Director Nisha Ganatra, who also comes from TV, doesn’t really create a cinematic experience that begs to be seen on the big screen, but treats the characters and the setting with enough depth to breathe life into an otherwise tired project.
With music that breathes new life to beloved songs with an emphasis on percussion and horns, and production designer Gemma Jackson’s luscious world building that borrows from various Middle-Eastern cultures as added pedigree, Aladdin is the rare remake that actually gives us a whole new world.
The premise of a bunch of 1919 circus freaks whimsically conspiring to save an elephant from captivity should be an easy layup for Burton, but he just goes through the motions here with a paint-by-numbers Disney climax.
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.