1. The Princess and the Frog (Disney, 3,434 Theaters, 97 Minutes, Rated G): This is the week where I can’t decide what I think about the films being released. Each film has a lot going for it, but I am not really sold on either of them.
Take this one for example. As much as I love Pixar and their CGI animation, I am old school enough to appreciate cel animation. So this film, which is a throw back to the old-style frame-at-a-time animation makes me a bit happy for that reason.
However, as much credit as this film gives itself for having the first African-American “Disney Princess”, from what I’ve seen of the trailer, it seems like broad sterotypes instead of realistic characterization. I could be wrong, it’s hard to tell that kind of thing from just a few minutes of footage, but if that was the case it would be counter productive.
2. Invictus (Warner Brothers, 2, 125 Theaters, 134 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Then there’s this one. It has a lot going for it. It’s directed by Clint Eastwood, which should count for something. And you have him reuniting with Morgan Freeman, who is playing a part he was born to play in Nelson Mandela.
But there is a lot of things that irk me about the film. Like, say, the title. What does that mean exactly? I’m sure they’d explain it in the film, and the original title, The Human Factor, wasn’t much better, but still. It’s a little off-putting.
And then there’s the plot. In a post-Apartheid South Africa, new President Mandela needs something to unite the country. The trailers make it seem like it encouraging the South Africa team to win the soccer World Cup. But what it really is is the Rugby World Cup.
Now, soccer I could understand. That has universal appeal and a film based on that could play well across the world. But Rugby? A sport where burly men crash into each other without padding or helmets bringing about peace? Yes, it is a true story, but still.
And the less said about Matt Damon’s “just got stung by a bee and I am starting to swell up” physique, the better.