‘Chicken Little’ is an underappreciated Disney delight

[rating=3]Starring: The Voices of Zach Braff, Garry Marshall, Don Knotts, Patrick Stewart, Amy Sedaris, Steve Zahn, Joan Cusack
Director(s): Mark Dindal
Writer(s): Steve Bencich and Ron Friedman

Zach Braff provides his voice as the title character in 'Chicken Little'
Zach Braff provides his voice as the title character in ‘Chicken Little’

One of the best tests I can devise for animated films now is whether or not my son is willing to sit through it. It’s not scientific, but it’s the best kind of gauge I have at my disposal — besides my own perspectives.

When I popped the DVD in, as usual, my son was resistant. He is always a little wary of trying new movies. Not really sure why, exactly, but I suppose that’s par for the course with children. They’re always hesitant when it comes to something new. They like the familiar. Either way, Chicken Little was only on for a few minutes and he was hooked. So hooked, in fact, that he was dancing to the music at the very end.

He loved it, and I did, too.

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‘Star Trek: First Contact’ stands out as ‘The Next Generation”s best big screen adventure

[rating=3]Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Levar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Alfre Woodard, James Cromwell, Alice Krige
Director(s): Jonathan Frakes
Writer(s): Story by Rick Berman, Brannon Bragga, Ronald D. Moore; Screenplay by Brannon Bragga, Ronald D. Moore

Patrick Stewart battles the Borg in 'Star Trek: First Contact'
Patrick Stewart battles the Borg in ‘Star Trek: First Contact’

Of the four Star Trek: The Next Generation films that have been made, First Contact was the only one that was actually good. It’s not great, mind you, but fun. It also benefits from being far better than its immediate predecessor, Generations, and proves to outshine the ones that followed it, Insurrection and Nemesis.

It’s enjoyable because it has all the things that make Star Trek fun: action, humor and special effects. The story isn’t bad either, if a little simplistic. Although often considered a dark film, it really isn’t. It has some of the most blatantly comedic moments in anyTrek film, with the exception of Star Trek IV.

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‘X2: X-Men United’ is better than the original

The mutants are together again, with some new members, in 'X2: X-Men United'
The mutants are together again, with some new members, in ‘X2: X-Men United’

[rating=4]Starring: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Anna Paquin, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming
Director(s): Bryan Singer
Writer(s): Story by Zak Penn, David Hayter and Bryan Singer, Screenplay by Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris and David Hayter

It’s rare that a sequel proves to outdo the original, but X2 does pull it off with flying colors. This is chiefly because it does everything that a sequel is supposed to do: Build on original, expand the story, move it forward and make it different.

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