The Little Prince
After sitting on the shelf for quite some time, Mark Osborne’s unorthodox, animated adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s classic story finally gets a release, albeit a release streaming on Netflix. It’s a good enough movie, but it’s by no means a straight retelling of The Little Prince. There’s a modern story about a young girl (Mackenzie Foy) who befriends an old aviator (Jeff Bridges), and the aviator is the one from The Little Prince. He recounts part of that story to the little girl, which we see in stop-motion animation. The modern story is mostly CGI. So there’s an interesting mix of animation techniques to go with some twists to the story, and while it feels a little uneven and perhaps slow at times, it’s an enjoyable film. Other voice performers include Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, James Franco, Benicio Del Toro and Albert Brooks, and its fun hearing all of their great voices in one place. Again, if you are looking for a traditional retelling of The Little Prince, this is not your bag. If you are looking for decent enough animated fare that will entertain kids and adults alike, you could do much worse.
1 Jason BourneIt’s been nine years since the last Bourne movie that mattered. (2012’s The Bourne Legacy, with Jeremy Renner, was a joke.) After saying he wouldn’t play the part again, Matt Damon is back as Jason Bourne, with his director buddy Paul Greengrass in tow. The result: a tedious, desperate and sad extension of the Bourne storyline. Jason Bourne is currently holding hands with Ghostbusters as a film prominently displaying how not to continue a beloved franchise. At the end of The Bourne Ultimatum, Damon’s Bourne woke up after a bridge dive and swam off into an unknown and unpredictable future. It seemed a fitting and perfect end to the character or, perhaps, that particular story arc. Bourne found out his real name, learned why he was an assassin with amnesia, and got himself a little revenge. Case closed, right? Wrong. Money matters, and Universal wanted to keep the Bourne locomotive on track. Greengrass and his writers have come up with a way to further confuse Bourne about his identity. As it turns out, there’s more to his amnesia. He doesn’t know everything after all! He’s also got some daddy issues. Attempts to modernize Bourne with mumbo jumbo involving a tech mogul (Riz Ahmed) and his new social media platform make parts of this movie feel like a jettisoned episode of Silicon Valley. Star Wars: The Force Awakens stands as the best recent attempt to continue a franchise story without making it feel forced, desperate—there’s that word again—and a blatant attempt to cash some checks. This does nothing to better the franchise, and this story line needs to stop, and stop now.