REVIEW: Soul [2020]

I was born to play. So which is it? Do you live in water or the ocean? Do you wake up everyday content with who you are and what you’re doing? Or do you yearn for more because you’re too intent on achieving something you think needs to be achieved despite already finding everything right where you are? That’s life. You either live it or live it. You embrace what you have or you take it for granted. It doesn’t mean you have to make a choice between settling and…

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REVIEW: Thor: Ragnarok [2017]

Good luck with that, new Doug! Marvel fatigue has officially hit me, but not like a ton of bricks as much as a nagging sense that the studio is merely going through the motions. Unfortunately this slow unraveling is worse than a huge misstep because it means that a shift back onto the rails is less likely, especially with everyone hailing Thor: Ragnarok as a franchise entry that “breaks the rules.” If that means “push plot to the background for bloated excess dragging pacing out to the point of realizing…

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REVIEW: Moana [2016]

“Beat the drum” It’s tough to give two white guys the benefit of the doubt when it comes to spearheading a blockbuster feature-length animated film about Ancient Polynesian mythology, but you cannot deny that Disney stalwarts Ron Clements and John Musker did what they could to ensure Moana stayed true to their subject’s traditions and culture. The pair conducted extensive research in the South Pacific and recruited a local “brain-trust” to keep them honest. Taika Waititi wrote a first draft, a laundry list of writers listed above took over, and…

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REVIEW: Hunt for the Wilderpeople [2016]

“Find water. Go to high ground. And don’t get naked.” A Māori boy and a Pākehā man go forth into the New Zealand bush. It sounds like the start to a joke. But while Taika Waititi‘s latest Hunt for the Wilderpeople is hilarious, it’s far from being a trivial lark. There’s some weighty emotion involved as its two loners who never believed they’d truly have anyone in their lives to rely upon gradually bond as family on an impromptu adventure of survival into the unknown. They’re lost boys scooped up…

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