The Little Mermaid (2023)

Director: Rob Marshall
Writer: David Magee
Cast: Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Melissa McCarthy, Javier Bardem, Art Malik, Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay, Awkwafina, Noma Dumezweni

Here we have another live-action adaptation of a classic Disney animation. Perhaps this one would have been done long ago, had the technology allowed, but now is its time. The Little Mermaid (1989) is stipulated as the jumping-off point for the Disney Renaissance, a decade-or-so-long time of Disney producing incredibly popular animations non-stop, so it holds a special place in the history of Disney. To make a newish version with a few changes and updates was always going to be a risky venture, but that hasn’t stopped them doing the same to many classic animations over the past few years. The Little Mermaid (1989) has always been in the hearts of many, so does this adaptation sink or swim into Disney history?

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Tiny Tapes Reviews – May 2023

Another (random) month, another handful of (random) short reviews! Here you can find some quick reviews of some digitally available movies that may (or may not) take your fancy. We’ve got a fairly mixed list this month, with a decent mix of genres, too. Something for everyone, hopefully!

May’s TTRs consists of: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Black Panther: Wakanda ForeverCrimes of the FutureDon’t Worry DarlingHellraiser (2022), Marcel the Shell with Shoes OnOldScream (2022), Winnie the Pooh: Blood & Honey and X.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3



Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Chukwudi Iwuji, Sean Gunn, Maria Bakalova, Elizabeth Debicki, Will Poulter, Linda Cardellini, Asim Chaudry, Mikaela Hoover, Nico Santos, Sylvester Stallone, Nathan Fillion

After what has felt like millennia (but in reality, has been but a mere six years), we finally have the conclusion to the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy. We now get to feel some sort of closure for the ultimate band of misfits that injected some much-needed overt humour into the MCU back when they debuted in Vol. 1 in 2014. The Guardians have amassed a huge following with tons of loyal fans, so much so that there was no way Disney/Marvel couldn’t hire back Gunn to complete the story after his undeserved and unceremonious firing (that’s another story). But has their story, both within and without the main MCU arc that involved The Blip, come to a satisfactory I AM GROOT “end”, or has it left us with more I AM GROOT!?-style questions.

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John Wick: Chapter 4


Director: Chad Stahelski
Writers: Shay Hatten, Michael Finch, Derek Kolstad
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Lance Reddick, Bill Skarsgård, Shamier Anderson, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rina Sawayama, George Georgiou, Clancy Brown

Well, who woulda thunk it? Once upon a time, John Wick was supposed to be a trilogy. But, thanks to the enormous success of the franchise, we were blessed with a fourth. Amazing for fans, yet likely exhausting for Reeves, Stahelski and the fictional Wick. It’s been four years since Chapter 3: Parabellum, but thanks to the enjoyable action of chapters one-through-three, they’ve been a joy to relive many times and therefore it doesn’t really feel like it’s been that long. Usually by the time a franchise gets to this point, even if it’s having commercial success, it will normally begin to fail critically, as the films become more about money-making than filmmaking. Despite an incredibly weary Wick, does Chapter 4 (subtitled Chapter 4: Baba Yaga in some territories), manage to pass the franchise test and stand tall with its predecessors, or is it about time it hung up its holsters and put John to bed/in his grave?

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The Whale

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Samuel D. Hunter
Cast:  Brendan Fraser, Hong Chau, Sadie Sink, Ty Simpkins, Samantha Morton

Darren Aronofsky is well-known for his rather off-piste movies with meaningful themes and stories that sometimes go to unexpected places. His style can be a bit of an acquired taste, and perhaps somewhat hard to relate to for many. The Whale is another that tests his audience, but with less audacity, if that is the correct word to use for much of what Aronofsky often subjects his audiences to. We also have the big return of the one and only Brendan Fraser to our mainstream lives (he has been doing bits and pieces over the years, but only recently has he started becoming more substantial in Hollywood again), and that’s reason enough to celebrate. But is The Whale truly the beginning of a Brenaissance and another reason to celebrate Aronofsky, or is this sea creature better off being released back into the ocean, never to be seen again?

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