Tuesday, November 24, 2015

184 Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory

Ending the "For the Kids..." movie review marathon this week, we give our spin on the classic Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. Matt stumbles trying to offer up his take on the titular character, while Mark cuts to the chase and sizes up Willy as an entrepreneur akin to Silicon Valley monomaniacs like Musk, Jobs, Bezos, and Gates. Paranoid and zealous, Willy lives a hermetic world where those who don't share his vision of a candy utopia are not to be trusted and tested. Meant to be a wholesome family musical, Willy Wonka is more dark comedy with a cutting wit and little regard for handling kids with kid gloves.

Download: 184 Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory

Sunday, November 15, 2015

183 Transformers The Movie

This week we review Transformers The Movie, a result of the 80's high concept marketing campaign for the toy industry. Back in the day, Matt and Mark used to watch after school half hour advertisements for Mattel and Kenner in the form of Transformers and the like. Wasted Youth? Who knows. Mark laments dragging his mother to see the film twice while Matt decries the resurgent recycling of 80's toy culture. Is Transformers a good film? Hard to say really. Like wandering minstrels of the Medieval Era, its hard to put oneself in the shoes of the audience to gain any kind of appreciation, but it may be safe to admit, it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Unless you're Michael Bay of course, then you'll hump it forever.

Download: 183 Transformers The Movie

Monday, November 9, 2015

182 The Neverending Story

Matt and Mark's "For the Kids" movie review marathon continues with our take on the 1984 classic The Neverending Story. The world of Fantasia is being destroyed by The Nothing, a metaphor for the grinding gray of adulthood and diminished imagination. At least that's the way Matt saw the film, where The Nothing's werewolf agent Gmork is nothing more than a stand in for any HR manager in a nameless multi-national corporation. A film with astonishing classic affects, Mark points out the brilliance of it's set pieces and characters while rattling off the whose-who of its talented credit list. Also, it can be agreed that Atreyu is one of the more metal names to come from a children's story (take that Veruca Salt!).

Download: 182 The Neverending Story

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

181 Watership Down

Matt and Mark's "For the Kids" marathon continues this week with the "family" adventure film Watership Down, a famed animated production from Britain released in 1978. Despite Matt's decades long ignorance regarding the film's name (It's a place? What? Not some esoteric reference to societal downfall?), we try to suss out what's great about this film. With realistic depictions of violence and a naturalist style, it marginalizes the familiar animated tropes of Disney-esque anthropomorphism, elevating it to something greater. And why a film about rabbits? Because there's perhaps a universal truth to be told from creatures who must fear everything, a justified dread that taps into our vestigial brains and perhaps a reason so many children remember this film.

Download:  181 Watership Down

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

180 Return to Oz

Matt and Mark's "For the Kids" movie review marathon continues this week with our take on the 1985 box office misfire "Return to Oz". Lacking in the thematic elements of its uber-famous predecessor, it does expand the Oz universe, drinking from the well of the original Baum children's novels. However, it's creep factor, complete with ruined Yellow Brick Road, Munchkin Holocaust, and Chernobyl-style post apocalypse of the once great Emerald City could really only be redeemed by another tranch of ten or so Disney princess movies. So, do an Elton John and say "goodbye Yellow Brick Road", or do a Bowie, and "put on your red shoes and dance the blues."

Download: 180 Return to Oz

Monday, October 19, 2015

179 Ponyo

Matt and Mark's "For the Kids..." movie review marathon continues with the beloved Miyazaki's last film, Ponyo. A film that is beautiful to watch, it teases out what is best in anime: the ability to create emotion with the warmth of hand drawn animation. Matt and Mark contrast the style with out current CGI fair and marvel at the imagery. Pivoting on themes of separation, Ponyo welcomes all ages and entertains all. If you don't enjoy Ponyo, Mark and Matt are pretty sure you must be dead behind the eyes and a cold-hearted psychopath.

Download: 179 Ponyo

Monday, October 12, 2015

178 Labyrinth

Kicking off the "For the Kids..." movie review marathon, we start with the 1986 Henson classic Labyrinth. A little weary from our hard-partying weekend, Matt and Mark ramble a bit with our review as we attempt to bond with our inner child. Matt gets nostalgic for his adolescent Jennifer Connelly crush while Mark expresses his disappointment in the film's cliched violent climax and odd mix of tone. But what ties this movie together? Like a cat from Japan, well hung with a snow white tan... Bowie... Bowie in all his scrotal glory.

Download: 178 Labyrinth