If you’re looking to catch up on new movies this weekend, you’ve got a few options at home and in the theaters. Patrick Beatty is back just in time for a three-day weekend with his movie reviews. Follow Patrick online at patrickbeattyreviews.com IG, and FB.
In Theaters and Disney + May 28th
Directed By: Craig Gillespie
Starring: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry
Genre: Comedy, Crime
Synopsis: A live-action prequel feature film following a young Cruella de Vil.
‘Cruella’ is the live-action reimagining of the classic Disney villain “Cruella DeVille”, now played by Emma Stone. This tells the origins of young ‘Estella’, who after a tragic accident is left to fend for herself in the streets of London as a child. Once an adult and after meeting two of her iconic henchmen Horace (Joel Fry) and Jasper (Paul Walter Houser, her eye is set on being the best clothing designer in town, working under the infamously difficult Baroness (Emma Thompson). Will Estella be able to rise to her potential of becoming the true Cruella is up for some serious debate for me in this Disney story that significantly waters down the evilness of their main character.
This was something to an extent Patrick was expecting, given that previous Disney villains that have been showcased in their film, such as Maleficent, rebranded their villain as more of an anti-hero. This happens with Emma Stones’ portrayal of Cruella as she faces off against the film’s true villain in Emma Thompson. Anytime these two dynamite actresses are on screen interacting with each other the film is living up to its true potential and more. Both Emma’s were great in their respective roles.
Horace and Jasper are given a more friendly and nurturing twist, being the two who find Estella when she was young and drifting, conning, and stealing with each other to survive. There is potential for this to be a fun dynamic but other than a heist scene the interactions never seemed engaging to me.
The story and interpretation of Cruella are what bother me most. Patrick can’t get into too many details on why he does not believe this interpretation of Cruella is the actual villain we all know from the cartoon and live-action interpretations. What he can say is she is severely handicapped in her true potential to be a villain because of the sometimes wrong, but always inherently good choices she makes. Her character arch sometimes parallels what Simba’s was in The Lion King, and though they attempt to shock you with a specific scene, it’s backtracked as quickly as Chewbaccas death in The Rise of Skywalker.
The story is complete nonsense. Patrick laughed out loud during what was meant to be a shocking pivotal moment but was so accidentally hilarious I couldn’t help it. From there that was just the start of the wacky tone and soap opera reveals each act has in store.
The Costume and set design are brilliant, the music choices though mixed horribly throughout the movie were still catchy songs that anyone could enjoy. Both Emma’s are on their A-game interacting with each other, and though he would consider this “diet Cruella”, Stone’s performance had the potential to grow into the truly sinister character we all love.
Overall, ‘Cruella’ is a mixed bag for me. Patrick loves Emma Stone and Emma Thompson and still feels if you want to see this you should go regardless of my thoughts, but to me, the character has one defining trait to her that this film does not dare to deliver on.
‘Blue Miracle’ (PG)
On Netflix May 28th
Directed By: Julio Quintana
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Bruce McGill
Genre: Adventure, Biography, Drama
Synopsis: To save their cash-strapped orphanage, a guardian and his kid’s partner with a washed-up boat captain for a chance to win a lucrative fishing competition.
‘Blue Miracle’ is a new Netflix film based on the true story of Casa Hogar, the Mexican boy’s home that entered the world’s biggest fishing tournament to save their orphanage. Omar (Jimmy Gonzales) has one shot to be able to catch the biggest fish to save his orphanage, but will his guide, a grumpy, arguably “washed up” veteran of the competition be enough? This ultra-vibrant yet simplified plot may be heartwarming but plays more like a Disney channel original film than a genuine look at the real story.
First, the acting all around is pretty good. Jimmy Gonzales has charisma and charm throughout the film and could be a very successful lead actor if given the right script to work with. Dennis Quaid is doing his best in Clint Eastwood’s impression with a growly harsh voice with a hard heart that softens as the movie progresses. All of the kid actors are adorable, there’s nothing about the characters or their performances that make the film difficult to watch.
The issue comes from both the pacing and look of the film. To me, everything felt like it was filmed on a sound stage but because of the over-saturated high contrast cinematography. Usually, I love colors that can pop and stand out on the screen but with ‘Blue Miracle’ it felt like someone threw on a very colorful Instagram filter over every frame. The pacing is about the same as what fishing feels like. slow, kind of ordinary, until you finally catch something.
I’m not trying to harp on the true story of this film either. It’s incredible when you think about the fact that almost everything was against Omar to be able to save Casa Hogar, and the climax of the film is where we get to see that come to fruition. But overall ‘Blue Miracle’ is a bit of a snooze when it has way too compelling of a story to be.
‘A Quiet Place Part II’ (R)
In Theaters May 28th
Director: John Krasinski
Stars: Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Cillian Murphy
Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Synopsis: Following the events at home, the Abbott family now faces the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.
‘A Quiet Place Part II’ is the continuation of the breakout hit ‘A Quiet Place. Re-entering the world where alien creatures who have taken over the planet can find and kill anyone who makes a sound, our family led by the mother Evelyn who had just given birth (Emily Blunt), Our deaf hero Reagan (Millicent Simmonds), & now the man of the ‘house’ Marcus (Noah Jupe). We have the addition of Emmit (Cillian Murphy) as a new hope to save humanity presents itself but can this family survive in time for hope to arrive? Director and all-around good guy John Krasinski has proven yet again he can expertly craft a suspense thriller with powerful dramatic storytelling and complex and compelling characters that you root for from beginning to end.
This film was meant to be released just as the pandemic was beginning, you can even check out a clip of Krasinski being interviewed on The Colbert Show to start the marketing campaign for the film’s release. Krasinski has said that this movie was meant to be seen in a theater, and after seeing it Patrick 100% agrees with him.
One reason is the sound design. Like the first film, most of the suspense and fear come from the sounds in a sea of silence. This is NOT the film to show up at with the loudest food possible or you will be humiliated every time you take a bite. A pin drop can be heard as you see this family desperately try to keep a FREAKING BABY from crying randomly or they all will be ripped apart. You need the theater to accurately get the full effect of the sounds and without that, the film will lose a lot of its jump effect.
Another reason to watch in theaters is in its scale. The previous film, ‘A Quiet Place 2’ has a budget they can put into their creatures to be prominently displayed, and the only way to see how truly terrifying they are is on the biggest screen available. Patrick loved the alien’s look and movement and they stepped up their game with the CGI.
The characters are truly the star of the show still, both Reagan and Marcus getting more focus and development that work beautifully with the story. Cillian Murphy’s character is a wonderful addition and has a great dynamic interacting with Reagan.
If there is an issue that’s just a slight issue, it’s that there is a lot of greased-up hinges in this apocalypse until there suddenly isn’t. Though he loves the sound design and mixing, there were some unrealistic moments where regardless of how quietly the actor moves something, it should make a noise.
Overall, Patrick loved this film. Please go and watch it on the biggest screen possible and he promises you will be rewarded. The movie follows through on all the promises set up in the original and then some, and the acting and story are stronger than ever.