Category Archives: Animation

The Lego Batman Movie (2017) Movie Review

“Black. All important movies start with a black screen.” This is the first line of The Lego Batman Movie, the spinoff/sequel of the 2014 surprise hit The Lego Movie. The tongue-in-cheek opening is reminiscent of the opening of a similar late-winter release from last year: Deadpool. The Lego Batman Movie is not Deadpool, for obvious reasons, but the spirit of light comic book mockery is the same.

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The Lego Batman Movie utilizes an economy of exposition, relying on prior franchise knowledge and in-jokes to set up Continue reading The Lego Batman Movie (2017) Movie Review

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Moana (2016) Movie Review

Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) is a Polynesian islander and daughter of the chief of Motu Nui. Moana is raised on tall tales of legendary heroes and dastardly monsters, the story of demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) stealing away the heart of the Mother Island rousing in her the spirit of adventure.

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Caught between this adventurous spirit and a call to lead her tribe, a divide between land and sea, Moana ventures out beyond the reef to Continue reading Moana (2016) Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) Movie Review

Kubo (Art Parkinson) is a child with a lot of responsibility. At night, he sits at the aide of his forgetful ailing mother. During the day, he tells stories in origami at the town square about a magnificent samurai of legend. All the while, his estranged family is lurking in the shadows waiting to take his eye.

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The animation in Kubo and the Two Strings is not afraid of Continue reading Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) Movie Review

Sausage Party (2016) Movie Review

At Shopwell’s, food is alive. Not with teeming bacteria and molds, but with voices and personalities. Sausage Party, it’s like Foodfight! with substantially better animation, actual comedy, and adult themes. Well, actually, Foodfight! has plenty of adult themes, but I digress.

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The premise of Sausage Party is certainly novel. A re-enactment of the Omaha Beach scene from Saving Private Ryan done with animated food products is nothing I thought I would see on film. It’s pretty awesome.

The film is littered with Continue reading Sausage Party (2016) Movie Review

Batman: The Killing Joke (2016) Movie Review

Batman: The Killing Joke begins with Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl (Tara Strong), stating in voiceover that she understands this isn’t the beginning you were expecting. This is because it’s not. The first frame of the iconic Alan Moore comic is of water thumping onto the pavement in the night, not a shot of the night’s sky. With this opening line, the film is keying the viewer into its extended opening, one that does not appear in the comic.

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This opening has been cause for much controversy; why add to the tight story that is found in Moore’s version? The simple answer is that

Continue reading Batman: The Killing Joke (2016) Movie Review

Foodfight! (2012): The Most Terrifying, Inappropriate Children’s Movie

The premise of the ill-fated, surprisingly high budgeted (estimated at $65 million, a $65 million that cannot be found on screen) Foodfight! is enough to make most people cringe at the exploitation of audiences. During the after hours at a grocery store dubbed “Marketroplis,” the food products come to life (and the store itself morphs into a weird alternate food universe for some reason). Some of these food products are familiar to us: Mr. Clean, Mrs. Butterworth, Charlie Tuna. The concept of pushing product placement on such an overt level to children is discomforting enough. Then, of course, there is the plot of the film.

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Foodfight! follows an ex-detective dog (Charlie Sheen) who quits the biz after his bride-to-be mysteriously vanishes from the store. He is pulled out of retirement when a Continue reading Foodfight! (2012): The Most Terrifying, Inappropriate Children’s Movie

The Secret Life of Pets (2016) Movie Review

In The Secret Life of Pets, scrappy dog Max (Louis C.K.) finds his home dynamic thrown off kilter when his owner brings home a new dog, Duke (Eric Stonestreet). As a result of their differences, Max and Duke both find themselves taken hostage by animal control, sprung free by vengeance-seeking stray animals, and in a race through New York City to get back home.

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The voice acting in the film is fairly strong across the board. Jenny Slate and Kevin Hart are perfectly cast into their roles and steal the show on the charisma front, although Hart Continue reading The Secret Life of Pets (2016) Movie Review