This has been an underwhelming summer (to say the least), but there’s still hope that August will end this movie season on a positive note. One of our most anticipated releases of the month is Pete’s Dragon, which our own Erin Whitney calls a “worthy remake” and “one of the most stunning live-action animation hybrids Disney has made in years.” That’s the sort of praise that could really get you excited for Disney’s latest reimagining, but just in case you needed a little extra convincing, this new trailer is pretty persuasive.
Disney’s 1977 musical ‘Pete’s Dragon’ was my favorite movie as a kid, one I watched obsessively on VHS. In retrospect, I can now look back on it as an adult and admit it was a pretty awful movie — it was about an orphan whose adoptive family chased him while gleefully singing songs about abusing him. The songs were bad (though my 6-year-old self enjoyed them), the acting was as campy and mawkish, and the shoddy animation looks laughable today. But as much as the movie was a dated element of its time, it still told an emotionally relatable story that, when handled by Disney, can become timeless. It only makes sense that the studio remade ‘Pete’s Dragon,’ keeping that same sentiment, but without the hokey songs and with more impressive visual effects.
It’s been decades since I saw the original Pete’s Dragon, but from what I remember, I don’t get a lot of it in this trailer for David Lowery’s remake of the 1977 Disney film. Instead, it feels a lot more like The Iron Giant mixed with E.T., How to Train Your Dragon, and even the recent live-action Jungle Book directed by Jon Favreau. There’s not much in the way of wacky mischief and wild antics from an invisible dragon, and much more wonder and melancholy about the tender relationship between a boy and his amazing dragon, and the close-minded adults who want to destroy him.
As a television company, Netflix has already established itself as one of the best and most important studios in the business. As a distributor of documentaries, they also have an impressive track record. But when it comes to feature films, Netflix still hasn’t quite put itself on the map. True, its Beasts of No Nation received good reviews last fall, and Pee-wee’s Big Holiday was a fairly entertaining trifle. But much of the rest of their feature film slate has been met with bad to oh-my-god-how-in-the-world-did-this-happen? reviews. Their Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel was delayed and then mostly ignored. Ricky Gervais’ Special Correspondents was nowhere near the heights of his TV work. And two movies in, Adam Sandler’s four-picture deal with Netflix seems like an experiment designed to test Netflix’s customers willingness to maintain their subscriptions.
When last we saw Pete’s Dragon he (and it) looked like this:
The first official teaser for Disney's remake of Pete's Dragon arrives on Sunday evening, but you can catch a glimpse of the friendly new dragon with a new poster and motion poster for the upcoming film. You can't see the big green guy's face, but these posters do give us a sense of where Disney and director David Lowery are heading with their reimagining of the 1977 fantasy classic.
Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford‘s latest drama, Truth, about a controversial CBS News segment, is already garnering a large amount of its own controversy. The film opens in theaters this Friday, but you won’t see any trailers for it on CBS.
From first-time director James Vanderbilt, best known for writing Zodiac and The Amazing Spider-Man, Truth plays like a dramatic reading of Wikipedia pages about the CBS report that ended 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes’ career with the network and, likely, led to anchor Dan Rather’s retirement. But luckily, a not so great journalism drama is saved by the talents of its leading cast, with Cate Blanchett as the tenacious Mapes alongside Robert Redford as Rather.
It’s going to be a big fall for journalism movies.
Much like the comic books on which they're based, the Marvel movies pride themselves on their ability to cross each other's characters over into different storylines, and the upcoming 'Ant-Man' will be no different. We've seen such instances as Captain America pop up briefly in 'Thor: The Dark World,' and Agent Coulson and Nick Fury show up in a handful of titles, so which Marvel movie characters from the 'Captain America' universe might show up in Peyton Reed's 'Ant-Man'?