Directed by Guillermo Del Toro and Mark Gustafson — Screenplay by Guillermo Del Toro and Patrick McHale – Story by Guillermo Del Toro and Matthew Robbins.
The story of Pinocchio has been told and retold over and over again since Carlo Collodi first wrote it in the 1880s. Nowadays it is mostly known for its classic 1940s Disney adaptation about a wooden boy who wants to be real and who sings the classic line about there being no strings on him. This year, Disney even tried to release a live-action remake which came and went without making much of an impression. Hopefully, fate will be kinder to Netflix’s stop-motion animation film that is directed by Guillermo Del Toro and Mark Gustafson, as it presents a more mature version of the story that updates the classic tale to a time of war.
In Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio (titled thusly, even though he is not the only credited director), Geppetto (voiced by David Bradley) is heartbroken from the loss of his son Carlo decades ago in a bombing raid. On one of his nights out drinking, Geppetto screams angrily to the skies as lightning flashes above, and the woodcarver decides to cut down the pine tree that was planted in his son’s memory. Geppetto goes to work and carves the tree until he has created a wooden boy. When Geppetto passes out, Sebastian J. Cricket (voiced by Ewan McGregor) witnesses a spirit bringing the wooden boy to life as Pinocchio (voiced by Gregory Mann). Adamant that Pinocchio must be exactly like Carlo and be kept away from real-world dangers, Geppetto soon finds out that he cannot control his new lively boy, who gradually becomes more and more interesting to a traveling circus and the Italian government.
This is a review of both halves — Vols. I & II– of Stranger Things: Season Four.
Like The Crown and BoJack Horseman, Stranger Things has long been one of Netflix’s most consistently good shows. The nostalgia-based supernatural coming-of-age horror-thriller show that was created by the Duffer brothers has managed to stay really good and really entertaining for four seasons now — including this latest season, which was split into two parts (with the season finale having a runtime of almost two-and-a-half hours) — and, even though the show still wears its inspirations on its sleeves, the show is getting better in many ways. In fact, I would say that this fourth season, which is probably the goriest and most horror-like of the bunch, is the best season of the show since the very rewatchable debut season, even though this latest season included two season-long subplots that were never as engaging as the main story was.
The following is a review of IT: Chapter Two — Directed by Andy Muschietti.
It would be an understatement to say that Andy Muschietti’s IT (2017) was a great success. Successfully building on audiences’ relationship with the 1990s mini-series, novel, or creature design, IT went on to become the highest-grossing Stephen King adaptation and the highest-grossing horror film in North American box office history (not adjusted for inflation). Therefore, naturally, expectations for the adaptation of the second ‘half’ of the 1000-page long clown-focused King novel were through the roof. Ultimately, although I don’t think the second chapter lives entirely up to the frightening but charming first film, IT: Chapter Two finds much more success in depicting the grown-up half of the novel than the mini-series did, and, even though I have notable problems with the film, I’m mostly satisfied with how this oversized crowdpleaser wrapped up the story. Continue reading “REVIEW: IT – Chapter Two (2019)”→
The following is a review of the third season of Netflix’s Stranger Things — Created by the Duffer Brothers.
Today, Stranger Things is, alongside The Crown, probably the original show that has become the face of Netflix. The first season of the series was a surprise hit that seemed to have significantly overperformed. It was a nostalgic 80s science-fiction drama with children in the leading roles that made people think of E. T., The Goonies, and many other films like those. It was a 2016 breakout hit that gave career boosts to David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, and Finn Wolfhard. The much anticipated second season, which was released the following year, wasn’t met with as much acclaim, but still succeeded in developing characters’ relationships satisfyingly while still bringing pleasant references to the beloved 1980s-era cinema, with Aliens now being the primary inspiration. Continue reading “REVIEW: Stranger Things: Season Three (2019)”→
The following is a full review of the second season of Stranger Things. Available now on Netflix.
When I published my short review of the first season of Stranger Things five days after Netflix had released all eight episodes, I had no idea how big of a mainstream hit it would be. Although House of Cards was the first streaming show to appear as more than just a blip on the radar for television aficionados, Stranger Things seems to be the first Netflix show to hold the attention of western audiences the way the biggest AMC and HBO dramas have in previous years. Continue reading “REVIEW: Stranger Things – Season Two (2017)”→
The following is a review of It – Directed by Andy Muschietti
It, based on Stephen King’s super-sized novel of the same name, follows a group of kids, called the Losers’ Club, led by a kid named Bill Denbrough (played by Jaeden Lieberher) who had recently lost his younger brother Georgie (played by Jackson Robert Scott). Georgie disappeared into the sewers when he was met by Pennywise the dancing clown (played by Bill Skarsgård). When the dancing clown starts showing up and haunting the fearful kids of Derry, Maine, the Losers’ Club must band together to face their own demons in the form of a scary clown. Continue reading “REVIEW: It (2017)”→
The following is a quick review of the first season of Stranger Things. Available now on Netflix.
Stranger Things is Netflix’s newest original series, and, in my opinion, it might be the best new show they’ve done since maybe Marvel’s Jessica Jones. Stranger Things is a science fiction horror show, which is set in the 1980s, starring Winona Ryder, David Harbour, and Millie Bobby Brown. Continue reading “REVIEW: Stranger Things – Season One (2016)”→