Yesterday, Boyle’s new Beatles-centric dramedy, comes closer than he’s ever dared before — which makes this likable, hummable movie particularly disappointing when it fails to ignite the pop fireworks of his best work.
Actual kids will probably enjoy The Secret Life Of Pets 2, just as they probably enjoy whatever mini-movies Illumination churns out to supplement its hyper-successful home-entertainment releases. But they might also start to sense just how mini this sequel feels, and start fidgeting after 15 or 20 minutes.
What’s consistent about Photograph is the way it maintains the delicacy of a particularly fine short story, complete with some ghostly supporting characters and plenty of ellipses where more conventional movies would amp up the exclamation points.
The world, the movie seems to be saying, expends a lot of energy on blithely incoherent messages to women, based on half-baked ideas rather than their actual experiences. As it turns out, Unicorn Store does the same thing.
It’s a watchably low-key family adventure, but that’s a low bar to clear for Nancy Drew, so well-suited to function as a gateway text—to Sherlock Holmes, Veronica Mars, Philip Marlowe, Brick, House, Encyclopedia Brown fanfic... almost anything involving advanced noticing.
Like so many expensive fantasies, Alita: Battle Angel feels burdened by dreams of a franchise that may never materialize. But if a series does come to pass, Rodriguez should stick around. However briefly, big-budget filmmaking has synced up with his playground aesthetic.