I love November and December in New York City. We get all of the movies first and the best ones of the year are always released as close to the end of the year as possible.
The finest one I’ve seen in 2017 is DARKEST HOUR. Gary Oldman stars as Winston Churchill in the early days of World War II in England. Incredibly, there are those in the Parliament who are hoping to negotiate a peace treaty with none other than Adolf Hitler. They might have succeeded. Thank God for Winston Churchill!
Another movie that recently premiered is the re-make of MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. I was looking forward to this one, but it was a disappointment. Oh, the photography is great. The cast is a stellar assemblage. But the way it’s written and presented is a confusing muddle.
I saw the original movie back in 1974 at the age of 12 and it was done in such a way that it made a lot more sense than this one does. I already knew whodunit, but the movie buddy I went to see it with didn’t know the story and was having a very hard time trying to follow the narrative.
If it’s worth it for anything, it’s to see Johnny Depp in a deliciously chilling turn as a villain.
As for the make-up job on Sir Kenneth Brannagh, playing Agatha Christie’s legendary detective Hercule Poirot, I can’t help but wonder if somebody’s actual intention here was to create a spoof of a movie called MUSTACHE ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. The one he sports is so wild it’s a terrifying distraction.
And finally there’s COCO. I can never resist a Disney animated film, no matter how old I get. They’re works of art, every last one, and this one is no exception. COCO is adorable. An adorable little boy from Mexico who wants to be a singer – and comes from a family with a reason for banning music – visits The Land of the Dead on the Mexican Day of the Dead. His ancestors have the answers to a lot of his family’s current problems and he seeks to solve the mysteries.
Only Disney and Pixar could work a modern concept like facial recognition software computers into a story of the Day of the Dead. Watch it to see how incredibly drawn the scenes are, in particular all those in The Land of the Dead, where you’ll see tramways, skyscrapers and theaters. A few villains are on the loose there, too.
It’s a feast for the eyes. BRAVO AGAIN, Disney!