Movie Review: Zootopia

Zootopia is funny, kind of cute, and is being completely misinterpreted. I’ve seen half a dozen articles about how it will be a good tool to teach your kids about police brutality, which I don’t really think is true. It will be a tool to teach your kids about prejudice, and if you are clear and involved in the way you do it, it might even be a good tool. But, ultimately, I think Zootopia is really about systemic bias. And how even people trying to make a difference for good can botch the whole thing up with ill-considered words. Now, because it’s a Disney movie, it all gets wrapped up neatly in a happy ending.

One of the other lessons in Zootopia seems to me to be that the only one who can make a difference is the person who tries. And it’s perfectly possible for that person to botch the whole thing up, but if they keep trying, they might just do what they are trying. Yeah, it’s a little trite, but all Disney movies are just a touch trite. That’s what happens with kids movies.

My last observation is that Zootopia relies a lot on stereotypes. But where Zootopia really shines is when it breaks through the stereotypes. The funniest bits all happen at those times. And the best bits too.

Movie Review: Deadpool

 

Deadpool was hilarious, filthy, and made for people who were teenagers and college students in the ’80s. So don’t take your 10-year-old to it. It proudly earned it’s R rating.

The movie is about a man named Wade Wilson who falls in love and then finds out he has terminal cancer.  Then someone shows up to tell him they can cure his cancer.  Well…after a while, he convinces himself to go for it and that experience turns him into Deadpool. And then he gets mad.

Deadpool, as a movie, is as completely self-deprecating as the character Deadpool. And because this movie was a giant success, Fox and Sony are going to think that all they have to do is make R-rated superhero movies to repeat that success. And they will utterly miss the mark, because Wolverine is not utterly self-deprecating. Wolverine is angry. Angry won’t work in the same way self-deprecating, and so we, I predict, will be subjected to a bunch of R-rated attempts to remake The Dark Knight or X-Men: Origins or what have you and we’ll be stuck with god awful Christopher Nolanesque superhero movies with more sex and violence and a lot of fucks and they’ll be terrible.

But, we can always return to Deadpool and say, well, at least they got it right once.

Movie Review: MacBeth (2015)

MacBeth has filmed many times, by many actors and directors. The most recent production is Justin Kurzel’s production starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cottilard as the titular monarch and his wife.

Kurzel’s film is highly stylized. The Scottish countryside exudes a chill atmosphere, that sets the bleak tone of “The Scottish Play.” I will also mention that the battle scenes have a certain feeling of brutality to them, if stylized again. Your fantasy and war story touchstones won’t much exceed this film of MacBeth, excepting, perhaps, Game of Thrones, which I have not seen so as to compare them.

Michael Fassbender does an excellent job as MacBeth, excepting that there was too much quiet in the plotting conversations for my poor hearing. And Marion Cotillard was equally as good as Lady MacBeth, once again excepting the same flaw, which I blame on the director in both cases.

I will say that this version is shorter than a lot listed elsewhere – Rupert Goold’s production starring Patrick Steward was forty minutes longer; the BBC version starring Brenda Bruce was thirty minutes longer; the version directed by Polanski was thirty minutes longer. In acheiving this, there are many of the purely expository scenes cut or combined. Some have complained about this, but I don’t see it as a particular problem.

I would say that I liked this version of MacBeth, though it is suitably bleak, and dark as a production of MacBeth tends to be. Fans of Shakespeare and those of the Scottish Play are well advised to see this film.

The US trailer is at the top of this post.

I will also include links to some of the other trailers.

UK Trailer

International Trailer

All three are similar, but slightly different.