A Lifetime of Happiness: Movies, TV, and Video Games

Cruella (2021) (Spoiler Free)

June 02, 2021 Steve Bennet-Martin, Stephen Martin-Bennet Season 1 Episode 70
A Lifetime of Happiness: Movies, TV, and Video Games
Cruella (2021) (Spoiler Free)
Show Notes Transcript

The Steve's discuss the new 2021 live-action Disney movie, Cruella, spoiler free.

  • The seven year long developement process
  • The myth of Emma Stone's dislocated shoulder
  • How it's the third of a series, and it's two predessesors, 101 and 102 Dalmatians
  • Getting to know the Directors, Screenplay, and Story Writers
  • Emma Stone's performance as Cruella
  • The complexity of the character Estella
  • Emma Thompson's performance as the Baroness
  • Is The Baroness the most evil human Disney villian?
  • Jasper and Horace being Estella's found family.
  • Loving the setting of the Londons during the 1970's Punk Rock movement
  • Fabulous fashion and cinematography of the movie
  • It's amazing soundtrack
  • Disney takes a step forward with Arty
  • The dogs behind their humans

Ending- Any music or audio clips were borrowed from the original source material.

Support the show (http://www.patreon.com/happylifepod)
Steve:

Hello, happies and new listeners. This is Steve Bennet-Martin, and

Stephen:

this is Steven Martin -Bennet. And welcome to a lifetime of happiness.

Steve:

The podcast where we take you on our journey through some of the movies, television shows, and other bits of pop culture that are helping to keep us happy while hopefully bring a smile to your face along the way.

Stephen:

And today you better hide your puppies as we give you our quick and spoiler free take on Cruella. Yes.

Steve:

While most of our movies get the deep dive treatment and get fully spoiled. This movie just came out and it's so amazing. We could not wait to cover it for you all. And

Stephen:

like we said, we can wait to spoil it for you because it is that good. We don't want to mess up anything. So consider this our spoiler free

Steve:

episodes. Yes. And if you like it reply with your thoughts on the movie full of spoilers, to happy life pod at g-mail dot com and maybe we'll do a follow-up spoiler-y episode.

Stephen:

Oh, that's a rather splendid idea, darling. Now let's get started. Tell me a little bit about

Steve:

it. Yes, well, it is a 2021 American crime comedy film based on the character Cruella Deville famous from Dodie Smith's 1956 novel, the 101 Dalmatians along with Disney's 1961 animated film adaptation of it.

Stephen:

Which we actually recently rewatched because we loved Cruella so much. We're like, let's go back and watch the cartoons. Yeah.

Steve:

And for a movie that came out in 1961, it holds up very

Stephen:

well. I actually did really well and something that was kind of funny when we were watching it Remy our dog, everybody knows Remy by now. Usually does not pay any attention to what we're watching on television or

Steve:

anything like that. Copy borrower showing him people getting murdered through all of our horror movies. So he's very unfazed.

Stephen:

Yeah. Except that all the dogs barking in the movie and he's heard dogs barking on TV before. Usually nothing, but whenever they're sending out the call around London, about the 15 puppies being stolen, he was at attention. Yeah.

Steve:

He was running around with where are the dogs were at the dogs. I was

Stephen:

like, he saved the message. Yeah. It was like, he was very much like, I understand what the message is. And it was very cute.

Steve:

Yes. And while it wasn't, the sixties development did come out quite some time ago for a movie that just came out. It was announced in 2013. And there actually was a popular mil myth about the filming being delayed. Did you hear about that? I

Stephen:

actually had no clue about this and I didn't hear about that. They were even doing a Corolla movie until I saw the first, still. With Emma Stone in full costume.

Steve:

Yes. And I think that that's when people started really talking about it was later in its development, because originally it was announced as a continuation of the 101 Dalmatians movies. And so not a people, not a lot of people, those weren't the most well-known or well, beloved live action, Disney movies of all time for many people. So it's not like people were excited or SU like cite for it as much as they would be otherwise. And I

Stephen:

think that that was just because. It had been so long since the Glenn close version. Now the Glen closed 101 Dalmatians, the original one, not 102. We won't even speak about that, but the Glenn close 101 Dalmatians is fabulous. And her performance as Cruella is stellar. And. Should be like examined for the way she would get went all in with her whole performance.

Steve:

Well, she certainly helped with it as well because of her performance as curling, the first movie she served as executive producer. So I'm sure that she helped am. I get into character and imparted some of the wisdom that she had in her role. Hands-on

Stephen:

because it has been 25 years since the Glenn close movie came out.

Steve:

Wow. Yes. And so with this, the myth of the movie being delayed was because Emma Stone allegedly dislocated her shoulder at our spice girls concert in London, where she fell off her friend's shoulders in June of 2019. Although she did recently explain that the night before the spice girls concert, she was running in boots on a wooden floor, slipped and broke her shoulder in two places. She went to the concert with their arm in a sling and didn't go into it. The hospital for an x-ray the next day. So that's why it was, you know, concert followed by diagnosis. Yeah. But filming was delayed while she went to physical therapy. So that explains some of the delay.

Stephen:

Yeah. Well, what I love is that this was the first red carpet. Premiere event in Los Angeles since March of 2020. Yes.

Steve:

It's a sign that the dark days of the pandemic are behind us,

Stephen:

hopefully, hopefully, and yes, as we said, this is the third live action in the 101 Dalmatians universe

Steve:

and second Disney movie live action to get a PG 13 rating right after moving. Yeah.

Stephen:

Very interesting. And I will go ahead and say. After the mess that was in my left docent because we went and saw Maleficent in the theaters. And I was super excited

Steve:

because. Us gay men. We love our villains, especially Disney villains, because it does need villains, especially you're known for being queer, coded in some way, shape or form which I'm fine with. Yes. And so with that, you've always loved your villains. I've always admired some of the villains or had crushes or complicated feelings on the villain

Stephen:

and, and the trailer for the Angelina Jolie. The life has looked amazing and made her look like she was the villain. Right. And then all of a sudden, she's, she's the hero with like, not really any gray area. She was just the hero. And I left the movie angry and I just didn't want any part of it. And so when they announced this, I was hesitant because. Cruella is my second favorite Disney villain after Ursula. And so I didn't want

Steve:

hurt a bit tainted any more than Maleficent

Stephen:

wise. Right. I needed it to still be crazy. Yes. I needed her

Steve:

to be crazy. And what's she crazy, babe? Oh, Joyfully. So, yes. And so part of the way she got there was thanks to director. The movie was directed by Craig collapsy, who we know from two of his movies. We know I, Tonya, which we saw

Stephen:

it was so good. And it was my own little history lesson. Yes. Because somehow you weren't old enough to understand the whole Tonya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan thing that many of us grew up with in the

Steve:

nineties. I know all about it now. And he also had frightened. Yeah. Which we mentioned, I think in one of our bins recommendations as a very good horror movie.

Stephen:

Yes. Cause it is a remake of the 1980s movie of fright night. And I really enjoyed his version of it. A lot. The screenplay was done by Dana Fox and Tony McNamara. Dana is known for the wedding date, which is the 2005 movie with Debra messing. What happens in Vegas, the 2008 movie with Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher, which is very underrated. And it's quite good. Yeah. I was gonna say, I

Steve:

don't think it's underrated because I saw that the wedding date and I was like, man, but then I saw it happens in Vegas and I was like, I loved that

Stephen:

one people don't appreciate it or talk about it. Yeah. And I'm like Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher had amazing chemistry. Yes.

Steve:

And then she did a TV show that I think we both missed Ben and Kate. Yep. I don't remember it. Yes. And then Tony McNamara we recently mentioned, we watched the show the great on Hulu and how much we loved that. And so he was the creator of that as well as a show Australian show called doctor doctor that I'm not familiar with.

Stephen:

And the story was by Ayleen Brosh, McKenna Kelly, Marcel, and Steve. Elene is the co-creator of one of our favorite shows of all time crazy. Ex-girlfriend and she also wrote the screenplay for devil

Steve:

works. Yes. You might've heard of that movie before once or twice or twice? Yes. Meanwhile, Kelly, Marcel corporate saving Mr. Banks, which is another Disney movie,

Stephen:

which also is. Something Emma Thompson is known

Steve:

for yes. And wrote 50 shades of gray, which is not a Disney

Stephen:

movie Disney movie. Yeah. It's not about crayons, not about colors. Well, it's about

Steve:

the color red and the color black and white, right? Correct.

Stephen:

Steve's ISIS is known for being in Jay and mark Duplas projects and including creating the HBO show togetherness.

Steve:

Yes. And so it has an amazing team behind it, which we would expect from Disney for their AAA focus. And the casting is no

Stephen:

different. And so Emma Stone is. A high caliber, just really talented actress that can do a lot of amazing things.

Steve:

Yeah. I know she gets her Oscars and shit now, but I fell in love with her with easy ass,

Stephen:

of course. I mean, and zombie land, she was phenomenal and got the Oscar for LA LA

Steve:

land as well. Birdman, which I was not a fan of. So I didn't even write it down.

Stephen:

Did really enjoy her performance in that because the performance was

Steve:

good. The movie

Stephen:

is what I did not say. I enjoyed it too, because it got people remembering. Oh yeah. Michael Keaton is a good actor. But whenever. No, I'm kidding. Whenever they first announced Emma Stone, I was like, oh really? And then the more I thought about it, I was like, boy, she's got range and you need comedic chops to be Cruella. And I was like, Oh, she can absolutely do this. I was 100% okay. With her cats.

Steve:

Yes. And what I was surprised is the range of the writing that they were did. She was able to deliver everything that was written for her. And she did it very well, that if she wasn't just crazy the entire time and she wasn't just a villain the entire time or cruel the entire time

Stephen:

and it was, and they didn't make her out to be. A clean hero either as the way I described it as she's the antihero, like for people that watched Dexter on Showtime, Dexter was the star of the show. He was also a serial killer who was murdering people, murdering people. Yes. So you root for him. Because he's the star of the show and his performance is really good and the story is

Steve:

fun. And because he's going after people that are worse than him right

Stephen:

now with this, you know, Emma Stone, one of the things with it is she does go. A little mad.

Steve:

Yes. Because while her name is Estella, that's the name she was born with. She was always known from even a young girl to be a brat and to get in trouble in school and to get into fights and the way that her mother dealt with it right. In the very opening scene. Yeah. So

Stephen:

this is not a spoiler. This is like 90 seconds into the movie. Yeah. Yeah. And

Steve:

she's like, don't let Cruella out. So Cruella is when she's so cruel. She's a cruel Astella so it's Cruella.

Stephen:

Yeah. And I mean, Emma Stone had so many interesting lines that she delivered. Like how does the saying go? I am woman hear me roar or, oh, darling. I'm just getting started. And she does such a good job with it that she sells the villain. She sells the crazy, she sells the gray area of the character and that's. The best villains are in the gray area. And most, any actor that has played the quote unquote villain will tell you that to give the best performance as the villain, the villain never sees themselves as the villain. They're the star of their own show and their motivation and their actions feel justified. So the way. Emma played this, even though it came off as villainous, she was

Steve:

heroic the entire time in her

Stephen:

mind. Absolutely. And that's what sells

Steve:

it. Yes. And she does it so well and nothing helps make a great hero, like an equally great villain.

Stephen:

Emma Thompson, as the Baroness, who is the high-end fashion designer for. England that most people know from love actually since, since incivility or saving Mr. Banks, which we mentioned before that Marcel co-wrote. So Emma Thompson played the author of Mary Poppins, which movie saving Mr. Banks deals with Disney, trying to acquire the rights. To make Mary Poppins, the movie

Steve:

spoiler alert. They did. So in this though, she is not our writer. She is the evil Baroness. And I would say she's probably one of the darkest villains I've ever seen in a Disney movie. Yeah. Like a

Stephen:

full on live action. Disney movie. It's super dark. Yes.

Steve:

I mean, you know, There's murder at some point. And when she has to be reminded of who she murdered the need to be a

Stephen:

little more specific.

Steve:

Yeah. That's the sign of a true, your villain is when you don't even remember the body count that you're racking up behind you. And so that was with like a chilling line with the way that she delivered it and just the actions and everything. It was the perfect antagonist. For, for Emma Stone to play off of, to be able to be crazy and be a villain while still being better

Stephen:

than, yeah, because I've not seen Emma Thompson in anything that I didn't enjoy her performance. And that goes the same here. Like she sold this performance. To a T yes. Well,

Steve:

she also had a blast doing it. She said, because it is set in the 1970s in London during the punk rock movement. She said that that was, you know, the, the right time, right place for her adolescence and like young adulthood where she just was going crazy. And so it was like going back in time for her and she just said she loved the expanse. Does

Stephen:

that mean I can talk about the music real quick? Yes, it does go for it. Okay. So. The soundtrack is amazing and I do want to give a quick shout out to Florence and the machine who wrote an original song called CRA call me Cruella. And here's a short, short clip.

Just call me, call me crazy. Call the show's stuck in the past

Stephen:

So I love that. I think Florence and machine is super talented, but because it's in the seventies, there's so many good songs, like feeling good by Nina Simone. There's one way or another by Blondie. Should I stay or should I go by the clash? Come together by, I can Tina Turner, like you're listening to it. And it's like this greatest hits of the seventies soundtrack. And it was phenomenal and the music selection hit each scene just perfectly. Yes. And I like it really helped immerse you. Into that time where you're like, oh, I am all in now. You really enjoyed the fashion of

Steve:

it all because it's similarly because it was in 1970s, the punk rock movement, and it takes place within the fashion industry as Stella AK Cruella is. Looking to finally pursue the career of her dreams, working for the Baron and asked before she realizes the villainess that the Baron asked is, and it's all in the fashion world. And the fashion is just. Gorgeous and especially crew Alice fashion, take of the whole, the new replacing the old, and some of those stunts that she pulls throughout the movie with the fashion and not just the fashion of the clothes that the people were wearing, but the whole style of the movie was just so well done. Oh

Stephen:

yeah. Like whoever was the artistic director or whether that was Craig Gillespie, having a hand in it, or they had an artistic director that, you know, chose the color palette and things. The movie itself pops so much between their hair, their clothes and costume design. Yeah. Like costume design. And I know we have some other characters, but one of the characters that really popped for me was John McCrae as. Established friend already. Yes.

Steve:

I know that with beauty and the beast in our near horizons, we're going to talk about that as notoriously the first gay Disney character. But this one is certainly queer without a shadow of a doubt in portrayed in a very positive way. And I just loved

Stephen:

his performance. It was amazing. He's known on the London stage, he created the role of Jamie knew. And everybody's talking about Jamie and there's a movie version of that coming out this fall, I believe. And he was in the 2020 Dracula mini series, but I hopefully people see his performance in this and he will be an actor on the way up because he was endearing. He like, he drew your attention to him in his scenes. Like I could have watched a lot of. Emma Stone and him in scenes together and been really happy. Yes,

Steve:

exactly. I want to know more about like their relationship on the cutting room floor. Yes. Meanwhile, there are two more humans of note in the cast that we can talk about without getting spoilery. And that's because we know that Cruella wouldn't be able to do all of this alone. She has to have her two henchmen Jasper and or

Stephen:

chorus. And this is. So anybody that seen the original cartoon or even the live action Glenn close movie. No, that her henchmen are Jasper and Horace. And so this movie, and we won't tell you how it all happens, shows how they came to be a found family.

Steve:

Yes. And the fact that they are a found family is definitely the way to go with the movie. It's what makes Cruella have her humanity, even at her worst is having that relationship with Jesper and Horace. And the actress did a really good job of it as well. I mean, Jasper was Joel fry. Who's known from 10,000 BC, as well as the movie yesterday, which

Stephen:

I really enjoyed yesterday. That's the one where everybody wakes up and only like a handful of people. Remember that the Beatles ever existed.

Steve:

Yes. I do remember him in that now. Yes. And then Paul Waller Houser we saw in I Tonya. So there's a lot of crossover in the creation and acting, which is great in a movie because it means that these people have that chemistry and work well together.

Stephen:

And if it weren't for the relationship between Jasper, Horace and Stella. Emma Thompson's character would have come off more. One note, it's their relationship that helps sell the whole movie that makes her the antihero instead of just a two dimensional villain. Yes, correct.

Steve:

And so the, her relationships with them help make her human as well as her relationship with a furry companion helps make her a human her dog in the movie, buddy,

Stephen:

who is just adorable. This mangy. Mutt that I just, I want to take it to the groomer and get a tear. Cut. I know

Steve:

it needs a grooming so bad, but he's actually a rescue dog in real life named Bobby who was rescued. And he just had amazing training for a rescue dog.

Stephen:

Yes. And Horace has a tiny little pet dog named wink and their relationship is so charming. It

Steve:

is it's the cutest. And,

Stephen:

And for our equal ID listeners that go to see this. Yeah. See, if you can find the reference, there's

Steve:

a Disneyland dog reference in the movie with wink at some point, and it is very cute. So keep your eyes and ears pulled.

Stephen:

And because we don't do spoilers, but we don't want you to miss anything. Stacy did. There is a mid credit scene that we almost

Steve:

missed. Yes, it is. And before we hinted that there also are Dalmatians in the movie now, does Cruella kill them? You'll have to watch to find out, to see if that rumor has any merit to it. But I can say that I'm confident. And I did my research and confirm that no Dalmatians were harmed in the making of the

Stephen:

film. Which I feel very strongly about because my first dog ever was a Dalmatian named Apollo that my neighbor's grandson misunderstood when I said it and called him Pungo, which is the name of the male father dog from 101 Dalmatians.

Steve:

Yes. And so definitely stay in your seats afterwards. Cause there was a mid credit scene that. Nods to the 101 Dalmatians universe. And you might have already have an idea of what's coming if you're paying attention to everyone's names in it as well. I would call them kind of Easter eggs. If you watch 101 Dalmatians before going back.

Stephen:

Yes, that's a great way to put it now. This is all we're going to say about it, but we'd love to have you say some things about it.

Steve:

Yes. Some the one way you can do that is by emailing us [email protected] or by leaving us a review on Facebook. If you are. On apple podcasts or anywhere really? Where take the reviews. We can get them 100%

Stephen:

that you can also find us on all the socials, whether that is Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. And it's all at happy life pod, which is H a P P Y L I F E P O

Steve:

D. And until next time everyone stay happy.