Reviews-"Yogi Bear", "Gulliver's Travels"

Movie Reviews-"Yogi Bear the movie"-cute, finally, a REAL villain. "Gulliver's Travel's"-disgusting with the worst movie scene...ever.

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"Gulliver's Travels"-Possibly Worst Movie of Year

Web site for this movie

Well there wasn't much of anything playing around the Baltimore area when I paid my daughter and granddaughter a visit this past mid-January. Daughter had reviewed the offerings at a mega-cinema near her and it was she who suggested we see "Gulliver's Travels". I am so glad that this was not my idea although daughter did express reservations.

"Jack Black, he's a bit odd, the comedy might be over Kaitlyn's head, may be a bit gross," daughter said, but noted it only had a PG rating and that "Yogi Bear" the movie too had a PG rating. Kaitlyn, my granddaughter, and I had recently seen the Yogi movie and I figured if "Gulliver's Travels" was on par with Yogi Bear, what could go wrong?

Stars of the movie included:

Jack Black
Jason Segal
Emily Blunt
Amanda Peet
Billy Connolly

Silly me, I thought the movie was animated. All I remembered as daughter and I discussed the film was that a bunch of little people somehow binding down a great big guy and this concept seemed, er, cartoonish.

Both daughter and granddaughter were surprised that "Gulliver's Travels" was, indeed, a real book, a splendid satire in fact. Jonathan Swift was a sort of medieval hippie of his era, and this story was a kind of smack at the constant fights amongst peoples over the silliest things. It was a day of kings, queens, knaves and peasants and a tale about a land full of tiny people who all had to suddenly stop their stupid fights to deal with this big giant suddenly living with them and had a tongue-in-cheek kind of moral.

In fact, "Gulliver's Travels" the movie had a big scene that included a rousing rendition of the song "War, What Is It Good For". In case we needed to be hit over the head with the point.

As a common sense Conservative type of guy, I tend to pooh-pooh such Pollyanna songs that would what good is war, or in the case of John Lennon's "Imagine", ask why we all just can't get along.

There will always be nasty Hitlers and Kim-Jong-Il's about and the only way to stop them is to KILL THEM! Nobody likes it, but the alternative is slavery or a life without basic freedoms, or even our own execution. THAT's what good WAR is for, it's not pleasant, but while you boobs sing the naïve songs I'm going to fight to not be controlled by any other human. I report, thank you very much, to my Lord and God .

In Swift's little allegorical tale of life as a giant in a land of little people, he did live in an era when they people fought about right silly stuff, how to address the Lord, who is a serf, hardly the stuff of horrific Holocausts. Still, singing songs about war's uselessness is not going to stop an Adolf Hitler from annihilating an entire people.

This story of Gulliver's Travels did capture the essence of Swift's story, via a giant Gulliver played by Jack Black.

Some of it, folks, was quite disgusting.

At one point, Gulliver was called to help put out a fire that had broken out in a ministry building and was threatening to kill the King, the Princess, or some nobleman or other.

Think of every joke that had a sudden but smallish fire erupting in the presence of a human male and insert the smirky common method of how such a conflagration could be extinguished. So okay, big Gulliver saved the day of the desperate Lilliputians by peeing upon their fire. Had that been the scene, with time for a quick giggle, and the movie moved on, it would have been okay.

Oh no. In front of my 7 year old granddaughter Gulliver not only pees on the castle fire, he pees on all the Lilliputian people with clothes on fire. This peeing scene seemed to be interminable. Sorry folks, sights of people being wetted down by what is supposed to be urine are a bit sickening. I don't much like bathroom humor anyway, considering it something for teenaged boys. But long, drawn-out bathroom humor like this scene was simply excruciating.

Granddaughter said she really liked the movie but I think she speaks of the joyful camaraderie of mother, grandmother, of popcorn, cokes and candy, and a visit to Friendly's afterward, for a shared ice cream sundae. Although she did watch the movie quietly and laughed when appropriate.

I can only say, Mama don't let your children under age 10 watch this movie. I'll go one step further, buy them the book and HAVE THEM READ THE STORY!

"Yogi Bear" the Movie...Cute.

There's one new thing in the Yogi Bear movie, and that's it's the politicians are finally the bad guys.

Beyond that, my granddaughter and I quite enjoyed this film featuring the lovable Yogi, his cute buddy Boo-Boo, Ranger Smith and his love interest, Rachel.

Web site for this movie.

Character voices are provided by :Dan Akyroyd, Justin Timberlake, Anna Faris, Tom Cavanagh. Not that I rush to see a film based on who's providing the voices, I suppose there is some fame for speaking for an animated character.

So often when we see movies of all stripes, be they cartoons, science fiction, dramas, the bad guys are often some nameless but evil big business or our own country's military. Either some big business ran by ruthless CEO's who never struggle with meeting a payroll or delivering a timely product is all involved with taking over/stealing or outright killing the competition. And our poor military really takes a beating, dear Lord, you'd never believe that these folks are busy taking orders from civilian bosses or sleeping in a tent in some desert area wrestling fleas from camels. Oh No...the big bad military wants to take over other planets, rule the earth, turn us all into robots.

It was refreshing to have a movie finally making the bad guys, the REAL bad guys.

But of course not all politicians want to turn our national parks into trash dumps for re-election, or do they want to kill all endangered species.

Still I'd think a politician would be more likely to sell his or her soul and principles for another chance to remain in the Blue Blood Ruling Class than some military Loot trying to incorporate political correctness into what's supposed to be a fighting force while commanding a regiment charged with protecting some godawful city in the middle of a sandy hell.

Which is not to say that Yogi Bear was not a very good, quite amusing movie for adults, even grandmothers taking visiting granddaughters , and children. Although I do question the wisdom of a lovable bear character when bears are very dangerous animals.

But Yogi Bear's been around for quite a while, in fact, I watched many a Yogi Bear cartoon as a child.

Bears do like to raid camper's food supplies so the stereotype of a bear gorging on human food is not far off the mark.

The movie has a good storyline, a chaste love interest, action to keep young minds interested in the movie right when their attention might wane. Add some popcorn, a soda, and you can't go much wrong with an afternoon of watching Yogi Bear, Ranger Smith, and Boo-Boo.

Just for laughs, click in to the movie below. Here's a real bear, curious fellow, who runs into a human that scares….the bear?

Curious Bear Meets Hunter

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