Thursday, April 24, 2014

Penelope (2006)

Number Rolled: 4
Movie Name/Year: Penelope (2006)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 89 minutes
Rating: PG
Director: Mark Palansky
Writer: Leslie Caveny
Actors: Richard E. Grant, Catherine O’Hara, Michael Feast, Christina Ricci, Ronni Ancona, Simon Woods, Peter Dinklage, Burn Gorman, James McAvoy, Nick Frost, Nigel Havers, Reese Witherspoon, Russell Brand

When a baby is born with the face of a pig, her upper-class parents go to great lengths to keep her out of the public eye. After faking her death, they proceed to keep her locked in the house. She’s home-schooled and suitors are brought in as they try to find the one true love that would free her from the curse.

I’ve read quite a few reviews for this movie and have found these critics never cease to amaze me. Jaded, crotchety men and women throwing out words like “pedestrian” and “cloying” for what is essentially a film meant for children, baffles me. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been hissing at the word “adult”, whenever someone calls me one, since I was eighteen, but I don’t understand why critics rarely ever take into account who the target audience is supposed to be. After all, Penelope is not directed toward adults.

I think critics who need to resort to pretentious wording just to say, “I don’t like kid’s films unless they’re made by Disney,” need to get the hell out of the business because they’re a little “dated”.

That being said, I believe this all-star cast delivered something special with Penelope. James McAvoy, Peter Dinklage, Reese Witherspoon, and the rest of the cast, really seemed to put their heart into their respective parts. I believed the story. If I had to poke at any problem at all, it would be that I don’t think Christina Ricci was ugly with a pig snout at all.

The message was also something great for kids. I loved the way the writers portrayed Penelope and how they had her react to her situation. In fact, I like this message just about as much as I liked the one in Frozen. In this movie it was almost easy to guess what would happen, but it still wasn’t the easy route, and I appreciate that.

Despite some opinions that this film was boring or clumsy, I think it was fantastic. Not only that, but I think that its appeal does reach beyond its target audience. It’s something I could sit down and watch with my god-daughter one day that we both could enjoy.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 53%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 73%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 4/5
Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

Movie Trailer: 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hayden Panettiere Skipped Over For Heroes: Reborn

Heroes aired between 2006 and 2010 and had a huge following despite the adverse affect the writer’s strike had on it. Five years later, the next chapter of the series is finally being made, called Heroes: Reborn. The casting and storyline are being kept very quiet. It’s such a big secret that even the actors from the original weren’t told anything.

Hayden Panettiere, who played Claire Bennett in the original, only learned about the new miniseries from her cousin, despite the fact that her character made the most appearances in the entire series.

According to Panettiere, the new addition to the series was a shock to her. "In fact, I believe I became privy to that through my cousin. She sent me a text message about it,” Hayden said. “I mean, we had nothing, nothing to do with it. It will definitely be interesting to see how they reinvent it.

Although she’s been gracious about it, Hayden Panettiere seems to be heartbroken that she wasn’t asked back. “I think it's a whole new set of characters. Who knows? It's a little bit of an interesting feeling because you go, 'That was our show, our home, our family,' something that we had a major part in creating. I hope that they don't have somebody else playing our characters. That would be a little dagger in the heart. But, you never know. I wish them success in it, for sure.

The fact that Hayden Panettiere knew nothing about the new miniseries is shocking to some people. Rumors have been circulating since Heroes: Reborn was announced, indicating that there would be some cast members returning.

Perhaps Panettiere’s schedule intimidated the creators of Heroes: Reborn. With Hayden Panettiere as a main character on Nashville, in pre-production for Over the Wall and in the middle of planning a wedding, maybe producers simply thought Panettiere would not have time for another series.

If original cast members have been tapped to appear, Hayden Panettiere, sadly, wasn’t one of them. However, many of them seem to be interested in the possibility; especially Milo Ventimiglia (Peter Petrelli) and Masi Oka (Hiro Nakamura). Those desires can be seen on their twitter feeds, such as through this Masi Oka tweet: “Was watching the Olympics and saw the #HeroesReborn trailer. Time to dust off the sword?”

Who would you want to see come back? Would you miss Hayden Panettiere in the new miniseries?