6 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. Review

It’s time to look at an old school musical from Dr. Seuss. This film is definitely very strange and outlandish as you would expect from the famous writer. As always he does a good job of making a world so utterly bonkers yet with some sort of rhyme and reason behind it. It’s a fairly fun film with a lot of ideas, but one that does drag on a little more than it should have. Trim the length a bit and you would have a real winner here. Alas, the score does take a minor hit as a result, but this is still a film that I could easily recommend.

The film starts off with Bart having a dream where a bunch of people are running around. They have so many chances to catch Bart that you start to wonder if he’s misread the situation. Nonetheless, Bart continues to run and tumble until he is shaken awake by the best character in the film, Terwilliker. Terwilliker reminds Bart that he has to become a famous pianist and quickly. Bart tries to deflect the issue by learning a different instrument but Terwilliker reminds him that the Piano is the only good one. After he leaves Heloise, Bart’s mother reminds the kid that he should try harder. Bart’s response is to fall back asleep which triggers the dream that takes up the rest of the movie. If you were engaged with the real world plot, then you’ll be disappointed to know that it doesn’t show up again until the final minutes.

In the dream world Bart has been taken prisoner by Terwilliker who now rules the world. The villain intends to use the world’s greatest piano to get rich and famous. He has also mind controlled Bart’s mother with his telepathic abilities. Bart decides to put an end to this so he runs over to the local plumber, August. August is skeptical about the whole thing since the villain bought him some pickle wine. Can Bart convince this guy in time to save his mother? They’ll have to get past Terwilliker’s incredibly powerful army of villains so this will be no easy feat by any stretch of the imagination.

As expected I wasn’t a big fan of Bart. I won’t say that he is a bad character or anything, but at the end of the day he is just a kid so there is only so much that he can do. He tends to get shocked at just about everything and doesn’t react all that well. He could have been a lot worse I suppose, but he can’t hold his own movie. Unfortunately his mother doesn’t look much better as she spends the bulk of the film being mind controlled. Her willpower just wasn’t enough to block the villain’s influence and she never has a big moment where she overcomes this madness. Looks like it’s up to the main villain and August to hold this film up.

Terwilliker was a fun villain because for the most part he was rather reasonable. Not the marriage plot which was out of nowhere, but just wanting everyone to appreciate the Piano. While the Piano may not be the best instrument, I would argue that it may be the most effective if you could only choose one. The Piano has a wide range of sounds so it can be used for all kinds of music while others may have a little trouble there. Terwilliker isn’t afraid of getting into fights and holds his own rather well so he’s also not the kind of guy to hide behind his lackeys. I do wish we got to see him more in the real world though since he was definitely on point there.

Finally we have August who is skeptical of everything. He’s always lived his life with his nose to the grindstone so he doesn’t believe that kids are being kept captive at his workplace. He thinks this is all on the up and up, plus he’s getting overtime. Still, when he is convinced to check out the situation he goes in fists swinging. As soon as he enters the lair, Terwilliker tries hitting him with an energy blast that August quickly recovers from. I liked his fast reaction times there as other characters may have panicked or just wasted time asking questions like “What’s going on!?” August may have been suckered after that, but his response was good.

The writing is pretty solid for the film. As mentioned, I also did like the action scene where both fighters were using The Force even if it was a little long. Where the film suffers a bit is with how passive the heroes are. When the villain arrests them they don’t put up a struggle or even try to resist. August just blames Bart again while the kid just takes it. Fortunately they came up with an invention to stop the villain, but even then Bart has to rub it in the guy’s face. Couldn’t he just take the high road and claim the win? Well, I suppose he paid a price for this by the end.

As I mentioned, the film is super zany so while that is mostly a strength it doesn’t always work. I do appreciate the attempt though and it’s one of the better handled films with this level of abstract concepts. I liked the caps that everyone had to wear, those were pretty fun. It’s a shame that Terwilliker was on the wrong side since he had good design choices. You’ll have to suspend your disbelief quite a lot the whole time, but since it’s all a dream you can cut it a little more slack since the kid just imagines the scenario that’s most convenient for him. If it was all real then that would be a bit more of an issue.

Overall, This was a reasonable film. If you’ve wanted to see a film that was just absolutely crazy then this is the one for you. It is rather cheesy at times, but you probably won’t cringe except for possibly the invisible fishing scene. The over the top acting from all of the characters is probably part of its charm. Nobody involved in this film is actually taking it seriously. They’re just having fun and you will aim to do the same. It’s not the kind of film you’ll likely care to re watch but on your first time it’s definitely quite the trip. Just remember to use your imagination for all of the invisible scenes.

Overall 6/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

How The Grinch Stole Christmas Review

The Grinch is a classic tale that many likely grew up with or have at least heard of. I remember singing the songs for Choir and the concept behind the Grinch is decent enough. That being said, I was disappointed upon actually watching the original film. It hasn’t stood the test of time and is easily one of the worst Christmas specials on the block. If the Grinch didn’t have a dog, things would be different, but it’s simply too overdone for the duration of the entire film even if the ending is inspirational.

The Grinch is a creature who lives in a cave, but can never sleep because the aliens who live below are constantly making a ruckus with their loud instruments. They find it enjoyable so it doesn’t matter how loud they play. To punish these creatures, the Grinch decides to destroy their Christmas by stealing all of their presents and Trees, but are gifts really the meaning of Christmas? The Grinch is about to find out that material possessions aren’t enough to cancel such a joyous day.

This special is very short and is only about as long as your average cartoon episode. The Grinch goes around stealing everything until the end of the film where he realizes that it was all meaningless and turns over a new leaf. I have nothing against the actual plot and it wasn’t all that bad. This special was made around 50 years ago and the animation still holds up decently well. The Grinch’s character design is good and I still think that The Mask drew some inspiration from it. That being said, there is one thing that holds the film back.

The Grinch has a dog who is completely terrified of the fiend and is always forced to lead the charge in the Grinch’s wild plans You end up feeling bad for the dog since nothing goes his way and he’s constantly put in danger. If you’ve seen the Angry Birds trailer for the upcoming film, you’ll remember a scene where the main bird kicks another one into the ocean. It’s a very mean spirited way to show off the film and while it’s supposed to be funny, you have to question how you can laugh at such a deed. It just brings down the film and I’ll take crude humor over this nonsense.

The Grinch’s dog completely ruined the film for me. I doubt that the film would have gotten anything more than a 5 or maybe a 6 anyway, but that was not going to happen now. It’s not nearly bad as real animal violence from films like Hunger Games since it is still animated and nothing seriously bad happens to the dog, but the concept behind it is still not good.

Aside from that, the film was decently interesting. I do think that it would have been much better if the film took place on Earth so we could have some human banter from the other characters instead of them all just deciding to sing. We could have gotten a scene like in the Charlie Brown Christmas special where one guy tells the world the true meaning of Christmas and Christ’s birth. I can safely say that such a scene would have helped the film regain some of the ground that it lost thanks to the dog. The aliens aren’t bad, but they just seemed unnecessary and the odd world with its unique inventions were all right as well, but they also didn’t ultimately add anything to the plot. Not a bad thing, but I’d prefer a city like New York to be in the film any day. Since the Grinch is a good guy now, it would be interesting to see how the sequels handle the situation. Maybe he’ll just turn back the leaf and go to his old ways. I wouldn’t put it past the Grinch since he is not someone who should be easily trusted.

Overall, How The Grinch Stole Christmas may be a Christmas classic, but that doesn’t actually mean that it’s a good film. The Grinch is definitely a villain who you can root against, but he’s not a great character and his whole character arc happens very suddenly and not without a whole lot of foreshadowing. It makes you wonder what the point of his endeavor was. The film had a good ending though and at least the moral was sound. I thought that the animation was decent and there wasn’t really a soundtrack, but the film is old so that would have been very tough. I don’t recommend this film and if you want to watch something that’s a little more emotional, then I invite you to watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Careful though, it may bring tears to your eyes.

Overall 3/10