Christoper Robin -spoilers-
I just saw Christoper Robin, but it was the strangest movie I'd ever seen. It wasn't an allegory. It wasn't a symbolic film.
It wasn't fantasy. and to top it all off, it didn't even have a three act structure. The ending was like eating nestle's chocolate drips, too much sugar till you lost all taste in your mouth. The movie never explained why the daughter needed her father so much to the point of being smothered. No one is like that. And the mother was very non-understanding of his work hours.
There was no message here to be learned in the real world as the final financial showdown made little financial sense coming to the conclusion that if you stick your head into the sand and sing loudly, all your money, job, family troubles will simply disappear as you've now got all the time in the world to live in a dreamworld. And what happens when the obvious break into the alternate universe happens? Do they do construction in the hundred acre wood? This movie would have been a lot better if it was a pure fantasy. Instead, it was watered down into the twilight zone. It was entertaining, but disappointing. 3/5.
[Chris Wright] "I just saw Christoper Robin, but it was the strangest movie I'd ever seen. It wasn't an allegory. It wasn't a symbolic film. It wasn't fantasy."
It's a midlife crisis movie. It's ultimately not a lot different than City Slickers that way. His wife tells him to get his smile back, his kids would love him if he was more than a burned out shell of a man, but instead of a cowboy'd up cattle drive, he has to complete an oddyssey with stuffed animals. It's the exact same freaking movie.
Okay, with bonus points for Winnie the freaking Pooh and anybody who writes Hayley Atwell a check, which I guaran-dam-tee you wasn't big enough.
And by the by, Mary Poppins Returns -- splitting the difference between midlife crisis movie (variation -- dead wife; Disney do love their dead moms) and a barely plausible financial crisis movie. The movie was a dud, with not a singable song in sight, but bonus points to anyone who writes Emily Blunt a check, , which I guaran-dam-tee you wasn't big enough.
I didn't find it either of these as disturbing on that front as the two Incredibles movies, where I find that it's incredible that anyone besides middle-aged male critics find these movies palatable. They're normalizing truly toxic male behaviors, and not even for comic effect. They're trying to make them somehow heroic, or acting like the woman sucking it up and coming through when the dude acts like a dude is somehow a feminist triumph. Elastigirl would be a hero if she wasn't carrying Bob's dead weight. As it is, she's playing the B-plot to his Mr. Mom bullspit movie, where the second-most visible female character is in fact played by a dude. Horrible, horrible movies that send horrible messages about how middle aged men should act.
Okay, with bonus points for Jack-Jack and anybody who writes Holly Hunter a check, , which I guaran-dam-tee you wasn't big enough.
The Incredibles movies were so poisonous that it surprised me not in the least to discover that there was toxic male behavior spreading out of a corner office at Pixar, but what the heck is happening at Disney's live action division that they think that midlife crises and barely plausible financial crises count as family entertainment? Had they ever watched a live-action Disney movie before?
More specifically, had they ever watched anything Winnie the Pooh or seen the OSCAR WINNING original Mary Poppins? It's like these new things were made by people who'd only had the originals described to them by people who hadn't enjoyed them. Not just disappointments, but truly dismal, dispiriting downers that made me sorry I'd seen them.
I just looked it up -- my first negative review of anything since 2013. I hate doing it because I know that thousands of people busted their humps on these, including some folks who are in the COW. Nobody's happy when these things fall flat, and given how many moving pieces there are, it's kind of amazing that ANY movies turn out well. It's a miracle that so many do.
I'm not looking for miracles, though. I'm really not looking for much at all from my entertainment, apart from it being entertaining. 0 for 4 on these, in a year where I feel like I also saw some of the best movies I've seen in ages. I'll definitely talk about them soon. 👍
Going to have to take exception to your trashing of Incredibles 1 and 2. I'm putting it down to midwinter angst, though how you get angsty in Hawaii I can't begin to guess... the surf's not breaking right? ☺
I don't really wanna do a blow-by-blow recap of Incredibles 2 with you, but I'll just say I think there's more "girl power" in that movie than you hint at. Bob's masculinity has always been the butt of the joke in both movies, and the women have the really important roles and plot points in both 1 and 2, story-wise. A 14-odd-year development cycle won't lead to the most "woke" movie, I'll admit, but still, I thought they were better than you give them credit for.
I don't need 'em woke. I need 'em good. Neither was, and the only angst I feel is that I got suckered into paying for the second one after hearing how much better than the first it was.
And it was, nominally, if only because it stepped away from the dead-center mid-life crisis mishegoss to become e Mr. Mom riff. I didn't need those jokes in 1983 either. Okay, half a nod to Violet's storyline, but Elastiwoman's storyline only served to underscore that her character has been wasted. An angst-free fresh-fruit tropical raspberry from me.
I don't have any doubt that every Pixar movie from here on will be better. They kind of have to be by default. But I remain deeply disturbed by whatever is going through the heads of the heads of Disney's live action family division. Those films are cries for help, and I sincerely hope they find it.
To swing this back around to the positive, I can highly recommend The Kid Who Would Be King, a snark-free, angst-free, generous-of-spirit kid movie that's made for actual kids. Not being an actual kid, I'll confess that some of it was a little....kidsy....but not in the hyper-caffeinated, clanging way that most American movies are. It's a playful update of the Arthur myth by Joe Cornish, the British writer-director who also brought us 2011's Attack The Block, one of my favorite movies this century. What a pleasure to see such original takes on genre films! It makes me all the more aware of how rare it is to see movies with genuine heart in any genre anymore, and I say that (again) having enjoyed the best of 2018 as much as I've enjoyed many a year gone by.
Two terrific articles on Cornish and the Kid at TheRinger.com:
The Director Who Could Be Spielberg. It’s been eight long years since Joe Cornish’s first film, the instant cult classic ‘Attack the Block,’ made him one of the hottest directorial talents in movies. Now he’s back with a modern spin on the Arthurian legend with ‘The Kid Who Would Be King.’ What took him so long?
‘The Kid’ Is All Right: A Charming, Modern Take on King Arthur’s Lege... In ‘The Kid Who Would Be King,’ director Joe Cornish spins an age-old tale into a predictable but exciting live-action film that recalls a bygone era of children’s movies
(The bygone era referring in part to the notion of making children's movies for kids, rather than juvenile manifestations of unresolved issues around the accumulated bad choices of adult men who should just grow up already.)
And this deserves its own thread, but not only was Into The Spiderverse everything a Spider-man movie should be, AND everything an animated feature should be, AND everything a kids movie should be, there were scenes in it that were so beautiful I literally gasped. I did that a couple of times during Without A Trace (shoulda been in the running for Best Picture -- it was sure as shootin' the best thing I saw by a mile last year) and Free Solo (nominated for Best Doc, and would win if I had a say), and yeah, ultimately, just a staggering achievement in filmmaking on any level.
See? No angst. I just need good movies, and maybe all I mean by that is "better than whatever Mouse House is trying to shovel at me". Fortunately, almost everything IS better than that, so it's working out just fine.