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WITH DAVID STRATTON

Tom and Jerry
Rating (G) / Wide Cinema

★★ ½
When I was a kid, one of the thrills of going to the movies was a cartoon. Usually these fast-paced, masterfully animated entertainments, lasting about eight minutes, were loved by children of all ages. Almost every major studio had cartoon characters: “Loony Tunes” by Warner Bros. starring Bugs Bunny, Sylvester and Twitty and Elmer Fad; Disney suggested Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy; The MGM had Tom and Jerry and so on.

The first film starring Jerry, the cunning mouse and clumsy cat Tom, was made in 1940; the series ran until 1958 and won seven Oscars during that period. Some complained of violence in these cartoons, but the children knew that even if Tom fell from a great height or was dismantled with a hammer, he would immediately return for a new one.

The cat and mouse occasionally interacted with real characters; in 1945 Jerry even managed to perform a dance number with Gene Kelly (in Anchors Aweigh), but now they are back in a large-scale, modern plot, and it is very nice to see them again as lively and ageless as ever. If the film in which they starred was worth it.

“Tom and Jerry” is almost fully deployed in the lavishly equipped New York hotel “Royal Gate”, where a very important Anglo-Indian wedding is to take place. The hotel manager (Rob Delaney) instructed his event coordinator Terence (Michael Penn) to hire a wedding specialist to keep things smooth. Unfortunately for Terence, the English candidate for the post was replaced by a cunning young opportunist named Kyle (Chloe Grace Moretz), who, armed with a resume of the legitimate candidate, got the job.

From the beginning, Kayle has been facing a serious problem; the hotel has a mouse. Jerry sought refuge in the establishment and made himself a cozy home behind the baseboard, but it’s not very good when hotel guests see him scurrying around the place like he does all the time.

Kyle’s decision is to hire a cat, and Tom seems like an obvious decision, but if she had paid attention to all these old cartoons, she would have realized that Jerry always outsmarts Tom.

And if director Tim Story and his team kept the simplicity of the original films, this new extravaganza could work. Unfortunately, Tom and Jerry are too long. Cat and mouse are not the only cartoon characters; an absurdly lavish wedding showcasing animated peacocks, a pair of elephants and a tiger. Too much time is spent on not at all amusing behavior of human characters, and one character who could work well together with animated creatures, the temperamental chef played by Ken Jeong, is underused.

There are a few funny moments (“It’s a bit animated,” says the groom – Colin Jost – referring to his cartoon bulldog), but despite the skill and loyalty of the artists who are loyal to the original film, it’s all wrong. a bit flat and tense hip hop music accompaniment doesn’t really help.

Incidentally, the film was made in London, and Battersea Park in one sequence doubled Central Park.

Two on two overboard!
Rating (PG) / Limited Edition

★★★ ½
This German-Irish-Luxembourg co-production, a fully animated film, is a sequel to the film “Two for Two” (2015), which I have not seen. With fluffy creatures of bright color, like hand puppets, the film begins aboard Noah’s Ark, which after the flood – timely, if accidental mention of current events – was at sea for weeks without signs of land. . Noah himself is conspicuous by his absence, but there are 50,000 animals on board, and the challenge is to feed them. This task fell on a couple of strangers, Hazel, the grip (like a cat) and Dave, a Nestor (a creature equipped with a hobby and the ability to expel pungent odors).

The food is rapidly running out, and the green drink that Hazel (voiced by Tara Flynn) and Dave (Dermot Magenis) serve to other animals is losing its appeal. The catastrophe occurs when their children, Leah (Ava Connolly) and Feeney (Max Carrolan), fall overboard and end up on a volcanic island inhabited entirely by non-Austrians living under the rule of the aging Queen Patch (Mary Murray).
It seems that the film is aimed at young children, who are likely to enjoy many jokes about “suffocation”, but it contains the right message: if the civilization we know needs to be saved, then quarrelsome grimaces and non-Austrians must cooperate with all other animals live in harmony.

An artist and a thief
Rating (M) / Limited Edition

★★★★
The Norwegian documentary The Artist and the Thief tells a very unusual story about a very incredible relationship.

The “artist” of the name is Barbora Kisilkova, an artist of Czech origin who lives in Oslo and whose work consists of very large hyper-realistic oil paintings, one of the best of which is “Swan Song”. One night, thieves break into the Nobel Gallery, where some of Kisilkova’s works are on display, and steal two paintings, including “Swan Song.”

One of the robbers, a drug addict named Karl-Bertil Nordlund, was quickly arrested and brought to justice. Kisilkova is present at the hearing at which Nordlund was found guilty, although the stolen paintings were not found.

The painter and the thief form an insecure friendship, which gradually grows into something closer – although it seems to remain platonic – despite the fact that he spends time in prison, and then, after a serious car accident in which he got , to the hospital.

Director Benjamin Ree seems to have been given full and unhindered access to both Kisilkova and Nordlund, both of which allow him to film a long film while the story of a strange crime and an even more strange friendship unfolds. Along the way there are a few twists and turns to a highly enigmatic completion.

If it was a fantasy film, it would certainly have been dismissed as utterly unbelievable; since this is not the case, this portrait of two totally fascinating characters turns out to be as fascinating as any thriller.



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