Featured, Reviews / 03.03.2020

By virtue of unfortunate comparison to Pixar's impeccable back catalogue of masterpieces, every new film from the studio faces a dauntingly high bar to clear. Last year, Toy Story 4 somehow managed to defy all expectations and walk off with the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in the process. Sadly, Pixar's first of two films this year can't quite meet the dazzling pedigree of many of its contemporaries. While it's naturally wonderful to see Pixar return to fully original storytelling for the first time in three years, the...

Reviews / 18.02.2020

It's been over 115 years since Jack London released his classic wilderness adventure The Call of the Wild; a book most of us were likely forced to read during our early school years. After several big-screen adaptations over the last few decades, it's time to dust off the novel once again with 20th Century Studios (so long, Fox) offering another take on London's work. Given CGI photorealistic animals are all the rage nowadays, director Chris Sanders makes the confounding call to make his canine star Buck a completely computer-generated...

Awards Season, Reviews / 19.12.2019

If the last twenty years and five films have taught us anything about Star Wars fans, it's one blindingly obvious fact; you cannot please them all. Serve up too many elements of the films that came before and you're derided for lazily recycling the past. Stray too far away from the tried and true formula and you're vilified for destroying the franchise. There really is no way to win everyone over, particularly with how sacred many rightly hold the original trilogy. In 2015, co-writer/director J.J Abrams was criticised by...

Awards Season, Reviews / 25.11.2019

Think back to a time before Disney's 2013 box office colossus Frozen became so insanely overexposed and we all started to become entirely sick of it. With a neverending flow of merchandise, "Let It Go" relentlessly playing everywhere you turned, a big-budget Broadway musical adaptation, and that misguided 21-minute-long "short" film that played before Pixar's Coco, it's no wonder Frozen-mania drove everyone a little nuts. With the all-consuming chaos that followed the film, it's easy to forget how sublime Frozen truly was. With a Broadway-style structure which harkened back to the Disney...

Reviews / 18.07.2019

How do you remake a film that's genuinely flawless? More importantly, why should you even bother? This is the inherent problem facing any Disney "live-action" remake seeking to capture the spirit and essence of a golden animated predecessor. We know the why, of course. Nostalgia brings in the box office dollars and Disney is intent on pillaging its vault of classics for huge financial gain. And they're showing no signs of slowing down. Arriving less than two months (!) after another remake of a 90s Disney treasure is edging...

Reviews / 18.06.2019

When Pixar brought their Toy Story franchise to an emotional close in 2010, they did so in truly remarkable fashion. Both critically-acclaimed (it remains the last animated film to be nominated for Best Picture) and universally adored (it was the first animated film in history to gross a billion dollars), Toy Story 3 was the perfect farewell to a perfect trilogy. Few truly wanted a fourth film. It wasn't needed. We'd said goodbye. We'd closed that door. We all suspiciously sneered at the announcement of another instalment as a cheap...

Reviews / 22.05.2019

Standing as the first Disney remake to be met with genuine alarm and sardonic online scorn, Aladdin arrives with a hefty point to prove. With many questioning the need for its very existence, this live-action re-imagining has caused all sorts of panicked anxiety amongst Disney purists. Put the pitchforks and torches down. Guy Ritchie's visual spectacle is far from the unmitigated train wreck many have predicted. Well, for the most part. While this updated version of one of Disney's most cherished animated works is entirely enjoyable (albeit rather pointless)...

Reviews / 27.03.2019

As we head towards our ninth year of Disney live-action re-imaginings, we're starting to reach the point of exhaustion, particularly when we realise we've got not one, not two, but three of them in 2019. These films represent a cash cow for the studio they simply cannot ignore. Audiences keep turning out in droves to watch the animated films of their childhood reworked into visual spectacles that have mostly artistically failed more than they've soared. Few films from my youth have meant more to me than the tale of...

Reviews / 11.12.2018

Join millions of other users and venture into a sparkling virtual world filled with flashy adventures, dark corners, and an endless cameo parade of beloved pop culture characters from past and present, as the daring male protagonist battles to save this potential utopia from an unstoppable evil force. Hang on. Haven't we done that already this year? And it wasn't particularly good? Thankfully, there's much more to Ralph Breaks the Internet than the lazy nostalgia fluff and pop culture reference overload that made Ready Player One so agonisingly disappointing. Standing as...

Reviews / 17.08.2018

While Disney's re-imagining of one of its most beloved icons tries admirably to reach the lofty heights set by that little bear in the blue coat, 'Christopher Robin' never quite gets there. With a tale that's unexpectedly despondent at times, there's a decidedly gloomy tone hanging over much of this film. That's not inherently a bad thing. It just may not be quite the film you're expecting. But when the clouds part and the joy shines through, it's every bit as utterly adorable and perfectly charming as you...