The bar is always set exceptionally high when you hear the word "Pixar." The animation studio has of course given us some of the very best movies - animated or otherwise - that have been made over the last 3 decades.
With that framing in mind, "Elemental" isn't among the very best of Pixar. But it is the sort of movie that we frankly need more of.
Here are reviews of several new movies opening this weekend theatrically as well as on streaming:
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.
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.
Forget what you know about the story of "Pinocchio," and then please, please, PLEASE forget about the recent Disney+ live-action remake from earlier this year.
I entered the theater thinking to myself: Is this what we need, another Pinocchio movie?
I left the theater, shocked and elated that I had just seen without a doubt one of my top overall (animated or otherwise) movies of 2022.
There have been worse family-friendly Halloween films than "The Curse of Bridge Hollow." Heck, there have even been worse Halloween films starring Marlon Wayans (see 2012's "A Haunted House," or on second thought, don't).
A few mildly scary sequences and maybe a handful of curse words are the worst of what you'll find in "The Curse of Bridge Hollow" (now streaming on Netflix), a film that is not "good" by any means, but one that at least isn't painful to sit through. The bar is high when it comes to Marlon Wayans comedies, I guess.
Review: 'Hocus Pocus 2' will cast a spell on those already entranced by the original...but that's about it
I'm not sure exactly what the allure of Disney's "Hocus Pocus" is, other than it is a dearly beloved Halloween event for many. Originally released back in 1993, the film, starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as three enchanting witches, was a box office dud. And yet, it has become an undeniably loved cult-classic, and for its coven of fans, a must-see yearly Halloween-time ritual.
It was Cinderella, not Pinocchio, who once told us, "A wish is a dream your heart makes." "Cinderella" - released back in 1950 (!!!) - came to us back in an era of experimentation, unbridled creativity and endless wonder, led by the American pioneer, Walt Disney.
It was a different time, then. 10 years prior to Cinderella giving us that famous line, we had been given "Pinocchio." Released in 1940, it was just the second full-feature animated film from Disney (coming three years after "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"), and it was a Disney-fied version of a classic fairy tale, mixed with important life lessons for the kiddos (a blueprint the studio would use for the next century) and featuring an iconic score and soundtrack that, to this day, can still evoke emotion from anyone who has even accidentally brushed up against anything Disney (and whom among us hasn't?). "When You Wish Upon A Star" is the melody that defines Disney, and has become their unofficial, official company slogan.
With the 2022 live-action re-make of "Pinocchio," I'm not quite sure what was wished upon exactly, and I'm not quite sure that that wish originated in the heart. It seems to me that this was more of a "directive" than a wish, from a corporate entity that holds nothing sacred. I can just picture current Disney CEO, Bob Chapek, humming to that classic Cinderella melody, "A live-action re-make is a dream my bank account makes."
On the heels of live-action versions of "The Jungle Book," "The Lion King," "Aladdin," "Cinderella," "101 Dalmatians" and "Dumbo," we get the wish-fulfillment of a live-action "Pinocchio," a wish that no one ever has made or asked for, but we all knew was inevitable. It's not so much "bad" as it is unnecessary, and it once again has audiences asking: Why?
They don't come any sweeter than "Marcel the Shell With Shoes On," a stop-motion, animated feature-film about a friendly shell, named Marcel, who is trying to be reunited with his family after becoming separated from them.
Squandering a premise that seems ripe for fun and laughter, "The Bad Guys" is about as bad as you can get.
Yes, kids for the most part will watch anything. But don't they - and we adults - deserve more than uninspired, generic dreck?
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