Monthly Archives: April 2012

Movie Review: The Pirates! Band Of Misfits

by Dan Fields
First published April 28, 2012 by the California Literary Review

A Treasure for the Whole Crew. Arr!

Not only is The Pirates! Band Of Misfits ruthlessly silly, it is also educational. Where else could you learn how much buccaneers love ham? Or that they are masters of disguise in all social circles? Or of their immeasurable contributions to natural history? Aardman Studios, the force behind the UK’s wackiest entertainment – Wallace & Gromit, just for a start – turns its attention to the high seas in this ludicrous and side-splitting romp. Continue reading

Movie Review: Chimpanzee

by Dan Fields
First published April 21, 2012 by the California Literary Review

Bending the Rules of Natural Selection for the Kiddos

In the mist-shrouded Ivory Coast jungle, all appears green and beautiful. The leafy trees shelter and sustain countless forms of life. We join a group of chimpanzees, in a serene moment, as they welcome a newly born male named Oscar into their midst. Oscar is going to learn a lot about the world in a hurry, and our job is to laugh, sigh, and gasp at his every discovery.

Chimpanzee is the sixth feature by Disney’s new production label Disneynature, which has already brought us such titles as Earth, Oceans, and African Cats. As in previous cases, the title describes exactly what this film will portray. Over the first several months of Oscar’s life, the complex demands of chimpanzee survival will become very clear indeed. The Jane Goodall Institute, logically the main co-producing entity of the film, is reaching out to a new generation of curious minds. The result skews surprisingly young, even for a Disney picture. Continue reading

Movie Review: The Cabin In The Woods

by Dan Fields
First published April 14, 2012 by the California Literary Review

A Grim, Giddy, Ghastly Delight

The cabin in the woods is a familiar setting to movie fans. It usually signals hard luck for a group of sexy young people who, after all, just want to get away and have some fun. It seemed unlikely that a visit to such a cabin could offer many surprises, even from a pair of writers as famously inventive as Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon. Well, guess what? They are still inventive – aggressively so – and The Cabin In The Woods has plenty of surprises in store. Continue reading