Over the past few years, Disney is intend on using our childhood memories to bring us once more to the movie theaters. This weekend, the reboot of Dumbo (1941) was released.
Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) has just returned home from fighting in World War I, sacrificing one of his arms in the process of fighting for his country. His wife died during the war, leaving his two children Milly (Nico Parker, Thandie Newton‘s daughter) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) motherless. Stuck in the past, Holt is unable to move forward until his boss and circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) puts Holt in charge of the elephants. One of the female elephants has just given birth, the newborn elephant has unusually large ears that allow him to fly. After the circus has a bit of success with the new elephant, named Dumbo, V.A. Vandervere (Michael Keaton) takes notice of the little elephant. He wants to add Dumbo to Colette Marchant’s (Eva Green) aerialist act. But Vandervere’s plans are not completely altruistic; he has some plans up his sleeve that are questionable.
First of all, I have to give kudos to the screenwriters. Not only did smartly remove the racist caricatures of the crows, but they used Dreamland as the background for the second half of the movie. Dreamland is not a well-known subject unless one is well versed in the history of New York City or early 20th century amusement parks.
I haven’t seen the original animated film in quite a few years, but I feel like this reboot is close enough in narrative to its predecessor. What is nice about this film is that not only is not the typical slightly out-there Tim Burton film, but it speaks of animal cruelty and gives Milly, as a budding scientist, her due.
I recommend it.
Dumbo is presently in theaters.
The heist movie genre can be boiled down to two specific words: guns and cars. I’m not usually a fan of this genre, but sometimes a movie that falls within this genre surprises me.
In the new movie, Widows, Veronica (Viola Davis) lives an idyllic live with her husband, Harry (Liam Neeson) in Chicago. Their marriage is picture perfect. That perfection is about to be revealed as a mirage. Harry earns his living via less than lawful means and is killed in the process. The man who Harry stole from, Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry), not only wants his money back, but is also trying to go legit at the same time. Jamal’s brother and go to henchman, Jatemme (Daniel Kaluuya) is more than willing to help his brother get his money back.
Veronica soon learns of her late husband’s illicit activities and turns to the women whose husbands were killed with Harry to get Jamal his money back. Linda (Michelle Rodriguez), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) are at first reluctant to join Veronica, but they change their mind. At the same time, there is a local election going on. Jack Mulligan (Colin Farrell) is career politician whose father, Tom Mulligan (Robert Duvall) was also a career politician. With the election coming up and the plans for the heist underway, what truths will be revealed?
This movie is brilliant. It’s much more than the standard heist film, at least from my perspective. The movie talks about complicated issues such as class, money, politics in such a way that it does not feel like a lecture. I also loved that the four female leads were not the typical wife/girlfriend/love interest of the male characters that are usually seen in this genre of film. They were strong, capable and completely willing to do what needed to be done to ensure their success.
I recommend it.
Widows is presently in theaters.
Every culture has their own myths regarding creatures that are not quite human. In the Irish culture, the myth of the selkie has been told for generations.
In the 2009 movie, Ondine, Syracuse (Colin Farrell) is a single divorced father who has finally stopped drinking. Earning his living as a fisherman, he is taking care of his daughter, Annie (Alison Barry), who is living with kidney failure. While on the job one day, Syracuse catches a woman in his net. She calls herself Ondine (Alicja Bachleda) and begs Syracuse not to divulge her location. While Ondine is staying in an isolated cottage that belonged to Syracuse’s late mother, Annie learns about her father’s visitors and is convinced that she is a selkie. The question is, is Ondine really a selkie and how much hope can she bring before reality bursts this bubble?
I’m not a huge Colin Farrell fan. But I do like this movie. I like it because it is small in scope, focusing on only a few main characters. But, it also has a message about hope, even with our human foibles and our physical failures.
I recommend it.
Alexander The Great is one of the most revered politicians/military leaders in the history of the human species. Even today, thousands of years after his lifetime, many in leadership positions look to him for inspiration and strength.
In 2004, the film Alexander told the story of his brief, but history making life. Starring Colin Farrell in the title role and Angelina Jolie as Olympias, his snake loving mother, the film attempts to blend fact and fiction, while replicating the imagery and narrative of the biblical/historical epics of old Hollywood.
I have a problem with this movie. It’s long (about three hours), boring and while tries to entertain the audience/tell the story of the title character, it fails miserably on all accounts.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely not.
Tonight I saw Saving Mr. Banks, the biopic of how Mary Poppins was transferred from the page to the screen.
The film has two alternating, but equal story lines. PL Travers (Emma Thompson) is the author of Mary Poppins. Sales have dried up and she is in need of an income. For the past twenty years, Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) has been asking her for the rights to make a film based on the book. She has finally agreed to travel to Los Angeles to discuss the possibility of making the movie, but she is determined that it does not become too Hollywoodized.
The other story line is the flashbacks of her childhood in Australia. Her father (Colin Farrell) loves his family, but has flaws that prevents him from being the father and husband that he needs to be. Her mother (Ruth Wilson) does her best to be a good mother, but finds herself hindered by her husband’s actions.
We all know Mary Poppins, the movie has been part of our lives since it premiered. It’s like any classic, sometimes when you know the details and experiences of the author’s life, the story takes on a different meaning.
The movie clocks in at 2 hours. It’s a little long, but enjoyable.