There’s something to be said about the power of certain actors. One of the only reasons that I wanted to watch this film was because of Viola Davis. She’s such a powerhouse of an actor and could make anything seem great. I guess I also love Jason Bateman but he’s hardly as consistent with his film choices. And Ben Affleck? He’s been doing good things lately but I wasn’t sure that he would be able to make this concept work in the same way he made Argo work. After all, there’s something tricky about an underdog story about one of the biggest brands in the world. How can you make audiences sympathetic towards a billion-dollar company like Nike? It feels like the kind of story that someone like Adam McKay could have done fun things with but Nke would never have risked that.
Film Review – Peter Pan and Wendy (2022)films, reviews
One of the stops on my recent holiday was Moat Brae house in Dumfries. Between 1873 and 1878, author J M Barrie lived in the city and was a frequent visitor to the house. He even suggested that the gardens helped inspire him to create Neverland. In 2019, the house was turned into a museum and it’s absolutely amazing. It left me with a desire to read Barrie’s book again. It also gave me the perfect excuse to watch the latest Disney live-action remake.
Film Review – CODA (2021)films, reviews
I promise that after this week, I won’t ever mention that thing that happened at the Oscars again. Mostly because my opinion of what happened doesn’t matter. Also because we’ve wasted too much time discussing it. What I will say, is that it did take a lot of attention away from the important things of the night. Important things like this film. Had the ceremony gone off without the drama, CODA would have been the thing that everyone was talking about. It’s a very un-Oscars film but it walked away with Best Picture. It should have been the talking point. After all, it could have opened up more people to actually see it. I know it did anyway but it could have been bigger. Like when Parasite won in 2020 and a shit ton of people who would never have watched a Korean film actually bothered to see it.
Film Review – Cinderella (2021)films, reviews
You might be wondering why I’m reviewing this Cinderella remake in April. It’s a good question. I wasn’t meant to be reviewing this film this week. In fact, I wasn’t even planning on watching this film. I was meant to be going to the cinema with a friend of mine this weekend and watching either Sonic or Mobius. In the end, she bought us tickets to the latest film in a magical trilogy written by She Who Must Not Be Named. I wasn’t intending on watching that film or discussing it on this blog. I’ve explained why in a previous post. After watching the film, I had plenty of thoughts but I don’t want to enter into this dialogue in any way. So I quickly watched this film instead.
Film Review – West Side Story (2022)films, reviews
I’ve had to change my schedule a little this week because I still haven’t finished my current read. I’ll get round to it soon but I just didn’t have as much time to read this weekend as I’d wanted. So, I moved my film review up to today. I’ve been meaning to watch this for a while but kept finding excuses not to. If I’m honest, I wasn’t sure how much I actually cared. I’m not entirely confident that I’ve ever seen the 1961 film adaptation. I know that we used to listen to the soundtrack when we were kids. I remember it playing in the car and us having a lot of fun. Although, I don’t know whose influence this was. I guess one or both of my parents maybe.
Tuesday Review – Home Sweet Home Alone (2021)books, reviews
I know that a lot of people out there will say that the original Home Alone film is a timeless classic and that it could never be topped. These people will say that the most recent film in the Home Alone franchise is ruining their childhood and that its very existence is an absolute travesty. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the first Home Alone film but I wasn’t outraged that Disney was attempting to cash in on the premise again. Especially as it was going to star Archie Yates who was an absolute delight in Jojo Rabbit. He seemed like the perfect choice to take over the Macaulay Culkin role. I also think there was a lot of potential to update the story for 2021.
Tuesday Review – Dolittle (2020)films, reviews
Don’t get me wrong, I love Robert Downey Jr. as much as the next person but, let’s be honest, he’s been playing the same character for years now. The actor was getting his career on track during the early 2000s but it wasn’t until Iron Man that he really became a person to watch. Since that point, it’s kind of felt that we’ve been getting the same thing in almost every film. He’s basically just playing a hyped-up version of himself. The major difference between his Tony Stark and Sherlock Holmes is a hundred or so years. Now I think RDJ. is a great guy but there’s just no surprise any more. When you see that RDJ is in a cast, you can be pretty sure about the kind of character he’s going to play. Yeah, I understand that Dr Dolittle is a pretty odd guy but he’s inherently British. He’s described in the books as a well-respected and quiet man. Not an absurd comic figure of fun. I just couldn’t see how a big Hollywood adaptation with RDJ in the titular role would work as well as the classic 1967 film did. But I was willing to be proven wrong.
Tuesday Review – Aladdin (2019)films, reviews
The live-action Disney remakes are a curious thing. They’re making a shit-ton of money but, from what I can tell, nobody really likes them. I guess that not only means that we’re all suckers for going to see them but that Disney really is despicably good at business. We all love to get nostalgic and the curiosity of seeing how they’ve been updated is always going to get people buying tickets. It’s the reason that I initially bought so many of the books in The Austen Project. Of the live-action Disney movies that I’ve seen, only The Jungle Book really worked. I’m hopeful that Mulan will be amazing because it’s refusing to go down the musical line. It’s not that I don’t love a musical because I bloody love a musical. There’s a reason why my Spotify end of year round-up was mostly the Hamilton soundtrack. It’s just, Disney animated movies work as musicals because they’re animated. You don’t need to question why everyone’s singing because it’s not real. When the action starts to get realistic, that starts to be problematic. Stage musicals work in a similar way because you accept that you’re watching a play. Live-action films become a little tricky. It can work. I know I didn’t like Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables but, because there is no spoken dialogue, the singing at least makes sense. The live-action Disney movies raise too many questions. Especially when you add animals into the mix. So, when the new Aladdin film came out last year, I wasn’t convinced it would work for me. But, I have been a long-time lover of Will Smith’s musical career, so I wanted to give him a chance. It was time to find out once and for all.
Tuesday Review – Lady and the Tramp (2019)films, reviews
Lady and the Tramp is a great Disney film but it was never one of my favourites. I mean, I loved the dogs but it lacked most of the things that I loved most about these films. The songs weren’t as catchy and there was no deliciously evil bad guy to stand up to. It’s lovely but there are more memorable ones. So, it’s not as if the live-action remake was ever going to make as big a splash as the recent Lion King or Aladdin films. I guess that could be another part of the reason why Disney decided to forgo a cinema release and leave it as part of its opening line-up for Disney+. Yes, it would have made money but does it have the popularity to bring in the big bucks? Also, the exclusivity would just make the people still wavering feel that their subscription was worth it. But how much value does it actually add to the platform?
Throwback Thursday – Solaris (2002)films, reviews, TBT
Now that Brad Pitt has been exploring space in Ad Astra, it’s become pretty clear that the Ocean’s 11 gang aren’t the best people to send into space. Matt Damon obviously had a tough time during The Martian. Brad Pitt had to face up to his daddy issues. And, way back in 2002, George Clooney was facing his own demons in Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris. The film was based on the 1961 science fiction novel by Polish writer Stanisław Lem. By 2002, the book had already been turned into a Soviet television film and a film adaptation by Andrei Tarkovsky. Though the earlier film is critically acclaimed, Soderbergh claimed that his version would be more faithful to the novel than Tarkovsky. Unfortunately, the author hated both versions. Well, I guess you can’t please anyone. With the release of Ad Astra recently, there were plenty of critics who were bringing up Clooney’s space adventure. Well, I guess the two are science-fiction films that dealt with the deep stuff. It felt right to watch it for today’s post.