Category Archives: carol burnett

The Secret World of Arrietty

The Secret World of Arrietty ~ Probably one of the most wonderful things Disney has done in recent years, outside of their Cruise Line and keeping Marvel Comics from going under is obtaining distribution rights for Studio Ghibli. Those of us in the genre audience who have loved the breathtaking work of Hayao Miyazaki can now share it with the rest of the world.

The newest import from the Land of the Rising Sun, via Disney distribution is The Secret World of Arrietty, also known as Kari-gurashi no Arietti, is based on “The Borrowers” novels by Mary Norton, which have provided inspiration for many television and film projects. The Borrowers are tiny folks who live in the floorboards of your house and only take what they need.

Here they live in a house soon occupied by a sickly boy who sees them right away, especially a high-spirited young Borrower girl named Arrietty. A tentative friendship blooms in this smaller than usual (pun unintended) Ghibli film. It is wondrously animated and tells a touching story with a surprising voice cast. Amy Pohler didn’t annoy me and Carol Burnett slips easily into a villain role.

Like all the Miyazaki and Ghibli films, this is a joy to watch, a wonderful adventure and character story, highly recommended.

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Osbournes Reloaded

Remember back in the 1970s when variety shows were all the rage? Carol Burnett, Flip Wilson, Sonny and Cher (both together and separately), the Captain and Tennille and even Donny and Marie were the kings of the genre.

The networks got so desperate for that type of entertainment, variety shows were given to just about anyone. Among the oddities were TV family the Brady Bunch, mimes Shields and Yarnell and one-hit wonders the Starland Vocal Band.

Well, Fox has got something coming that’s no ‘afternoon delight’ – “Osbournes Reloaded,” part variety show, part reality TV and part game show, this mutant blatantly sucks off the several years off the radar “The Osbournes” reality show from MTV.

Fox, where reality lives, not originality. That said, I will still be hand for this train wreck. Misery loves company.

Horton Hurts


Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! ~ I know this formula pretty well. I saw The Grinch. Jim Carrey plus Dr. Seuss equals disaster.

Don’t get me wrong, this flick looks amazing. There have been some serious leaps in technology made in CGI with this movie. The depiction of water alone in Horton is incredible. The problem is that the movie is far too long and squeezes far too many unnecessary elements and characters into it. In most cases the humor is built for groans rather than laughs and I seriously doubt the little ones will sit still for any of this.

Jim Carey and Steve Carel try far too hard, but on the other hand, the voice work of Carol Burnett and Charles Osgood is very much welcome. The film naturally provokes comparison to the made for TV cartoon of the same name, which at a mere 26 minutes, is vastly superior. I have to say, with that in mind, this version would have been a lot better had it only been 26 minutes long.

Good as a free rental on fast forward, but I’m afraid even the kids will be bored. All that, and it completely ruined a perfectly good 1980s REO Speedwagon song.

Worst Sitcoms Ever

TV Crunch last week posted a list of the top (or is it bottom) twenty-five worst sitcoms ever. Check here for their thoughts. Here’s the list itself, and some of my thoughts below.

25. “Veronica’s Closet” – This catches Kirstie Alley at her hottest in my opinion, before “Fat Actress” and after “Cheers.” Hot yes, but funny? I’d have to say not. Bad show or not, Kathy Najimy rocked the closet.

24. “Charles in Charge” – Chachi and Bibleman. Need I say more really?

23. “The Nanny” – When Fran Drescher would laugh, it was charming and cute. But when she pretended to laugh, it was like a nail gun in the ear. On this one it was more the latter than the former.

22. “Webster” – The poor little kid wanted so bad to be Gary Coleman. Even now, and that says a lot.

21. “All-American Girl” – I liked this show a lot. Margaret Cho rocks, and any sitcom that has Quentin Tarantino on has my vote. It’s a shame that the network tortured Margaret and destroyed the show.

Passages

Harvey Korman of “The Carol Burnett Show” and Blazing Saddles, among many many others, including other Mel Brooks films, and most notoriously, “The Star Wars Holiday Special.”