Does ‘Cruella’ Solve Disney’s Live-Action Problem?

I come down hard on Disney for numerous reasons (that it as a corporate entity owns Pixar, Marvel, & Lucasfilm— also Fox and ITS properties; controls 40% of the media market, and the fact that I can never escape word of its new releases no matter how hard I try) but the thing I come down on hardest is its live-action sector: Disney’s brand of animated classics now being repackaged for modern audiences. From a business standpoint, live-action remakes, sequels, and spin-offs are a no-brainer – established properties that have greater odds of securing an audience. Admittedly, these attempts can yield something truly magical as, say, Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella or Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book. But more often than not, the efforts ring hollow like Alice in Wonderland, and whatever Through the Looking Glass was, or Dumbo, Aladdin, The Lion King, last year’s Mulan

Needless to say, I wasn’t holding my breath for Cruella, Disney’s latest live-action movie that’s also a *stops to catch breath* villain spinoff and 101 Dalmatians prequel. But to my surprise, Cruella is immensely fun. So much fun that it makes a surprisingly strong case for, and I shall live to regret saying this, more of its kind?

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JOKER: A Black Hole Comedy to Ruffle the Masses

The most disturbing moment in Joker for me by far, is the scene that follows the subway murders. Arthur locks himself in a public bathroom, looks at both himself and what he’s done in the mirror then starts to… dance. Violence brings Arthur such unspeakable power (perhaps even joy) and the only way he can express that release of emotion is by waltzing with himself like one would in, say, a vaudeville musical. It’s a disturbing portrait of nihilism, narcissism, and psychopathy that I couldn’t stomach. Continue reading