Friday, February 21, 2020

The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild, adapted from the Jack London novel of the same name, follows the journey of a St. Bernard/Scotch Collie named Buck who ends up in the Yukon as a sled dog after being stolen from his owner (Bradley Whitford) and sold north. The CGI-enhanced mutt is the main character of the film, while making friends (Harrison Ford, Omar Sy, Cara Gee) and enemies (Dan Stevens) along the way with both men and dogs. CGI is used on Buck to enhance the pooch's emotions. The effect works in most cases, but there are scenes where it does feel a little disturbing.

Adapted by screenwriter Michael Green (Blade Runner 2049, Green Lantern), the straightforward tale of a heroic dog offers an earnest family-friendly film. I will admit I found both Buck and his journey more enjoyable than I expected. Buck is easy to root while the rest of the film's characters are mostly cast in simple terms as good, evil, or indifferent. Released by the rebranded 20th Century Studios (renamed after Disney acquired Fox), the movie will no doubt play for years on Disney+ making a suitable companion piece to something like Eight Below or any one of the various Benji films.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Top End Wedding

Director Wayne Blair's Top End Wedding may be a tad formulaic, but it's not without its charms. The Australian film stars Miranda Tapsell and Gwilym Lee as a couple in a rush to get married only to discover the mother of the bride (Ursula Yovich) has gone missing with less than 10 days until the ceremony. As the happy couple head off on a road trip in search of the missing matriarch, which showcases both the strengths and weaknesses of their relationship, the ceremony is left in the hands of the heart-broken father of the bride (Huw Higginson), bridesmaids, and the bride's workaholic boss (Kerry Fox).

The script by Miranda Tapsell and Joshua Tyler plays on some predictable romcom cliches, although it also dedicates substantial time to building the relationship of the core characters making the hijinx a bit easier to swallow. The likability of the two stars and the beautiful shots of Northern Australia certainly don't hurt either. There may be few surprises, but the journey that touches on generations of relationships is smarter than many romantic comedies.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Flash - A Girl Named Sue

"A Girl Named Sue" picks up from last week's cliffhanger with Iris (Candice Patton) trapped in a mirror dimension while a doppelganger has assumed her life while playing on Barry's (Grant Gustin) emotions to get her hands on Mirror Master's gun. Meanwhile, the episode's title comes from long-running B-story of Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) finally catching up with the elusive Sue Dearbon (Natalie Dreyfuss) who offers the private investigator a story about being on the run from an arms dealer ex-boyfriend since discovering how he made his fortune. As Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) points out, the pair are a perfect match (although Sue turns out to be a little too alike with the old Ralph as she double-crosses him to get what she's really after - a giant diamond).

Wonder Woman #751

A new chapter for Wonder Woman begins as her attempt to create a new life for herself in Boston leads to an arrest and probation by her friend and neighbor Agent Nora Nunes who apparently is the sole judge and jury to decide whether having an Amazon living there does potentially more harm than good.

Cosplay Love Cosplay Music Video