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  • Movie Stinker

    I have three grandchildren, so I end up seeing a lot of children's movies. We eagerly awaited the release of Lilo & Stitch thinking it was a cuddly lost dog kind of movie.

    The only cuddly parts are what is shown in all the tv ads that we've been inundated with.

    The movie is anything but cuddly. The little girl has very little charm and what little there is is over shadowed by her suicidal posturing - at one point she nails all the doors shut and lays on the floor waiting to die. The action zooms in on her suicide notes - yes noteSSSS.

    The other main character - the little blue thing - is a creature from another planet that is the result of genetic engineering and it's programmed to be destructive. Most of the movie is taken up with the little blue thing destroying property and being pursued by other evil creatures from the distant planet.

    I found myself cheering for the hapless pursuers since the two main characters - who presumably we ought to have been cheering for - were so unlovable.

    Roger Ebert gave the movie high praise - I wonder what he was high on when he watched it.

    I give it two thumbs down.

    Margaret

  • #2
    Sounds like a strange theme for a kids movie. I didn't think that thing looked too cute in the commercials to begin with. Now I'm glad I don't have a little kid dragging me to it. It was bad enough I had to go to every single Ninja Turtles movie that came out. Nothing like violence in the sewers and a karate rat to brighten your day. Think I'll leave this suicidal alien destruction cartoon to those that can understand that kind of fun. Like Kids.
    DJ

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    • #3
      What next? No doubt a childrens Musical about those "Lovable" guys in Black with silver Deaths Head lapel pins dancing their way through Poland and points East?
      The "people" who create that sort of intellectual cyanide should be given a Free lobotomy and put out to pasture before they do any more damage.
      As far as "Critics", seems to me anything which is disgusting, devoid of plot, anti-social and generally of a nature unfit for human consumption, Always gets a " Thumbs up"...which, contrary to myth, was actually the signal given by the Emperor or his "designated hitter" to indicate a fallen Gladiator was to be killed...thumbs down ment "throw down the weapon, this guy lives"....sort of wish it were possible to throw the syncophantic Critics, writers and producers in the Arena and give 'em all "Thumbs up"......Tom

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      • #4
        Tom- I can see steam coming out of your ears!

        I have not seen the movie so I can't really comment. It DOES seem a little fishy that Disney has produced an animated movie that tackles some very adult themes and yet markets it like their other movies... cute, lovable characters and canned plots, which in turn sells Happy meals and stuffed animals. Given Margaret's description and a few reviews I have seen about the film, I don't really have a problem with the theme or content of the movie, but it does not sound like something every parent is going to want to take their kids to...especially young kids.

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        • #5
          Marketing Suicidal behavior,wanton vandalism,destruction of property and other anti-social behavior to young kids as entertainment regardless of the format, be it movie,cartoon,games etc., , is morally reprehensible...No different than using cartoon type presentations to sell Tobacco or alcohol. Precedent exists from the Nuremberg Trials that polluting and corrupting children with propaganda which is anti-social in nature, isnt free speech...its a crime against Humanity.
          What an Adult watches is their business...but by heaven Children are a different matter. And today it seems that profits are more importiant than common sense and protecting young kids from stuff which rightly belongs in the Adult section.... Just my narrow minded and unenlightened view though.... Tom

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          • #6
            Greg:

            Tom- I can see steam coming out of your ears!
            You're an avatar whiz. Why don't you tweek Tom's avatar so steam comes out the cow's ears? That would be a hoot!

            \\\\\\\\\\\\

            The good news (if you can call it that) is negative reviews from responsible, but painfully surprised parents and grandparents will have the effect of ultimately slowing ticket sales after the initial wave of hype and advertising. The bad news is the thousands who will have seen this dog of a movie (oh, did I say that?) before the real word gets out.

            Appreciate the heads up, Margaret. I'll be scratching this one from the list of future matinees or video rentals.

            Danny

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            • #7
              Well this just requires more and more that parents screen movies and read reviews before they take their kids. Unfortunately, most parents don't care and it is refreshing to hear from some who do.

              I went to see Blade a few months back (probably the most gory movie I have ever seen - and I have seen many) and right behind me was a little kid with his parents - I get so very angry at people who do this. ET was playing in the next theater over, but because these people were selfish jerks, they took their kid to see blood and guts - because they wanted to see it. I hope that kid kept them up all night.

              Parents don't want to be parents - taking kids to that kind of movie or putting your 13 year old girl out in a string bikini to stand on the side of the road to sell car wash tickets for the youth group - is it legal child abuse or crappy parenting?

              Sorry for the rant, but this stuff really makes me irate.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by thomasgeorge
                Marketing Suicidal behavior,wanton vandalism,destruction of property and other anti-social behavior to young kids as entertainment regardless of the format, be it movie,cartoon,games etc., , is morally reprehensible...
                So...do you consider Looney Toons "morally reprehensible"?

                Allow me to play devil's advocate for a moment (it's the debater in me!). We are talking about a cartoon...one that none of us has actually seen except Margaret!...And her main concern seems to be that she was totally taken off guard by the movie compared to what it was advertised as.

                BUT, just because something deals with several adult issues and is aimed for children does not necessarily make it bad. Look at Harry Potter. The young reader discovers right off the bat that Potter's parents were murdered...hardly the stuff of light-hearted children's books! That can be a good thing if done right. Violence, suicide, etc... are all a part of life and given a proper context and presentation, I do not think they should be taboo subjects for children's books or movies.

                Does this movie do a good job?...I have no idea since I have not seen it! I do take issue with the way it's been marketed but I can't cast judgment on something because of a bad marketing department. In fact, tonight I saw an interview with one of the creators of this movie and what he said was rather interesting. He basically stated that he wanted to create a children's movie where there were no cut and dry good or bad guys. He wanted to present the idea that everyone makes mistakes but what makes one good, is the ability to admit and learn from those mistakes. He also talked a bit about the concept of family and how it was a central theme in the movie. Maybe none of those themes come across very clearly in the movie and maybe it's just poorly made...but it sounds a far cry from "propoganda" like Joe Camel.

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                • #9
                  Have to disagree with you. You are making the assumption that children are simply little adults and have the mental and intellectual capacity to filter out fiction from fantasy. They dont. Tell me just exactly how introducing a young child to the concepts of self destrution, vandalism and anti social behavior is not reprehensible, especially when presented in a medium carefully crafted to appeal to the young, which depicts not talking animals but human beings.
                  If suicide, vandalism etc. are OK subjects for children, then why not show them the real thing? Why not just put out a pretty picture book filled with images of tormented people who hung themselves, Blew half their head away and left it splattered on the bedroom wall, and so one... What exactly is the proper context for a 5 year old to be introduced to these "child ready" parts of reality? Why the rush to make the kids grow up..is it not PC to allow a child some small degree of innocence, to not bombard them with things even Adults have difficulty understanding? Why should kids have to be subjected to those things at an early age...they learn about them soon enough as it is.
                  Somehow the aggregious , pernicious fallacy has taken root in this society that there is no harm in exposing young children to this sort of garbage.
                  As far as the creators...how simplistic and stupid these people show themselves to be. Nothing right or wrong? Thats a real good thing to teach a young child...why not just tell them at the same time that they cant be held responsible for anything they do because nothing is really right or wrong...so go ahead and do anything.
                  Cartoons to a child are a powerful medium of communication...and improper content be it aimed at making "situational ethics" or Tobacco/alcohol acceptable and indoctinating the little ones into the hideous belief that somehow the aforementioned behaviors are normal and acceptable is simply...Reprehensible. Tom

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                  • #10
                    While I have a lot of respect for both Greg and Tom, I have to agree with Tom on this one (sorry Greg). When I was a kid, it was certainly a different time, but the best movies we saw were on the order of Bambi, or something like that. I don't think kids should be subjected to seeing the violence so common in society today. It's just not healthy for them. That doesn't mean that I think they should live in a fantasy world which is apart from reality, just that they need time to mature a little before they get thoughts about doing something that might not be in their best interest simply because they do it in the movies. Whether we want to admit it or not, movies do have an impact on kids.

                    Ed

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                    • #11
                      I remember being 5 years old and my cousin who was 6 took me to my first matinee movie. It was called Jack the Giant Killer and was a fantasy movie for children. It didn't take long to realize I should not have been there. I was sitting in the front row screaming to the top of my lungs and crying at the horror of it. I'm 44 now and I still remember that movie and how it affected me. I saw it a few years back and can't see how I could have been so traumatized by it but then again I was seeing it through much older eyes. My son got scared of the big witch creature in the Little Mermaid. We had to leave the show early. It's hard to say how a child's mind will process something but I know from experience that what they see can have a long lasting effect on them.
                      DJ

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                      • #12
                        Ed - No need to be sorry! That's what makes this place so nice...we can all have divergent views without flaming each other.

                        I think some kids are better at handling certain themes than others and it's up to the parents to decide if a movie is suitable. This particular movie seems ok to me. For the most part the reviews have been positive and it does have a PG rating (unlike many Disney films). Obviously it deals with some adult themes. For example, the little girl in the film lives with her sister since the parents have presumably died, and social workers are threatening to break the little family up. These are not ideas that every child can handle but I do think there are a lot of kids that can not only relate to some of these themes, but understand how to separate fantasy from reality.

                        Certainly taking children to a movie like the one chiquitita mentioned (Blade 2) is morally reprehensible. It's a movie that consists largely of violence for violence sake...certainly a far cry from what I have read and seen about Lilo & Stitch.

                        Tom - Just to clarify one point, As far as I can recall the interview I saw about this movie, no one ever said "There is no right or wrong". They DID say none of the characters are purely good or evil...and as I understood, what makes one "good" is the ability to admit a mistake and correct/apologize for one's mistake. In my book, that's not such a bad concept to teach children. It's probably far less destructive then brain-washing them with moral absolutism.

                        Of course, check back with me in a few years when I have kids and I might do a complete reversal!

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                        • #13
                          One of the hardest things about raising kids is getting them to understand the idea of Right vs Wrong... for young children there have to be absolutes when setting rules of behavior ...thats how they think. Dealing mentally and intellectually with the nuisances of ethical considerations and morality or with occurances such as Vandalism, suicide, and so on is just plain beyond the intellectual and emotional capability of young children to comprehend or even remotely understand...they simply have not had the "time in the saddle" to make those fine distinctions and lack the internal control necessary to cope with the chore of seperating Reality from Fantasy. The Creators of that film ignored this and try to weasel out of their glaring error by making fuddled obsfucations, which when examined in the light of an Adults insight clearly imply the intentional attempt to mix both right and wrong into one amalgam and try to sell that as acceptable entertainment for young children...ignoring the mixed and confusing signals such a presentation sends to the "little ones". For more mature audiences that isnt an issue.....
                          But young children are another matter all together. Lacking the insights which can only be aquired by maturity and life experience, what is evident to a more mature person is inscrutable to the Youngsters, so moral absolutism is valid when dealing with the young child. Failing to do so leaves them with no fixed set of rules and examples to rely on which can make them vulnerable to predators and to having great difficulty developing the vital skill of self control.....Again, just my narrow minded and rather intolerant view...Tom
                          Last edited by thomasgeorge; 06-24-2002, 01:28 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by G. Couch
                            Ed - No need to be sorry! That's what makes this place so nice...we can all have divergent views without flaming each other.


                            That's why you rate where you do.

                            Ed

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                            • #15
                              Well, I had went to see the movie with my little girl, and believe it or not, I certainly did enjoy it along with my daughter (13).

                              Quite a bit of the humor needs to be taken into the context of the age of the person that is viewing it. I found some parts totally hilarious while my child was looking at me like I was insane. ("Dad, it wasn't THAT funny was it?")

                              Kids look at movies as sheer entertainment and escapism. They're not there to absorb any "morals" that are portrayed on screen. If they do, then they need counseling. But that's also why it's important to discuss the movie after watching it. Ask questions in a delicate way to see what they have absorbed or learned. If they simply thought it was entertaining (which is the point of the movie) then you spent your 15 bucks appropriately.

                              If you take a child to something that you WISH to learn (Blackhawk Down, Windtalkers, Emma) then there are the discussions that a child will remember with them for the rest of their lives.


                              I've always objected to the "Disneying" effect of their movies "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", "Pochohantus" come to mind off hand. Life isn't always the song and dance that is portrayed.

                              People get hurt. there are bad people out there. Some people need to be punished.


                              I think that life's lessons should be taught at home and not to worry about what's given on a screen. As long as life's lessons are LEARNED from the parents (and yes, their peers), then anything that is gained from a movie is irrelevent.


                              Rick

                              <tosses a bag of change on the table>

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