Tag Archives: Eugenio Derbez

Cinema Dispatch: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

TNAT4RCD0

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston

It’s not often that Disney just let’s something slide under the radar like this.  Every Marvel movie and Star Wars episode gets a HUGE marketing push (even the comparatively small Solo got more coverage than a lot of other movies), their animated films are almost always guaranteed to be at the top of the box office, even something as out there as A Wrinkle In Time was pretty omnipresent prior to its release.  With this film though it’s like they want to sneak it out as fast as possible which, given what we saw in the trailers, is probably a good call and even more reason for critics like me to make sure it gets it’s turn in the spotlight!  We may love Disney for a lot of things, but they’ve had their share of horrible mistakes and I’m not in a lenient mood this year!  Does this retelling of the classic tale turn out to be a Disney Blunder on the scale of Treasure Planet, or did they simply not know what to do with the greatness they had in front of them?  Let’s find out!!

Clara Stahlbaum (Mackenzie Foy) is the daughter of a wealthy English family who is not having a very good Christmas, mostly due to her mother (Anna Madeley) having died the previous year, and her father (Matthew Macfadyen) is insisting they at least put up appearances and go the Christmas ball as tradition dictates.  Oh and she has a brother and sister (Tom Sweet and Ellie Bamber), but who cares about them.  ANYWAY, Clara goes to the party in a rather dour mood and sees her kindly godfather Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman) who makes clockwork novelties and presumably lost one of his eyes when a cuckoo clock got too close, but more importantly he seems to be the only one who understands Clara as she too has an affinity for mechanical devices.  However, there’s one that still eludes her which is a locked mechanical egg that she got as the last gift from her mother, and when Drosselmeyer sees it it’s clear that SOMETHING must be done!  Okay, see if you can follow me on this.  First, he sets up an elaborate gift giving system for the kids where very long strings are tied to a pole in the courtyard with each child’s name on one of the strings, and they have to follow said string to the gift.  Clara’s string apparently winds all through the house which leads to a… magic door I guess that takes her to the fantasy world of THE FOUR REALMS that’s populated by nutcrackers, fairies, and mice.  Well it’s certainly a good thing that none of the other kids mistook her string for theirs, though even if I was dutifully following a string with my name on it, I’d AT LEAST start to question something when it starts snowing and we’re no longer in the middle of the city, but I guess I’m not young enough to get the whimsy of being out in the cold without a jacket.  The string by the way leads to a key which could be the one needed to unlock Clara’s mechanical egg thingy, but alas it is taken by a mouse that runs off into THE FOURTH REALM which is a place of fog, dead trees, and clowns.  After meeting up with a nutcracker solider (Jayden Fowora-Knight) and making a valiant effort to chase after the mouse who took her key, she eventually retreats back to the big castle just outside THE FOURTH REALM where all the rich people are partying, the guardians of the GOOD realms are residing (Keira Knightley, Eugenio Derbez, and Richard E. Grant), and Clara’s mom is apparently still crowned as queen despite being dead for over a year which we soon learn is even LONGER in Fantasy World Time!  So with that, Clara is given the royal treatment but has to take on great responsibility in her mother’s absence to… I guess eradicate THE FOURTH REALM which is so obviously evil while also getting that key back and finally uncovering whatever secrets her mother left in that egg!  Will Clara be able to overcome whatever challenges face her once she goes back into THE FOURTH REALM?  What are the rulers of the other realms planning to do once Clara fulfils her duty, and will she be able to return to her old life?  Is it just me, or did almost NONE of that have to do with The Nutcracker!?

TNAT4RCD1

“And THEN we signed the peace treaty with the dragons of marshmallow mountain which allowed trade ships to travel down the chocolate milk river.”     “uh huh.  That’s nice…”

Continue reading

Advertisements

Cinema Dispatch: Geostorm

GEOSTORMCD0

Geostorm and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Dean Devlin

We’ve been getting a LOT of delayed films this year, haven’t we?  Tulip Fever took a while to come out, Rings took even longer, and that Amityville Horror sequel or reboot or whatever ended up failing so hard that it was released FOR FREE on Google Play.  Not in theaters; on the same storefront where you download crappy Tetris knockoffs and flashlight apps.  Now we’ve got this movie which may be the most interesting of the bunch simply because of how much money Warner Bros inevitably sunk into the damn thing to try and recoup its losses.  Not quite as much as Monster Trucks, but certainly enough that you’d question if anyone behind this damn thing had heard of the Sunk Cost fallacy.  Well it’s finally out now at probably the worst time imaginable (this story keeps getting better and better!) and with very little fan far from Warner Bros who may have finally realized it’s time to cut their losses.  Does this movie manage to rise above its troubled production to deliver something at least somewhat enjoyable, or is this possibly an even bigger mess than The Snowman was?  Okay, NOTHING is quite as shoddily put together as that film, but will this still be an absolute disaster and not in the way they were hoping for?  Let’s find out!!

The movie takes place in the very near future where humanity finally came up with an idea on how to combat Global Warming.  Not by recycling or embracing renewable imagery of course, but by putting a giant freaking net of satellites around the globe that can somehow shoot science beams at the earth whenever a tornado, hurricane, or anything else is about to threaten human lives.  Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler), who I’m assuming got this brilliant idea from Highlander 2: The Quickening, is the one dude bad enough to put this whole project together which is nicknamed Dutch Boy but is kicked off the project for infuriatingly political reasons.  Okay, he punched an inspector in the face, but what ELSE was he supposed to do!?  Listen to what he had to say!?  Anyway, his brother Max (Jim Sturgess) is the new head honcho of the project but the system starts to malfunction a few years down the road which leads to some isolated but very deadly weather events and no one knows what’s causing them.  I guess it’s time for good ol’ Jake to reclaim his throne and go up to the satellite to see what the heck is causing these problems and hopefully stop it before it threatens all life on Earth.  Will Jake solve the mystery before it’s too late and find out if its simple malfunctions or sabotage?  What will Max find out back on Earth with the help of one of Dutch Boy’s programmers (Daniel Wu) and a hacker that he apparently knows in the State Department (Zazie Beetz)?  Just how many things can they manage to blow up with a weather machine!?

GEOSTORMCD1

“Damn it!  I knew we shouldn’t have stored all those recalled Samsung phones in there!”

Continue reading

Cinema Dispatch: Miracles from Heaven

MFHCD0

Miracles from Heaven and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures

Directed by Patricia Riggen

These movies are just going to stop, are they?  Well certainly not as long as Sony’s Jesus Department (Affirm), Roma Downey, and The Kendrick Brothers haven’t been driven out of Hollywood for being hacks.  Oh who am I kidding?  No one has EVER been driven out of Hollywood for being a hack.  Still, these crappy religious movies are starting to look more and more like crappy regular movies now that their attracting big name talents like Jennifer Garner.  Does the fact that this movie attracted an ACTUAL actor instead of one who’s only looking to be in Christian cinema (or are desperate for cash) mean that this might be one of the better films to come out of the Christian Film Revolution?  Even if it is, does that mean it’s actually a GOOD movie?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the tragic and uplifting story of the Beam family who were met with an unbelievable crisis when one of their daughters Annabel also known as Anna (Kylie Rogers) is diagnosed with an incurable intestinal disorder that leaves her unable to eat and in constant pain.  For the most part, the movie is from the perspective of her mother Christy (Jennifer Garner) who takes the brunt of the action and the emotional toll by doing everything she can to get her to the best doctors and come up with ways to pay for all these expensive treatments.  The trailers are a tad misleading considering that the fall from the tree that cures Anna (spoiler alert) doesn’t happen until the last twenty minutes of the movie, so it has more in common with something like 90 Minutes in Heaven than Heaven is For Real, considering the majority of the movie is about the suffering rather than the aftermath of the divine intervention.  Still, is it an inspiring and heartwarming story BEFORE we get to the Deus Ex Machina?  Does Jennifer Garner actually manage to elevate this material above its very simple premise?  Couldn’t God have come up with a way to heal her WITHOUT giving her a concussion!?

MFHCD1

“This is the fire department, Anna!  If you can hear me and are still conscious, don’t make a sound.”     …     “Well I’D call that a good sign, wouldn’t you?”

Continue reading