By Original-Cin Staff
If any elephant flies, does it look like a big turkey? Tim Burton’s Dumbo (Rating: C) is a live-action version of the Disney classic about the misfit pachyderm and, says our reviewer Kim Hughes, it looks gorgeous and leaks sap, burdened by such themes as how mean isn’t nice. The film stars Colin Farrell as a widowed father of two, with Danny DeVito as a circus emcee (see Bonnie Laufer’s interview with DeVito). It doesn’t sound all bad: The film also features Eva Green, as “a dishy French aerialist with a heart of gold and a fondness for outfits that look sort of itchy.”
The Beach Bum (Rating: C) takes us into the woozy world of director Harmony Korrine in a pastel stoner fantasy starring Mathew McConaughey as a messed up poet, featuring a great cast (Snoop Dog, Jimmy Buffett, Jonah Hill) all of whom are unfortunately more interesting than the central character says reviewer Jim Slotek.
Hotel Mumbai recreates the 2008 terrorist attacks on one of India’s grand old hotels, with, says Liam Lacey, with an inspirational message but a disturbing degree of verisimilitude. Screen violence is the subject of two interviews this week, with director John Lee Hancock (on the Netflix Bonnie and Clyde movie, The Highwaymen) and Hotel Mumbai’s Anthony Maras, who argue it is the artists’ responsibility to hold a mirror up to humanity at its best and worst.
We have two Canadian Indigenous-themed features: Through Black Spruce (Rating: C), based on from Joseph Boyden’s novel, follows an indigenous woman seeking her identical twin sister, a model who has gone missing in Toronto, but our reviewer Thom Ernest says its’ a movie suffering from an identity crisis between social commentary and thriller. Also, Kim Hughes talks to Darlene Naponse, writer-director Falls Around Her starring Tantoo Cardinal in her first leading role as a musician who gives up the road to return to her land and her community.
And two Canadian coming-of-age dramas: Thom Ernst reviews Firecrackers (Rating: A), writer-director Jasmin Mozaffari’s debut film, which is nominated for four Canadian Screen Awards this weekend, about two scrappy young women, desperate to leave their destitute town and head to the big city. Giant Little Ones (Rating: B), set in Sault Ste. Marie, has a Risky Business vibe as it follows the twists and turns of teen sexuality, making the case for a gentler masculinity.
We’ve also got the jazz doc, Blue Note: Beyond the Notes (Rating: B), a well-assembled look at the label behind Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis and John Coltrane, and the story of the two German Jewish immigrants who changed American culture. Finally, there’s the gentle-spirited Irish anthology film, Lost & Found (Rating: B-), seven stories set around an Irish train station, which presumably was intended to arrive on St. Patrick’s Day but was misdirected to the lost articles office.
On the podcast, we talk about why Dumbo doesn’t fly, how Apple plans to take over all our viewing and what to do with the Canadian Screen Awards.
Have a great weekend.