Pixar s Onward is a suburban fantasy adventure about two brothers seeking to resurrect their dad for one last day together. Better get out the tissues Tom Holland reflects on the opportunity to be both Spider-Man and a Pixar character, while Chris Pratt talks about growing up with his older brother and how he ll react to Onward. Also, producer Kori Rae and director Dan Scanlon explain why now was the time for Pixar s jump into fantasy, and muse on life s habit of making the funniest things happen at the worst time possible.Onward opens this Friday in theaters everywhere.
(Photo by Anna Kooris courtesy of Sundance Institute)One of the most anticipated movies of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, partly because it’s the sophomore effort from Lemon director Janicza Bravo, but mostly because it’s based on a Twitter thread that went viral, Zola seems to live up to expectations as a clever adaptation filled with exceptional performances. The first reviews following the premiere are mostly positive, celebrating the appropriately disjointed and fleeting entertainment of this road trip comedy involving a stripper, a sex worker, her boyfriend, and her pimp through the wilds of Florida.Here’s what critics are saying about Zola:Does the movie feel like a Tweet adaptation?[It’s] as laugh-out-loud funny and nail-bitingly wild as Wells original Twitter thread. Angie Han, MashableThe script retains the humor of the original thread, again framing an increasingly dark story with a light touch. Benjamin Lee, GuardianOne of the greatest pleasures of the original series of tweets, which is preserved here, is the inherently humanist observation that everybody is a messy, dramatic bitch in their own way. Jessica Kiang, The PlaylistZola often unfolds at the fragmented clip of the feed that inspired it. That sometimes means that it struggles to fit into the constraints of a linear story. Eric Kohn, IndieWireAs Twitter is to great literature, Zola is to the cinematic masterpieces that have come before: It’s superficial and relatively thin on substance. Peter Debruge, VarietyDoes it ever go deeper than that?Zola is a fascinating status update for our time. David Bax, Battleship PretensionZola is operating on a level more aesthetic and cerebral, using these quirks to tell a parallel story about the stories we tell about ourselves on the internet, inviting us to consider who s framing them, and how, and why, and to what end. Angie Han, MashableThe sound effects might be a little gimmicky, but there is something maybe profound about the way Zola features in the film. Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair[Bravo] and Harris never try to push Zola into some kind of big statement about Who We Are Today Like Twitter itself, it might not offer much substance, but someone who knows what she s doing can make it a hell of a fun diversion. Scott Renshaw, Salt Lake City Weekly(Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)How is the movie s pacing?Bravo puts so much effort into keeping the rapid-fire pace in flux, while her small ensemble throw themselves into the unseemly hedonistic energy on display. Eric Kohn, IndieWireI had expected Zola to be a frenzy… but a lot of the film is muted, making so much of the sordid things that Zola encounters seem almost prosaic. Richard Lawson, Vanity FairZola suffers from some pacing issues, particularly in the second half as Bravo tries to strike a balance between the film’s shifting tones. Brent Hankins, The Lamplight ReviewAt a swift 90 minutes, the film has some pacing issues. Benjamin Lee, GuardianWhat is Zola reminiscent of?Zola lands somewhere on the glitter-neon spectrum between Spring Breakers and Hustlers – which is to say: it’s pretty much a blast. Jessica Kiang, The PlaylistIt’s not prurient Spring Breakers, nor flashy, righteous Hustlers. It’s more meditative than that. Richard Lawson, Vanity FairThe movie doesn’t have the clear-eyed smarts of a grifter fairy tale like Hustlers, much less the hypnotic power of a girls-gone-wild classic like Spring Breakers. Justin Chang, Los Angeles TimesSpring Breakers might seem like the obvious aesthetic comparison, though Bravo’s energetic style has more in common with early Guy Ritchie movies. Eric Kohn, IndieWireIt makes Hustlers look like a Disney movie. David Rooney, Hollywood Re
Tiffany Haddish has been a comedy queen since her breakout role in 2017 s Girls Trip, and Rose Byrne has proven her own chops in several projects, most notably in 2011 s Bridesmaids. Throw in a scenery-chewing Salma Hayek, and you d be forgiven for assuming the result would be a surefire hit. The reviews for Like a Boss, however, would indicate otherwise. Haddish and Byrne play Mia and Mel, a pair of odd-couple BFFs who run a modest cosmetics company together but are deep in debt. When they decide to sell 51% of their company to Hayek s makeup mogul Claire Luna and their business begins to tank, Mel and Mia find themselves at odds with each other, even as they must work together to take Claire down and save their brand. Like a Boss isn t without its share of laughs, with its heavy dose of physical humor and raunchy jokes, but critics say the film doesn t explore Mel and Mia s relationship deeply enough to make their redemptive turnaround feel earned. Plus, thanks to a repetitive series of clashes and reconciliations and a story whose turns are stale and predictable, it feels longer than its 83-minute runtime. Haddish and Byrne have solid chemistry, and they and Hayek appear to be having fun, but that s one of the few bright spots Like a Boss offers, so if you aren t a particularly big fan of any of the stars, you may find yourself counting the ways in which it could have been a better movie.