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Top 10 Movie Dads

Let’s face it–Hollywood gives dads a bad rap (Darth Vader, anyone?). According to moviemakers, dads are the root of all inner turmoil and dysfunction.

But in honor of my dad–who is awesome and who taught me how to spit sunflower seed shells, throw a baseball, and appreciate the outdoors–and all the other great hard-working fathers out there: here’s our list of stellar movie dads.

Happy Father’s Day!


#10: The Great Prince of the Forest — Bambi

Okay, so he doesn’t say much, but whenever Bambi needs him most his dad shows up to save the day.


#9: Caractacus Potts — Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Dick van Dyke’s scatter-brained inventor faces parenting alone; but despite his poverty, brings joy to his kids’ lives in the form of an awesome magical car that flies and transforms into a boat.


#8: The Father in Swiss Family Robinson

He doesn’t really have a name, but I love the leadership and authority displayed by the dad in this classic Disney movie. Extra points for building the coolest tree house EVER.


#7: Captain George Kirk — Star Trek (2009)

I think he gets less than 20 minutes of screen time, but, as Captain Pike, points out: Jim Kirk’s dad makes good use of his time–saving not only his crew, but his wife and newborn son. (Of course, he wouldn’t have died if J. J. Abrams hadn’t pulled the whole time-warpping black hole thing.)


#6: Mr. Incredible — The Incredibles

Many of us view our dads as heroes, but Bob Parr is literally a superhero! Sure, he’s a bit distracted at first, thinking of his glory days, but a little world-threatening mayhem helps him truly value his family and become the dad his kids need.


#5: George Stanley Banks — Father of the Bride

How many dads can relate to this–the overwhelming madness of wedding planning and the bittersweet moment of giving the bride away? And let’s be honest, George Banks has every right to flip-out over the wedding costs. We crunched the numbers and it turns out the mula shelled out for Annie Banks’ nuptials could have paid my college tuition.


#4: Marlin — Finding Nemo

He may be just a little clown fish, but this dad faces sharks, deep-sea monsters, and a jellyfish forest to save his son from the horrors of Darla the Fish-Killer.


#3: Mufasa — The Lion King

I don’t think my generation will get over this movie dad’s tragic death scene. It’s almost as traumatizing as the death of Bambi’s mom.


#2: Guido Orefice — Life Is Beautiful

And speaking of dads who lay down their lives for their kids, how can you not cry as Roberto Benigni’s plucky Jewish-Italian protects his son’s innocence in a Nazi concentration camp.


#1: Chris Gardner — The Pursuit of Happyness

So you might ask why I ranked Chris Gardner over Guido. It’s because The Pursuit of Happyness is based on a true story. There is no way you can’t root for this guy to make it against all odds. And I love the fact that they used Will Smith’s own son for the role of Gardner’s trusting kid.

So who makes your list for best movie dads?

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Shakespeare’s Superhero

Tonight we faced a choice: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides or Thor. With the price of tickets being what it is, choosing a movie is something that must be done judiciously. We weighed the options. Thor had a shorter running time and, most importantly, a 78% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes.com. POTC 4, on the other hand,

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Chaucer’s Nightmare

Don’t ever watch Rock-A-Doodle. EVER! It’s the worst animated feature film ever made. We just groaned and cursed our way through it out of morbid curiosity. (Yes, cursed. It was so bad that salty language was all I could think of to say–I’m controlling that urge in this review.) In case you’ve never heard of

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Princess Leia Hologram Quiz

Princess Leia’s transmission was the first use of Holograms in the Star Wars Trilogy. Here short message of 111 words signaled the transition between the 1st and the 2nd act of the film. The hero (Luke Skywalker) must now make a choice between staying at home or embarking on an adventure with Obi-Wan Kenobi.

In a bit of good fun, the game site Sporcle has created a Princess Leia Transmission Quiz where you have 10 minutes to fill in all the words in her holographic plea for aid.

My best was only 104 words, see if you can top that.
Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope!”
I even gave you an 8 word head start.

May The 4th Be With You

The official Star Wars website has been counting down until today (May 4th) with an announcement regarding the Star Wars Saga on Blu-ray. The countdown site describes the upcoming Blu-ray release in September and contains a moving slideshow video of Blu-ray case art and concept art. The slideshow is unlocked by your country depending on

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Legoland Star Wars Scenes

The only thing better than watching scenes from Star Wars on DVD is seeing them made out of tens of thousands of Legos! Or perhaps watching Lego live on the Legoland Webcam
I recently took a short trip to Legoland California, now you might be asking how can Lego interact with a movie blog? The Maser Builders at Legoland selected seven scenes to depict, one from each movie and one from the clone wars animated tv show. I will analyze those seven choices.

Episode I : The Phantom Menace
It was one of the first scenes in a major motion picture to be completely digital. The droid army emerged from their armored troop transports and marched on the cgi band of gungans. From the grass to the mist in the air, this digital battle was very impressive and was only barely possible with the CGI technology in 1999.
Since all Star Wars films are marketed as “family films” in the 90’s it is convenient that the major battle takes place between CGI aliens with long eats and CGI robot droids. No humans were harmed in the depiction of this scene.

Episode II : Attack of the Clones
Another huge CGI battle in Attack of the Clones pits faceless and nameless clone troopers against the evil droid army. This film make it a point to establish the Jedi as the Generals of the clone army. While Jedi are well established to be being wise and knowledgable it seems slightly far fetched that every one of them would be master tacticians of military strategy.

The Clone Wars
I have only seen some of the first season of the Star Wars Clone Wars. These series are set between Episode II and III at the hight of the clone wars. This scene shows a towering droid backed by a small army of battle droids slowly advancing on a last line of clone troopers.

Episode III : Revenge of the Sith
Moments before Order 66 is given, the Wookies and the Clone army are fighting side by side against the droid army. The massive battle tank rolls towards the ocean shore, the Lego model sands over two feet tall and four feet long, and impressive feat of Lego engineering.

Episode IV : A New Hope
All of the models in Legoland’s Miniland are made in 1/20th scale. The models are more like sculptures than Lego sets, with curves and angles formed out of small (one x one) studs built up step by step. The Millennium Falcon sits poised to blast out of Mos Eisley and escape the Stormtrooper attack. This scene marks a turn in the film, it cements Han’s commitment to the Rebels in the beginning of the second act.

Episode V : The Empire Strikes Back
The eery imperial walkers stalk across the icy plains of Hoth. (made of colored sand at Legoland) But you can see Luke Skywalker climbing up beneath the AT-AT. These Lego miniatures are roughly the same size as the stop-motion models used in Empire. Soon these walkers would be tumbled and destroyed. It would have been interesting to see Legoland depict an explosion in thousands of red, yellow and orange studs!

Episode VI : Return of the Jedi
This scene had a great setup and reveal as the AT-ST approached the bunker Han and Leia seemed caught, thankfully “Chewy” was in the AT-ST. At 1/20th scale all of the sculptures of people are around 6″ tall. I is fun identifying your favorite Star Wars characters among these tiny sculptures. It is similar to pixel art, sometimes you need to blur your focus to see the characters really pop out.

Weather you are an AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego), a Lego loving child, or a Star Wars fanboy all of the new Star Wars installations at Legoland California were built for you and worth a trip down to Carlsbad. May the force be with you.

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¡Three Amigos! has a small cast but it packs more laughs into it’s cleaver banter than any Shrek film I have ever seen. Martin Short (Ned Nederlander), Chevy Chase (Dusty Bottoms) and Steve Martin (Lucky Day) play out of work movie stars in 1916. One of my favorite scenes is the campfire song. The 3

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Us vs. Scott Pilgrim

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That’s No Moon, It’s an iPad 2!

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