Tagged Adventure

The Lion King (Favreau, 2019)

I have criticized Disney remakes in the past for their pointlessness; I have also given some a pass for their ability to entertain. The Lion King is not only a black hole of entertainment, it even goes beyond the realm of pointlessness. It makes no logical sense. It wants these animals to be majestic and lifelike beings.…

Aladdin (Ritchie, 2019)

It is quite the relief when a movie that has been beleaguered with terrible promotion turns out to be better than expected. And let me tell you, Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin instilled no confidence before its release date. When Will Smith’s buff and blue Genie was finally unveiled to a flurry of online backlash and mockery, I couldn’t…

Dumbo (Burton, 2019)

These Disney live-action remakes are threatening to create more cynics than converts, as we haven’t yet seen one that can stand on its own and make a case for itself. Worse yet, 2019 is going to be inundated with them, and there’s no telling if any will succeed in having artistic merit. Tim Burton’s take…

Ready Player One (Spielberg, 2018)

Sorry Spielbergers. I’m not sure I’m the audience for this kind of stuff. I do admire the thoroughness of the VFX work and how wonderfully the different avatars are rendered, and the whole sequence inside The Shining was kind of mind-blowing in how accurately it was all reproduced. We’ve come so far technologically, and as long as…

Mirai (Mamoru, 2018)

This is quite the shocking development for me, since I truly thought Mirai was going to be my deserving underdog for the Oscar this year. It’s hard not to root for Japanese anime whenever it’s nominated. It’s usually of much better quality than what the American studios have to offer. But all those nominees were from Studio…

The Wild Boys (Mandico, 2017)

What if Guy Maddin remade The Island of Dr. Moreau and it made it super gay? It’d probably be something like Bertrand Mandico’s The Wild Boys, which is an all-out unusual experience. Part coming-of-age narrative, part gay fantasia, part ripping sea yarn, the film follows a group of five boys who get out of hand and commit a…

Incredibles 2 (Bird, 2018)

I’m very fond of the first Incredibles film, and by and large, its sequel is a welcome return. The characters are much the same as we’ve left them, as are their voice actors. Their personalities continue to shine through. Bird’s action sets remain dazzling, full of force and verve that keeps you entertained. And, in a bit…

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (McQuarrie, 2018)

Fallout brings little that is new to the Mission: Impossible franchise. It also brings everything that is new. It’s not a contradiction as you would assume. To the first point, it follows similar currents that the other films established, such as death-defying missions with death-defying stunts, villains wanting to overturn the current world order, the reliable sidekicks (Pegg,…

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (Hallström & Johnston, 2018)

I’m not sure who asked for Disney to take The Nutcracker and its lore, dunk it in soul-numbing shellac, and turn it into a tedious fantasia for the holiday season. The ballet is still there, people! Apparently the magic of dance is not enough these days, so we have to add silly conflicts, barely-developed geographies,…

The Ornithologist (Rodrigues, 2016)

Provocative and evocative. These two words are the best way to sum up João Pedro Rodrigues’ strange film The Ornithologist. Attempting to put a queer spin on the mythos of St. Anthony of Padua, Rodrigues charts the journey of a handsome ornithologist named Fernando (Paul Hamy) after his kayak his destroyed by rapids and he’s rescued…

Paddington 2 (King, 2017)

We are lucky to have a film so pure, so in tune with what is right and decent, and so hugely entertaining as Paddington 2 is. I remember being similarly enchanted by the first film, despite initially writing it off as an innocuous kiddie flick before the great reviews convinced me to give it a go. Back…

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015)

I do think that The Force Awakens leans a little too heavily on the mythos of the first trilogy, almost repackaging the journeyman hero elements of A New Hope and sending it out to us as though it were a shiny new product. Look, it tells us, we’ve got a female heroine sensitive to the Force! We’ve got a likable black…

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Johnson, 2017)

Big, bold and beautiful. It’s hard to describe Rian Johnson’s achievements here any other way. This is the kind of Star Wars film that lives up to the grandeur of the title: high stakes galore, with whopping intergalactic conflicts, no clean moral divides, and drama within an inch of all lives depicted. It’s a madder, trickier vision…

Ferdinand (Saldanha, 2017)

Ferdinand is a difficult film to dislike, what with its sympathetic hero and the colourful characters supporting his journey. I quite like its firm stance against the barbaric spectacle of bullfighting, and if you dig deeper, Ferdinand’s gentleness and unwillingness to be a fighting bull could be interpreted through a queer lens. He knows he’s…