BIG HERO 6

What a delightful movie. On the negative side, it’s formulaic, doesn’t break any new ground, and the plot twist is obvious. But I don’t go to animated features for any of that. I go for the visuals. And this is beautifully rendered with charming, engaging characters, especially Baymax, the marshmallowy robot who’s the moral center of the tale.  I couldn’t help being reminded of the much darker The Iron Giant. I checked the credits for Brad Bird’s name but didn’t see it.

FF=0

Advertisements

ST. VINCENT

The life of a misanthropic curmudgeon with a heart of gold is turned around by his relationship with a little boy.  Yeah, I know.  How many times has that been done?  This is pure Hollywood feel-good formula, but you know what? It works. Mostly because of the talent on the screen. Great cast, especially Jaeden Lieberher as the boy. Even the bit parts (I’m thinking Chris O’Dowd) are perfectly cast. I can think of worse ways to spend 100 minutes.

FF=1

BLOODLINE

(spoilers ahead) A 13-episode Netflix original series. On the plus side it’s got good acting and the Keys as a setting. On the down side, the story seems mighty thin for 13 hours. The endlessly repeated flashbacks and flashforwards, adding a wee bit more each time – we’ve all seen that before. (I can almost hear the showrunner saying, “How can we stretch this scene?”) Ben Mendelsohn does an excellent job as Danny, the prodigal lowlife creep, but in the end I was left very disappointed. I like noir fiction — might even say I’m a fan — but noir works best in compact, concentrated doses. When you’re given a 13-hour canvas, you’ve got to do more with it than leave us with characters who do not evolve one iota over all those hours. True, in real life most people don’t evolve during adulthood, but this is fiction, which has the potential to be better than real life. With all the crap that goes down in this 13-hour film, nobody learns a damn thing. And the worst part, we’ve known the ending all along due to the flashforwards. Redemption was too much to hope for, I know, but this left me feeling in need of a shower.

FF=3