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‘Shrek the Third’ Film Review: The slapstick third

While it offers nothing new on the table, this third movie of the "Shrek" franchise compensates with its laid-back familiarity and comedy. The Shrek Franchise The best thing about the "Shrek" movies is that you are offered a patented comic blend of fairy tale tradition and pop-culture references. These recreate a comic flavor and moral implications for its wide commercial range of movie viewers. The franchise's main charm is its organic ability to mix fairy tale sweetness and pop-culture tradition with a

‘Shrek Forever After’ Film Review: Happily ogre after?

While it occasionally provides good laughs, this fourth "Shrek," like its main ogre, is confused and way beyond its prime. For its long-time followers, "Shrek Forever After" is passable entertainment. It is for those who grew up with the franchise and not the type that could easily add new toddler fans. In any case, the "Shrek" brand still works for the DVD and Blu-ray market with a potentially good spot for top home video sales charts. "Shrek Forever After" begins so mediocre.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Rio’

The "Rio" Blu-ray release features a two-disc set consisting of a Blu-ray disc and DVD, along with some digital download materials. Aptly set in Rio de Janeiro, this 96-minute 3D animation is helmed by Brazilian director Carlos Saldanha, also the man behind "Robots" and the "Ice Age" films. The filmmaker shows love for his hometown with this movie project that showcases the fun and festive culture of the Brazilian city. Filled with dazzling imagery and contagiously fun music, "Rio" tells the

‘The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’ Film Review: A travelogue drama

This movie features a heartwarming episodic tale of four best friends and their adventures from miles away. At first, this teenybopper movie may seem like a typical adaptation riding on the popularity of the young adult book and best-selling novel "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" by Anne Brashares. Apparently, it’s a heartwarmingly episodic travelogue drama featuring four best friends spending their first summer apart and sharing a magical pair of jeans fitting each of them perfectly — despite the differences

‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ Film Review: A chocolific, expressionistic confectionery

Director Tim Burton breathes new life to Roald Dahl's 1964 sweet tale and turns it into a new celluloid confectionery. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is a gothic yet colorful fantasy filled with the eccentricity only Burton gets to achieve in the Hollywood mainstream. Burton is undeniably a patron of German Expressionism with the film's pale make-up, weird props, sets and costumes, exaggerated moves, and out-of-this world characterizations. He creates a dream world inspired by some dark and cartoony elements. The

‘Angels and Demons’ Film Review: From suspense novel to audio-visual flair

This "Angels and Demons" film adaptation is a less contemplative and a more motion-driven version of Dan Brown's novel. "Angels and Demons" mounts the visuals the way I imagined them while reading the Dan Brown novel. That part is impressive. However, the suspense part that hooked me to the book gets lost in the film adaptation. For a movie based entirely around a beat-the-clock goal, the momentum gets significantly lost and the far-fetched plot surfaces more without the packed intensity and

‘In Her Shoes’ Film Review: More than just a chick flick

This movie is an interestingly profound and complex story about different relationships: familial, friendly, romantic. "In Her Shoes" features a decently textured narrative about the reconnection of two estranged sisters who have nothing in common but their shoe sizes. Offering enough depth, the story is not just about a simple issue on sibling rivalry made into a rushed script. It becomes more than a show-off of Hollywood stars ramping fashion clothes and blobbing about some insensible girl talks. This chick flick, based on

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Nativity Story’

"The Nativity Story" debuts on HD format via a two-disc release housing its Blu-ray and DVD copies. This 2006 religious tale by Catherine Hardwicke dramatizes the period when Mary and Joseph face an arduous but incredible journey to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus Christ. The film stars Keisha Castle-Hughes, Oscar Isaac, Hiam Abbass, Alexander Siddig, Ciarán Hinds, and Shohreh Aghdashloo. The simple narrative keeps up with its biblical source by telling three story arcs that converge in the origin of

Blu-ray Review: ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition

The 1971 fantasy musical "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" releases its "40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition" featuring a three-disc set with one Blu-ray disc and two DVDs. This screen adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" tells the story of an underprivileged boy who finds one of the five golden tickets to visit Willy Wonka's famed chocolate factory. He and four other lucky children find themselves in an unusual adventure with the world's greatest chocolate maker

‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ Film Review: Dark, adolescent Potter film

This film adaptation of J.K. Rowling's fourth "Harry Potter" book is fantastically darker and more mature than its predecessors. Darker, a little more mature, and a little less magical, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” primarily deals with rejection and hormones as Harry and his friends struggle through transition from childhood to young adulthood. This motion picture focuses on the Hogwarts students in the seemingly awkward stage of their youth. The film’s look is less ostentatious than the previous installments. This time,

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