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.
Just in time for All Hallow’s Eve, Netflix released a spooky four-day event with eight episodes (two released each day) of the brand-new horror anthology series Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities. The Oscar-winning filmmaker has assembled eight directors and had each of them direct their own hour-ish-long episode. Admittedly, not every one of them is an outright hit, but, as a collection of horror curiosities, del Toro’s anthology series definitely does its job, and, if you follow the two-a-day release schedule, then you may find that their spot in the season wasn’t entirely random. Horror aficionados gather around because this one is for you.
The following is a short review of Watchmen — Created by Damon Lindelof.
Alan Moore’s Watchmen is one of the most beloved comic book stories ever made. It is one of those graphic novels that comic book readers have been championing for decades, and it has been notoriously difficult to adapt. Zack Snyder tried and succeeded (to some extent) with his 2009 adaptation, which, of note, changed the ending of Moore’s story. Moore, infamously, is unwilling to endorse or watch adaptations of Watchmen, but I think it is time for the celebrated comic book writer to change his tune. Because Damon Lindelof (LOST; The Leftovers) has made a sequel to the iconic graphic novel that deals with timely issues and which also subverts all of the right tropes. Continue reading “REVIEW: Watchmen (2019 – Limited Series)”→
The following is a review of The Torture Report — Directed by Scott Z. Burns.
While Netflix is enjoying another moment in the sun with the release of Martin Scorsese’s latest masterpiece, The Irishman, which is streaming exclusively on Netflix, Amazon Studios has quietly released The Report to Prime Video. The lack of awareness that The Report is getting is reminding me of a quote in the film itself: “you have a sunlight problem.” Though The Report isn’t the most notable or, frankly, the best film released on streaming services this week, Scott Z. Burns’ film is genuinely gripping thanks, in large part, to a strong central performance from Adam Driver that elevates the otherwise potentially dramatically listless material. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Report (2019)”→
It is finally time for me to announce my own personal film nominations for the I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards of 2018. Sure, we’re in 2019 now, but I needed some time to watch some of the films that were released in January in Denmark.
There will be a couple of surprises here, and I’m not just talking about the nominees. Four awards that have not previously been announced will make their debut here with their own sets of nominations. Also, one award has had its titled changed to allow for more than a small handful of nominees. Well, let’s get to it. Continue reading “IJR Awards 2018: Film Nominations Announced”→
The following is a review of The Ballad of Buster Scruggs — Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.
Netflix has come a long way since its first original film in the western genre, 2015’s The Ridiculous Six, which was so poorly received that it still now, at the time of writing, has a 0% score on Rotten Tomatoes‘ Tomatometer. Not a single Rotten Tomatoes approved critic liked the film that I called “possibly the worst film of 2015.”
Now here we are in November of 2018, and now Netflix has a new western original film to champion. Netflix has teamed up with the widely celebrated Coen Brothers to release a collection of American western stories presented as an anthology film and not as a series, as it was previously reported as. The Coens’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is hysterical, sad, and morbid, and it is one of my favorite films of the year thus far. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)”→
The following is a retro review of The Incredible Hulk, a Louis Leterrier film.
Five years after Ang Lee released his version of a Hulk-film, Marvel Studios decided to make a quasi-sequel/reboot of Bruce Banner’s adventures and make it a part of a newly planned franchise. But while The Incredible Hulk became the second film in a multi-billion dollar movie franchise, stuff behind the scenes would end up making this film the least important that Marvel Studios produced in the first phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Continue reading “RETRO REVIEW: The Incredible Hulk (2008)”→