Posts Tagged ‘Jim Carrey’

This week’s releases include: a courtroom period drama; a spy thriller in two different eras; another bachelor party gone wrong; a true story of fantasy and murder; a playful tale with penguins; a look at famous hockey feuds; a consequence of ‘the wrong place, the wrong time’; an adaptation of a childhood classic; a trilogy about a young woman who takes matters into her own hands; and an historical re-enactment.  (more…)


The Batman franchise is one of the most successful in comic book-movie history; and it continues to thrive.

The Batman Anthology contains the first four film installments, starring Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney in the title role.

In Batman, the caped crusader (Keaton) faces off against Joker (Jack Nicholson). At the same time, Batman’s alter ego Bruce Wayne tries to juggle a relationship with psychiatrist Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) while keeping his secret identity under wraps.

In Batman Returns, the dark knight (Keaton) has his hands full dealing with Penguin (Danny DeVito) and Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer). The latter battle is further complicated by an undeniable attraction between the two adversaries.

In Batman Forever, the big bat’s (Kilmer) enemies join forces to put the odds in their favour. Two-face (Tommy Lee Jones) and The Riddler (Jim Carrey) scheme together to uncover Batman’s true identity and prepare a surprise attack. Meanwhile, Wayne tries to mentor a young man (Chris O’Donnell) and prevent him from going down the same path of vigilante justice.

In Batman and Robin, the masked crime fighter (Clooney) and his sidekick (O’Connell) take on Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman).

The first two chapters were directed by Tim Burton. His dark sensibility was perfectly suited to the story. The invention of Catwoman in Batman Returns is exceptionally well-done. Under Joel Schumacher’s wing, Batman Forever aimed for a somewhat lighter tone, particularly with the casting of Carrey; and although it wasn’t a complete disaster it was not up to par. The fourth flick is by far the worst episode of the series, with the weakest character development and lamest story arcs.

But this neat little package makes even the worst of the films worth owning. Taking the lid off the box reveals four individually packaged Blu-ray discs and each disc contains more than five hours of special features. The bonus elements explore every facet of the film from start to finish with countless interviews with cast, directors and crew as well clips from each film, arranged in character profiles, documentaries, featurettes and director commentaries. Then there are extras like the Prince music videos for Batman Returns, which add another angle to the Batman experience. The high-def presentations of the pictures, particularly the first two that highlight all the varieties of darkness used, are stunning. Finally, a digital copy of Batman is included in the package.

Dr. Seuss created some of the best children’s stories ever published. When television became the main form of early entertainment, animation legend Chuck Jones created 26-minute adaptations of a couple of the tales. Most recently, Mike Myers and Jim Carrey donned furry costumes in live-action versions of the books. But never had anyone attempted to create a full-length animated feature based on one of Dr. Seuss’ classic stories – until now.

Horton (Jim Carrey) is a happy-go-lucky elephant living out his carefree days in the jungle of Nool. Then one day, he hears a nearly inaudible voice. Upon further investigation, Horton discovers the sound came from a speck. The voice belongs to the Mayor of Whoville (Steve Carell), a fascinating microscopic community. All the jostling is causing havoc in Whoville, so the Mayor asks Horton to find a safe place for the speck; otherwise, their world will be destroyed. Horton dedicates himself to the mission but Kangaroo (Carol Burnett), self-proclaimed watchdog of Nool, does not believe Horton’s tale and worries his lunacy will corrupt the children. Her interference only complicates Horton’s task and endangers the lives of all the Whos in Whoville.

Firstly, the expanded story and additional characters is a wonderful addition to the original version. The filmmakers remained true to the source material, maintaining Horton’s persona and the gracious message: “A person’s a person no matter how small.” The result is charming and enjoyable by everyone, just like the books.

Carrey’s exuberance was an ideal match for Horton’s character. Horton is not only lively, but also funny and sincere. Carrey perfectly expresses all of the emotions through his voice, once again proving he’s more than just a rubber face. Similarly, Carell’s voice entirely complements the Mayor’s personality. He is not a regal figure; rather he’s somewhat insecure but very concerned for his citizenry. Additional voices are provided by Will Arnett (Vlad the vulture), Seth Rogen (Morton the mouse and Horton’s BFF), as well as Dan Fogler, Isla Fisher, Jonah Hill, Amy Poehler and eventually Jesse McCartney.

Nonetheless, the runaway hit of the film is Katie, they fluffy yellow yak. Her only sound is a sigh and her screen time is limited, but her combination of cute and unbalanced is very endearing.

The two-disc special edition DVD has the commentary and short from the single-disc as well as a bunch more. The Ice Age short “Surviving Sid” stars the John Leguizamo-voiced rodent as his klutziness endangers a group of children he is leading on a nature hike. The audio commentary is provided by directors Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino, in which they explain their decisions and reasoning for liking particular scenes; deleted footage is divided into storyboards, rough animation and almost finished – all of which are entertaining; the animation screen tests are less so; several of the featurettes explore the process of bringing the story to the screen; while “Our Speck: How Do We Fit In?” showcases interviews with everyday kids about how small actions can make the world a better place. In the fun department, we have the “We Are Here!” game, in which players must recreate a piece of music using Who-style instruments, and a create your own animation DVD-ROM game. The special edition includes a digital copy of the film and if you purchase the gift set, you’ll also get a Horton plush.