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Friday, August 31, 2012

Green Lantern: The Animated Series

As anyone who watched the live-action version of Green Lantern will tell you, some comic book heroes are just meant to stay animated. The thing that makes The Green Lantern cool – in the comics and in this really cool looking Cartoon Network series — is the way that his power ring can become anything he can imagine, from a giant fist to helping hand. It’s just more believable to watch him use it in a totally animated world than it is in the ‘real’ world. The creative talents behind this series get that, and the effects they use to make the ring’s manifestations appear on the screen are amazing. The same goes for the world they set the Green Lantern’s adventures in, as well as the fellow Lanterns he interacts with. Good as the visual style of the series is, it’s the way everything you see is there only to support the story that makes it all work…that, and some fine voice acting from Josh Keaton (Transformers Prime) as Hal Jordan, Kevin Michael Richardson (Young Justice) as Kilowog and Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Zilius Zox.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Screaming in High Heels: The Rise & Fall of the Scream Queen Era

You’ve seen them scream, you’ve seen them nude and you’ve seen them die in some truly horrible ways. You may not know them by name, but chances are if you watched a horror movie made during the 1980s you are familiar with the work of Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens and Michelle Bauer, the original Scream Queens of the B-movies. Now, thanks to this fascinating film from writer/director Jason Paul Collum you get a chance to hear them talk – and not just scream -- about their careers. The documentary has plenty of clips from their films that will either be a walk down memory lane for fans or a good place to start for newcomers, and there are interviews with the men who write and directed the films to give it all some sort of historical context. It’s the three very distinct – and very personal -- insights into the world of low budget horror movies that the ladies provide which gives the movie a lasting resonance.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Sensational Sixties

Critics and film school students will tell you (and probably bore you to death) all about how the movies of the 60s were ground breaking, artistically revolutionary statements, cinema as art. That may be true for a lot of the movies made in that decade, but as this box set proves, not all the movies released in the 60s were ground breaking or revolutionary. Some of them can’t be called artistic either, but they can still be fun to watch. Among the 50 movies in this set, you will discover such treasures as Alexander the Great starring William Shatner, Wake Me When the War is Over starring Ken Berry and Eva Gabor, and Twisted Nerve with Haley Mills. There’s classic trash like Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and lesser known trash like Bloody Pit of Horror. It’s a mixed bag that takes a lot to sift through.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Jaws

When it first came out 37 years ago, it was all about the shark. Looking at it now, it’s all about the acting. To be fair, there are still plenty of cool action scenes in the Steven Spielberg classic, like the opening scene of the lone swimmer being attacked and the beach scene where everybody in the water looks like a smorgasbord waiting to be eaten, but ‘Bruce’ the shark looks pretty rubbery today. The acting, on the other hand, is strong and muscular, without ever falling into macho cliché. Roy Scheider brings a nice New York swagger to the role of the police chief, but isn’t afraid to show some real emotions – fear of the shark, love for his family – as the story goes on. Richard Dreyfuss is good, too as the young marine biologist who thinks he knows more about sharks than anyone else because he’s studied them in the classroom. And then there’s the late, great Robert Shaw and his peerless performance as Quint, the veteran shark hunter with a mania for catching sharks that rivals anything Ahab ever felt for the white whale.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Les Vampyres

It may be told over the course of 10 episodes, but director Louis Feuillade is looking to give audiences a richer experience than they will find in their usual movie serial. He’s creating cinematic art, art when it was first released in 1915 and art that still stands tall today. The movie tells the story of a journalist (Édouard Mathé) investigating a ruthless criminal organization called Les Vampires. The stories he prints in the paper every day not only set a fire under the police to do something, but force the criminals to try and stop him before he can write any more. It’s boilerplate thriller stuff for the most part, but Feuillade pushes the envelope whenever he can – one can only imagine how audiences reacted to seeing a severed head in a box on screen back in 1915. The artistry of the movie peaks when the lovely and deadly assassin Irma Vep (Musidora) splashes seductively onto the screen.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Breathless

If you think this is a remake of the New Wave French Cinema classic directed by Jean-Luc Goddard, then you are in for a rude awakening. Directed by Jesse Baget (Cellmates), this is the story of a Texas trailer park wife named Lorna (Gina Gershon) who finds out that her no good husband (a hilarious Val Kilmer) has just robbed a bank. She’s not upset that he broke the law, but she’s pissed off that he isn’t sharing the money. While interrogating her husband to find where he  hid the loot, Lorna accidentally kills him setting off a serious of increasingly absurd, hilarious and gory events. Gershon gives terrific performance as Lorna, delivering chills and chuckles by the truckload because she plays the character so straight and believable in some truly outrageous circumstances. Kelly Giddish is perfect as Tiny, Lorna’s best friend and accomplice. Those who like their comedy dark will love what these ladies do.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror

While visiting her grandmother’s house, Haruka meets a strange fox-like creature who leads her on a journey to another world whose inhabitants make a living by collecting the things that the humans from Haruka’s world neglect or forget. It isn’t long before she is confronted by the things she stopped caring for, like a childhood doll or a special hand mirror that her mother gave her right before she died. Discovering your past and taking responsibility for it are two different things, however, and Haruka must battle to prove she’s worth getting a second chance. It’s a message that may sound a bit heavy when you read it on paper, but director Shinsuke Sato delivers it in such a magical way you never feel lectured to. The computer–generated animation used to create the world Haruka goes though is thrilling to see, but the art never overpowers the acting or the characters. It’s a perfect fable for audiences of any age.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Clue

Tim Curry leads an all-star comedy cast in a mad dash to discover who the killer is before the police arrive and arrest everybody in the film from director Jonathan Lynn (My Cousin Vinny). It’s loosely based on the popular board game, meaning the characters have the same name as the playing pieces — Professor Plum (Christopher Lloyd), Colonel Mustard (Martin Mull), Miss Scarlet (Leslie Ann Warren), etc. — and the iconic murder weapons – the candlestick, the rope, the gun and more – are there for them to wield when the time comes. Anyone who played the game, though, will tell you it’s nowhere near as silly as the movie, which is little more than a series of slapstick routines held together by a lot of screaming and running around. Still, there isn’t a cast better suited for that kind of behavior, and each of them gets their chance to shine. Curry looks like he is having a lot of fun playing the butler Wadsworth, especially when he gets to put the other characters in their place with a well-timed verbal shot.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Life and Death of a Porno Gang

When he can’t find funding to make his debut movie, film school graduate Marko (Mihajlo Jovanovic) takes an offer to direct porno movies so he can at least get some on the job training, His need to make art, even if it is porno art, leads him to make an artsy X-rated film that the producers hate. When they threaten to break his legs if he doesn’t pay them back, Marko gathers up his creative team and hits the road with a traveling ‘porno cabaret’ that combines the erotic with the political. The show is too outrageous for the locals, though, and it isn’t long before Marko and the gang are broke and starving. It’s at this point where a mysterious stranger appears with an offer to pay them a lot of money if they will take their edgy performance art to a new and deadly level: He wants them to make porno/snuff films. Writer/director Mladen Djordjevic doesn’t pull any punches in putting the story on celluloid, and a lot of Porno Gang is tough to watch. But there’s real art in the exploitation. You just have to watch a lot of nasty stuff to find it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Code of Silence

“If I want your opinion, I’ll beat it out of you.” Every action movie star has his quiver of quips to fire at the audience after he’s done beating up all the bad guys, but most action actors say them for a laugh; Chuck Norris always made even the funniest lines of dialogue sound like a threat. In this 1985 classic, Norris lays Chicago detective Eddie Cusack, an honest cop trying to survive in a dishonest system. He’s good enough at his job so the corrupt cops keep away from him (that and the fact that he could single handedly kick all their asses at once), but when he refuses to lie to help an old alcoholic cop beat a murder rap, Cusack is cut off from the rest of the force and forced to take on a gang of drug dealers all by himself. So what? He’s Chuck freakin’ Norris, so there is never any doubt who will be the last man standing, The fun is watching the body count rise and waiting for him to mutter another funny threat or two as he kicks them to the curb.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Jungle Drums of Africa

It probably wasn’t that popular when it first played theaters in 1953, but time has given this film serial from Republic Studios a certain sheen that makes it a lot of fun to watch today. It’s the story of two intrepid Americans (because back in 19653 there were no other kind) who travel to Africa to negotiate a mining rights contract with the chief of a local tribe. The bad guys, smelling the money to be made by raping the land, try to stop the American before they can get the deal done. The bad guys aren’t very good at being bad, though; in fact, they’re not even good shots because they keep missing the good guys even when they’re so close they could walk up and punch them but can’t seem to hit them with an arrow, spear of a bullet. Such pickiness ruins the fun watching these adventures, so don’t think about the fact that the ‘natives’ speak very proper English, or that the footage of the animals never matched the footage of the actors (who seem to be making their movie on a Hollywood back lot). Ignore the faults and you’ll have a blast.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Fabulous Forties

There are more than enough ‘classic’ films in this 50-movie set to make it worth owning, movies like “Topper Returns”, “Meet John Doe”, and “My Man Godfrey.” What makes the set so much fun is going beyond the obvious to explore the rest of the ‘fabulous’ films inside. Some are true gems, like the musical Second Chorus starring Fred Astaire and Burgess Meredith (that’s right Burgess "The Penguin" Meredith) as two trumpet players competing for a job with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and the love of the beautiful Paulette Goddard. Some are pure cheese, like Drums of Africa starring Buster Crabbe. And some, like Shock with Vincent Price or Love Laughs at Andy Hardy with Mickey Rooney are a matter of personal taste. The quality of the prints ranges from passable to pretty bad, but all are watchable and even when it’s not exactly a great movie, all of the films contained here are entertaining in their own way.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Breathless

If you think this is a remake of the New Wave French Cinema classic directed by Jean-Luc Goddard, then you are in for a rude awakening. Directed by Jesse Baget (Cellmates), this is the story of a Texas trailer park wife named Lorna (Gina Gershon) who finds out that her no good husband (a hilarious Val Kilmer) has just robbed a bank. She’s not upset that he broke the law, but she’s pissed off that he isn’t sharing the money. While interrogating her husband to find where he  hid the loot, Lorna accidentally kills him setting off a serious of increasingly absurd, hilarious and gory events. Gershon gives terrific performance as Lorna, delivering chills and chuckles by the truckload because she plays the character so straight and believable in some truly outrageous circumstances. Kelly Giddish is perfect as Tiny, Lorna’s best friend and accomplice. Those who like their comedy dark will love what these ladies do.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Fields


Finally, Tara Reid and Cloris Leachman are together in a movie. Well…not really. Although they share the top billing in this creepy horror movie from director Harrison Smith, the pair doesn’t really share much time together on the screen. In fact, Reid is hardly in the movie at all, even though she is the mother of the scary kid (Joshua Ormond) who sees and hears things in the corn field next to his grandparents’ house. And that’s fine, because when she is on screen she sucks the energy out of the film. Leachman, on the other hand, is electrifying as the grandmother of the twisted clan. The story doesn’t always make sense, and if you try too hard to figure it out your brain may explode.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Juan of the Dead

Written and directed by Alejandro Brugués, this horror comedy is not only one of the better zombie movies in recent memory, but has the added value of being a sharp political commentary about life in Cuba, a country that few Americans know anything about. The film stars Alexis Díaz de Villegas as Juan, a man who tries very hard to do as little as possible to survive day-to-day. While out fishing with his equally lazy friend Lazaro (Jorge Milina), Juan lands what turns out to be the rotting corpse of a zombie. Rather than panic, or see it as a warning of things to come, the pair kills the undead thing and sinks him back into the ocean, vowing to never tell anybody what they saw. It isn’t long before their silence is senseless because Havana is soon overrun with zombies, all of whom seem determined to eat Juan and his friends. The film is fierce and funny, usually in the same scene, and the actors do a great job of selling the scares. It is the running commentary of the film about Cuba and its people, however, that gives Juan of the Dead its true power.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Confucius


Chow Yun Fat stars as the man we all know today primarily for the sayings and wisdom passed down through the ages, but there is much more to the life of the man as this intriguing drama proves. Watching the philosopher’s early years, spent more on the battlefield than in a meditation room, are fascinating, albeit a bit slow-paced. Confucius’ transformation from a man of action to a man of thinking is a bit confusing, or at least not as dramatically played out as you want it to be. The cast is huge, and it’s a bit difficult to keep track of who’s who even with the subtitles that are thrown up on the screen like so many ancient name tags. Still, Chow brings stateliness to the scenes that make it worth the occasionally frustrating feeling that you’ve lost the story.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Talking Heads Chronology

The footage in this fascinating documentary may not always be of the highest quality, but the performances captured over the course of the career of this enormously influential band more than make up for it. The film not only captures the Talking Heads making great music, but shows us their evolution as a live band. Watching them in the early footage, like when they almost shyly perform With Our Love in 1975, it’s hard to imagine it’s the same band that theatrically rocks out on Life During Wartime at the Talking Head’s introduction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For the uninitiated, there’s a good interview with lead singer David Byrne that gives you some cool insight into the band, and once you are converted, there’s some great commentary from the entire band that adds to the experience

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Stallone Collection

With the upcoming release of a new Sylvester Stallone movie, it’s no surprise that a new Blu-ray box set of old Stallone movies is getting released. What is surprising about the movies included here – Cop Land, Rambo: First Blood and Lock Up – is how well Stallone acts in each of them. Lock Up, with Stallone playing a convict locked in a battle of wills with a sadistic warden (Donald Sutherland) features the weakest performance from Stallone, but it also features the weakest script and most pedestrian direction (from John Flynn). Sutherland and Stallone make up for it by chewing the scenery with unabashed gusto. Watching First Blood, it’s difficult to connect the dots between the damaged war veteran Stallone plays in the first Rambo movie and the jingoistic hero of the ones that followed. Although there is still a lot of action, First Blood is a deeper, richer portrait of a man driven to the edge and Stallone’s performance is just as deep and rich. The crown jewel of the set is Cop Land, a police thriller about a dimwitted sheriff (Stallone) battling police corruption. The story and direction are excellent, but the real fun is watching Stallone go up against some true acting heavyweights -- Robert Di Nero, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta --- outdo them all.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

Directed by Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda, The Lorax is bright and colorful, the animation is top-notch and the voice casting – from Zach Efron and Taylor Swift as the youngsters discovering first love to the gruff Danny DeVito as the voice of the Lorax – couldn’t be better. There are plenty of funny moments, from the witty dialog and snappy banter to some really terrific sight gags. So what’s wrong with The Lorax? First, there’s the music. Not only is there too much of it, but it’s all so similar that by the end if it you feel like you’ve been listening to one long (really long) song. Another problem comes from the way the script tries to force passages of the original work into the dialog. Sure, a huge part of the pleasure of reading Dr. Seuss (at any age) is the poetry of Theodor Geisel, but it doesn’t do it justice to just cram in the occasional line here and there. The big problem with The Lorax, though, is that it’s just too preachy. Granted, the message it is trying to send about the need for man to protect the environment is important, but the film delivers it with the subtlety of an ax.

Mia and the Magoo

When her father fails to come home from his job working on a construction site, young Mia has a premonition that something terrible has happened to him and sets out on a long journey to make sure he’s safe. On the way she has a series of adventures, meets some interesting people and discovers that the rumors of her island home being more than a bit magical are definitely true. If this charming animated tale had been made by Disney, it not only would have been filled with sappy songs and slapstick comedy, but the lead character of Mia would have been made much more homogeneous in look and attitude. Under the more imaginative direction of Jacques-Rémy Girerd it throws expectations – not to mention clichés – into the wastebasket to give audiences something fresh and fun, and very different. The fact that it’s all hand-drawn and looks absolutely gorgeous only adds to the delight.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Zonad

A family comes home from a local star-gazing festival to find an alien passed out on their dining room floor. Or at least they think its an alien, even though he looks human, speaks perfect English and has a healthy appetite for beer, food and young girls in school uniforms. Just as the locals fall for the idea of the guy in the red latex suit coming from outer space, it's important for the viewer to surrender to the idea that anyone could be that stupid in the first place. If you can, then this can be a fun way to pass an hour or two. The comedy is light, but the actors sell it pretty well, particularly Simon Delaney as the man from outer space.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Midnight Son

Filmmakers have been trying to reinvent the vampire movie ever since Bela Lugosi first put on a cape back in 1931. They made him disco chic (Frank Langella in Dracula), art house cool (Gary Oldman in Dracula), funny (Leslie Nielsen in Dracula, Dead and Loving It) and unintentionally funny (Robert Pattinson in the Twilight movies). Writer/director Scott Leberecht comes up with something almost completely different in this stylish and creepy film. Zak Kilberg stars as Jacob, a night watchman with a hunger that no amount of food can satisfy. When he licks the blood from the package that held the steak he just ate, Jacob finally feels satiated. Jacob’s growing curiosity and dread to find out what is going on with his appetites is fascinating to watch, but if you are looking for answers, look someplace else. The key to Midnight Son is never knowing what the truth is, and being too enthralled to care.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Win Win

With only three feature films on his resume — The Station Agent, The Visitor and now Win Win — director Thomas McCarthy is proving to be one of the most interesting and original artist to step behind the camera in years. His secret is simple: he uses great actors to tell great stories. His latest movie is the story of a suburban lawyer named Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti) who comes up with a way to keep his practice alive and give his family some much-needed financial breathing room. He has an elderly client (Burt Young) who wants to spend his remaining years living in his home and not in some nursing facility. Flaherty tells him he will present his case to the court, but instead pulls a bit of a switch by making himself the legal guardian of his client so he can start collecting the money the state gives him for home-care assistance. Then Flaherty puts him in a nursing home anyway, telling his client it’s what the court ordered. Most directors would take an idea like that and turn it into either a lurid thriller or a silly comedy. For McCarthy, the story is just a framework for him to explore the lives of the people involved to see what makes them make the decisions that got them in so much trouble to begin with. He ups the ante by introducing the old man’s grandson Kyle (newcomer Alex Shaffer) into the mix. On the run from a family he can’t stand, Kyle seeks shelter with the Flaherty family, which leads to yet another level of complication in the story as the troubled young man and the crooked attorney bond over, of all things, high school wrestling.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Kent Chronicles

William Shatner is Paul Revere. Peter Graves is George Washington. Don Johnson is some guy you never heard of but he looks awesome (in a cheesy way) dressed up in colonial garb. The same goes for a young Kim Cattral, almost 20 years before she become the iconic Samantha Jones on Sex in the City. Who cares if the three TV films in this box set are more soap opera than serious filmmaking? You didn’t read the popular John Jakes best sellers they are based on for their historical accuracy either. You read them for the melodramatic thrill they gave you as you killed time in an airport or on a long bus ride. The same holds true for these movies, only the accents in your head were probably a lot more authentic than the ones the actors try out in these movies. They’re a guilty pleasure. Enjoy.

Last Days Here

Watching this documentary from directors Don Argott and Demian Fenton is an odd experience, primarily because within the first few minutes you will be absolutely convinced that the subject of the film, Bobby Liebling, lead singer of seminal hard rock/heavy metal band Pentagram, won’t be alive by the time the opening credits are over. A crack addict who lives in his parent’s basement, Liebling seems to agree with that assessment, too, and isn’t shy about staring directly in the camera and tell you he wants to die. It’s bone-chilling to see. Then along comes Sean Pelletier, a metal head/record collector who is determined to help Liebling make one final great record before he surrenders completely. The end result is one of the strangest, most life affirming stories ever captured on film.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Total Recall: Mind-Bending Edition

To be kind, this sci-fi epic from director Paul Verhoeven (Show Girls) hasn’t aged well, particularly in the special effects department – the aliens and monsters that seemed so cool back in 1990 now all have that rubber mask look like the FX shop got their ideas at Spencer’s Gifts. There’s an energy to the film, though, that still holds up, particularly once the characters start shooting each other (nobody does bullet holes exploding into bodies like Verhoeven). The story, about a blue collar worker who discovers he’s really some sort of super secret agent trying to save the world, would probably work a lot better if muscle man Arnold Schwarzenegger hadn’t been cast as the lead; the guy just doesn’t have the acting chops to make you believe he’s a ‘normal’ guy. But Arnold movies have never been about his acting performance. They’re all about him kicking ass and saying one-liners, and he does it with style. It’s particularly fun to watch him and a young, sexy Sharon Stone duke it out.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hindsight

Although he’s been handpicked to be the heir apparent of a murderous mob, Doo-hyeon (Kang-ho Song) opts for an early retirement so he can live his dream of opening his own restaurant. While at cooking school, he meets a mysterious young girl (Se-Kyung Shin) with whom he strikes up a platonic friendship. When the head of the gang dies in a mysterious car accident, Doo-hyeon reaffirms his wish to be left out of the mob business, but the men who assume the power he declined soon decide they will never have complete control as long as he’s left alive. Director Hyeon-seung Lee knows directs the action scenes on the movie with a string visual style, but what makes the movie work is his talent for slowing things down to show us the two lead characters building a friendship under the pressure of some very strange circumstances.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Federal Men

Federal Men, which ran for five seasons (1950-55) on ABC, is an episodic crime series based on “real life cases” involving squeaky clean federal agents investigating everything from smugglers and counterfeiters to gamblers and bootleggers. There’s never a doubt that the good guys will get their man in the end, but it’s still fun to watch the stories unfold thanks to good acting, generally well written scripts and some slick production values that make each episode look and feel like a mini-film noir classic. The list of actors making guests appearances on the shows is impressive, ranging from Charles Bronson to Ben Gazzarra, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a young James Dean. Tying it all together is the work of Walter Greaza (The Edge of Night) as ‘The Chief’ of whatever bureau is doing the particular investigation.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

For most of his life, 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono has dedicated just about every waking moment – and a large amount of his dream time – trying to figure out how to make the sushi he serves in his tiny Tokyo restaurant taste better. He knows he will never create the perfect sushi dish, but he also knows that he will never stop trying to get as close to perfection as he can. Food fans will flock to a film like this because they get a chance to watch a master craftsman raise the act of cutting raw fish and serving it on rice to the level of true art. The film has a lot to offer non-foodies, too, particularly in the way director David Gelb weaves the story of the man’s life into the story of his food. Gelb also does a marvelous job of capturing the final product of all this dedication, work and devotion – Jiro’s sushi – on film. He doesn’t use a lot of tricks; like the master he is documenting, Gelb shoots the sushi in a pure and natural way and food has never looked so absolutely beautiful.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Slipknot: (sic)ness

If you are fan, you already know what to expect once Slipknot hits the stage, and this well-shot concert film is filled with great footage of the madness and mayhem that the band creates in its live show. The uninitiated, however, may be lost. The songs will sound the same, the lyrics will be unintelligible and the twisted masks worn by the musicians will be downright disturbing. For them, it may be a good idea to start with the extras first. Watch a couple of the music videos and learn how diverse and lyrical the band can be when the amps aren’t cranked up to 11. Watch the making of film from director Shawn Crahan. The go back to the main menu and watch the show. Watch it all the way through without skipping songs. In the end, slipknot still may not be the band for you, but you will never forget watching them.

Treasure Island

Usually when you think of a movie on the SyFy cable channel, you think of cheesy monster movies with megasharks or crocosaurus – giant mutant sharks and crocodiles – terrorizing aging pop stars like Tiffany or Debbie Gibson. Every once in a while, though, the channel throws audiences a curve ball and comes up with a cinema-quality movie, such as this bold interpretation of the Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic about pirates, buried treasure and a boy named Jim. If you watch this movie to see a one-legged guy with a parrot on his shoulder going ‘Arrghh!!!’ (the guy, not the parrot), you will be disappointed. Actor/comedian Eddie Izzard puts a whole new spin on what Long John Silver can be and the result is pretty amazing. The movie, which is divided into two-90 minute sections, takes the time to expand on the story, too, adding scenes that aren’t in the original take, such as the scene where we find out how Silver lost his leg, that add to the richness of the experience.