Category Archives: A

Aladdin

Aladdin (1992): United States – directed by Ron Clements and John Musker

Rated G by the MPAA – contains a few harem girls

It’s been years since I’ve seen Aladdin, meaning that I’ve never had a chance to watch it with adult eyes.  Watching it again it’s clear that it belongs up there with some of Disney’s recent classics.

The story is familiar, since it’s a retelling of an old folktale and has been made into films many times before.  There is our hero, a street urchin named Aladdin (voiced by Scott Weinger) and his pet monkey Abu.  There’s the gorgeous princess Jasmine (Linda Larkin), who, though she has the world, feels trapped in her palace.  Add in her witless father, the Sultan, an evil grand vizier, Jafar, and a powerful genie and that about rounds out the cast.

Jafar, being the villain, ensures that we have a story.  He plots to gain a magic lamp from a Cave of Wonder hidden in the desert sands, but needs a certain street urchin to obtain it.  Of course, his initial plan fails, leaving the lamp in the hands of Aladdin.

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Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain

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Amélie (2001): France – directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Rated R by the MPAA – contains some sexual content

I’ve seen Amélie several times and will most likely watch it many more.  It is, after all, one of my favorite films.  Watching it again with Aimee was, as always, a great pleasure.

It is one of the rare films that is almost pure joy.  Everything about it sparkles, making it practically impossible not to smile.  It is a fantastic production, with everything from the story, the characters, the writing, direction, and aesthetic adding to the sense of wonderment and joy.

It’s the finest film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.  Along with Marc Caro he developed a very unique film style in movies ranging from Delicatessen to The City of Lost Children.  Here, though, Jeunet is on his own.  Familiar faces from previous Jeunet/Caro productions, like Dominique Pinon, playing Joseph, an obsessive loiterer in Amélie’s cafe, and Rufus, as Amélie’s father, are back once again.  They are just two of the many colorful supporting characters.

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Animalada

Animalada (2001): Argentina – Directed by Sergio Bizzio

Not rated by the MPAA – contains odd behavior, some sex, some violence.

Animalada is an Argentinean soap opera.  It’s full of jealousy, rape, murder, cheating lovers, worried families, and crazy people.  The main difference is that here the main love interest is a sheep.  In fact, the tagline pretty much sums it up: “A Man. A Sheep. It’s Complicated.”  Those few words tell you most of what you need to know about the movie.

Synapse Films has somehow found this and made it available on R1 DVD, and for that, at least, I’m thankful.  Not that I necessarily think there is a need for more films about zoophilia, but rather it’s an interesting slice of a film culture I still haven’t been exposed to much.  It’s also a pretty enjoyable and funny film.  It’s got a dry, dark sense of humor.  This is primarily because it plays everything so straight. We’re introduced to Alfredo and his wife, Natalie.  She comes from a wealthy family and runs a magazine about polo.  They mainly live in Buenos Aires but spend a couple months a year at their ranch in the country.  Here is where the problems arise.

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