Tag Archives: Danny DeVito

Dumbo (2019) Review

Time: 112 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1]
Cast:
Colin Farrell as Holt Farrier
Nico Parker as Milly Farrier
Finley Hobbins as Joe Farrier
Michael Keaton as V. A. Vandevere
Danny DeVito as Max Medici
Eva Green as Colette Marchant
Edd Osmond as the motion capture of Jumbo Jr.
Alan Arkin as J. Griffin Remington
Creator: Tim Burton

Struggling circus owner Max Medici (Danny Devito) enlists a former star (Colin Farrell) and his two children (Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins) to care for Dumbo, a baby elephant born with oversized ears. When the family discovers that the animal can fly, it soon becomes the main attraction — bringing in huge audiences and revitalizing the run-down circus. The elephant’s magical ability also draws the attention of V.A. Vandevere, an entrepreneur who wants to showcase Dumbo in his latest, larger-than-life entertainment venture.

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I heard some not so good things about the remake of Dumbo, and I was already pretty doubtful. While I haven’t watched the original Dumbo animated movie, I’m not a fan of the recent live action Disney remakes of their classic animated movies. So despite the talent involved, I was quite sceptical but nonetheless wanted to check it out. The remake of Dumbo turned out to be okay really, despite a lot of flaws.

The script is definitely the weakest part of the movie. It starts off very weak and takes a while to pick up. Although this movie has Dumbo as a big part of the story, the ‘heart’ of the movie is a father and two children, and their problems. Unfortunately, it feels rather hollow and tact on, what’s worse is that this plotline is essentially driving the first act, with Dumbo playing a small part in it. It does get better as it goes along, mainly from the moment where everyone sees Dumbo really flying for the first time. From that point to the end, it’s relatively decent. I wasn’t invested in the story or characters, but I was reasonably entertained for the rest of the runtime.

The main characters of the movie are played by Colin Farrell, Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins, as a family. Farrell is a great actor for sure, but here he’s reduced to just moping around, and he was just fine at best. More focus is drawn to the kid characters, and unfortunately they aren’t that good. Hobbins doesn’t do all that much and just stands there, and Parker is written and directed so poorly, she delivers a bunch of bland exposition, even when she talks about she feels (she literally just says how she feels in a very monotone way). I can’t really blame either of the actors, because none of them are given good material to work with at all. Michael Keaton plays the villain of this movie, and he’s an over the top and one dimensional cartoon, he doesn’t bring down the movie though. The two actors that really stand out are Danny Devito and Eva Green. Devito does the same things as he does in most movies, but Green actually does very well in her scenes, definitely a highlight of the movie.

Knowing Tim Burton and his movies, it’s actually surprising how restrained he was with his direction here. It wasn’t as crazy and bizarre as any of his other movies (especially thankfully not like his Alice in Wonderland). It was at the right level for a Dumbo movie. On a technical level it was pretty good, from the cinematography, the production design, the visuals, the costumes, and the likes. The only bit here that feels like over the top Burton was Michael Keaton’s performance, and as I said before, that wasn’t necessarily bad. The visuals for the elephants, mainly Dumbo, were also quite good, even though he’s not a main character, he was handled quite well.

Dumbo 2019 isn’t bad but it’s not as good as it could’ve been, especially considering the talent involved. Tim Burton directed it rather well, Danny Devito and Eva Green shine, and it gets better as it progressed, but that’s it. It’s heavily worn down by bad writing, and it’s hard to get emotionally connected to the story and characters. Still, if you’re curious to check it out, I’d say that it’s worth a watch.

Batman Returns (1992) Review

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Batman Returns

Time: 137 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne / Batman
Danny DeVito as Oswald Cobblepot / Penguin
Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle / Catwoman
Christopher Walken as Max Shreck
Michael Murphy as Mayor of Gotham City

After successfully defeating the Joker, the Dark Knight, known as Batman (Michael Keaton) helps to keep Gotham City a safe place. Beneath the city in the sewers, another villain emerges. Known as the Penguin (Danny DeVito), he joins up with Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) and targets the position of new mayor. Whilst Batman tries to uncover the truth behind the Penguin, the Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) also emerges with her own agenda in mind, but not without mixed feelings.

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In 1989 Tim Burton created one of the most iconic superhero movies, Batman. It changed the ways comic book movies could be made. After the success of Batman, Burton makes his return with his own personal style added to this film. Some people are split about this movie, I’m personally one of the people who likes this movie. It does have some problems but nothing to overshadow the overall experience.

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After Batman, Warner Bros gave Tim Burton the freedom to do whatever he wanted with the franchise and it definitely shows here. With the previous Batman, you are able to watch it without picking up that Tim Burton directed it but Batman Returns has Burton stamped all over it. The city does not feel like Gotham, it’s like a whole different city, a much darker city (if that’s possible) with even more gothic feelings. With this really being his movie, this film is of course much darker. The Penguin is an interesting addition to the film, the way he is isn’t quite like how it was in the previous stories and I thought that really worked. The film also shows how Selina gradually becomes Catwoman and I did like how it is shown. The only problem I had is that I don’t know how she becomes Catwoman. It’s not really a spoiler in me saying this, she falls quite a distance out the window and cats somehow bring her back to life. Despite this minor hole (and others) I thought that the film handled Catwoman and Penguin quite well.

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Michael Keaton once again is good as Bruce Wayne and Batman. Like the previous film, it doesn’t really focus as much on Bruce Wayne but more on the villains. Danny DeVito is great as the Penguin. Now this Penguin really isn’t quite the character from the comics but more like how Burton would interpret him. I would’ve preferred The Penguin was portrayed in a different way but his interpretation was done well. Danny Devito really sold the slimy and unpleasant nature of the Penguin. Michelle Pfieffer is excellent as Catwoman. As I previously stated this film shows her descent into madness and it is somehow plausible, and a lot of that has to do with her performance. Christopher Walken is also pretty good in a supporting role. The acting by some people can be over the top, in a Tim Burton sort of way, though it wasn’t really too much of a problem.

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The action scenes are as good as ever. The costumes are well designed, from Batman, to the Penguin and Catwoman. Even though this city feels more Burtontopia than Gotham, it was well designed for what he was going for. Danny Elfman’s score is once again good, even though like a lot of this movie, it feels more like a Tim Burton soundtrack than a Batman soundtrack.

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Batman Returns is definitely a divisive movie but I thought that it was overall a decent movie and I almost like it as much as its previous movie. It is definitely more of a Tim Burton movie than the previous film but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think that if you haven’t seen it already, Batman Returns is definitely worth checking out.

L.A. Confidential (1997)

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L.A. Confidential

Time: 138 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Violence
Cast:
Kevin Spacey as Jack Vicennes
Russell Crowe as Bud White
Guy Pearce as Ed Exley
James Cromwell as Dudley Smith
Kim Basinger as Lynn Bracken
Danny DeVito as Sid Hudgens
Director: Curtis Hanson

In 1950’s Los Angeles, someone’s killing imprisoned mob boss Mickey Cohen’s gang. After some shotgun slayings of the patrons at an all-night diner, three very different cops are all after the truth, each in their own style: Ed Exley (Guy Pearce), the golden boy of the police force, willing to do almost anything to get ahead, except sell out; Bud White (Russell Crowe), ready to break the rules to seek justice, but barely able to keep his raging violence under control; and Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey), always looking for celebrity and a quick buck until his conscience drives him to join Exley and White down the one-way path to find the truth behind the dark world of L.A. crime.

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L.A. Confidential is the best representation of 1950s Los Angeles I’ve seen in film. It is also a magnificent movie with a brilliant script, stellar performances, great production designs and countless other things that make a great movie so great. It is truly one of the best movies of the 1990s and one of the greatest films of all time.

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The writing of this movie is absolutely perfect, it is always entertaining from start to finish, and every piece of dialogue is constructed flawlessly to suit the characters, along with fitting the era of the 50s as well. The story is very interesting and takes many twists and turns as it progresses. It also successfully shows these three main characters and the ways they go around serving justice. The screenplay rightfully earned the Oscar for best screenplay adapted from a source, the book written by James Ellroy, which I haven’t read yet.

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All the actors do the roles very well, especially in portraying the type of characters they play. Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe and Kevin Spacey play the main characters and are absolutely excellent. As I said above, they have different ways of serving justice, as well as having different personalities. This film brought to audiences the attention of Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe; this brought them to huge success and kicked their careers off. Along with those three excellent performances, the film also has some other great performances from actors like Kim Basinger, James Cromwell and Danny Devito. The most surprisingly thing is that apart from Kim Basinger, no one here got any Oscar nominations for acting, but then again, great performances don’t always get Oscar nominations, we’ve seen this happen in the past.

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The cinematography is decent but special credit should go to the people making the sets. The setting of Los Angeles in the 1950s is perfectly recreated here. The locations and the music are very convincing of the time period. The soundtrack particularly, which was composed by Jerry Goldsmith was absolutely perfect for the mood and vibe that the film was going for. The editing brought everything together and made the film even more enjoyable to watch.

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L.A. Confidential has everything I ask for in a movie, it is engaging, it has actors successfully portraying their characters and it has a brilliant script. There wasn’t really anything that I could think of which I disliked in this film, nor was there any scene that felt out of place. I actually feel that at the Oscars, this film deserved the best picture award, Titanic was a pretty good movie; however I still personally find that L.A. Confidential deserved it more, not that the Oscars necessarily matter. I strongly recommend you check this movie out as soon as you can. It is a fantastic film that ever since watching it for the first time, has made my list of favourite movies of all time.

P.S. A reminder that until December, I will likely not be able to post many reviews due to exams.