Disney’s ‘Dumbo’ Reboot Will Appeal To The Movie’s Most Devoted Audiences

Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios

Walt Disney Studios is bringing its reboot of its animated classic Dumbo to DVD and Blu-ray later this month.  The movie is scheduled for release June 25, just under three months after the movie made its theatrical debut.  The movie was met with lackluster reactions from viewers and critics alike during its theatrical run, according to figures from Rotten Tomatoes and Box Office Mojo.  The lackluster reaction is justified, considering the reboot’s story.  This will be addressed a little bit later.  The bonus content that is featured with the movie’s home release does make up at least a little bit for the problems posed through the movie’s story.  It will be discussed shortly.  The movie’s average price point in its home release is another notable element to consider in examining its whole.  Each item noted here is key in its own way to the whole of the upcoming home release of Dumbo.  All things considered, the movie’s home release is a presentation that the most devoted Dumbo fans will appreciate.

Walt Disney Studios’ forthcoming home release of its reboot of Dumbo is a presentation that will appeal mostly to the most devoted fans of the classic movie.  That is due in part to the bonus content that is featured with the movie.  Among the most notable of the featured extras that make up the movie’s bonus content are featurettes that examine the movie’s costumes, set design and story.  Audiences learn through the bonus content, the train used in the update was in fact a real, scale model of the train featured in the animated 1941 movie.  There is even footage showing the train in front of a green screen to prove the train is real, and not just another CG item.  Viewers also learn through the noted features, the amount of work that went into making the movie look as close to the period as possible in which it was set.  That includes the costumes and the look of the train and sets.  That adds a certain level of appreciation to the movie, if only a little.  Another interesting addition to the movie’s bonus content list is a group of interviews with the movie’s cast and director Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Batman, Batman Returns).  Burton reveals in his interview segments that he had not in fact worked with Michael Keaton (Batman, Batman Returns, Spiderman: Homecoming) and Danniy DeVito (Matilda, Batman, Batman Returns) since the trio last worked on Batman Returns (1992).  That is a long span of time apart.  DeVito and Keaton do share their own entertaining anecdotes about the comparison of that movie to Dumbo, joking about how the roles have changed and how Keaton loves elephants in reality, and its role in his acting.  Fellow Dumbo co-star Eva Green (Casino Royale, Penny Dreadful, Kingdom of Heaven) reveals an equally intriguing note of her own fears and how they were connected to her inexperience in acrobatics in her own interview.  That is just one more item that makes the bonus content so interesting here.  All of the items noted here will certainly engage and entertain audiences when Dumbo makes its home debut later this month.  They are just some of the interesting commentaries featured in the movie’s bonus content.  The note of Burton’s attention to detail with the sets and costumes adds its own interst, as the discussions lead to thoughts of another of Burton’s works – Big Fish.  The movie is not mentioned directly, but the latent effect is the noted thoughts and comparisons of Big Fish.  Stylistically, one cannot help but make a comparison between the movies.  To that end, audiences – even those who might not like this latest take on Dumbo – will appreciate the look of Dumbo.  Keeping that and everything else noted here in mind, the bonus content featured in the upcoming home release of Dumbo proves to be the movie’s saving grace, and more proof of the importance of a movie’s bonus content.  Staying on this train of thought, Disney’s updated take of Dumbo leaves a lot to be liked in terms of its story, the movie’s most prominent negative aspect.

The story at the center of Disney’s new Dumbo reboot is a near complete re-imagining of the 1941 movie.  In place of the original story in which Dumbo has to learn to believe in himself rather than luck, is a story that finds Dumbo basically being used by two businessmen for their own selfish purposes.  Given, DeVito’s Max Medici does ultimately prove to have a good heart, but he has to go through his own personal lesson to get there.  To that end, Max and V.A. Vandevere are both really just money-grubbers.  Max is just the lesser of two evils.  Add in the unnecessary romance subplot between Holt (Farrell) and Colette (Green) and things get even worse.  Things get worse not just because of the unnecessary romance subplot, but the very fact that said plot was so predictable.  It did not take a genius to know from early on that Colette’s character turn would happen.  As if this is not enough, the very fact that Dumbo knew just which knobs to turn and levers to pull (and could even do the noted tasks) to shut down Dreamland is just not believable.  The overly preachy animal rights message at the story’s end, and the overly preachy female empowerment messages also tied into the story do little to help the story.  That is not to say that female empowerment is a bad thing.  In fact it is a very good thing.  However, the way in which that message was delivered here was a bit more preachy than powerful, if that makes any sense.  When all of this is taken into consideration, the reality sets in that the story at the center of Disney’s new Dumbo reboot does a lot to detract from its presentation.  Keeping that in mind, it makes the movie’s average price point quite important to consider.

The average price point for the upcoming home release of Dumbo is $26.88.  That price is obtained using prices at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million.  At the time of this review’s posting, the movie was not listed at Disney’s official store.  The movie’s listing at movies.disney.com links to Best Buy, Target and Walmart.  While the average price point is almost $30, the movie’s pricing is right on par with every other movie that Disney has released in recent memory.  Its most inexpensive listing is through Amazon and Walmart at $24.96 while Barnes & Noble Bookseller’s price of $31.32 is the most expensive.  The continuity (of sorts) of the movie’s price in comparison to Disney’s other movies is something that viewers will applaud, especially considering the problems posed by the movie’s primary content versus the positives of its bonus content.  Keeping that in mind, while the primary content featured in Disney’s reboot of Dumbo is problematic, the movie’s most devoted fans will find it worth at least one watch.  Its bonus content does at least a little bit to make up for the story’s problems.  The pricing, for those noted devotees, is right in the same price range as Disney’s other home releases.  To that end, the movie in whole proves to be a release that will certainly appeal to a certain targeted audience

The forthcoming home release of Disney’s Dumbo reboot is an intriguing new offering from Disney.  Its bonus content is certain to keep audiences in general engaged and entertained.  Its story, on the other hand, will appeal to a much more specific viewer base.  Keeping all of this in mind, the average price range for the movie’s home release – which is in keeping with the range of Disney’s other home releases – proves to be its own positive for the movie.  Keeping all of this in mind, Dumbo’s upcoming home release will certainly appeal to a very distinct group of the movie’s audiences.  It is scheduled for release June 25.  More information on Dumbo is available online now at:




Website: http://movies.disney.com/dumbo-2019

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/Dumbo




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Every True Movie Buff Should ‘Get Shorty’

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/MGM

MGM is one of Hollywood’s most famous movie studios.  Launched during the golden age of cinema, the studio has released some of the industry’s most iconic titles.  Those movies include, and are not limited to, movies, such as 12 Angry Men, The Manchurian Candidate and Platoon.  It has also released its share of lesser-known, but still enjoyable in their own right flicks in the form of movies, such as The Man From Planet X, The Angry Red Planet  and Get ShortyThe Man From Planet X and The Angry Red Planet both received new Blu-ray re-issues last year courtesy of Shout! Factory.  The latter, ­Get Shorty­ got its own Blu-ray re-issue this past October courtesy of Shout! Factory.  While not one of the most memorable of MGM’s offerings, the 1995 satire of mobster and Hollywood industry flicks is still an entertaining presentation.  That is proven in part through the movie’s story.  This will be discussed shortly.  The cast’s work on camera adds even more interest to its presentation.  The bonus material included in the movie’s latest re-issue rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own way to the whole of the presentation.  All things considered, the noted items make Shout! Factory’s recent re-issue of Get Shorty another title that deserves far more credit and attention than it has ever gotten.

MGM’s modern classic mobster comedy Get Shorty is not one of the studio’s most well-known offerings.  It is, however, a work that deserves far more credit and attention than it gets and has received.  That is proven in part through the movie’s story.  Based on the novel by author Elmore Leonard, the movie actually makes a valiant effort to stay true to its source material.  That is explained in the movie’s bonus material, which will be discussed later.  The story follows Chili Palmer (John Travolta – Michael, Look Who’s Talking, Pulp Fiction) as he goes from mobster/loan shark to Hollywood producer.  Along the way, he has to dodge two other mobsters, one who pursues him because of his connection to washed-up producer Harry Zim (Gene Hackman – Enemy of the State, The Poseidon Adventure, The French Connection) and the other because of Chili’s connection to fallen mobster Momo (Ron Karabatsos – Flashdance, Hunter, Surviving Christmas).  To make matters worse, the head of a South American drug cartel is after the prior mobster – Bo (Delroy Lindo – Malcolm X, Up, Ransom), leading Bo to have a second reason to come after Chili.  The whole thing sounds like quite the contrived story, and it is, but that is what makes the story so entertaining.  None of it is meant to be taken seriously, as the story is a satire of all the mobster and Hollywood insider movies ever offered to audiences. The execution translates the story’s satirical nature quite well and makes the multiple story lines relatively easy to follow at the same time.  This makes the movie’s story all the more entertaining, and in turn engaging.  Writer Scott Frank (Minority Report, Logan, The Lookout), who adapted Leonard’s book to the big screen deserves his own credit for his work here.  Speaking of people’s work, the cast’s work interpreting Frank’s adaptation adds even more entertainment and engagement to the movie.

Reaching once again to the movie’s companion bonus material, there is a mention in the bonus material of the cast being serious throughout the course of Get Shorty.  This is despite, again, the movie’s full-on satirical nature.  While the cast did in fact act with full seriousness, it was also obvious that the cast understood and appreciated that satirical nature.  This is evidenced in part through Travolta’s cool, confident demeanor as Chili.  He played the loan shark/mobster figure “to a T” yet still presents a certain air that helps make certain scenes so funny; scenes that in any standard gangster/mob movie would have been so tense.  The same applies with Lindo.  The scene in which he is confronted by Mr. Escobar (Miguel Sandoval – Jurassic Park, Clear and Present Danger, Sharp Objects) and his associates about the disappearance of his nephew, Yayo (Jacob Vargas – Heaven is Real, Sons of Anarchy, Luke Cage).  The scene in question is another mob/gangster standard, yet even in the moment, there is something about the back and forth between Lindo and Sandoval that makes the moment so funny.  The best explanation that this critic can give is that the dry, witty delivery is actually over the top in its own right, leading the moment to be just as funny as it is tense.  Again, that can be traced back to Scott Frank’s work on the script.  The moment’s atmosphere was developed quite well through Frank’s work, and interpreted so well by Sandoval and Lindo.  The end result of the moment is more proof of how the cast’s acting helps to translate the movie’s satirical nature, and in turn makes the movie that much more enjoyable.  Between that moment and so many equally entertaining moments featuring Travolta and the rest of the ensemble cast, the cast’s work on camera exemplifies so well, the comical nature of the story.  Each actor did such an applause-worthy job of interpreting his and her part in each scene.  It gives audiences that much more to appreciate about this movie.  It is not the last of the movie’s most important elements.  The bonus material, which has already been referenced multiple times here, rounds out the movie’s most important elements, and proves once more what makes this latest re-issue so enjoyable.

Audiences will be surprised to learn through Get Shorty’s bonus material that Danny DeVito was actually director Barry Sonnenfeld’s first choice to play Chili.  Just as surprising to learn is that Travolta actually did not want to be involved in Get Shorty at first, nor did Gene Hackman.  According to information presented in the interviews, Hackman did not originally want to take part in the movie because he “did not do comedies.”  Travolta’s reasoning was interesting in its own right, and will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  As previously noted, the bonus content also presents a moment in which Frank reveals how serious the whole cast was throughout the movie and the impact of those presentations to the overall satirical feeling in the movie.  He was right, as those presentations really do go a long way toward enhancing the story’s comical nature.  Sonnenfeld’s discussion on cinematography, which is also featured in the bonus material, will appeal greatly to cinephiles who have a deep appreciation for the art of capturing camera angles, lighting, etc.  The bonus audio commentary reveals in just the first 15 to 20 minutes of the movie that the real Chili Palmer actually plays a cameo guest appearance in the movie’s first scene.  Also revealed is that then well-known musical act Us3 provided music for the movie’s opening scene.  It is also revealed through the commentary that there is a tribute to none other than The Godfather at one point in the movie’s run.  That reference will also be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  Between all of the extra information and entertainment offered that is noted here and that, which is not noted here, the bonus content proves to offer just as much for audiences to appreciate as the movie’s story and the cast’s work.  When the breadth and depth of the bonus material is considered along with that noted primary content, the whole of Get Shorty becomes a presentation – in its latest presentation – that is another welcome addition to Shout! Factory’s ongoing Shout! Select series.

Shout! Factory’s recent re-issue of MGM’s modern classic Get Shorty is a welcome new addition to the company’s ongoing Shout! Select series.  That is proven in part through the movie’s fully satirical story, which spoofs so many of Hollywood’s countless mobster movies and Hollywood business flicks.  The cast’s work interpreting that satirical story adds even more enjoyment to the movie’s presentation.  The bonus material that is featured in the movie’s re-issue present plenty of their own entertainment and enlightenment for audiences, too.  Each element is important in its own way to the whole of Get Shorty.  All things considered, they make Get Shorty a wonderful new addition to Shout! Factory’s Shout! Select series, and to any true movie buff’s collection.  It is available now.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:




Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory




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Shout! Factory Announces Release Date For ‘Get Shorty’ BD Re-Issue

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/MGM

Shout! Factory will re-issue MGM’s classic 1995 comedy flick Get Shorty this fall.

The movie is currently scheduled to be released Oct. 23 as on Blu-ray as part of Shout! Factory’s “Shout! Select” movie series.  It will be presented in a new 4K HD scan and will feature new bonus materials, such as a feature-length audio commentary from director Barry Sonnenfeld, gag reel and the featurettes, “Get Short — Look At Me” and “Get Shorty — Wise Guys & Dolls.”

The full list of bonus materials featured in the movie’s re-issue is noted below.

Special Features:
  • Remastered from a new 4K transfer
  • Audio Commentary with Director Barry Sonnenfeld
  • Featurettes: “Get Shorty – Look at Me,” ” Get Shorty – Wise Guys + Dolls,” “Going Again”
  • Get Shorty Party Reel
  • Page to Screen of Get Shorty
  • Vignettes
  • The Graveyard Scene
  • Trailer

Get Shorty follows former gangster turned loan shark Chili Palmer (John Travolta — Pulp FictionFace-OffGrease) as he travels to Los Angeles to collect a debt from down-and-out filmmaker Harry Zimm (Gene Hackman — Enemy of the StateSuperman IVThe French Connection).  His trip leads him to schmooze Hollywood figures Martin Weir (Danny DeVito — MatildaBatman ReturnsThrow Mama From The Train) and romances B-movie star Karen Flores (Rene Russo — AppaloosaLethal Weapon 4Ransom).  Things get even more interesting though when Palmer’s past comes back to haunt him courtesy of another mobster and a group of drug smugglers who are on his heels.

Those not-so-good figures are played by James Gandolfini (The SopranosEnough Said, The Mexican), Dennis Farina (Law & OrderSnatchMidnight Run), Delroy Lindo (UpMalcolm XRansom) and Jon Gries (Napoleon DynamiteMen in BlackReal Genius).

Get Shorty can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:


Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

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Even as a remake, audiences will love The Lorax

The new re-make of Dr. Seuss’ classic, The Lorax is an interesting conundrum of a movie.  It’s not the first of the Dr. Seuss classics that’s been re-imagined for the big screen.  After the failure that was The Cat in The Hat, the mostly lackluster remake of Horton Hears a Who, and the so-so live action rendition of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, hopes for The Lorax were understandably not exactly the highest.  Despite that, it’s actually a good movie in its own right.

It’s been just over forty years since the original rendition of The Lorax first debuted.  The original classic animated feature presents the world of the Lorax in a very dark, gloomy setting.  One could argue that the general vibe of the original is rather pessimistic; it could almost be argued that it was a prime example of art imitating life.  Perhaps that was the general vibe of the nation at that time.  This most recent re-imagining has much brighter colors, thus creating a happier, more hopeful feel.  It could be argued that this more hopeful feeling is a result of the world becoming more aware and taking the original “unless” warning of the Once-ler to heart.  The world is increasingly taking efforts to go paperless as much as possible from work life to daily life.  This increased attempt to save paper products and take better care of the Earth in general has made a big change in the world, thus perhaps prompting this Lorax’s world to not feel as gloomy and pessimistic.

The story behind The Lorax has generally transferred over to this new adpatation.  Given, liberties have been taken here and there.  But the reminder that the world still has work to do in order to get on the right track is still there, too.  While a similar environmental message is prevalent in the story, other aspects of the movie have changed.  For instance, the addition of Betty White’s Grammy Norma is a change from the original.  And Danny Devito’s is a little harder edged than that of Bob Holt in the original 1972 version.

This rendition of The Lorax sees some changes to the story and to the character lineup, in connection.  For the alterations, it’s still not that bad of a retelling.  The one downside to this version of The Lorax lies in its “animation.”  This Lorax is presented in much the same way as nearly every other “animated” feature today.  Rather then being actual hand drawn animation, it’s presented in the now standard cg-based format.  This seems like a menial aspect.  But animation style used to be one of the primary defining characteristics of real animated features before the advent of cg-based movies.  Because it is another cg-based movie, it takes a certain amount of originality out of the movie.  Dr. Seuss’ original animated features all had a signature style unlike that of any other features.  Again, that style defined his features.  So not having that specific style sadly lumps it in with every other recent “animated” feature, to a certain extent. 

The new 2012 Lorax is not a terrible adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic character.  Even despite the addition of at least one new character, and other liberties having been taken with the story, it’s still nice to see that it attempts to stay true to the original story.  The only real downside to this remake is that like so many kids’ movies today, it lacks any real originality in its animation.  Other than that single issue, this update to the Dr. Seuss classic is still worth at least one watch.