(*homocinematically inclined)

Monday, July 2, 2018

Dearest Reviews: Summer Schooled

Two Disney-owned franchises. One hit, one miss. Welcome to summer movie season.

Solo: A Star Wars Story:
Coming out too soon after the last Star Wars movie. The heavily reported firing of its original directors. Bad marketing. All have been blamed for the lackluster box office of this latest spin-off but the truth may be that most people are just fine with not knowing too much about the past of their favorite scruffy-looking nerf herder. This ill-advised "origin story" of a young Han Solo answers a lot of questions, some expected (like how he met Chewbacca), but mostly ones that nobody had ever bothered to ask. Missteps abound, from charging a charmless Alden Ehrenreich to fill the unfillable space boots of Harrison Ford (admittedly an unenviable, nigh on impossible, task) to bringing in Ron Howard, quite possibly the dullest A-list director working today, to drag it all across the finish line. With all this bad mojo against it, no wonder most audiences were a no show for Solo. (4/10)

Incredibles 2:
In the 14 years since The Incredibles first hit the silver screen there has been a few more superhero movies. So it's disappointing that this long-in-demand sequel doesn't stand out farther in the crowd. But, thankfully, it at least isn't a shallow cash grab like Monsters University (the Pixar equivalent of Solo, come to think of it) or Cars Pick-a-Number. A fun if not exactly game-changing super-caper, Incredibles 2 comes complete with a couldn't-be-less-surprising villain reveal and the multi-powered Incredi-baby Jack-Jack, who totally steals the movie out from under even the likes of veteran scenery-chewer Edna Mode, the Edith Head-ish "Couturier to the Supered Stars". Less welcome is an unfortunate subplot about Mr. Incredible being all man-jealous about the success of his wife Elastiwoman Elastigirl, which sadly turns out to be even more unsettling in light of recent revelations of the Incredibl-y sexist environment fostered at the Pixar Animation Studios for years. (7/10)

Reviews by Kirby Holt, Movie Dearest creator, editor and head writer.

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