The throw-out umbrella term “live action” used to describe the slough of Disney “re-imaginations” is a misnomer. It has been since The Jungle Book recreation in 2016, which is live action only in its employment of Neel Sethi as Mowgli. Everything else in that film is comprised of computer generated visual effects.
Tim Burton’s live action Dumbo film begins by tracing, whimsically, the path of traveling Medici Bros. Circus. Burton flourishes this ride, particularly as the train passes through a tunnel that morphs into the twirling red and white of a circus tent.
There are two very different movies wrapped up in Disney’s new live-action adaptation, Christopher Robin. One is an optimistic family film about a grown man named Christopher Robin (Ewen McGregor) learning to, for the better, think like a kid again. The other is a horror film about abandoned sentient toys who track Christopher down and lure him back into the foggy, ominous Hundred Acre Wood.
In this sense, the beady black eyes of honey-loving bear Winnie the Pooh (Jim Cummings) are both abstract enough to be endearing and dead enough to be terrifying. Whichever way you perceive it, Christopher Robin is a film that Continue reading Christopher Robin (2018) Movie Review→
Brad Bird’s first contribution to Pixar animation, 2004’s The Incredibles, was a rather prescient film. Using 1960s Silver Age superhero comics as inspiration, The Incredibles foresaw a future of superhero films and cheekily toyed with the tropes before they were firmly established (the modern era of the genre, led by Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and the formation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was a few years away).
It commented on a lack of female representation in the world of caped crusaders. Its plot involved complications around fear and distrust over supers, long before Captain America: Civil War and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. And how many modern silver screen superheros still Continue reading Incredibles 2 (2018) Movie Review→
Driving home from the theater last night, I saw something really quite lovely. Turning down a curved street, and entering my line of vision for no longer than a second, I saw two people in conversation sitting on a ledge outside of a hotel. The pair—one a man, his back to me, and the other a woman, a warm smile on her face and a soulful tenderness in her eyes—each sat with their legs pulled up to their chests, almost as if they were mirrors of each other.
They were experiencing a genuinely human moment, captured through the film of my windshield. It was a silent movie. It ran for 1.5 seconds or less. But that snippet had more life, energy, and emotion than every shot in Solo: A Star Wars Story put together.
Now, you may be thinking: what do two people sitting on a ledge in real life have to do with a multi-billion dollar franchise’s sequel/prequel? In execution: nothing.
Every year, I like playing a little game of Summer box office predictions. The rules are simple (and the game is played officially at Trivia Club and /Film, if you’re interested): Pick which 10 films, and three dark horse candidates, that you think will gross the most money domestically during the Summer movie season.
This year, the game’s outlets are shifting their definition of what the Summer movie season is in order to include Avengers: Infinity War. Avengers was initially slated for release on the first weekend of May, but Disney pushed its release up a week.
For the sake of this article, I’m just going to keep the traditional definition of Summer movie season, which is the first weekend of May to Labor Day weekend. It kind of makes the predicting harder, given that Avengers is almost certainly going to be the highest grossing movie of the year, and if the film were included in this competition it would be number one with a bullet.
All the same, this year’s crop of Summer movies is pretty strange from a box office standpoint.
A Wrinkle in Time, directed by Ava DuVernay and based on the book by Madeleine L’Engle, follows young Meg (Storm Reid). Meg is an introverted and picked-on teen who still hasn’t come to terms with the disappearance of her father (Chris Pine), who left four years earlier in search of a grander meaning to the universe.