Tag Archives: Thandie Newton

Dumbo Movie Review

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.

 

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Filed under History, Movie Review, Movies, New York City

The Critics Were Wrong (Maybe)- Eddie Murphy Double Feature- The Haunted Mansion (2003) & Norbit (2007)

Eddie Murphy was once one of the most respected  and successful comics and actors in Hollywood. Unfortunately, that reputation has gone down the tubes in recent years.

In 2003, he starred in the Haunted Mansion. Based on the Disney ride of the same name, Jim Evers (Eddie Murphy) and his wife Sara (Marsha Thomason) run a successful real estate company. But the business is successful because his family comes second to work.  When they receive a call about a new property, Jim cannot resist the offer. But the property’s owner, Master Gracey (Nathaniel Parker) and his butler, Ramsley (Terence Stamp) are an odd pair. Jim will discover that the house is haunted and Master Gracey has specific reasons for his invitation.

 Were the critics wrong?No. This movie tries to bridge the gap of action/comedy/family movie genre with a message of what is really important in life. But in reality, this movie is just plain bad.

Four years later, in 2007, Murphy jumped from plain bad to awful/atrocious/offensive in Norbit. Norbit is an orphan raised by Mr. Wong (also Murphy). He is engaged to Rasputia (again played by Murphy). Then he meets Kate (Thandie Newton), who is the woman of his dreams. Can he find a way to end his engagement or will be spend the rest of his days with Rasputia?

This movie is so bad it’s good. Rasputia is offensive as a character. Loud, extremely overweight, domineering and manipulative, she controls Norbit, who is without a backbone, with an iron fist. On the other side is Kate, who is sweet, caring and thin. Were the critics wrong? Absolutely not.

I do not recommend either movie.

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Filed under Movie Review, Movies, The Critics Were Wrong