Posted in: 2000 Eyes, by Robert Horton, Film Reviews

2000 Eyes: Charlie’s Angels

[Written for]

The development of the MTV style has brought us to Armageddon (a two-and-a-half-hour coming attractions trailer for itself) and The Cell (corrupt visual extravagance), so it is very tempting for critics to despair over the kudzu-like growth of this moviemaking approach. On the other hand, the world of music video also planted the seeds of Seven and Being John Malkovich, so it is not entirely a dead end. And now it has brought us to Charlie’s Angels.

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Posted in: 2000 Eyes, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews

2000 Eyes: Charlie’s Angels

[Written for Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

“Not another movie from an old TV show,” moans an airline passenger in the opening scene of Charlie’s Angels as T.J. Hooker: The Movie flashes on the screen as the inflight movie. It’s a cute bit of self-deprecating humor, but this is one sentiment that backfires.

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Posted in: Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Contributors, DVD, Science Fiction

Blu-ray: ‘E.T.’ at 35 from Universal

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Steven Spielberg’s suburban fairy tale for kids who think they are too hip to believe in fairies, turns 35 with a new E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 35th Anniversary Limited Edition (Universal) plus additional Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD editions.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Henry Thomas is Elliot, an emotionally bruised kid suffering under his parents’ separation who finds and bonds with another lonely, lost soul, a benevolent alien left behind when his spaceship leaves. “I’m keeping him,” says Elliot, but meanwhile an army of government men search for him. As E.T. grows homesick and just plain sick. Elliot and friends need to help get E.T. home.

It’s a fantastical adventure with a grounding in the modern suburbia of divorce and adolescent anxiety, and E.T. is the ultimate imaginary playmate come to life. Part pet, part best friend, part guardian angel with an emotionally symbiotic connection to Elliot, this funny looking stranger in a strange land (think of a squat, mutant teddy bear with lizard skin and monkey fingers and voice between a growl and a purr) is a wizened old grandfatherly being with the trust and playfulness of a child.

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Posted in: by Robert Horton, Contributors, Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘Blended’

Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler

Nobody in movies is easier to denigrate than Adam Sandler, whose 20-plus years as a movie star (and producer) have admittedly generated some painful moments. He doesn’t have many defenders. In Blended, for instance, Sandler expends a lot of energy on building characters and creating some semblance of emotional reality — and then he’ll end a scene with two rhinos copulating.

Why are there rhinos copulating in an Adam Sandler comedy? (If you are asking the question, you probably haven’t seen many of his movies.) In Blended, it’s because widower dad Sandler has gone on vacation to South Africa with his three daughters, and rhinos are nearby.

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