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velvet goldmine

Thank you, Oliver! I have been infuriated and mystified just watching the ads, which feature the generic stuff heavily. Now at least you've explained where these characters fit into the overall story. Still not sure I will see it because of that tacked-on half, but you've taken away some of the head-scratching. Beyond that, this review is funny, lively and immeasurably informative.

Peter R.

hmm sounds like the should release just the flashback as a film. Proof of the genius off Dr Seuss!

Chris G

Oliver, nice job on this review! I do have one question for you. You describe many of the characters and situations as "generic," but it's not clear to me what that means. What makes these characters generic, and how does that make the movie less enjoyable?

Miriam G

Wonderful review! I find it interesting that you focus on the acting and storybook and not at all on the animation. Makes me wonder if the animation is so good that you don't notice it? Or so bad that you can't even call it generic? Nevertheless, its so easy to read your writing that I hope you continue doing this.

Kevin Wolf

I'm a Dr. Seuss classicist. I'd prefer that any adaptation hew closely to the book. (Hence, I think the best-ever Seuss adaptation is the TV version of The Grinch.) I'm not a fan of the large scale adaptations released in the past few years, and the only review I saw for The Lorax (NY Times: "...a noisy, useless piece of junk...") didn't have me running to the theater.

I suppose it's a relief to hear that they've merely made a bad film, while avoiding truly trashing the actual Lorax story. I wonder, Oliver, assuming you consider yourself to be part of the target audience for this film, if you'd have been disappointed if The Lorax had been adapted instead as, say, a one hour TV special? I know the big screen can mean big money but I wonder if you share may feeling that they've overshot the mark?

Good, clear review!

Janelle Dvorak

Well done, Oliver! You have a very easy, conversational style that makes the review a pleasure to read. I do have a question, though. These two movies in one seem to have very little connection to me. How does the movie present them as connected? Why doesn't it seem to work?

Michael Bérubé

I'm giving this review two thumbs up -- I just saw The Lorax w/my son Jamie, and you've captured it exactly. Nice work, Oliver!

Kevin Hayden

Not two nor even four acts;
Oliver wants just one for the Lorax.
I cannot say 'don't turn a glove to a mitten.
About a review so well written.

Rob Hill

Lance, get this kid his own web domain. doesn't appear to be yet taken.

I've been baffled by Hollywood's reasoning from as far back as the Marx Brothers when some bowtied lugnut in production decided "nobody wants to hear Groucho crack wise the whole movie. We need to break it up with some sappy love interest." Which are precisely the scenes I fast-forward. So it's disheartening to be reminded this same bowtied lugnut's dynasty is still in charge, deciding "nobody wants to sit through a faithful Dr Seuss adaptation. We need to soup it up with some trademark Hollywood magic (spelled formula)." Think I'll skip the film and read the book instead.


Oh sure! You *claim* to be Mannion fils, but I'd know that writing style anyplace, Wolcott!


"nobody wants to hear Groucho crack wise the whole movie. We need to break it up with some sappy love interest."

That would have been Irving "The Boy Wonder" Thalberg, who saved Universal Studios and all but created MGM Studios. He was personally responsible for the hiring of George S Kaufman, so no Night At The Opera, but more important, no Cocoanuts or Animal Crackers.

In other words, no Marx Brothers.

I'd cut him some slack. The man knew what he was selling and to what audience.

Claire Helene

Good review, Oliver! I'm glad you saw it so I don't have to. :) I am glad to hear that there is a bit of good in the movie. When I first saw the trailer I cringed, since all of the Dr. Suess movies lately have been terrible, although I thought the casting of Danny DeVito for the Lorax seemed inspired. Glad to hear you thought he did a good job. I also agree with Kevin above in his question, do you think a shorter version of just the Lorax's story would have been better?

Uncle Merlin

Thank You Oliver! Your review puts it all in perspective so when I do see it I'll know what I am looking at. As you write, I don't like it when they deviate from the author too much. You've stated the problem well, they loose an essence to the story. Your warning is timely I was thinking of seeing it but now I'll just stream it!

Thanks Oliver!! Uncle Merlin

Rob Hill

Actor212, as far as I know Thalberg had nothing to do, even secondhand, with their earlier Paramount films. Kaufman worked with the Marxes on Broadway before they headed to Hollywood so we at least would've had Animal Crackers. Anyhow, I still blame Thalberg for dying during the filming of Day at the Races, which left them at the mercy of unsympathetic studio heads and led to their eventual artistic downfall. The nerve of that guy!

Furthermore, I notice The Lorax was distributed by Universal Pictures, which means if it wasn't for Thalberg saving the studio The Lorax might've been faithfully made by Pixar instead, Oliver would've given it a four-star review, and I wouldn't be grumbling about misguided studio heads in this comments section but instead about how the Marx Bros should've made a worthy follow-up to Duck Soup. (What?)

Tom W

I'm with Kevin Wolf - this should have been a short film, hewing (not pun intended) closely to the brilliant original, which I read aloud approximately 758 times. I appreciate Oliver's smart focus on the Once-ler - clearly a classic tragic villain, and I think Helms is a brilliant choice for that voicing. Sadly, Oliver's review means I won't see this. Such is the power of the trusted critic, young fella (he said with a cackle worthy of Walter Brennan).

Oliver Mannion

Thank you everyone.

Janelle Dvorak, the movie has the Once-ler tell the kid his story much like in the book. And that works fine. It's just the kid has a story outside having the story be told to him.

Chris G, The characters are generic as they are cut and paste from every bad kids movie that has been maybe in the last...20 years or so. They have a stock personality, which isn't really a personality at all. Take the kid Ted for instance. He nice, has a crush one a cute girl, and is kind of smart. So he's like every kid hero ever, with nothing new to add and make him different and stand out. He's just boring.


Touche, Rob, Touche. Well played, sir.

Sean Paul Kelley

Oliver, I quite enjoyed the review and had thought to take the kids to see the movie. Perhaps we'll do something different. One question: had you been director what would you have done differently?

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