There’s a secret about children that Steven Spielberg, Melissa Mathison and Roald Dahl have always known — that no matter how innocent, kids are as capable of understanding darkness as adults, and sometimes even more so. It’s not that it’s some completely unacknowledged truth, but it is one that rarely seems to permeate what we consider “children’s entertainment” in any real way.
At the Sundance Film Festival this year, “Swiss Army Man” earned a nickname: “the farting-corpse movie.” Crowds were iffy on the comic drama, which is by turns bizarre, sweet and unsettling, but it won the festival’s directing award for first-time feature filmmakers Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who are collectively billed as the Daniels.
Paul Dano plays Hank, a man stuck on a desert island.
Tarzan has been dusted off, his abs polished and his vocabulary spruced up in David Yates’ handsome but altogether pointless “The Legend of Tarzan,” a chest-thumping resurrection of the Ape Man that fails to find any reason for the iconic character’s continued evolution.
On the one hand, it’s easy to see why Tarzan has yet again swung back into our lives: Tarzan and Hollywood were born almost simultaneously, like conjoined twins of a new pop-culture machine.