Tag Archives: movie review

Captain America : Civil War (A Muck Review)


Muck Man took his family to see the new Captain America movie last night.  I told you they would, since they are a superhero family just learning how to be a superhero family with odor-based super powers.  They all loved it, as was to be expected.  But it was a great movie experience because it was full of unforeseen surprises.

mucklad59 The first big surprise came from Muck Lad.  Muck Man chose the Friday showing at Valley View Mall because Muck Lad had to work both Saturday and Sunday and couldn’t attend otherwise.  His job at the Asian Market making and serving boba tea is the most important factor in his life right now.  He needs the money to buy a gaming computer.  You know how important that is to a teenager in this day and age.  But when the time came to go to the movie, as much as he really wanted to see it, his headache was too much to allow him to go.  He needed to stay in the Muck Cave with Muck Dog and play RPG computer games instead.


The second big surprise came after Muck Momma drove Muck Man and Muck Girl… er, Muck Woman… to the mall and the movie actually began.  Muck Man is such a big comic book fan that he read every Civil War comic book he could lay his smelly hands on back when it was a big multi-comic event thingy in the Marvel Universe.  There must’ve been at least a hundred titles to track down, and either purchase to read multiple times, or find in the library to read when Mucky was supposed to be doing other more school-teachery things.  And as the movie unfolded, besides the fact that there was a big disagreement between Iron Man and Captain America that made everybody choose up sides, nothing was the same at all!  The story was good, and made sense in the context of the other Marvel Movies, but the details were all different and the story was completely new.  Not only new, but better!  Muck Man was fully prepared to face one of the two major characters dying at the end of the movie, because that’s how the comic books turned out.  But in point of fact, the movie found a much better way.  Muck Man tells me I can’t explain that point further because spoilers are simply not allowed in a world where heroes are real.



Muck Girl… er, Muck Woman… was surprised at how much she liked the character of Spider Man played by young Tom Holland.  The character was played as a teenager.  A rather handsome, wisecracking teenager with some killer superhero moves.  And a new Spider Man movie was promised at the end.  Muck Girl… er, Muck Woman… was enthralled in ways only a Muck teenage girl… er, woman… can be.

And the movie was seriously funny.  That was, perhaps, the best surprise of all (even if it is an oxymoron).  There were more light-hearted moments than tragic ones, more laughs than tears.  It taught Muck Man and his Muck Family a very important lesson about how to be a superhero.  Being all dark and violent and Batman-y is fine for DC superhero movies, but it is also the reason we don’t love them as much.


And the delayed-for-another-time surprise was the trailer we got to see for Dr. Strange on the big screen.  Muck Girl… er, Muck Woman… is not-so-secretly in love with Benedict Cumberbatch too.  The Muck Family’s plans for movies in November are now set.


Filed under Avengers, comic book heroes, daughters, heroes, humor, movie review

Jungle Book

Last night my family and I went to the new Disney movie Jungle Book directed by John Favreau.  It was the movie version I have been waiting for all my life.


The amazing thing about this movie is the way it took the book and layered its themes and central idea on top of the classic 60’s Disney cartoon.  The music is still there and intact, though mostly moved to the end credits.  The kid is still cute and mostly vulnerable, at least until the conclusion.  And they have still given the Disneyesque comedic touch to the character of Baloo the bear, voiced by comedian Bill Murray in the this incarnation.  But this is a live action movie and the kid-friendly Bowdlerization of the original story is a thing no longer.


A classic book illustration by E.J. Detmold

Fortunately for the young actor, Neel Sethi, they don’t require him to play the entire movie naked as would be required by a strictly by-the-book approach.  They allow him the Disney-dignity of the cartoon red loin cover.  But the sense of a human child facing the violence of the jungle naked, armed only with his creature-appropriate natural defenses, has been put back into the story. This version literally has teeth and claws.  We see the boy’s body wounded and scarred during the course of his life in the jungle.  And at a time of crucial confrontation, Mowgli takes the defense stolen from man village, a torch of the feared red flower, and throws it away into the water, facing the terrible tiger with only his wits and the abilities of his fangless, clawless human body.   Thus, an essential theme I loved about the book when I was twelve is restored.  Man has a place in the natural world even without the protections of civilization.

The story-telling is rich and nuanced, with multiple minor characters added.  Gray Brother has been restored to Mowgli’s family.  The fierce power of Mowgli’s wolf mother has been written back into the screenplay.  And the character of Akela is given far more importance in the story than the cartoon could even contemplate.  Although his role in aiding Mowgli to kill the tiger Shere Khan has been taken away from him, Akels’s death becomes the central motivation bringing Mowgli and Shere Khan together for the final inevitable confrontation.  And this movie does not shy away from the reality of death as the cartoon did, resurrecting Baloo at the end and Kaa’s attempts to eat Mowgli being turned into a joke (though I would like to note if you have never read the book, Kaa is not supposed to be a villain.  He was Mowgli’s wise and powerful friend in the book).  Even the tiger survives in the cartoon version.  This is no longer a cute cartoon story with a Disney sugared-up ending.

I will always treasure the 1960’s cartoon version.  I saw it at the Cecil Theater in Mason City, Iowa when I was ten.  I saw it with my mother and father and sisters and little brother.  It was my favorite Disney movie of all time at that point in my life.  I read and loved the book two years after that, a paperback copy that I bought with my own money from Scholastic book club back in 1968, in Mrs. Reitz’s sixth grade classroom.  That copy is dog-eared, but still in my library.  But this movie is the best thing that could possibly happen to bring all of that love of the story together and package it in a stunning visual experience.




Filed under art criticism, humor, movie review, Uncategorized

Binge-Watching Two


Having successfully binged on the current first season of the television series Quantico, I was determined to try something different on the second try.  I turned to the HBO series Band of Brothers.  Now, I admit, being a war buff of the worst kind in every way, I have seen the entire thing before when it was broadcast on TBS back in 2003.  The thing is, I did not have all the tools at that time necessary to fully appreciate and understand the dramatic arc of the story.  I found it practically impossible to keep up with all the many characters who come and go so quickly.  Some are introduced for the first time in the same episode in which they are killed.  Some are wounded, leave for an episode or two… or four, and then return as if we are supposed to remember them in their entirety.  So the secret magical spell I employed this time around for better and more intimate understanding is…  I read the damn book.

Yes, the uncritical critic took on Stephen Ambrose’s masterpiece, Band of Brothers.


Having read the book, I now had all the background information I needed on each of the characters.  I could begin to match names and faces from the cast list of each episode with the real people I read about in the book, and the real people who matched those characters in the movie from the brief interview segments at the start of several episodes.  I began to understand why so much of the film was devoted to the stories of Major Dick Winters, C. Carwood Lipton, and Sergeant Don Malarky… these being men who led Easy Company of the 101st Airborne through the most terrible parts of the war and lived to tell the stories that got made into the book and then the series.  I really began to appreciate the heroics of people like Sergeant “Wild Bill” Guarnere who found out his brother had died in combat in Italy the night before the big D-Day parachute jump, and ended up losing his leg in the Battle of the Bulge, at the defensive stand in Bastogne.  I learned more about the key leadership role of Bull Randleman who was separated from Easy Company in Einhoven and spent a night hiding from the German troops during the failed Operation Market Garden.  I felt the deep hurt felt by people like Eugene “Doc” Roe the combat medic as he tried and repeatedly failed to treat horrible war wounds.  They are not just characters in a war movie any more.  I feel like I know them as people.


Things about war and good war movies leave me in tears constantly.  They grind up my soul and leave me sick at heart that people could be guilty of such things.  I almost had to look away at times during the concentration camp episode.

Band of Brothers (2001) - Why we fight

Winters quietly orders his soldiers to open the prison gates

But ultimately it feels like a series like this is good for the soul.  You can’t truly know how good and heroic people can actually be until you see how they live through and conquer these terrible experiences.  And it is good to see an excellent book brought faithfully to life like this.  It helps me lie to myself that writers can have a worthy effect upon life, the universe, and everything.



Filed under movie review, TV as literature, TV review

Big Eyes

141202210752_margaret_keane_304x171_margaretkeaneYesterday, before the big game, I watched the DVD I bought of Tim Burton’s Golden Globe Award movie, Big Eyes.  It is the true-story bio-pic of an artist I loved as a kid, Margaret Keane… though I knew her as Walter Keane.

This movie is the bizarre real-life tale of an artist whose art was stolen from her by a man she loved, and supposedly loved her back.  I have to wonder how you deal with a thing like that as an artist?  I live in obscurity as an artist.  My art has been published in several venues, but I have never been paid a dime for it.  All I have ever gotten is publication in return for “exposure”, and limited exposure at that.  But my art always brought vigor, joy, and light to my career as a school teacher.  My art was always my own, and had either my own name on it, or the name Mickey on it.  I shared my drawing skill in ways that directly impacted the lives of other people.  It enriched my “teacher life”.

Mrs. Keane’s hauntingly beautiful big-eyed children appealed to the cartoonist in me.  They expressed such deeply-felt character and emotion, that I was obsessed with imitating them.  In fact, the “big-eye-ness” of them can still be detected in some of my work.  I remember wondering how these children, mostly girls, could be drawn by a grown man.  What was his obsession with little girls?  But the true story reveals that he was a man so desperate to have art talent and notoriety that he put his name on his wife’s work, made her paint in secret, and eventually convinced himself that it was actually his.  He had a real genius for marketing art, and he invented many of  the art-market ploys that would later inform the careers of homely artists like Paul Detlafsen and Thomas Kinkaid.  One wonders if Mrs. Keane could’ve ever become famous and popular without him.


The movie itself is a Tim Burton masterpiece that reveals the artist that lives within the filmmaker himself.  I love Burton’s movies for their visual mastery and artistic atmosphere.  They are all very different in look and feel.  Batman was very dark and Gothic, inventing an entirely new way of seeing Batman that differed remarkably from the 60’s TV series.  Edward Scissorhands was full of muted, pastel colors and gentle humor.  Alice in Wonderland was full of bright colors and oddly distorted fantasy characters.  Dark Shadows was Gothic melodrama in 70’s pop-art style.  This movie was true to the paintings that inspired it and visually saturate it.  It is beautiful and colorful, while also serious and somber.  It makes you contemplate the tears in the eyes of the big-eyed waifs in so many of the pictures.  It is a movie “I love with a love that is more than a love in this kingdom by the sea”… if I may get all obsessive like Edgar Allen Poe.




So, there you have it.  Not so much a movie review as an effusion of love and admiration for an artist’s entire life and work.  I am captivated… fascinated… addicted… all the things I always feel about works of great art.


Filed under art my Grandpa loved, artists I admire, artwork, movie review

Monkey-Wild About “Peanuts”


Yesterday the Peanuts Movie came to the dollar movie theater in Carrollton.  And my two kids at home and me went to it.  I invited my wife, but with the righteous indignation of a Jehovah’s Witness unshakable in her beliefs, she said, “Why would I want to go to a Christmas movie?”  She associated it not with the beloved comic strip in the newspapers, but with the old Christmas special.  And she would not be talked into it.  It is a matter of faith, after all.  Celebrating Christmas, naturally, loses you the chance to live happily ever after on a paradise Earth… after Jehovah God smites all the wicked people and all the deluded people who never worshiped him properly using his proper name, and also that rude postman my wife doesn’t particularly like.  Of course, it is not a Christmas movie.  The only Christmas part it has in it is a brief Christmas carol from the old TV special that Snoopy ruins.  So God didn’t punish us for enjoying this movie… at least, not yet.

We unrepentantly enjoyed the movie.  I enjoyed it as a culmination of more than 50 years of reading and laughing at Charles
Schulz’s satire of the uncertainties of childhood as they affect the whole of our adult lives.  My kids loved it because it is an excellent cartoon that is filled with hilarious moments that trace directly back to the comic strip.


The central story is about Charlie Brown’s self doubts mixed with his never-ending crush on the little red-haired girl.  In his own hesitant, hide-behind-the-bushes style, Charlie pursues her and plans how he might win her heart.  In the comics, it never worked out.  He always failed.  He was always the lovable loser, and the red-haired girl never noticed.

I was inspired to write a poem about it because I could so deeply identify with his crisis of confidence.  Here is that sappy poem;

Little Red-Haired Girl

You never told her that you loved her, Charlie Brown

That little red-haired girl, so cute, so nice

You only looked and looked from afar

You never told her that you loved her, Charlie Brown

You could’ve held her hand

You could’ve walked her home from school

You never told her that you loved her, Charlie Brown

She never got your Valentine

At least, you forgot to sign your name

You never told her that you loved her, Charlie Brown

No hope of marriage now, nor children

Happily ever after has now long gone

You never told her that you loved her, Charlie Brown

Now every love poem is a sad poem

And the world is blue and down

You never told her that you loved her…

You never told her that you loved her…

You never told her that you loved her, Charlie Brown



The main story is paralleled in Snoopy’s Red Baron fantasies as the movie goes along.  The lady-dog-pilot, Fifi, is kidnapped by the Red Baron.  Snoopy, the dashing, daring WWI pilot sets out in his Sopwith Camel dog house to rescue her.  And after being foiled several times… he succeeds!  And not long after, Charlie Brown himself succeeds.  The little red-haired girl actually chooses Charlie Brown to be her summer pen pal project buddy.  I should probably be outraged because in the comic strip she never knew he was even alive… But I loved the happy ending.  Charlie Brown deserves it.  I deserve it.  I believe even Charles Shulz would be charmed by it if he were still alive to see it.



I apologize if I spoiled the movie for you, but it is something you should already know anyway if you ever read and loved the comic strip.  It is not the surprises that make this movie work.  It is the being true to a time-honored comic-strip and the bringing of it so completely and so beautifully to life.  And my wife looked again at the movie trailers and decided she had been wrong about it being a Christmas movie.  Maybe we are not doomed after all.

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Filed under humor, movie review, religion, Uncategorized

Babes in Toyland

annetteI believe I may have mentioned before what an important part of my creative life my Grandma Beyer’s old 1960’s RCA Victor color TV was because of its ability to render the weekly Disney TV show in color.  One of the most significant things we were moved to drive all the way to Mason City to see on a Sunday afternoon in the 1960’s was the wonderful Annette Funicello vehicle, Babes in Toyland.   It was a musical remake of the 1903 Victor Herbert Operetta starring Annette (at a time before puberty made me secretly obsessed with seeing her naked) and Tommy Sands as the main fairy tale protagonists.


Disney had originally planned in 1955 to make this as another of their animated features, but he later combined it with his desire to make a Wizard of Oz-like live-action film, a colorful sound-stage musical.

The music was Victor Herbert’s, as was the basic story, but it was all done the Disney way with rewritten lyrics and even an adapted film score.

It featured Ray Bolger (the Scarecrow from Wizard of Oz) as the villain (a first for him).  He played the evil Barnaby, the Crooked Man, who wanted to keep Mary Contrary and Tom Piper (Annette and Tommy Sands) from getting married and living happily ever after.babesintoylandvillainsmeeting

The bumbling henchmen Gonzorgo and Roderigo are played by a comedy duo who were also featured in Disney’s Zorro TV show from the 50’s.  Their slapstick antics made the film for me as a gradeschool child who deeply appreciated Three-Stooges-style comedy.  I particularly liked the way they turned on the villain and helped the heroes in the end.  I thought that was the way stories of good and evil always had to end… saved by the clowns.


The cute kids in the story were also a part of the magical appeal.  The story, after all, is told basically for them.  So this movie had a lot to do with why I felt the need to become a children’s writer and write YA fantasy novels.  The music didn’t hurt the appeal either.  The Toymaker, Ed Wynn, was a character that probably turned me into a rabid toy-collector and someone you really don’t want to argue with over old toys at yard sales.


But probably the most important way this particular bit of Disneyana has influenced my life came through the march of the tin soldiers and the stop-motion battle of the toys at the end of the movie.  That has informed almost the whole of my art goals.  It has that certain je-ne-sais-quoi of childhood imagination that I am obsessed with reproducing.

You can probably see the fixation yourself if you take a look at this last Paffooney.


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Minions (the Movie Review)

If I were going to say it in Minion-speak, I would say, “Bwayno!  Eebee da Minion apatoy tu La Mancha!  King Bob!”  Which sums up my entire movie review.  So, there.  Now I am done.

This is my lame attempt at copyright infringement... also known as "fan art".

This is my lame attempt at copyright infringement… also known as “fan art”.

Seriously the movie is a non-stop slapstick and funny-punny carnival ride.  And Bob is featured in this movie as the over-eager, reluctant adventurer who eventually becomes the rightful King of England.  (Oops!  I had promised myself to write no spoilers that weren’t in Minion-speak.  Oh, well…  Oopsie, again!)

So now you know why I posted such a pitiful excuse for a humor post yesterday… I took my family to the movies.  Did you know the Minion language uses Tagalog words?  My wife and in-laws are from the Philippines, so they recognized a number of Tagalog and Spanish words.  They didn’t much get the jokes, though.  The humor was apparently too sophisticated… or they were.  They did appreciate all the nice explosions, though.

So, another lame humor post today… two in a row, in fact… because I was busy yesterday and lazy today.  And don’t accuse me of building up to things by dropping hints about what I am going to be writing about next in today’s post.  I am definitely not doing that because I am too busy now with Snow Babies, having got it back from the editor this morning with a number of revisions to make.  I am working on those revisions this afternoon.  So don’t bug me about it.  Wait… wrong cliche for a comedy romance novel about freezing to death.  How about, don’t snow on my parade?  No?  Oh, well… goofy is as goofy does.  Go see the movie.  It’s goofy.  And if you’ve already seen it, then see it again.  Slapstick jokes about losing your pants never get old.

This is what my Minions picture would've looked like in the 1960's when the world was black and white.

This is what my Minions picture would’ve looked like in the 1960’s when the world was black and white.


Filed under humor, movie review, Paffooney

The Uncritical Critic

The Lyric Theater on Main Street, Belmond, Iowa

The Lyric Theater on Main Street, Belmond, Iowa

My family took me to the movies last night.  We went to see Jurrassic World.   We went to the local hometown theater in Belmond, a place that I first went to movies at in the 1960’s for I don’t remember what… well, I’m old… you can’t always remember early childhood when your old brain is clogged with fermenting memories and nostalgia on steroids.  I saw Battle for the Planet of the Apes here.  I saw Tarzan and the Valley of Gold here.  Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Gnome-Mobile, The Love Bug… Disney movies, Christmas movies, musicals, cartoons, westerns… science fiction… This was an important feature of my Midwestern Iowegian childhood.  I watched all kinds of movies here, and they were all the best movies I have ever seen.  Even the really bad ones.  Even Harum Scarum with Elvis Presley.  I love movies with the uncritical heart of a seven-year-old boy.

640_jurassic_world_embed1I know in my stupid old head that some movies are better than others.  I know enough about movie-making and story-telling to know that Jurassic Park was a better movie than Jurassic World.  I know that these two movies are better than Jurassic Park, the Lost World and infinitely better than the hot mess that was Jurassic Park III.  But I love them all.  Formula or not.  Consistent plot or not.  Humor that is actually funny or simply sad enough to make you groan.  I watch practically anything that flickers with an uncritical eye.  I have never walked out of a movie theater before the Best Boy and Key Grip’s names have appeared in the credits.  I would especially never walk out of this particular theater.  Who I am is pretty much shaped by the movies I have seen..

Why does this poster-saurus want to eat the pretty red-head's head?

Why does this poster-saurus want to eat the pretty red-head’s head?

And Jurassic World is a good movie.  The characters are engaging.  You are sucked into the drama to the point that if either of the two kids are eaten by dinosaurs, you will be totally devastated and may actually die in your seat because you have been jumping and flinching with every scare they get, and for at least part of the movie you are seeing everything through their eyes.  And the heroic Chris Pratt character allows you to stride boldly through the dinosaur-infested jungle with deadly velociraptors at your side.  You get to be a bit of a bad-ass… er… bad donkey, as you tackle the man-made monster dinosaur at the center of the monster-movie disaster.  Movies are supposed to surprise you and give you something new.  (But I don’t mind when the story hits certain predictable patterns and cliches.)  This movie let me have the pleasant surprise of the villainous velociraptors of the first movie transforming into the heroes of this movie (but they did eat a few minor characters along the way… and one human villain… though I hope the poor velociraptor didn’t get a stomach ache from that icky old guy).  If you are looking for a reliable movie review to gauge the quality of the movie, you probably shouldn’t be looking at this article.  I am not really a critic.  I love movies beyond the point where sanity, reason, and critical thinking can actually protect you from cinematic evils.


Filed under humor, movie review, photo paffoonies


I am compelled to review this movie precisely because it has been a box-office disappointment and has been criticized for not being the best work director Brad Bird is capable of.  Other reviewers have said the set-up for the trip to the other dimension was wasted time and the plot is too slow…. they didn’t make enough use of the marvelous “other world” that they labored so intensively to create.  I think the main reason people are disappointed in this movie, which I saw for the first time by my lonesome self at the metroplex in Lewisville, Texas, is that people have either forgotten how to watch intelligent movies, or they have simply never learned.

Movie character poster

Movie character poster

The thing I loved most about this beautiful, inspirational movie, is its basic intelligence and the wonderful way Disney/Pixar’s Brad Bird weaves complex themes of past, present, and future together into a carefully patterned web of everything that’s right about good science fiction.  Good science fiction tells you, through basic scientific understanding, what the possibilities are.   It scares you with horrible possible futures that make all too much sense with things like climate change, nuclear warfare, and a society that embraces stupidity and entrenched habits that can lead us like lambs to the slaughter.  It also shows you how technology and the willingness to risk it all on good ideas can possibly solve problems, even those problems that technology itself creates.  This movie introduces us to complexly-layered characters.  The male lead character is played by George Clooney, yet his bright-eyed, inventive, little-boy self is also a critical part of the whole mix.  The female lead, Britt Robertson, is a dreamer who carries the theme with her based on the old Native American proverb that asks, “which wolf will win a battle between a dark wolf full of negativity and a white wolf full of positivity and light?”  The answer, of course, is the wolf you feed.  The character is relentlessly positive in the face of a horrific future that the film brings out which humanity probably deserves.  And the catalyst character, the little-girl robot played by Raffey Cassidy, is a brilliant performance by an amazing young actress that brings to the front and center one of the most powerful of all science-fiction questions, “what does it actually mean to be human?”


I believe this movie brings out the best of Brad Bird’s skills as a story-teller.  Like some of his most brilliant work in the past, like the cartoon movie Iron Giant or the Pixar movie The Incredibles, this movie pushes the magic nostalgia buttons from a fondly-remembered simpler time.  I remember going to Walt Disney World in Orlando back in the 1970’s and being so enthralled by the two most must-see parts of the park, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.  Tomorrowland was the culmination of my childhood astronaut dreams born of watching the moon landing of Apollo 11 in 1969 on our old black-and-white Motorola TV and all those other Gemini, and even Mercury missions that I followed with all-consuming interest.  It’s that feeling of a better world waiting up ahead, in the future, just around the corner.  The anticipation that something wonderful is going to happen… and then when it doesn’t happen, or, at least, doesn’t happen in the bright shiny way I was expecting… I can start over with the conviction that I can make it happen… that dreams really do come true.

Brad Bird's body of directorial work is, in my humble opinion, the equal of some of the greatest cinematic artists of all time.

Brad Bird’s body of directorial work is, in my humble opinion, the equal of some of the greatest cinematic artists of all time.


Filed under humor, movie review, science fiction

The Mouse and His Child

Today’s animated cartoons are very sophisticated and technically superior to older fair like you might find on YouTube from… let’s say… 1977.  As an artist and writer dedicated to didactic surrealism (yes, I know you probably have no earthly idea what those two words even mean, but that’s a review post for another day), I should probably look down my long critic’s nose at the story of A Mouse and His Child, from Sanrio Studios.   I saw this bit of artwork in motion at the College-Town Theater in Ames, Iowa while attending Iowa State University.  It is a dopey pre-Toy-Story story about a pair of wind-up toy mice who are designed to dance in circle and can do nothing more than that at the beginning of the movie.  They are told at the outset that they can only do in life what they were designed to do… and nothing more.  But then they spend the whole movie doing so very much more.

220px-Mouse_and_his_child1977 220px-TheMouseAndHisChild

The artwork is very cartoony in ways that only an American who loves Japanese versions of American style can be.  (Don’t try to tell me you didn’t recognize Sanrio as the “Hello Kitty” people.)  It has classic animation voices in it.  Peter Ustinov as the villain, Manny the Rat, Andy Devine as the frog… and more other classy actor-types than I can possibly remember.


The story is everything a cartoon movie should be.  It is a quest to get rid of the wind-up key and be self-winding.  It is a quest to choose your destiny for yourself… to make for yourself a family and have safety and love as all people should.  There is also considerable danger.  Young children will come away from this movie with many potential opportunities to develop nightmares from the images.   It is also a quest to find a balance between the magic of the frog and the science of the Muskrat.  In order to solve the mysteries of destiny, they have to look at a dog food label that has a picture of a dog grinning and holding a can of dog food with a label that shows a dog grinning and holding a… you get the idea, they have to see beyond the last visible dog.  This movie makes sense in a way that poetry makes sense.  You have opportunities presented to you make sense of it yourself.  Like a good poem, you get out of it what you put into it.  If you think about its meaning long enough, you will find something quite profound.


I have seen this movie now four times.  I saw it in the theater in 1977.  I saw it two years later on TV, on a Friday night.   Then I re-discovered it on You-Tube this last February and I have watched it twice since.  Every time I understand something new and wonderful from it.  I have now made it my goal to find a copy of the Russel Hoban book and read that as well.  You have to be a little crazy to like a movie the way I love this movie, but I have to tell you, I will be a little disappointed if nobody clicks on it to see if they like it too.

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