Film News – Eva Green On Dumbo + Tim Burton

Eva Green has a had a very good career in the entertainment industry. She is well known for her role as Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale and she has also had a consistent working relationship with Tim Burton.

Indeed, she has starred in Tim Burton films like Dark Shadows and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and she continues this collaboration with Dumbo, the live-action remake of the animated Disney classic. In an interview with Collider, she had the opportunity to speak about Dumbo.


Eva Green had this to say on whether starring in Dumbo was an immediate yes or if she had to take some time to think about it:

I was like, ‘I don’t know how I can say to Tim, ‘Is there a stunt person, or can you use somebody else’s body and put my head on it, digitally, afterwards?’’ I had a whole plan going on in my head. He was like, ‘No, just try it. It could help you to build the character.’ I was like, ‘Okay, I’ll try.’ I was sure that I would never be able to swing up high.”

That was a great thing, even for my own confidence, to think that you couldn’t do that, but then, actually, you can. It’s all the monkey talk, as they say. It’s just all of those demons in your head. You can overcome your fear.”

Eva Green also spoke about what it is like to work with Tim Burton:

Of course. He’s a genius. He’s a poet. He’s got a very specific universe, but it’s also such a hard job. There’s always tension on a movie set, most of the time.”

There’s always a problem, but it’s a beautiful job. There’s a lot of money involved. When you’re on a Tim Burton movie, even though the budget is gigantic and there is pressure, as actors, we don’t feel the pressure, which is wonderful.”

Tim is like a child. He’s so happy. He deeply loves what he does. It’s so wonderful to see him, just full of joy, really. It’s just nice to not have tension.”

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Film News – Danny Elfman Discusses Dumbo

Recently, director Tim Burton spoke about his live-action remake of the Disney animated classic Dumbo. Now, composer Danny Elfman, a long-time collaborator with Tim Burton, has given an interview to Collider about Dumbo.


Danny Elfman said this on whether Tim Burton had a good sense of what he was doing with Dumbo when Elfman joined the project:

Yeah, he had a pretty good sense of what he was doing, but he didn’t have a good sense yet of the music. He usually evolves that, over the process. It all starts with a thing called the spotting session, where you sit down and go over the whole movie, and every cue gets a number and a name and a little bit about the cue.”

With Tim, it’s the fastest spotting sessions, in my life […] if it’s an hour and 45-minute movie, the spotting session will be two hours and 15 minutes. He adds about a half-hour. He doesn’t talk about it.”

He just says, ‘Okay, music here, and music here. We’re gonna keep that. We want that to soar. We want that to be sweet.’ He doesn’t verbalize, and that’s fine. Really, the more he verbalizes, it’s not gonna really help me. Telling me how he feels will help me, so that’s what he does. He’ll say, ‘I feel this way about this scene. I feel this way about that scene.’ Then, I start writing.”

And when I’m writing, I’ll write more than one option because I know Tim. If I play three things for him, it’ll help him focus and say, ‘Oh, no, that’s the wrong way to go. This is the right way to go.’ It’s through that kind of experimentation that I help him figure out what he is really looking for, musically, in the film.”

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Film News – Tim Burton Discusses Dumbo

The reviews for Dumbo have recently come out and there has been a mixed response for this live-action remake of the Disney animated classic. Still, we all know that a hardcore group of Tim Burton fans will support the film no matter what the critical reception is given their love for his previous work in the film industry. During a conference at the film’s Los Angeles press junket, Tim Burton was given the chance to speak about Dumbo.


One of the topics of conservation was the thing that Tim Burton loves about the story of Dumbo:

I just liked the idea of a flying elephant that doesn’t quite fit into the world, and how somebody with a disadvantage makes it an advantage. It just felt very close to the way I felt about things. It was just a very pure, simple image. Like all of the old Disney fables, it has that simple symbolism for real emotions.”

Tim Burton also spoke about the things in the original Dumbo that he wanted to expand upon in his own live-action version:

I just like the fact that it’s obviously a very simple fable and story. At its heart, it’s about family. What I liked about it was the human parallel story. This character comes back from war, and he doesn’t have an arm, he doesn’t have a wife, and he doesn’t have a job.”

He’s trying to find his place in the world. It’s like that for all of the characters. Every character in it wants to be something. They’re like Dumbo, using disadvantage to advantage. So, there are lots of nice themes, but in a very simple framework.”

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Film News – Colin Farrell On Dumbo

In recent years, Disney have had a lot of financial success with the live-action remakes of classic animated films such as The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast. They hope that this success will continue with the upcoming live-action remakes of The Lion King and Dumbo. One of the stars of Dumbo is Colin Farrell and, in an interview with journalists at a set visit, he had the chance to discuss Dumbo.


Here is what Colin Farrell had to say on the reaction he had when he was approached to star in Dumbo which will be directed by Tim Burton:

Honestly, ‘Please, can I do it?’ Genuinely. Because I’ve just been such a fan of Tim’s work for the longest time. I think Edward Scissorhands is probably the first thing of his I saw. It’s still one of my favorite films of all time, probably.”

So yeah, just the idea of something as sweet and fantastical and almost otherworldly while being grounded in some recognizable world that we can relate to under the directorship of him is kind of a dream.”

There’s things I’ve read through the years that are somewhat fantastical or supernatural and have kind of a fairy tale element to them, and then some things that I read that never got made—one script in particular that never got made, but it was beautiful and had elements of Beauty and the Beast to it, I’ve always been looking for something of that ilk.”

This was…I genuinely, when I heard he was doing it, I was like ‘Oh my God, what a dream gig to do.’ That was before reading the script. Then I read the script and it’s so sweet.”

Tim is really good at figuring out the balancing act between honoring the sweetness of the original story or the intent or the allegorical element of what a baby flying elephant represents with real-world emotional concerns of families and friendships and damages of war without getting into it too much.”

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Ralph Breaks The Internet (Film/Movie Review) – An Enjoyable Sequel

Ralph Breaks The Internet is an animated Disney film directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston and it is the 57th Walt Disney animated feature film. This movie acts as a sequel to Wreck-It Ralph and it has a voice cast that includes Alfred Molina, Jane Lynch, Ed O’Neill, Taraji P. Henson, Alan Tudyk, Jack McBrayer, Gal Gadot, Sarah Silverman and John C. Reilly.

The story of Ralph Breaks The Internet focuses on Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) who must travel to the Internet in order to save Sugar Rush, Vanellope’s video game. On this mission, Ralph and Vanellope’s friendship is tested to new limits.

My Expectation For Ralph Breaks The Internet

I liked Wreck-It Ralph and, after its success from a financial and critical perspective, it made sense that Disney would make a sequel. From the trailers, I thought that Ralph Breaks The Internet looked fun but I was not expecting this film to be better than Wreck-It Ralph. All I wanted was an enjoyable movie and anything more than that would be a bonus.

My Thoughts On Ralph Breaks The Internet

A decent, enjoyable movie is exactly what I got with Ralph Breaks The Internet. In some aspects, it is a sequel that improves on the original when it comes to the quality of the animation and set pieces as well as the themes and messages within the story such as friendship and its commentary on the Internet.

However, other elements of Ralph Breaks The Internet are not as good as they were in the first film. Indeed, the overall story in this sequel is nowhere near as strong and I felt that some of the characters that helped the first film so fun are left behind in Ralph Breaks The Internet which was a shame.

Additionally, the first act of Ralph Breaks The Internet, which is essentially everything that happened before Ralph and Vanellope travel to the Internet, was a bit flat. However, everything in the second act was really good, especially when it came to the Disney princess scene. The third act was mixed because, while there were some good character moments, the final boss battle was pretty bland in my opinion.

Ralph Breaks The Internet is, overall, a bit of a mixed bag but there was just about more stuff to like in it than to dislike or have apathy about. If you are a fan of the first film then you should see this sequel but do not go in expecting a brilliant Disney classic because it is not.

ralph breaks the internet review


Moana (Film Review) – A Vibrant Delight

Moana is an animated film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. It is the 56th Disney animated feature film and features the voices of Rachel HouseTemuera MorrisonJemaine ClementNicole ScherzingerAlan Tudyk, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Auli’i Cravalho. Cravalho actually makes her feature film debut in Moana. The story of Moana focuses on, you guessed it, Moana (Auli’i Cravalho), a determined girl who is set to become chief of her Polynesian tribe. But, she is chosen by the sea to return a mystical relic to a goddess so she can save her island. To do this, she must enlist the help of demigod Maui (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson).

My Knowledge and Expectation of Moana

Moana was a film that I missed seeing when it came out in cinemas last year. I was really annoyed about this because I love animated films, especially when it comes to the recent offerings by Disney in animated films such as Wreck-It Ralph, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia/Zootropolis. I had heard a lot of great things about Moana and was expecting great things from the film, especially as Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson voices one of the lead characters in this film. I love ‘The Rock’ and Moana seems like just another step in his seemingly unstoppable march towards world domination.

Moana and Maui in Moana

My Thoughts on Moana

I really enjoyed Moana. While I do not rank it amongst my favourite Disney animated films, it is a very good film that is full of heart. One of the elements of the film that hugely impressed me was the animation. I loved the blend of computer animation and hand-drawn animation that was used to illustrate Maui’s tattoos that came to life. Additionally, the colour palette in Moana is stunning. This enhanced the style of the animation that is beautiful to look at.

The lore of Moana was very cool. It draws heavily from Polynesian mythology and I thought the film did a great job in terms of fleshing out the world and the characters within it. Certainly, Moana is a great character who is anything but one-dimensional. She is strong, assertive and inspirational. Moreover, her relationship with Maui was extremely entertaining and, at times, poignant. I give a lot of credit to Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in bringing these two characters to life.

Te Kā in Moana

The Music of Moana

The music in Moana was, for the most part, great. Lin Manuel-Miranda had a huge hand in writing the songs and crafting the score for this film and there are a lot of things to admire when it comes to this aspect of the film. ‘How Far I’ll Go’ and ‘You’re Welcome’ were my favourite songs but I also appreciated how Polynesian vocals were interwoven into the music of Moana. However, I could have done without ‘Shiny’ which was performed by Tamatoa, a giant crab.

In fact, I could have done without Tamatoa all together. To me, his scene in the film was the weakest part of Moana. Also, the structure of the film was very formulaic which prevents Moana from being one of my favourite animated Disney films. But, the film is a very good watch with a lot of great qualities and I highly recommend that you check it out when you have the time.

Beauty and the Beast (Film Review) – A Wonderful Adaptation

Beauty and the Beast is a musical fantasy directed by Bill Condon and is a live-action remake of the 1991 Disney animated version. The film stars Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Dan Stevens and Emma Watson. The story of the film is based on the 18th century fairy-tale and focuses on Belle (Emma Watson) who is imprisoned in an enchanted castle by the Beast (Dan Stevens), a cursed prince. Belle is also pursued by Gaston (Luke Evans) who wants her hand in marriage.

My Knowledge and Expectation of Beauty and the Beast

This film is continuing the recent trend of Disney remaking their animated classics into live-action films. The only one I have seen is The Jungle Book which I really enjoyed and I expected the same from Beauty and the Beast. Now, I do not have the same emotional attachment to the animated version that a lot of people do, simply because I only saw it for the first time a couple of weeks ago (I know, I know). I really liked the animated film but I do not see it as the masterpiece that a lot of people do which meant that I did not expect this live-action remake to be a masterpiece either.

Emma Watson and Kevin Kline in Beauty and the Beast

My Thoughts on Beauty and the Beast

I know I am in the minority, but this live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, to me, is better than the animated film. That’s right, better. The main reason why this is the case is down to the way in which this film vastly improves on a major part of the animated version. This was the building of the romance between Belle and the Beast.

One of my issues with the animated film is that the romance between Belle and the Beast in that film felt very rushed. In the live-action remake, Bill Condon adds new story elements to develop both the characters and their romance which makes their budding love more natural and believable. Condon take his time with telling the story in this film and, for me, this was something that the live-action remake improved on the original.

The production design on Beauty and the Beast is phenomenal. The costumes and the sets were awesome and the way that the practical effects blended with the CGI was brilliant to see. While that was brilliant to see, the new songs were brilliant to hear. While the classics songs such as ‘Be Our Guest’ and ‘Tale as Old as Time’ will always be the best, I really liked the new songs.

Luke Evans as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast

The Cast

The cast were great too. While Emma Watson’s singing in the film is not as good as Paige O’Hara’s from the animated film, she is good as Belle but my highlights in Beauty and the Beast were Luke Evans as Gaston and Josh Gad as Lefou. Their chemistry was great, they embraced their roles and they were a joy to watch as were Ian McKellen and Ewan McGregor as Cogsworth and Lumière.

To be honest, I cannot find anything that I did not like in this film. Truly, Disney has continued where they left off with The Jungle Book and created another great live-action adaptation of one of their classic animated films which, for me, is better than the animated version. If you have not already seen Beauty and the Beast, then see it as soon as you can because you will not be disappointed.

Queen of Katwe (Film Review) – A Feel Good Film with Great Performances

Queen of Katwe is a biographical sports drama directed by Mira Nair, produced by Walt Disney Pictures and starring David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o and Madina Nalwanga. Nalwanga makes her feature film debut in Queen of Katwe and stars as Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan girl living in Katwe which is the largest slum in Kampala.

This film tells the true story of Mutesi who learns to play chess and reaches such a high level that she could become a Woman Candidate Master and escape from poverty and the harshness of life in Katwe for herself and her family. Nyong’o stars as the mother of Mutesi while Oyelowo plays the role of Robert Katende, Mutesi’s chess coach.

My Knowledge and Expectation of Queen of Katwe

My interest in seeing this film was largely down to the impressive cast. Certainly, Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo are highly talented and have been brilliant in other films, especially Oyelowo who was fantastic in The Butler and in portraying Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma. Additionally, this film had been receiving critical praise prior to its release which only served to enhance my anticipation and give me a sense that Queen of Katwe was, at the very least, going to be good.

Madina Nalwanga as Phiona Mutesi in Queen of Katwe

My Thoughts on Queen of Katwe

I am pleased to say that Queen of Katwe is a very good film and this is largely down to the excellent performances. Madina Nalwanga is really good which is quite remarkable considering that this is her feature film debut. She gives a performance beyond her years and I hope to see more of her in the future. Nevertheless, while Nalwanga is really good, Nyong’o and Oyelowo are the stars of this film. They give the film class and help to captivate the audience and make them become emotionally invested in a story which has a good balance of dramatic and light-hearted moments.

Moreover, the themes which are present in Queen of Katwe help to make this a feel-good film which is something we all need considering everything that has happened in the world recently. Evidently, there a lot of good things in this film. However, if I was to pick out one thing that I think could have been improved it would be the running time. This film did feel a bit too long and I feel that certain things could have been trimmed and cut to reduce the running time by 10-15 minutes. This would have made Queen of Katwe tighter in its storytelling.

Madina Nalwanga and Lupita Nyong'o in Queen of Katwe

Still, this is a small, personal negative which does not take from the overall quality of the film. Certainly, Queen of Katwe is one of this year’s more uplifting films with excellent performances by Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo, a really good debut by Madina Nalwanga and a positive message is showcased at a time of negativity. If you are looking for a film which will inspire you and improve your mood, then Queen of Katwe will certainly do the job.