This week, the break in heat intensity corresponded with the fact that there was break in film releases, and it all makes sense. I mentioned in the last entry that Jurassic World had opened to box office record aplomb last weekend, and there are no indicators of it slowing down this week or anytime soon. To mix it up a bit, I'll go from worst to best today.
The main film being released this week is Child 44, an adaptation of Tom Rob Smith’s heralded novel detailing murderous atrocities conducted by the Soviets between the end of the Seventies and 1990. After all, with all happening in Ukraine and Crimea, this film could have been poignant. Wrong. With a cast including protagonist Tom Hardy in a thankless role after hits like Mad Max and Locke, why he did this film is beyond me. Here he plays Leo, stoic Red Army soldier who gains honour, then gets married (to the quiet character played by Noomi Rapace) in a convenient moment. So much precedes it that, by the time the major plot event occurs (the murder of a child), the audience is already completely numb to the story. You can’t have a lead-in to a great storyline that doesn’t really start until halfway through the film––unless you’re Terrence Malick––and we already know about his films. Skipping duds means saving money. Apply that label here, loves. #-1/2
For the kiddies this week comes another in the line of the direct-to-DVD cinematic cartoons from DisneyToons Studios––another Tinker Bell movie. When my niece Sophia was tiny, she forced me to watch the original TV series and movies of the ilk Fairytopia series…Good Lord, being a dutiful uncle was mum, FUN! Though, she was captivated by the silly plot lines, and that made it easier to hold in there and at least finish off the food she didn’t eat. So, in 2012, the DisneyToon Studios (their TV/DVD division) had unexpected box office success (specifically from Med countries and the UK) when their film Secret of the Wings went to some theatres but mostly straight to DVD/VOD in North America, but it did go to screen release here and made a ton of money. Their release last year of The Pirate Fairy did just as well, nearly $70 million in US dollars, and so, this year Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast received the same release plan. Young girls of Europe unite, because seriously this is a funny, very girly movie, rife with moral value, pushing themes like tolerance, bravery, friendship, etc. This time, the film revolves around Tink’s friend Fawn, who discovers a strange 'predator.' Drama ensues among the fairies with this NeverBeast, but it’s the star talent that makes this film so enjoyable and silly. Ginnifer Goodwin plays Fawn; Mae Whitman, Tink; Roasrio, Dawson; Lucy Liu, Raven Symone and Angelica Huston as Queen Clarion. If you’re a parent, you’d fare worse on a hot Saturday afternoon than watching this light-hearted romp. You’ll have at least a couple of laughs. ###
Finally today, a film a bit dearer to my heart as I actually do hail from the USA and am of Mexican blood––La Huella del Doctor Ernesto Guevara (The Fingerprint of Doctor Ernesto). My father Ernesto was not actually named after this revolutionary man, but I recall him referencing the link of their name and the kind of thinkers he claimed they both were when I was younger, and whilst watching this film, I saw some beautiful connections between the two men. Both were (and still are) proudly Latino, both exceptionally skilled and both dedicated to the service and improvement of others. Obviously, the film is about Che Guevara, and it’s a documentary revolving around the young pre-revolutionary man who was a skilled and tenacious doctor, travelling around Latin America after witnessing the untold horrors of the medical system and dire need for medical assistance in so many countries. It was this period of travelling and first-hand exposure to the conditions his fellow Latinos faced, as well as, the injustices of capitalism he witnessed that led him to become the revolutionary Che Guevara. The film is simple, concise and clean in its outlay, informative without being so hyper-focused on his politic ideas as so many historians (including myself) and other people (read:uni hippies and bohos) are about this young, highly intelligent thinker, doctor, leader and warrior. A truly fascinating documentary, one that I must highly recommend. ###-1/2
Well folks, I think once the dino drama has died down by next weekend, we should be rocking and rolling with a little more flair and fare.