As a kid, one of my favorite films was Dr. Dolittle with Eddie Murphy. It didn’t take me long to notice this new Dr. Dolittle film with Robert Downey Jr. Because of COVID-19, I didn’t get to see it in theaters though it did premier a bit before the pandemic.
Unlike the Dr. Dolittle of my childhood, Dolittle is set during a very early Victorian England. But John Dolittle still talks to animals, and he was once honored by Queen Victoria for his talents. But in recent years, after the death of his wife Lily, he’s not really at his prime.
He soon learns that Queen Victoria is dying from poison. There is no known cure in the world that could serve as an antidote. Except for one, and one of Queen Victoria’s maids begs John Dolittle to save the monarch of Great Britain.
With all of his favorite animals, Dr. Dolittle travels to a very distant part of the world in search of a cure. It’s not going to be an easy quest, but for his Queen and his animals, he has to be successful.
Overall, Doolittle was a pretty disappointing film. I think the studio was banking on Robert Downey Jr. alone, but the script is fundamentally flawed. It’s also so much different from the Dr. Dolittle with Eddie Murphy. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but in this case, it definitely didn’t become a good thing.
Roma is not a movie I remember coming out in 2018. Netflix picked up most of the international rights to the movie. I think Netflix definitely wants to add an Oscar winner to their belt, and apparently Roma came close especially among on foreign language films. But what did I think of it?
The film is set in Mexico during the year 1970. The main character is Cleo, a young woman who works as a housekeeper for a somewhat wealthy family in Mexico City.
Everything seems to be rather normal. The father of the family comes home, the family has a standard dinner and they watch television together. Cleo has a boyfriend she sees when she’s not working, obviously.
But it soon becomes clear that the family she works for have some deep issues that may split the family apart. Cleo gets pregnant, and her boyfriend doesn’t take the news so well. To make matters worse, Mexico City will see one of the worst parts of political violence during the Cold War.
To be honest, Roma was pretty disappointing. Critics loved it, and it sure is Oscar bait, that’s pretty clear. While there is some good directing and acting, I found it mostly boring and the use the black-and-white to be rather cliché. It didn’t win the Oscar for Best Picture, and I’m not really that surprised.