Christopher Robin (2018) Review

Disney’s latest live-action reinterpretation of its hallowed back catalogue is also easily one of its most muddled, despite the fact it's treading a very similar path to the one “Hook” forged nearly thirty years ago. All grown up, Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) is married with a daughter yet spends all his time at work, under … Continue reading Christopher Robin (2018) Review

Advertisements

Incredibles 2 (2018) Review

Picking up mere moments after the first film ended, “Incredibles 2” wastes no time in re-treading the same ground as its illustrious predecessor. Brad Bird had been reluctant to make a sequel to his superhero magnum opus until he figured out the right story. It turns out, the right story was pretty much the one … Continue reading Incredibles 2 (2018) Review

The Incredibles (2004) Review

There are very few films as perfect as “The Incredibles”. Not only does it work flawlessly as one of the finest ever examples of a superhero movie, it also serves as an insightful deconstruction and analysis of the genre itself and still finds time to satirise the rise of entitled fan culture with a prescience … Continue reading The Incredibles (2004) Review

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) Review

Not that long ago, in a studio not too far away... Turmoil has engulfed the once peaceful and proud Lucasfilm franchise. It is a period of [not so] civil war as a small band of separatist fans, feeling betrayed by “The Last Jedi”, lay siege to the latest “Star Wars” offering. Meanwhile, there is unrest … Continue reading Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) Review

Dark Disney: Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) Review

Suitably Autumnal, with Halloween overtones, “Something Wicked This Way Comes” sets out to create and then subvert the Norman Rockwell archetypal small American town. The story cuts right to the heart of the fragility of the American dream and the constant paranoia that somehow, their self-evident utopian land of the free and home of the … Continue reading Dark Disney: Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) Review

Dark Disney: The Watcher In The Woods (1981) Review

As part of In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood’s Third Annual Bette Davis Blogathon, I’m taking a look at the 1981 family horror movie “The Watcher In The Woods” and kicking off my own mini-series looking at a strange period of movie history when Disney went dark. Towards the end of the 1970s, … Continue reading Dark Disney: The Watcher In The Woods (1981) Review

A Wrinkle In Time (2018) Review

Buckling under the weight of its own aspirations, Ava DuVernay’s ambitious but flawed adaptation of adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle’s perennially popular sci-fi fantasy occasionally dazzles but all too often trips over its own feet. Four years after their scientist father disappeared, Meg (Storm Reid) and her adopted brother Charles Wallis (Deric McCabe) are told he … Continue reading A Wrinkle In Time (2018) Review

Superb Owl’s Trailer Hootenanny #5

Better late than never, eh trailer fans? Apologies for missing our usual Friday appointment to pick over the week's offerings, I was busy with the Owlets. Anyway, no use crying over missed mice - on with the picks and peeks which ruffled feathers this week (and a bit)! Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald (UK … Continue reading Superb Owl’s Trailer Hootenanny #5

Coco (2018) Review

“Coco”, a vibrant and deceptively poignant exploration of the Mexican holiday the Day Of The Dead, sees Pixar once again doing what they do best: delivering a heartfelt story of family, heritage and passion in a visually stunning wrapping. 12-year-old Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) is determined to be a musician, like his great-great-grandfather. The only problem … Continue reading Coco (2018) Review

A Fox In The Mouse House

"You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!" That seems to sum up most people's reaction to the status-quo-shattering acquisition of the entertainment assets of Twentieth Century Fox. It's also, ironically, a quote which will become the property of the Walt Disney Corporation if the deal goes through. Both … Continue reading A Fox In The Mouse House

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017) Review

In the United States, “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” has been released along with “Coco” but, as we have to wait an extra couple of months here in the UK, we at least get the opportunity to watch this latest Disney short for the Kids’ Club ticket price of £3 (or thereabouts) plus the opportunity (should you … Continue reading Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017) Review

Descendants 2 (2017) Review

Stretching the definition of ‘Original’ almost to breaking point, Disney Original Movie “Descendants 2” takes us back to the world where all the Disney Classics have been reimagined and remixed into a glossy tween fantasy soap opera. As Mal (Dove Cameron) struggles to acclimatise to a life of being good, back on the Isle of … Continue reading Descendants 2 (2017) Review

Cars 3 (2017) Review

“Cars 3” begins by doing what most right-thinking people do, which is pretending “Cars 2” simply doesn’t exist. It then moves on to hoping you don’t really remember “Cars” particularly well as it sets out to tell the same story once again, only this time it’s Lightning McQueen who’s the reigning champion raging at the … Continue reading Cars 3 (2017) Review

Cars 2 (2011) Review

After the box office bonanza driven by “Cars”, notoriously sequel averse studio Pixar wasted no time in greenlighting a sequel to the metaphorically muddled racing movie. And much like “Toy Story 2” started out as a direct-to-video sequel which was promoted to the big screen, “Cars 2” starts out with the mentality of a cash-grab … Continue reading Cars 2 (2011) Review

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017) Review

Dead men may tell no tales but dead horses are still ripe for flogging it seems as Disney cranks out yet another sequel to the surprise 2003 smash hit based on a veteran theme park attraction. When a down-on-his-luck Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) trades his precious magical compass for a bottle of rum, he unknowingly … Continue reading Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017) Review

Beauty And The Beast (2017) Review

Did you ever watch Disney's 1991 animated classic "Beauty And The Beast" and think, 'wow, that script was really missing something'? The original, animated, Best Picture Oscar-nominated “Beauty And The Beast” had a running time of 84 minutes. This new live-action adaptation clocks in at 129 minutes and adds little but padding with the extra … Continue reading Beauty And The Beast (2017) Review

Moana (2016) Review

Disney’s new golden age shows no signs of slowing down as they cap an amazing animated year with the breezy, tropical feel good musical “Moana”. Drawing on Polynesian mythology, “Moana” tells the story of a young girl who longs to leave her island and explore the oceans. Encouraged by her maternal grandmother, Moana (Auli'i Cravalho) … Continue reading Moana (2016) Review

Pete’s Dragon (2016) Review

Disney’s hot streak of adapting their animated back catalogue into live action movies shows no signs of abating with this deeply poignant reimagining of the 1977 musical comedy. As the local logging company moves ever more aggressively into the forests of the Pacific North West, they disturb the home of Pete, a ten year old … Continue reading Pete’s Dragon (2016) Review

Finding Dory (2016) Review

With the exception of the “Cars” franchise, Pixar themselves are the exceptions to the usual law of diminishing returns which normally plagues sequels. However, in landing a sequel to “Finding Nemo”, a perfect story which really needed no follow-up would Pixar flounder or would the carping prove bass-less? A year after Nemo safely returned to … Continue reading Finding Dory (2016) Review

Alice Through The Looking Glass (2016) Review

While 2010’s “Alice In Wonderland” may have left critics unimpressed, audiences embraced its restless, kooky energy as Lewis Carroll’s mastery of the absurd and impossible was filtered through the dark kaleidoscope of Tim Burton’s vision. Six years later, “The Muppets” & “Muppets Most Wanted” director James Bobin has been tasked with delivering a sequel. Alice … Continue reading Alice Through The Looking Glass (2016) Review

The Jungle Book (2016) Review

A reimagining of a beloved classic film. An all-CGI environment. An all CGI cast except for one role to be played by a child actor making his acting debut. It’s not a recipe which inspires confidence, is it? All the more credit, then, to Director Jon Favreau, Cinematographer Bill Pope and the rest of the … Continue reading The Jungle Book (2016) Review

Zootropolis (2016) Review

The House of Mouse is on something of a roll at the moment, enjoying yet another ‘Golden Age’. It’s not just through its recent acquisitions of Marvel and Lucasfilm that Disney are riding high, their core Animation studio continues to go from strength to strength. Coming hot on the heels of “Wreck It Ralph”, “Frozen” … Continue reading Zootropolis (2016) Review

Tinker Bell And The Secret Of The Wings (2012) Review

I wasn’t particularly generous the first time I encountered one of Disney’s straight-to-video (although released theatrically in the UK) “Tinker Bell” movies. No, I wasn’t enamoured of “Tinker Bell And The Pirate Fairy” at all. My main complaint was how shoddily Zarina (the titular pirate fairy) was treated because she was so fascinated with science, … Continue reading Tinker Bell And The Secret Of The Wings (2012) Review

Disney Infinity 3.0 Star Wars: The Force Awakens (PS4) Review

With the official announcement of the forthcoming Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens video game, let’s take a look back at the most recent gaming adaptation of 2015’s highest grossing movie. *POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS* Although Disney’s first venture into action-adventure sandbox collectible gaming, 2013’s “Disney Infinity” was somewhat lacklustre, it … Continue reading Disney Infinity 3.0 Star Wars: The Force Awakens (PS4) Review

The Black Cauldron (1985) #Rediscovered

Infamous as the movie which almost killed off Disney’s animation studio (the “The Little Mermaid”-led renaissance was still four years off), “The Black Cauldron” staggered into cinemas in 1985, mortally wounded by a butchering edit at the hands of Jeffrey Katzenberg and a critical mismatch between the source material and the studio behind it. Loosely … Continue reading The Black Cauldron (1985) #Rediscovered

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) Review

Wisely choosing to open not with Disney's fairy tale castle in place of the Fox fanfare but simply the Lucasfilm logo followed by the    'A long time ago…' introduction, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” takes us back to that galaxy far, far away far more successfully than at any time since 1983. It’s hard … Continue reading Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) Review

The Good Dinosaur (2015) Review

Given its troubled route to the big screen, it probably won’t surprise you to hear that “The Good Dinosaur” isn’t Pixar at its very very best. However, we’re nowhere near the nadir of “Cars 2” here and any talk of “Inside Out” being merely a blip after the lacklustre “Brave” and “Monsters University” is wide … Continue reading The Good Dinosaur (2015) Review

Descendants (2015) Review

You’d think with all of Disney’s recent acquisitions that they’d be more competent at creating a shared universe than this. The set up is reasonable enough (if breezily oblivious to some disturbing constitutional and human rights issues): after their marriage, Belle and the Beast (who, despite now being human apparently still doesn’t merit a real name) … Continue reading Descendants (2015) Review

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond (2015) Review

After “The Iron Giant” and “The Incredibles”, I’ve got a lot of faith in Brad Bird. “Tomorrowland: A World Beyond” certainly tests that faith at times but ultimately rewards and renews it too. When Casey Newton (Britt Robertson), an idealistic high school student is arrested trying to sabotage the dismantling of the space shuttle launch … Continue reading Tomorrowland: A World Beyond (2015) Review

Toy Story That Time Forgot (2014) Short Film Review

Even massive corporate conglomerates make short films! Or do they just make really long commercials? How did you feel about the announcement of "Toy Story 4"? Delighted? Or a bit wary? The "Toy Story" trilogy is undoubtedly one of the jewels in the Pixar crown and many - and I count myself among them - … Continue reading Toy Story That Time Forgot (2014) Short Film Review

Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave: Spidey Swings Back Into A Friendlier Neighbourhood

Big news today then, in the world of Super Hero Movies with the (oddly timed) announcement that Sony and Marvel had struck a deal to share custody of Spider-Man and not only that but he is scheduled to turn up in “Captain America: Civil War” before appearing in another solo movie. It’s great news, news … Continue reading Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave: Spidey Swings Back Into A Friendlier Neighbourhood

Big Hero 6 (2015) Review

Continuing their recent strong run, Disney Animation Studios have dipped into the more obscure corners of corporate stablemate Marvel’s back catalogue and picked out a winner. But before we even get to the main event, we’re served up another treat as Disney continues its adoption of Pixar’s habit of including a supporting feature. “Feast” is … Continue reading Big Hero 6 (2015) Review

Into The Woods (2015) Review

With shared cinematic universes being all the rage, Disney must have been delighted to realise that Stephen Sondheim had done the work for them in his Tony award winning 1986 musical “Into The Woods”. Long destined for the big screen, after multiple production attempts, it’s fitting that Disney are the ones to finally bring it … Continue reading Into The Woods (2015) Review

Craggus’ Christmas Countdown Day 15: A Christmas Carol (2009)

Robert Zemeckis returns to Christmas animation with his take on another popular festive tale. Thankfully, unlike “The Polar Express”, with “A Christmas Carol” he doesn’t feel the need to add a whole bunch of stuff that isn’t in the book to pad it out. It doesn’t stop him taking a “written for the screen” credit … Continue reading Craggus’ Christmas Countdown Day 15: A Christmas Carol (2009)

Escape From Tomorrow (2013) Review

Filmed in black and white, with a deliriously off-kilter ambience, "Escape From Tomorrow" feels like a long lost episode of "The Twilight Zone" or "The Outer Limits", suppressed for years by Disney and only now coming to light. It tells the story of Jim White (Roy Abramsohn), a middle-aged father of two who learns he … Continue reading Escape From Tomorrow (2013) Review

Maleficent (2014) Review

It would have been easy to throw a bunch of lavish CGI special effects at the screen and simply restage the classic 1959 as a live action remake, but thankfully, that’s not what Disney have done here. Real love and care have been lavished on this production, teasing out an entirely new perspective on the … Continue reading Maleficent (2014) Review

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) #Rediscovered

I’d been toying around with an idea for an occasional blog feature called #Rediscovered where I’d sit with Mertmas and we’d watch films that I loved when I was around his age but I haven’t watched in years, sometimes decades – possibly even unearthing forgotten gems I’d never even seen the first time round. I'd … Continue reading Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) #Rediscovered

Muppets Most Wanted (2014) Review

You always know what to expect when a new Muppet movie comes around: there'll be spectacle, there'll be fantasy, there'll be derring do and stuff like you would never see. There'll be heroes bold, there'll be comedy, and a lot of fuss, that ends for us real happily. Yes, a movie – starring everybody and… … Continue reading Muppets Most Wanted (2014) Review

Tinker Bell And The Pirate Fairy (2014) Review

With The Mertmas being nearly eight years old and his sister not even being one yet, I figured I had at least three, maybe four years before I’d have to see films like “Tinker Bell And The Pirate Fairy” in the cinema. But, when he decided, having viewed the trailer, that he wanted to go … Continue reading Tinker Bell And The Pirate Fairy (2014) Review

The Lone Ranger (2013) Review

Director Gore Verbinski and star Johnny Depp have conspired to deliver a wildly inventive take on the Western which simultaneously honours the traditional hallmarks of the genre while cleverly and irreverently tweaking its foibles as well. Brimming with witty dialogue, colourful characters and a richly realised world, the result is an impressive and entertaining triumph. … Continue reading The Lone Ranger (2013) Review

Frozen (2013) Review

While Pixar can’t seem to break their recent slump (“Cars 2”, “Brave”, “Monsters University”), resurgent stable mate Disney Animation Studios is going from strength to strength; first with “Tangled”, then “Wreck-It Ralph” and now “Frozen”, bursting onto screens with the kind of confidence and artistry that evokes “The Little Mermaid” kicking off the Disney renaissance … Continue reading Frozen (2013) Review

The Odd Life Of Timothy Green (2012) Review

This film is something of a curiosity. A sweet fairy tale fable in which wishes are granted in a quirky and offbeat way and the central characters learn heartwarming and valuable life lessons along the way. So far so Disney. The cast is likeable, with Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton playing Cindy and Jim Green, … Continue reading The Odd Life Of Timothy Green (2012) Review

Monsters University (2013) Review

Since 1995’s “Toy Story”, Pixar have been synonymous with animated family films of the highest quality. Not only did they set the bar, they kept raising it every time they brought out a film. They even showed they could manage that trickiest of things: a sequel. “Toy Story 2” and “Toy Story 3” are the … Continue reading Monsters University (2013) Review