Mars Needs Moms (2011) – 5/10 unsettlingly animated science-fiction action adventure movie review

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Cast / crew
Director and Screenplay Writer: Simon Wells
Screenplay Writer: Wendy Wells
Writer (Original Book): Berkeley Breathed
Producer: Robert Zemeckis
Producer: Jack Rapke
Producer: Steve Starkey
Producer: Steven Boyd
Seth Green: Milo
Dan Fogler: Gribble
Elisabeth Harnois: Ki
Mindy Sterling: Supervisor
Kevin Cahoon: Wingnut
Joan Cusack: Mom
Seth Dusky: Milo’s Voice

Mars Needs Moms (2011)

Milo’s Mom is kidnapped by Martians. Fortunately, he wound on board their spaceship but when he gets to Mars, help comes from an unexpected source.

5/10

Image Mover Digital’s performance capture technology is again wasted (by themselves) under ugly and unnerving design choices, a cripplingly unconvincing story with the promise of interspecies sex aka bestiality, – what is this, a DreamWorks animation? – an unearned emotional climax, problems solved by violent revolution, an ‘I didn’t learn anything’ sting, and spectacular racism (the idiot men Martians look like every cliché of South American, Native American and African and everyone who doesn’t speak English is a bad guy or treated like an idiot). While there are a number of poor design decisions, the most glaring was making Milo, a child, look and move like Seth Green, an adult. It’s wrong on a subconscious level that coupled with the ugly and off-putting almost but not-at-all photo-realistic human character design puts you right off proceedings from the start. Fortunately, it looks like this movie signaled the death of ImageMovers’ unsettling creative disasters.

This movie contains freaky adult face on a child, violence, distressing scene

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) – 7/10 period fantasy detective action comedy movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer (Screenplay): Jeffrey Price
Writer (Screenplay): Peter S. Seaman
Producer: Robert Watts
Producer: Frank Marshall
Bob Hoskins: Eddie Valient
Christopher Lloyd: Judge Doom
Writer (Original Book) “Who Censored Roger Rabbit?”: Gary K. Wolf
Executive Producer: Steven Spielberg
Director of Animation: Richard Williams
Charles Fleischer: the voice of Roger Rabbit
Stubby Kaye: Maroon
Joanna Cassidy: Dolores

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

Toon town boss R.K. Maroon is found dead after toon star Roger Rabbit discovers that his wife, Jessica, had been playing pat-a-cake with him. Roger turns to alcoholic private detective Eddie Valiant is a bid to clear his name but Valiant’s had enough of toons to last him a lifetime.

7/10

Technically astonishing, yes, but the real surprise is a story and lead characters that work and make you forget the make-believe miracles happening on-screen. An outstanding reference-quality live-action performance from Bob Hoskins that should have earned him at least an Oscar nomination is backed up by unforgettable bad guy work from Christopher Lloyd and great voice acting from Charles Fleischer and Kathleen Turner / Amy Irving (who also get one of the all-time great screen entrances). Tonally, it’s a bit off in places with the climax particularly horrific and not just for a BBFC PG; it’s one of the most graphically and unforgettably horrible villain exits ever filmed and is absolutely not for children.

This movie contains bad language, adult dialogue and extremely graphic and extremely unpleasant scenes and graphic violence.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009) – 2/10 animated supernatural drama movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer (Original Story): Charles Dickens
Jim Carrey: Scrooge, Ghost of Christmas Past, Scrooge as a Young Boy, Scrooge as a Teengage Boy, Scrooge as a Young Man, Scrooge as a Middle Aged Man, Ghost of Christmas Present, Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
Gary Oldman: Bob Cratchit, Marley, Tiny Tim
Colin Firth: Fred
Bob Hoskins: Fezziwig, Old Joe
Robin Wright Penn: Fan, Belle
Cary Elwes: Portly Gentleman #1, Dick Wilkins, Mad Fiddler, Guest #2, Business Man #1
Fionnula Flanagan: Mrs. Dilber
Producer: Steve Starkey
Producer: Robert Zemeckis
Producer: Jack Rapke
Writer (Screenplay): Robert Zemeckis

Christmas Carol, Disney’s A (2009)

Ebenezer Scrooge, a money lender, is notoriously cold of heart, tight of wallet and anti of social. One Christmas Eve, his former partner, Jacob Marley, dead now for seven years, haunts him and tells him that he will be visited by three spirits that night and, if he takes heed, he may avoid the terrible fate that awaits him.

2/10

All movie versions of A Christmas Carol share a serious story problem in that Scrooge’s change of heart happens without a convincing reason; especially in this secular age, being faced with one’s own mortality holds little power and Scrooge wasn’t bothered with the plight of children on the brink of death before. In addition to this problem of an unconvincing story, Zemeckis’ continued used of his unblinking CG freaks adds unconvincing animation and characters to make a movie that is impossible to swallow. There is a fascinating feature on the Blu-ray where Zemeckis shows you the filming of the real actors just so you can see how the animators or digital costume and make-up artists successfully remove the humanity, believability and soul out of the original performance capture. It’s a very expensive and time-consuming process and, I’m sad to say, we’ve clearly lost the depressingly deluded Zemeckis to it.

This movie contains mild bad language and scary supernatural scenes.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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