Monday, January 17, 2022

Weekend Watch: ‘Pete’s Dragon’ Dazzles, ‘Florence’ Fools,’ ‘Sausage Party’ a Wipe Out

petes dragon
Pete (Oakes Fegley) under the watchful eye of Elliot the dragon

Pete’s Dragon” is that weekend movie where the whole family can take a magical, enjoyable trip without taking foot outside the neighborhood theater. The 1977 reboot contains the moving sentiments of the old, while infusing the effective and sweeping computer-animated enhancements of the 21st century.

Pete (Oakes Fegley), who looses his parents in a car crash is befriended by a dragon he names Elliot. The two are discovered when bulldozers upset the forest landscape and Pete is taken in by Bryce Dallas Howard. She finally realizes the stories her dad (Robert Redford) had been telling over the years about dragons were actually true. Directed by David Lowery, the film also stars Oona Laurence, Wes Bentley, Isiah Whitlock Jr., and Marcus Henderson.

Florence Foster Jenkins” is the delightful story of a rich socialite (Meryl Streep) who uses her status and wealth to bamboozle her way onto the Carnegie Hall stage. Dubbed as one of the worse singers ever to hit a stage, Jenkins unbelievably realizes her dreams. Hugh Grant, as her husband St Clair Bayfield, kicks up his heels and puts in one of his best performances yet.

Cosme McMoon (Simon Helberg), Jenkins’ accompanist, is worth the movie ticket alone and will undoubtedly be nominated for Awards. His facial expression and emoting without dialogue is a scene stealer. Stephen Frears directs and Rebecca Ferguson, Nina Arianda, Joy Isa, and Solomon Taiwo Justified also appear.

Sausage Party” is not a party you would want to find yourself at, even if they paid you to be there. Buoyed by sex and drugs, which is a staple of the writing and producing team, not to mention stereotype, “Sausage Party” feeds on the lowest common denominator to bring in the bucks.

The animated foods in a super market think it’s nirvana outside the store’s door, only to find all is not what it seems. When a film is obsessed with sex and drugs—that includes a food sex orgy—all the metaphysical, existential and other allegorical references are null and void.

Directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon, some of the voices in the “…Party” are Bill Hader, Salma Hayek, Seth Rogen, and Craig Robinson.

Syndicated Entertainment journalist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]       Twitter: @thefilmstrip      

Marie Moore
Veteran syndicated journalist who covers film and television.



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