Movie Trailer for: LUCA
Starring: Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, Emma Berman, Saverio Raimondo, Maya Rudolph, Marco Barricelli, Jim Gaffigan, Sandy Martin, and Giacomo Gianniotti
Director: Enrico Casarosa
Screenplay by: Jesse Andrews, Mike Jones
The film, which streams exclusively on Disney+ for all subscribers beginning June 18, 2021, showcases one incredible summer in the Italian seaside town of Portorosso—seen through the eyes of a sea monster named Luca.
Trailer for: Cruella
Starring: Emma Stone, Mark Strong, Emma Thompson, Paul Walter Hauser
Directed by: Craig Gillespie
Written by: Dana Fox and Tony McNamara
Genres: Comedy, Crime
Produced by: Andrew Gunn (“Freaky Friday”), Marc Platt (“Mary Poppins Returns”) and Kristin Burr (“Christopher Robin”), with Emma Stone, Michelle Wright, Jared LeBoff and Glenn Close serving as executive producers.
Maybe it’s the division politics has created, maybe it’s the pandemic we’re currently experiencing, who knows, but the messages coming through in this Disney film make it one of the most compelling and the most potent that I’ve seen yet. With its characters looking like dolls sitting on your shelves, of which there’s no doubt every fan will soon have, the animation is breathtakingly gorgeous. You’ll revel in what this film says and does and in the fantasy world that it creates for you.
‘Dumbo’ is the latest live-action remake of the Disney films. This 1941 animated classic gets a new look and feel by the genius mind of Tim Burton. ‘Dumbo’ wasn’t known as one of Disney’s most influential films, therefore, anything Tim Burton could add to the story would improve it significantly, and he does just that. Included in this retelling is the magic that makes you feel as if you’re watching an old-style Tim Burton movie. Maybe because he realized how important a story about elephants would be. With the circus industry taking a big hit because of animal abuse, especially toward the elephant, he had to send a strong statement that he wasn’t condoning harming animals. He does this several ways. He gives you characters that both charm and please you. With his ‘bad’ characters, he gives you cruelty but only in the realm of suggestions. There’s no genuine love for the circus whatsoever. This is clear from the beginning to the end. Especially the end, which you’ll appreciate dearly. The animals are all CGI and he makes a point to let you know his story is a love letter to animals if nothing else… especially to the beloved pachyderm.
With every Tim Burton film comes a land of wonder and excitement to explore but what also appears is a note of hard reality and a ruthless villain to wake you from any trance-like state you could be in from his breathtaking visuals. ‘Dumbo’ has similar elements with an actual ‘Dreamland’ to try and seduce you. This is where it seems its most Burton like. The film is seen mostly through the lens of the children which is good and bad as it doesn’t dig very deeply into the adult characters. To extend the length of the film, the original was only one hour and four minutes, Burton spun a yarn around a veteran and his children. Their mother has passed on, he was gone, and they were being raised on the road. They need to bond once again and become a family.
In the beginning, we meet Holt Farrier (Farrell) who was once a circus star and is now a war hero. After returning from war minus a limb, the owner of the circus he worked for, Max Medici (DeVito), rehires him to take care of the elephants. Holt’s two children are more than happy to help when the female elephant gives birth to a bright, blue-eyed bundle of… big ears?!? Max bought the mama knowing that a baby would bring people to see him but when he sees what he calls a freak, he wants ‘it’ and the mother gone… and his money back! Already struggling to make ends meet, he can’t afford more loss! As he stomps around, visibly angry, the mama gets very upset and goes ‘mad.’ He sells her, keeping her and her darling baby apart. The children see Dumbo breathe in a feather and sneeze wildly. When this happens, he flaps his ears and… and he flies! Good enough! When word of this gets out, an enthusiastic businessman named Vandevere (Keaton) talks Max into going into a partnership in his park called Dreamland; where they make the impossible, possible. He explains that the future of business isn’t to have you packing up and traveling for the audience. If the audience wants to see what you’ve got to offer, they’ll have to come to you. Keaton and DeVito. Batman and the Penguin. Together again. This will not get by the fans of the Burton directed, ‘Batman Returns.’ Nor will the appearance of Dreamland compared to that of Disneyland where they’re already selling Dumbo toys in the remarkably similar theme park.
Vandevere’s aerial artist, Colette Marchant (Green) sees that she and the little flying elephant can soar through the tent together and swoon the audiences below. Max closes his circus and joins Vandevere’s Dreamland, managing to keep his entire troupe together in the process. While traveling through Dreamland, you’ll see a somewhat spooky message about the 20th Century and about automation ‘helping’ humans. Watching the scene, I couldn’t help but think how spot on he is. It has helped. But are we the better for it? Is Max better for getting into business with a snake? Time will tell.
If you’re wondering why you should see this version of ‘Dumbo,’ Tim Burton is reason enough to attend, but he also brought along the magnificent Danny Elfman to score the film. Elfman’s arrangement for the ‘Pink Elephants on Parade’ is simply sublime. It’s quite distinctive from the original and the visuals are more low-key which I think may have been done so you could simply sit back and experience what Elfman offers your ears. The film is touching, it’s sweet and magical. This is imaginative but now that they’ve opened it up, I’d like to see Disney attack the subject of what elephants are facing today with one of their Disney Nature films. The truth of it needs to be treated with utmost urgency.
Official Website: https://movies.disney.com/dumbo-2019
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‘Mary Poppins Returns’ is a marvelous, mystical, magical musical that revolves around the same siblings, Michael (Whishaw) and Jane Banks (Mortimer), from the story within the original Mary Poppins. There are three children in this rendition. The youngsters are, Anabel (Pixie Davies), John (Nathanael Saleh) and little Georgie (Joel Dawson). Their father is Michael who’s now widowed. Not long after we meet him, Michael, missing his wife Kate terribly, sings a song called ‘A Conversation.’ In the song he asks Kate where she is. It’s depressing but quite moving. The lyrics at the end of it are, ‘But still, one question fills my day dear. The answer I’ve most longed to know. Each moment since you went away, dear. My question, Kate, is… Where’d You go?’ Heavy lyrics for a ‘family movie.’
This moment in the film is very different from the opening number that has Lin-Manuel Miranda’s, Jack the Lamplighter, singing and dancing while extinguishing the street lamps in, ‘(Underneath the) Lovely London Sky.’ You’ll be impressed with both numbers and already fully invested in this film. The score is gorgeous. The songs are passionate, and you’ll be ecstatic you made the choice to see this at the theatre rather than waiting. Trust me on that. And not only will you love it but it’s for everyone of all ages so bring the whole gang!
Something you’ll likely appreciate most is that some of the animation goes back to old-style Disney. It’s nostalgic, for certain, but its color is vibrant and brings about a feeling of happiness as you watch. It’ll also force smiles on every face in the audience. Color, cheer, happiness and smiles. Not a bad night out. This perfect recipe is a rare find in movies these days.
Set in Depression-era London, or the Great Slump of the 1930’s, Michael and the kids still live in the home that he and his activist sister, Jane, grew up in. Only now, he’s without his wife Kate who used to take care of the finances. Unfortunately, he’s having some money trouble of late, a lot of money trouble, and is about to lose their cherished home on Cherry Tree Lane. In fact, he has until midnight to pay a loan to the evil banker, William Weatherall Wilkins (Firth), that he took out against the house or they’re out in the streets. Seems there’s always an evil banker somewhere, doesn’t it? This one is particularly cruel and not so innocent. Think Potter from, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’
Enter the somewhat self-centered, Mary Poppins. Well, why not be at least moderately egotistical? After all, you can float down on an umbrella and change the lives of everyone you come into contact with. I think that deserves a little puffing of the chest. Yes. From up above, Mary Poppins, attached to the children’s kite, descends upon them once again. Jane and Michael admit to thinking she wasn’t ever real. Grown-ups, am I right? After an outstanding bathtub scene, a bowl is broken in the kids’ room. When this happens, the children are whisked away onto the bowl and begin to see fully what and who Mary Poppins is. There is a rather dark part here full of warnings and strong messages as they try to fix the bowl. The graphics during all of this is eye-popping, to say the least. They’re now in a fascinating world, being taught lesson after lesson. One of those lessons is to beware of what you only think you know… to never judge a book by its cover. This comes by way of the song ‘A Cover is Not the Book,’ which has some amusing lines. Here’s a peek. ‘A cover is not the book. So, open it up and take a look. ‘Cos under the covers one discovers. That the king may be a crook. Chapter titles are like signs and if you read between the lines. You’ll find your first impression was mistook. For a cover is nice but a cover is not the book!’ Each song of the soundtrack is easy to learn, and you’ll be singing along in the theatre before you know it!
I could go on forever, but I may as well just review by saying this… GO SEE THIS ASAP! The costumes, animation and the sets are unbelievable. Sensational! And certainly, you don’t want to miss seeing Dick Van Dyke singing and dancing again. Then there’s Julie Walters and Angela Lansbury in the cast. One of my favorite parts is Meryl Streep singing ‘Turning Turtle.’ It’s unbelievably good! This scene is delightful and quite peppy!
Look, whatever you do, don’t worry that you won’t like it. No one is going to forget Julie Andrews, and no one involved in making this film wants them to forget her or her performance. Most of all, Emily Blunt. This is simply her take on this beloved character. After you see her performance, I think you’ll agree she was the perfect choice to play the role. That said, her Mary Poppins is a bit stricter than the character was in the original. She doesn’t put up with any shenanigans. No ‘Spoonful of Sugar’ for the kiddies here which more resembles the P.L. Travers’ books.
This beautiful, glorious and extremely charming movie is entrancing, especially during certain musical numbers. I’ll leave you with this. I beg you to see ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ on the big screen. If you do, you’ll be fully aware that you’re watching another classic as it was meant to be seen. So, listen to Shari and go see it today. Then go see it again… and again… and again. The ‘Balloon Lady’ insists.