Not since “The Witch’s Ghost” has there been a “Scooby Doo” adventure so deeply rooted in Halloween that it qualifies as automatic viewing for the holiday. While it is a change in pace for the Mystery Inc. crew, it’s a fun adventure in to the magic and supernatural element, along with some pretty stellar animation, and a pretty awesome surprise ending that I admittedly didn’t see coming.
Another in a line of 2015 films I really wanted to love, “Pan” left me bored, and asking did we really need a prequel? Did we really need to end the movie on Peter and Captain Hook giving one another uncomfortable glances knowing soon they’d become deadly nemeses? Why is Captain Hook called Hook if he doesn’t even have a Hook? Why is Tiger Lily played by a Lily White Actress? Hey, at least Hollywood keeps giving consistently flat Rooney Mara jobs, and turns Tiger Lily in to the heroine of a movie that’s supposed to be about Peter Pan. Or is he Peter who is a Pan? Or is he a Pan Warrior Named Peter?
Lucasfilm Ltd. and Disney’s “Strange Magic” is another of the many releases in 2015 I was hoping to love going in, but just couldn’t. “Strange Magic” defeats itself before we even reach the second half of its achingly simple storyline, not because of its simplicity and abundantly detailed animation, but because of its constant musical numbers. It’s not enough the characters sing every five minutes, but the musical numbers eventually blur in to one another resembling more droning white noise than characters expressing their feelings. It inevitably begins to feel like the writers are just trying to stretch an hour long narrative in to a hundred minute film.
Director Jim Henson’s “Labyrinth” is one of the many epic fantasy films of the eighties indirectly influenced by George Lucas’ “Star Wars,” and while it never aspires to be anything more than a standalone tale, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t possess epic potential from beginning to end. Director Henson unfolds a very unique and entertaining tale of a young girl who learns how to grow as a person through a menacing adventure through a massive labyrinth. Much in the realm of “Alice in Wonderland,” or “Wizard of Oz,” young Sarah finds herself confronting many monsters and menaces, and becomes a hero in the end.