Disney

Sat
20
Jul

Feels Like the First Time: Disney's The Lion King Rekindles Magic of Original

The Lion King 2019

Disney made a name for itself in the film industry by plumbing the depths of folk and fairy tales. These days, Disney has found a new path to the box office, by mining the depths of Disney itself. It sounds a bit like an ouroboris, the mythical snake that eats its own tail. But, surprisingly, it's been working, and this latest outing is no exception -- in fact, it probably surpasses all previous live-action remakes of animated classics.

Fri
28
Jun

Holland, Zendaya and Gyllenhaal Excite In SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME

Spider-Man Far From Home starts July 2, 2019

I really enjoyed Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man series, at least the first two films. The inclusion of Macho Man Randy Savage as Bonesaw more than made up for the very slight shortcomings of the Green Goblin. Willem Dafoe was great, but that suit--there just was no good reason to not use the classic look. The second movie, with Alfred Molina's excellent turn as Doctor Octopus, was a rare sequel that surpassed the original. Beyond those two films, well, let's focus on the positive. The Marvel Cinematic Universe was launched and over the course of 22 films it became a paradigm shift in cinematic storytelling.

Sat
22
Jun

Sheriff Woody: Complex Messiah

Woody and Forky

He seeks out to save those who are lost. He loves without expecting or receiving anything in return.  He gives of himself to fix those who are broken. He instills an inner voice in the one closest to him to carry on in his absence. And, in the end, he ascends.

He's Sheriff Woody, stuffed savior and prophet of Pixar. And nowhere is that made more evident in this (final?) chapter of the Pixar pioneer franchise, TOY STORY 4.

We begin where it all began -- at Andy's house, and the donation of an outgrown toy. Bo Peep (ANNIE POTTS) is being given to another child, and Woody (TOM HANKS), as always, is prepared to rescue her. But it's Bo's time to move on -- although she does make a tempting offer for Woody to follow along, reminding him that toys "get lost" all the time. But realizing that Andy still needs him, he has no choice but to remain and let Bo move on.

Mon
10
Jun

Watching Without Feminism Goggles, Captain Marvel Actually Fun Superhero Flick

Captain Marvel BD

CAPTAIN MARVEL was, perhaps, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film to come with pre-release baggage. The marketing machine started things off by signalling how much of a milestone it was that this was the first Marvel film to have a female lead, as though that were a reason to watch the film. Then lead actress Brie Larson began making disparaging comments about the opinions of white male critics. There was simply too much pre-movie commentary that came off as "You will enjoy this movie for the reasons we tell you, or else you're a bad person."

That was before the film hit the theatrical circuit, where I did not see it. More time has passed now, and viewing CAPTAIN MARVEL on Blu-ray is my first exposure to the film. And with the hype and anti-hype simmered down, I could actually sit down and watch this without being told that I have to have a feminist mindset, or that there's a politically subtextual nuance to every comment, or that Brie Larson doesn't smile enough.

Thu
21
Mar

Mary Poppins Returns is a Spoonful of Sugar and More

Mary Poppins Returns on Blu-ray

ROB MARSHALL has accomplished the rare privilege of getting to direct a classic of the Disney variety. MARY POPPINS RETURNS pops off the screen, with a color palette right out of a fantasy and a soundtrack firmly in tune with the songs from the original 1964 film that gave us such unforgettable songs as "Chim Chim Cher-ee" and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."

EMILY BLUNT steps into the impeccable shoes of the unflappable Mary Poppins, arriving at a time when the two Banks children, Michael (BEN WHISHAW) and Jane (EMILY MORTIMER) have grown up. Jane, like her mother, works to promote women's suffrage, while Michael is a struggling artist who has taken a job at the bank to make ends meet after the loss of his wife. Michael's three children, John, Annabel, and Georgie, do their best to help out, but can accomplish very little when the family learns they have until the end of the week to come up with the money to save their family home before the bank forecloses on it.

Tue
12
Mar

Mary Poppins Returns Blu-ray Combo Pack and Compact Mirror

Mary Poppins Returns

Finally, a giveaway that's practically perfect in every  way!

Up for grabs this time, Critical Blast is proud to offer the Blu-ray combo pack of Walt Disney's MARY POPPINS RETURNS, starring EMILY BLUNT as the iconic magical nanny, and LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA as her streetwise friend, Jack. Returning to the Banks' home during a time of crisis, Mary Poppins arrives just in time to save the Banks children -- and their children -- as well as their family home.

Replete with all the 2D animation mixed with live action footage, and filled from beginning to end with song and enchantment, MARY POPPINS RETURNS is a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious addition to any family's video library.

And to sweeten the deal, this package comes with a compact mirror with digital messaging! Let's see Mary Poppins top that!

Sun
03
Mar

Make The Little Mermaid Part of Your World

Little Mermaid 30th Anniversary

With the ubiquity of the Disney Princesses these days, one can almost forget what a turning point in Disney animation it was when THE LITTLE MERMAID made her debut. After having gone through a long, dry spell of failures and near-successes, the House of Mouse had fallen upon hard times.

Enter Alan Menken and Jodi Benson, and suddenly Ariel was part of our world -- a persisting part of it, opening the door to a revolution in Disney animation that went on to give us BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ALADDIN, THE LION KING, and many more. Suddenly, the world was aware of Disney as a movie-making entity again, and began hotly anticipating each new release.

Sun
17
Feb

Ralph Breaks the Internet Astutely Skewers Online Culture

Ralph Breaks the Internet

When we met Wreck-It Ralph (JOHN C. REILLY), we entered a world of boomer nostalgia. The videogame culture of the 80s came back to all of us who had lived through it, and introduced it to a new generation who now enjoy playing the retro, 16-bit arcade classics as much as the modern high-definition games. Our personal game collection here has added a classic wood-grain Atari 2600 console as well as a Nintendo 64, and are getting regular play.

Thu
06
Dec

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: A Center Stage Pop-Up Book

Nutcracker Pop Up

The Nutcracker is a well-known and beloved Christmas story performed yearly by ballerinas all across the country. This book, and the recently released movie, puts a new and different twist on Clara’s life. Clara’s mother has passed, and Clara discovers Four Realms or “otherworlds” of which her mother had been the queen. At a pageant held for Clara, a beautiful ballerina dances gracefully and elegantly, bringing the story to life. Not all the “otherworlds” are happy ones, and Clara’s goal is to make all the worlds peaceful once again. 

Sat
01
Sep

Fall for Our September Bombshell: Ginger Punk Cosplay!

September 2018 Bombshell - Ginger Cosplay

Cosplay inspires the imagination of so many people. Some do it just for a lark, and some get bitten by the cosplay bug big time, churning out some truly stunning transformations that not only bring the characters out of the fantasy and into reality, but simultaneously bring the fans out of reality and into the fantasy.

Whether it's video games, comic books, or animated fantasies, there are always so many characters to pick from -- and our September Bombshell of the Month is one who can take them on from all media, as you will see.

So now, Critical Blast is proud to introduce to you our...

 

Critical Blast Bombshell, September 2018

Ginger Punk Cosplay

Fri
20
Jul

HOLSTERED: Disney Severs Ties with James Gunn; Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Up in the Air

James Gunn

It was a foregone conclusion that seemed to take forever, but the inevitable response has finally come down. Walt Disney Studios, parent company of Marvel Studios, has cut ties with Director James Gunn over a collection of tweets and blog statements that relied on pedophilia as a source of edgy humor.

While Gunn took to Twitter overnight to delete the tweets, critics wondered how Disney could see their way to keeping Gunn on the high-profile Marvel Cinematic Universe project, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, particularly in contrast to the swiftness with which Disney subsidiary, ABC Television, cut ties with Roseanne Barr after a tweet, despite her stratospheric tv ratings.

Fri
15
Jun

Incredibles 2 Well-Acted, Expertly Crafted Tale Anyone Can Enjoy

Incredibles 2

Pixar’s latest animated instant classic, the long awaited The Incredibles 2, is incredible, despite what some of my hoity toity film critic brethren might think. It’s also a good place to start a discussion of the term “sequel.”

Mon
04
Jun

New Trailer for Wreck-It Ralph 2

Disney posted up a new trailer for November's WRECK-IT RALPH 2: RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET!  The trailer is very funny, and I really liked the first WRECK-IT RALPH.  That said, I worry a bit about all the corporate synergy here.  Disney, Marvel, Star Wars...yeah, there is plenty of room for jokes here, but hopefully it just doesn't become one big Disney love fest.  Disney has always had a bit of a cult feel to me, aand even if they are laughing at themselves, I don't need 90 minutes of being reminded how much Disney owns me.  Hopefully, I am just being cynical.

I did love the bit at the end where Ralph says the movie should have been called "Wrecks the Internet." 


 

Thu
08
Mar

Disney's Lady and the Tramp Still One of the Best Romantic Movies

Lady and the Tramp

She's cultured. He's coarse.

She's pedigreed. He's lowly.

She's refined. He's ruff...er...rough around the edges.

Naturally, they're made for each other!

It's almost unfathomable to think there's anyone over five years of age who hasn't seen Walt Disney's LADY AND THE TRAMP by now. However, it's good to occasionally be reminded of just how good a film it is for young and old alike, a tale of how love bridges class boundaries, and can cause anyone to rethink their entrenched philosophies for the happiness of another.

Thu
14
Dec

It's official! Disney purchases most of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion

About a month ago, we had reported the rumors about Disney looking into buying Fox.  Today it looks like that deal was finalized...

From CNN:

Disney is buying a huge chunk of 21st Century Fox in a deal that promises to reshape the media industry and help the entertainment giant fend off digital rivals such as Netflix.

The $52.4 billion deal will combine two of the biggest players in Hollywood.

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