My isn’t this year flying past. April has arrived already, and the big blockbusters will once more be saturating screens across the country. Here’s the chance to get in an eclectic number of new releases that might otherwise fade into the background. This week we have a besuited baby, writers, and the best Disney has managed for some time.
Ok, so bear with me because this is going to sound a little stupid. The Boss Baby features a suit wearing toddler voiced by Alec Baldwin who teams up with his older brother to stop the evil plans of a puppy company CEO. Reviews suggest it’s too ridiculous to work entirely, though there are enough laughs to keep things ticking over.
Next up Chilean director Pablo Larraín reappears in cinemas for the second time in only a matter of months with another unexpected biopic. Where last time he took on Jacqueline Kennedy, the focus here is poet and politician Pablo Neruda. Like Jackie, Neruda does things its own way, playing with the form and throwing in a fictional police officer (Gael García Bernal) to drive forward an examination of Neruda the man and Neruda the myth. It’s a creative and beguiling experience.
I Am Not Your Negro also does things differently, taking an unfinished manuscript by acclaimed writer James Baldwin, and using it to explore the history of racism in the United States. If that hasn’t captured your attention, you need to take a long hard look at yourself. Going directly off Baldwin’s observations on civil rights leaders and American history, it’s a unique and fascinating look at a painfully unresolved issue, and exactly the kind of film it’s heartening to see getting a release.
Well Disney, you may insist on lazily cashing in on the back catalogue by doing it all again, but you can still make a damn fine film when you want to. Moana, out now on DVD, is – and I know I’m going out on a limb here – the best animation Disney has produced since The Lion King. The story tells the tale of the daughter of a Polynesian chieftain who ventures out to sea to recover a relic and save their island. It’s swashbuckling, funny, emotional, and features an engrossing female lead with more to do than simply fall for a hero. More like this please.
That’s another week done. Next time that car stealing/racing/blowing up series that seems to go on forever returns for another outing.