Disney has had many animated hits over the years like the enchanted spectacle of Beauty and the Beast, or the adventurous appeal of The Lion King. However, in recent years, one title has dominated the scene and become a household name in the House of Mouse, and that film is none other than Frozen. Based on the fairytale of the Snow Queen, Frozen took the world by storm with its adventurous tale, memorable characters and catchy songs. Needless to say Frozen became a success and naturally, when this kind of thing happens to a movie, a sequel is put in the works; though when it pertains to Disney, their animated sequel tend not to get follow ups (at least not on the big screen). However that is not the case for Frozen as now in theater is the highly anticipated Frozen 2. Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, Frozen 2 continues to tale of two sisters who embark on another adventure. To say this movie had a blistering battle ahead of itself may be the understatement of the year as Frozen 2 not only had to live up to this year’s array of blockbusters, but its predecessor as well. The end result was the latter as while Frozen 2 may not have been as impactful as the 2013 film, it was certainly an enjoyable experience.
When it comes to Disney’s live action adaptations this year has certainly been crazy. The trend of Disney recreating their animated classics has been going on for several years now, but this year has certainly been the epitome of the trend. From Dumbo to The Lion King, this year has featured an array of titles from Disney’s vault and it is hard to imagine that studio what could come up with next. Well as it turns out there was one more film to take center stage and that would be none other than Lady and the Tramp. The 1955 film receives a new take with Charlie Bean in the director’s chair, but this adaptation comes not to the big screen but one of a more variable scale as the new movie is featured on Disney’s streaming service: Disney+. With Disney bringing new movies to this services, and the fact that I have watched the four previous adaptations from the year, I had to see this new take for myself. Truth be told Lady and the Tramp has never been a cherished classic to me so I was not expecting much from this new adaptation. However, while the film does not break new ground, I must admit Lady and the Tramp was quite enjoyable.
In 1980 a film by the name of The Shining crept into theaters and the movie world was forever changed. The adaptation of Steven Kings’ novel has been heralded as not just one of the best horror movies of all time but also one of the best films to ever grace the silver screen. Now in 2019, a year that has seen an array of Stephen King films, the holiday season gets a little eerie with the release of Doctor Sleep. The 2013 novel continues to the events of The Shining with Danny all grown up and the new film, directed by Mike Flanagan, is as much an adaption to the book as it is a sequel in the 1980 classic. Living up to The Shining is certainly no easy feat but Doctor Sleep certainly looked promising with its impressive trailers. Naturally, I was curious to see what was in store for this suspenseful looking adaptation; so on a dark and stormy night I ventured to this new movie and I must say Doctor Sleep did not disappoint.
The concept of superheroes continues to be captivating in the world of pop culture. The idea of heroes fighting crime is one that has been told many times in a variety of ways. However heroes are only as good as the villains they face, and in the case of Batman (while the Dark Knight has many foes) the one rogue that truly defines him is none other than the Joker. For years the Clown Prince of Crimes has been an iconic character in not just comic books but other mediums such as film as the Joker has been depicted five different times on the silver screen. With the superhero genre continuing to thrive, it was only a matter of time that this notorious villain would receive his very own own movie; and that movie has at last come to theaters in the form of Joker. Directed by Todd Phillips, Joker is a unique take on both the character and the Batman mythos as this standalone film creates its origin story for the sadistic clown. With cinematic universes playing such a major role for comic book movies these days, it can be difficult for a movie such as this one to stand out; and there is also the obstacle of interpreting Joker correctly to deal with. However what transpired was not just a movie that did the character justice, but shook the very foundation of comic book and superhero movies alike.
Dreamworks have made quite a name for themselves over the years. The animation studio has found an array of success with films such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. However along with its hits the studio has had its share of misses as well; whether it was trying to start a new franchise or simply doing something different. Needless to say, it seems that Dreamworks is taking another chance with their newest film hitting theaters: Abominable. Directed by Jill Culton Abominable is a joint production by Dreamworks and Chinese studio Pearl (who have collaborated before with Kung Fu Panda 3) and centers on a Yeti in China. I would be lying if I said I was looking forward to this animated feature. Seeing the previews for the movie did not do much for my enthusiasm as it looked like a typical animated adventure with standard characters and decent animation. Regardless, I went to see the film and after going on this journey I find myself surprised as, when it pertains to standalone movies, Abominable is among Dreamwork’s best.
When thinking about action movies there are several iconic characters that have defined the genre. Among these heroes is none other than the grizzled soldier Rambo. The character debuted in 1982’s Rambo: First Blood and the film became an instant classic. Since then the character has been featured in four sequels where the action continued to get more intense and sometimes a little ridiculous. It has been sometime since the action hero has graced the silver screen; so naturally one would think that Rambo’s war has come to an end. However that is not the case as now in theaters is the fifth installment in the action franchise-Rambo:Last Blood. Directed by Adrian Grunberg, Last Blood sees the seasoned hero return in what appears to be one final time. That prospect alone was enough to see this sequel, and if nothing else it could be an exciting action film.The end result was a movie that lived up to the name Rambo-albeit in a subtle fashion.
When it comes to directors with a unique vision, none may be more prominent than that of Quinten Tarantino. Since his work on Reservoir Dogs, the acclaimed filmmaker has brought his sense of style to an array of movies such as Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Inglorious Bastards and more recently The Hateful Eight. Now Tarrantino is back with his ninth motion picture and this time the director takes moviegoers to the land of the stars: Hollywood. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is a dramedy that depicts the stardom city during the 60’s. A film centering on a life in Hollywood is nothing new, but when you mix this concept with Quinten Tarantino, the end result could lead to anything. In this case what transpired was a film that was not only unique for the season, but unique for Tarantino himself.
What is it about scary stories that makes them so enamouring? The idea of ghostly hauntings continues to thrill all ages even to this day and it does in a variety of mediums; but happens when scary stories come to life? That is the concept that manifests itself in the new horror film Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Directed by Andre Ovredal Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is based on the book series by Alvin Schwartz. Along with being an adaptation, this film featured the contribution of acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro who produced the movie and helped with the story. Needless to say it never hurts to have Del Toro attach to a project such as this one. The preview for this film looked promising as the twisted imagery was enough to peak my interest. So, while it took me a bit to see it, I had a chance to endure this new horror film and although it did not frighten me out of my seat, I must say Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was still an engaging ghost story.
For many years horror fans have been familiar with the Stephen King novel It thanks to the book finding even greater notoriety with the television miniseries released in 1990. Then in 2017 the pop culture world was reintroduced to the tale when It came to the big screen, and it certainly made an impression. In the case of this Film Adventurer It was a frightening sight to behold as its stellar sense of story and character was only matched by its creative scares. Needless to say It was a horror film to remember, but it would not be the end of this story as two years later It Chapter Two would creep onto the silver screen. Once again directed by Andy Mushietti Chapter Two centers on the second part of the novel which features the losers club as adults. Aside from following up its predecessor I was curious to see just how this finale would wrap up. After experiencing all 2 hours and 49 minutes of this horror film I can say with certainty that It Chapter Two was both a worthy conclusion to this frightening adaptation.
Out of the superheroes out there I have always been a fan of Marvel’s iconic web slinger Spider-Man. From his quips to his relatability the Wall Crawler has been a cherished character to me in not just comic books, but pop culture as well. In the case of movies Spider-Man has had his share of hits and misses, but each entry in the franchise has brought something to the table; even Spider-Man 3 has something to offer, though its contributions comes in small doses. Recently Spider-Man has swung into a much bigger world since joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It began with the character appearing in Captain America: Civil War, followed by the Web Slinger’s own adventure,Spider-Man: Homecoming, and then the hero found himself in the massive blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War. Now the Webhead finds himself on a global adventure in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Directed by Jon Watts (the director of Homecoming) Far From Home is not only the next chapter for Spider-Man but is also the last part in Marvel’s Phase 3 ;which brings the Infinity Saga to a close. Despite my previous statement I have been apprehensive about this sequel as, not only am I just tired of the MCU, I have found Spider-Man’s direction in the shared universe to be problematic. So I was concerned going into this superhero movie, but after seeing it I found myself quite satisfied with Spider-Man: Far From Home