Review: Gulliver’s Travels

I attended a preview screening of Gulliver’s Travels about a week prior to it opening nationally. Most film screenings are theaters full of families who have scored free tickets through newspaper advertisements, radio promotions or similar, with a small number of seats reserved for us critics. The more base and crude the film, the more this can feel like the studio manipulating us reviewers: critics generally prefer complex, sophisticated films that tap into the rich…Read More

Review: How to Train your Dragon

How to Train your Dragon, the latest film from Dreamworks Animation, tells the story of Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), a young Viking and the only son of village chief, blacksmith and single dad Stoick The Vast (Gerard Butler).  Hiccup is a disappointment to his father because he’s a klutz and not interested in slaying the dragons that constantly attack their village and steal their livestock. Hiccup is also attracted to Astrid (America Ferrera) but, a tough Viking…Read More

The Best Films of 2009

I’ve spent the time to rant about the films I saw last year that I thought were the worst of the bunch, not just middling experiences, but genuinely “how on Earth did they ever raise the money to make this abomination?” movies where they either started out okay and slowly collapsed on their own weight (like Knowing) or were daft from the get-go (like Transformers 2). The worst of the bunch, though, must have been…Read More

Review: Avatar

Avatar is a movie about manifest destiny and second thoughts, a sweeping epic retelling of a classic theme about a soldier “going native” as he learns that the enemy isn’t a faceless monster, but an intelligent race. The most obvious parallel is Dances with Wolves, but director James Cameron has taken the basic storyline and created a visual masterpiece that’s almost a perfect sci-fi film. Avatar takes place 150 years in the future, on the…Read More

Review: Delgo vs Avatar

There’s been a lot of buzz in the geek world about how James Cameron’s upcoming film Avatar looks like it’s a rip-off of a 2008 animated film release called Delgo, from Electric Eye Entertainment. I grabbed a copy of Delgo and watched it, both looking at the storyline and comparing it as I went with the fifteen minutes of Avatar footage I’ve seen (see my review of Avatar Day footage for details). To be honest,…Read More

Review: Avatar (Avatar Day footage)

Note: My full Avatar review can be found in a different entry, this is just a writeup from when I saw the 15-minute preview of the film in mid-2009. For the full review of the movie, please go here: Dave On Film Review: Avatar Along with what was apparently a smaller number of film geeks than was expected, I dutifully showed up at the local RealIMAX “quasi-IMAX” screen (see my earlier article on RealIMAX versus…Read More