Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Babies best babes

The Boss Baby tops this week’s new movie releases

Ghost in the Shell could have used more geisha-bots.
Ghost in the Shell could have used more geisha-bots.
Movie

Boss Baby ***

thumbnail

Surprise! Dreamworks’ latest is not simply an exercise in sticking Alec Baldwin’s Scotch-mellowed tycoon’s rasp in the mouth of a CGI infant and chuckling at the juxtaposition. Instead, this story of a boy’s troubles when his baby brother arrives serves as a rousing defense of familial love as a good that can’t be commodified, and the family itself as a community that can’t be corporatized. Most magical of all, it’s a celebration of childhood imagination — that old-fashioned force that imbues ordinary life with extraordinary significance and wonder, all without the benefit of any sort of digital device. (It’s telling that the parents’ cameras are old-style, and even The Boss Baby’s hotline to headquarters is a corded, rotary toy.) Director Tom McGrath has the good sense to treat all this serious stuff with the lightest of touches, instead guiding the kiddies in the audience to focus on a battle between puppies and babies for human affection, the grown-ups on Baldwin’s quippery, and everybody on the oft-crossed line between fantasy and reality in the mind’s eye of a child.

Find showtimes

I like to tell myself that I go into every film with a completely open mind, ready to praise or blame based entirely on what I am about to witness onscreen. But that’s not always true, not entirely. How can it be, in an age when all the talk about a film generally happens before its release? (Everything after that tends to be discussion of box office and sequels.)

So in all honesty I went into The Boss Baby expecting to be disappointed, if only because of the giant eyes, oversized heads, and weird eyelashes of the baby and his brother. A disaster of character design, that. Clearly, they were trying to make adorability distract from aesthetic bankruptcy. Boy, was I wrong. It was a strange thing to go from, “Here we go,” to “I don’t hate this,” to “That was funny” to “This is good!” But that’s what happened.

Movie

Ghost in the Shell *

thumbnail

A hot mess of a philosophical cyber-thriller. The hot is provided by Scarlett Johansson as a government agent (but corporate creation) built from a human brain and a synthetic body, the latter often on quasi-display in a shimmering sort of shell casing that she only occasionally uses as digital camouflage. The mess encompasses pretty much everything else. Philosophical: on the question of what defines us, memories or actions, the heroine explicitly comes down on the side of actions — this after spending the entire film investigating the truth about her past, i.e., her memories. (In fairness, she also investigates a super-hacker — played with remarkable feeling, all things considered, by Michael Pitt — who sounds pretty self-righteous for a guy who brain-jacks lowly garbagemen and builds neural networks from human brains. But it all ties together.) Cyber: the notion that a company would build a robot super-weapon and not include a failsafe is a touch risible. As are many of the implanted geegaws that festoon enhanced humanity. Thriller: Peter Ferdinando puts the “vanilla” in “villain,” sidekick Pilou Asbæk can’t lock down his accent or his attitude, and the film lurches between mayhem and musing. It’s better with the former, which isn’t saying much. Some cool visuals, though. Directed by Rupert Sanders.

Find showtimes

I had the opposite experience with Ghost in the Shell. When they posted the opening fight scene on YouTube I got a little excited, mostly because of the creepy geisha-bot. A triumph of character design, that. And the whole “what is a person” issue, combined with the impressive cityscapes and the revered pedigree, made me think it might be Blade Runner for a new generation. Boy, was I wrong.

The Zookeeper’s Wife sort of split the difference. The trailer didn’t move me, but once Nazi zookeeper Daniel Brühl started talking about breeding a better bison (well, auroch), I thought we might have something really bold — the contest over the existence of a Master Race being played out in the animal kingdom, with Jews in the underground cages just to hammer home the point. Boy, was I wrong. Or rather, I was right the first time.

It’s worth noting that The Digital Gym is doing last-chance runs of two films that the Reader liked: Pedro Almodovar’s Julieta and Pablo Larrain’s Neruda.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Who stole your iPod, FM94's Mike Esparza, Hell's Angels, our Russian yacht, Seaworld sharks, why they leave San Diego

San Diego Reader stories with most clicks
Next Article

Rapper Chris “KILLcRey” Reyes transitions to Twitch for performance streaming

The Barrio Logan artist is depicted playing the Grand Theft Auto V and NBA 2K20 on his latest video
Ghost in the Shell could have used more geisha-bots.
Ghost in the Shell could have used more geisha-bots.
Movie

Boss Baby ***

thumbnail

Surprise! Dreamworks’ latest is not simply an exercise in sticking Alec Baldwin’s Scotch-mellowed tycoon’s rasp in the mouth of a CGI infant and chuckling at the juxtaposition. Instead, this story of a boy’s troubles when his baby brother arrives serves as a rousing defense of familial love as a good that can’t be commodified, and the family itself as a community that can’t be corporatized. Most magical of all, it’s a celebration of childhood imagination — that old-fashioned force that imbues ordinary life with extraordinary significance and wonder, all without the benefit of any sort of digital device. (It’s telling that the parents’ cameras are old-style, and even The Boss Baby’s hotline to headquarters is a corded, rotary toy.) Director Tom McGrath has the good sense to treat all this serious stuff with the lightest of touches, instead guiding the kiddies in the audience to focus on a battle between puppies and babies for human affection, the grown-ups on Baldwin’s quippery, and everybody on the oft-crossed line between fantasy and reality in the mind’s eye of a child.

Find showtimes

I like to tell myself that I go into every film with a completely open mind, ready to praise or blame based entirely on what I am about to witness onscreen. But that’s not always true, not entirely. How can it be, in an age when all the talk about a film generally happens before its release? (Everything after that tends to be discussion of box office and sequels.)

So in all honesty I went into The Boss Baby expecting to be disappointed, if only because of the giant eyes, oversized heads, and weird eyelashes of the baby and his brother. A disaster of character design, that. Clearly, they were trying to make adorability distract from aesthetic bankruptcy. Boy, was I wrong. It was a strange thing to go from, “Here we go,” to “I don’t hate this,” to “That was funny” to “This is good!” But that’s what happened.

Movie

Ghost in the Shell *

thumbnail

A hot mess of a philosophical cyber-thriller. The hot is provided by Scarlett Johansson as a government agent (but corporate creation) built from a human brain and a synthetic body, the latter often on quasi-display in a shimmering sort of shell casing that she only occasionally uses as digital camouflage. The mess encompasses pretty much everything else. Philosophical: on the question of what defines us, memories or actions, the heroine explicitly comes down on the side of actions — this after spending the entire film investigating the truth about her past, i.e., her memories. (In fairness, she also investigates a super-hacker — played with remarkable feeling, all things considered, by Michael Pitt — who sounds pretty self-righteous for a guy who brain-jacks lowly garbagemen and builds neural networks from human brains. But it all ties together.) Cyber: the notion that a company would build a robot super-weapon and not include a failsafe is a touch risible. As are many of the implanted geegaws that festoon enhanced humanity. Thriller: Peter Ferdinando puts the “vanilla” in “villain,” sidekick Pilou Asbæk can’t lock down his accent or his attitude, and the film lurches between mayhem and musing. It’s better with the former, which isn’t saying much. Some cool visuals, though. Directed by Rupert Sanders.

Find showtimes

I had the opposite experience with Ghost in the Shell. When they posted the opening fight scene on YouTube I got a little excited, mostly because of the creepy geisha-bot. A triumph of character design, that. And the whole “what is a person” issue, combined with the impressive cityscapes and the revered pedigree, made me think it might be Blade Runner for a new generation. Boy, was I wrong.

The Zookeeper’s Wife sort of split the difference. The trailer didn’t move me, but once Nazi zookeeper Daniel Brühl started talking about breeding a better bison (well, auroch), I thought we might have something really bold — the contest over the existence of a Master Race being played out in the animal kingdom, with Jews in the underground cages just to hammer home the point. Boy, was I wrong. Or rather, I was right the first time.

It’s worth noting that The Digital Gym is doing last-chance runs of two films that the Reader liked: Pedro Almodovar’s Julieta and Pablo Larrain’s Neruda.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

The evolution of Belle and the Dragon’s “Trees” video

And a lust for the perfect vegan taco
Next Article

Margaret Fuller: wrote first major work of feminism in the US

An inspiration on Walt Whitman
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close