Written by Victor DeBonis

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Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Animation

For many animation fans, including myself, Genndy Tartakovsky is a name that is met with much respect and awe. …


A Movie Review By Victor DeBonis

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Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

From the first five minutes or so that begin Disney’s version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” there’s a strong sense that this film is aiming for a different type of tale than the studio is normally accustomed to. The calming voices of those from the choir, followed by their powerful chanting and the gorgeous, almost angelic vision of Paris’ towers piercing through the clouds, slowly brings the audience into this world before the backstory of this film’s hero is depicted, one that involves a villain almost drowning a disfigured infant and reflecting with absolute horror at the idea that he may be eternally cursed for killing a Gypsy woman. …


An Essay Written By Victor DeBonis

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Photo Credit: Victor DeBonis

For the longest time, up until this past week, at over 30 years, I had never been to a drive-in theater before. This is strange to admit, given that I’m a film writer of sorts and have shared nothing less than high enthusiasm for movies, in general. I’d always been fascinated whenever I watched an older movie from the 60’s or 70’s when it would show that familiar scene of lines of cars sitting in front of that massive outdoor screen to watch some romance or campy horror flick. Even in more modern movies, such as last year’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” or a scene in that 1990’s film, “Now and Then” where one of the kids sits on a rooftop to quote a romance movie from the screen of a drive-in from miles away, they show how much drive-in theaters were a big part of American culture for a long time. …


A Movie Review by Victor DeBonis

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Photo: Netflix

Spike Lee’s latest film, “Da 5 Bloods” is the type of movie that I’d been wanting to see for a while, now. In a time when theaters had been economically hurt bad by the situation at hand and are, at the time of this review, just starting to open back up again, this film came along and forced me to sit through every bit of its admittedly heavy running time (155 minutes) with suspense, and it never once left me bored or feeling that certain parts need to be cut from this epic war drama. The movie stunned me to my core, and it brought me to tears numerous times as it reached the ending credits, and, when the credits finally arrived, I was still staring at the screen in shock, silently pondering its important themes and the urgency with which it illustrated them. Simply reflecting upon the movie, later on in the same day, made me sob afterwards because it did its job perfectly in expressing how far a war or another traumatic event can leave its wounds upon the people who experience them, particularly the minorities who risk their lives and show great bravery through such horrible situations but still end up either being mistreated or ignored. …


A Review Written By: Victor DeBonis

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Photo: Walt Disney Pictures

The early 2000’s was both a tough and interesting time for Disney films. It was tough because, as 2-dimensional animated films, particularly those of the fairy-tale genre from the previous decade, were starting to phase out and 3-dimensional animated films were starting to become more of the norm, the Mouse started doing entering an experimental phase of sorts with its animated films. …


A Movie Review by Victor DeBonis

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Photo: 20th Century Fox

“Ever After” is a smart, amusing, and heartfelt example of the fairy-tale film genre that embraces the same spirit and playfulness of its heroine and makes one want to see how she achieves her dreams with every step. The tale of Cinderella has been retold through countless cultures and storytellers before, including the animated Disney film as arguably the most popular and familiar retelling. Where this 1998 film takes a few steps further in its approach, however, is utilizing a clever script that gives the soon-to-be princess and the story itself a highly courageous, outspoken, and slightly modern reimagining that still feels timeless and endearing as well. Director Andy Tennant is known mostly for filming romantic comedies, such as “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Fools Rush In” and, while romantic comedies tend to have more misses than hits when done with certain audiences (such as myself) from their formulaic approach and often saccharine demeanor, this movie of his strives and rarely feels predictable. …


Some Thoughts on the Power of Film in Normal and Troubled Times and What Can Be Done to Help the Movie Industry in the Future

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Photo: Consequence of Sound

It’s no secret that life hasn’t been normal for quite some time. In general, this comes from the presence of the coronavirus and its frightening impact on businesses, social life, and the regular routine of how people used to interact with each other, in general. This virus has radically affected everyone in one way or another. As for everyone else, it’s been pretty difficult for me in several ways.

Without being able to work right now, I’ve resorted to different ways of trying to cope or distract myself from the strange, sometimes incredibly saddening circumstances, including connecting with some friends and loved ones via messaging or Zoom, or finally reading a number of books that aren’t quite complete. While this can be helpful to varying degrees, I can still sometimes feel uneasy. My sleep schedule has seriously been derailed for weeks with me remaining restless in the late night and often not falling to sleep until 3 or 4 AM. Part of the explanation from this might come from me not being able to see my friends and loved ones, some of whom I consider family outside of my biological family, face-to-face. I, of course, haven’t even mentioned the saddening mood brought on by the media in the previous weeks about one report after another describing the rising statistics of those either infected or dead from this virus. The mood from all of this feels like a never-ending sensation of sadness and gloom at times. …


A Movie Review Written by Victor DeBonis

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Photo Credit: TriStar Pictures

When I first saw “The Mask of Zorro” in 1998, I was still 8 years old. My brother and I had gone with a relative to see it in the theater. I was still high through my ever-strong love for Disney and whatever was animated, yet I was also eager to see more action-adventures, and this movie seemed to be right up my alley, based on the advertising. Sitting in that dark theater as I gobbled down Milk Dud after Milk Dud in my small hands, I remember feeling a bit of suspense as those boots loudly rattled with every step as the darkened figure with a familiar cape and hat stepped across the screen the same way that a renowned composer would make his way to the center of his musical podium before conducting an incredible performance. …


A Movie Review Written By Victor DeBonis

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Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

It’s quite rare to find a movie that takes so much knowledge from its genre and fills itself with a life and love that reminds you why you admire so many good movies from its own category. Buddy-cop movies, in particular, struggle with this. They’re not as common in more recent times, and, for every one or, maybe, two decent or okay movies that play in theaters, there are countless other entries in the same genre that are either obnoxious or predictable from start to finish. …


A Movie Review Written By: Victor DeBonis

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Photo Credit: Pixar Animation Studios

“Onward” is a solid, animated comedy-adventure that follows two elf brothers who embark on a quest to have one last chance to talk to their deceased father. The fact that this story takes place in a modern setting, completely engulfed by a fantastical vibe, is not unheard of. Movies, such as 2016’s “Bright,” have tackled this set-up before in different ways, whether it’s an attempt to communicate societal issues or bring in unexpected humor to an unusual environment. While the fantastical, contemporary background doesn’t spark as much world-building or creative opportunities as one would hope for, it works well enough for our two main heroes, and their journey evokes decent enough humor and a rather good comedy-adventure that doesn’t always hit the mark with its writing but shows more of its cleverness and Pixar’s all-too-familiar heart as their quest advances. …

About

Victor DeBonis

I’m passionate about movies, animation, and writing, in general, and I only want to learn more.

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