Reel Movie Reviews – Spring Cinema

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Written by Donovan Darling, Staff Writer

“A Bug’s Life” (1998)

“Hey, waiter, I’m in my soup.” I saw this in the theater when I was a mere 11 years old, and it was and remains a fantastic family movie. Full of adventure, comedy and romance, this is an early yet masterly work from John Lasseter — writer (and sometimes director) of movies such as “Toy Story” 1-4 and “Cars.” The story follows an oddball klutzy ant who accidentally destroys the food supply used as a bribe for a group of bully grasshoppers. Rather than pay double the food or be destroyed, Flik (Dave Foley) goes looking for recruits to fight the grasshoppers. With a star-studded cast including Kevin Spacey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Denis Leary and many more. A great movie full of sunshine and nature! Rated G.

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986)

“I lost my temper at myself.” With the idiosyncratic design and nostalgic eye of director Wes Anderson, this magically-scored and visually stunning coming-of-age comedy-romance features a boy scout and his girlfriend who run away to prove and explore their maturity. Their absence incites an immediate search party, which, on the island, involves the entire town. The story takes place at a New England summer camp with a mid-century vibe — yellow, idyllic and perfectly emotive for those late summer goodbyes. There’s romance, heartbreak and crisscrossing narratives abound. The always stunning cast includes Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward and many more. Good for older kids and adults. Rated PG-13 for smoking and mature content.

“The Wizard of Oz” (1939)


“Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” What can you say about this movie that hasn’t been said? A musical fantasy filmed in early Technicolor and bursting with spring colors, the iconic transitional scene from black and white to color and the movie’s theme of growth is very much representative of the changing seasons. A cinematic masterpiece and adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel, the story follows young Dorothy and her little dog Toto who quest to find the Wizard of Oz and get home to Kansas, encountering friends and foes along the way. Full of heart, music and adventure, this movie still holds up almost 100 years later. Rated G but due to some scary content, treat this as a PG.