‘Dumbo’ (2019) Film Review: Tim Burton Remake Trips Over Its Own Ears

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

There are a number of best-case scenarios involving Tim Burton directing a live-action “Dumbo” remake. He could give us a hero who is physically unusual on the outside but possessing the soul of a poet, like Edward Scissorhands. He could lean into the 1920s circus atmosphere and create another sinister but seductively designed world.

What we get instead feels more like a lesser 1970s Disney live-action comedy about an animal who can do an extraordinary thing, and the mean people who want to steal him. Burton and his collaborators took the beautiful and moving “Dumbo” and somehow managed to turn it into a throwaway kiddie adventure like “Gus” or “Million Dollar Duck.”

Granted, like many filmmakers who have tried to stretch, say, a lovely 20-page children’s book into a three-act cinematic structure, Burton and screenwriter Ehren Kruger are remaking a beloved film that’s a scant 64 minutes long. (Both movies are based on the book by Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl) And like many of the other recent Disney live-action remakes of its animated treasures — “Beauty and the Beast” being a notable exception — the new “Dumbo” leaves out most of the songs from the original.

Watch Video: ‘Dumbo’: You’ll Believe an Elephant Can Fly in First Trailer for Disney’s Live-Action Remake

The best number from the 1941 film is sung by a group of crows that are problematic racial representations, so out goes “When I See an Elephant Fly.” With about an hour or so of material, then, Burton and Kruger make the original movie’s big finale their act-one climax. And from there, they’ve come up with nowhere interesting to go.

Our human hero is Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell), who lost an arm to World War I and a wife back home to the influenza epidemic. He wants to resume his role as a circus-stunt rider (he and his wife had a double act before the war), but ringmaster Max Medici (Danny DeVito) instead puts Holt in charge of the elephants, including the pregnant Mrs. Jumbo, which Max has recently purchased. When she gives birth to a giant-eared baby elephant, everyone is horrified, with the notable exception of Holt’s grieving kids Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins), who quickly realize that the circus’ new addition can fly when made to sneeze with a feather.

Watch Video: ‘Dumbo’ Child Stars Call Out Colin Farrell for Filling Up ‘Swear Jar’ on Set

Once Dumbo’s talent is shown to the world, it attracts the attention of amusements magnate V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton) and his aerialist girlfriend, Colette Marchant (Eva Green), who buy Medici’s entire circus just to get their hands on Dumbo. But Vandevere, of course, has nefarious plans — that’s right, parents, you get to see Dumbo and his mom ripped apart not once but twice — and the plucky circus folk must band together to save themselves from this monstrous mogul. (Points to “Dumbo” for giving us a villain who resembles no one as much as Walt Disney himself, even if Keaton plays him with all the snarling excess of Keenan Wynn in “Herbie Rides Again.”)

There are some occasional visual flourishes that stand out, from Dumbo imagining a herd of flying elephants in some giant soap bubbles (a crafty way to weave the hallucinogenic “Pink Elephants on Parade” song from the original) to the art-deco Disneyland — er, Wonderland — that Vandevere oversees. And while the digital creation of Dumbo himself has real weight and tangibility, so many of the film’s digital effects (and there are so, so many of them) have that glossy, shiny neither-here-nor-there quality that so often turns contemporary movies into visual mush. Not even the circus atmosphere provides any kind of flair.

Watch Video: Arcade Fire Turn Lullaby ‘Baby Mine’ Into a Rock Ballad for Tim Burton’s ‘Dumbo’ Movie

The performances are mostly negligible, with the notable exceptions of Green, so often the rare highlight of a mediocre movie, and Parker, who resembles her mother Thandie Newton not only physically, but also in her charisma and gravitas. Farrell is mostly misused here, and DeVito and Keaton seem to be phoning in their “Batman Returns” reunion. (The front plate of the circus’ “Casey, Jr.” train also resembles that movie’s Schreck’s Department Store logo.)

And while I’ve never made it through the original movie’s “Baby Mine” sequence, where a chained-up Mrs. Jumbo rocks lonely Dumbo with her trunk, without sobbing, this version (performed this time around by Arcade Fire) left me thoroughly dry-eyed. Tim Burton’s “Dumbo” lacks the heart and innovation of Bonnie Raitt’s 1980s cover of “Baby Mine,” let alone the 1940s animated classic it seeks to recreate.



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‘Dumbo’: You’ll Believe an Elephant Can Fly in First Trailer for Disney’s Live-Action Remake (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

You might have seen a fireside chat, or a baseball bat, but we can guarantee you never saw the first full length trailer for Disney’s live-action remake of “Dumbo.” Until today that is, now that the mouse house has released the flying pachyderm promo for the whole wide world to see. Watch it above now.

Directed by Tim Burton from a script by Ehren Kruger, the live-action retelling of the animated classic stars Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green and Alan Arkin, and expands on that film to tell a story, per the logline, “Where differences are celebrated, family is cherished and dreams take flight.”

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The trailer only has a glimpse of Dumbo’s flying antics but plenty about a new story involving a family working for the circus, who become close to Dumbo after his mother is taken away. We’re guessing Dumbo’s mouse best friend-turned-manager, Timothy Q. Mouse, doesn’t appear in this version, nor — we really hope — does the extremely, uh, problematic talking crow named “Jim Crow.” No word on whether Dumbo will get mad drunk on champagne like in the original film.

This being a Tim Burton film, the music is by Danny Elfman. Dumbo flies into theaters March 29, 2019.

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‘Dumbo’ Trailer: Tim Burton’s Live-Action Take On Disney Classic Takes A Heartfelt Flight

Read on: Deadline.

If the animated version of Disney’s Dumbo had you reaching for a couple of tissues, then you might want to grab the whole box for the Tim Burton’s live-action version.
The new trailer gives us a detailed look at the new pic, expanding on th…

Tim Burton’s ‘Dumbo’ Teaser Features Big-Eared Elephant Taking Flight (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The big-eared baby elephant is back, and he takes flight toward the end of the first teaser trailer for Tim Burton’s live-action “Dumbo.”

The latest live-action/CG adaptation of one of Disney’s animated classics expands on the beloved classic story where differences are celebrated, family is cherished and dreams take flight.

The trailer features Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora’s cover of the Oscar-nominated lullaby “Baby Mine” from the original 1941 film.

Also Read: Tim Burton’s Live-Action ‘Dumbo’ Might Not Be a Remake After All

The new film follows circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito), who enlists former star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) and his children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus.

But when they discover that Dumbo can fly, the circus makes an incredible comeback, attracting persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), who recruits the peculiar pachyderm for his newest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, Dreamland.

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Dumbo soars to new heights alongside a charming and spectacular aerial artist, Colette Marchant (Eva Green), until Holt learns that beneath its shiny veneer, Dreamland is full of dark secrets.

Ehren Kruger (“Dream House”) scripted the new film, which was produced by Kruger, Justin Springer (“TRON: Legacy”), Katterli Frauenfelder (“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,) and Derek Frey (“Frankenweenie”)

“Dumbo” flies into theaters on March 29, 2019.

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‘Dumbo’ Trailer: First-Look At Tim Burton’s Live-Action Remake Of Disney Classic

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Tim Burton’s ‘Dumbo’ Remake Flies to Spring 2019 Release

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Tim Burton’s live-action “Dumbo” remake will fly into theaters on March 29, 2019, Disney announced at its D23 conference on Saturday.

Colin Farrell, Eva Green, Danny DeVito and Michael Keaton star in the film, which is based on the 1941 animated classic and adapted by Ehren Kruger.

The cast also includes Nico Parker, Finley Hobbins, Roshan Seth, DeObia Oparei, Sharon Rooney and Douglas Reith.

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The new film introduces Holt Farrier (Farrell), a former circus star who finds his life turned upside down when he returns from the war.

Circus owner Max Medici (DeVito) enlists Holt to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus.

But when Holt’s children (Parker and Hobbins) discover that Dumbo can fly, persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Keaton) and an aerial artist named Colette Marchant (Green) swoop in to make the peculiar pachyderm a star.

Burton just began production on the film at the U.K.’s  Pinewood Studios and Cardington Studios using state-of-the-art visual effects to portray Dumbo and many of his four-legged counterparts.

Katterli Frauenfelder, Derek Frey, Kruger and Justin Springer are producing, with Nigel Gostelow serving as executive producer.

‘Based on a True Story’ Cannes Review: Roman Polanski Thriller Is Timid and Unsure

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The most generous thing you can say about “Based On A True Story”, Roman Polanski’s half-baked almost-thriller that screened out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, is that it goes down easy enough.

Banking on the director’s eyes-closed, hands-behind-his-back skill and a game cast of actresses, the film is an enjoyable if not terribly memorable jaunt. But consider the pedigree of cast and crew and make no mistake about it: That fully damns it with faint praise.

Polanski might well be the greatest living director of thrillers. Actress Emmanuelle Seigner, the star Polanski of successes like “Frantic” and “Bitter Moon,” once again takes center stage. She’s joined by Eva Green, who can marry femme fatale and camp queen like no other contemporary actress. (I mean this as the highest possible compliment.) And the film boasts a script written by Olivier Assayas, whose best work fuses the intellectual and the carnal with edgy aplomb. Every item was in place for this film to sizzle off the screen.

It really does not.

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Seigner plays Delphine, a successful author still running victory laps from her last literary sensation while slowly confronting the fact that she has no idea how to start her next one. Onto the scene waltzes Elle (Green), a self-proclaimed super-fan who slowly and methodically burrows her way deeper and deeper into the older author’s life. Elle infiltrates Delphine’s social circle, and then her house, and then she begins cutting Delphine off from her friends and family.

You can sort of tell where the film is going, but “Based On A True Story” never actually gets there. If anything, the film is too timid, too unsure of what kind of story it wants to tell. Apart from a number of narrative dead ends and red herrings, Polanski (and Assayas, I suppose) never crack the dynamic between the actresses.

There are occasional flashes of erotic attraction, but they disappear as quickly and suddenly as they arrive. Is Elle a “Misery”-like super-fan, who thinks her fandom allows her to literally posses her favorite author? Or is she trying to steal some of the more famous woman’s spotlight for herself? The film has it both ways, and then, finally, neither.

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“Based On A True Story” ends with what you could call a plot twist, if the film would actually stand and own up to making a firm choice. Instead, the film just … ends, leaving the central relationship frustratingly unresolved.

There’s an elliptical insinuation that casts most of the film in a new light, but to make the most of it, you would have to dive back in and put the pieces together. And for the most part, once this entertaining if wafer-thin film comes to a close, it’s better to just turn a new page.

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Read on: Hollywood Reporter - All Reviews.


Emmanuelle Seigner and Eva Green do a literary tango in Roman Polanski’s tongue-in-cheek psychological thriller, ‘Based on a True Story.’

read more

Cannes Film Review: ‘Based on a True Story’

Read on: Variety.

It’s hard to talk about Roman Polanski’s “Based on a True Story” without revealing the twist, although it’s much harder trying to imagine anyone actually falling for it. A thin psychological two-hander between two writers, both of them women, this over-obvious metaphor for the creative process — never quite thrilling enough to qualify as a… Read more »

Cannes Film Festival Adds Roman Polanski Film to Lineup

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The 2017 Cannes Film Festival has added seven more films to its lineup, including Roman Polanski‘s “D’après une histoire vraie” (“Based on a True Story”), Cannes organizers announced on Monday.

Other additions include films by Ruben Ostlund, Santiago Mitre and Barbet Schroeder.

Polanski’s film stars Eva Green and Emmanuelle Seigner in the story of a writer who becomes involved with an obsessive fan. The film will screen out of competition at Cannes.

Ostlund (“Force Majeure”) will be part of the main competition with “The Square,” starring Elisabeth Moss and Dominic West.

The Un Certain Regard section has added two films, Santiago Mitre’s “La Cordillera” and Li Ruijun’s “Walking Past the Future,” while special screenings will include Barbet Schroeder’s “Le Vénérable W.” and Éric Caravaca’s “Carré 35.”

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In addition, a children’s screening of “Zombillénium” by Arthur de Pins and Alexis Ducord has been added to the lineup.

The bulk of the Cannes lineup was announced on April 13, with more than 50 selections including new films from Sofia Coppola, Todd Haynes, Noah Baumbach, Michael Haneke, Yorgos Lanthimos, Michel Hazanavicius and Andrey Zvyagintsev.

The festival will run from May 17-28 in the South of France. Pedro Almodovar will serve as president of the main competition jury, while Uma Thurman will head the Un Certain Regard jury.

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Colin Farrell in Talks to Star in Tim Burton’s ‘Dumbo’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Colin Farrell is in negotiations to star in Disney’s live-action remake of the 1941 animated classic, “Dumbo,” an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

If the deal goes through, he will play the role of Holt, a widowed father of two kids from Kentucky. Eva Green and Danny DeVito already star.

Tim Burton is set to direct and will reunite with Green for their third effort after previously working together on “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” and “Dark Shadows.”

Also Read: Eva Green to Reteam With Tim Burton for Disney’s ‘Dumbo’ Remake

Ehren Kruger wrote the script and will produce”with Justin Springer.

The live-action “Dumbo” is expected to be a combination of live-action and CGI a la Jon Favreau’s 2016 hit “The Jungle Book,” which featured a human actor playing Mowgli surrounded by animals played in motion capture (and voiced) by stars.

Will Smith was supposed to star in the film as well but dropped out last month.

The studio is currently working on more than a dozen live-action adaptation films based on in-house IP.

Also Read: Will Smith Flies Away From Disney’s Live-Action ‘Dumbo’

“The Lion King,” “Peter Pan,” “Maleficent 2,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Mulan,” “Snow White” and a take on “101 Dalmatians” called “Cruella” are all in the works with bold names like Angelina Jolie, Emma Stone, “Hamilton” creator-star Lin Manuel-Miranda, composer Alan Menken and directors Sam Mendes, Tim Burton, Jon Favreau and Guy Ritchie.

Farrell recently starred in “The Lobster” and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and will next star in “The Beguiled” and “The Killing of a Sacred Deer.” He is represented by CAA, LBI Management, and PMK*BNC.

 

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