Young Adult Fantasy

[5.0] Forces conspire to keep Harry Potter from returning to his second year at the Hogwarts wizarding school. Apparently, the big bad Voldemoort (who we still don’t see but hear about all the time) put a monster in a mysterious ‘chamber of secrets’ at the school, and only his true heir can unlock the chamber and let the monster out. This would suck because the …

[5.0] You know the story. Poor orphaned boy gets invited to a magical wizarding school and is destined to be the main adversary for a big bad meanie who is slowly manifesting (over, like, three or four movies). What I dislike about Harry Potter, in general,┬áis how generic it is. Author J.K. Rowling has pulled just about every imaginable concept out of humanity’s collective asshole …

[6.5] Steven Spielberg brings Ernest Cline’s book to the big screen. It’s about a dystopian future in which everyone is poor and living in squalor, so they spend most of their free time living in a big virtual game world called The Oasis. Now, I hate video games, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get into this movie, but …

[5.0] There was definitely potential. A dark Disney movie based on Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain, about a farm boy’s brave attempt to stop a demonic king from conquering the land with his army of skeletal warriors? Sign me up! Unfortunately, Disney wasn’t willing to go the full mile with PG content (even the current dvd is edited for violence). It didn’t help that their …

[2.0] A bunch of sad, scowling, mopey teenagers cry and whine for two hours because they’re afraid to fuck each other. Some of them are vampires, some of them are werewolves, but nothing ever comes of it. And the main girl? Man, let me tell you. This chick is in MASSIVE need of some serious fucking. If she doesn’t get laid soon, I don’t know …

[5.0] You know this story by now, even if you haven’t seen the movie: Girl meets vampire, girl wants to screw the vampire, but vampire is too good for that shit. I don’t generally like a story where one character pines obsessively over another (which is why I don’t like most John Cusack movies), so when two characters start pining obsessively, I’m bound to be …

[4.0] Director David Slade (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night) tries to elevate the material to Lord of the Rings status, with several gratuitous aerial fly-over shots and a suitably brooding score from ‘Rings’ composer Howard Shore. But, somehow, infuriatingly, and against all probably odds, Eclipse is still an interminable snooze-fest. The first three-quarters are like New Moon all over again (ie, Chinese water torture). …

[6.0] Too mature for children, but too immature for adults, Legend of the Guardians may never find an audience beyond those thirteen years of age or thirteen at heart (guilty as charged.) It’s a dark, computer-animated fantasy based on a series of books by Kathryn Lasky. The story is a bit muddled, but it pulls together for the most part. Our hero is a young …

[7.5] J.K. Rowling takes a more firm hand with her franchise moving forward, both screenwriting and co-producing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The new movie takes place 70 years before the events of the other Harry Potter movies, centering around an odd-ball magician named Newt Scamander (Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne) and his misadventures in New York City, where several mischievous and magical creature …

[8.0] Jay Baruchel voices a pre-pubescent Viking who fancies himself a dragon hunter — that is, until he accidentally befriends one of the creatures and dubs him Toothless. That’s when How to Train Your Dragon becomes a romance between a boy and his dragon. I was not prepared for how much I would enjoy this movie — great script, endearing characters, well-choreographed (and sustained!) action …

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