The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

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This is a strong 3 or light 4 star flick… I really hate not having half-stars to pick. There is a great sense of humor, though it is often rushed, and not a bad plot, though it was edited back out at some point. The movie clearly had more of an adult bent at some point and then was “refocused” on the young teen market (witness the opening and thin interactions with the adults in the film). Rami did this much better with Spiderman, but there is enough to make this a fun watch. If only they’d added more meat, this could have been a classic, but that would have pushed to over 2 hours. Watching the film I can see the business decisions in the Disney board room that shortened and weakened the film. A shame as the post-credit coda shows they wanted a sequel, but no character made enough of an impression in this version to support that path IMO. Still, a bowl of popcorn makes the film go down easily, with some good laughs, and without too much complaint even if you won’t put it back in in your player again any time soon.

American Psycho

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Deeply, blackly dark and funny in its way. Most effective at the beggining and, ultimately, not particularly satisfying, but it captures the period beautifully. How you want to parse the plot and message will be up to you. However, the extra, Dowtown NYC in the 80s, is an amazing 30 minutes of recapping a period of the city and the changes that occurred… having lived through a good part of it, I’ll vouch for most of the commentary provided. It is also one of those movies that, combined with others, becomes a weirdly overlapping view of a period in time (much as Goodfellas and Boogie Nights is for the 50s-late 70s). In this case we watched two of the films in close proximity by chance: American Psycho, Basquiat, and Party Monster. Put the three together for different fascets of NYC and art life during the 80s. If you must, add Wall Street, but that is a more polished, and less honest view IMO; read Bonfire of the Vanities instead. Oh, suppose I should add, if all you want is a lot of young, nekkid Christian Bale, you get that too (there are those out there for whom that would be enough 😉

Waking Sleeping Beauty

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An excellently produced and directed docu on the revivial of Disney animation and the ego struggles with Eisner, Katzenberg, and Roy Disney that both vaulted Disney into the stratosphere and almost destroyed it. While not comprehensive (Pixar is barely mentioned) it appears fairly honest and for lovers of the craft of animation or those who just want to know more about the company’s rise in the 80s and 90s, it is defiinitely worth their time.

Art, writing, life explained… or at least commented upon…