Review : The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996/G)

Most people debate when did the Disney Rennssance start to decline? The correct answer is any picture released after Aladdin in 1992. Fast forward four years and we’re in 1996 and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Honestly this isn’t a bad film, but the villian seems a little too stock. However it’s one the villian is the parent and all around bad guy (yeah we haven’t see that before in these movies.) The main characters while semi strong also seem to be lacking a tad, honestly this film remembered more now for its groundbreaking production techniques then it’s story, characters, or plot. Honestly why have none of the characters from this movie ever met people in the parks, like Aladdin, Jasmine, or more rare Tarzan and Jane. See this film if your a fan of all things Disney Rennssance, if not your not missing much.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Trailer (Walt Disney Pictures/1996)

On a scale of 1.0 to 5.9 it got a 3.5 out of 5.9  

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Review : Jurassic World (2015/PG-13)

We saw the orginal Jurriassic Park in theaters in 1993 and then the sequel The Lost World in 1997, honestly we liked the second one better as Jeff Goldblum character was the main star, and he stole the show in the first one. We do admit we constantly make fun of Jurrassic Park 3 becuase of the dinosaur that says “Alan” but at the same time everyone makes fun of that. So where does Jurassic World stand in relation to the other three. Honestly this feels like a reboot of the first one, just everything bigger, and more sucuessful. This time the park is up and running, and has product placement everywhere, which at first we were going to call out but then the film it self does. Damn it! The movie is self aware and took away some of our ammo to fire at it. Honestly this is a challange to review, as its a movie thats about a theme park, but at the same time a movie. Really this film had more in common with the movie Rollercoaster from the 1970s plot wise in a sense. But really how many different ways can you tell the Jurassic Park story? Had the first one never existed this would have been what the original would be. That said it still seems like it’s way to CGI which while groundbreaking in 1993 and to a lesser extent 1997, now today we’re all burned out by it, this is why we love 80s films as practical effects are real and don’t age. Once again we give high marks to Chris Pratt just like we did in Guardians of the Glaxay, still while not best character as Jeff Goldblum’s Malcom character in The Lost World he came pretty close.

Jurassic World Trailer (Universal Pictures/2015)

On a scale of 1.0 to 5.9 it got a 4.8 out of 5.9

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Friday Special : Cylde & Seamore – Sea Lion High (SeaWorld Orlando)

Look lets get this out of the way we don’t care if you have song opinions against SeaWorld because you watched that stupid, biased, horse shit documentary Blackfish. This review is not about those damn whales it’s only about the sea lions. We like SeaWorld it’s the park we visit in the summer as it’s the only game in town with our passes to other theme parks being off for the season. Ok everyone cool now? Good let’s review Clyde & Seamore – Sea Lion High. This replaces the previous Clyde & Seamore Take Pirate Island from 1999 which in itself replaced Hotel Clyde & Seamore from the early to mid 90s. Sea Lion High feels like a throw back and tribute to Hotel Clyde Seamore in terms of set design and show execution. Over all the new show is just as funny and of course just as cheesy. The fact the animals miss a cue every now and then and that the show is self aware about itself is what makes a total gem.

On a scale of 1.0 to 5.9 it got a 5.3 out of 5.9

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We Told You So Wednesday : PopMatters article on Why Are So Many of Today’s Movies So Bad? (2013)

It’s a new feature here on E-Mod 116 Online, We Told You So Wednesday. We know that we have a very ridged, point of view when it comes to movies, TV shows, and theme parks. However to prove we’re not always that lone voice that screams the emperor has no clothes, this feature will be links to articles we found online that validates what we’ve been saying all along (call it an echo chamber if you want but we do back up our opinions with material.)  Since we bitch and moan so much about how new movies are terrible (specially post January 1, 2000) the people over at Popmatters seem to agree however we disagree on Showgirls as that’s a so bad it’s good movie.

Why Are So Many of Today’s Movies So Bad?

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Review: Titanica (1995/G)

When watching a documentary on the Titanic disaster, years after seeing the film Titanic we see where parts of the story for the James Cameron film came from. While we watched this IMAX film on Netflix that only steamed in 4:3 it still held up well. The film shows wreckage site of the Titanic and the fascinating images of the ship wreck as it was shot in 1992. However what makes this truely intesting is hearing how the Edwarian society of the UK in 1912 basically doomed the ship before it was ever built. Coporate greed called the shots, not regulations,  much like the actions of the conservative tea party movement it’s trying to accomplish today. Overall visually fascinating and actually a good history lesson to watch.

Titanica Trailer (Miramax/1995)

On a scale of 1.0 to 5.9 it got a 5.2 out of 5.9 

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Review : Austin Powers : The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999/PG-13)

We’re a blog that was a website (actually we still are a website in that sense) that was a BBS. Considering E-Mod 116 Online was around in 1999 (making us 8 years older then WordPress, 9 years older then Facebook, and 12 years older then the iPhone which is used browse us on both our blog and Facebook page or is that 18 years since we use the iPhone 5) that means this is rare instance of us reviewing a film twice, the first time we reviewed and posted it was opening day, Friday, June 11th, 1999. We saw this movie 4 times when it was playing in the theater, yes that’s 4 times we paid admission price for a ticket (two of them were opening day.) It was a packed house that day back in 1999 (and this was the 11:30am showing) and the moment Dr. Evil got into a fight with Jerry Springer, the theater roared with laughter and right there we and whole audience realized this movie was a rock concert and comedy rollercoaster all in one. What made this film so great was Dr. Evil. The character owned movie, it was the pont when he became the star character of the series, honestly they should just make a Dr. Evil film, we totally go see it. What is so rare for today is that this is pure example of a comedy film firing on all cylinders and each one is a powerful tour de force of humor.  The humor seen in the Seth Green co-created Robot Chicken came from seeds planted here. Rob Lowe as Young Number 2 is hilarious by playing the straight man and of course not being hilarious. Every character just works that quite honestly this review would be as long as phone book (yes remember those things delivered to your door step free in 1999) and it was the pinnacle of great comedy. Bottom line get the DVD, or watch it on iTunes and just laugh yourself silly for 2 hours.

Austin Powers : The Spy Who Shagged Me Trailer (New Line Cinema/1999)

On a scale of 1.0 to 5.9 it got a 5.9 out of 5.9

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Friday Special : Direct to Review: Robert Zemeckis

The E-Mod 116 Online mission statement says reviews of movies might be about the movie but aslo about what makes the movie a movie. A side from using the word movie too much in that last sentence, we’re proud to present a new feature on the blog, Direct to Review. This is a review of a directors work as a whole, there style, there signatures. Ok yeah they won’t get a score for their merit (that’s alone is difficult to impossible, but James Wan would get 1.0 out of 5.9 and Quentin Tarantio would be in negitive numbers) it is a way to see how they have changed for better or for worse over the years. 

Since its 2015 why not look at Mr. 2015 himself, Robert Zemeckis. But wait your saying to yourself, he’s just as much of a producer of films as a director of films, that’s true and it’s all part of the bigger picture. As of this writing Robert Zemeckis has directed 16 films, we’ve seen 9 of them. So what do we like, first we like the Zemeckis/Speilberg combination of the 80s. Back to the Future needed Speilberg as a producer much as it needed Zemeckis directing. Why is that you may ask? In the 80s comedy, sci-fi, and special effects were a tough challenge to all go hand in hand together. Only a few other people could have pulled that off, Ivan Reitman of Ghostbusters fame comes to mind, as does Steven Speilberg himself. But what we liked about the direction in Back to the Future is also what made Who Framed Roger Rabbit another masterpeice. That film is a story which while special effects driven still holds up 25 plus years later. Back to the Future part II also still holds up but this time making all the special effects a joke is what stops someone from point out most of the predictions of the future were wrong. Contempary time travel itself is a wonderful device that’s why Forrest Gump worked, he showed us a twist on modern history and used the special effects as proper tool. So what happened? Well it all started with the 1997 film Contact, as Mr. Garrison on South Park put it best “I had to see the entire movie to see the alien, and it was her goddamned father!” It didn’t stop there, in 2000 Castaway with Tom Hanks was two hours of boredom. First off what was in the damn box, and second when your cheering for the volleyball your movie has major issues beyond story and pacing.  From that point on it was all abord the performance capture train (litteraly) with The Polar Express, which was a little bewildering to look at. However credit will be awarded were credit is due, and by 2009 A Christmas Carol was a decent and well crafted effort. So what about the producing aspect, like George Lucas, he’s now starting to shine. Two great films he produced but didn’t direct are The Frighteners and Monster House, he’s also responsible for producing Tales From the Crypt back when HBO wasn’t the cirtic circle jerk on our shows channel. All of those projects have the wiz bang of his special effects know how but aren’t bogged down by trying to up the ante and do a total reinvention and one upends of before. In the end it’s balance that is the key, which is why we praise such films as Back to the Future and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but bemoan such films as Contact and the Polar Express, and in the end we recomend most all his movies up to Forrest Gump (except Back to the Future Part III) and that’s still a pretty impressive director resume to have.
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