Throwback Thursday: Big Eyes (2014)

Art knows no gender. That does not mean, however, that a female artist is going to get the same respect/reception that her male counterpart will.

The 2014 film, Big Eyes, tells the story of Margaret Keane (Amy Adams). In the early 1960s, Margaret was a divorced single mother who was trying to get by via her art. She is soon swept up off her feet by Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz). After marrying Walter, Margaret continues painting. What she does not know is that her husband is claiming that the work is his. In doing so, he is getting attention for both the success and failure of the paintings.

When she finds out the truth, she knows that she has only one option. Reveal the truth and rely on only herself to get by.

Directed by Tim Burton, this film falls very securely within the theatrical vision that audiences have become accustomed to. Adams and Waltz are perfectly cast. My problem is that I quickly got bored. Within a half hour of watching this movie, I felt no need to continue on. I hate to say that I was bored, but there is no other word to describe it.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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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.

 

Throwback Thursday- Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971) & Charlie & The Chocolate Factory (2005)

There is something about a piece candy or chocolate that will inevitably draw a child in.

Road Dahl’s classic children’s book, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory is a childhood fantasy. The doors to Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory are about to open. 5 lucky children are about to have the experience of a lifetime.

In 1971, the book was made into a film. Gene Wilder steps into role of Willy Wonka. Playing the young boy who is worthy of the final prize is Peter Ostrum.

In 2005, director Tim Burton decided to put his own spin on the story. Renamed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Johnny Depp steps into the role that previously belonged to Gene Wilder, Freddy Highmore is the young man who is the boy who is unique among the children who have been chosen.

The 1971 film has the hallmark of a late 1960’s, early 1970’s film. Bright colors, groovy fashions and an almost joyous approach to the tender years that are our childhood. The 2005 reboot is most certainly a Tim Burton film. It has the colors, the crazy landscape and the colorful characters that usually inhabit his films.

I recommend them both.

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