Julia Stiles, Roseanne and The Rock as You’ve Never Seen Them Before

Now in theaters: Home on the Range, The Prince and Me, Walking Tall, and Hellboy.

Home on the Range Roseanne is the voice of Maggie the cow. And not to milk the joke, but she is a little bossy. When the old girl's heavily mortgaged farm comes under attack by an evil rustler, she has a plan — or is it full-blown mad cow disease?

I would've given anything to have been in the room when Roseanne's agent called to say, "Disney wants you to play a cow in their new cartoon." She probably had one. But I'm glad she said yes. She's funny.

Oscar-winners Cuba Gooding Jr. and Dame Judi Dench also lend their voices to this animated feature, along with Grammy winners k.d. lang and Bonnie Raitt, who sing Alan Menken's best score since Beauty and the Beast.

Home on the Range may be Disney's last traditionally animated feature. Everything else on their drawing board isn't actually on a drawing board. It's on a computer. Take a look at the animation. The flat look shows us why.

Nevertheless, the talent overcomes the technology, so round up the kids for some great family fun. Grade: B-. The Prince and Me

Julia Stiles is a no-nonsense pre-med student with no time for boys … until she meets the prince. And here's the switch: He turns out to be a real prince.

Stiles is radiant and royal, a star to wish upon. She follows the prince to his castle in Denmark, where she says, upon meeting the king and queen, "You didn't tell me you live with your folks."

Here's the royal problem: When Prince Charming meets this modern Cinderella, will she give up her dreams and not go to medical school? That's not happily ever after in 2004. How does a 21st-century fairy tale end? Let's say The Prince and Me is working on it. But the slipper doesn't fit. Not quite yet. Grade: B-.

Walking Tall

The Rock is rock-solid in Walking Tall. The movie stumbles.

This is a remake of a 1973 film based on the true story of a bat-wielding Tennessee sheriff taking his town back from the bad guys. As a movie, it's better than the original. It ought to be. That one cost $500,000. This one cost $56 million.

I had trouble believing this story could take place 2004 and in the state of Washington, where the film was reset. Tennessee isn't as close to the border of a country where it's cheap to shoot movies. Grade: C-

Hellboy Ron Perlman is Hellboy or, as he's called on morning network television, "Heckboy."

Rasputin and Hitler's henchmen conjure up a monster that attacks a New York subway. In real life, New Yorkers wouldn't pay any attention to this guy. That's how you can tell this is a movie. But what a movie.

Call it "Superhero Meets the Supernatural," a sci-fi story with spectacular effects. Director Guillermo del Toro has given us the most exciting, genre-bending action film I've seen since the original Matrix, and as the Spanish say, that's no toro.

This time, however, the sequel is going to be better, and I can't wait. Grade: A-.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...