A discussion of cult films by two guys located in a basement somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Matt holds a B.S. and M.S. in physics, and works as an aerospace engineer. Mark holds a B.S. in biochemistry and works as a research technician... both are graduates of Snohomish High School Class of 91/92 respectiviely, none of which qualifies them to discuss film in any meaningful way... so... "caveat emptor" and all that.
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."
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.
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.
Taking the better parts of earlier films (and perhaps lesser films), Director Cosmatos manages to conjure the atmospheric and menacing Beyond the Black Rainbow. Taking New Age psychedelic notions of transcendence to their limits, the denizens of the Arboria institute attempt enlightenment with a concoction of drugs and a black pool of sensory goo. Half liking/half hating the film, Matt derides its cliched and uncharacteristic end, while Mark is more sympathetic. Anyway, give it a watch and dare to hit the mother lode!