doctor-strange-sanctum-sanctorum-battle featured review 

DOCTOR STRANGE – Mad Worlds

Marvel Studios is on a roll. 14 films into their box office domination, they have this down to a science. Condemn them all you want for a predictable blend of colorful action, quippy humor, and lovable, flawed characters; they know the exact type of crowd-pleasing films they’re aiming for and reliably hit that mark. Doctor Strange is no exception to this pattern. Its hero’s journey is predictable, even if the details are unique. Its action is spectacular and fresh, even if the outcome feels preordained. Speaking of that action, Doctor Strange‘s…

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Kubo plays the Two Strings featured review 

KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS – His Guitar Gently Weeps

Kubo and the Two Strings is an obscenely beautiful technical masterpiece, and may be the most incredible achievement yet in stop motion animation. While there’s obviously a layer of digital assistance rounding out the magic of Laika’s lively physical figures, the blend is wonderfully seamless. But that’s not all, because Kubo also boasts the best story yet of Laika’s impressive filmography. Kubo is about legacy – how it is shaped not only by our actions and values but through our families and the stories we leave behind. These themes are bolstered…

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The Little Prince - The Little Girl, Fox, and the Aviator featured review 

THE LITTLE PRINCE – A Masterpiece Lost to the Stars

For better and for worse, The Little Prince does a lot with very little. The film takes a short, surreal children’s tale and frames it within an all new story in the “real world” meant to contextualize the story’s importance. Despite the inherent arrogance of deciding a worldwide bestseller requires contextualization, the approach is actually largely effective… until it isn’t. Perhaps 50% of the film feels like an unquestionable animated masterpiece – gorgeous, thought provoking, and touching in ways that rival the best Pixar has to offer. Another 25% of…

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Sausage Party - Shock featured review 

SAUSAGE PARTY – How Do you Like Them Apples?

[Pictured above. The face you will make during the majority of this picture.] The entire process of reviewing a work of art is subjective. Everyone places a slightly different emphasis on different aspects that are important to a piece, not to mention having different opinions about how well those pieces work. But Comedy films are a particularly tough nut to crack. A joke that simply works for one person, simply won’t for another, often regardless of how well thought out the joke is, or how it’s told. Sausage Party falls…

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Pete's Dragon - Elliot found a stick featured review 

PETE’S DRAGON (2016) – I Won’t Be Your Candle on the Water

Pete’s Dragon is a tremendous disappointment – not because it’s bad, mind you – it’s a very functional movie – but because it has all the impact power of a whiffle bat, and it had all the elements it needed to be better. So much about this film goes right. Like a good remake should, it takes the basic premise of the 1977 original and gives it a unique and thoughtful twist. Forgoing any callback imagery, it avoids cheap nostalgia buttons to act as its own thing. This version follows…

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New Brother in The Secret Life of Pets review 

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS – Bringing the Looney Back to Tunes

There was a time, not so long ago, when cartoons were just expected to make us laugh. Maybe a feature would have an exciting adventure, or a lesson about togetherness – y’know… family friendly stuff. But as long as it was a hoot to watch it was fulfilling its animated destiny. Then Pixar came along and ruined it for everyone. Their films had all of those qualities, plus human themes that nearly always brought us to tears. With a light touch, Pixar made us rethink what it meant to be…

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Suicide Squad Team Protection featured review 

SUICIDE SQUAD – The Heroes We Deserve?

Suicide Squad‘s got 99 problems, but its opening box office ain’t one of them. The movie has been out less than a week and it’s already blown away Guardians of the Galaxy‘s previous record of Best August Opening Ever. But Squad isn’t as good as Guardians. Not even close. So what’s happening here? You could say that Guardians paved the way. Squad‘s marketing is certainly derivative of that film’s, with its classic pop, criminal anti-heroes, and overall sense of fun. Deadpool‘s success also likely created an immediate audience for humorous,…

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Ricky Baker is ready in Hunt For The Wilderpeople featured review 

HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE – Majestical

Hunt For the Wilderpeople is among the best movies that 2016 has to offer. It has heart and humor blended with a tonal balance that many directors can only dream of – often managing to be cartoonishly silly and deeply serious in the same breath. It also may star one of the most lovable odd couples ever committed to film – Ricky Baker and Hector “Hec” Faulkner. Julian Dennison is a revelation of charm as Ricky – foster child and gangsta aficionado. He boasts the same rough-around-the-edges earnestness that made the kids…

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Star Trek Beyond Crew review 

STAR TREK BEYOND – Boldly Going To All the Right Places

Star Trek Beyond is everything it should be. It’s a film about discovery, teamwork, hope, and the miracles and dangers of scientific achievement – a lot of the elements that were sidelined when J.J. Abrams rebooted the series. Beyond not only returns focus to these principle tenets of Star Trek, it’s also able to maintain the humor and excitement that made Abrams’ chapters such crowd pleasers. Simply put – It’s the best of both worlds. This isn’t to say that the film is a flawless masterpiece. Its editing and VFX…

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review 

ANALOGUE: A HATE STORY – Or, TsunderAI: A Learning to Love Story

ANALOGUE has a seemingly straightforward objective. You start off as a deep space data miner, out on a mission to recover files from a ship that’s been floating undiscovered for several hundred years. In order to get your data and complete the job, however, you need to convince the ship’s AI to recover the files for you. Finding the hidden files and the story within them is rewarding in itself, but as you continue through the game, you naturally form a very real relationship with the personable AI. Game creator…

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