Flashback Friday- FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)

One of the many teaching methods that parents and educators use is to frame a subject in such a way that a child can understand the concept. Some filmmakers use this concept as the backbone of a children’s film.

In the 1992 animated movie, FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Zak (voiced by Jonathan Ward) is an ordinary guy who works for a logging company. Crysta (voiced by Samantha Mathis), is fairy who lives in a secret rain forest called Fern Gully. In her world, humans are a myth. The Zak enters her world.

Together, they must fight against Hexxus (voiced by Tim Curry), a being created by pollution who wants to destroy Fern Gully.

As a adult, there two points of view when it comes to movies from your childhood. One point of view is that as an adult, not only do you appreciate the film, but you understand the film on a deeper level than you did as a child. The other point of view is that while the film appeals to the children in the audience, it is not as appealing to the adults in the audience.  While I appreciate the message about taking care of our environment, the film doesn’t quite hold up from my perspective as an adult.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.



The Critics Were Wrong (Maybe)- Super Mario Bros (1993)

On the surface, converting a video game from the small screen to the silver screen seems like an easy task. The characters, plot and fan base are already in place. The only challenge is making the movie. Or so it seems.

In 1993, Super Mario Brothers was transferred from the small screen to the silver screen.

Mario Mario (the late Bob Hoskins) and his brother Luigi (John Leguizamo) are plumbers from Brooklyn. When Princess Daisy (Samantha Mathis) is kidnapped by the evil King Koopa (Dennis Hopper), Mario and Luigi must travel to another dimension to save the day.

Were the critics wrong? No. While I give the filmmakers an A for effort, this movie is just wrong for so many reasons.

Do I recommend it? No.

The Mists of Avalon Book and Movie Review

The myth of Camelot usually incurs images of King Arthur and his loyal knights. While there are women within the Camelot myth, they are forced into the usual roles of the virginal good girl and the bad girl witch or sorceress with little to no shades of grey in between.

In 1987, author Marion Zimmer Bradley turned the spotlight on the women of Camelot in The Mists Of Avalon. Morgaine (formerly Morgan Le Fay) is the older half sister of the man who will be King Arthur. Gwenhwyfar (formerly Guinevere) is torn between two men: Arthur and his cousin, Lancelot. The plot also centers around the older generation: Morgaine and Arthur’s mother Igraine, and her two sisters, Lady Morgause and Lady Vivianne, the Lady of The Lake.

In 2001, The Mists Of Avalon was turned into a TV movie. The cast included Julianna Margulies as Morgaine, Samantha Mathis as Gwenhwyfar, Caroline Goodall as Igraine, Joan Allen as Morgause and Anjelica Houston as Vivianne.

The book is quite hefty. What I liked about it is that while it kept much of the basic story of King Arthur intact, the story is completely different when told from the point of view of the women who are closest to him. There is also an element of reality as the author threads in the traditions and beliefs of the local population as Christianity slowly takes hold of the island.

I did enjoy the filmed adaptation. As with most filmed adaptations, certain parts of the novel were edited or removed completely, but that is to be expected.

While I recommend the movie over the book, the book is still decent read.

Throwback Thursday Part II- Little Women

Little Women, for me as a reader, was a rite of passage. I was introduced to the March sisters at a young age. A precursor  of my addiction to classic literature by female authors in the 18th and 19th centuries, Little Women holds a place in my heart.

There have been several film adaptations of the novel. The most recent big screen adaptation was released 20 years ago.  Inhabiting the lives of the March sisters are Trini Alvarado (Meg, the sensible eldest sister), Winona Ryder (Jo, the tomboy who wishes to be a writer), Claire Danes (Beth, the homebody) and Kirsten Dunst / Samantha Mathis (wild child Amy). Rounding out the cast is Susan Sarandon as Mrs. March, Christian Bale as Laurie, Gabriel Byrne as Friedrich Bhaer and Eric Stoltz as John Brooke.

I like this movie. It’s true to the book while not sacrificing cinematic quality. This movie is good and still holds up after 20 years.

I recommend this movie.

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