FANTASIA19 REVIEW: Away [2019]

A one-man show on-screen and behind it, Gints Zilbalodis‘ Away is an obvious labor of love. Opening like a videogame wherein our lead is found dangling by parachute from a tree, we haven’t a clue about his surroundings and neither does he. Before he can release himself and begin a search for answers, however, there […]

REVIEW: The Lion King [1994]

“Remember who you are” The sun rises at the screen’s bottom as Lebo M. is heard singing in Zulu. We take a look at the wide-open expanse of an African savannah before slowly honing in on herds of animals moving towards a single spot: Pride Rock. There we find Mufasa (James Earl Jones) and Sarabi […]

REVIEW: Anastasia [1997]

“In the dark of the night she’ll be gone” In a fantasy world where royalty was adored as idyllically benevolent leaders thinking only about how to protect and serve their people, the Romanovs were betrayed by the evil Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd) who subsequently consorted with the Devil to wield dark magic powerful enough to curse […]

REVIEW: Toy Story 4 [2019]

“She’ll be okay” It was said upon the release of Toy Story 3 that the franchise was done as far as Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear’s (Tim Allen) adventures were concerned. These sentiments made sense because it ended nicely on a logical breaking point wherein the boy whose name adorned their feet grew-up and […]

REVIEW: Partysaurus Rex [2012]

“You were way scarier than the last sea monster” As the wet blanket of the group, Rex (Wallace Shawn) rarely gets to do anything more than fret and accidentally cause problems due to uncontrollable anxieties. So why not let him have some fun, albeit against his better judgment? Knowing this outcome would only be possible […]

REVIEW: The Secret Life of Pets 2 [2019]

“Was the world always this dangerous?” Illumination missed the boat on The Secret Life of Pets because the way they’ve told these stories thus far make them a lot more conducive to television than cinema. If that first film’s sprawling character list devolving into wild schemes and pratfalls barely adhering to the flimsy plot beneath […]

REVIEW: Missing Link [2019]

“What chicken?” With Laika CEO Travis Knight branching out to live-action on Bumblebee, it was only right that Chris Butler would carry the studio’s fifth feature film after the ambitious undertaking that was Kubo and the Two Strings (which the former directed and the latter co-wrote). Missing Link also becomes Butler’s follow-up to ParaNorman—my personal […]

REVIEW: Aladdin [1992]

“We’ve all got swords” I forgot how refreshingly simple Aladdin is. Disney and Pixar utilize such elaborate narrative set-ups today that their films don’t rely on charm and fun alone anymore. That’s not to say this one does since its ability to put its hero and heroine on equal footing rather than blindly relegating the […]

REVIEW: Dumbo [1941]

“I think you’re ears are beautiful” It’s always weird watching a movie I haven’t seen since I was a little kid only to discover how different it is from my memory. I used to watch Dumbo a lot back in the day and yet I could have sworn the entirety of the film was about […]

REVIEW: Ruben Brandt, Collector [2018]

“Characters from famous paintings continue to attack me” Writer/director Milorad Krstic has combined his love for painting and film into an action thriller as surreal as it is familiar. The whole uses his own unique animation style as a filter with which to recreate masterpieces of both visual mediums—each famed piece simultaneously recognizable as its […]

REVIEW: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part [2019]

“Listen to the music” A film like The LEGO Movie is a once-in-a-decade type achievement (so to see its filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller also write/produce another once-in-a-decade feat with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse only shows how inventive and original the two are). It daring to use its subject matter’s tactility and utility rather […]