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Nine times out of ten, in the arts as in life, there is actually no truth to be discovered; there is only an error to be exposed. -- H.L. Menken

The Rating System

Kex Liked It:
It Sucked:
It Really Sucked:
It Sucked as bad as Eyes Wide Shut:

It Sucked badly enough to bring the world to the brink of apocalypse:


The Mummy Returns

Previously: The Mummy Returns:

As a public service to the growing army of Kexkateers, I like to keep my readers well informed of what will happen in the near cinematic future. Now that we have seen The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, the next installment of the license is already in the works. The third film in the ongoing saga will be entitled The Mummy Forever, and there will be a few changes in store.

Comic actor/nouveau action hero Brendan Fraser has decided to abandon the role of Rick OíConnell, and will be replaced by and introspective but grossly miscast Val Kilmer. One more installment in the series will follow, tentatively to be titled The Mummy and Robin. Kilmer has signed on for only the third installment, so the smart money says he is going to dump the project, probably to be replaced by and even more seriously miscast George Clooney. Stay tuned for updates at this site.

Okay, actually Iím not sure if there will be a direct sequel to this film yet or not, although Iím guessing its practically a sucker bet. There is, however, a spinoff project already in production, which will be released for the summer of 2002. The working title, and probably release title of the project in question is called The Scorpion King, in which professional wrestler turned actor (?) The Rock (Dwayne Johnson--how pathetic is it that I know that?) will reprise his role from this film. There is a rumor going around the internet at this moment (I know this, because Iím printing it here right now and I have every intention of starting the rumor and fueling it) that Stone Cold Steve Austin has been signed on to play the role of the Scorpion Kingís principal nemesis, The Giant Boot King.

There is one curious note with regard to The Scorpion King: Apparently Vince and Lisa McMahon have signed on as co-Producers for the project. Damn, the way those two are going, theyíll be hiring on Bill Gates as their pool boy pretty soon. Lets face it. Its not just everyone on the planet that can go out and buy out their only competitors lock, stock and barrel, or form their own football league on a whim. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the name that become synonomous with low brow, schlock entertainment was P.T. Barnum. The thinking here is that McMahon has taken Barnumís act to heights even the previous master would find embarrassing.

But our principal aim this week, once again, is to review a movie, and the subject de jour is The Mummy Returns. Hold on to your seats, loyal Kexkateers, and prepare yourself for a significant shock: This movie was a sequel to a movie I didnít like much, it starred Brendan Fraser, its the first shot in the four month salvo of anti-intellectual summer fare to be rolling out in the coming weeks and its standard action adventure drivel. The formula here says Kex is going to blast this one into rotting Mummy wrap. Here is the punchline: I liked it. Nope...I loved it.

Look, nobody goes to see a film like this to gain insights into the human condition, or to find some compelling artistic merit in every frame of a well constructed cinematic masterpiece. Occasionally we all just need to park our brains and go into the theater and have a little fun, and I had a blast watching this movie. Yeah, it was a trashy, guilty pleasure at best, but it was fun, and I liked it. So there. I said it.

Aside from the nearly constant action sequences, this film was a treasure trove of cinematic hommage to a dizzying array of recent and long past Hollywood productions. We see brief clips reminiscent of such works as Star Wars, Raiders Of The Lost Ark et al, The Thin Man, E.T., The Wizard Of Oz, Return of The Jedi, Around The World In 80 Days and many of the old Hollywood action serials. Even when the film drags a bit, and there are some dull moments, its fun to watch the numerous quick references to older films.

Brendan Fraser reprises his role as Rick OíConnell, reluctant adventurer type. Rachel Weisz is back as the heroine, and the two are now happily married, with an eight year-old son, played to the hilt by Freddie Boath. This is the first of the filmís galling logical lapses, since the action in the movie is supposed to be taking place 8 years after the original. The math there fails just a bit, since one has to presume that at least a few months lapsed between the end of the last mummy movie, and the marriage of the now Mr. and Mrs. OíConnell. Since, to the best of my knowledge, production of a child took just as long in 1935 as it does in modern times, its rather difficult to produce and 8 year-old child in something less than 8 years, we might have taken pause to wonder how they pulled that one off. Perhaps he was adopted. Fortunately, the pace of the film is fast enough that most viewers wonít have time to give the matter much consideration.

Arnold Visloo returns in the role of Imhotep, creating one of the more rewarding scenes in the film. We actually get to see him kicking Fraserís ass, which is sort of a long awaited cinematic reward for anyone who suffered through such previous Fraser assaults as Dudley Doright that other crappy sell-your-soul-to-the-devil flick he was in a last winter. I canít even remember the title offhand, and I reviewed it for this page. I guess anyone who is really interested can dig through the Kex archives. Oded Fehr is also back as the leader of the Magi. He was one of the few bright points in the original production.

This is mostly a special effects extravaganza, and the effects are largely good. The scenes of the armies of Anubis bordered on enthralling. We learn in the film that the only way to kill one of the dog-headed warriors was to behead it. Iím glad that they explained that for future reference, because faced with an army like that, I guess Iíd have been inclined to grab a rolled up newspaper and lead the charge.

On the downside, the scenes involving the giant scorpion with a computer generated representation of The Rockís head were about cheesy. Iím rather glad that the creators of this film had the sense to at least provide us with most of a good two hour film before they nearly drug it into the toilet with that one. Hereís hoping that the folks at Industrial Light and Magic are doing some serious work on improving that effect before we are assaulted by The Scorpion King next summer. The guess here is that they are working on it, since the aforementioned movie was moved back from a Christmas release later this year.

Last Week: Spiderman:

Peter Parker picked a pack of pickled peppers. You might want to remember that line as you go to the theater to see Spiderman, and most of you will in spite of my advice to the contrary. Somehow, you are going to need to keep something running through your brain to keep it occupied. The movie isn't going to supply you on its merits.

I have a theory. Yes, I'm well aware that soccer is the most popular sport in the world, but if 3 billion people fell in love with a pile of dog logs, it'd still be a pile of dog logs. That isn't my theory...its a supporting corollary. The theory is that the reason that soccer inpires fan riots so often is that the game is so damned boring the fans have to do something to keep themselves interested.

Six hours or so into Spiderman, or at least it seemed that long, I was beginning to think we might see the world's first movie riot. The restless throng who were sitting through this marathon of ennui, some of whom actually bought tickets about 3 weeks ago, seemed on the verge of boiling over into a full scale free for all.

Of course it didn't help one bit that some annoying Bozo sitting somewhere near the back of the theater was using his soft drink straw to shoot Raisinettes at unsuspecting movie patrons. Hell, I went through 3 boxes. I'll tell you, those nasty chocolate covered Raisins aren't cheap these days, but they do have satisfying aerodynamic qualities if you get the proper spin upon launch.

In case you haven't gathered it yet, my opinion of Spiderman isn't difficult to summerize: Boring as hell. Word is that some significant re-editing and some reshooting of this movie was done after its original scheduled release late last year. Apparently they ended up cutting out almost everything that was even remotely interesting.

Peter Parker (Toby McGuire) is a nerdy high school student with an extroordinary aptitude for science, matched only by his raging hormonal desire to bone his next door neighbor (Kirsten Dunst). Naturally he gets picked on a lot by bullies. Inspite of his apparent Einstein caliber aptitude for science, Peter's ambition is to be a photographer.

On a high school field trip to a local museum, he is bitten by a genetically altered spider, and undergoes amazing transformations: His once poor vision becomes 20-20. He is able to shoot spider webs out of his hands, and he begins to believe that his previously weak and scrawny body is suddenly Mr. Universe quality. It still looked scrawny to me. Peter wants money to buy a car so he can impress his neighbor, so he uses his new found powers to enter a professional wrestling match against a tough guy wrestler (Macho Man Randy Savage, donning a beard and praying for all he's worth that no one will recognize him and realize how desperate for cash he has become since retiring from the WWF).

Naturally he wins, but he gets jacked over by the promoter, and his beloved uncle is murdered the same night. The uncle is played by Cliff Robertson, who must have forgotten what a check that doesn't come from Social Security looks like, so he came out of retirement long enough to flush away the memory of an outstanding film career.

Meanwhile, Peter's best friend's father, Norman Osborne (William Dafoe), who is a wealthy defense contractor, also undergoes some sort of genetic alteration and becomes the schitzophrenic villian, the Green Goblin. Movies like this sink or swim on the strength of the antagonist who faces off against the superhero. All we can say here is, "glug, glug, glug."

Kirsten Dunst dyed her hair red to appear in this movie. I was thinking that in the wake of her strong performance in Cat's Meow she was mostly hoping not to be recognized. Her character is an aspiring actress, and she tells Peter after a failed audition that the production manager suggested she take acting lessons. I watched in great amusement as everyone in the theater unanimously nodded their heads in agreement.

As we finally trudged to the conclusion of this film, it left us with a hopelessly idiotic eding that somehow actually seemed appropriate. When Peter's neighbor finally expresses her love for him, he tells her that all he can offer is his friendship. Yeah, right. He has wanted to give her a ride on his pants python since he was six years-old, and finally given the opportunity, he coughs out a line that women have been torturing lovelorn men with for 500,000 years, but no male has ever coughed out in recorded or unrecorded history. Maybe that spider bite had more side effects than were previously evident.

Spiderman is at times visually appealing, and despite intense violence, its not really unsuitable for kids. That is assuming, of course that they won't go home and start trying to swing from the balcony to the neighbor's roof with "webs" constructed of tied-together sweat socks. Unfortunately the films tedious pace will leave most younger kids restless, and they'll likely already be edgy enough after standing in line to get in for an hour. So see Spiderman at you own risk. The sting is painful.

Last Week: A Kex Video Review: Monster's Ball:

This movie ranks among the three most misappropriately titled movies ever reviewed on this page. Count it among the company of Reindeer Games, which had no damned reindeer whatsoever and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon which had neither a tiger or dragon anywhere in the damned movie.

Monster's Ball indeed. Where was Dracula? Where was the Wolfman? Where was the Creature from the Black Lagoon? Godzilla? Frankenstein? None of them were there. There weren't any freaking monsters in this movie, apart from a whole collection of monsterous people. And there wasn't a ball either. It sure wasn't any ball watching it.

If you get off on watching Billy Bob Thornton puke a couple of times, you might find something redeeming about this flick. His son in the movie pukes once too. That makes three technicolor yawn scenes we had to endure. If that isn't bad enough, we also had to stomach a love scene featuring Billy Bob and Halle Berry. Not that I had any problem seeing Halle naked, but I just don't want to see her doing a love scene with Billy Bob. I don't want to see Billy Bob doing it with anybody. After enduring that, it was time for my puking scene.

Billy Bob and his son are guards in a Georgia prison. Halle Berry's husband is on death row, and it will be their job to pull the lever. BB doesn't mind all that much, because he is a white trash, red-knecked bigot complete with a confederate flag in his living room. It comes genetically to him, because dear old dad (Peter Boyle) is even grimmer than BB. Its quite evident that the two of them keep the white sheets in the wardrobe instead of the linen closet.

But BB's son is a little more progressive, and he has trouble with his father's closed minded views and his job as a prison guard. On the way to escorting their prisoner to the electric chair, BB's son tosses his cookies, which wildly pisses off BB. As a result, old BB berates his son to the point of driving the young man to suicide. This gives BB the first insight into the fact that he is a flaming asshole.

Meanwhile, the now widowed Halle and her son are struggling to make ends meet. It isn't hard to understand why. Halle's son weighs in at about 6 tons, and has chocolate stashed in every corner of the house. This really peeves Halley, to the point that she tries to smack the boy around a little. Naturally it is wasted effort, as her blows merely bounce off the rolls of fat.

One rainy night, Halle is walking home from work with her son in tow. The boy is struck by a car in an apparent hit and run. What wasn't noted is that the driver must have abandoned the car and run, because after striking Halle's behemoth of a child, the car wouldn't have been able to proceed anywhere.

Nonetheless, along comes BB who is driving home. He suddenly grows a bit of a heart, and drives Halley and her son to the hospital, where the boy promptly expires. At this point, the movie probably should have ended since we were more or less out of characters, but we were only an hour into a 112 minute movie.

BB and Halle grow close and eventually fall in love and have a romp. We gather the sex between them must be exceptional, because there is absolutely nothing else for them to base a relationship upon. That becomes increasingly evident when Halle pops over to BB's house for the first time and meets Peter Boyle. The old bigot fires some racial slurs at her, causing her to run out in a huff. BB responds by sending dear old dad off to a home. Now we were REALLY dangerously low on characters.

Fortunately, the film was nearly over. But not before Halle eventually discovered that BB was one of the corrections officers that fried her husband. But she ends up forgiving him. Not that we can figure out why she has any sort of attraction to him in the first place. Maybe he was the only single man in Georgia. Personally, I doubt even that would be enough.

And what was the point of all of this? Well, maybe there wasn't one. Maybe it was just another opportunity for Billy Bob Thornton to wear a ridiculous hair piece. I half expected him to whip it off on one of the two occasions where he had to find something convienent to wipe blood off of furniture or apholstery.

Or maybe it was just an excuse for Halle Berry to finally show her chest to America. No complaints here, but a spread in Playboy would have been a less tedious investment of my time. Let's face it. A film in which the plot revolves around 3 barfing scenes isn't exactly a miracle of rapid pacing.

Or more likely, this whole exercise was just an eye opening explanation to America of why the state of Georgia should be nuked thoroughly and completely at the first possible opportunity.

Last Week: Laws of Attraction:

Do you have any idea how many times I've seen this same damned movie under different titles? Eighty kajillion, that is how many. Its all the same formula. Boy and girl who hate each other meet, fall in love, suffer a crisis, then get back together and live happily ever after. At least they do. We always have to go home feeling the unbearable pain of knowing that those bastards in Hollywood suckered us again.

This is not only a formula movie. Its so tight-ass formula that you can set your watch by everything that happens that you know is going to happen. The film opens with Audrey Wood's (Julianne Moore) mother nagging her about the fact that she isn't married. Audrey doesn't want to meet a man and get married, because she is the biggest shit divorce attorney in New York freaking City. Yup, this movie even opens with those trite overhead shots of magnificent Gotham.

So after Audrey's Mom has her nag session, and Audrey scolds back that she doesn't want to meet a man, how long does it take her to meet one? Four minutes. Flat. The man she meets is Daniel Rafferty (Pierce Brosnan), another big shit divorce attorney who just moved to New York freaking City. Naturally Audrey hates him at first, because he is kind of unorthodox, but obviously very formidable. Naturally he is also good looking as a Hershey Bar to Kate Smith after 6 days of fasting.

In the real world, that would of course mean that he is either gay, or a habitual nose-picker with a wildly spastic colon and B.O. that could knock down an elephant. But since this is just a movie, he is single too. So Audrey storms out of their courtroom in a rage after their first meeting. And how long does it take her to zip by some guy in the court lobby that looks like Mr. Clean? One point three seconds. Flat.

So, after the initial courtroom meeting, Daniel invites Audrey for a meeting. How long does it take before Pierce Brosnan takes off his shirt to the delight of all the women in the audience? Nineteen minutes into the film. That guy needs to take a weed-whacker to that mat on his chest. Its revolting.

Then they go out to dinner, he gets her drunk, and they have wild monkey sex exactly 22 minutes into the film. At twenty-three minutes into the film, she wakes up in his apartment realizing what a tacky, sleazy thing she has just done, and hates him all the more. So that sets up a whole series of future courtroom battles between the two, setting us up for that one case that is going to cause them to slam almost unbreakably into each others arms.

In this case, it is the divorce of a rock star and his designer wife, and Audrey and Daniel are once again on opposite sides. It seems that all either of them want is ownership of some gaudy castle in Ireland, so Audrey and Daniel set about getting it for their respective clients. But each has to make a journey there, where they end up running into each other, and the magnificent beauty of Ireland brings them together. Yeah right. They can drool all over each other from afar in New York City, but it takes a little green grass and fog to actually get them to fall in love.

Naturally, before the two can live happily ever after, they have to go through a serious relationship crisis which occurs on schedule at 74 minutes into the film. But another trip back to Ireland leads to a reconciliation, and they live happily ever after. No. That isn't a plot spoiler, because you knew it was going to happen before the trailers preceding the film even rolled. For something to be a spoiler, it has to wreck a surprise ending that you couldn't have seen coming from the parking lot before you even purchased your tickets.

But I have to admit that there was one thing about this film that did surprise me a little. Frances Fisher portrays Audrey's mother in this film, and I noted at one point that they mentioned that she was supposed to be 56. Julianne Moore is 43. That is cutting things a mite close there, isn't it? Of course, it isn't the worst temporal situation I've ever seen in a movie.

In the 1974 film Earthquake, then 52 year-old Ava Gardner was cast as the mother of 59 year-old Loren Greene. Interestingly enough, that was one of the less silly aspects of the entire production. But it just goes to show, Hollywood is making some of the same retarded mistakes they made a quarter of a century ago. One of the most significant ones is that they keep making this same damned movie over and over and over.

Last Week: Madagascar:

This movie got me to thinking. For those of you who haven't been reading the page very long, let me make it clear that any movie that gets me thinking has already sufferered the kiss of death. Generally, I start the thinking while the movie is going on, which means its already lost my attention.

Its pretty clear to me that Madagascar is all about the merchandising, and not any real entertainment value. There already are stuffed animals in the toy stores, games, eventually a DVD release, Happy Meals and whatnot. It doesn't even really matter much anymore whether or not anyone actually likes the movie, as long as you can prod children into insisting that their parents buy a jillion dollars worth of crappy toys in the aftermath of viewing it.

So what the world probably needs is the full line of K.A.W. merchandising. We can start with what is sure to be a big seller: The "Take Me to the movies talking Kex doll." Sit it next to you in the cinema, pull its string, and it will make rude comments like, "Damn, this movie sucks!" and "What moron directed this piece of crap?" and "Did he/she (referring to some actor in the movie) really need a paycheck this bad?"

Then of course, there will be the "At the Movies With Kex home game". Opponents race their little plastic Kex figurines around the board, drawing cards with movie titles, and earning points for citing continuity errors and making disparaging remarks about the film title drawn.

Guaranteed to delight any child this Christmas will be the "I want to be like Kex dress up set." The set includes a pair of glasses, a wig with unmanagable curly hair, and a tee-shirt with some ape on it. The set also includes a guide book with phrases appropriate to mercilessly pan any movie ever made. What child wouldn't want to find that under their tree Christmas morning?

Finally, the engineers from Worlds of Wonder have been reunited to create the Kexyruxpin talking doll...its fully digitized and electronic. Turn it on, and it begins talking, relating all sorts of obscure stories and facts, and never stopping.

Of course, none of this has much of anything to do with the movie, Madagascar, apart from the fact that this movie is more about selling crappy toys than anything else. The computer generated animation was purposely cartoonish, in an effort to be appealing to children. I didn't have any qualms with the animation quality of this movie. My problem with it was centered more on the content, or lack thereof.

The story was so incredibly shallow that you could have taken a 30 minute potty break after the first ten minutes of the film without feeling as if you had missed anything significant, and in truth you would not have. The movie made the usual attempt to sprinkle in a little adult oriented humor, but all of it fell flat. The gags in question were mostly movie and television take-offs that included the original Planet of the Apes and an ancient episode of The Twilight Zone to name a few. But its a bit of a reach, to say the least, to have to reach back 40 years to find satirical targets.

Worse still, the parodies lacked any subtle setup ala Shrek or similar recent efforts. They were just flat out in-your-face and on to the next one, so that by the time you had been smacked with half a dozen, the impact came closer to snapping the funny bone than tickling it.

Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock) is growing bored with life in the Central Park Zoo, and longs for adventure in the wild. His pals Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller), Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) and Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) try to ease his angst by reminding him how well off they are in the zoo, but Marty is inconsolable.

He decides to make a brief trip to the "wilds" of Connecticut, but is stopped by his friends at Grand central Station. Also breaking out are a group of penguins, who have decided to return to Antarctica.

All of the animals are captured at the station, and tabbed to be sent to a wildlife preserve in Kenya. But when the vagabond penguins hijack the ship, Marty, Alex Melman and Gloria end up in Madagascar. There they learn that living in the wild has its attractions, but dangers as well.

Meanwhile, the penguins manage to make it to Antarctica, only to find disillusionment. Upon experiencing the harsh conditions there, the head penguin says, "Well, now this sucks!" I couldn't have summarized the film better myself.

Last Week: Pirates of the Caribbean 2:

Yes, I missed you guys too. But it was a good vacation. We spent 8 days in the great Pacific Northwest without a drop of rain (well, there was a little the last day). Then we came home to Colorado, where we have had less than 2 inches of precipitation since January, and it rained 5 straight days. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut. At least there is only 1 speed limit here.

Ever been to Disneyland? Good, some of you have. Remember how everytime you get off of a ride, you have to walk through a gift shop? You know what I mean...if you get off of, say, Jungle Safari, you have to walk through a store with toys of every Disney character imaginable dressed in pith helmets and khakis. There are also jungle playsets, postcards of the ride, etc. etc.

Disney is now employing the same marketing concept in their movies. No, I didn't have to walk through a gift shop with Johnny Depp Mickey or Kierra Knightly Minnie starring me down. BUT, the Disney folks have figured out how to get into your wallet again, even after you have seen the movie. The concept is so astonishingly simple that I'm shocked no one has thought of it before.

Here is the concept: Make a pretty good movie that a lot of people enjoy. Then of course, make a sequel. At the same time, make a sequel to the sequel.But don't fashion the second sequel in such a way that people can make a decison about whether or not they want to see it. No, make it so that if you see the sequel, you have to see the third movie as well if you want to know how it comes out.

Now, this strategy isn't entirely original. We knew when they were making Star Wars 2 that there would be a Star Wars 3, so we were at least warned in advance that we would have to commit ourselves to another film if we chose to go to see #2. Disney, on the other hand, didn't really hide the fact that there was a Pirates 3 simultaneously in production. But they weren't exactly forthcoming about the fact that #2 would essentially be a bridge between the two.

Warning one about this movie: If you haven't seen the first one, don't bother to see the second one. It won't make any sense. Warning two, the character of Captain Jack Sparrow in this movie has undergone something of a personal transformation. He really isn't the same guy in the second movie. Johnny Depp's performance is still entertaining enough, I just didn't see the same character up there on the screen.

Warning three about this movie is that its easily 45 minutes too long. Its a little like hoping on another famed Disney ride and finding out that it really isn't such a small world after all. When we are promised Pirates of the Caribbean, nobody really wants to stay on for the additional bonus tour of Armenian fishermen of La Jola. Its not like there was 2 and a half hours of vital plot here. In fact, there wasn't 45 minutes.

The film certainly contains its share of slapstick and cliff hanger thrills, along with some pretty good costuming and special effects. Alas, it falls into the standard trap of most Hollywood fare these days; lets dazzle them with style and to hell with substance. And the We Pity Your Career Move of the year will certainly go to Bill Nighy, who gives life to several pounds of makeup and CGI effects as the villianous Davy Jones. He is likely to spend the rest of his career trying to convince casting people that he really appeared in this film.

With a two and a half hour running time, its pretty difficult to recommend this movie to parents. The content isn't all that objectionable, beyond a few good scares. But lengthy sequences where the film degenerates into lengthy blabfests, often spoken by characters with unintelligible accents will cause pre-adolescent children to lose interests in the proceedings rather rapidly.

So while I didn't dislike this film all that much, it comes with very qualified recommendations at best. If you didn't see the first one, you better consider renting it before you see this one. And don't go see it at all unless you are willing to commit yourself to a third film. And once and for all, leave those damned cell phones at home. Its just as annoying having people sitting in front of you endlessly opening them too look at the display as it is if they actually ring.

Last Week: Enchanted:

I wasn't. The idea is original enough, and this film wins a lot of points on that basis alone. The biggest problem is the simple fact that the script takes a reasonably new idea and gives it a flogging that would give Mel Gibson wet dreams. What you have here is a 90 minute movie that is stretched out to 2 hours for no reason other than, well, darned if I can figure out why it was done.

Attention Hollywood: here is the number one, steadfast, unbreakable rule for family movies. They should be 90 minutes long. Period. If absolutely necessary, you can stretch them to 100, but that is the absolutely limit. And if you do it, you had better have a conclusion to the movie that is so gripping that the kiddos won't get the impulse to climb every wall in the cinema.

This movie had an ending that qualified, unfortunately it didn't play out until 2 hours into the movie, but which time the younger members of the audience were growing decidedly restless. For that matter, so was I. You can only watch the same joke delivered with the same punchline just so many times before it grows stale...once, maybe twice.

The story is about a princess from a typical sacchrine sweet Disney cartoon who is longing to meet her prince. When he comes riding along one day, they are immediately set to be married in the one song long type whirlwind romance not uncommon to Disney cartoons. But complications immediately arise. The prince's evil stepmother realizes that she will lose her throne for some reason or another if the pricne marries, so she must dispatch the princess.

The evil queen attempts to get rid of her by dispatching her to real world New York City. The ongoing joke of the film involves the characters from the fairy tale world attempting to somehow get along in real life New York City.

Naturally the prince follows her in an attempt to rescue the princess, so the evil queen sends along a henchman to make sure that he never locates her. The basic joke is now amplifed by 3, as all of the characters struggle to get along in this very different world. Added to the mix is a cute CGI chimpmunk. Naturally, in the Disney cartoon world he can talk, but in real life New York City, he has to find other ways to communicate with the prince and princess.

While in New York City, the princess meets another man, and begins to question whether or not the prince is really her true love. Meanwhile, the prince continues to search for, and ultimately finds her. Since the efforts of the Evil Queen's henchman have failed, she now decides she must take matters into her own hands, and journey to NYC herself.

All of this leads to a rather illogical finale. The evil queen remains resolved to dispatch of the princess, even though she realizes that the princess is no longer in love with the prince, and she really doesn't need to intervene. I guess that without her one track resolve, the movie couldn't spin to its high climax conclusion. Still, we have already realized that the whole thing is entirely unnecessary.

As family entertainment, this is actually one of the better films that have come along in awhile, and it is actually rated G. That is rare enough these days. Still, the basic criticism stands: The movie is way too long for its material, and easily could have been edited down to a slicker 90 minutes.

One other aspect of the film that bothered me was the rather cheap looking animation sequences early in the film. maybe Disney was trying to save a little cash to finance the more costly CGI effects later on, but it was shoddy for a Disney production.

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