Casper

PLOT:

In this Brad Silberling-helmed comedy, Bill Pullman plays James Harvey, a ghost doctor hired by Carrigan Crittendon (Cathy Moriarty) to rid Whipstaff Manor of spirits so she can find a treasure trove rumored to be hidden there. But her plan backfires when James’s daughter Kat (Christina Ricci) befriends Casper, the friendly phantom who inhabits the place along with The Ghostly Trio, who disdain humans. Includes games, featurettes and more.

What people are saying:

“This doesn’t usually happen to me, but 15 minutes before the end of Casper I suddenly realized that if I didn’t take a deep breath, I was going to start sobbing.” 4 stars

“Three stars. Why is this worth watching? Christina Ricci. She pretty much carries the film, and does a great job of it. And the cameos. Don Novello, Dan Aykroyd, Clint Eastwood, Rodney Dangerfield and Mel Gibson all turn in howlingly funny snippets. It gets thin after that. Cathy Moriarty and Eric Idle are both okay. But that’s pretty weak praise for two usually brilliant actors. And Bill Pullman was just a guy. The narrative is about as by-the-numbers as it possibly could be. But the house looks cool. And the ghost graphics were pretty nifty. Also the film doesn’t trash it’s namesake. Casper has been around for a long time, and he has a pretty well-defined character. Hollywood comic-book movies often ignore that sort of history, and end up making glitzy garbage as a result. They also tend to worry more about effects than story. I didn’t see those problems here. It’s simple to follow, it’s pretty funny (with both slapstick and subtle humor), and it taught my seven year old at least one new swear-word. Not a great film, but not bad” 3 stars

“This version of Casper goes along okay at first, then picks up steam when the Victorian sci-fi sets appear. A decent story then becomes exciting and fun. I leaned toward three stars early on, then toward four, then finally a little past four when I took into consideration all the great extras, and even better, all the cameos. Christina Ricci avoids the angst her role could have fallen into, which I suspect is a credit to the screenplay. Great cinematography and effects enhance what’s already good. This is one rental you’ll want to rent no matter how scared of ghosts you might be.” 4 stars

Casper is a surprisingly good film, one that might look a bit bland and generic around its edges but that finds a much deeper, much more welcoming, much more tenderhearted center. The characters are simple but strongly developed and very well performed. The story isn’t all that novel but the emotions that flow from it are genuine. The special effects hold up very well even two decades after its release. Casper may not be a classic, but it holds up to repeat viewings and never loses its outer charm and inner dramatic appeal.” 4 star

“Considering I’ve never been a HUGE fan of Casper (then again who is these days?) and considering the film doesn’t have the best reputation for an animated adaptation, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot, but I was surprised at how good I thought the film was. Bill Pullman and Christina Ricci both do decent jobs and you can sense the relationship of father and daughter with the two, and the kid who played Casper does a good job at pulling off his personality, but the characters that steal the show are the ghostly trio, Stretch played by Joe Nipote, Stinky played by Veteran VA Joe Alaskey (Bugs, Daffy, Tweety, & Sylvester from 2000 to 2006), and Fatso played by Everybody Loves Raymond actor Brad Garrett. Not only are all three of these guys entertaining as hell as these characters, but they make them each funny, give them distinct voices, and make each character just mean but the likable and funny kind of mean. Also the film has a few very good cameo moments and does have a good sense of humor which considering most Cartoon to film adaptations usually have the same humor of juvenile fart jokes or other jokes, but no this film did try a number of jokes and a lot of them actually work? 4 stars

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