Perhaps I am dead inside but I can’t scrub free the feeling that Coco hits all the right notes but still feels like the same old song. Pixar, the studio responsible for such masterpieces of modern animation as Wall-E, Toy Story, Up and Monsters Inc., appears more than ever to have sold out, peddling mediocre stories lathered in an admittedly marvelous coat of digital paint. We all knew this day was coming at some point, Disney’s acquisition of the once smallish, creatively independent studio renowned for delivering one stunner after another a warning sign of impending doom. I remember an age where I used to anticipate a new Pixar film just as much as a new Batman film. My how the times have changed. Pixar has quite simply become formulaic and Coco, while charming, loaded with delightful music and animated with the immaculate medium-pressing precision that Pixar is known for, just feels rote.
Since departing Breaking Bad, the great Bryan Cranston has been in need of a pole position worthy of his might. He’s cropped up in various big budget blockbusters, slumming it for some of those Heisenberg stacks of green. He even earned himself an Oscar nomination in last year’s somewhat-well-received Trumbo. Impressive though the performance was, the film itself was not much more than a by-the-numbers biopic told without much style or aplomb. Which brings us to The Infiltrator, another half-decent true life story led by Cranston that, while in-and-of-itself is no great wonder of filmmaking, gives the charismatic performer a role to sink his pearly whites into. Read More