Forgotten Gem – Queen of Katwe (*****) Mira Nair elevates Disney with some help

This pawn knows its own potential, but also realizes it takes the sacrifice and support of other pieces to help her reach her goal.

Zootopia (****1/2) preaches effectively (mostly)

The best thing is that the bad actors in the end are bad because they use differences to scare the larger voting base into being afraid of the smaller one. Fear, as we know, is the way to get votes these days. Saying someone who scares you is worthy of being scared of is a cheap pandering method that is used now more than ever, unless you're Libertarian.

Finding Dory (***1/2) is about new beginnings and never ending

If anything, this film shows us who the real star of the series is. There would have to be some major work done to incorporate Marlin as essential at this point. I am not sure Nemo ever mattered less.

Disney slightly improves The Jungle Book (***1/2)

To be sure, I am probably never going to own this film. I may watch it again, but I know there will be more sequels, more remakes and more attempts to improve on the profits of this property. I appreciate it for what it is, and I did like the way the characters look like their voice counterparts, much the same way they did in the original. The wheel comes back around and its spin adds not that much to the life of the story.

Maleficent (***1/2) True love falls from trees

Maleficent - 2014 Director Robert Stromberg Starring Angelina Jolie, Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Lesley Manville Screenplay by Linda Woolverton based on Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault  While watching Angelia Jolie's re-imagining of Maleficent, part of me is amazed at the myriad ways one is allowed to see beyond what is really Disney's most incomplete Princess story.. … Continue reading Maleficent (***1/2) True love falls from trees

Planes is straight arrow

Planes - 2013 Director Klay Hall Starring Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Priyanka Chopra, Brad Garrett, Cedric the Entertainer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Roger Craig Smith, John Cleese, Carlos Alazraqui, John Ratzenberger Screenplay Jeffrey M. Howard So Dusty Crophopper wants to be the fastest slug in the - er, wait.  That's a different movie.  Not that much different, though.  Dane Cook gives us as generic performance as his … Continue reading Planes is straight arrow

Frankenweenie: Where everyone looks dead, and the dog is.

Frankenweenie - 2012 Directed by Tim Burton Starring Charlie Tahan, Frank Welker, Winona Rider, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Landau, Martin Short, Robert Capron, Atticus Shaffer Screenplay by John August Tim Burton has occupied this strange place in Americana as "macabre for the family."  His mixture of preciousness, precociousness and comedy has been imitated, but not as often as his … Continue reading Frankenweenie: Where everyone looks dead, and the dog is.

CPE and Em (and El): You don’t have to save the world to be Brave

Brave - 2012 Directed by Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman Starring (voices) Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Craig Ferguson, Kevin McKidd, Robbie Coltrane, John Ratzenberger Screenplay by Brenda Chapman, Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Irene Mecchi Expectations for Pixar lowered significantly over the last year.  Cars 2 was the kind of film released when a company is out … Continue reading CPE and Em (and El): You don’t have to save the world to be Brave