Some people may think of the drive-in theatre as antiquated, but it is not. They still exist far and wide, and as for why they are worth going to is because it helps foster local communities. And for one passionate filmmaker, April Wright, her lifelong examination of this culture is part of a series called Going Attractions. Her latest work, Going Back to the Drive-In, looks at not only this aspect but also what goes on to maintain these operations in today’s global climate.
I had the opportunity to speak to Wright, and we talked about history, its rise back into the public consciousness because of the pandemic, and its future. She said, “My very first documentary came out in 2013, and it was called Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-in Movie (available on Tubi). It explored the whole history of drive-ins.”
After making a few other works, she decided on producing Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace. It was about the indoor cinema experience the big old theatres built by the studios. Afterwards was Stuntwomen, The Untold Hollywood Story. Although she could have gone on to produce other movies about the studio system, a little voice said something else.
To discover strange new worlds than live in a Strange World must means being open to new possibilities in this studio’s latest.
Disney Animation Studio‘s Strange World is visually gorgeous, but something is missing to make it a film worth remembering. I believe that’s because it’s not as true to those dime novels using ancient mythology to define where the adventure is at. Some pulps involve taking adventage of the era’s current interest in some archaeological dig or is simply high fantasy. Other publications offer sci-fi adventure.
Unfortunately, the Jules Verne influence in this motion picture was not to my liking becuase the trailers suggested an Edgar Rice Burroughs direction. Had I been able to yell at the top of my lungs like Tarzan, I’d be happy. But instead, what we have here is a story about Searcher Clade (Jake Gyllenhaal) ecstatic about discovering an energy-producing plant, and Jaeger, his father (Dennis Quaid), has gone off the deep end. Well, sort of. The elder believes there’s more to find in the unexplored regions of this world since their civilization never expanded past the borders of one city. But without any acknowledgment about why they like to explore, part of this film’s concept falls on deaf ears.
In this series, fans sadly won’t see much of the other members of Wednesday Addams clan until absolutely needed.
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Alfred Gough and Miles Miller‘s Wednesday update to what The Addams Family is to a modern generation is perfect for viewers wanting a horror drama similar to the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. After my interview with Glenn Taranto regarding adapting Charles Addams comic strip to the media, my appreciation for the kooky leans in respecting the source material. As a result, this new takeis appropriate as an Archie Horror Comics product. But as for what I think the franchise creator may like, I’m sure he’d approve of how his characters are still bringing delight to fans today and agree to how his creation needs to change with the times.
I’m enjoying this take too. Unlike the comic strip where her look is regarded as simple and cute, this newest interpretation shows how she’s downright glamorous and deadly. And thankfully, Jenna Ortega is up to the task of delivering a “Shot of Poison,” Lita Ford style. Although she’s not always “Painting it Black,” the red lipstick throws me off and it’s a detail that bugs me. Additionally, even though her life as a miscreant is perfect, she winds up getting expelled from one high school only to eventually become a hero at another institution.
Henry Selick doesn’t get to make a lot of movies, and that’s mostly because the stop-motion medium is very time-consuming. In his latest independent work, Wendell and Wild is perhaps his darkest work to date. It concerns themes concerning how to deal with life after the death of loved ones, and making pacts with the devil.
In this film’s case, it’s about two demons. They get top billing in the posters than the actual heroine, Kat (Lyric Ross). She has to face her fears. This teen blames herself for causing the car accident which resulted in the loss of her parents a long time ago. To come to terms with what actually happened is tough, and that’s enough to get Wendell (Keegan-Michael Key) and Wild (Jordan Peele, who also helped co-write) to take notice.
These two creatures from the nether realm want to run away, but to go somewhere where their father can’t find them means getting help from the mortal world. And the only way they can is with a Hellmaiden. When they learn Kat is next in line, they haunt her dreams in no time and offer her a chance to see her parents again.
Although Abominable and the Invisible City started off very weakly, the build up to what Yi, Jin, and Peng must protect takes on similar vibes as Lilo and Stitch TV series. But instead of finding each experiment their forever home, what this trio must do is to keep the magical creatures safe from others like Burnish. But at the end of the film, this villain turned over a new leaf; his role is to provide help when requested.
This television series is a decent continuation but I didn’t find enough to say it’s good because every episode ended with Yi soothing some savage beast with her violin playing. The joy didn’t come until the mid-way point, where it got serious about looking at what can sometimes go on in a modern Chinese family. This one has a touch more drama, and it’s comparable to what has been explored cinematically in Turning Red and Everything, Everywhere All At Once.