Movie Review – ‘Cars 3’ Desperately Tries Not to be Cars 2

cars 3

If you haven’t been brought up to speed over the last eleven years of Cars history, I’ll help you out. The Cars movie only exists to sell toys. And if you’re parent, it’s likely you know this pretty well by now. Pixar makes bank selling Lightning McQueen and Mater toys. However, as a film franchise, it’s one of the worst Pixar properties in their long and successful film history. Of all their movies, Cars 2 is the only critically panned Pixar film to date.

Usually, when a sequel gets panned, a studio ends it and moves on. But since Cars is a merchandising cash cow, it was only inevitable they’d release the third installment and make it a trilogy. As a side note, it’s a little sad their worst property has a trilogy before The Incredibles. But I digress.

[Continue Reading]

A Case Against Disney Cartoon Remakes

Originally, I was going to write up a review about the upcoming Beauty and the Beast live-action remake, but the more I considered it, the more I realized it was better to take a different direction.

The Beauty and the Beast remake is essentially a frame-for-frame copy of the cartoon. That isn’t to say that changes weren’t made, but overall, the cartoon to live-action transfer is fully complete to ignite millennial nostalgia. It’s a gorgeous CGI-display of Emma Watson’s Beauty prancing in the open fields and Dan Steven’s Beast growling and mostly being angry until he’s not supposed to be anymore. Musical lovers will gush at all the wonderfully choreographed singing and dancing scenes and Disney fanatics will be perfectly happy accepting this newly repackaged gift. In other words, there’s nothing I’m going to tell you that will change your mind about seeing Beauty and the Beast, with one exception.

[Continue Reading]

Movie Review — Relevant, Grounded and Visceral, ‘Rogue One’ is the Prequel We Deserve


After only a year later of coming off the high of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Gareth Edwards’ (Godzilla, Monsters) Rogue One faces the task of living up to both the original trilogy and The Force Awakens. A standalone film set in-between the prequels and the original trilogy, Rogue One is a unique project that doesn’t follow the same rules.

It doesn’t have Jedi, the classic text crawl, or familiar faces for fans to connect with — and as a war film and not a space opera, it sets itself apart even further, taking Disney out of their comfort zone and into darker territory. Yet, defying the odds, Edwards recaptures the excitement and feel of Star Wars while simultaneously making it his own and, quite possibly, setting the standard for future Star Wars installments to come.

[Continue Reading]

Movie Review — Make Way, Make Way! ‘Moana’ is Calling You!

moana movie review

It is no secret that a multi-media conglomerate such as Disney can turn out successful films one after the other. However, there is something to be said for the development and progress the production company has made in its endless bounds towards a more inclusive and culturally rich repertoire.

Moana, the latest installment in the Disney princess movie franchise (although that in itself is up for debate, as the film’s title character will object) is a credible marker in the strides Disney had made – from the gorgeous production design to the catchy tunes that will most likely be playing on repeat, the film reminds us of the wonderful capacity for storytelling and narrative design the production company possesses.

[Continue Reading]

Movie Review — ‘The Jungle Book’ is a New Disney Classic

the jungle book review

In a cinematic era filled with remakes, reboots, sequels, and endless nostalgia, Disney has fully embraced the trend. Already creating live-action adaptations of its beloved Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty twist in Maleficent, they continue on with the live-action adaptation of their 1967 classic cartoon The Jungle Book.

Of course, much like fire, anytime you tamper with nostalgic properties there’s a good chance you’ll get burned, or worse, burn down the jungle. And it’s one thing to make it through unscathed, but quite another to create a bonfire that warms an entire village. It’s safe to say this movie achieved the latter. Director Jon Favreau’s vision for The Jungle Book not only stayed faithful to the original material, but it improved on it, making it a thrilling, action-packed experience without sacrificing its humorous charm and likability.

[Continue Reading]

Movie Review — ‘Into the Woods’ – Be Careful What You Wish For

into the woods - review

Adapted from the music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book originally by James Lapine, Disney tries turning their recent original story live action flops into the first retold story success with Into The Woods this Christmas.

[Continue Reading]

Movie Review — ‘Big Hero 6’ — Maximum Heroics

Big Hero 613

The first Disney animated film to be based on a Marvel Comics’ property, Big Hero 6 proves that you don’t need a well-known superhero to produce a well-done superhero movie.

From the opening scene, sweeping across the grand fictional amalgam of a city, San Fransokyo, to the final fight, Big Hero 6 is a fun ride.

Movie Review — ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ Serves up a Delicacy

Film Review The Hundred Foot Journey

In the age of the formulaic rom-com clinging to a permanent spot on showtime lists, it’s hard to ask any filmmaker to stray too far from success. Going into The Hundred-Foot Journey, it’s obvious there will be a happy ending, a cookie-cutter plot and a sentimental overindulgence; the film (based on a book by Richard C. Morais and produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg) doesn’t reinvent the wheel of storytelling or filmmaking. That said, the movie is a satisfying and engaging work of art with both class and subtlety.

[Continue Reading]

Movie Review — ‘Maleficent’ Piques Interest, But Suffers From Shaky Storytelling

Maleficent-2014-movie review

I am well aware that I am not in the target audience for Disney’s Maleficent. I am male, in my 20s and fairly orthodox when it comes to story structure; in other words, there are plenty of reasons to write off my opinion and go see it (though I am not advising total avoidance).

[Continue Reading]