Tom and Jerry (2021)

Warner Animation props up the long rotted corpse of “Tom and Jerry” long enough to produce what I’m sure they hoped would be a blockbuster big screen adaptation. For a series that’s been languishing on video store shelves with cheaply made, watered down animated movies for years, it’s not a surprise that “Tom and Jerry” is about as bland as ever. It’s also not at all surprising that Tim Story is the man called on to deliver such an inoffensive, forgettable, mishmash of weird ideas and concepts.

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She’s the Man (2006)

Yet another take on “Twelfth Night” (in the current onslaught of Hollywood remaking every movie), it’s not a far off idea that “She’s the Man” sneakily tends to borrow so much more from the 1985 gender switching comedy “Just One of the Guys.” While you could easily make the argument that they’re adapted from the same material thus bound to be similar, it’s undeniable during the big “reveal” in the climax.

It’s something that the aforementioned eighties movie is known for.

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Fences (2016)

That’s the peculiar aspect about adapting a minimalist period piece for film. If you decide to stretch it to a bigger scope, you can ruin its integrity. But if you keep it small scale, its intended purpose seems redundant. For all things considered, Director Denzel Washington’s drama, adapted from the August Wilson stage play, is a great display of powerhouse performances from an ensemble cast. But it’s mainly that, and really not much else when all is said and done..

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Ghost Ship (2002): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

You could almost blame “Ghost Ship” of false advertising, as it’s a movie that almost promises to deliver a new kind of ghost movie, and then backs out after the prologue. Steve Beck’s horror movie begins on a very gnarly note with easily one of the most memorable horror movie openings of all time. Beck directs this hook brilliantly and you’d feel bad for not seeing the entire movie through. Once Steve Beck’s ghost film progresses, it’s sadly more of the same.

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My Top Five “Tom and Jerry” Shorts Of All Time

I grew up watching Tom and Jerry and have remained a fan well in to my thirties, despite their troubled history. Despite the great Hanna Barbera MGM shorts that made me laugh, there’s also the god awful Chuck Jones’ shorts, the watered down remakes, and reboots, and of course the endless string of cheaply made straight to DVD animated sequels where the pair duke it out.

With the upcoming big budget movie hitting limited theaters and VOD this week, I thought I’d list my top five all time favorite Tom and Jerry shorts. While I’m skeptical that “Tom and Jerry” will be anything but mediocre, I still hold a place in my heart for the Tom Cat and Rascally Brown Mouse.

What are Some of Your Favorite “Tom and Jerry” shorts?

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Workhorse Queen (2020) [Slamdance Film Festival 2021]

It’s been a long, rough journey for drag queens to become accepted among modern society. After decades of being pushed in to the underground to celebrate their art form, now we’re at a rare moment in time where the drag profession is now being celebrated. After RuPaul’s efforts to inject the drag queen lifestyle in to the world with her hit series “Drag Race,” drag queens went from being pushed in to darkness, to now taking pictures with awe struck children, and hosting concerts with families and children.

And yet, after all of it, there’s still so much more to be done.

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Tapei Suicide Story (2020) [Slamdance Film Festival 2021]

Director KEFF’s ‘Tapei Suicide Story” is one of the most somber dramas I’ve ever seen. It’s a film about life affirmation but also about the inevitability of death. Do we have control over our lives if we can control our own deaths? Are we merely embracing fate and are oblivious to it? “Tapei Suicide Story” is a very quiet and quaint drama that works on a very dark and inherently morbid premise.

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Teenage Emotions (2020) [Slamdance Film Festival 2021]

Director Frederic Da has a knack for adding some appeal to the mumblecore sub-genre. While I normally don’t like the narrative format, “Teenage Emotions” is a great platform for it. A mix of John Hughes and Greta Gerwig, “Teenage Emotions” works hard not to be pigeonholed. It’s a teen drama, but also a candid look at the monotony of high school. It’s a romance but also lacks a clear cut resolution of the various sub-plots. It also wants to be taken as both a narrative and a semi-documentary all at the same time.

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