When Shrek came out, audiences fell in love with the “fractured fairy tale” format after a long absence; after all, it had not been seen in animation since the days of Peabody and Sherman.  This led to movie studios to rush into animation and try to create the next Shrek.  Many of the entries were unforgettable, but one came along 2005 without a lot of fanfare.  Spaldy and I saw it in the theater and enjoyed the spin on a well-known fairy tale.

Hoodwinked is the story of Little Red Riding Hood with a twist.  As we are quick to learn, not everything is as it seems.  Each character has its own take as to how they arrived at Granny’s house and are willing to share with Inspector Flippers, voiced by David Ogden Stiers.  The story is good and benefits from good casting of voices.  I liked the little extras thrown in, such as the homage to the movie “Fletch”.

The DVD has the usual extras — nothing to write home about.

My advice: The next time you are in the mood for an irrevent cartoon, skip Shrek and give Little Red a try…


The nice thing about seeing bad movies is that you know you will eventually see a good one.  It is this determination that I had when I went to see Taken the day after watching a movie born in hell.

Liam Neeson is the father of a girl who lives with her mother and rich stepfather.  He is also a man who worked for the CIA for many years as an operative.  Neeson quits the CIA in an attempt to be closer to his daughter, but has not been that successful in those attempts.  The daughter comes to him, wanting permission to go to Paris for the summer.  He reluctantly agrees and the movie takes off from there.

After she is kidnapped, Neeson turns into a more-determined version of Mel Gibson’s character from Ransom as he rushes to Paris and begins to dismantle the city.  What follows is a straight-forward action movie with good pacing and mostly realistic events.

My advice:  Worth the full-price ticket — go watch Qui-Gonn handle a gun better than a lightsaber….

He’s Just Not That Into You

What is it about January and February that movie studios want to avoid releasing anything interesting?

Sunday night found me wrapping up a meal out with friends and wanting to still do something.  It was too late to join a poker tournament, but a movie theater was across the street.  More importantly, it had a movie starting in 5 minutes.

I love trailers and I was hooked into this movie by the trailer.   However, trailers are sometimes evil and hide how bad a movie actually is.

Everything that Love Actually is, this movie isn’t.  It tries to tell 4-5 intertwining stories about love and finding love, but it falls flat.

What does it say when the most likeable, most realistic character in the whole thing is Ben Affleck?  It bodes ill for any romantic movie; after all, he gave us Bounce and Pearl Harbor.

My advice: Not worth watching in any medium, but not necessarily the worst movie I have ever seen…

Bride Wars

There is an inherent danger in the combination of having time to kill and liking the look of certain actresses on film.  It is this combo that found me watching Bride Wars one afternoon.

Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson play lifelong friends who grow up focused on having the perfect wedding….

Let me pause for a moment and say “What the hell is being put into baby formula for girls?”  That can only explain the freaking obsession with the fairytale wedding from birth.  Why can’t they just let it be an organic thing versus cramming their ideal down the throat of their husband-to-be????

Thank you for allowing me that outburst since it actually does apply to this movie.

Anyway, the girls end up having their weddings scheduled for the same day and neither will back down.  Predictability ensues and the audience is left with a movie that has less substance than cotton candy.

My advice: Skip it — there are so many better romantic comedies out there that you do not need to waste 2 hours on this one…