My faith in Walt is restored...Disney that is.Ever since I was a little child watching in wonderment in the dark at the Movies or on the Black and White Pye TV at home...Walt Disney has entertained me for decades, but it's been a while since he put this kind of smile on my face.Even though he's pushing up daisies or chilling out in a Cryogenic Chamber he still manages to bring magic into my life.The brands latest effort is the live-action prequel, "Cruella" and it lives up to the trailers and then some.It's a very dark origins story, not unlike "Joker".Both films feature famous villains and turn them into protagonists misunderstood by friends, family and society.What an amazing cast to watch strutting their stuff on the big screen and enjoying themselves."La La Lands" Emma Stone is brilliant as both Estella and her alter ego Cruella.Emma Thompson is the Baroness...the nasty sociopathic woman Estella aspires to be whilst Cruella wants to destroy her and for good reasons that will reveal themselves in the fullness of time.Joel Fry who was fun in "Yesterday" and Paul Walter Houser from "Richard Jewell" and "I,Tonya" provide the comic relief.John McCrea who flamboyantly played Jamie in "Everybody's Talking About Jamie" doesn't hold back as the Rock Star of the Vintage Rag Trade.Dedicated followers of fashion will love this movies costumes.As usual Mark Strong puts in another strong performance as John the Valet.The best part is the films Director is a fellow Aussie, Craig Gillespie, better known for "Lars and the Real Girl" and "I, Tonya" where he worked with Houser.The original live action Cruella de Vil, Glenn Close, gets a nod with an Executive Producer credit for this 2021 movie."Cruella" had me from the opening bars of Supertramps' "Bloody Well Right" as we witness the birth of Estella.From there the soundtrack rolls on highlighting just how good some of the modern classic songs of the 60's and 70's have stood the test of time.It's a stellar collection of music from The Doors, Nine Simone, Electric Light Orchestra, The Ohio Players, Queen, Blondie, and The Clash to name a few.It's already liked on my Spotify Library and playing in my French Batmobile.I even love how the famous Disney logo is in black, white and red...Cruella DeVil's colours.Even though it's based on the popular children's novel "One Hundred and One Dalmatians" by the late author Dodie Smith and has a PG rating this is a movie adults will also enjoy.After all they didn't release it during the School Holidays.In the words of Deadpool, "You're so dark. Are you sure you're not from the DC Universe."
Cruella is full of style and a pretty good time. Emma Stone does great in the titular role, and her presence really ups the enjoyment. Starting off with the good: the production design, costuming, hair, and makeup are so great in this film. Emma Stone gets to rock a ton of different hairstyles, and the period-piece aspect gives opportunities for the costuming team to really show off. The architecture is beautiful, and it does a great job of transporting you to this period in London. I definitely anticipate this film to get some love at the Oscars in those categories. The film is also very colorful and vibrant at times, which was fun. The first act was a bit slow but after about 45 minutes it starts to pick up nicely.Where the film faltered for me was definitely the script. It's not a bad script by any means, but it definitely could have been polished up. Some of the villain's motives are completely nonexistent, and the screenplay makes no attempt to try to explain them to the audience. It was a bit jarring because I thought it would get cleared up in the third act, but they just gloss right over it. The film also doesn't pack any big emotional punch, which isn't a bad thing or even necessary - it just holds it back from being anything great. The film has a good use of licensed music that adds a lot of style to the film, in a similar vein to Joker. However, this did lead me to be a bit underwhelmed by Nicolas Britell's original compositions, which left little to be remembered.Cruella honestly surprised me, and I have to say I enjoyed it quite a bit. It's not changing cinema, but it's fun, stylish, and great time back at the theater. Definitely one of Disney's better live-actions, and I definitely recommend seeing in a theater if you can!
Of all the evil witches, monsters, dictators, and homicidal maniacs that populated classic Disney animation, Cruella Deville might be the most hated. Sure, she never had plans for world domination and she never even tried to murder another human, but she did the one thing that film audiences can never forgive: she tried to kill puppies. It's for this reason that I've been so skeptical about this film, an origin story that attempts to humanize this character by shedding new light on her turbulent past. The cast sounded stacked and Craig Gillespie is a director I've admired ever since "Lars and the Real Girl," but was it possible to tell a sympathetic, Disney-fied story about someone we know will wind up a would-be dog killer?Well, the answer is yes and no, but mostly yes. Before I praise this film for being such an unexpected gem, let me get the couple of problems I have with it out of the way. First and foremost, without giving any spoilers, I never get the true sense that Cruella is as pure evil as she's supposed to be by the time we get to 101 Dalmatians. She's definitely no hero by any means, but there's not a point where I feel the audience will stop rooting for her. The only other complaint is that there's a bit of a tonal inconsistency at times, as if the film doesn't quite know its target audience. It's certainly not for children, not only is it dark and mature but it's so much of a character study that young kids would be bored, yet there are certain occasions that feature very "cartoonish" logic that adults will have to suspend a lot of disbelief over.But on to the good, and the first point of praise is the cast. Emma Stone is absolutely brilliant in this role, and you can just sense that she's having the time of her life playing it. Almost just as amazing is Emma Thompson as the vile Baroness, and when the two are onscreen together the chemistry between the rivals is electric. As far as the supporting cast goes, there really isn't a weak link to be found, with a particular stand out in Paul Walter Hauser who is hilarious as the dimwitted thief Horace. As for Gillespie's direction, the film is beautifully shot and he brings the same stylistic energy he brought to "I,Tonya" though it's greatly enhanced here due to the 1970s punk rock aesthetic of the film. This leads me to the soundtrack, which is not only pure awesomeness, but is used to turn Cruella's story into an almost allegory for the transition of London music scene in the late 60s-early 70s.I could go on and on about the individual components that make this film work, but the truth is what really makes it work is how well these individual parts come together in a seamless fashion (no pun intended). In another time perhaps I might be more critical, but honestly it's been a while since I've seen such a major studio blockbuster, especially one based on an established property, that feels like it's actually the unaltered vision of a filmmaker. The story, the cast, the music, the style, everything all fits together to make something truly satisfying. That's how movies are supposed to be made, and with that I give this my first strong recommend of 2021.
It's dark, it's edgy, it embodies the punk rock movement of the 1970s and injects it into every aspect of this film with glorious results. Emma Thompson steals the show!
My Review- CruellaMy Rating 9/10I had a hunch Cruella would appeal to my taste when I saw the trailer but that often can be a disappointment but not in this case.Cruella excelled for me in all Departments Script, Set Design, Costumes Performances and most importantly entertainment value.What a superb pairing of Acting talents the dynamic duo of Emma's with Emma Thompson as The Baroness and Emma Stone as Estella and later Cruella DeVil .Both these fine Actresses are Oscar Winners and both show why they are winners in Cruella , each in equal costarring roles.The blending and chemistry between these two women is so obvious as is the fun they must have both had in performing their respective roles.It's interesting to note that another great actress who portrayed Cruella DeVil ,Glenn Close is an executive producer on this project.I couldn't help comparing these two devilish characters to Raveena the Wicked Queen in Snow White and Emma Stone's character to Harley Quinn colliding in a Devil Wears Prada fantasy for adults and children alike .If you have a bit of a Camp sense of humour and appreciate superb Costumes by double Oscar winner and ten time nominated Costume designer Jenny Beavan plus a great escapist romp you'll love Cruella I'm sure.I think while children over say 10 may enjoy Cruella it's an Adult fantasy comedy Fairy Tale , very inspired I suspect by Ronald Dahl's style of madness and mayhem."Cruella," is set in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution, and follows a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her fashion designs. After traumatic events that see her alone and defenceless in London Estella is befriended by a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief and individuality. Joel Fry as Jasper and Paul Walter Hauser as Horace have some of the best comedic moments in Cruella as two street wise ruffians who like nothing more than to "Pick a Pocket or two. They form a trio with young Cruella assisting her with her quest to be a fashion designer by devious means in gaining her employment at the famous "Liberty" Department Store.Estella's flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman, a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute, played by 2-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson. Emma Thompson has never looked so chic her sense of comedy timing with sarcastically cruel one liners is superb .The Baroness and her best new fashion designer Estella's relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable, and revenge-bent Cruella.Other standout performances in this ensemble are John McCrea as Artie ,Estella's Camp fashion ally and Mark Strong as the valet to the Baroness.The Soundtrack to Cruella is fun and enjoyable with retro pop hits plus a fun Score by Nicholas Britell to set the action along at a cracking pace.Walt Disney Pictures announced the film's development in 2013, with Andrew Gunn as producer . Emma Stone was cast in 2016 and also serves as an executive producer on the film alongside Glenn Close, who previously portrayed Cruella in the previous live-action adaptations.Cruella had a huge estimated budget of $200million so it needs to be a big hit movie for Disney and I hope this film succeeds .It must be seen on a Cinema Screen don't wait for it to stream it's such a beautiful production and it's creativity needs to be seen as intended on a giant screen.Based on the book 101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith the 5 screenplay writers Steve Zisses, Kelly Marcel, Aline Brosch McKenna, Tony McNamarra, and Dana Fox have done a wonderful job at melding the prequel to Cruella DeVil to the classic 101 Dalmstions and possible sequels .