The way critics savaged “Ratchet & Clank” in 2016, you’d swear we were given an animated move in the same league of “Norm of the North” or “Doogal.” Instead, we get a funny and entertaining science fiction adventure that doesn’t re-invent the wheel, but manages to be a fun animated movie nevertheless. I have never played the video games “Ratchet & Clank” is based on, but I know enough to understand the basic concept and premise. “Ratchet & Clank” is a eye catching and very good action film that touches on all bases and delivers one very interesting underdog tale about a potential hero trying to prove his worth. Director Kevin Munroe stages a prequel to the games that widens the universe of Ratchet and Clank and genuinely attempts to add another dimension to the titular duo for the sake of their fans.
I’m probably one of the five people in America who thought that “Speed Racer” just got a bad rap by critics and audiences. I mean, really, what were you expecting from this flick? When all is said and done, I don’t think it’s that bad a movie at all. In fact I’m more than willing to admit its bevy of flaws but am still able to enjoy it in spite of the evident caveats. “Speed Racer” is too cool to just dismiss. I mean for a two hour and fifteen minute movie (seriously, Wachowskis?) it’s actually easy to sit through with a very unique take on Speed Racer. I hate to play apologist to the Wachowskis and their big budget effort, but I have to appreciate the pulp neo-noir take on “Speed Racer” with a vision that doesn’t talk down to kids.
The Wachowskis aspire for something unusual and awfully contradictory with “Speed Racer.” They want an intentionally animated live action film, but a film that also looks as realistic as possible. They want a family film, but this is a film that may not be appealing to all children, and they want a story that simple but also quite complicated. Just when you think you’ve seen all of Spritle and his monkey, there’s an unusual tale about corporate corruption. Maybe it’s because of all the contradictions and hapless surrealism that I responded to “Speed Racer” with such enthusiasm. I know it won’t be for everyone, and it definitely has its own flaws present, but speaking as someone willing to meet the Wachowskis halfway, everything involving Speed and Racer X made for some interesting drama.
“The Big Lebowski” is probably my favorite Coen brothers film so far, even above “Fargo” in terms of sheer brilliance. “The Big Lebowski” is sort of a celebration of being a man, or in other terms, it’s a celebration of being a dude. Or The Dude. Or duder. Or El Duderino. But the pure fact remains that Bridges is a pure bad ass in anything he’s in and he shows it by being simply “The Dude”. Don’t ever call him Jeff Lebowski, though, it’s the dude. And that’s just the way he likes it. The Dude who lives at the bowling alley, hangs out with his psychotic friends, experiences rivalries with other bowlers, and just has fun finds himself in a humongous crime plot one night after returning home. Upon his return he discovers someone pissing on his carpet and is beaten up in his apartment. It so happens The Dude has been confused with another dude by the name of Jeff Lebowski, a millionaire whose daughter has been kidnapped.
This is a surprising change for Disney who holds such classic movies like “Beauty and the Beast”, “Cinderella”, and “Snow White” to their roster. “The Emperor’s New Groove” changes the frequently predictable and rather formulaic plotlines from the recent Disney epics and breaks the mold. It starts off telling the story of a very spoiled Mesopotamian prince by the name of Kuzco (David Spade) who is going to tear down a village for a summer home he is building, but unfortunately Pacha (John Goodman), the leader of the village can do nothing about it. Yzma (Eartha Kitt, Kuzco’s advisor is trying to take over the throne while Kuzco is away on business, Kuzco discovers this and fires Yzma, who then attempts to poison him and claim the throne once more with the help of her assistant, the dumb Kronk.