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Movies Review

Movie Review – Sing

Illumination’s latest movie, Sing, is a song and dance you’ve seen before.  Heck, the Muppets have done it twice at least.  Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey as a Koala) grew up loving the theater, and eventually (with financial help from his blue-collar dad) he buys a theater.  Buster’s not very good at running it, though, so it’s in pretty dire straits with the koala dodging the bank and having trouble paying his employees.  He’s got one last chance to save the theater, with an American Idol-ish singing competition.  Hijinks, of course, ensue.

The animation is fine, with some decent visual gags, and of course, the music works fine (it better, considering).  The one thing they needed to do is trim the cast.  There’s too many characters we are supposed to care about packed into too little movie to actually build them up.  They could easily drop the wannabe gangster mouse so we could flesh out the other characters a bit more.  This is fine for kids, probably, but adults will see through it as they rely on the fact we’ve seen these stories before to fill in the blanks.  At least the music is entertaining.  The voice cast does a perfectly fine job but nobody leaps out, except maybe Taron Egerton as the young gorilla Johnny.  Uh, no pun intended.

Sing is worth a matinee showing if your kids are clamoring to see it.  It’s cute.  Exactly what you expect happens right when it should.  Just don’t expect to think about it or remember much about it a few days later.  I’m still thinking about Kubo.

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Movies Review

Movie Review – Kubo and the Two Strings

We saw Kubo and the Two Strings a while ago, but I’m just gathering my thoughts on it now.  It’s quite possibly my favorite Laika movie, and that’s saying something as Coraline gets a ton of play, especially this time of year.  Kubo deals with complex feelings with mind-numbingly gorgeous visuals.  It’s the sort of movie (like When Marnie Was There) where you are tearing up at the end and you’re not sure if you are happy or sad or both.

It’s funny, if I try to explain the plot, it sounds really convoluted.  I think my wife (who didn’t go see it with us) is still confused.  Watching the movie, though, everything is crystal clear, and it kept me so emotionally invested that I never saw the twists coming, even if I should have.  That’s a sign to me of a great movie.  Travis Knight is the director, having been a lead animator on many of Laika’s previous works, and does a fantastic job.  While you may scratch your head a bit at Matthew McConaughey as a beetle-Samurai, the voice cast does great work, with Art Parkinson (GoT’s Rickon Stark), Rooney Mara, George Takei, and Ralph Fiennes all pulling their weight.  There are scary parts, and creepy parts, so keep your younger/more sensitive kids close.

Really, just go see this movie.  You complain about everything being a sequel or franchise movie, nothing original?  SEE THIS.  On the biggest screen you can.  Bring a few tissues, and a child young enough that they’ll let you hug them afterwards.

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Review

Movie Review: The Lincoln Lawyer

We had a rare grown-up movie night this weekend, and the group wanted to see The Lincoln Lawyer.  Mickey Haller, played ably by Matthew McConaughey, is a criminal defense attorney who gets his clients mostly from the realm of drug dealers, bikers and the like.  Until, that is, his name is dropped by a rich young man, Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillipe) accused of beating a woman he met at a bar.  At first, he seems like the perfect client:  filthy rich and innocent…but as you might guess, it’s not that simple.

Marisa Tomei stars as Haller’s ex-wife, a prosecutor who ends up recusing herself from the case.  They have a daughter together, not to mention some sparks still fly.  Josh Lucas is the next prosecutor, who tries hard and has a few tricks, but gets thoroughly outmaneuvered by Haller in the courtroom.  John Leguizamo, Bryan Cranston and William H. Macy have roles as well, and do their part well.

The use of a old Lincoln as Haller’s office is a good metaphor for the movie, as the pacing was smooth, not too fast, not too slow.  The twists weren’t super-twisty, but the performances combined with the plot definitely held my interest (and everyone else that went had a similar thought).  If you like courtroom dramas, you could do a lot worse than seeing The Lincoln Lawyer.