Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Less than a decade ago, “live-action Disney” meant The Game Plan, College Road Trip, and Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Then the success of 2010’s Alice in Wonderland taught the studio they could dust off an animated classic, give it the live-action treatment modern CGI afforded, and rake it the big bucks. The six years since have brought about live-action adaptations of Fantasia, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and now, 1967’s The Jungle Book.
Of course, long before The Jungle Book was Disney’s nineteenth “Animated Classic,” it was a cherished collection of stories by Rudyard Kipling. To its credit, Jon Favreau’s take on Kipling’s tales mostly goes the latter as its source whenever a choice is called for, resulting in a tale with a more suitably dark tone. Unfortunately, rather than be allowed to become its own creation, The Jungle Book too often gets needlessly muffled by paying tribute to its animated forebear. Continue reading
Photo: Twentieth Century Fox
In one way, it’s been a great year for religious and spiritual films, with 2014 already having given us Noah, Heaven is for Real, Son of God, God’s Not Dead, Mom’s Night Out, Persecuted, When the Game Stands Tall, The Identical, and The Book of Life. In another way, though, it’s been a terrible year for faith-based films, as almost all of the aforementioned movies were bad, if not outright terrible. Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings may be another Biblical movie in a long string of them, but it’s also better than most.
Photo: Summit Entertainment
Ender’s Game shouldn’t work as a movie. The Orson Scott Card book has a repetitive plot with overly complicated character arcs. The space battle sequences are unfathomably mammoth. And it has an ending that overshadows the rest of the story. Yet somehow, Ender’s Game works as a movie in all the ways it struggled as a book. Continue reading