In the 12 years since James Cameron last directed a feature film (a little art-house number called “Titanic,” heard of it?), much has changed in the growing field of special effects.
“A Shine of Rainbows” is a film trapped in amber.
An Irish-flavored family distraction, the picture resembles a live-action Disney artifact from the 1950s, with its boundless enthusiasm for gentle adventuring, warm domestic bonding, and tragic turns of fate. While far from the most convincing source of matinee entertainment, it’s pleasing to find something not backed by an aggressive marketing campaign, focused on the plague of modern youth, or weighed down by bathroom humor.
It’s ballsy to even attempt a workplace comedy after Mike Judge’s “Office Space” locked down the genre over a decade ago.
The Walt Disney Animation Studio has such a storied history of screen classics, it’s nearly impossible to fully consider the artistic roller coaster ride the company has endured since Walt introduced the world to the miracle of feature-length animation back in 1937, with “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
It’s difficult to tell exactly how “Kick-Ass” considers the comic book/superhero genre.
On one hand, there’s a profusion of love offered to the subculture through a series of crafty inside jokes and tributes only a few knowing audience members will understand. On the other hand, “Kick-Ass” is a tone-deaf pantsing of the superman cause, creating an incredible ruckus as it breakdances on hallowed ground, preferring noise over wit when it comes to giving funny books a comprehensive noogie. Only vibrant in spurts, “Kick-Ass” is a distractingly frenzied picture lacking true satiric aim, making the oncoming mess of ultraviolence more bothersome than rousing.
“Death at a Funeral” is a remake that updates the long-forgotten, lost-to-history, somebody-dust-this-one-off-please 2007 film of the same name.
A whopping three years have passed since the original Frank Oz motion picture found a modicum of cult success, leaving this update a little too eager to redo what was already rather recently done.