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Screener Squad: The Magician’s Elephant

The Magician's Elephant Movie Review


Do you have bored kids on a Friday afternoon and all the theatrical runs are being ruled by John Wick 4? No kid friendly films for as far as the eye can see? Fear not Moms and Dads, Netflix has got you covered. Based on the beloved children’s book by Kate DiCamillo, The Magician’s Elephant is a family film for all ages. An ensemble of character actor favourites such as Noah Jupe, Mandy Patinkin, Brian Tyree Henry, and Natasia Demetriou, bring life to a lifeless town picking up the pieces of broken hearts in the aftermath of war and despair. An orphan named Peter (Noah Jupe) at market one day decides to spend his one coin on a fortune teller instead of a fish dinner. The fortune teller (Natasia Demetriou) tells him his sister is alive and to find her he must follow the elephant. Unfortunately, no elephants are generally hanging around. As luck would have it, a failing magician (Benedict Wong) desperate to entertain the people of this sad sack town, accidentally conjures up an elephant out of thin air. The elephant is enslaved by the king who will gladly give up the elephant to anyone who can perform three impossible tasks. Bradly, Melina, and Frank are up to the impossible task of criticizing of this beloved classic and discuss whether or not the magic of the book was left behind when adapted straight to streaming content.


DIRECTED BY: Wendy Rogers

STARRING: Noah Jupe, Benedict Wong, Pixie Davies, Sian Clifford, Brian Tyree Henry, Aasif Mandvi, Mandy Patinkin, Miranda Richardson, Natasia Demetriou, Dawn French, Kirby Howell-Baptiste




Bradly Martin (Screener Squad, Eye on the Prize, Breakfast Pub)

Bradly Martin was born in the united states and grew up on a healthy diet of sports, films, and books. A rather shy lad who kept to himself, Bradly soon discovered the best way to know a person was to know what people liked. Throughout the years Bradly became a fan of many things and a fanatic of none. From Doctor Dre, to Doctor Strange and the who’s who of Whos. From Playstation to the Dreamcast and Marvel to DC. From LeBron James to James Bond and Lord of the Rings to Lord Palmerston (or Pitt the Elder if you agree with Wade Boggs) and is a huge fan of dad jokes and randomly obscure Simpsons references. Armed with a vast knowledge of comics, films, and pop culture. Bradly traveled the world making friends and sharing takes. As a young man Bradly married the love of his life young and grew older every year with each new child brought into the brood. If trends continue, Scientists predict that .2% of Canada (where Bradly and family reside) will be populated by Bradly’s children by the year 2029. You can hear him leading and listening to his favorite critics on the Screener Squad and Eye on the prize and maybe even provide some comments of his own.



Melina Eames (Screener Squad)

Melina first discovered that she carried the nerd gene at the tender age of four following her exposure to a little film called A New Hope. In the twenty-some years that followed, Melina continued to grow into her geek identity through the discovery of Batman, Mst3k, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and The Mandalorian. But perhaps her most significant discovery came at the age of fourteen when a night of YouTube mining led her to the review site of Melina became a devoted follower whose fandom did not end with the site’s demise. By then, it had worked its dark magic and left her with a love and appreciation for film criticism that she has yet to shrug.



Frank Calvillo (Highly Suspect Reviews, Screener Squad)

Born and raised in South Texas, Frank currently lives in Austin and has been in love with movies ever since his father showed him some Three Stooges shorts when he was five years old. Today he loves all kinds of film, regardless of era, country, budget or genre. He believes every film has an audience and is at least one person’s favorite movie. After writing for Sight & Sound and Slackerwood, he now writes for Cinapse where his increasingly random taste in all flavors of cinema (from Rashomon to Mars Attacks!) continues to thrive. His ultimate goal is to write a script for his boyhood crush, Michelle Pfeiffer.



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