Monday, June 6, 2011

Vintage cartoons to be exposed on the big screen at the County Theatre in Doylestown

Bucks County resident Lou DiCrescenzo, local film historian and film preservationist, will present a collection of rare, vintage cartoons at the County and Ambler Theaters. The occasion will take place at the County Theater on Wednesday, June 15 and the Ambler Theater on Thursday, June 23. Both shows will start at 7 p.m.

The program will feature a variety of cartoon classics diversity in age from 1936 to 1960. Cartoon icons such as The Pink Panther, Bugs Bunny, The Road Runner, Yosemite Sam will once again be seen on the silver screen. In addition, these comic gems all predate “computer animation” and are an outstanding instance of customary, hand drawn animation. All cartoon shorts will be shown on 35mm film. They are in immaculate condition.

The evening will comprise a mix of zany antics with characters being crushed by huge boulders or going over the rim of a precipice. For those with more complicated tastes there will be selections such as The Cat Concerto, Rabbit Romeo and War and Pieces.

Many of these 35mm films are the only obtainable copies and can’t be seen anywhere else. The program promises to be an entertaining evening for both young and old alike and will run approximately 2 hours.

Lou DiCrescenzo, a resident of Langhorne and a associate of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, will be on hand at both theaters to impart stories and tales about his treasures of animated film. He has been collecting out of print 35mm films and equipment for over thirty years and has many of his finds in museum collections.

The County Theater and the Ambler Theater are community possessed organizations which present a full program of art and independent films daily. ”Classic Cartoons from the Vaults of Lou D” is part of the Theaters Hollywood Summer Nights Series. The series runs through August 2011.

General admission to the County and Ambler Theaters is $9.75. Admission for seniors and students at both theaters is $7.25. Brochures of all programs are obtainable at the theaters.

Friday, June 3, 2011

‘The Lion of Judah’ is a plain cartoon | 1 star

A faith-based cartoon aimed at the very youngest Sunday school students, “The Lion of Judah” is the story of Easter as observer by farm animals.

There’s assure in the idea that farm animals might band together to put sideways a spunky lamb (voiced by Georgina Cordova) who doesn’t understand he’s about to become a give up. Landing Oscar winner Ernest Borgnine as the voice of a heroic rat and Michael Madsen (an “unclean” raven) counts as a coup.

But the script is drab and nearly grave. It’s as if the writers never saw a secular cartoon and couldn’t find anything funny to do with a cowardly horse, an irked human-hating donkey and a lamb who calls himself “The Lion of Judah.” The 2-D and 3-D animation tends toward the unrefined — in the clunky style of direct-to-video fare. What, the VeggieTales folks weren’t available for a discussion?

No sooner have the animals met Judah than a human has quick him and sent him off to Jerusalem. The other critters suck up the bravery to go after him. Along the way, they hear of a new “King” among the humans, a king born in their steady years before. He is the only person who can set the lamb free, they consider.

The dialogue is banal, the jokes weak and the sight gags, like all else animated here, leave a lot to be desired. The meek may come into the Earth, but they won’t do well at the cinema complex if they can’t do better than this.