L.A, 2022-09-09 07:00:00. Movie review: “Pinocchio” and more
Pinocchio: 3 stars
Tom Hanks as Geppetto in Disney’s Pinnochio. (Photo courtesy of Disney).
After introducing the unidentified intonation of his character Colonel Tom Parker in “The Elvis,” Tom Hanks is now Italian, and continues his exploration of global dialects with “Pinocchio,” a CGI mixed live musical, now airing on Disney+.
Hanks is Geppetto, an Italian woodworker who sculpts a doll named Pinocchio from a block of white pine. The lonely old man treats the Muppets like a son, and lo, after wishing for the star, Pinocchio (voice of Benjamin Evan Ainsworth), with a little help from the Blue Fairy (Cynthia Erivo), comes to life.
But is he a real boy? no. “To be truly real, he must go through an ordeal,” says the Blue Fairy. “He must prove to be brave, honest, and selfless.”
To steer the puppet in the right direction, the Blue Fairy sets the wise Jiminy Cricket (voice of Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to be his moral guide. His job is to teach the novice right and wrong. to be his conscience. “A conscience is that soft voice that most people choose not to listen to,” he says. “This is the wrong day.”
With good will and endless curiosity, the couple took off but were sidelined when Jiminy was imprisoned in a glass jar. Pinocchio is left to fend for himself, experiencing the vicissitudes of life like a doll cut into the world. Initially under the control of the ruthless puppeteer Stromboli (Giuseppe Battiston), he meets Bambwick (Lwin Lloyd), a mischievous boy who has an eye for trouble, and is even eaten by a sperm whale named Monstro.
Pinocchio receives many life lessons, but is he learning the most important life lesson? “The most important part of being real,” said the Blue Fairy, “is not what you make of it.” “It’s about what’s in your heart.”
“Pinocchio,” directed by Robert Zemeckis, is a respected retelling of the 1940 Disney animated classic. The juicy details are smoothed out from that movie and an 1883 book by Carlo Collodi—Pinocchio, for example, doesn’t smoke a cigar in this version—but visually, Zemeckis takes the lead. In classic Walt Disney Animation style. From the yellow doll’s hat, blue bow tie, and red leather chest, this Pinocchio is totally traditional.
It’s a colorful, action-adventure game that, despite the modern technology involved, feels old-fashioned – I dare say wooden – in its approach. Good messages about the importance of family and learning from your mistakes abound, the risk is kept to a family-friendly minimum, and like its main character, the movie is just a little bit naive.
Following in the footsteps of other live-action Disney remakes like “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” and “The Jungle Book,” the latest release of “Pinocchio” adds new technology to the story, but no new ideas.
Barbara: 3 stars
This image released by 20th Century Studios shows Georgina Campbell in a scene from the movie “The Barbarian.” (20th Century Studios via AP)
The horrific events in “The Barbarian,” a new rental-house horror movie now showing in theaters, are a better advertisement for a hotel stay than anything the Canadian Hotel and Residence Association could have dreamed of.
The story begins with Tess (Georgina Campbell) dragging in front of an Airbnb in Detroit’s dilapidated Brightmore neighborhood. Turns out the only house in the block that doesn’t have broken windows or a knocked down front door, is double booked, and Keith (Bill Skarsgård) has already settled in. She booked on Airbnb, booked at another location, the wires were crossed, but instead of sending her out in the rain to find another place to stay, he invited her over. And you take the bed, he says, I’ll sleep on the bus. She reluctantly agreed, winning over his seemingly good charm and feelings.
After the lights go out, strange things happen. At first, it’s scary but inexplicable, like old doors opening and closing on their own, but the next day, when you go downstairs to retrieve some supplies, the house reveals a dark secret.
Cut to Los Angeles, for the time being, and the worst moment in the life of TV star AJ Gilbride (Justin Long). Accused of sexual misconduct by a co-star, he was fired from his show and is the subject of a show in The Hollywood Reporter. With his career in decline and his bank account running out, he decides to sell assets, including the Airbnb property he owns in Brightmore, Detroit. “I’m not here on vacation,” he told his attorney as he landed in Michigan. “I’m here for some cash.”
When the story of Tess and AJ collides, “The Barbarian” takes one last left turn, this time to Detroit, circa the Reagan years, with the origin story of the innocent-looking house evil.
“The Barbarian” is a daring thriller with a combination of intense horror. Director Zach Cregger zigs and zags, confident audiences will stick to their wild ride. It is worth a visit. The tense atmosphere of Tess and Keith’s story gives way to AJ #MeToo’s cautionary tale and sinister origin story before it’s all thrown into the hopper to create a final third chapter of the genre. Nothing is off the table as the film deals with the worst of human nature, narcissism, murder and even incest. It’s a great combination that should have you moving towards the edge of your seat.
“Barbarian” is one of those rare modern horror movies that really keeps the viewer in balance all the time. It’s never clear where the story is headed, and those unbelievable stories make the scary story compelling. It’s a rollercoaster in which only one thing is clear: Don’t rent an Airbnb built over the catacombs.
Average: 3 stars
A scene from the movie Medieval. (Image courtesy of The Avenue Entertainment)
If “Game of Thrones”-style beheadings are your thing, the 15th-century set “Medieval,” now showing in theaters, might be right up your alley.
Based on the early life of famous Hussite captain Jan Sechka of Truknov (Ben Foster), “Medieval” is similar to the origin story of ancient superheroes. Zigka’s story is the stuff of cinema. He was a fearsome warrior, a hero who never lost a battle, so it’s not the story that gets in the way of the movie, it’s what it tells.
Set in the year 1402, the film opens with the voice of Lord Burrish (Michael Caine). Power, despotism, and violence; Europe mired in war, plague, and famine.
In other words, “Yikes!” The Holy Roman Empire is in disarray after the death of its ruling emperor. To prevent King Sigismund of Hungary (Matthew Jude) from assuming the throne by force, Zychka is recruited to kidnap Lady Catherine (Sophie Lowe), the French fiancée of Lord Rosenberg (Til Schweiger), Sigismund’s staunch ally.
In response, France sent an army to recover it. As the temperature heats up on the battlefield, so does Catherine and Jean, who, when not busy using the ax to fight the corruption and greed of the ruling class, find time to fall in love.
From the title onwards, “medieval” has a general character. It’s bloody and brutal – with just the right bone-breaking sound effects – when it needs to be, and it features time-honored detail, but the storytelling is equivalent: Game of Thrones Lite.
There are interesting elements, particularly regarding the warrior’s religious beliefs and political leanings, but Foster feels wrong. His trademark intensity is missing, which is baffling given the intense nature of the battle shots.
Medieval is the iron fist. The action scenes are pretty brutal, featuring the kind of violence usually reserved for bloody horror movies. The political plot is complex, and the film, which aims to honor a real-life hero, is inaccurate. Gets the correct time tone. The reaction of the rebellious local population, exhausted by years of high taxes, seems original, but Porich, for example, the catalyst for many events, was completely cut from the canvas. It’s as if history has been manipulated to suit the director of the story Peter Yeakl wanted to tell, rather than crafting the story around history.
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