Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Mini Retro Review: Spy School (2008) #badmovies

Spy School
Adventure Comedy

For a film titled Spy School, aka Doubting Thomas in other territories, with virtually no spies is weird. Spy School is Spy Kids, minus the spies and is nowhere as cool. It tries in vain to ride on the coattails of that movie and released towards the late 2000s, audiences had gone off Spy Kids. Boy Meets World's Ryder Strong is in this one and he looks as if he hasn't aged, as is comedian D.L Hughley. The performances overall aren't up to scratch, Lea Thompson as Mrs Miller puts on an annoying voice. Never mind it being a bad kids movie, this is a bad movie all round and a bore as well.

Is It Worth Watching?

Don't waste your breath


Retro Review: Wheels On Meals (1984)

Wheels on Meals (Kwai Tsan Tseh)
Cast: Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Lola Forner, Benny Urquidez, Herb Edelman
Genre: Martial Arts Comedy
Hong Kong Box Office Gross: over $21 million

Plot: The owners of a mobile restaurant help a private detective in search of a mysterious woman

'Jackie Chan's Reign In Spain Is Simple & Well Constructed, But Lacks Bigger & Better Action'

Since their progression from the Peking opera academy to their rise in the Hong Kong movie world, Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung have appeared in several films together in My Lucky Stars, the sequel Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars, Project A and Dragons Forever. They were all action comedies and they all displayed their acting, as well as their martial arts fighting abilities & comedic side. Wheels On Meals, the precursor to My Lucky Stars, is directed by Hung where for the first time, the threesome's antics take place in Spain. A light-hearted comedy starring the trio of Chan, Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung and the follow-up to Cannonball Run II in 1984, it's not much a comedy really but a light-hearted film of two kung fu sparring partners/mobile caterers & cousins, Thomas & David who come to the aid of a lone female on the run from the bad guys. They run a mobile restaurant titled 'Everybody's Kitchen', whilst in Barcelona and in the shape of a yellow Mitsubishi van, complete with computerised '80s technology & serving different types of food & beverages such as hot dogs, noodles, fried rice with Jackie's Thomas taking orders, whilst riding on a skateboard. Sammo Hung plays a private eye, Moby. During Thomas & David's visit to see David's father in an institutionalised hospital, they come into contact with a young woman named Sylvia, who turns out to be a thief & steals Thomas's wallet. Yet after running into Moby, they learn she is a wanted woman who is pursued by the local mafia. Afterwards, when she is kidnapped, Thomas, David and Moby team up to rescue her. 

The story in Wheels On Meals is simple, yet effective but well constructed: two people travelling to the other side of the world to make a living, only to become embroiled in a scheme involving the mafia and a young woman. The decision of Hung's to go down the international route makes a nice change of scenery and it worked wonders. Having the film set in Spain only adds to the story and enhances it and the foreigner ''fish-out-of-water'' subplot was done better here than with Rumble In The Bronx and is put together far more eloquently. And although this is not the standard fight fest one would come to expect in a typical Jackie Chan and even a Sammo Hung movie, at least with this offering more emphasis is placed on building a story and developing the characters, which Wheels on Meals does well in. & When there is a fight or stunt scene, it is pretty good. 

The sight of Sammo Hung with a jeri-curl is funny to see. There is a gag where Moby gets drunk and downs glass after glass of red wine, whilst he is in search of his mates. 

It may not be the most high-octane and action-packed of all of Jackie Chan's movies when it comes to breathtaking and extravagant stunts and fights, which it should have been, besides the battle between Benny 'The Jet' Urquidez and Jackie Chan, but story-wise, it is definitely more narrative-driven & it is a lot more adventurous. The comedy with Richard Ng and John Shum of the Lucky Stars movies alongside Sammo Hung & Jackie Chan is flat and thus the scenes with Moby in the hospital van and two mental patients should have been edited out. Fans of story-based action movies, who don't mind less action in favour of more dialogue, will feel right at home and ease with this one.  

Plus, it makes up with plenty of charm. 

Final Verdict:

Wheels on Meals does feel a tad long, but I suppose had the comedy been more on point and it had a bit more action, this would have made it more enduring as a film. It's not the complete Jackie Chan movie and that balance of action with comedy isn't there, but the charm that is in My Lucky Stars through the Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung trio partnership works a treat and it's great to see their efforts here. 

I still prefer Police Story as the ultimate Jackie Chan flick - the stunts, fight choreography, the quality of action in that movie is still unrivalled in my eyes -, but for viewers interested in any of Golden Harvest's movies, this is a very good one to see. 


Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Retro Review: Dragon The Bruce Lee Story (1993)

Dragon The Bruce Lee Story
Cast: Jason Lee, Lauren Holly, Nancy Kwan, Robert Wagner
Genre: Biographical Drama
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $63 million

Plot: The brief but eventful life of actor and martial arts trailblazer Bruce Lee, based on the biography written by his widow Linda Lee Caldwell

'Factually Inaccurate, Yet Compelling Somewhat & Entertaining, But Can't Shake Off Its DTV Status'

Overdramatic, the use of heightened music did take away from some of my enjoyment of the movie with a feel that is akin to a low budget straight to DVD/ TV movie this side of Hallmark channel, look, I knew before I rewatched this movie that I wasn't going to get a typical martial arts fighting-based action flick, but a biopic on one of the most famous, well make that the most well-known and famous martial arts stars of all-time. & a romanticised one for that matter as well. 

For those of you who don't know who Bruce Lee is, though I'm sure many of you film fans have seen his face adorn the DVD covers of films such as The Big Boss, Enter The Dragon, he was a martial artist, born in San Francisco originally but who lived in Hong Kong and made several movies over there and broke out as a worldwide star. Endorsed by his widower/wife, Linda, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story is a biographical yet fictionalised account of the late great Lee's years, beginning with his upbringing in Hong Kong after his birth in San Francisco through to his marriage to wife, Linda to his encounter with his inner demons & his inevitable passing.  

Even though it was made and released in 1993 as a theatrical movie, it looks like a TV movie. The story and dramatic elements, which were present, were given the Hollywood treatment, there were some cringe-worthy scenes and I was shocked at the inaccuracy and omission of some of the facts. One example being Bruce's back injury was endured during a training exercise and not by a fight encounter by a long-haired burly guy. Another was that he was the only child of Grace Lee and Lee Hoi Chen when actually this is untrue. The tonality of the movie was messy; the scene where Lee beats up the cooks, I don't know if that actually happened, and if it didn't, then that is truly disappointing that they threw that scene in for no other reason but because it is an action scene. Then a couple of scenes later, there is a nightmare sequence where Bruce's biggest fears in a mysterious figure guy dressed in a samurai outfit, and identified as his inner demon, hoists Lee and throws him onto the wall. Now, that part was supposed to be scary, it was supposed to evoke fear and tension, yet it made me feel little for it. The complaints about the meshing of the two genres: action/martial arts with drama and the dissonance between the two are understandable and warranted. Also, Bruce Lee spoke Cantonese Chinese in some of his movies, yet this was never mentioned or highlighted anywhere in the movie, with Jason Scott Lee as Bruce speaking in predominately English. 

It is pretty ironic that the makers of this film tried to make a movie about a person who fought to raise and boost the profile of martial arts to the mainstream, beyond that of kung fu and karate enthusiasts and to wider audiences, yet they created a biopic movie that is by all essence a B-movie fit for television. It feels corny, far too lightweight and the direction, even for a drama should have been far more potent. The music can be overbearing and whilst the performances hold plenty of weight and merit on their own, thanks to the capable Jason Lee and Lauren Holly as Bruce's wife, Linda, they are often brought down by the film's insistence on turning the story into an overly melodramatic affair, which takes away from Dragon's potential as a film. 

All I could think of as I was watching this was it was a TV movie through the production values, the feel and the approach. I mean, it was watchable in places and it was compelling, but also there were times where it over-exaggerated things that had me wincing. Yet the decision for the writers and directors to cop out on Bruce's death & having a proper death scene, and instead have Lauren Holly doing a voiceover mentioning that Lee fell into a coma and died, pretty much tells me that all that potential for a great Bruce Lee biopic came to well, little or be it nothing. I am clearly more than disappointed.  

Dragon also doesn't emphasise or make references to Enter The Dragon and The Big Boss, amongst others, but it's more about Bruce's adversity and overcoming racism and various barriers in his life to promote the martial art that is known as jeet kune do. 


Final Verdict:

Dragon is not so much or be it a martial arts film, but a drama biopic on martial arts and not a movie I would place side by side with Jackie Chan, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Lee's other movies. With an approach that is far too lightweight and leans more towards the hammy side and despite the skewed facts, which took away from some of the movie's enjoyment, I feel it would make for a better film had it not dumbed down for the sake of mainstream audiences and to present things in a more gritty, open and accurate fashion. 

But alas, B/TV movie Dragon is what it is and if you are after a more faithful rendition of Bruce Lee's life, you are better off with biographies such as Bruce Lee: The Celebrated Life of the Golden Dragon, because this is more of a fictionalised account of events that is also factually inaccurate and chooses to gloss over the truths & of which, is given the Hollywood treatment. I bought into the performances, the action, but everything else, just wasn't up to scratch in my book. 

But besides that, up until the ending, this was still watchable. 


Monday, 20 November 2017

Retro Review: China O' Brien (1990)

China O'Brien
Cast: Cynthia Rothrock, Richard Norton, Keith Cooke, Doug Wright, Nije
Genre: Martial Arts

'Golden Harvest's Martial Arts Cheapie'

Directed by the same person who did the Bruce Lee epic, Enter The Dragon & the unmemorable Gymkata and produced by Hong Kong's Golden Harvest, the home of Jackie Chan & Bruce Lee, China O'Brien is a low-budget martial arts romp, well, kind of starring U.S karate champion, Cynthia Rothrock as a cop who returns to her hometown to kick ass and take out the trash, after her father, a sheriff of the town, is murdered.

Along the way, she gets reacquainted with an old flame, who also happens to be a martial artist and a native Indian named Dakota played by Keith Cooke. Cooke is of mixed Japanese and American descent and he displays some nice moves. 

Besides the fight scenes, the story in China O'Brien is boring and dreary with some hokey and dodgy acting and a crummy script to accompany it. After the tremendous Yes,Madam! with Michelle Yeoh and The Millionaire's Club, Rothrock is taken down a peg or two through this poor action martial arts offering. Although she gets to beat up a guy who looks like Bluto from Popeye in one sequence. The fights themselves are not great, although, from a Golden Harvest perspective, it isn't all that great, even with the editing

By taking away the fights, this would be an even more terrible as a film and it would have nothing left going for it. It just feels that as I was sitting through this, it felt empty. I felt nothing for it. 

Even with this film produced by Golden Harvest, the director of this film hardly gives the actors any flair to work with, with the fight scenes looking pedestrian and drab. The exception being the gym fight, which was all right. The further the story went on, the more uninterested I became and I just let all the dull dialogue go over my head. 

I prefer Cynthia Rothrock and Richard Norton in the first Rage & Honor over this borefest: boring story, fights and martial arts on display are boring, along with boring performances.

This is a low-grade version of the Patrick Swayze flick, Roadhouse, which came out the year before, mixed in with Walker: Texas Ranger.  

Final Verdict:

Was looking forward to this movie as something that could become a cult action B-movie, China O' Brien is virtually and thoroughly lacklustre in every department, which really by the time it came to the end, it was truly not worth it.

I'd skip this one. 


Sunday, 19 November 2017

My 90 Favourite Movies From The 1990s

My favourite decade for movies in general, there were so many great films that were released. Being born in the early 1980s and living through the 1990s I sat through so many movies and but for a couple of exceptions, the '90s hasn't disappointed in my eyes. More variety, more choice, arguably bigger and better stars compared to today's Hollywood stars (well for me anyway) and more quality movies, as well as some guilty pleasures & hidden gems that still put a smile on my face, every now and then. 

Sad thing is, we will never have a decade as good as this for movies, ever again. But with Netflix, streaming sites and DVDs, we can revisit these movies and other '90s and '80s classics, time and time again. The golden age for cinema, the '90s were, in many ways, an excellent one.

Movies that I have reviewed on the blog are highlighted in bold. 
  1. Awakenings
  2. Hook
  3. The Fisher King
  4. Jumanji
  5. The Birdcage
  6. Mrs Doubtfire
  7. Fathers' Day
  8. Aladdin
  9. Patch Adams
  10. The Pelican Brief
  11. Stepmom
  12. Kindergarten Cop
  13. Terminator 2: Judgement Day
  14. Total Recall
  15. True Lies 
  16. Jingle All The Way
  17. Junior
  18. Soapdish
  19. Batman Returns
  20. Wayne's World
  21. Wayne's World 2
  22. Hard Boiled
  23. My Cousin Vinny
  24. Strictly Ballroom
  25. Boomerang
  26. Police Story 3
  27. Philadelphia
  28. The Fugitive 
  29. Falling Down
  30. Hard Target
  31. Pulp Fiction
  32. Speed
  33. The Mask
  34. Disclosure
  35. Heat
  36. Showgirls
  37. Strange Days 
  38. The Basketball Diaries
  39. Dangerous Minds
  40. Dead Presidents
  41. Scream
  42. Mars Attacks!
  43. The Rock
  44. The Long Kiss Goodnight
  45. Set It Off
  46. Muriel's Wedding
  47. Liar Liar
  48. Con Air
  49. Tomorrow Never Dies
  50. As Good As It Gets
  51. Grosse Pointe Blank
  52. Beverly Hills Ninja
  53. Blade
  54. The Mask of Zorro
  55. American Buffalo
  56. The Rugrats Movie
  57. Wrongfully Accused
  58. Copycat
  59. What's Love Got To Do With It?
  60. Living Out Loud
  61. Losing Isaiah
  62. The Ambulance
  63. Toy Story 2
  64. Election
  65. Galaxy Quest 
  66. Mystery Men
  67. Bowfinger
  68. Boys Don't Cry
  69. Man On The Moon
  70. Home Alone
  71. Goodfellas
  72. Die Hard 2
  73. Predator 2
  74. Darkman
  75. Ducktales The Movie
  76. She Shoots Straight
  77. Whore
  78. The Perfect Weapon
  79. Boyz N Da Hood
  80. Vampire In Brooklyn
  81. Metro
  82. It Could Happen To You
  83. Single White Female 
  84. The Joy Luck Club
  85. Thelma and Louise 
  86. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  87. Ace Ventura Pet Detective
  88. Space Jam
  89. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
  90. Bad Boys

Retro Review: Broken Arrow (1996)

Broken Arrow
Cast: John Travolta, Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis, Delroy Lindo, Frank Whaley, Bob Gunton, Kurtwood Smith
Genre: Action
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $150 million

Plot: Terrorists steal nuclear warheads from the U.S military, but don't count on a pilot and park ranger spoiling their plans

'Banal Action Film That Is Broken In Many Pieces'

A military based action flick, it is, unfortunately, yet another in the line of John Woo's Western efforts that underwhelm after the amazing Hard Target and misses the mark in more ways than one. From the casting and unconvincing turns by everyone but for say, John Travolta as the antagonist to the diluted and dumbed down action that hardly impresses, Broken Arrow is a huge misfire from the usually well-renowned Hong Kong director. And for an action film, strangely, it is also a bore. 

Co-pilot Riley Hale and stealth fighter pilot Vic Deakins are being tasked with a B-3 stealth bomber that comes with it two nuclear missiles. But Deakins has a secret plan in stealing the bombs & demanding a huge sum of money in return. 

I used to enjoy it when I saw it on TV in the mid-1990s, but it's again one of those films that haven't held up well. Revisiting it today, it's unreal how almost all of it is just so bland, tame and unimpressive.

Christian Slater doesn't strike me as an action star, whatsoever. He didn't look convincing in Hard Rain and he made for a terrible invisible man baddie in Hollow Man 2, the direct to DVD follow-up to the Paul Verhoeven movie - minus Kevin Bacon. & he didn't convince me as the good guy here. Plus, he was bland. Samantha Mathis is terribly miscast, out-of-place and she didn't do much in the role that was sufficient enough. If it had to be a done deal to have a female character in this movie, then the casting crew should have done a better job in hiring someone else other than Mathis, who is one of those actresses who hasn't blown up, big time due to poor and lacklustre film choices. John Travolta, now whilst he did it better in Face/Off, Woo's follow-up film that was also the last best performance and movie of his, before his decline, here his character was also a bit too annoying. Both he, Kurtwood Smith and Delroy Lindo were all wasted here, but Mathis and Slater could have been so easily replaced by other - and better actors who would have offered more. They just don't gel well together & nor do they look like a solid pairing, whatsoever and their performances come off looking stiff. The onscreen love chemistry they have for one another was odd and it didn't come through at all. 

Written by Graham Yost, who was also responsible for Speed - a movie that didn't have much substance yet in Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves they added extra watchability and it was still a good film -, Mission to Mars (not so good) and Hard Rain (unmemorable), Broken Arrow relies on the standard action movie formula but removing all of the great qualities and replacing it with sub-standard action that is not very good and is the quality seen in many other straight to DVD action B-movies. It still has the slo-mo shots of characters flying about, which is a trademark of Woo's films. The characters have either plastic personas or are devoid of personality.

As far as expensive action movies go, and expensive this was to make, the lack of action makes it incredibly disappointing. But even the action itself underwhelms with bombs going off and there is little in the way of fighting and is weak. The story is arduously long and there is too much dialogue with scenes whereby little is happening. 

Broken Arrow is broken all right, but it also has no depth. & with that in mind, this is a feeble excuse for an action film. 

Final Verdict:

Broken Arrow is an action B-movie with a slightly flashier actor in John Travolta and slightly flashier director, John Woo. & yet it is still hackneyed throughout. Though for me, the bigger culprits are Slater, Mathis and the action itself, which is not good enough, along with a dreary screenplay by Yost. And as underwhelming as the script is, they truly brought this film down and made it less enjoyable for me and more of a chore to sit through. 

Lower-tier John Woo effort, this has a straight- to- DVD feel, despite its high budget and Woo has done better. Far better. Yet Broken Arrow comes off looking as corny and trifling. 

Stick to Hard Boiled, Hard Target, Face/Off, The Killer & A Better Tomorrow for your Woo Fix.



Saturday, 18 November 2017

My 80 Favourite Movies From The 1980s

Just a random post on my favourite films of the 1980s that I have watched and thoroughly enjoyed. You can find the reviews to most of those movies that I have blogged and written on the 'My Other Movie Reviews' section of this blog on the far right-hand side and scrolling down below for the titles. 
  1. Airplane
  2. Body Heat
  3. Return of the Jedi
  4. Indiana Jones and the last crusade
  5. Back to the future 2
  6. Do The Right Thing
  7. Kiki's Delivery Service
  8. Roadhouse
  9. Tango & Cash
  10. Steel Magnolias
  11. Best of the Best
  12. The Ambulance
  13. Devil Hunters
  14. Die Hard
  15. Akira
  16. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
  17. Rain Man
  18. The Naked Gun
  19. Cocktail
  20. Police Story 2
  21. Dead Heat
  22. Feds
  23. Chicken and Duck Talk
  24. Robocop
  25. Lethal Weapon
  26. Spaceballs
  27. Good Morning, Vietnam 
  28. The Running Man
  29. Adventures in Babysitting
  30. Throw Momma from the train
  31. China Girl
  32. Fatal Attraction
  33. Overboard
  34. Ishtar
  35. Stripped to Kill
  36. Aliens
  37. Big Trouble in Little China 
  38. The Great Mouse Detective
  39. Ruthless People
  40. Wildcats
  41. Les Fugitifs
  42. Magnificent Warriors
  43. Seize The Day
  44. The Goonies
  45. Commando
  46. Rocky IV
  47. Police Story
  48. My Lucky Stars
  49. Fletch
  50. The Jewel of the Nile
  51. Tin Men
  52. Red Sonja
  53. Yes, Madam!
  54. The Protector
  55. Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars
  56. Ghostbusters
  57. The Terminator
  58. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  59. Beverly Hills Cop
  60. Footloose
  61. Romancing The Stone
  62. Wheels on Meals
  63. Crimes of Passion
  64. Fear City
  65. Return of the Jedi
  66. Trading Places
  67. Project A
  68. The Survivors
  69. Into The Night
  70. Blade Runner
  71. ET
  72. Tootsie
  73. 48 Hrs
  74. The World According To Garp
  75. Outrageous Fortune 
  76. Banana Joe
  77. Aces Go Places
  78. The Empire Strikes Back
  79. Gloria
  80. In The Line of Duty IV

Friday, 17 November 2017

Retro Review: Charlotte's Web (2006)

Charlotte's Web
Cast: Julia Roberts, Dakota Fanning, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Oprah Winfrey, Cedric The Entertainer, Kathy Bates, Reba McEntire, Robert Redford, Thomas Haden Church
Genre: Fantasy
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $144 million

Plot: After learning that a young pig's days are numbered, a literate spider weaves an elaborate plan to save her friend from the butcher's block 

'A Web That Needed To Weave More Magic & Charm'

I went into this film with low expectations; I didn't expect much out of it and given as I wasn't familiar with the original story and that I'm not really into farm-based movies, I thought it would be something that wouldn't hold my attention for very long. Charlotte's Web is a famous children's tale, which also spawned a 2D animated version of the film by Hanna-Barbera, with Debbie Reynolds voicing the lead role. 

When a young piglet in Wilbur is saved from being slaughtered & ending up as somebody else's Sunday roast by a young farm girl played by Dakota Fanning, who promises to take care of him, the two form a close-knit bond until he is relocated to another barn. From there onwards, Wilbur forms an unlikely friendship with a spider named Charlotte who changes his life, forever. She also vows to save his life, yet with her health deteriorating and worsening, it's up to Charlotte to teach the young 'un a few lessons about life, as well as death, before she passes on. 

With co-production by Nickelodeon, the 2006 version sees the E.B White tale come to life in CGI form and with a more star-studded cast in the likes of Robert Redford, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese and Julia Roberts. Julia voices Charlotte who is a spider, who befriends Wilbur. She has a nice soothing and comforting voice and tone that, along with her affectionate quality, suits and accompanies this character really well. Yes, people will digress and say otherwise and label it as nothing more than stunt casting, and that is fine. But for me, her deadpan delivery was good to have. Young Dominic Scott Kay was also sweet as lead, Wilbur. 

Despite my unfamiliarity with the story, I would have enjoyed it more, had the film been in 3D or 2D animated form. So going into Charlotte's Web as a neutral & not knowing anything about the book but looking forward to a good movie, it didn't deliver. 

The story was the least of my interests although that aspect didn't wow me, I was more into how the voice casting fared: it was playing the guessing game where I tried to guess who was voicing who and matching the names with the characters. As I was watching Charlotte, all I was doing is picturing Julia Roberts's face & visualising her in that role, focusing on that aspect. Her vocal efforts were consistently on point throughout & thus, she triumphed. She needs to take up a few more voice-over animated character roles, but also characters with far more personality. Steve Buscemi as Templeton the Rat was energetic and boisterous. The rest of the cast did okay to good. 

Charlotte's Web basically, respectfully and competently remains faithful to the plot of the story; unfortunately, one needs to be completely familiar with and have fully enjoyed the original story to have grasped it well enough & the vocal talents of Roberts & Buscemi barely, and just barely made its moments watchable. At over 1 hour and 30 mins, the story meanders on without it ever exploding in certain moments and the film lacks any true witty scenes to give it a boost. The lack of a focus for this movie didn't help matters either. 

The silly flatulence moments were silly and come to the end, it is a movie that the likelihood of me sitting through it again, is practically zero.

It's nice, but still, that just wasn't enough. 



Pros +

- The voice casting
- Julia Roberts as Charlotte brings charm & was very endearing
- Animated fantasy scenes are well done
- Endearing and cute at times

Cons -

- Story lacks wit, charm & is not very engrossing
- Still doesn't come close to Babe
- Wished this voice casting was for Babe than for this film
- I'd have preferred it in 3D animated form, ala Pixar/Dreamworks style 
- The human characters lack character & their parts were incredibly dull
- Unless you are a true fan, this is not a movie that everyone can get into and enjoy

Final Verdict:

Babe with a star-studded cast, although Babe has slightly more charm and I'd wished that film had this casting. Of course, Babe still went on to gross millions more than Charlotte's Web. If the story was much better and had more for me to fully love it, then that would have been great and had I known and read and loved the book, that would have been of great benefit also.

Julia Roberts's inclusion and admirable efforts just about saves it from being utterly mediocre & unwatchable. I usually can't stand spiders, but any spider voiced by Julia gets my seal of approval. Plus, my eyes were leaking when she died *sob*. Still, Charlotte's Web is not horrible and it's not too shabby, but it's not great either and, but for the closing moments, the story is not satisfying enough to make me want to fully love it. 

Despite the star-casting, Charlotte's Web is decent at best and passes as pleasant, but underwhelms and it's hardly a movie most people would bat an eyelid for, without the well-known names. 

For its intended fans of the book, only. 


Mini Retro Review: Dennis The Menace (1993) #badmovies

Dennis The Menace
Family Comedy

I remembered the cartoon, I wasn't a fan but it was okay. It was about a mischievous kid being a pain in the butt for neighbour, Mr Wilson. The opening music is so Home Alone - like, the late Arnold Stang who voiced Top Cat is in this one playing a photographer. But for a few chuckle-worthy moments, the entire rest of this film is sheer boredom with little to no depth characters. The slapstick is this side of Home Alone and it's not anything you haven't seen before. Every cast member is wasted, although Lea Thompson seemed, okay yet exists more or less as background noise and I'd much remember Walter Matthau's turn alongside Robin Williams in The Survivors, rather than this showing. The addition of Christopher Lloyd would have been all right - had his character not been a disgusting pedo, but alas, it seems so out of place. The actor who plays Kevin's brother in Home Alone is in this too. Whereas Kevin in Home Alone was too much of a smart ass, he still came across as likeable and he took it out on the bad guys - Dennis meanwhile is annoying & he took his actions out on Mr Wilson, who wasn't so much of a bad person. This is an unmemorable and tepid version of Home Alone with much younger characters.

Is It Worth Watching?

Only if you don't mind movies like Home Alone


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