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J. Edkin RSS Feed (South Orange, NJ)

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Locked Up
Locked Up
DVD ~  Mike Sale, Ralph Steel  Marcel Schlutt
Offered by a2z Blu Ray
Price: $22.89
16 used & new from $4.93

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oz Lite, June 5, 2005
This review is from: Locked Up (DVD)
Shot on digital video with a budget that might buy you a nice lunch, Locked Up is a by-the-numbers story. There wasn't a plot point you couldn't see coming, even if you haven't seen Oz. While everyone involved gets full marks for trying, this is only one or two steps above an amateur effort--not a bad effort, but amateur none-the-less. The predictable script aside, the other element that really robs it of any punch is the fact that all the punches are so badly performed. With the exception of the shower scene, the violence is badly performed, so what is supposed to be brutal comes across as amusing. I can't say that I really hated this movie (Marcel Schlutt has enough charisma to carry the film), it's not one that I would recommend to anyone--not because it's out and out bad, but becuase it's not really good.

(C)2005 Joe Edkin.

The Rules of Attraction
The Rules of Attraction
DVD ~ James Van Der Beek
Offered by Sparks DVD Sales
Price: $4.70
228 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not an Attractive Script, May 8, 2004
This review is from: The Rules of Attraction (DVD)
Never have I enjoyed watching a movie I didn't enjoy more. What do I mean by that? The filmmaking techniques in The Rules of Attraction employed by director Roger Avary, cinematographer Robert Brinkman, editor Sharon Rutter, and the slew of digital effects technicians and all the rest behind the scenes is splendid. This is a movie that people who appreciate the art of shooting and editing a movie can be thrilled by. The sheer visual joy of filmmaking is evident in almost every shot. It's too bad all this technical prowess and creativity is wasted on a whole bunch of characters that are shallow and unpleasant. It's the story and the performances that I didn't enjoy.
The Rules of Attraction centers around a group of reprehensible students at a small liberal arts college whose lives revolve around getting stoned/drunk and getting laid. Sure, that description can be applied to almost any teen "coming of age" comedy or drama. But the problem is that none of the characters in this movie had any redeeming qualities. There was no reason to root for any of them, no reason to care enough to become invested in the directions their lives would take them. On top of that, the script is a collection of disjointed scenes. These disjointed scenes allow for cameos by notable actors like Faye Dunaway, Swoosie Kurtz, Fred Savage, Paul Williams, Theresa Wayman, and not-so-notable Russell Sams, but none of their appearances really serve the story. In fact, you could take their scenes out of the movie, and nothing--absolutely nothing--would be lost. So, what was the point? In fact, the only one on that list whose character is an important plot point, a motivating factor for much of the lead character's actions, is removed from the story at the two thirds mark, but because of the disjointed nature of the script, the removal doesn't have any transformational effect on the lead character as it could or should.
As for the stars, from my understanding, Jason Van Der Beek chose this script because he wanted to break away from his Dawson's Creek image. Well, okay. The lead character Sean Bateman is a much different note than Dawson Leery. The problem is, it's only one note. Part of the blame must be laid on scriptwrite/director Roger Avary, because there isn't much in the way of development for the character (or any of the other characters) in word or direction, but Van Der Beek doesn't imbue the character with any depth of his own creation. Much of Van Der Beek's performance is made up of tilting his head down and looking up with his eyes to communicate menace, lust, puzzlement, being drunk/stoned, annoyance, fear, and an orgasm (mind you, not all at the same time). It's an extremely limited pallet, and it gets monotonous. The other two leads, Shannyn Sossamon and Ian Somerhalder (who have equally difficult names to spell), fare a little better as the script gives them both a little more to do in terms of range and because they are able to inject small bits of humanity into their performances.
Ultimately, I watched the movie until the end and I'm glad I did. Not because I was transported by the story--that just annoyed me--but because I enjoyed the filmmaking technique. I just wish it could have been brought to material I appreciated more.
Note: The DVD contains an episode of Sundance Channel's Anatomy of a Shot that looks at the making of an incredibly effective scene conveyed in split screen. The scene is breathtaking in the movie and it was interesting to see how it was made.
(c)2004 Joe Edkin
All rights reserved.

Wuthering Heights (MTV, 2003)
Wuthering Heights (MTV, 2003)
DVD ~ Erika Christensen
Offered by insomniacsonline
Price: $8.99
57 used & new from $0.01

12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If I Could Give No Stars, I Would, December 26, 2003
Run, don't walk, as far away from any TV set showing this movie. I watched it the first time it was broadcast because I am a sucker for Jim Steinman's over-the-top music (he's the guy behind Meatloaf's and Bonnie Tyler's biggest hits). Steinman's bombastic, operatic rock-n-roll seemd like a perfect match to the epic love (and hate) story that is "Wuthering Heights." Unfortunately, the four Steinman songs (two recycled--as per usual; and two seemingly new--at least to me) were stripped down of the over production that makes Steinman the glory he is. I've never heard his work sound so anemic!
The performances were tooth-achingly bad (the leads had absolutely no chemistry, which made it hard to buy the whole obsessive/destructive love thing) with direction and editing to match. The story was choppy at best (I had trouble following the timeline as to when things were happening), bewildering mostly. If ever there was a movie that was pretentious while being completely vacuous, here it is. I kept questioning my skills at self-preservation as the movie dragged on, but as a dedicated Jim Steinman fan, I sat it out as I taped it for a fellow JS fan. After the movie was over, I called my friend and told him that because I valued his friendship, I could not in good conscience send him the tape. Our friendship is safe and the tape has been wiped, saving any who might have accidentally popped it into a machine.
Save your money and your mental health--avoid this DVD and, should MTV run the movie again, turn off the TV!
(c)2003 Joe Edkin

Chuck & Buck [DVD]
Chuck & Buck [DVD]
DVD ~ Mike White
Offered by Outlet Promotions
Price: $8.91
54 used & new from $0.01

8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Many Things, but NOT a Comedy, February 20, 2002
This review is from: Chuck & Buck [DVD] (DVD)
I don't know how or why this movie keeps being classified as a comedy. Other than a few humorous lines, I don't find it particularly funny. I don't find it particularly enjoyable either.
The plot centers around Chuck (Chris Weitz), a man in his late 20s who has never really grown up. He responds to the world like a 12 year old. I don't think he's intended to be mentally challenged. It's played more as a case of arrested development. When his mother dies, he reaches out to the one other person in the world to whom he can relate, his best friend Buck (scriptwriter Mike White). Chuck and Buck were inseparable as kids, but since high school, Buck has moved on. He now works for a recording agency in L.A. Chuck (who seems to have money, but I'm not sure where or how. He doesn't appear to have a job. His mother was sick for years, so she wasn't working. So where the money came from, I don't know) moves to L.A. to be closer to Buck and to resume their friendship. He pretty much becomes a stalker. It's not funny.
Okay, so when they were kids, Chuck and Buck had a sexual relationship at Buck's instigation. The movie is not clear as to whether or not this is the root of Chuck's arrested development. Chuck has never gotten over that relationship. Buck is engaged to be married to a woman, the relationship with Chuck having been nothing more than kids' stuff in his mind. There is terrific material for a moving and powerful movie here, but Mike White as a writer doesn't rise to the occasion. He seems to go out of his way to avoid dealing with the issue of Buck's possible responsibility for the man Chuck has become (or never become).
And that is the root of my problem with this movie. There is no authorial or directorial point of view on these characters. I have no idea what the creators want us to think or feel about them. Personally, I find myself not liking any of them. It's not necessary to like any or all of the characters in a movie in order to enjoy it (think "Citizen Kane"), but there has to be some connection made between the characters and the audience. I found myself curious about the ramifications of Buck and Chuck's childhood relationship, but as the creators never deal with it, there was nothing to hold the movie together in my mind. Stuff happens and then it ends--there's no real story in the traditional sense.
The movie was shot with digital cameras and looks it. The lighting changes from shot to shot and because of the use of real locations, there are many sequences that look incredibly claustrophobic because there was little room on the location for the actors, camera, and crew. The DVD is not letterboxed. The commentary from Mike White and director Miguel Artega does not offer any insight into what they were trying to say or accomplish with the characters. There are plenty of other extras on the DVD, but I have not explored them as the movie (after three viewings) has failed to inspire me enough to dig any deeper. This is a DVD that I have every intention of culling from my collection.
A movie of similar interest (and impact): "Ghost World"

Babylon 5: The Gathering/In the Beginning
Babylon 5: The Gathering/In the Beginning
DVD ~ Michael O'Hare
Offered by Solo Enterprises
Price: $23.04
47 used & new from $2.80

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Five stars for content and one star for presentation., January 1, 2002
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This DVD was a great disappointment to me.
I am a big fan of "Babylon 5". I love what writer/producer/creator J. Michael Straczynski accomplished with his 5 year epic. Sure, the show was a little slow to get going (he had a lot of build up to accomplish) and it stumbled in the first half of the final season (the telepath war wasn't everything it could or should have been), but when you take the long view of the structure and the impact of the story being told, it's one of the best novels ever produced on television.
This DVD presents the re-edited two-hour pilot movie "The Gathering" and the backstory feature "In the Beginning."
This version of "The Gathering" was produced for TNT when that network picked up the series for its fifth and final season. It was re-edited, with updated special affects and a new score added. It is a better movie in this form than the original. However, what is odd about it is that the series was produced in letterbox format (and was shown as such on Sci-Fi). However, as TNT didn't show it in letterbox format, this transfer of the film is in 1.33:1 ratio.
The plot involves a space station that serves as a meeting place for various alien races where they can work out their grievances on neutral territory. The first ambassador from the fifth major space faring races (Humans, Minbari, Narns, Centauri, and Vorlons) is due to arrive. He is Kosh, a Vorlon. The Vorlons are the oldest of the races known. When an assassination attempt is made on his life, suspicion falls on the station's commander, Jeffrey Sinclair (Michael O'Hare). The story is a mystery, and it serves to introduce many of the main characters and themes that would run throughout all of Babylon 5.
It's impressive to see how much groundwork Straczynski laid out right from the start. His universe and the story he intended to tell were already in sharp focus in his mind, and it shows. If you see "The Gathering" and follow the series to its conclusion, you can see many things alluded to in the initial pilot pay off years down the road. It's impressive.
It's also interesting to see what ideas and cast members were shed along the way. Michael O'Hare was never a particularly charismatic presence, and his departure at the end of the series' first season allowed for the more dynamic actor Bruce Boxleitner to come in as John Sheridan. However, Mira Furlann as Delenn, Andreas Katsulas as G'Kar, and Peter Jurasik as Londo make it through to the end of the show and the three of them gave consistently interesting and intriguing performances. Unlike many TV shows, these characters grew and changed. Jerry Doyle also stayed with the show to the end as Michael Garibaldi. He's always adequate (and sometimes excellent), but he's never been able to shake his Bruce Willis image sufficiently to make an impact of his own.
"In the Beginning" is the story of what happened before "The Gathering." As a movie, it fills in the backstory of what happened in the days before the Babylon 5 station was established. It was originally produced between seasons 4 and 5 when the show moved to TNT. As such, it has always been a bit of a puzzlement to me. Now, this is not to say that it is a bad movie. It's actually an exciting story in and of itself that goes a long way in explaining the suspicion with which the Humans and the Minbari view each other during the entire run of Babylon 5. However, it also reveals some secrets that viewers weren't privy to for years while watching the series in real time. I'm never sure when to recommend that new viewers should watch "In the Beginning." Should it be watched in storyline chronological order--before "The Gathering" or after the final episode of season four "The Deconstruction of Falling Stars" so that none of the surprises are ruined. It's a tough call, but Warner Brothers has released it with "The Gathering" so there you go. They seem to think it should be watched here and now.
Personally, I love "Babylon 5" and I'm glad to see this DVD. I hope it will lead to the release of the entire series. However, as a DVD, it's very disappointing. There are absolutely NO extras. I've read what Straczyski has written about the creative choices he made while producing the show and about his theories of storytelling. I would have loved to have a commentary track from him detailing the production process. I have little doubt that additional commentary from the cast, from conceptual consultant Harlan Ellison, and from co-producer John Copeland would have been of great interest. Unfortunately there isn't any. Because of this, I have very mixed feelings about this DVD. I want the entire series, but I feel a little cheated. I don't want to say "Don't buy this DVD!" because I don't want to ruin the chances that the rest of the show won't follow. But I want more and I want Warner Brothers to know that. If we're going to invest in 5 years worth of material, they should give us something extra. It will be no small investment to buy all of "Babylon 5". Make it worth our while.
If you like "Babylon 5", I highly recommend "Farscape" now being released on DVD.
(C)2002 Joe Edkin

The Wolves of Kromer
The Wolves of Kromer
Offered by BargainDevices
Price: $17.99
26 used & new from $4.04

8 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Werewolf Movie with No Bite, January 1, 2002
This review is from: The Wolves of Kromer (DVD)
I'm going to keep this review short as the movie doesn't deserve more than that. I didn't care for it. I've watched it 2 2/3 times. The first time, I was underwhelmed. I then watched it with the director/writer commentary. Their insights, such as they were, did not improve my initial assessment. After many months, I took one more look (this sometimes helps me reassess previous feelings about movies. ....P>As an allegory for the gay experience, it's unexceptional at best. As a retelling of fairy tales, it's weak. Some of the direction is appealing, but the design and the script are unexceptional.
My advice: move on. There are much better movies about werewolves. There are much better movies about being gay.
(C)2002 Joe Edkin

The Return of Captain Invincible
The Return of Captain Invincible
DVD ~ Alan Arkin
10 used & new from $10.12

12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An Incredibly Strange Movie, January 1, 2002
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I can't imagine the meeting where this film was sold. I can't imagine what studio thought "The Return of Captain Invincible" was a great idea. Think about how writer/producer Andrew Gaty and his co-writer Stephen de Souza must have pitched it:
"It's a movie about a superhero, but he's not a superhero any more. You see, his career was ruined by the McCarthy Communist witch hunts so he becomes a drunk and winds up in Australia. But it's a comedy because NO ONE takes superheroes seriously. And it stars Alan Arkin as the drunk superhero and Christopher Lee as the villain. AND it's a musical! With three songs by Richard O'Brien and Richard Hartley who wrote 'The Rocky Horror Show.'"
Who thought this was a great idea?
This movie, along with "The Pirate Movie", goes a long way to convincing me that Australians shouldn't make musicals.
Having said all that, and with the understood proviso that this is NOT A GOOD MOVIE by any means, this is an ENTERTAINING movie. It's the kind of movie that you want to show your friends to watch their reactions--especially if you don't tell them anything about it before hand. For example, the first song, with a stirring thirty second refrain of "Bullsh*t" that starts it, comes twenty minutes into the movie. Talk about surreal. If you had no prior clue that there was singing and dancing in the movie, you'd think that you were just watching a movie trying to be a campy superhero comedy. The song just knocks you for a loop. But the highlights have to be the VERY VERY strange musical numbers featuring Christopher Lee. On DVD, you can isolate these moments and share them with your friends without having to endure the movie that surrounds them.
I saw the movie first in its original VHS release. I can't say that I liked it, but it was memorable. I bought the DVD because of my memories of the Christopher Lee songs. They don't get much weirder than the climactic "Name Your Poison" number. The DVD pressing has no extra features and the screen aspect ratio is wrong. Even though the movie has been letterboxed and the transfer overseen by director Philippe Mora (Howlings II and III), the images are cut off to the left and the right. The end credits can not be read as they are chopped in half on the left hand side of the screen. It looks like the film was shot in 70mm but given a 35mm transfer. This causes some of Mora's compositions to suffer as he did put performers on opposite sides of the frame and in several cases, they are completely offscreen or cut in half in this transfer.
The script was co-written by Stephen de Souza (Die Hards 1 and 2, "48 Hours", "The Spirit" tv movie) tries to be funny. It misses the mark most of the time. It's hard to make camp work. You either have to be extremely outrageous (a la "Airplane!" or "The Naked Gun") or play it so seriously that the absudity becomes funny (the "Batman" TV show of the 60s). de Souza, who has admitted that he doesn't think people can take superheroes seriously, fails in making it work on either level. (Strangely enough, I kinda liked his script for "The Spirit." It was flawed, but seemed to have more affection for the material than his "Captain Invincible" screenplay.) The other writer was the film's producer, Andrew Gaty.
The songs are a mixed bag. The three by O'Brien and Hartley show some genuine wit (which should come as no surprise) and seem to have more in common in terms of style and tone with their score for "Shock Treatment" than "Rocky Horror." The other songs are mostly forgettable. I've seent he movie twice int he past week and I can't recall any of the music outside of the riotously absurd "Name Your Poison" number. The only other song to make an impact is Alan Arkin's heroes and villains number. I liked the lyrics, but the music (a country twang number) doesn't stick with me.
Each time I watched the movie, I couldn't help thinking "What a strange movie" every few minutes. It just gets weirder and weirder as it goes along. It's full of odd ideas and visuals, but most of them don't add up to anything. Just what is Julius (Mr. Midnight's sidekick)? If you think to hard about all the dangling elements and unanswered questions, you'll get a headache!
Bottom line: this is a great movie to watch with friends if you're looking for something to laugh at and be appalled by. Put this on a menu with "Buckaroo Banzai" and "Killer Klowns from Outer Space" for good mindless fun.
(C)2002 Joe Edkin

Like It Is
Like It Is
DVD ~ Steve Bell (III)
Price: $11.50
32 used & new from $3.39

54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (I) Like It (Is), December 29, 2001
This review is from: Like It Is (DVD)
"Like It Is" is an entertaining movie. While it is yet another coming out story, the performances and characters help make it more interesting than the average coming out story.
The story starts in Blackpool, England, moves to London, and returns to Blackpool for a dramatic and fulfilling finale. The main character is Craig (very appealingly played by newcomer Steve Bell), a bare knuckle fighter in Blackpool who takes on whatever jobs he can to make a living. He is gay, but isn't ready to do anything about it until he meets record company promoter Matt (Ian Rose) outside a gay bar in Blackpool where Londoner Matt was supporting one of the artists label, Paula (Dani Behr), who is also his best friend and roommate. Craig invites Matt back to his house and asks Matt to *ahem* him. However, a virgin, Craig freaks out at the pain and throws Matt out. Matt tries to offer comfort, but Craig isn't ready to accept it. Matt leaves, leaving behind his card.
Neither of the men can forget the other, and Craig finally decides he has to deal with himself and his sexuality, so he follows Matt to London. Matt takes Craig in and they begin a relationship. Craig has trouble fitting into the gay world and Paula feels jealousy towards Craig for taking her best friend's attention away from her. Added to the mix is Matt's boss Kelvin (the immensely entertaining Roger Daltry) who is very much attracted to rough trade like Craig.
This is a very appealing film with interesting characters and strong performances all around. It does fall into the general category of the "coming out" story, but the settings and the characterization keep it fresh and interesting. The script by Robert Gray and the direction by Paul Oremland are sharp. I do wish that the DVD had a director's/writer's commentary track because I would like to know more about the choices they made and why they made them.
All in all, I would recommend this film to people who enjoy "Get Real", "My Beautiful Laundrette", "Maurice", "Boyfriends", and the British "Queer as Folk (series one)".
(C)2001 Joe Edkin

DVD ~ Meg Ryan
17 used & new from $0.71

21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Best Don Bluth Movie I've Seen, December 29, 2001
This review is from: Anastasia (DVD)
Don Bluth is an incredibly gifted artist. His character designs and animation can be breathtaking. Unfortunately, he and frequent collaborator Gary Goldman can't tell a cohesive story to save their lives. Of all of his films I've seen, "Anastasia" is by far their best. Whether this is because of solid source material (although that didn't stop "The Secret of NIMH" from falling to pieces story-wise) or the incredible score by Lynn Aherns and Stephen Flaherty, "Anastasia" remains in my estimation Bluth and Goldman's most watchable movie.
Based loosely on a play by Marcelle Maurette and Guy Bolton. As well as the 1956 film adaptation of the play by Arthur Laurents, the story turns the mystery of the disappearance of Anastasia, daughter of Czar Nicholas, following the murder of the Russian royal family, into a fairy tale. You have to ignore everything you know about history in order to accept the execution of the film--it plays loose with the Communist revolution and with Rasputin.
Dimitri (voiced with great charm by John Cusack, sung by John Dokuchitz) is a con artist living in St. Petersburg. Along with his friend Vladimir (the entertaining Kelsey Grammer), he is searching for a young girl who can play the role of the missing Romanoff heir in order to claim a reward from the dowager empress who has escaped to Paris. He meets Anya (voiced with much character by Meg Ryan, sung by the incredible Liz Callaway) and immediately sees in her the girl to carry out his plans. As he and Vladimir work with Anya to perfect her ruse, he comes to realize that she is the true Anastasia.
Then we add the elements that make it a Don Bluth movie--Anya has a cute dog and there is a magical villain in the (dead) body of Rasputin (played gleefully over the top by Christopher Lloyd and sung by Jim Cummings). And, of course, Rasputin has his cute animal sidekick in the form of an albino bat, Bartok (the always effective Hank Azaria). Rasputin wants revenge on the Romanoffs for his undead state and sets off to kill the princess. It should also be noted that Bernadette Peters and Angele Lansbury round out the voice cast in entertaining performances.
Okay, if you can put aside your feelings of misgivings regarding the animal sidekicks and revisionist history, there is much that is entertaining in this film. The score by Broadway veterans Aherns and Flaherty is probably one of the best ever composed for an animated movie. The script does provide action, adventure, romance, and comedy. It's probably the most human script directed by Bluth and Goldman. There is some spectacular animation, the runaway train scene stands out as truly effective.
There are drawbacks. It is trying too hard to out-Disney Disney, from the opening number to the very structure of the story. The computer animation isn't always well integrated. The music box never looks like it exists in the same reality as the animated characters and the afore-mentioned train sequence is obviously not cell animation. But these drawback are relatively minor compared to the overblown climax of the movie. Still, flaws aside, it does entertain. I have watched it several times and have definitely gotten my money's worth of this DVD.
The DVD ovvers you the option of fullscreen and letterbox presentation, a short featurette about the making of the movie, and a pair of sing-along sequences.
All in all, I recommend this movie to people who enjoy animated musicals. If you like this, you may also like Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" and "Hunchback of Notre Dame", "My Neighbor Totoro", Frank Oz's musical version of "Little Shop of Horrors", "The Iron Giant", "James and the Giant Peach", and "The Nightmare before Christmas".
(C)2001 Joe Edkin

Return to Oz
Return to Oz
DVD ~ Fairuza Balk
Price: $45.98
29 used & new from $0.49

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful to Look At, December 29, 2001
This review is from: Return to Oz (DVD)
This movie is a visual treat, but be warned--it is not a spiritual sequel to the classic MGM version of "The Wizard of Oz." This movie is much more in keeping with the tone of L. Frank Baum's original novels than the beloved Judy Garland movie and may be too disturbing for young children.
The story takes place after the twister devastated the Gale house. Dorothy (Fairuza Balk) is depressed, and no one wants to believe her stories about her trip to Oz. Finally, in hopes of curing her of her delusions, Auntie Em (Piper Laurie) takes Dorothy to see a psychiatrist in the big city. The psychiatrist convinces Auntie Em that all Dorothy needs is a bit of shock treatment to make her better.
Auntie Em leaves Dorothy in the Doctor's care, but before he can give her the treatment, a fierce electrical storm cuts off power to the hospital. Dorothy escapes with the help of a mysterious girl, and gets swept down a raging river. She winds up back in Oz where she if befriended by a talking hen, Jack Pumpkinhead, and the robotic Tick Tock. Oz has fallen on bad times, overrun by the Gnome King (Nicol Williamson, happily chewing the scenery) and his ally, the evil Princess Moombi (Jean Marsh, who gives a fun performance). It is up to Dorothy and her friends to restore Oz to what once it was.
The real stars of this movie are the design and the puppetry. The movie is a visual feast. However, it is also slow going. I can't imagine kids sitting through it easily. It's hard enough for adults. The pacing is awkward and Fairuza Balk (in her screen debut) doesn't have the charaisma to be sufficiently entertaining to keep the viewer's interest in the slow parts.
It's hard to strongly recommend this movie to casual viewers, but those who enjoy beautiful set design, effective camera work, excellent special effects, and superb animation may be sufficiently entertained.
The DVD allows you to choose between letterbox and fullscreen presentation. It also includes an introduction by Fairuza Balk (she doesn't have anything terribly interesting to say, unfortunately) and an interview featurette. I suspect that people who enjoy the movie for its technical achievements will be disappointed by the featurette, especially if they are seeking more insight into the work that went into making the movie.
If you enjoy this movie, you may also like "James and the Giant Peach", "The Iron Giant", "The Nightmare before Christmas", and "The Wizard of Speed and Time".
(C)2001 Joe Edkin

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