‘Cruella’ Film Review

Cruella (2021) - IMDb

As of late, villain origin stories have been on the rise, giving us a chance to sympathize with characters known for nothing more than being truly evil. Films like Disney’s Maleficent and DC’s Joker have shown us that these natural born monsters are just broken beings who have been pushed past the edge to the point where acts of cruelty are their way to get back at the injustices and/or tragedies placed upon them. If done right, these backstories can be compelling and may help us appreciate or hate them more. Cruella de Vil is the latest baddie to get an origin. The real question is: Why? There are so many other Disney villains out there with more tragic backstories that deserve to be told; Scar from The Lion King or Ursula from The Little Mermaid have compelling reasons to be who they are rather than being just pure evil, while Cruella is known mainly for wanting to skin dalmatians to use them as fur coats. What is to humanize about that? Maybe if we looked into her past, there could be an excuse for this sort of sympathy.

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‘Beauty and the Beast’ Film Review

Grade: B-

Beauty and the Beast Movie Poster

It is a story that revolves around one enchanted rose, two lovers, and is considered by many to be referred to as “a tale as old as time”; most famously from the likes of lyricist Howard Ashman (who died 8 months prior to the release of the original animated classic), Angela Lansbury (Who was the original voice of Mrs. Potts), and the duo who sang the original title song, Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson. The original ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was an animated masterpiece that relied on beautiful animation, sweeping camera motions, and the energy of a classic Hollywood musical. It also went on to gain 2 Oscar wins (‘Best Music, Original Song – ‘Beauty and the Beast’, Best Music, original score), and 4 other Oscar nominations (including Best Picture, making it the first animated feature to achieve that category.) While this updated remake in Disney’s roster is visually stunning with its CGI effects that put last year’s ‘The Jungle Book’ to shame (At least in my opinion), the film also turns out rather clunky and doesn’t show us the energy that the original animated film had.

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