December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

July 7, 2013

Monsters University (2013)

When it’s over, so this is how Monsters become Scarers.  Disney’s prequel to Monsters Inc (2001) has Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) meeting at Monsters University, where they are competitors and not the best of friends. The film has all the elements of classic college comedy films – the fraternities, the rivalry, the friendships.  And most important, the film touches on the fears and aspirations of what the future holds, something all viewers can identify with regardless of age, monster or not. There are plenty of laughs to satisfy the young and old, mostly taking place in the Scare Games scenes. The Scare Games is a competition between various fraternities and sororities to determine which team is the scariest. Two scenes in particular are: (1) the Toxicity Challenge, where potential Scarers have to race through a dark tunnel and avoid being stung by urchin-like balls, just like monsters have to avoid “toxic” toys and clothes in the children’s rooms; and (2) Hide and Scare, when the participants have to hide in a house from security, in the same way a Scarer has to hide from children's parents. As I am watching this film, I am wondering, Where do the writers get these outrageously clever ideas? With three creative minds (Dan Scanlon, Daniel Gerson, and Robert L. Baird), the outcome is funny, smart, and meaningful. Monsters University is a monster treat.

My rating: 4 out of 5

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