March 2019

Tim Burton’s Dumbo

by Alan Rapp on March 29, 2019

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Dumbo (2019)
  • IMDb: link

Tim Burton's Dumbo movie reviewLove him or hate him, words you don’t usually hear to describe filmmaker Tim Burton are the exact same adjectives which are impossible not to use in talking about the latest Disney live-action remake of one of their animated classics. Burton has delivered a number of memorable films, and when he has failed he has often failed in spectacular fashion. Dumbo isn’t bad, but it’s bland, safe, unoffensive in the extreme, and utterly forgettable. Don’t get me wrong, Dumbo is an okay way to while away a lazy afternoon. The CGI of the title character is impressive, and the performances from the human cast are more than adequate. There’s just not much Disney magic this time around. And since Dumbo never talks, he comes off more of a trick dog than a fully fleshed-out character.

Making the choice that animals don’t talk, to humans or each other, necessitates a rather large change from the original animated film. In the new version, Dumbo’s path from freak to star attraction comes at the assistance of two human children (Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins) and their father (Colin Farrell), recently returned from WWI to the travelling circus run by Max Medici (Danny DeVito).

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Sobibor

by Alan Rapp on March 29, 2019

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Sobibor
  • IMDb: link

Sobibor movie reviewBased on true events, the Russian film Sobibor tells the story of a revolt and mass escape from the Nazi concentration camp of Sobibor led by Alexander Pechersky (played by director Konstantin Khabenskiy) in Poland during WWII. The film could use a little more nuance from the Nazis (led by Christopher Lambert) and a little less Russian nationalism (constantly playing up the importance of Russian Jews) for a more compelling story. Based on gripping subject matter, the film doesn’t do much in the way to add artistry or historical context to the proceedings. The truth behind the film kept me more interested than the depiction of events. Honestly, I would have been far more interested in seeing a documentary of the Sobibor revolt rather than this dramatization.

Focused more on Nazi brutality towards the Jews than their escape for three-fourths of the film, Sobibor is at times hard to watch. The script also ignores historical context when it may get in the way of the story (such as somewhat fudging the number of escapees, and ignoring the large percentage who were either killed or recaptured by the Nazis).

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Firefly: Bad Company #1

by Alan Rapp on March 28, 2019

in Comics

Firefly: Bad Company #1 comic reviewThe over-sized special Firefly: Bad Company #1 offers a further look at a fan-favorite character. Told mostly through flashbacks of Saffron while being interrogated by the Alliance, we learn a thing or two about the woman who nearly beat Malcolm Reynolds and his crew (twice). What’s interesting about the set-up, is everything is told from Saffron’s point-of-view, leaving us to wonder what (if any) of the story is true. While the agent attempts to make Saffron a deal, to team-up against Malcolm Reynolds, Saffron has other plans.

Introducing the character as a child and thief, with family and friends decimated by the Pox, the story offers a plausible explanation to how Saffron came into contact with Companions and learned more than a little from her time with them.

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FBI – Apex

by Alan Rapp on March 28, 2019

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: FBI – Apex
  • IMDb: link

FBI - Apex television review

The focus of the latest episode of FBI is split as Maggie (Missy Peregrym) and OA (Zeeko Zaki) hunt for a serial killer who has drugged, raped, and murdered ten women. While half of the episode focuses on the investigation, the other half centers around the Deputy Mayor of New York (Sandrine Holt) getting in the FBI’s way in order to manufacture another obstacle for the Maggie and company to overcome. Under the premise of not wanting to hurt the city’s tourist economy, coming off like the Mayor in Jaws who thought it was great for vacationers to swim with a killer shark, the unseen Mayor makes (some pretty outrageous) demands of the team that nearly allow the killer to claim another victim.

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  • Title: Shadowhunters – To the Night Children
  • wiki: link

Shadowhunters - To the Night Children television review

The search for Jonathan (Luke Baines) is momentarily paused as characters deal with the the massacre of Heidi‘s (Tessa Mossey) vampires on the pack. Unable to explain the supernatural circumstances to the police, Luke (Isaiah Mustafa) prepares to take the fall for the crime feeling guilty what happened on his watch. Maia (Alisha Wainwright) struggles with being the sole survivor (and plans her revenge) while Heidi sicks the Shadowhunters on her clan, denying any responsibility or involvement in the attack (while playing both sides against each other to increase her power and stature among the vampires). Although Heidi’s plan succeeds, Maia finds a way to outsmart the vampire though her choice of vengeance doesn’t sit well with Simon (Alberto Rosende). After a short build-up, Heidi’s quick demise comes as a bit of a surprise although her actions, and demise, do force characters to consider the Accords and the laws they live by.

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