Out of This World

Out of This World: Introduction

Posted by on Dec 22, 2011 in Out of This World | 0 comments

Out of This World: Introduction

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walt Disney Imagine you’re in a movie theater. The lights go down, and the advertisements start. Twenty minutes later, the first preview begins. The gravel-voiced voiceover guy begins: “Ever since the dawn of man, he looked to the skies and thought of intelligent life on other planets.” Sound familiar? That’s because this cliché trailer starter leads off countless sci-fi flicks. Regardless of whether or not it’s true for mankind, in the case of the...

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WALL-E (2008)

Posted by on Dec 22, 2011 in Out of This World | 0 comments

WALL-E (2008)

Disclaimer: It’s jarring, I know, but there is very little dialogue in this film. I saw WALL-E in the summer it opened with a theater full of children and their parents. Much to all of our surprise, we sat there through a non-typical family film that had the children laughing sparingly, was largely without dialogue, and was a progressive attempt to educate and broaden the horizons of everyone involved. The funny thing was, at almost any given moment, you could hear a pin drop in that theater....

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The Iron Giant (1999)

Posted by on Dec 22, 2011 in Out of This World | 0 comments

The Iron Giant (1999)

Disclaimer: Depicts evil government agents more dangerous to United States’ national security than those sneaky Russians. If Bill Watterson’s comic strip kid Calvin, and his alter-ego Spaceman Spiff, unearthed a giant robot from outer space, the result would be something like this fantastic film based on Ted Hughes’ book. The film takes place in a small Maine town during the middle of the space race and Cold War. As we see Sputnik rotating around the Earth, a 100-foot metal creature thunders...

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Inside Out (2015)

Posted by on Dec 22, 2011 in Out of This World | 0 comments

Inside Out (2015)

Disclaimer: There’s a nightmare involving a giant clown and a puppy that’s cut in half, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. A baby girl comes into the world. She opens her eyes. There’s a vague image of loving parents—smiling, welcoming her. She smiles, too. It’s simple. It’s beautiful. It’s joyous. Inside her head, in her emotional command center, it’s just as simple. Joy is the lone emotion to press the lone button, or emotional trigger. Then, outside, something happens: The baby cries. Inside...

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War of the Worlds (1953) & Independence Day (1996)

Posted by on Dec 22, 2011 in Out of This World | 0 comments

War of the Worlds (1953) & Independence Day (1996)

Disclaimer: When aliens fail to research our planet and our weapons fail to destroy them, a virus invented by God or Jeff Goldblum will save humanity. H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds is perhaps the most influential of all science-fiction literature, directly inspiring a TV series, two film adaptations, and the infamous radio broadcast in 1938. Led by the ingenious Orson Welles, the radio broadcast has since come to be listed in the dictionary under the word “hysteria.” Professor Richard J. Hand...

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

Posted by on Dec 22, 2011 in Out of This World | 0 comments

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

Disclaimer: Sharp socio-political satire, and so it goes: “The best laid plans of mice (and men) often go awry.” Even if you haven’t read the novels or comic books, heard the radio series or record albums, seen the stage show or television mini-series, or played the video games, you can still (and likely will) enjoy The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Though it’s fueled by social, political, and religious satire, not to mention the prevalence of human indifference, kids can enjoy it just as...

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Men in Black (1997)

Posted by on Dec 22, 2011 in Out of This World | 0 comments

Men in Black (1997)

Disclaimer: Violence, swearing, and some fairly freaky aliens. This comic book-inspired film combines slimming black suits and Ray Bans with cutting edge special effects and first-rate humor for a one-of-a-kind galactic adventure. The title refers to a secret organization in charge of tracking the coming and going of aliens on Earth, many of whom live in New York (either a reference to Ellis Island or the fact that almost all movie characters live in New York). Among their primary goals is to...

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Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959)

Posted by on Dec 22, 2011 in Out of This World | 0 comments

Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959)

Disclaimer: A scary superimposed Grim Reaper and drinking – lots and lots of drinking. Until the day he died, Walt Disney insisted he discovered and contracted real Leprechauns for the filming of Darby O’Gill and the Little People while on holiday in Ireland. Disney even appeared in a television episode alongside the king of the little people trying to convince him to be a part of the live-action film (the studio later claimed the same about elves for The Santa Clause). Before the film begins,...

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Peter Pan (2003)

Posted by on Dec 22, 2011 in Out of This World | 0 comments

Peter Pan (2003)

Disclaimer: Far creepier, sadder, and more intense than any version before it. J.M. Barrie’s character of Peter Pan has seen about 40 different adaptations on a screen (television, taped plays, and movies) and countless live performances. Theater houses have performed Shakespeare’s Hamlet dozens of different ways, yet adaptors of Pan seem to merely reproduce Mary Martin’s Broadway version. Why? Only Spielberg had the nerve to take creative liberties with the story (Hook), and we all know how...

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Corpse Bride (2005)

Posted by on Dec 22, 2011 in Out of This World | 0 comments

Corpse Bride (2005)

Disclaimer: Necrophilia, death, decapitation, and dismemberment; but it’s all in good fun – really. More often than not, the centerpieces of imaginative director Tim Burton’s films are his gothic-inspired settings and landscapes. From Gotham City and Halloweentown to Sleepy Hollow and Wonderland, Burton has brought viewers to fascinating and dark worlds time and time again. With this installment, he introduces two ironic realms – one dark and bland, the other bright and eventful – to represent...

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Lilo & Stitch (2002)

Posted by on Dec 22, 2011 in Out of This World | 0 comments

Lilo & Stitch (2002)

Disclaimer: However-many-Elvis-fans can’t be wrong. To credit Lilo & Stitch’s success to marketing or the fact that Disney’s name accompanied it would be completely short sighted. Disney creations do, almost always, guarantee success, but it’s short term. And up until this film’s release, Disney’s animation department had quite a dry spell for quality filmmaking (Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tarzan), so that couldn’t possibly explain the success of this marvelous story, which led...

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Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) & The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

Posted by on Dec 21, 2011 in Out of This World | 0 comments

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) & The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

Disclaimer: Some mildly frightening moments involving ginormous bugs. Ever since 1957, when sci-fi director Jack Arnold (Creature from the Black Lagoon and It Came from Outer Space) turned the cameras to an average Joe, who slowly becomes a Lilliputian after being exposed to a cloud of radiation, filmgoers have been fascinated with the shrinking/growing hero formula. Dozens of this kind have seen release since (a shrinking woman came along in 1981 and 1994), and a remake with Eddie Murphy is...

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Out of This World: Other Recommended Titles

Posted by on Dec 21, 2011 in Out of This World | 0 comments

Out of This World: Other Recommended Titles

Explorers (1985): If this coming-of-age movie would have done away with the mind-numbingly stupid alien stuff, it would have been a thoroughly enjoyable return to 50s sci-fi with rising child stars Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix. The Fifth Element (1997): This phenomenal space adventure from Luc Besson has great gun-toting action from Bruce Willis and Gary Oldman for the boys, and a great performance by Milla Jovovich as a supreme being for the gals. The Last Mimzy (2006): Based on a short...

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