As far as Wonder Park goes, it’s basic, but not condescending. I especially appreciated an important addition to the finale that deals with how children should handle their feelings with balance and moderation.
The Kid Who Would Be Kid hits the family classic trifecta: Spectacular fun for kids and adults, full of important themes, and a rebellious attitude in regard to the wide range of things grownups are messing up.
It’s endearing to see Burger change his typically harsh tone to create a story awash with such positivity. And just like its French original, The Upside is fairly superficial, but warm enough for the studio dumping ground known as January. One could do a lot worse.
It’s hard enough to have a fully CG character as your co-star, and it’s even tougher when an actor is tasked with creating a deep emotional bond with something she can’t even see during production. Steinfeld is up to the challenge, making us believe in Bumblebee’s existence almost as much as the animators who worked on bringing him to life.
There are some individual moments and elements to like here, but taken as a whole, Bohemian Rhapsody is mostly a flatline with occasional blips of life here and there—and not nearly enough to bring the whole body back from the dead.
Abrahamson can transition seamlessly between static James Ivory-type long shots of the soothing English countryside, easing the audience into a sense of comfort that comes with the high-class beauty of the period drama, and uncomfortable close-ups of faces, weaning in and out of focus, daring us to confront the neuroses of the characters head on. Underneath the veneer of uber-polite socializing is a vast inner turmoil.
As messy and predictable as its plot can get, A Simple Favor is an engaging throwback to the aforementioned tongue-in-cheek mysteries, drawing much of its energy from the chemistry between Kendrick and Lively. It need not be any more than that.
All of the plot developments, including the third act twist, are predictable for aficionados of the genre, but the many successful standalone comedy and action sequences, as well as the natural chemistry between Kunis and McKinnon, keep us going.
Gus Van Sant’s film certainly captures how Callahan used whimsy as a defense mechanism against seemingly insurmountable real-life conflict, but Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot captures little of how Callahan’s art was such a vital part of that whimsy.
Tag is a bit of a mess, the well-paced runtime not allowing gag-based physical comedy and dramedy to exist equally on the same plain, just barely fun enough to keep an otherwise one-joke premise elevated.