Slumdog Millionaire will stay with you long after you’ve left the theatre. This is a powerful, intense, and moving film, that while hard to watch at times, is an amazing work of art. **** (out of four)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

On DVD November 11th, 2008

Rated PG for sci-fi action violence throughout, brief language, and momentary smoking.

Dave Filoni (dir.)

Kevin Kiner (music)

Matt Lanter as Anakin Skywalker (voice)

Ashley Eckstein as Ahsoka Tano (voice)

James Arnold Taylor as Obi-Wan Kenobi / 4-A7 / Medical Droid (voice)

Dee Bradley Baker as Clone Troopers / Captain Rex / Cody (voice)

Tom Kane as Yoda / Narrator / Admiral Yularen (voice)

Nika Futterman as Asajj Ventress / Tee-C-Seventy (voice)

Ian Abercrombie as Chancellor Palpatine / Darth Sidious (voice)

Corey Burton as General Loathsom / Ziro the Hutt / Kronos-327 (voice)

Catherine Taber as Padmé Amidala (voice)

Matthew Wood as Battle Droids (voice)

Kevin Michael Richardson as Jabba the Hutt (voice)

David Acord as Rotta the Huttlet (voice)

Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu (voice)

Anthony Daniels as C-3PO (voice)

Christopher Lee as Count Dooku (voice)

Our reviews below:


Star Wars: The Clone Wars Review By John C.

**1/2 - (*** for it’s target audience) (out of four)

Clone Wars really isn’t that bad. While it doesn't even come close to the originals, it’s still enjoyable fun. A lot of the animation isn’t that good, it was made on a budget of about $8.5 million, which is a very small portion of what WALL•E cost. The backgrounds aren’t actually that bad in a lot of the scenes, but the people don’t exactly move realistically, and some of the shots don’t look like they were rendered quite right. But, it doesn't really matter. The story is entertaining, and the characters move it along well enough to make it work for what it is. For it’s audience, which would likely be the 8 to 12 crowd, it serves as an introductory to Star Wars, or just an opportunity to see some of their favorite characters on the big screen. It would be worth at least a rental on DVD, or worth getting just to complete you Star Wars collection.


Star Wars: The Clone Wars Review By Erin V.

**1/2 (out of four)

Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It’s an animated Star Wars movie, that does not stand up to the originals, but for what it is... it’s worth watching. The target audience that will probably be watching this, is younger then for the original movies anyway. The story that the movie follows is - as the name suggests - a bridge between Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith taking place during the Clone Wars. I actually found that with the pace of this movie, it held my attention slightly more than Attack of the Clones did. The animation is nowhere near that of most major animated movies out there these days, but it had it’s own style, and a fraction of the budget. The movie seemed to be more of a launch for the series that is now playing on CTV. For it’s intended audience; borrow it from the library, or rent it.


Consensus: While it doesn’t stand up to the other Star Wars movies, it’s worth a rental for it’s intended audience. **1/2 (out of four)

We Will Remember Them...

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada, (Veterans Day in USA). This is a reminder for us all to remember the brave men and women who served our countries in war time conflicts. This day of this year, November 11th, 2008, marks the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

November 7th, 2008

Rated PG for mild crude humor.

Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath (dir.)

Hans Zimmer (music)

Ben Stiller as Alex (voice)

Chris Rock as Marty / Additional Zebras (voice)

David Schwimmer as Melman (voice)

Jada Pinkett Smith as Gloria (voice)

Sacha Baron Cohen as Julien (voice)

Cedric the Entertainer as Maurice (voice)

Bernie Mac as Zuba (voice)

Alec Baldwin as Makunga (voice)

Tom McGrath as Skipper / Lemur #1 (voice)

Chris Miller as Kowalski (voice)

Christopher Knights as Private (voice)

Our reviews below:


Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Review By John C.

***1/2 (out of four)

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is funnier, and actually, a lot more fun then the original. It also tells a better, and more interesting story, that is more serious, but still never loses the comedic tone. And it is funny. Very funny. Some of the best scenes come from the penguins (as usual), and the hilarious King Julien (voiced to perfection by the hilarious Sacha Baron-Cohen). The animation is also better and brighter, trading in more cartooney landscapes for very realistic shots of Africa.

Dreamwork's has surprisingly never made a bad sequel, and in most cases actually makes one that's better then the original. All the actors from the first one reprise their roles, and this one also introduces Bernie Mac (may he rest in peace) as Alex’s father. It’s a role that I think will be greatly missed in the upcoming third film. There is more action in this one too, including a few set pieces involving the old plane that takes them to Africa, a scene at a volcano, and one of the funniest, and best dance scenes I have ever seen. There is also a whole herd of zebras, all voiced by Chris Rock.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is funnier and more action packed then the original, but it also adds more heart to the story of four friends trying to get back home to the New York Central Park zoo. Kids will probably like it, but they are definitely not the only audience for it. Most of the humor is high level, and contains many smart references to other movies including Flight of the Phoenix, Twilight Zone and Indiana Jones.

I really hope you go see it, trust me, you won’t regret it. It is easily one of the funniest movies of the year, and really shouldn’t be missed. It will also get you looking forward to seeing Madagascar 3, in 2011.


Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Review By Erin V.

***1/2 (out of four)

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa starts a little bit after the last movie left off. Still on Madagascar, Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria decide to leave in broken plane that was seen in the first movie. King Julien, and Maurice decide to come along for a vacation in New York City. They manage to get the plane up in the air and head for New York, but end up crash landing - in Africa. Don’t worry, the Penguins are in this movie too, even more then the last one, which was great. In fact, they are the ones flying the plane, under the name ‘Air Penguin’. Once they crash land in Africa, the zoo animals all meet members of there own species, with Alex finding his family. They end up going off in different directions, each to there own kind, but the problem is, they don’t know how to act in the wild. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot line, since it is really well done, and it was really enjoyable to watch it come together.

This is a sequel that is slightly better then the first movie, which I actually really liked. The story line is good, and follows the penguins, the lemurs, and each of the other characters as they discover Africa. It is interesting to watch as each of the characters stories come together throughout the movie, and then all tie together really nicely at the end. This movie is probably one of the funniest movies out right now, and I only wish that I had seen it in IMAX.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa will probably be enjoyed by older kids, and adults, in some ways, slightly more then younger kids. This is in part due to the fact that a lot of the dialogue has jokes that you would have to be slightly older to get, and also, references to other movies. Another cool thing* is that both of the directors lend there voices to characters. Eric Darnell does a couple of additional voices, and Tom McGrath, does both additional voices, and the penguin Skipper as he did in the first movie.

This is a fast paced, fun adventure that is definitely worth seeing in theatres. Way better then you might think it would be. Go see it.

*One more little note, is that in a flashback at the beginning, a newspaper reads Wednesday, April 8, 1972. Interestingly, this would mean that the movie would be set in the 1980’s if you take into account Marty's age in the first movie - (even though Alex says in the film that he broke Marty's iPod). This newspaper also contains an error. 1972 was a Saturday leap year, which actually makes April 8th in that year a Saturday as well, since normally the 9th of April falls on the same day as the start of the year, except in a leap year when it is April 8th which does this. Anyway, that will not be noticed by most people. I actually didn’t notice it until I was watching an HD clip at home afterwards, trying to zoom in and read the newspaper. And it’s good that I didn’t, since I would have hated to have been distracted in the movie figuring out that date. Anyway, this is still a great movie. Have fun, and go see it.


Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Review By Nicole

***1/2 (out of four)

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is one of those sequels that exceeds the original, (which I also really enjoyed). It begins with a flashback scene to when Alex the Lion is a little cub back in Africa. His father, Zuba, is teaching Alex how to wrestle, but Alex isn’t interested. Interference from rival animals, and ultimately humans, cause Alex to lose his freedom. The movie, then through news footage by humans, recaps what happened in the last movie from a human point of view.

Now, picking up from the last movie, the penguins have ‘fixed up’ the plane, and the zoo friends, eager to get back to New York, hop on. Of course, the plan fails, and the friends land on mainland Africa. The animals find their own kind, and most importantly, Alex finds his parents. This is where the movie really takes off. Along with the original characters, new characters are introduced, including a narcissist rival lion named Makunga. Some of the lesser characters from the first film, such as the chimpanzees, and the old lady, have returned in bigger, and even funnier roles. This movie also has a surprise romance between two characters, as well as a strong emphasis on family values, and some environmental undertones.

This movie is funny, exciting, full of action, and has no more violence than a Bugs Bunny cartoon. The casting is perfect, bringing the film to life. This movie is nothing but pure fun for the whole family.


Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Review By Maureen

*** (out of four)

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa picks up where the original left off with the zoo pack of Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, Melman the Giraffe and of course the penguins stuck in Madagascar. Except this time they have hatched a plan to leave the island and return to New York via a crashed plane the penguins have fixed up. As the title suggests, they don’t make it to New York. They end up in Africa instead and the story begins. And it’s a good story.

When a movie has a sequel you half expect to be disappointed. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa did not disappoint. The story line in this movie is stronger than the first one and the dialogue is way funnier. The penguins are great to watch in every scene and the old lady character, (Nana), from the first movie has a bigger and funnier role in this one. The animation has also improved with very realistic scenes of water and African landscape.

Overall, this is a very funny movie. It even has some romance, (I won’t say which two characters). I watched this movie in a theater packed to capacity with adults and children of all ages. There was laughter all around and applause at the end. So get up and move it, move it to the theater and go see this one. And when it’s released, get the DVD.


Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Review By Tony

*** (out of four)

If you enjoyed Madagascar 1, the sequel is even better. Courtesy of “Air Penguin” the crashed WWII aircraft has been salvaged but in an attempt to return home the main characters only make it as far as Africa. Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) finds his parents. Marty the zebra joins a herd where everyone looks alike and sounds like Chris Rock. Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) is charmed by the seductive bass voice of the supersized Moto Moto (will.i.am). Hypochondriac giraffe Melman (David Schwimmer) is welcomed into his herd as a witch doctor. The lemur king (Sasha Baron Cohen) and his minion Maurice (Cedric the Entertainer) attempt to hang onto their regal lifestyles. The penguins and chimps set to work to rebuild the plane, with spare parts from two vehicles stolen from New Yorkers on safari, led by the Ninja bubbie from Grand Central Station. Consistent with our website no spoilers policy, suffice it to say that the plot thickens as these various characters interact in unexpected ways. Given such a rich cast, more sequels are sure to follow.

With the addition of the late Bernie Mac as the alpha lion and Alec Baldwin as his rival, the voice acting is excellent throughout. As with the best of these animated features, the actors’ well-known facial expressions and mannerisms are reflected in the non-human characters. The musical score by Hans Zimmer & will.i.am is also fine, borrowing from the best where appropriate. Two obvious references: while the tourists’ will to survive is inspired by a chorus of New York New York, Alex’s finger-snapping West Side Story gang dance moves just don’t cut it in a trial of combat to establish his status in the pride. More obscurely: when the baby stowaway Mort washes up on shore, the suddenly interrupted tune that he sings appears to the same one that bookends Monster House.


Consensus: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is great fun, and entertaining for all ages. Older kids and adults won’t feel left out, this is a movie that will be enjoyed by the whole family. ***1/2 (out of four)

Friday, November 7, 2008


Here are two of our reviewers thoughts on the first Madagascar movie, which opened May 27th, 2005. Our reviews of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa will be available Monday.

May 27th, 2005

Rated PG for mild language, crude humor and some thematic elements.

Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath (dir.)

Ben Stiller as Alex (voice)

Chris Rock as Marty (voice)

David Schwimmer as Melman (voice)

Jada Pinkett Smith as Gloria (voice)

Sacha Baron Cohen as Julien (voice)

Cedric the Entertainer as Maurice (voice)

Andy Richter as Mort (voice)

Tom McGrath as Skipper / Fossa / Panicky Man on Subway (voice)

Christopher Knights as Private (voice)

Chris Miller as Kowalski (voice)

Our reviews below:


Madagascar Review By John C.

*** (out of four)

Madagascar is the zany, off the wall story of a zebra named Marty (Chris Rock) who lives in a zoo, but wishes he could go to the wild. When he escapes for wide open spaces, his friends Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith), Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer), and Alex the lion (Ben Stiller), chase after him, and in a twist of fate, all end up shipwrecked on the island of Madagascar. Alex, who misses his home life at the zoo, and the delicious steaks that they feed him, badly wants to go back, and starts to become crazy from his lack of food. Their you have it, the plot.

The story is not complex, but the ride is funny and a lot of fun. The story is rounded out by a clan of very funny singing lemurs, and the hands down best characters in the movie, a group of hilarious gangster-esque penguins (there is one scene involving the penguins that is so simple, yet priceless). While Madagascar is no where near the top as far as animated films go, it is still light hearted fun, and a definite good time. All the voice actors get in their share of jokes, especially Sacha Baron-Cohen as King Julien leader of the lemurs, who I am sure made up a lot of it as he went along. While it is not up there with anything from Pixar, it is still worth seeing for what it is, and I am sure the whole family will have a good time.


Madagascar Review By Erin V.

*** (out of four)

Madagascar is the story of Alex the Lion, (Ben Stiller), Marty the Zebra, (Chris Rock), Melman the Giraffe, (David Schwimmer), and Gloria the Hippo, (Jada Pinkett Smith). They all live in the Central Park Zoo. It starts out on Marty’s birthday, and he, turning 10, thinks that there has to be more to life. After talking to the penguins, (who Alex calls psychotic), they tell him that they don’t belong here, and they are breaking out to go to Antarctica. Hearing this, Marty wants to go and see the wild too. Alex tries to talk him out of it, since they have everything that they already need. After they escape from the zoo, they are caught, and shipped off to be sent to a wildlife reserve in Africa, but end up stranded in Madagascar.

Back in 2005, I saw Madagascar after I had won tickets to it. To be able to see the movie before it was reviewed, and review it myself was a lot more fun than judging whether or not to see it by what others had said. And for the movie Madagascar in particular, it was really great, because despite what was said in a lot of reviews of the first movie, I actually really liked it. The movie was fun, and I found the story to be entertaining enough to keep it going. I admit that this is not an amazing movie in terms of filmmaking, but in my opinion, I liked it - especially the penguins. This movie is worth seeing, especially now on DVD, if you are going to see the second one.


Consensus: This is a fun movie for the whole family. It is worth seeing, especially before the second one which opens this weekend, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. *** (out of four)