REVIEW: Paddington 2 [2017]

“Where all your dreams come true” In true children’s book fashion, Paddington’s (Ben Whishaw) continuing adventures in London alongside the Brown family (Hugh Bonneville‘s Henry, Sally Hawkins‘ Mary, Madeleine Harris‘ Judy, Samuel Joslin‘s Jonathan, and Julie Walters‘ Mrs. Bird) would of course stem from something as seemingly innocuous as procuring a birthday present for his […]

REVIEW: Paddington [2014]

“Does anyone know where I can find a home?” I remember reading Michael Bond‘s Paddington Bear books when I was a kid and might have even had a duffle coat-wearing stuffed animal too. But I couldn’t tell you a thing about those stories if you put a gun to my head and asked. I recall […]

REVIEW: Pride [2014]

“Oh good. I haven’t spoken 1950s in ages.” If you’re going to make a film with a sprawling ensemble of characters equally unique and important to the point where your only true lead is a message of solidarity and comradery itself, it’s a good move to look towards the theater. Pride is the screenwriting debut […]

REVIEW: Maleficent [2014]

“Goodbye, Beastie” Let’s be honest, Disney’s Sleeping Beauty is a bit of a bore. I remember my sister often wanting to watch when we were kids and me having none of it until the end’s fire and brimstone and menacing dragon spawned from the tale’s creepy, wide-smiling villain. Did I understand the fairy’s reason for […]

REVIEW: Arthur Christmas [2011]

“In Santa We Believe” After the box office failure of Flushed Away, I was worried Aardman Animations may have been dead. With the fire that consumed thirty years of their history and the realization mainstream Americans simply don’t ‘get’ thew British-tinged dry humor, the Academy Award for Wallace & Gromit didn’t seem to prove enough. […]

REVIEW: Another Year [2010]

“The bonding of the jilted” Four seasons of love, laughs, and family for the Hepples is a year of angst, tragedy, and depression for those surrounding them. As such, Mike Leigh’s new film is aptly titled Another Year, showing us a day or two from each quarter spanning Spring to Winter. Tom and Gerri—yes, they […]

REVIEW: Nanny McPhee [2005]

“I did knock” Based on the children’s stories of Nurse Matilda by Christianna Brand, the British film Nanny McPhee tries its best to grab hold of the magic ever-present in Disney’s Mary Poppins. Liberties are taken—the number of children is changed and the mother, alive in the novels, has passed on in the film—by Oscar-winning […]

REVIEW: Taking Woodstock [2009]

“Like ants making thunder” Truthfully, I believe that the thing so many detractors point to concerning Taking Woodstock is my favorite part of the whole endeavor. I thought that the trailers did a very good job of explaining that Ang Lee was telling a story about the behind the scenes construction of the festival, using […]

REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix [2007]

“Naughty children deserve to be punished” **Spoilers Included** For starters: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was by far my least favorite book in the series. Not much happens until the end—which is actually pretty good. There is a lot of repetition through the beginning of the story and Harry’s adolescent anger and […]