Bird, Coon and Skousen, Garrone, Huston, Paradisi

Tomorrowland (Brad Bird, 2015). There’s nobility in Brad Bird’s oft-stated aspiration to use Tomorrowland to reanimate the futuristic optimism of his youth, countering the long meander into an endless procession of sci-fi dystopias. Intent is one thing. Execution is quite another. Bird’s second outing as a director of live-action features is a muddled, overbearing squawk of condescending nonsense that too often barrels headlong into disastrous inane storytelling choices. As a grizzled, grumpy outcast of a once-proud secret nation of innovators, George Clooney is in the mode of hammy, insistent twitches that rightly earned him derision when he made his initial … Continue reading Bird, Coon and Skousen, Garrone, Huston, Paradisi

Top Fifty Films of the 00s — Number Eight

#8 — The Incredibles (Brad Bird, 2004) Those whose entire knowledge of superheroes derives from visits to the cineplex–and I still find it remarkable that a working background acquired through such means could be so much more thorough that I ever would have imagined ten years ago–can be forgiven for not realizes precisely how much Brad Bird’s The Incredibles is indebted to The Fantastic Four. This assertion is in reference to the comic book stories crafted by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby beginning in the early nineteen-sixties and extending across more than a hundred issues into the next decade. The … Continue reading Top Fifty Films of the 00s — Number Eight

Top Fifty Films of the 00s — Number Thirty-Seven

#37 — Ratatouille (Brad Bird with Jan Pinkava, 2007) When a new feature is produced by the artisans at Pixar, praise usually follows. Even after all their triumphs, there are still those who feel obligated to couch the praise in the disclaimer “It’s good for a kids’ movie.” It’s true that the single-digit set is a major part of the studio’s target audience. Eight of their ten feature film releases to date have received G ratings and the resulting DVDs line playroom shelves and get plenty of play in the back of traveling family vans. But the backhanded compliment of … Continue reading Top Fifty Films of the 00s — Number Thirty-Seven