Tripping Through Gateways

Monthly Archives: November 2015

In 1998 the comic world was abuzz with talks of a new Superman movie.  We heard talks of a script, a director (Tim Burton) and a star (Nicholas Cage).  And then one day it was dead, and Superman did not return to the screen until 2006 with Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns. Since the comics internet was barely a thing in 1998, the film remained shrouded in mystery for almost a decade.  We… Read More

Chihiro is an unhappy girl moving to a new city with her parents.  Along the way, they stumble across what looks to be an abandoned town.  There they discover unattended food, and her parents start to eat it, deciding to repay the townsfolk later.  Chihiro does not eat the food, instead opting to explore the town.  She runs into a lone inhabitant, Haku.  He tells her there is great danger.  He is… Read More

A young woman, Sofi, lives in a war torn town.  One day she meets Howl, a well known but mysterious wizard.  Soon after she is cursed by a jealous and vindictive witch.  Now looking like an old woman, Sofi seeks help from Howl and his companions who reside in his walking castle. Howl’s Movie Castle is a fun fairy tale, set in a world of witches and princes fighting in a war,… Read More

Hayao Miyazaki is a pretty beloved director with a string of classic animated films.  Many have tried to duplicate his success across the world, but often, fail to key in on what makes his stories work. My Neighbor Totoro is a beautifully simple film.  It is the tale of Satsuki and Mei, young sisters brought to the country while they wait for their mother to get out of the hospital.  The young… Read More

I confess, I was not waiting as anxiously for this film.  Craig has gone out of his way to show a real lack of enthusiasm for the role.  And yeah, some of the criticisms are very accurate, though I felt they were doing a better job as toning those things down and moving towards eliminating them. Casino Royal was a game changer for the franchise that revitalized the series.  Craig was seen… Read More

Heads up.  A bit “spoilerific”. The first thing that stood out as the film began was that it looks and feels like it was made in the seventies. And it’s not just the presence of young Burt Reynolds. The cinematography screams early seventies. So does the audio. There is a certain muted quality to the audio of those films predating the surround sound era. None of this is bad, and I am… Read More

Bruce Almighty was a hit, and the studio wanted a  sequel.  The most admirable thing Tom Shadyac and his crew did?  They avoided doing a total retread.  They told Bruce’s story, and they did not want to just make a total formula sequel. In some ways, this film owes more to the Oh God Franchise than the first film.  This one has a focus set on Evan getting a mission from God.  And… Read More

After lukewarm receptions to How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Carrey went back to where his bigger successes occured.  High concept comedies.  And you do not get more high concept than Bruce Almighty. A couple decades after the Oh God series, we see George Burns replaced by Morgan Freeman in the role of God.  Carrey plays Bruce Nolan, a sad sack who does not appreciate what he has, rather wanting more, believing he… Read More

The third and final film in the Oh, God! series actually takes a new approach.  Oh, God! You Devil focuses on one soul’s salvation, rather than God giving a guy a mission, this one is about a tug of war over one man’s soul between God and the devil.  And it has a gimmick.  George Burns plays both God and Devil. The film opens in the past, as a father prays desperately… Read More

In 1980, God returned to the big screen with Oh, God! Book II.  This time, he visits a young girl named Louanne (Tracy Richards) dealing with the separation of her parents (played Suzanne Pleshette and David Birney).  Her dad is an adman dating a woman who is given the defining characteristics of having large breasts and obliviousness to Tracy. God appears to Tracy with a goal.  Promote God.  He sets a few… Read More