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Adventure

The Green Knight:

Dev Patel plays Gawain, the nephew of King Arthur. To prove himself as a capable knight, he accepts a challenge from the Green Knight by cutting off the Green Knight’s head, with the stipulation that he return the following year for the same treatment at the hand of the Green Knight. For a year, he passes the time, seemingly without a care, and then at the end of the year, he sets off on the journey to meet his fate. I will say first that I am not familiar with this literature, but I have read that the movie is …

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Spiderman: No Way Home

I won’t have much to say about this one, as anything about the story risks giving away too much; I will just say it is a big movie. While I thought the first hour of the movie kind of dragged along, a certain event happened that suddenly made the movie funnier, much more interesting, and emotionally engaging. I went with the kids and we all really liked it. I would still rank it fourth, behind Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse, Spiderman 2, and the original Spiderman, but it is still very entertaining and is worthy of the hype. (2021; 4 Stars)

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The French Dispatch

The subject of Wes Anderson’s latest film is the French Dispatch, a supplement to the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun written by correspondents from a small town in France. The purpose of the supplement was to bring the world of a small French town to the midwestern readers. The film brings to life 3 stories republished in this last issue of the Dispatch – one from Arts and Leisure, one from Politics, and one from Dining (those may not be the exact titles). My favorite is the first story, The Concrete Artist, as it works the best at telling the story …

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Pig

Nicholas Cage plays Robin, a recluse who lives in the woods outside of Portland Oregon with his truffle-hunting pig, sells truffles the pig finds to a young businessman. One evening, marauders break into his house and steal the pig. Robin sets off to Portland to find his pig. The premise sounds very strange, so I started off wondering how a movie with that as the plotline would be interesting and where could that go. Well, it was much more than I expected. I loved the movie a LOT. First, Nicholas Cage is great. I have not been a huge fan …

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Onward

In this animated film from Pixar, Ian and Barley, two brothers who lost their father to an illness, are given the opportunity to have their father back for one day through the use of an old magic wand. When the spell becomes botched, the brothers set off on an adventure to find the magic stone that will result in being able to see their dad. I liked the movie mostly for its message about parenting and being about to recognize the amazing things we do without even realizing how amazing they are. I would not consider this a film that …

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Soul

In this latest animation effort from Pixar studios, Joe Gardner is a music teacher at a public school in New York City who is a piano player constantly dreaming about jazz music. One day, he gets his break when he gets an opportunity to play with Dorothea Williams, a renowned musician. On the way to his debut, he suffers an accident and, through a series of events, finds himself assigned as a mentor to a particularly precocious spirit who can’t seem to find his way to becoming a body on Earth. The film is quite stunning. The animation is superior; …

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Wolfwalkers

This is the latest animated film by the same director who created The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea. Robyn and her father Bill have stationed in Ireland in 1650 at an outpost overseen by a cruel ruler. Robyn dreams of hunting wolves, like her father. One day, Robyn meets Mebh, who turns out to be a wolf walker, a creature who by day is in human form but at night can leave the sleeping body and roam the world as a wolf. This is a really beautiful film. The story is based on Celtic legend but feels …

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Okja

(Korea, subtitled, with some parts in English): Mija, a young girl living with her grandfather in Korea, has been raising a gigantic pig, Okja. The pig is one of 26 “non-genetically modified” super pigs that were spread around the world to be raised by a very bizarre corporation out to create the best sausages by pigs that grown very large and poop economically – all under the guise of being environmentally friendly. Okja has been designated as the prize pig, and Mija finds herself in the intersection between corporate and animal rights activists. The film is a rather interesting collection …

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Away

Latvia: This is probably one of the most unusual animated films I have seen. It reminded me a lot of the wonderful Red Turtle that came out a few years ago in that there is no dialog at all. The film, told in 5 chapters, starts out with a boy, probably a teenager, who is dangling from a parachute in a tree. When he regains consciousness, he is confronted by a large, menacing figure who pursues him throughout the film. The boy discovers a map that will take him to the other side of the island where civilization is, and …

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I will use this opportunity to review the first two films as well, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. In Sorcerer’s stone, we are introduced to Harry Potter, Hermione, and Ron during their first year at Hogwarts school. Potter gains his reputation as an expert at quidditch, and the three of them solve their first mysteries as Harry Potter begins to gain a sense of who he is. In Sorcerer’s Stone, the three continue into t their second year; there is not much of a difference in the look and feel of …

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