REVIEW: Joy [2015]

“No, I don’t need a prince” There’s a reason you don’t hear “Mangano” throughout David O. Russell‘s supposed biography of Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano and it’s because Joy isn’t real. Whether original scribe Annie Mumolo intended this aesthetic—she reportedly fought tooth and nail to retain her credit—or Russell retooled its tone, what could have been an empowering rags-to-riches drama proves a hyper-stylized comic fairy tale instead. So when Joy’s (Jennifer Lawrence) attending a professional business meeting introducing herself to people she hopes will take a chance on her ideas,…

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REVIEW: Cinderella [2015]

“Have courage and be kind” For anyone who cannot stand singing, Disney’s latest iteration of the timeless Cinderella is catered to you. I know Chris Weitz and the other screenwriters on the project before him poured through the fairy tale’s vast lineage for every detail they could cull together into what they surely believe to be the definitive version, but what I saw onscreen is the same thing I saw as a child in cartoon form. Just without the sing-songy “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boos”. There are a couple spoken ones for…

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REVIEW: Jupiter Ascending [2015]

“The problem with astrology … total bullshit” Sometimes filmgoers simply want to be entertained and often don’t mind when the means of that fun skews towards the headier side of things—no matter how implausible, campy, or convenient that direction proves. Jupiter Ascending isn’t trying to sell itself as some grand magnum opus that cures cancer; it’s merely a new space opera from the blockbuster sci-fi duo Wachowski Starship (Andy and Lana). They were commissioned by the studio to write exactly that in the hopes of franchise viability. Do I see…

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REVIEW: Blancanieves [2012]

“Never take your eyes off the bull” It appears Pablo Berger‘s silent, black and white interpretation of the Brothers’ Grimm‘s Snow White has become a casualty of its subject’s overexposure outside its home country of Spain. Nowhere more than America was Blancanieves pushed to the fringes after a 2012 Toronto International Film Festival debut and subsequent failure to win a spot in this year’s Oscars. One might have seen its parallels to The Artist as a glimpse of future success and yet here it is finally getting released after the…

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REVIEW: The Princess and the Frog [2009]

“Freedom takes green” Two-dimensional animation is back in the Mouse House, but for how long? The Princess and the Frog is the first hand drawn feature length to be released theatrically since a string of failures at the hands of Disney studios, before they bought Pixar and began distributing Studio Ghibli work. I have no problem saying that it is a return to form and hopefully a sign of things to come, showing that creativity still resides in the cell by cell creations. However, despite praise and opening weekend success,…

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REVIEW: Enchanted [2007]

“The steel beast is defeated peasants, you are free” Who better to deliver in the family friendly genre on Thanksgiving than Disney with their new animated/live action hybrid Enchanted. This movie is very cute and quite good at being both wholesome for the kiddies and tongue-in-cheek for the adults. You need to appreciate a studio being able to poke fun at itself. By using the classic stories of Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty, all made famous in their own right by the Mouse House, we are given some big…

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