‘Dumbo’ Review

This weekend Disney’s launches their newest live action, Tim Burton directed film, Dumbo. Based on the very well-known 1941 animated film, Dumbo tells the story of a baby elephant born with abnormally large ears that ridiculed by everyone in the circus, however, manages to overcome his deformity due to his large ears giving him the ability to fly.

This new iteration of Dumbo falls in a long line of Disney live-action makeovers such as The Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Maleficent, and the soon to be released The Lion King, Aladdin, and Mulan.

For the first half-hour to forty five minutes the film is par for the course. Burton reintroduces characters known to the audience from the animated film, and acquaints us with newly introduced characters played by Colin Farrell, Nico Parker, and Finley Hobbins.

However, after that the entire movie switches over to a version of what can only be described as Dumbo II. If you’ve never heard of Dumbo II, that’s because it has never been made. Burton takes this opportunity to make the mythology of Dumbo all his own and it doesn’t exactly work. Especially Michael Keaton’s character V.A. Vandevere, who is more cartoonish than the 1941 film. He is a basic Disney Richie Rich screen villain – shadowy lair and all. Continue reading “‘Dumbo’ Review”

Not What It Seems! ‘Happy Death Day 2U’ Review

Happy Death Day 2U is the direct sequel to 2017’s sleeper hit horror/slasher film Happy Death Day.  The film garnered a lot of praise for having similar beats to the Scream franchise, but with a Groundhog Day time loop aspect.  In Happy Death Day 2U they move back to the same well in hopes to draw just as much praise and success as its predecessor. Does it work as well as the first?

No, no it doesn’t. Not to say that the movie is bad.  Spoiler for the review, I’m giving it a passing score (barely).  However the film seems to have lost its luster that the first movie had. Also, this movie is not what its advertised as.  It is not a horror movie.  This movie is more of a comedy/sci-fi movie with some slasher moments sprinkled in here and there. So don’t go in thinking you’ll get some jump scares similar to the first, because you won’t.

The worst aspect of this movie is its writing, the script is a mess.  It tries very desperately to stay a Groundhog Day type of movie, but blending in Back to the Future Part II, but it just comes across as several jumbled story lines that make no sense.  It is not shy about pointing this fact out either, in the first 30 minutes of the movie one of the characters just comes out and says “this is like Back to the Future Part II.”  It is also very obvious that the film makers had no idea how to start this movie.  It seems like its going to follow a different main character in Ryan Phan (Phi Vu), who was more of a time marker than an actual character in the first movie.  But then it switches suddenly back to Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) as the main lead.

Now, there were some parts of the story that I did enjoy, and once they were fleshed out I was finally able to get on board with where this movie was taking me.  Unfortunately, it is a spoiler to discuss.  So just know, there are some surprises to be had.

Rothe still brings an amazingly strong performance to her character.  This is a huge positive for this film – just like in the first movie.  She is able to bring a performance that balances comedy, horror, and a couple of heart-breaking moments.  When she needs to be scared, I believed that her character was scared.  When she needed to be funny, I laughed.  And when she needed to bring the feels, I got a little teary-eyed.

Overall, I left the movie not completely disappointed, yet I was not satisfied.  There’s just enough in there for me to like the movie, but I did not get what I was looking for in a Happy Death Day sequel.  I did not get a horror movie, nor did I get a film with smart writing.  The film felt rushed.  I do believe that there is an excellent movie to be had somewhere in here, but it needs a lot more polish before being able to find it.  I do hope there is a third movie, one that can bring the same luster the first one had

Happy Death Day 2U gets a score of 6/10.

Have you seen Happy Death Day 2U?  Did you see the first one, and what did you think of it?  Leave a comment below and let’s make a discussion out of it.