February 23, 2006


 “Pink Panther” PG

Inspector Clouseau is back and once again chasing down criminals in this remake of the original "Pink Panther" series. A famous French soccer coach has been murdered, and his prized pink diamond ring, The Pink Panther, has been stolen.

Steve Martin takes the role of Inspector Clouseau, head of the murder investigation whose comical idiocy is only surpassed by his ego. While he parades around Paris and New York using his highly unorthodox investigative techniques, he encounters a variety of amusing situations.

Originally, I had gone to see the movie expecting it to be geared towards little kids: The Disney image of the Pink Panther had tainted the image of the original film in my mind. The fact that the audience was mainly comprised of younger children seemed to confirm my suspicions, but in the end, I was pleasantly surprised. Each scene used different types of humor, some a bit too mature for younger kids to understand, and some just slapstick enough to make them bubble with laughter. Although it is hailed as a remake, it is more of a prequel to the original “Pink Panther” films.

Matt Mangold, 15, said, "It was pretty funny, I didn't expect it to be this good. I'm not really a fan of Disney flicks anymore and I figured that this would be just another one."  Even a girl's perspective of this movie gave it two thumbs up: "It was really funny. I'm going to come back and see it again with my mommy," said Rachel Gutman, 9. If there was ever a great family movie with comedy to go all around, this is it.  Grab the kids and family and head onto “The Pink Panther.” Just make sure you don't run into Inspector Clouseau on the way. Shai Ligum, 14

Editors note: This movie does have a scene depicting a murder, with the gun appearing to be shot at the viewer, something my 7-year-old daughter found so disturbing she asked to leave the theater. Liz DeCarlo, associate editor.

 “Eight Below” PG

Editor's note: This review contains some "spoiler" information.

I knew from the moment I saw the first preview of “Eight Below” that I would be there with my son on opening weekend. My son, who is 6, has a passion for all things animal, as did I at his age, so he was excited too.

“Eight Below” did not disappoint. It is a gripping story of an expedition guide and his team of eight sled dogs. When circumstances force the guide to leave his dogs behind, they begin an amazing struggle to survive.

This movie is an excellent lesson in teamwork and loyalty. There are wonderful highs, sad lows and I nearly jumped out of my seat, (along with every child in the theater), during one scene due to a well-timed, scary leap from a leopard seal. Be warned: Everyone will walk out of this movie feeling good, but there are certainly some rough patches. Two of the dogs die, and a scene where a leopard seal is battling the dogs is pretty harrowing. If your child can handle Bambi's mother's death and a few tense moments, there shouldn’t be a problem. There is also a romance in the story, which seemed a little forced. I could have done without it.

To me, this movie is an instant classic.  I still remember the power of “E.T.” from when I was a kid, and I think this film will leave that kind of impression on just about everyone who sees it. Mike Phillips


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