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Peter Pan & Wendy [David Lowery?] (Disney+)

  • 11-04-2023 9:03am
    #1
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,941 CMod ✭✭✭✭


    What a weird CV Lowery has: at once both deeply indie, bordering on art-house with A Ghost Story and The Green Knight, while also happily working on Disney live-action remakes with (the underrated) Pete's Dragon and now this.

    At least, to give it its dues, while I have minimal interest in Peter Pan as a character, this looks more like its own beast than the other cash-grabs that inform most of the Disney Live Action latter-day remakes. Not especially interesting by the looks of the traler but Lowery has form on sneaking in something more emotionally robust. Pete's Dragon was a film that was far better than it had any right to be; a achingly sincere, wistful film that perhaps deserved a larger audience than it got.


    Post edited by pixelburp on


Comments

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    OK my kids love it but it's a really bad film.

    Only Jude Law is its saving grace



  • Registered Users Posts: 17,837 ✭✭✭✭silverharp



    This is an amusing review of it. Disney really do have the knack of ruining old stories


    A belief in gender identity involves a level of faith as there is nothing tangible to prove its existence which, as something divorced from the physical body, is similar to the idea of a soul. - Colette Colfer



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,941 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp


    Warning, the above video hits all the usual talking-points you'd expect from those who get terribly angry at modernised takes by Hollywood. There's always an agenda to worry about.

    And by modernised, we do mean women, PoC, etc. etc. God save me from those to-camera, big microphone ranters on YouTube.

    Certainly disappointed to her this is reviewing poorly, as Lowery is an interesting filmmaker who really hit the mark with his Pete's Dragon remake.



  • Registered Users Posts: 17,837 ✭✭✭✭silverharp


    ah come on, he is right though, he goes through all the story points and its got nothing to do with the race of the actors. its funny watching Disney fail trying to "fix" the source material. Im surprised you cant see it that tick boxing source material invariably ends up with a bland "grey mush"

    A belief in gender identity involves a level of faith as there is nothing tangible to prove its existence which, as something divorced from the physical body, is similar to the idea of a soul. - Colette Colfer



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,941 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp


    I watched some of the video and it checked off all the usual whining, from the exact same playbook we see time and again; the same box-ticking if you will. And I can't think of a more tedious, reductive and redundant form of "criticism" than going through "all the story points". Jesus.

    I have this weird, novel idea though: I'll watch the movie at some stage and make up my own mind about how dreadful this so-called fixing is. But I'd be slow to believe the ranting of Yet Another YouTube Outrage Peddler 'cos of a preexisting confirmation bias that oh no, won't someone think of the poor white Public Domain characters.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,837 ✭✭✭✭silverharp


    if Disney leave such low hanging fruit , telling a good story isnt that difficult, telling one when concerned about what your fake Twitter audience thinks is next to impossible going by the record of recent years, its totally predictable.

    A belief in gender identity involves a level of faith as there is nothing tangible to prove its existence which, as something divorced from the physical body, is similar to the idea of a soul. - Colette Colfer



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,941 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp


    🙄 Watch the movie, don't watch the movie, but trotting out 3rd hand outrage as a J'Accuse to a film's quality you haven't seen, doesn't add anything except a different form of box-ticking.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,070 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate


    I mostly like Lowery's films, and Pete's Dragon is definitely the little 'Disney remake that could'. But I don't think he found a way to navigate Peter Pan in a particularly interesting way.

    The visual design of the thing highlights the central tension here. It is certainly a film that looks as if it was directed by, well, an actual director. The wide-angled lenses frequently pulled out are pure Lowery, and the more grounded, naturalistic realisation of Neverland as a beautiful green archipelago lends things a much-needed sense of physicality (ditto the pirate ship). The best scene in the film is when the characters joyfully float to the ground and touch the Neverland grass for the first time.

    But this is also a Disney remake, and so there's all this need for CG enhancement and spectacle. Unfortunately, home viewing and crystal clear 4K HDR presentation tends to highlight the shortcomings of CG - and here the crocodiles, retro London cityscapes etc... just look far too artificial to fit in snugly with Lowery's directorial style. He also has an unfortunate tendency to shoot in pretty low light conditions, so much of the film looks bland and staid when it should be vibrant. There was one scene near the end when Peter was escaping a cave, where it went from dark and dank to suddenly sunny and brightly lit - I think it was a thematic / character choice, but it actually just looked like a colour correction error to me!

    That said, the cast do their best to elevate a story that feels largely slight (90 mins should be an immediate asset given the bloated runtimes of many Disney remakes, but this sadly feels too lean and inconsequential). Jude Law has plenty of fun as Hook, while Ever Anderson is a charismatic Wendy. The Lost Boys are wonderfully cast to reflect the spirit of the gang, but I don't think they're given enough to do which is a shame because the film picks up when they're on screen. I also do think the final setpiece with the flying ship also has enjoyable setpiece moments, especially when it's more focused on the gravity-shifting action on the ship rather than big CG shots.

    It's instructive to compare this to Wendy, Benh Zeitlin's almost entirely unseen reimagining of Peter Pan from a few years ago.

    Both films sadly don't work, but Zeitlin's film is a more audacious, distinctive proposition that actually has some of the Malickian energy some of PP&W more positive critics have (IMO incorrectly) suggest this also has. That film, despite the stunning 16mm cinematography / effects (it looks so much better than PP&W in every respect, despite having a fraction of the budget) and soaring score, falls apart because it's almost too resistant to have a clear, focused story. PP&W has the opposite problem: it's too beholden to the Disney remake formula that even Lowery and team's admirable attempts to put their own visual signature on things aren't enough to elevate it. We've had two indie darlings attempt to make a fresh take on Peter Pan, but alas as the immeasurable other attempts to make a live-action version also show, this is a story that's surprisingly hard to wrangle.



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