You should pack up the whole family to go see Pixar’s new movie “Coco.”
And make sure to bring along tissues.
For its latest movie, “Coco,” Pixar tackled a real cultural celebration for the first time. But the result is the same as most of its other releases: a well-executed story that the whole family will love.
“Coco” (in theaters starting on Thanksgiving) is centered around the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos, a day dedicated to celebrating family members who have passed away.
12-year-old Miguel and his family are preparing for the holiday, but the boy also tries desperately to sneak off to the center of town whenever he can and play his guitar, though his family forbids it. Miguel’s great great grandfather ran out on the family to pursue his dreams of being a famous musician. The story of his betrayal has been passed down by generation, and now the family, who make a living as shoemakers, has banned music.
However, Miguel can’t help being drawn to music. He’s made a guitar and hides it in the attic. And he secretly watches footage of a legendary musician who came from his village, Ernesto de la Cruz
(voiced by Benjamin Bratt).
The discovery of a photo makes Miguel believe De la Cruz is his great great grandfather. Con
vinced he is destined for greatness, Miguel plans to take part in the village’s music contest to prove to his family they are wrong for their distaste toward musicians. But his family finds out his plans and destroys his guitar. So Mig
uel sneaks into the mausoleum the village has built for De la Cruz and takes his guitar that’s on display to use at the contest.
And like every great Disney/Pixar movie, that’s the moment when things really start moving. Miguel is suddenly transported to the Land of the Dead after holding the guitar. The only way he can get back is to receive a blessing from a departed family member. So who better than De la Cruz? Miguel decides to set forth to find him. Along the way, Miguel runs into his other deceased relatives and a loner named Héctor (Gael García Bernal) who helps Miguel in his search for De la Cruz.
Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), “Coco” hits all the correct beats that will make it become a memorable Pixar movie (despite it having a weak second act). There are a lot of great jokes, the family story is heartf
elt from the start, and the evolution of the plot once Miguel is in the Land of the Dead builds to a powerful climax (prediction: the movie’s song, “Remember Me,” will win the best original song Oscar). And Unkrich does it all with a very aware sense of being respectful to Mexican culture (there was even a point in the making of “Coco” when cultural consultants were brought in to help out, which had never been done before on a Pixar movie).
The movie may focus on Mexican heritage, but it’s a story that will be universally adored.
Director Jon Watts advocated for a diverse cast in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” because, as he said, he wanted the film to reflect the real world. Now Jacob Batalon, one of the film’s stars, wants the diversity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to go even further.
During a Q&A session with fans on Tumblr in September, the actor and co-star Laura Harrier supported the idea of having a trans Spider-Man. During an interview with HuffPost at New York Comic-Con in October, Batalon echoed that sentiment, telling us he still wants to see a trans superhero join the MCU.
“I think it’s a very important message that we understand that it’s OK. That [a trans superhero] shouldn’t be a problem,” said Batalon. “I mean, look, I recently worked on a crew where it was multiethnic, not just one race, and that’s just on the other side of the camera. It’s great now that casts are being more diverse, and so it’s like, ‘Why not?’”
Marvel already has the framework in place for inclusive storylines. The company presented the first gay wedding in a major comic back in 2012, and there are a variety of LGBTQ characters in its universe, including popular MCU character Loki, who is gender-fluid in the comics. “Loki” writer Al Ewing also confirmed that Loki is bisexual, an identity actor Tom Hiddleston endorsed.
“I think it’s great … Loki is a shapeshifter I guess, and it also means that everybody can empathize with him. It means that there’s no box he fits into. And it means he appeals to everybody. And I think the more that happens in life, the better,” Hiddleston told MoviePilot.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn has suggested that there are already gay characters in the Marvel movies, telling The Guardian, “There’s a lot of characters in the MCU and very few of them have we delved into what their sexuality is ― whether it’s gay or straight or bisexual, we don’t really know. So I imagine that there are probably gay characters in the Marvel universe. We just don’t know who they are yet.”
The director’s quote references an underlying problem when it comes to diversity: visibility.
Oftentimes, LGBTQ characters that audiences connect with aren’t always specifically promoted as such. Like Gunn said, these characters haven’t really been “delved into.” “Spider-Man: Homecoming” actually has a character named Seymour (J.J. Totah) who has been perceived by fans as gay. But that has to do more with Totah’s portrayal than with the way the character was written in the script.
The actor, who opened up about personal struggles with gender and labeling in a powerful essay for PopSugar, told The Wrap, “The character was never decided to identify with a specific orientation — but I do think that after meeting with [director] Jon Watts a couple of times, when they offered me the part, they wanted me to bring myself into it.”
It has become ritual for me to read the novel “It” once a year every year since it was released in 1986. The story is more than a gore-fest, it’s a story about love and hope and friendship that is still meaningful to me to this day.
The only thing this movie has in common with the beloved book, is its name and the characters names. IT is a literal disaster and a slap in the face to anyone who actually read and cherishes the book. There are NO character backstories, nor character development at all. You are literally thrust into the movie expecting to know everything about everyone and why they are the way they are. IE: Henry Bowers and why he hates the “Losers Club” – He LITERALLY starts the movie trying to kill them. This is sad, because a large portion of the novel was meticulously spent doing quite the opposite and made you relate to and fall in love with the characters.
Editing? What editing? This is the worst edited movie I’ve ever seen in my life and I’ve seen a lot in 41 years. It was literally like the film makers shot 100 scenes, put the film in a hat, and took out said scenes and spliced them together at total random. I can’t describe it any other way than saying, at one point, one of the characters (I can’t tell who, because they all share the EXACT same personality) says, “I banged your mom last night”, or something similar, and before the audience can even react, the scene changes to a jump scare happening in ANOTHER PART OF TOWN INSTANTLY and with no rhyme or reason. You don’t have time to laugh at jokes, because they aren’t funny (unlike Stephen King’s jokes in the book) – and you don’t have time to be scared, because you’re still trying to process the dick joke that was still being told when the scene abruptly ended.
While the filming location for the town of Derry was suitable, having the movie take place in the 1980’s instead of the 1950’s JUST TO APPEASE the “Stranger Things” crowd was simply a terrible decision. The 1950’s were a totally different time, and much of the characters’ reasoning and mannerisms that you need to make this movie work are lost to a time and cultural difference. These guys call themselves “THE LOSERS SQUAD” in this movie for god’s sake! Kids didn’t start calling themselves a “squad” until the 1980’s (IE “The Monster Squad) So, you love the book like me and are still reading? Thank you! Now let me list just SOME things that we both LOVE about the book that you will NOT find anywhere in this movie: The Deadlights, The Ritual of CHUD, The Mummy and the bridge, The Loser’s Club Dam in the Barrens, the moving picture book (now its a slide machine), The Smokehouse, “This is battery acid”, The Werewolf, Making the silver bullet after a game of monopoly, The stand pipe, Bower’s hair turning white, “beep beep Richie”, the giant bird, the 50’s racism against Mike (actually Mike Hanlon himself is missing. The writers just made arguably the most important character an afterthought in this movie), character backstories, “Hi Ho Silver-AWAY!”, Haystack… I could go on and on and on.
With god awful editing, absolutely no character backstories, cheap teen jump scares, not being faithful to the book, and too much CGI usage: Simply put – if you want to know how this movie is like the book, read the first 10 pages of “IT”, and burn the other 1077 pages because that is exactly what the screenwriter and director did to this failed abortion.