Home  |  Message Board  |  Creature Feature  |  Paranormal  |  Multimedia  |  Email Us  |  PCR Archives  |  Spotlight  |  Classics From The Vault
Now in our eleventh calendar year!
PCR #522 (Vol. 11, No. 13). This edition is for the week of March 22--28, 2010.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"How To Train Your Dragon"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

"How To Train Your Dragon"  by Mike Smith
FANEX Files: Samuel Z. Arkoff  by ED Tucker
Album of the Month: Jimi Hendrix-Valleys of Neptune  by Terence Nuzum
FANGRRL Goes To The 2010 Gasparilla International Film Festival  by Lisa Scherer
DVD Review: Cave of the Silken Web  by Jason Fetters
Lampin' Goes To Wild Splash 2010  by John Miller
Movie Notes .... Passing On .... Toy Story .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf  by Mike Smith

Starring: The voices of: Gerard Butler, Jay Baruchel and Craig Ferguson
Directed by: Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
Rated: PG
Running Time: 1 hour 38 mins

You may have heard about this new fangled invention that’s taking over movie theatres all over the world. Say it with me…3 D. It’s been around forever. In the 1950s, movies like “Bwana Devil” and “House of Wax” thrilled audiences. Of course, the irony with “House of Wax” was that the film’s director, Andre’ De Toth, was blind in one eye and couldn’t see the effect. In the early 1980s, the process made a brief comeback with such sequels as “Friday the 13th Part III in 3D” and (please Lord, forgive them) “Jaws 3-D.” Sadly, the one film that would have been really great to see in 3 D, “Rocky III,” came out a year too early. These days you can’t walk by a movie theatre without being bombarded by 3D films. Some good (“Alice in Wonderland”) and some bad (as technically brilliant as it is, “Avatar” gave me a headache). This week I’m pleased to report I’ve seen one of the best in “How To Train Your Dragon.”

In ancient times, all most Vikings had to worry about were dragons. And the occasional dreadful name, which is given to a Viking to help build character. Meet Hiccup (Baruchel). Nice kid, quiet. And a born dreamer. He longs to be a great Dragon hunter, like his father, Stoick (Butler). Over the years he has seen his father battle all sorts of dragons, but no one, NO ONE, has ever seen the dreaded NightFury. Can you guess what Hiccup accidentally stumbles upon?

A rousing adventure film aided by 3D, “How To Train Your Dragon” is the second feature from the writing/directing team of Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, who first teamed up to create the Disney film “Lilo and Stitch.” Like their previous film, “Dragon” is filled with laughs, heart and emotion. And unlike “Avatar,” whose 3D presentation kept my eyes darting all over the screen and continually taking me out of the adventure of the film, the presentation and 3D use are perfectly meshed together here. Dazzling flying scenes make great use of the innovative process while the more intimate and emotional scenes, especially those played between father and son, tend to border more on the standard 2D image, giving Hiccup and Stoick true depth.

The voice talent is outstanding, starting with Baruchel, currently starring in the comedy “She’s Out of My League” and “The Bounty Hunter’s” Gerard Butler. Baruchel gives Hiccup just the right level of emotion when dealing with his father while Butler is in full “300” mode, bellowing his orders loud and clear. Supporting work by America Ferrera, Jonah Hill and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, among others, add fun and comraderie to the story. There are no less than seven more books by author Cressida Cowell in the “How to Train” series, and one hopes that the writing team of Sanders and DeBlois get first shot at bringing them to the screen!

On a scale of zero to four stars I give “How To Train Your Dragon”  

This week's movie review of "How To Train Your Dragon" is ©2010 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2010, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.