Posts Tagged ‘Disney’

Is #Zootopia Racist???

Posted: May 21, 2017 in -
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Zootopia Script

Fuck it all

Posted: October 6, 2014 in -
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Another great concept that disappointed, like Spring Breakers

This one caught my attention due to its unique legal questions: shooting a guerrilla film inside Disney World. The film’s lawyer argued successfully that it was a parody, and it may be, but this may not have been the original inspiration – or intent.

What it seemed like for the entire first half was a tepid family vacation. The fantasy didn’t ramp up fast enough, and what fantastical elements there were didn’t seem central or convincing. It was like they didn’t believe in the fantastic enough to run with it, and so it was confined to the realm of family melodrama.

But then the second half came, and I almost flipped and reassessed my review. Things got out of hand, but perhaps lacking any internal logic. I’m afraid this script could have used a second opinion before they shot it. That’s a shame, because you only get one chance to skewer the big rat, and this one didn’t so much. The company was never really the antagonist; it merely provided the backdrop. Some shots made it appear like Disney was the root of the problem, but I didn’t find the theme well enough connected to the plot.

Much of the film involves the main guy lusting after a pair of young French girls. That really has nothing to do with Disney – now does it?

The two kids, however, really shine. Gotta give them props for filming a guerrilla movie all over a sprawling amusement park. I just wish there was more Cronenberg and Gilliam and less vacation photography.

3/5

 

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The guerrilla horror film shot in Disney World may be seen after all!  Check out the story behind its creation here.

 

And the awesome trailer:

 

 

 

THE LONE RANGER

I was suckered into sitting through this thing at the $2 theater.  We had to waste some time and sober up for a while.

Everything you’ve heard about it is true.  Abysmally bad, an insult to humanity, really.  It tasted like a soup with ice cream and marmalade and pork and garlic, hot sauce, chocolate syrup, chipotle, beer, ginger, confectioners sugar – blended all up while John Phillip Sousa music blares at 11.  In other words, something like this:

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I felt like a giant Mickey Rat tortured me for six hours.  In other words a fun time for all, and some others in the theater called it a “great movie,” to their impressionable children no less.

In the words of the prophet, Bill Hicks, “Boy, is my thumb not on the pulse of America.”

They appeared to try.  So it was difficult to figure why it is so unwatchable.  It doesn’t know if it’s a slapstick comedy or a chilling drama about genocide, and the corporate scum at the top of the chain don’t really give a fuck.  Perhaps it was re-imagined by a computer program and directed by some experimental DARPA funded director-bot.  At least if it was a robot in beta testing we could cut the guy some slack, but I have a feeling this hack is still consuming our precious oxygen.

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After an uncharacteristically swift (and passionate) response to the bad Lone Ranger reviews I posted here yesterday, I figured I’d look a little more into this masked man and his crow-accessorized companion.

Some critics are calling it genuinely subversive, misunderstood and other sorts of praises.

Luke Thompson:

“This will not likely come as a shock to anyone, but lest there was any doubt, yes, it adds fantasy elements and makes many of the major characters insane, while not being remotely accurate to real history. What may surprise you is that there is a legitimate in-story reason for this, one that also accounts for its mood-swings, tonal shifts, and occasional plot holes that the story quite deliberately calls your attention to.”

More:

The Lone Ranger’s Lonely Defenders: Critics Ride to the Maligned Blockbuster’s Rescue

With  the Tomatometer in freefall at 23% and with audiences at 68%, quite the split, we have something to think about here.

I’m inclined to listen to what Native Americans think of it before taking the word of middle aged white guys.

Native Appropriations:

“It’s 2.5 hours of a film with an identity crisis, not knowing if it’s supposed to be funny, campy, dramatic, “authentic,” or what. At points it was very hard to separate the stereotypical and hurtful from the bad script, bad editing, and bad character development of the movie itself.”

Apparently its defenders are pulling a Pee Wee Herman:

“I meant to do that!”pee-wee-herman-20090810-174119

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Short film that Disney tried to censor.

CENSORED ONE DAY LATER

http://vimeo.com/67082312

Sorry, guys.

King Rat is watching.

He’s close friends with Big Brother.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Zoj2mJWlKUk

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Joe Giambrone

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Sometimes you have to give credit to Hollywood, and even to Disney, when they do something right.  Letting Tim Burton go wild with fantastical source material was the right call.  Some of his previous miscues notwithstanding, you must roll the dice in the arts and see what eventually emerges.  Burton brings Depp and Helena Bonham Carter and just a fantastic choice for the leading role, Mia Wasikowska.

Little unknown Mia carries this whole film into the wackiest reaches of Burton’s visual imagination, with some prescient updates to the original story.  I sat spellbound throughout the entire film, and that was in 2D.  There’s the possibility that the 3D version might work even better, but it didn’t have to.

Alice’s story is a timeless fantasy, the villains disturbing, absurd reflections of real power mad tyrants, whom history knew so well.  The fantasy follows such flights of political imaginings as Gulliver’s Travels and The Prince.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

I tried to get a handle on the new beginning/ending vs. the original.  Choices were made to modernize Alice with social commentary on Victorian era mores, and this gave an entirely new dimension to Alice and her real life outside the dream world.

Alice is empowered to challenge the expectations of society, and to make a stand for modern women and the progress of the last century.  Strong women are included in various roles in the film including the evil psychotic Red Queen (Carter) and her rival the White Queen, played by Anne Hathaway.  Alice, caught in the middle, and quite overwhelmed for much of the build-up, eventually rises to the challenge without trading away her conscience or morality.

Such a delightful, engaging, tense, suspenseful, lush visual extravaganza, this movie should be included among the top children’s films of all time.  Adults should appreciate it as well.

Now onto the haters, via Rotten Tomatoes.

“Lewis Carroll is bent over a table, tears filling beneath his eyes. Something in your heart breaks. Your childhood, perhaps?” -Gareth Simms

Speaking for Carroll?  Why should this critic assume Carroll would be seeing the film as he does?  In all likelihood he’d have sat spellbound and unable to speak.  Sorry, Gareth.  You’ll have to do better than that.

“It’s a weak structure, thinly tied to the picture’s tired and antiquated theme about Alice reclaiming her “muchness” and defying societal expectations.” -Annlee Ellingson

It was less than a century ago that women couldn’t even vote.  They actually did need to regain their “muchness”, and Annlee should probably think a little harder on that point.  Not as “antiquated” a notion as was glibly typed.

“Tim Burton is the kind of director who probably does come up with six impossible things before breakfast. So it was a surprise to see him produce a film so lacking in joy, innovation and curiosity.”-Gina Carbone

Huh?  Innovation?  Did we see the same movie?  Curiosity?  The one arguable point is the “joy” as this is a dark tale, a fairy tale fraught with danger and allusions to death and brutality.  I don’t find that a deal killer.

Who’s next?

“Not to say that Tim Burton’s made a bad film, more that this is a missed opportunity.” –Alex Flitch

You want the man’s liver?  What the hell else could he have given you people?  I’m seeing the passionless bickering of a spoiled, uninterested (and uninteresting) culture here.  Thank God for the handful of Burtons and Hunter Thompsons and David Lynch’s this land has ground out.

“There is very little to praise in what amounts to Burton’s most mercenary movie.” -John DeVore

I think most of these whines are of the kneejerk variety.  Such an obvious barb, tossed lackadaisically at King Rat DisneyCo. doesn’t even necessitate watching the actual film.  Yeah, Burton is just in it for the money.  Nevermind he improved a cherished classic in more ways than one.

“A bore and an affront to anyone who is even familiar with the concept of Lewis Carroll and his books.” –Devin Faraci

Appeal to culthood?  Not a bore.  Sorry.  I should mention a good 21 point spread between what critics were saying and what audiences (who frequent Rotten Tomatoes) were saying.

“The visuals are stunning, as you would expect, but characterisation is weak, and Depp’s turn is one bout of lunacy too far.” -Catherine Jones

In the film’s defense, the characterization is actually quite improved over the original.  But a bout of lunacy too far?  The Mad Hatter?  Balderdash.

“The episodic nature of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland doesn’t really lend itself to traditional three-act plotting, but screenwriter Linda Woolverton puts Alice through her Joseph Campbell reluctant-hero paces, and none of it ever sparks.” -Alonso Duralde

All true, except for the last few words.  Audiences are jaded and inundated with similar themes and situations.  This is true.  But, some perspective.  The story stands on its own internal logic, its own unique perspectives and challenges.  It doesn’t require cynical analysis by bored people who probably need a break from movies altogether.  Yes, there is some hero journey plotting, and that certainly can be a problem to those predisposed to reject such storytelling.  But is that a failing of the film, or of the viewer who probably should not have bothered in the first place, knowing they didn’t appreciate that type of narrative?

“A succession of chases and fanciful combats, more akin to Dungeons & Dragons than to Carroll, leads to a peculiarly truncated climax. The 3-D effects are enjoyable, but the added depth can’t make up for deficits in the concept or the plot.” -Joe Morgenstern

Wow.  Tough crowd at the Wall Street Journal. Maybe ask your kids.

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And then there’s this…


 

Disneyland = Insanity?

Posted: January 19, 2013 in -
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Sundance entry ‘Escape From Tomorrow’ pushes the envelope — if Disneycorp. will ever let anyone see it. This was shot guerrilla style inside Disneyland, without permission, as s father descends into complete insanity. Check the review:

Sundance Review: ‘Escape From Tomorrow’ Is a Surreal Indictment of Disneyfied Society That Disney Will Never Let You See
by Eric Kohn

— UPDATE —

The NY Times chimes in on the sticky copyright issues and image issues if Disney decides to sue:

Disney World Horror Fantasy Raises Knotty Copyright Issues