REVIEW: Onward [2020]

Be Like Dad. It’s Ian Lightfoot’s (Tom Holland) sixteenth birthday and he’s hoping to make it count. He’s not about to go on a rager with friends, though. He’s way too introverted for that. Ian therefore merely seeks to conquer a few baby steps towards mild extroversion by putting on his late father’s college sweatshirt to boost confidence and check off some boxes on a list he wrote to change himself into the man he wishes he might become. That means standing up for himself when others treat him like…

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VIDEO: “Barely Legal Pawn”

“Cable money, though” A partial ad for Audi—in the way that Jerry Seinfeld‘s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” is for Acura (product placement)—and full viral promotion for the 2014 Primetime Emmys, former award-winners Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus have some fun spoofing “Pawn Stars”. “Barely Legal Pawn” is a comedic treat for all involved with the “Breaking Bad” co-stars going full white trash and the “Veep” star straight man. Complete with a few barbs volleyed at each other as far as acting diffculity in their respective programs—and at…

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REVIEW: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation [1989]

“Look around you, Ellen. We’re at the threshold of hell.” While I enjoy A Christmas Story‘s 1940s holiday aesthetic like the rest—when it’s not on 24-hour TBS repeat—I prefer my dysfunctional yuletide spirit to hit a little closer to home. This is where Christmas Vacation comes in, National Lampoon’s 1989 classic continuation of the Griswold clan’s shenanigans that takes place the same decade as the one when I was still young enough to awaken every December 25th extra early to see what Santa brought. While the details aren’t exactly the…

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REVIEW: Enough Said [2013]

“I like your paddles” While many are quick to label it as James Gandolfini‘s final cinematic role, Nicole Holofcener‘s Enough Said shouldn’t be dismissed as mere eulogy. The writer/director’s first foray into the studio world—albeit with indie shingle Fox Searchlight—it retains the voice and sensibility her fans have enjoyed over the past two decades regardless of any compromises she may have needed to acquiesce. A tale of middle-age and the struggles it brings to married couples, divorced bachelorettes, fathers of college-aged daughters, and career-minded sophisticates, perception becomes a driving force…

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REVIEW: Planes [2013]

“I fly for truth” What should be an auspicious occasion for DisneyToons Studios earning its first theatrical release since 2005’s Pooh’s Heffalump Movie, the Cars spin-off Planes sadly does little to affirm the decision. Actually, the fact Disney supposedly decided to upgrade its status because of how impressive early scenes looked only makes things appear more like a cash grab to milk the universe for extra box office dollars. A second read-through of Jeffrey M. Howard‘s script—he of home video Tinker Bell fame—shouldn’t have been necessary as it’s pun-heavy dialogue…

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REVIEW: A Bug’s Life [1998]

“Flaming Death!” When watching A Bug’s Life for the first time in a long while, I couldn’t help but see the comparisons with last year’s Happy Feet. As far as the main storyline goes, they are very similar: an outcast doing what he can to fit in while also attempting to be special. It just goes to show you how much better that film could have been without its liberal diatribe conclusion. A lot of people disagree when I say that I really like Pixar’s sophomore effort. It doesn’t manage…

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