December 15th, 2008

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Even the Heavy reccomends "Bolt"

While attending Spooky Empire’s **Screamfest** in Orlando last October, actor Malcolm McDowell was surrounded by minions from **Halloween,** **Friday the 13th** and our local bogeymen, Jerry & Woody. Despite being the guest of honor at this creepy affair, McDowell told his audience,

”I am the voice of the heavy in the new Disney movie **Bolt,** I recommend this magnificent movie!”

While this dog of a movie is not in the same stratosphere as this summer’s PIXAR classic **WALL-E,** **Bolt** is a clever movie on it’s own heart tugging merit.

Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) is a television superhero dog on a television series filmed in a California studio. Through a series of misadventures while on tour on the east coast, Bolt ends up stranded from his costar, Penny (Hannah Montana’s Miley Cyrus). Penny is heartbroken, but the director (James Lipton, the host of **The Actor’s Studio**) and Penny’s agent are determined that the show must go on. In the meantime, Bolt does not have a clue that he is in danger or really lost. In fact, the dog believes that he is reliving one of his super adventures in the battle of good and evil with Dr. Calico (McDowell).

**Bolt** provides both family entertainment and a satirical look at movie making in Hollywood. There is plenty of humor that grows from character motivation and action. There is also an exciting climax involving rescue from a burning studio. With a gung ho attitude, **Bolt** is an endearing hero and has been a box office champion with local audiences. If you have not seen **Bolt, ** Disney has reissued the movie with a short subject titled, **Tokyo Mater,** a short subject featuring the characters from Pixar’s **Cars** universe.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

"The Light Before Christmas" is a big IMAX film with a touching gesture.

On a still larger screen, (six stories to be exact) the Museum of Discovery IMAX Theatre presents **The Light Before Christmas.** This new 40 minute short subject is shot in old school stop motion animation, like the Christmas classics **Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer** and **Santa Claus is Coming to Town.** In fact, when **The Light Before Christmas** concludes, there is a bonus feature which explains how this stop motion animation movie is produced. The behind-the-scenes-documentary is clever and funny, avoiding an academic egghead lecture that one would expect in a Museum of Science.

**The Light Before Christmas** opens with a brother and sister traveling in a forest on Christmas Eve during a blizzard. The mother had sent the children to go find the Candleman and give him a gift at his home.

Being a good host, the Candleman provides hot chocolate (with a Christmas Spirit additive) and reads Clement Clarke Moore’s classic **The Night Before Christmas**(**A Visit from St. Nicholas**) to the children. By this point of the film one expects Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and Yukon Cornelius to stop by. Instead the producers do something subtle, clever and inspirational.

At one point, the boy asks, “Why does Santa Claus always give gifts?”
The Candleman replied; “Santa learned from the giver of all gifts.”

The next action is not spoken, but the Candleman points to his Nativity scene. Moments afterward, the boy performs a gesture that ends **The Light Before Christmas** with a touching gesture.

The Christmas Movie Season is here and if one is looking for family entertainment during an afternoon and **The Light Before Christmas** will provide fine family memory.