Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cinderella movie review.

The year was 2010. James Cameron's Avatar had become the highest grossing movie of all time. The 3D revolution was on a meteoric rise. Johnny Depp could actually open a successful film back then. It was the perfect opportunity for Disney to release Tim Burton’s revisionist adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. Despite receiving mixed reviews, the film was a commercial success, grossing a billion dollars worldwide, and ushered in a new era of films trying to copy its success.

Soon every film was attempting the same formula. Soon came Universal unveiling Snow White & The Huntsman, while Disney themselves would release another retelling of one of their classic films with Maleficent, and this cash cow clearly shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

So, with so many films competing to see who could produce the most “original” and “gritty” revision of a classic fairy tale, it’s nice to see Disney try something refreshingly familiar and light-hearted with Cinderella, directed by Shakespearean thespian Kenneth Branagh. However, to boil Cinderella down as merely a carbon copy of its animated counterpart does it little justice, for it is both a faithful yet divergent adaptation of the classic story.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Very brief thoughts on the awful The Cobbler.

Forgive me if my write up today is going to be particularly short, but frankly, I don’t plan on giving this movie any more attention than it deserves. The movie doesn’t work… At all!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Chappie movie review.

Neill Blomkamp clearly has no shortage of fascinating ideas as a filmmaker. For years he’s specialized in truly original, high-concept sci-fi that seeks to blend social allegory with visceral imagery. His 2009 feature-length debut, District 9, blew critics, audiences, and box office expectations away through its mixture of documentarian slice of life meant to elicit comparisons to Apartheid, as well as a graphic action experience that questioned mankind’s disturbing (and all too real) thirst for stronger weapons technology. It’s even more surprising just how fantastic a movie it was in every technical sense, made with a modest 30 million dollar budget that puts most 100+ million action flicks to shame.

His follow up, Elysium, did not live up to those high expectations that Blomkamp set for himself, but it certainly wasn’t lacking in creativity and thought provocation, so you could have easily deemed it a fluke loss.

However, with his latest film Chappie, I’m starting to question if it was actually District 9 that was the fluke victory. While I admire Blomkamp’s unashamedly high-concept premise, Chappie is by far the director’s most heinously underwritten and unruly film yet.