Essentials: Sleeping Beauty

The plot of Sleeping Beauty is so familiar that it's easy to dismiss watching Disney's original film. But what sets Sleeping Beauty apart from its animated brethren is not its story, but its design. More than any other Disney film, Sleeping Beauty feels like a work of art, a film whose power relates to its... Continue Reading →

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Could It Have Been Saved?: Maleficent

"Maleficent" all in all is a chore to sit through. It has gorgeous cinematography, but that is no excuse for story. The twist at the end is its most memorable aspect and redeems a bit of a ho-hum story, but so much of it is forgettable. At first thought, I thought the film needed to... Continue Reading →

“Aladdin” doesn’t try to be different enough

Another month, another Disney live-action remake. Mostly, the studio has played it safe. Indeed, many of these films seem nearly shot-for-shot portrayals of their animated counterparts. Does "Aladdin" give us something, anything different to pique our interest? Eh, a little bit. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the movie tells the familiar tale of Aladdin (Mena Massoud),... Continue Reading →

Why Do Prequels Suck?

This past November saw the release of "The Crimes of Grindelwald", the second installment in the Harry Potter prequel series. After the first entry, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them", performed somewhat admirably, "Grindelwald" has been panned by critics and has served up a general lackluster box office take nationally. There will always be... Continue Reading →

On Rewatching “The Last Jedi”

Like many, I was disappointed with Rian Johnson's recent Star Wars film. I thought "The Force Awakens" was a great film, evoking the spirit of the original trilogy while also adding new characters and moments to the mythos. Yes, it borrowed its plot too heavily from "A New Hope", but the core dynamics of story... Continue Reading →

“The Last Jedi” is a mixed bag

*SPOILERS ABOUND* There are some great scenes in the latest "Star Wars" film. A confrontation in the throne room of Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) between both apprentices, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Rey (Daisy Ridley). A daring sacrifice to save the remnants of the Resistance fleet by Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern). Luke staring... Continue Reading →

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