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Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

This latest Disney picture, Beauty and the Beast, joins a growing list of live-action movies which traces its origins to animated films, including “The Jungle Book,” “Pete’s Dragon,” “Cinderella” and “Maleficent,” among others. The bar here, however, is just a bit higher, considering the 1991 edition became the first animated feature to earn a Best…

Movie Review: Hidden Figures (2016)

Mathematics and mathematicians may not appear to be the most dramatic material. Filmmakers seem aware of this potential failing, and thus produce subtle, nuanced and often very impressive films based around this topic, which end up being award contenders. Such is the case with Hidden Figures, for in the tradition of (Oscar winners) “Good Will…

Movie Review: Trolls (2016)

The film Trolls opened several weeks ago and this review is a bit late, but it should not matter, as few people will see or care much for this lukewarm knockoff of the Smurfs franchise (which is a lukewarm entity in and of itself). The Rotten Tomatoes synopsis reads: “DreamWorks Animation’s ‘TROLLS’ is an irreverent…

Movie Review: Believe (2016)

I suppose the title, “The Christmas Pageant That Almost Never Was” would have worked, but Believe is fine. After all, it’s the holiday season, so we’re entitled to a little suspension of (dis)belief, as the newest faith-heavy film from writer/director Billy Dickson in his major debut, conveys. Drawing allusions to Frank Capra’s 1946 classic, “It’s…

Movie Review: Moana (2016)

In an effort to recognize every genre and cultural sub-group, Walt Disney Animation Studios has scored again with Moana, a tale recounting how Pacific Islanders traversed the South Seas in search of lands to inhabit. Here, a few archaeological facts are mixed with the Legend of Maui, a demigod/shape-shifter/adventurer who, with his trusty ivory fish…

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