The year is 2017. Orange Hitler is the president. And as Mamo predicted at the turn of the decade, movies are on their way out. Let’s discuss.
Disney and Ava DuVernay are giving the world another film version of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic science fiction story, A Wrinkle In Time. Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, André Holland, Zach Galifianakis and Chris Pine star, along with a very hefty amount of production value that reminds me a little be of Gore Verbinski’s brand of sunny off-kilter weirdness. I like the look of this movie, a lot, like Tomorrowland but with more teeth. I’ve never read the novel, but have heard many praises sung for its mix of hard sci fi with pulp fantasy. The book has certainly stood the test of time, as it has been in print for more than 50 years, and this is the second feature film adaptation (the first was made in Canada in 2003 with Alfre Woodard.)
Wonder Woman is here, and we dive deep into the suddenly-refreshing waters of the DCEU – with additional talk of Batman, the Justice League, Aquaman, and the cult of narrative around projects of this scale. Plus, Price’s Disney boycott finally worked, and with Sense8 on its way out, peak TV may have finally peaked.
Building on comments in episode 463 (“Uber Iger”), we have another look at the political landscape that Disney is influencing, with an eye on the long game re: representation, diversity, and globalization. Is a billionaire vs. billionaire rumble coming? Plus, many special guest stars!
The summer season kicks off in just three weeks and the Boys Of Summer (trademark pending) are back to pick the hits and misses of the forthcoming box office season!
Director: Bill Condon (Kinsey, Gods & Monsters, Dream Girls)
Remake of 1991 Beauty and the Beast
Screenplay: Stephen Chbosky (screenplay), Evan Spiliotopoulos (screenplay) Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont (Tale By)
Producer: David Hoberman
Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline
MPAA Rating: PG
Running time: 129 min.
Something unexpected happens when familiar tales are re-imagined for new audiences. Since much of the story is well-known, it allows those gathered to focus less on the story, and more on the voice doing the telling. Plot and prose take a back seat to cadence and inflection, which can bring new life and luminosity to a well-known story…
…or it can screw up the story entirely.
It’s a tale as old as time.
Once there was a young prince (Dan Stevens) who lived a lush life in a grand castle. One night, as he’s holding a lavish ball when disheveled beggar woman comes calling, he mocks her before turning her away. Seeing the vain and uncaring nature of the prince’s heart, the beggar – actually an enchantress – casts a spell on him, his home, and everyone in it.
He is turned into a hideous beast, and his court all household items. So they will stay until their master can learn to love.
Years later, in the town at the foot of the hill, a young girl named Belle (Emma Watson) is the misfit of her town. While other girls her age pine for marriage, she seeks independence. While others slave over the washing, she invents ways of doing chores faster. While others in town drink and gossip, she only has eyes for the pages of her books…and her loving father (Kevin Klein).
When her father takes his wares to sell, his wagon gets lost on the road. After surviving a wolf attack, he seeks refuge in an isolated castle that seems largely abandoned…but for the roaring fire in the hearth. Inside, he meets what has become of the court; Lumiere, now a candelabra (Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth, now a clock (Ian McKellan), Mrs. Potts, now a teapot (Emma Thompson)…and the furry and frightening lord of the manor. The Beast doesn’t take kindly to strangers – especially ones who help themselves to roses growing in his garden, so Belle’s father becomes his prisoner.
After fighting off advances from the beefy and smarmy Gaston (Luke Evans), Belle is alerted to her father’s disappearance. When she makes her way to the castle to search for him, she bargains with The Beast to take his place instead.
The Beast agrees, sends father on his way, and holds Belle in his place. The court sees this unfold and wonders aloud if she might be the one to teach their master to love and break the curse?
But who could ever love a beast?
Whoa! Perhaps Pixar is getting back on track. An original story with some magnificent visual appeal. With Gael Garcia Bernal and Benji Bratt, this could be great. Coco releases wide on November 22. See you there!
America is dying a very specific “Germany in the mid-1930s” sort of death, and even if we don’t know the outcome, we’re beginning to identify the collaborators. Not so Mamo-related when it’s a taxi company, but what about when it’s the chairman of Disney? What are our responsibilities to this “popular culture” we’ve been gabbing about for 12 years? Before you say “stay in your lane,” sorry friends, this shit is our lane.
POWER!! Who has it? Who needs it? Who wants it? Who lost it? Team Mamo recaps the year 2016 in movers and shakers as the pop cultural landscape is wracked by celebrity deaths, digital doubles and orange-faced idiots. Hey 2016: don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. And for sure don’t fall down that flight of stairs, accidentally set yourself on fire and throw yourself off a bridge.
In advance of tomorrow night’s Superticket, the Mamo twosome gather to come down against ROGUE ONE – and the discrepancy between the movie Disney marketed and the movie we actually got.
What are the limits of representation? Looking at MOANA and in light of Kathleen Kennedy’s recent comments re: female directors for STAR WARS, we have a gab.