pixar

Family, Legacy Celebrated in Mexican Animated Film 'Coco'

Piya Sinha-Roy

“There’s a lot of divisive rhetoric that aims to make us (Latino people) less than,” said Benjamin Bratt, who voices Miguel’s musical idol and late great-great-grandfather Ernesto de la Cruz. “It’s unintended but by demonstrating what really exists, (this film) goes a long way to showing that we’re all in fact in this together and are more alike than we are different,” Bratt added.

Maleficent,’ ‘Hercules’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

In truth, “Maleficent” is a winner no matter how one feels about “Sleeping Beauty.” A viewer could conceivably enjoy the film without even watching the original, but it’s definitely more fun for the acquainted. Familiarity with the cartoon allows viewers to contrast pre-existing impressions of Maleficent against those generated by the new picture, and that makes things interesting from an academic standpoint. 

‘Monsters University,’ ‘R.I.P.D.’ Arrive on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

With the exception of “Cars 2,” each of Pixar’s sequels has been strong, and “Monsters University” is a winner as well. The movie is presented as a prequel to “Monsters, Inc.” and it avoids the simple repetition that mars many movie franchises. It succeeds by taking already familiar characters and moving them in new and exciting directions. The picture is set years before the events in “Monsters, Inc.” and it explains how Sully and Mike became the extraordinary team that viewers meet in the original film. 

‘Savages,’ ‘Brave’ Arrive on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

Although once viewed as a can’t-miss director, Oliver Stone’s projects have been spotty in recent years, and it’s been more than a decade since he produced a truly extraordinary film. Still, his long-term track record makes any project he helms worthy of attention.  With “Savages,” Stone doesn’t recapture his glory days, but he does deliver a solid crime thriller that blends good performances with a compelling, albeit far-fetched, story. 

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