Showing posts from March, 2024

Zootopia (2016)

Directors: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush Writers: Jared Bush & Phil Johnston, story by Byron Howard & Rich Moore & Jared Bush & Jim Reardon & Josie Trinidad & Phil Johnston and Jennifer Lee Stars: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, Tommy Chong, J.K. Simmons In a world where predator and prey have learned to  coexist, Zootopia’s first rabbit police officer (Ginnifer Goodwin) investigates a case that threatens to undo the foundations of animal society.  “Zootopia” is the complete package.   It starts off with some imaginative world-building and then delivers a story with a lot of heart and good lessons for the kids, tons of laughs that can be appreciated by young and old alike, and some social commentary that goes down easy because it is delivered in such a humorous and clever way.   The setting of this film is so richly imagined that Disney could produce numerous follow-ups that don’t even need t

This Is Not What I Expected (2017)

Director: Derek Hui Writers: Joyce Chan, Yuan Li, Yimeng Xu, from a novel by Lan Bai Se Stars: Zhou Dongyu, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Yi-zhou Sun, Ming Xi, Kuo-Chu Chang, Yo Yang, Chi-Ling Lin, Xiaosong Gao, Yingjun Zhao, Tong Hai A rich but emotionally cold cute CEO in charge of  cute hotel acquisitions (Takeshi Kaneshiro) has numerous cute but unpleasant encounters with a daffy young cute woman (Zhou Dongyu), unaware that she is also the cute chef whose cute culinary artistry has conquered his cute cultivated palate cute cute cute.   Oh my God, this movie annoyed me.   I can imagine director Derek Hui showing up on set every day with a megaphone and an adorable poodle, shouting, “Aren’t we feeling cute today, people? Come on, we can be cuter than this!”  Zhou can simper with the best of them.

The Dark Design (Riverworld #3) (1977)

by Philip Jose Farmer The Riverworld saga continues as several characters  attempt the journey to the mysterious tower at the source of the river on whose shores all of humanity has been resurrected.  Although this essential quest and the puzzle at the heart of the series still maintain interest, this sprawling, messy novel often tested my patience.  Burton and his crew make an appearance at the beginning but then disappear from the novel altogether.   There are numerous unnecessary digressions, including several dull chapters of backstory on Farmer's alter ego, the science-fiction writer Peter Jairus Frigate (check out the initials), who is actually a relatively minor character.   Philip Jose Farmer When Farmer is developing the quest for the truth and the rivalries between characters, the book is fun.  However, it really needed quite a bit of editing to whittle out the extraneous material and some shockingly bad writing.   "The Great Design" (Italian) I have to admit th