Film Review: The Pirates!

I have a new film review up at Green Spot Blue for the children’s comedy, The Pirates! Band of Misfits (here).  Here is the beginning of the review:

I want to begin this review with my only little complaint; which could really be considered by some a tangent. Did you know in England and Europe that this film is called The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! and yet here in the USA it is called The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

Is anyone else insulted by this change like I am?

It reminds me like how they changed the first Harry Potter book from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to a Sorcerer’s Stone (and let’s note the philosopher’s stone is an actual item from mythology, as compared to the made up and—lets say it—obvious and easily named “sorcerer’s stone”). Should we as a culture be annoyed by what this says about us? (Yes, is my initial response.) Are our kids really that anti-education/school/science that entertainment power players don’t even want to try and go down this road?

Have they actually tested to see if they would lose money with the original title here in our country? Is there focus group material out there with kids that I can see showing why they made the change? Or did some ordinary dude in a powerful position who didn’t like science in school, and thought he could speak for all Americans everywhere, simply do this?

Whatever the case, as you can tell, this change bothers me. Personally, I don’t they think the original title would drive kids away. And isn’t the idea of having an adventure with scientists kind of funny a concept by itself?

OK, I got that out of my system; let’s get to the review of the film. And let me state I am not going to talk like a pirate in this review or do any bad pirate puns.

You can read the rest of my review (and why I recommend taking your child to see it) here.

Pixar: the Film Studio I Would Sell My Soul to Write For

Being a parent of young children has made me an expert in a few different, new, and exciting fields.

You need to talk about superheroes, I am your man. If you want to discuss which lullaby CDs are best, and more importantly, work, talk to me.  Which TV shows for kids might actually educate your child, I’m an e-mail away. Also, if you want to know about Pixar, I have an altar for them in my house.

Well, maybe not a real altar, but it does feel that way sometimes. Of course, can you truly use the word altar to describe a state that seems to have taken over your whole house? From the toys on the ground to the boy dressed like Dash from The Incredibles.

In my house, simply put, we live Pixar films.

Heck, when I discovered I was going to be having a daughter, her first present from me was a talking Jessie doll. Looking back, I think I honestly made the purchase immediately after calling my family members.

Yet, my own personal love for Pixar goes beyond just the joy they give to my children. As a student of film and a writer, I respect them more than most filmmakers working today. I have yet to be disappointed by a Pixar film; and their weakest film is still far and away better than most exhaled from other studios for our children to consume (Alvin and the Chipmunks, how about The Smurfs, Shrek, etc.; I feel dirty just referencing these films in an editorial about the genius that is Pixar).

Here are three reasons why I am a fan, and would, quite honestly, sell my soul to work with them as a writer: Continue reading

Why Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Kind of Disturbs Me

I’m a Disney fan.

If I had to make a list of three people I would like to meet alive and/or dead, Walt would be on that list for me, just for the sheer creativity he had in his life. I also had season passes for Disneyland when I lived in Los Angeles. Heck, thanks to an app on my iPhone I can tell you right now that there is a 20 minute wait to get on Space Mountain; and I am in Michigan as I write that fact. So, yeah, I’m a fan.

When it comes to the movies, I lean more towards THE JUNGLE BOOK and the Pixar films (especial WALL-E and THE INCREDIBLES) as compared to the princess movies (We’ll see how that changes when my daughter starts watching things at age 2), however I have seen all of their animated films at one point or another. Yet, of all of the films it is always BEAUTY AND THE BEAST that leaves me scratching my head in confusion. Continue reading