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Flash Movie Review: Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return

Many times I have been told change is good. I am not 100% sold on it, though I will agree to the idea of evolving. Change is something done by a traffic light. Look at all the consumer items that keep changing; are they all really necessary? I believe these changes in packaging or designs have contributed to us becoming a disposable society. There are some things I prefer keeping just the way they were created. I have an old candle holder that used to sit on our dining room table when I was a little kid. It is tarnished and scratched but I do not care; the memories associated with it span my youth. A friend of mine has a wooden, hand carved, standing ashtray made by her father. She does not smoke but the piece is so exquisitely detailed and beautiful that she uses it as a candy dish. A serving bowl would be easier but the stacked column of small elephant figurines has been a great conversation piece, made by her father’s own 2 hands. There are just some things that do not need to change; they were perfect right from the start. Such is the case with the changes in this animated musical film. The story takes place after the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy, voiced by Lea Michele (New Year’s Eve, Glee-TV), returns to Oz to help save it from the evil jester, voiced by Martin Short (Innerspace, Father of the Bride franchise). The cast was comprised of a formidable group of celebrities such as Dan Aykroyd (The Campaign, Ghostbusters franchise) as the Scarecrow, James Belushi (Red Heat, The Ghost) as the Lion and Kelsey Grammer (Fame, Cheers-TV) as the Tin Man. The voices and the singing should be considered the only positive element to this family film that was wrong on so many levels. The animation was uncreative and lifeless to the point I thought it had dulled my senses. I found the story lacked any excitement, fun, joy, tenderness or surprise: I could keep going on if you wish. The spattering of adults and children around me in the theater had no reaction to any of the scenes. It was so quiet that at one point I was hoping a baby would have started crying just to see if everyone had been sleeping. I could not find a reason why this awful movie needed to be made. There is a reason some things are considered classic; they do not need to be changed because they are timeless. This film was made for a disposable society, so toss it off of your to do list.

 

1 1/3 stars

Flash Movie Review: Frankenweenie

Each person handles differently the loss of a loved one. Some people withdraw into themselves while others have the need to express their feelings in a creative way. My grandfather’s passing was the first time I experienced the death of a person in my life. Upon hearing the news, I remembered sitting down at the piano and played a favorite song repeatedly for a couple of hours, with tears rolling down my cheeks. The loss of a beloved pet can be just as hard. In this stunning and stylish movie, Sparky the dog was the only friend of Victor Frankenstein, voiced by Charlie Tahan (Charlie St. Cloud, I am Legend). It was heartbreaking for Victor when his cherished pet died in a car accident. With such a heavy loss, every day was lifeless for poor Victor; if only circumstances would have been different. However, everything would change when a substitute teacher performed a science experiment in Victor’s class. Inspired by the electricity experiment, Victor recreated the test at home and successfully brought his beloved Sparky back to life. The problem now would be how to prevent the townsfolk from finding out. That would not be the only problem Victor would encounter, along with the entire town. This film was a wickedly fun take on the Frankenstein story, complete with similar references and scenes. Director Tim Burton (Alice in Wonderland, Corpse Bride) brought his own wild twisted sense of humor to the story, making this black and white animated film a visual feast. The use of Catherine O’Hara (For Your Consideration, Home Alone), Martin Short (Primetime Glick-TV, Father of the Bride) and Winona Ryder (Black Swan, Edward Scissorhands) to voice multiple characters was an auditory treat. Be aware this movie may not be appropriate for younger children. I had a great time seeing this film, both as an adult and a kid at heart.

 

3 1/4 stars

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