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Showing posts from June, 2016

"Finding Dory" Review (****)

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Dory (voiced by the hilarious Ellen DeGeneres) finds herself among new friends in “Finding Dory.” “Finding Nemo” is one of the most beloved films in Disney’s very full and rich history (see their dozens and dozens of shiny, gold Oscars), so to say that expectations for “Finding Dory” were high might be the understatement of the year. It’s tough to outdo—or worse, redo—something that’s been so critically lauded and culturally beloved. “Finding Dory,” however, is up to the challenge, and directors Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane give it their very best shot. Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) is an affable blue tang who suffers from short-term memory loss. In “Finding Nemo” she played side-kick to Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks), a not-so-funny clownfish, desperate to find his son Nemo. In “Finding Dory,” however, the roles have been reversed slightly. Nemo and Marlin are on the hunt for Dory after she weasels her way into the Marine Life Institute (also known as ‘the Jewel of Morrow Bay

"The Shallows" Review (***½)

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Blake Lively stars in “The Shallows.” This may just be me, but when I first set eyes on the trailer for “The Shallows” I scoffed a good scoff; it seemed like an on-the-nose title for what would surely be a shallow shark-trope jump-scare film, made bearable only by a beautiful locale. I was very wrong— so thrilled to be wrong. “The Shallows” is an impressive departure from the fairly baseline arena of the action/horror genre that director Jaume Collet-Serra has thus far resided in. I went in expecting the shark-equivalent of a slasher, where I’d likely want the chick to die mid-way through and be done with it. Instead what I had the pleasure of imbibing was a bonafide triumph story. One of those involuntary reflex fist-in-the-air stories, where you feel genuinely engaged in the struggle and cheer for the victories. Yeah! “Jaws” meets “Gravity”, if you will—yes, seriously. Our one-woman shark-battling badass of a protagonist is Nancy—a superb character, layered to perfection by actress

"Me Before You" Review (***)

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Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke star in “Me Before You.” Director Thea Sharrock’s film adaptation of Jojo Moye’s 2012 best-selling novel doesn’t quite meet the expectations that its textual counterpart set. The simultaneous depth and quirk that filled up every inch of the novel’s two primary characters, Louisa and Will, didn’t translate between the two mediums. Where the novel was round, the film was flat, and truly it’s as simple as that. That’s my primary critique. It’s not a bad movie, it’s really not. Jojo Moyes adapted her own work and included just enough to capture the essence of the plot and also created characters substantial enough to carry the weight—both emotional and physical—of the story. Despite the disparity between the two mediums, however, it’s unarguable that this movie will be a 2016 hit. Sam Claflin as the handsome but ruthless quadriplegic Will Traynor, and Emilia Clarke as the effervescent, hopelessly-optimistic caretaker are perfect. They’re mesmerizing on screen