• Melody Time

    Melody Time

    ★★★

    My family and I have decided to take the Disney animation challenge by watching, in chronological order, 2 Disney feature length animated films each week.

    Melody Time is film number 11.

    The last of Walt Disney's Animated Studios package films, and like the others, it has its hits and misses.

    Once Upon a Wintertime is one of the hits, a cute little adventure about falling in love, arguing with someone you love, and having animals save someone you love because…

  • Song of the South

    Song of the South

    ★★★

    My family and I have decided to take the Disney animation challenge by watching, in chronological order, 2 Disney feature length animated films each week.

    Song of the South is film number 9.

    Everyone knows the history behind Walt Disney's Song of the South. The controversial 1946 release. The even more controversial 1980 theatrical release. And Disney's decision to keep this film in "The Vault", hiding its existence from children everywhere, despite keeping the popular Splash Mountain theme park ride…

  • Storytelling

    Storytelling

    ★★★★½

    Belle and Sebastian's beautiful song "Storytelling", heard in the closing credits, so perfectly describes the dilemmas that all writers face when writing characters dialogue actions and motives:

    "Picture a scene in your mind, look at all the people and take note of the setting behind. Listen, watch and wait, a plot begins to take shape.

    There's a story and then, characters will come to you, relating events as they choose to, but all their words and actions come entirely from…

  • Mulholland Drive

    Mulholland Drive

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Dreams are fascinating. I always wonder why the brain chooses what dreams we have. Or does it? Do we choose them? Subconsciously? Why do we sometimes dream about people from our pasts, or people who we barely know or have only met once. Or someone who we saw at a passing glance eight months ago. Why do certain objects become MacGuffins in our dreams or hold a higher significance than they should? Why do we sometimes fail miserably in our…

  • The Skin Game

    The Skin Game

    ★★★

    One of the least talked about films in the filmography of Alfred Hitchcock, The Skin Game is an interesting little morality tale about secrets, blackmail and scandal.

    Without good acting, any film won't reach the heights it inspires to, and The Skin Game falls into this category with two notable exceptions. Edmund Gwenn is excellent at playing the head of the Hornblower family, as is Helen Haye in playing the matriarch of the Hillcrist family. Interestingly enough, both actors were…

  • Fun and Fancy Free

    Fun and Fancy Free

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    My family and I have decided to take the Disney animation challenge by watching, in chronological order, 2 Disney feature length animated films each week.

    Fun and Fancy Free is film number 10.

    I admit, I love Jiminy Cricket, who is one of my favorite animated characters in all of Disney's repertoire. He is the perfect character to walk us through this next package film, bridging the two stories of Bongo and Mickey and the Beanstalk. Dinah Shore and Edgar…

  • Rich and Strange

    Rich and Strange

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Quoting The Tempest's Full fathom five, the title of this 1931 Alfred Hitchcock film not only describes the film's plot, but also the esoteric nature of the film as well.

    Rich and Strange is actually quite funny, and the best parts of the film focus on its humor. One wonders what the end result would have been, had Hitchcock fully embraced the comedic nature of Alma Reville's novel adaptation and minimized the more bland dramatic midway scenes while on the…

  • Murder!

    Murder!

    ★★★

    Murder! is a step down from the film that preceded it, Blackmail, but it's still an entertaining watch.

    The pacing of Murder! is kind of all over the place, but I suppose it really doesn't matter, because it's a very slow moving picture. I loved the jury scene early in the film, where each of the members gets to voice their opinions, and you can see some early Hitchcock comedy make a small presence.

    The use of music was also…

  • Make Mine Music

    Make Mine Music

    ★★½

    My family and I have decided to take the Disney animation challenge by watching, in chronological order, 2 Disney feature length animated films each week.

    Make Mine Music! is film number 8.

    Another anthology film (sounds much better than "package film") from Disney that includes 10 animated segments accompanied by music.

    This is perhaps the oddest collection of stories, that doesn't represent our modern traditional expectations, values, and visions that Disney will eventually centralize with. Some of the sketches are…

  • The Three Caballeros

    The Three Caballeros

    ★★★

    My family and I have decided to take the Disney animation challenge by watching, in chronological order, 2 Disney feature length animated films each week.

    The Three Caballeros is film number 7.

    Following in the path set by its predecessor Saludos Amigos, Walt Disney returns to South America, with side trips to Mexico and Antarctica, to showcase music, costume and culture. Donald Duck and his two avian friends Jose and Panchito, spend a lot of time dancing and singing along…

  • Juno and the Paycock

    Juno and the Paycock

    ★★½

    Based on Sean O'Casey's play, Juno and the Paycock stays relatively true to the originial material, with O'Casey approving the minor changes to it.

    Sara Allgood is solid as the unfortunate wife of an ignorant and lazy husband. Her performance is the best thing about the film, and Allgood knows this character quite well having performed it on stage. Sidney Morgan is also very good as Joxer, the bumbling drunk, however the other actors do little to impress. There's some…

  • Saludos Amigos

    Saludos Amigos

    ★★★

    My family and I have decided to take the Disney animation challenge by watching, in chronological order, 2 Disney feature length animated films each week.

    Saludos Amigos is film number 6.

    Sending Donald Duck and Goofy to South America was Disney's goodwill attempt to woo South America into better relations with Americans and the film acts as a sort of tourism featurette. It's short, relatively interesting in parts and uninteresting in others, and like Dumbo, certain scenes play better than…