Las Vegas film critic Josh Bell reviews the latest movies in this week's Bell Breakdown.
My top pick this week is the animated movie Luca, now streaming on Disney Plus. A pleasant if predictable fable about acceptance and diversity, Luca is a lesser effort from Pixar Animation Studios, which still places it above most animated feature films. The title character (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) is what humans would call a sea monster, although he and his family are far from monstrous. Sea monsters are able to take on human appearance just stepping onto land, and Luca is fascinated by the human world. He runs away to the quaint Italian village of Portorosso, where he joins fellow young sea monster Alberto and befriends a local girl named Giulia. The humor is gentle and simplistic, and the visuals are bright and colorful. It's upbeat and fun, even if there isn't much below the surface. That's Luca, now on Disney Plus.
On a very different note is the British horror movie Censor, now available for video on demand rental. Set during the so-called video nasties era in the 1980s in the U.K., Censor stars Niamh Algar from Raised by Wolves as a government film censor who loses her grip on reality when confronted with a horror movie that may be a depiction of a trauma from her own childhood. Although Censor presents a mystery with a potential solution, director Prano Bailey-Bond is less interested in providing answers than in creating free-floating dread. Like a lot of lurid yet incoherent low-budget horror movies, Censor remains engrossing even after it stops making sense. That's Censor, now on VOD.