I have already done the animated films of Disney, so it is now turn for the Live Action ones. This is my sprint before taking a holiday break from watching movies. 18 full length movies crammed into a week is not too bad I must say.
– So Dear to My Heart (1948)
A harmless, lightweight, fluffy and short Disney live action film about a boy and his sheep. Perfect after a heavy week of Bergman! It has some really cool animated segments.
Nominated for Best Music-Original Song for “Lavender Blue” in 1948.
– 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
I loved this! Exciting, with great atmosphere, and James Mason is just the coolest.
Winner of Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Color) and Best Effects-Special Effects in 1955. Nominated for Best Film Editing.
– Perri (1957)
There is “no animals were harmed in the making of this film” message at the end. Strange. I does however have a live action squirrel dream sequence. That is not something you see everyday.
Nominated for Best Music-Scoring in 1958.
– The Absent Minded Professor (1961)
An enjoyable film that has some pretty funny moments. Still, there is much more that could come out of the premise. It kind of only sticks with two gags throughout the movie.
Nominated for Best Cinematography (Black-and-White), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Black-and-White) and Best Effects-Special Effects in 1962.
– The Parent Trap (1961)
Hayley Mills is charming and enjoyable in her dual roles. Still, the premise is so outlandishly stupid and every supporting character is an asshole. I have absolutely no sympathy for any of them.
Nominated for Best Sound and Best Film Editing in 1963.
– Babes in Toyland (1961)
An unfocused mitchmatch of unfunny feverish sequences. This was tough to get through.
Very manic and uncharming performances. But the “I Can’t Do the Sum” sequence is so weird it is almost enjoyable.
Nominated for Best Costume Design (Color) and Best Music-Scoring of a Musical Picture in 1962.
– Bon Voyage! (1962)
Fantastically mediocre. It’s hard to say anything about it, it is just stuck right in the middle of the scale. I have forgotten a lot already.
Nominated for Best Costume Design (Color) and Best Sound in 1963.
– Mary Poppins (1964)
I had never seen Mary Poppins before (I know, I know)… But now I have, and it was excellent. Fun and impressively made. The pretty long running time flew by. This years sequel Mary Poppins Returns has big shoes to fill.
Winner of Best Actress in a Leading Role (Julie Andrews), Best Film Editing, Best Effects-Special Visual Effects, Best Music-Original Song for “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and Best Music-Substantially Original Score in 1965. Nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Writing-Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium Best Cinematography (Color), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Color), Best Costume Design (Color), Best Sound, Best Music-Scoring of Music-Adaptation or Treatment.
– The Happiest Millionaire (1967)
I probably enjoyed this film a lot more that I should. It is nearly three hours long, and nothing of importance is really happening. But it is a good hang-out movie. The characters are enjoyable, even the unsympathetic ones.
Nominated for Best Costume Design in 1968.
– Napoleon and Samantha (1972)
This is an odd one. At times moving, and the rest of the time completely bonkers. But never boring. You will never see Michael Douglas as gleefully happy as in this one. It is also fun to see a very young, but already talented Jodie Foster.
Nominated for Best Music-Original Dramatic Score in 1973.
– The Island at the Top of the World (1974)
A completely average adventure movie. Too many shoddy looking effect shots that did not look good at all. Kudos for actually casting nordic actors as nordic character.
Nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration in 1975.
– The Black Hole (1979)
This was a fascinating watch. Bleak as fuck, but with cute cartoony robots. Apparently this was going to be a 2001 inspired movie, but was retrofitted after Star Wars became a hit.
Nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Effects-Visual Effects in 1980.
– Dragonslayer (1981)
Most of all I really enjoyed the pace of this film, and it probably has the coolest dragon I can remember seeing on film. You hear that, Smaug?
Nominated for Best Effects-Visual Effects and Best Music-Original Score in 1982.
– Never Cry Wolf (1983)
A spellbinding movie. This could easily been boring or made with pointless drama, but solid direction and performances makes it a nice and powerful movie.
Nominated for Best Sound in 1984.
– Return to Oz (1985)
Not as bad as I feared, but despite some creative scenes with special effects if feels very uneventful for some reason. The world of Oz feels really tiny and plain and lacks scope. But, it manages to be tense and scary and exciting and weird.
Nominated for Best Effects-Visual Effects in 1986.
– The Journey of Natty Gann (1985)
For the most part sweet and nice for a younger audience, although some part feels a bit rushed, especially during the second half. There is one scene where we get introduced to a character who establish a friendly relationship with the lead, and has to leave her in a teary farewell within 5 minutes of runtime. And we never se or hear from him again.
Nominated for Best Costume Design in 1986.
– 102 Dalmatians (2000)
Very plainly made for young kids, so I can’t really complain. Although a lot of kids movies appeal to grown ups too. This is not one of them. It also just becomes the first film half way through.
Nominated for Best Costume Design in 2001.
– Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
This film is just… stuff. Three hours of stuff. Just things happening because things needs to happen. Sometimes it tries to be emotional, but it just comes across as halfheartedly and not earned at all. Also, Hans Zimmer always leaves me emotional cold. It is very clear that Gore Verbinski was running out of steam and did this movie on auto-pilot.
Nominated for Best Achievement in Makeup and Best Achievement in Visual Effects in 2008.