I didn't know what I expected when I sat down in the theater to see "Polite Society," but my expectations were exceedingly shattered.
This is a fun, wild, spirited action-comedy romp, with fantasy elements that make comparisons with films like "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" inevitable. First time writer/director Nida Manzoor is a break-out, as are her two leading ladies, Priya Kansara and Ritu Arya, who combine to pack quite the punch in what might be the most surprisingly enjoyable film of 2023.
I'm a sucker for a good coming-of-age story, and "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" is a great one.
With focus, authenticity and a better-than-expected cast, this is a crowd-pleaser that will withstand the test of time, much like the book that it's based on.
If there was ever a classic Disney animated film in need of an update, it's the 1953 "Peter Pan" movie. It's depiction of Native Americans have made it an uncomfortable watch - at best - and so "Peter Pan & Wendy" is one live-action Disney remake that is probably a good thing.
But this Peter Pan's flight plays it mostly safe and unimaginative. Neverland has never been depicted quite as boring, and a few big casting blunders makes "Peter Pan & Wendy" grow old, quickly.
Real life BFFs Matt Damon and Ben Affleck - counting their new film "Air" - have been in a total of nine films together. Mostly though, people bring up their Oscar-winning "Good Will Hunting" as the definitive Damon/Affleck film, a movie that landed in theaters in 1997, over 25 years ago.
I'm not sure if "Air" will still be lingering this coming Oscar season, but it's definitely another crowd-pleasing gem from Ben Affleck the director, who has shown to be a real force behind the camera even more so than in front of it.
It's hard to believe that there has never been an animated film featuring Mario and his brother Luigi, until now. "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" doesn't have the "coolness" or cutting-edge appeal as, say, "The LEGO Movie" did, and it wasn't quite as fun as the recent "Sonic The Hedgehog" film, but it's a mildly enjoyable, family-friendly adventure that does just enough to make it feel like a success.
The images you may see in the trailer for "Paint," may make you think that Owen Wilson is portraying the legendary, soft-spoken Public Television artist, Bob Ross, whose "The Joy of Painting" captivated people around the world.
But "Paint" is not a biopic, nor does Bob Ross have anything to do with this film. Sure, the look of Wilson's character, the easy-going womanizer, Carl Nargle, may himself have a popular public-access TV show about painting, and he may have taken inspiration from Ross's iconic appearance, but Nargle couldn't be more polar opposite than Ross.
The biggest difference? Ross is a joy to watch. Nargle on the other hand, is a grating, pompous-ass who gets by with his charm and talents. None of which leaves anything for us to root for in this bland, quirky "comedy," that seems to misfire at every opportunity.
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