What has always amazed me about the combined output of Pixar Animation is not just the consistent quality of the storytelling, but how different each film is from all the others. The Incredibles was as little like Cars as it was different from WALL-E. Disney’s traditional animation since The Little Mermaid, while often highly accomplished, has a certain sameness to it. With the exception of The Lion King, every film in that canon seems to have a heroine that resembles Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
Up continues Pixar’s proud tradition of breaking its own mold with a charming film that takes a touching story of an old man’s promise to his late wife and effortlessly combines it with a giddy child’s fantasy. Continue reading
After being tripped up by their own mistake of letting William Shatner direct a Star Trek feature, the powers-that-be at Paramount did the only wise thing: They brought back Nicholas Meyer, director of installment number two, The Wrath of Khan, still the gold standard among the ten Star Trek movies.
While this sixth movie doesn’t rise to the same level of Khan, it comfortably leaps into second place among the Trek feature films. Continue reading
In his superb documentary Looking for Richard, Al Pacino comments how hard it is for actors and audiences to keep straight all of the characters in Shakespeare’s historical plays. Watching Syriana, I kind of knew how he felt. This film is confusing and not because it’s badly written or any other fault of its own. It’s confusing because it’s about oil and politics, a subject that lends itself naturally to confusion.