Javier Bardem in Pirates of the Caribbean 5

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: Can This Franchise Die Now?

Back when Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl came out, it was kind of crazy how much fun a movie based on a cheesy theme park ride at Disney World was. And while we can debate the merits of Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End, they created a decent action-adventure trilogy. Then came On Stranger Tides, a bloated garbage fire of a movie sans two of Pirates‘ three main stars and all of the magic of the first three films. If it weren’t for foreign box offices, Disney wouldn’t have broken even on that crap. Which made the idea of Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth installment, seem like a not-so-great idea. But, of course, money. Having seen Dead Men Tell No Tales, I can say confidently that Pirates needs to go away for good. Continue reading “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: Can This Franchise Die Now?”

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Beauty and the Beast Makes Me Feel Like a Kid Again

Goddamnit, Beauty and the Beast is absolutely magical. Even though the live-action remake of the 1991 Disney animated classic is almost entirely a shot-for-shot retelling, it manages to give new life to an old tale. In the same vein as Kenneth Branagh’s 2015 film Cinderella—also part of Disney’s current live-action fairytale remake trend—this film makes tiny tweaks to the original fairytale to give it a slightly different, more mature feel. Ha! I say “mature feel” as if I wasn’t sitting there feeling like a little girl again and dreaming of princess gowns. Continue reading “Beauty and the Beast Makes Me Feel Like a Kid Again”

Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso in Rogue One

Rogue One: The Untold Story of the Heroes Who Saved the Rebellion

You may not win the battle, but there’s a chance you’ll win the war. That’s the message at the heart of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Continue reading “Rogue One: The Untold Story of the Heroes Who Saved the Rebellion”

Movie still of Finding Dory (2016)

Finding Dory: A Fun Sequel That Doesn’t Disappoint

Man, this is the summer of sequels, isn’t it? But they’re either sequels nobody wanted (Now You See Me 2) or sequels that came decades after their predecessors (Independence Day: Resurgence). Fortunately, Finding Dory falls into the latter category because practically everyone wanted to revisit the beloved Finding Nemo characters. Hell, Ellen DeGeneres even campaigned for a sequel until Disney was finally like OMG FINE ELLEN. Continue reading “Finding Dory: A Fun Sequel That Doesn’t Disappoint”

Mia Wasikowska in Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

Alice Through the Looking Glass Is a Waste of Time

Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, which came out back in 2010, was a bit of a gamble. It was the studio’s first live-action retelling of one of their classic animated films. It was mostly CGI, which is ungodly expensive. And it starred a relatively unknown actress at the time (Mia Wasikowska) in its titular role alongside a well-known character actor who was starting to face backlash for his oversaturation (Johnny Depp). But it was a HUGE success, crossing the $1 billion mark, which helped greenlight the live-action retellings we’re seeing now: Maleficent, CinderellaThe Jungle BookBeauty and the Beast. Continue reading “Alice Through the Looking Glass Is a Waste of Time”

Neeli Sethi as Mowgli and Bill Murray as Baloo in 2016 The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book Is a Gorgeous Must-See

The Jungle Book (1967) is easily one of my favorite animated Disney films. A young boy grows up and has adventures with animal friends to a soundtrack that includes jazzy songs like “I Wanna Be Like You” and “The Bare Necessities”? Yeah, I’m so there. Not to mention, it dodged British imperialism and the homicidal elephant ending from Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 story, so that was nice (though it did still have issues with racial stereotypes). Fortunately, the live-action version keeps the spirit of the 1967 animated classic alive. Continue reading “The Jungle Book Is a Gorgeous Must-See”