When it came time to adapt ‘Doctor Sleep’; Stephen King’s sequel novel to ‘The Shining’, Mike Flanagan seemed to be faced with some tough decisions when writing and directing. Not only were King’s original novel and Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation two different beasts, but they were so dissimilar that the author famously hated Kubrick’s take on his work. However, it seems that Flanagan has succeeded in crafting not only a worthy sequel nearly four decades after the original, yet a movie that seems to work on its own terms (Hey, if it is enough to please the “King”, then I am sure it will work for modern audiences).
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Winnie the Pooh and friends return in yet another live-action remake of a popular animated Disney classic, only this time, it is more of a sequel than a straight remake. In it, Christopher Robin is all grown up (and played by Ewan McGregor), with a wife (Hayley Atwell) and daughter (Bronte Carmichael), and a job as an efficiency expert at a company run by Giles Winslow (Mark Gatiss); though his job gives him little to no time with his family. Christopher Robin feels stuck in the hum-drum of work. But who better than Winnie the Pooh (Voiced yet again by Jim Cummings) to save the day, and show Christopher what he has been missing?
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“20 years just flown by, yeah?” Spud (Ewen Bremner) says during a confrontation between all four main characters of the first ‘Trainspotting’; directed by Danny Boyle (who also returned to direct this sequel to the classic film) and based on the book of the same name by Irvine Welsh. It feels like 20 years HAS passed. I was about 2 years old when the first ‘Trainspotting’ came out, but being that I was a toddler at the time, was too young to even be aware of, or exposed to it. It wasn’t until 2014 when I watched the film on Netflix, and I had to say that it was a tolerable watch that didn’t strike me as one of the best films ever made, but was enough for me to anticipate this long-awaited sequel. Let me tell you that ‘T2 Trainspotting’ was worth the wait.
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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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