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"Lilo and Stitch"

Directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders.
Written by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders. 
Starring the voices of Tia Carrere, Ving Rhames, Chris Sanders and Daveigh Chase.
Release Year:  2002
Review Date:  6/27/02 

Folks-- 

Wrapping up my kid movie week (ok, not really, but close), I hit the new Disney flick “Lilo & Stitch” this week at the local multiplex.

As befitting a Disney film, there were countless rugrats, tired-looking parents and two different instances where babies were crying so loud that they had to be removed from the theater.  I have finally decided that I hate kids in movies more than cell phones ringing; I have gotten so used to phones ringing since I go to the theater three times a week now, it is pitiful.  But kids...man, like that old dog that you should have put out of its misery four or five years ago, kids just wear on you physically and emotionally, whinin’ for 30 or 40 minutes before they just force your hand and make you wanna

HEY!  REVIEW THE MOVIE!

My bad.  “Lilo & Stitch” follows the story of a four-armed alien that is referred to as Experiment 626 on his home planet...where he is about to be exiled forever, since he was a dangerous experiment that a mad scientist developed as a destructive machine capable of obliterating anything in his path.  Since he is bulletproof, fireproof, and incapable of being run over by large 18-wheelers, Experiment 626’s alien government tries to run him out of town, but he gets away in a space cruiser and accidentally hits his hyperdrive button (it’s official:  every single space vehicle in the history of sci-fi movies has a hyperspace button), sending him crashing to Earth.  When he lands, is captured, and thrown into a pet shop, he is discovered by a little Hawaiian girl named Lilo, who buys him from the pet store and renames him Stitch.  While it is never made quite clear why Lilo decides upon Stitch as a name, Lilo and Stitch form a bond that is supertight...until Stitch’s alien handlers decide to come after him on Earth.

The best thing about “Lilo & Stitch” is how simple it is; these days, it seems like kids’ movies really want to go the route of the “Toy Story” films and make an incredibly well-animated film while making sure to take care of both the adults and the kids at the same time.  Most movies don’t have a script good enough to make that happen, anyway.  “Lilo & Stitch” only has four or five main characters for its entire 80 minutes, and one of them can barely talk, so you really boil it down to the Lilo and Stitch relationship and the sometimes-hilarious antics that Stitch gets into while discovering things about his new planet.  The other main subplot deals with Lilo’s sister Nani (voiced by Tia Carrere) and her attempts to keep a social service worker (voiced by Ving Rhames) from taking Lilo into custody.  The writers bring this situation into our hands realistically enough to make it look fair, without making the worker a bad guy.

Basically, this one just goes down real easy.  There are good laughs throughout and Lilo and Stitch make for an entertaining pair.  And, there are some of those feel-good moments that remind me of that scene in “Airplane” where everyone looks at the person next to them and gives them a little smile like “Man, it’s great to be alive!”  “Lilo & Stitch” has a few of those and for the kids and adults alike, this one is worth the cash.

Rating:  $9.00 Show

 

Comments?  Drop me a line at justin@bellviewmovies.com.

 

Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09