Reviews Archive for Randall Cyrenne

Tinker Bell And The Legend Of The Neverbeast

The Disney Fairy series gets a little darker with this tale of a monster-like creature, but the movie stays true to the messages of friendship and learning positive life lessons.

The Kingdom Of Dreams And Madness

This wonderful documentary grants a fascinating glimpse at how Studio Ghibli functioned in its final year with master director Hayao Miyazaki.

The Wind Rises

The final Miyazaki is a fictional account of the life of a major figure in Japanese history. It’s a tricky and even controversial subject, leading to conflicted viewer reactions, but the filmmaker’s craft has never been stronger.

Kiki’s Delivery Service

This charming Studio Ghibli film about a good little witch lands on Blu-ray with improved picture, and all of the improtant DVD features.

Princess Mononoke

The Studio Ghibli masterpiece finally comes to Blu-ray, sporting a vastly improved picture and new-to-disc supplements, but dropping the literal translation subtitle track.

Phineas And Ferb Star Wars

Disney allows its hit TV show to cross over with its newly bought Lucasfilm franchise, and the result is a fun celebration of both.

Star Wars – The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions

The post-cancellation episodes of the excellent Star Wars program push the mythology further, and accomplish the task of making the prequels better, simply by giving them context.

Adventure Time: The Complete Fourth Season

Cable television’s most popular show reins in the craziness just enough to produce a season’s worth of charming stories that are about as insane as ever, but are becoming more cohesive, heartfelt, and often even poignant.

Jack And The Cuckoo-Clock Heart

The astounding clock-punk rock opera masterpiece from Europe comes to North America. Read the review to find out more about one of the year’s best releases.

Thunder And The House Of Magic

Shout! Factory brings us a wonderful animated movie from Europe that may not transcend the family film genre, but it does provide quality entertainment, while also providing one of the best 3D experiences out there.

Son Of Batman

Talia al Ghul has a surprise for Batman, in the form of an arrogant but accomplished ten-year-old. It’s a great premise, but the presentation has some problems in terms of believability and basic taste.

Green Lantern: The Animated Series

The film was a bust, but it did lead to the production of what turned out to be a very fine cartoon show. Sleek CGI animation, strong scripts, and intriguing characters add to an already great sci-fi concept, and make the show impressive.

The Pirate Fairy

This fun family film keeps up the quality of the Fairies franchise, serving as a clever prequel to Peter Pan, while in some ways almost being a super-hero film for little girls.

The Venture Bros.: The Fifth Season

The latest season of the [adult swim] fan favorite sees the rebirth and fall of SPHINX, The Monarch gain his revenge on Doctor Venture (or so he says), and the recently graduated Venture Bros. clumsily finding their way in the world, even as family secrets come to light.

Adventure Time: The Complete Third Season

The third season of the hit show keeps the strange stuff, while developing relationships a little further. Above all, it stays entertaining and creative in a way that can captivate both kids and adults.

Justice League: War

A younger version of the Justice League comes together as it battles Darkseid, not to mention a stale script and unappealing characterization. There are kernels of goodness here, though, as well as a nice set of bonus features.

The Puppetoon Movie

George Pal’s amazing “replacement animation” shorts are now in HD. This two-disc set has three features, loads of bonus shorts, and a bevy of bonuses. This just could be the release of 2013!

The Smurfs 2

The sequel is much like the first, but this time the focus is on Smurfette and her families. This is a primo example of kids films in the modern age, with lots of CGI as well as old-fashioned slapstick.

Marine Boy: The Complete First Season

As some of us clamor for more 1960s classics, Warner Archive surprises us with instead digging up an obscure anime production from that era, dubbed by the Speed Racer team.

Help! …It’s The Hair Bear Bunch!: The Complete Series

It’s not all that original, but this 1971 escape-from-the-zoo show did predate Madagascar by a few decades. It also provides the typical mix of good-natured humor and great voice actors that Hanna-Barbera fans love.

Captain Caveman And The Teen Angels: The Complete Series

Warner Archive reaches back to 1977 – an era of crime-solving teens and crime-fighting ladies. This Hanna-Barbera show has all that, plus a Caveman. Unga bunga!

Scooby-Doo: Stage Fright

After more than twenty direct-to-video movies, Scooby still has what it takes to entertain and maybe even surprise, as seen in this updating of The Phantom Of The Opera that uses elements of today’s televised talent shows.

From Up On Poppy Hill

Goro Miyazaki lives up to the family name this time, with a wonderful piece of filmmaking. This nostalgic look at Japan in the 1960s features the conflict of progressives vs. traditionalists, and a love story you haven’t seen before.

Robotech 2-Movie Collection

For one low price, you get a pretty decent sequel to a beloved saga, plus one glorified clip show. There are great extras too, but they’ve been seen before.

The Regular Show: The Complete First & Second Seasons

Two slackers get into bizarre mischief as they try to avoid work. Despite strange plots and characters, the show remains oddly down to earth, thanks to the light touch of its creator, who also voices the main character.

The High Fructose Adventures Of Annoying Orange: Season 1

The YouTube hit first came to cable, and now appears on DVD. It’s the best talking fruit show on television, but is that saying much?

Adventure Time: The Complete First And Second Seasons

Finn The Human and Jake The Dog travel through and beyond the Land of Ooo, befriending princesses and vanquishing evildoers, in two oddly enchanting seasons of the Cartoon Network smash hit.

Howl’s Moving Castle

A young old woman, a bird-man, and an animated house all figure in this brilliant but confounding film from Miyazaki. It may be our most negative positive review ever.

My Neighbor Totoro

Miyazaki’s most beloved film makes the jump to hi-def, while carrying over all the best feaures of the previous DVD. This gentle but great family film has never looked better.

Superman Unbound

Superman has to save the Earth from the alien cyborg known as Brainiac, while learning how to cope with the two women in his life: cousin Supergirl and girlfriend Lois.