Category Archives: Animation

The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) Movie Review

The first hurdle that The Angry Birds Movie 2 has to overcomes is following up the far superior short film Hair Love. It is a difficult task to headline after a short that is as beautifully heartfelt, tender, funny, and imaginative as that short is. And, as expected, The Angry Birds Movie 2 does not live up in any of those categories.

The Angry Birds Movie 2 has a beating heart in its feathery breast, to an extent. There is a rudimentary theme that has legs long enough to encompass the entire runtime. The skinny of it is that Continue reading The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) Movie Review

The Lion King (2019) Movie Review

The throw-out umbrella term “live action” used to describe the slough of Disney “re-imaginations” is a misnomer. It has been since The Jungle Book recreation in 2016, which is live action only in its employment of Neel Sethi as Mowgli. Everything else in that film is comprised of computer generated visual effects.

With The Lion King, Jon Favreau returns after The Jungle Book to direct, and the film is Continue reading The Lion King (2019) Movie Review

Toy Story 4 (2019) Movie Review

Note: I don’t spoil any major plot points in this review, but I hint at aspects of Toy Story 4 that could be construed as spoilers. So let’s just call this a spoiler review.

Walking into Pixar’s Toy Story 4, I thought the pertinent question would be: was a fourth installment necessary? Given how most Pixar sequels have not lived up to their predecessors (Toy Story 2 being the most notable exception) and how Toy Story 3 presents an adequate ending to the then trilogy, it made little sense for a fourth film to exist beyond the want for money.

Sitting through the first act of Josh Cooley’s film, however, this questioning starts to disappear. Toy Story 4 may not wind up being Continue reading Toy Story 4 (2019) Movie Review

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Movie Review

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is just what implies; it is a second helping, a rehash of the surprise hit that tries to recapture the magic but ultimately falls short.

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Following the events of The LEGO Movie, the world inhabited by sentient LEGO beings has fallen into chaos. It has become Continue reading The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Movie Review

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Movie Review

Rather inexplicably, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the best Spider-Man film made to date. It is hard to imagine that an animated film about multiverse theory and multiple incarnations of a single comic book character coming together to fight a rogue’s gallery that is only recognizable to fans would not only be an inspired origin story for Spider-Man, but also be an entirely accessible experience.

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Yes, it is a lot of information to take in, the plotting story churning forward endlessly without a breath. Those completely unfamiliar with Continue reading Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Movie Review

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018) Movie Review

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies begins with a reel of comic book panels flipping rapidly. It appears like a title card from a Marvel film. However, the camera pulls out to reveal a person flipping through a comic. After dispatching (sort of) a giant bubble supervillain, the Teen Titans—Robin (Scott Menville), Starfire (Hynden Walch), Cyborg (Khary Payton), Raven (Tara Strong), and Beast Boy (Greg Cipes)—sneak into a movie premiere, where the film “Batman Again” is screening. The auditorium is jam-packed with DC comics superheros, some attending in order to watch themselves on screen.

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That is the type of movie Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is. It is the child-friendly Deadpool. A cousin to The LEGO Batman Movie. It is a film whose Continue reading Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018) Movie Review

Hotel Transylvania: Summer Vacation (2018) Movie Review

Hotel Transylvania is a strange equation. Take Sony Pictures and add much-acclaimed animator Genndy Tartakovsky, a script co-penned by Robert Smigel, and a cast of voice actors featuring Adam Sandler and his frequent collab buddies. Sounds like a too-many-cooks disaster.

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It was a hit. Two sequels later, not much has Continue reading Hotel Transylvania: Summer Vacation (2018) Movie Review