Turning Red (2022)

Transitions When narrative transitions occur, they sometimes follow the world and seem smooth, or they try and engineer the future and are jagged. I think this is the latter. Superficially, this film extends the Disney effort to cover all ethnicities with princess characters. It makes business sense to have a modern Chinese girl, and let… Continue reading Turning Red (2022)

Christopher Robin (2018)

Stuck in the Box The story is conventional Disney, and in the trend of expanding the reach of established properties, with as little actual drama as possible. Three things are notable to me. This was shot on video, with a deliberate nod to cheap TeeVee productions from decades ago. Every visual choice was designed to… Continue reading Christopher Robin (2018)

Blown Away (2019)

Someone Else’s Bubble I don’t know who originated the formula. I’ve seen it on “Legomasters”. You start with 8 teams, here 8 glass artists. You give them an assignment, material and some time. Then their creation is judged, someone eliminated until there is a winner. With Lego it works. The competitors are pairs — friends… Continue reading Blown Away (2019)

Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018)

Head Space I really disliked the first one. The world building, in retrospect, was very impressive, building on a number of strong cinematic conventions that were ripe for evolution. But all the backstory and parallel plots, all the character development was within a single testosterone paradigm. I thought it a one-note elaboration on something dumb.… Continue reading Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018)

The Hunger Games (2012)

More Games, Less Hunger I am seeing this a second time with pre teenagers, close to the target market for the books I assume. I think for them, the film is serviceable and as they see the series the plot complications will be engaging. But it reminds me of a persistent challenge in film and… Continue reading The Hunger Games (2012)

Unmistakable Child (2008)

Unputdownable Tulku If you have not seen this, it documents from the cremation of a senior Buddhist monk to the certification of his reincarnation by the hierarchy though to the Dalai Lama, and subsequent installation in a monastery at about three. We follow the quest by the old monk’s most loyal follower, a dear soul.… Continue reading Unmistakable Child (2008)

War Games (1983)

Winken and Blinken There is less reason to see this now than when it was made, except for the lesson that is more clear here than in current filmdom: how do you cinematically convey concepts that don’t fit our fairly limited vocabulary? The lesson here is stark, only because we have greater familiarity with computers… Continue reading War Games (1983)