Judy Garland Brought Back to Life by Renee Zellweger

As good an actress as Renee Zellweger can be, I just can’t stop thinking about how little she resembles Judy Garland in any way here. She doesn’t look like her, she doesn’t sound like her, she doesn’t sing like her. Even though actors have given critically acclaimed performances as famous people before without really imitating them (Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe for example) that’s going to be too distracting for me here, I think.

Disney's Live-Action 'Mulan' Gets a Teaser

So, this trailer make Mulan look like it might not be a carbon copy of the cartoon, which means it has potential to actually be good. Even though you can hear the strains of “Reflection” in there, apparently this is not a musical, there’s no Mushu and no Shang, so it will be fairly different. That’s a good thing. They could do the same with properties like Hercules, Tarzan and The Hunchback of Notre Dame from their 90’s canon if they wanted to- maybe since those later ones are less culturally beloved than the big four (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Lion King), they might actually deviate from them and turn out better movies?

Franco Zeffirelli 1923-2019

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Franco Zeffirelli died today at the age of 96. An Italian director best known for his Shakespearean adaptations like 1967’s The Taming of the Shrew and 1968’s Romeo and Juliet (which was nominated for four Oscars, including Picture and Director), he made films steadily from the late 60’s through the 90’s. Other notable entries in his filmography included The Champ (1979), Endless Love (1981), La Traviata (1983), Hamlet (1990), Jane Eyre (1996) and Tea With Mussolini (1999). He also directed the beloved 1977 miniseries Jesus of Nazareth, which became a huge success and is still a holiday mainstay on television. My favorite film of his is undoubtedly Romeo and Juliet, by far the best version of the play ever filmed, and the definitive one in my eyes.

1968 Trailer for Romeo and Juliet:

Keira Knightley is a Whistleblower in 'Official Secrets'

This political thriller showed at Sundance, about the forgotten story of a whistleblower who worked for British intelligence, and who tried to stop the Iraq War by leaking secret documents in 2003. These kinds of stories about fighting for the truth and against government propaganda are more timely than ever- especially coming from people who do the right thing from inside the government rather than bowing down to what they tell you to do, when you know it’s wrong. It bothers me that we haven’t had more patriots in our current government trying to save the country from the evil squatting in the White House. Everyone just seems to be sitting on their hands, paralyzed in fear or complacency.

Brad Pitt Goes to Space in 'Ad Astra'

I’ve only seen one movie of James Grey’s but I kind of hated it (2014’s The Immigrant- and it is hard to get me to hate a period costume drama romance), so I’m not that excited about this one. I’m also suspicious of the September release date- big studios usually release their adult dramas in October or November if they think they’re any good, and this one’s been delayed for a while now.

Matt Damon and Christian Bale Race Cars in 'Ford v. Ferrari'

This movie is apparently based on a true story, but it’s something I’ve never heard of. Looks interesting though. Maybe. James Mangold is kind of an interesting director, someone who’s mostly done studio movies, but occasionally with flashes of artistic inspiration in them (Logan, 3:10 to Yuma). This comes out in November, so the studio probably thinks it’s an awards contender. And yes, that’s Christian Bale using his real life accent for once.

Pixar's New Movie 'Onward' Drops a Teaser Trailer

It’s hard to tell what this movie is going to be about- maybe a Zootopia-esque kind of thing, but with dragons? Eh. Voices are Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, and it looks at least like some sort of “brothers bonding on a road trip” movie. I’ve never liked teasers or trailers for any of PIxar’s movies (even the ones that I ended up loving), so I can’t tell much from this. Seems like kind of a bad title though. Onward?