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The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

After several years of relative calm after Bricksburg was originally saved by Lucy and Rex, a new threat comes from invaders from outer space. Lucy is captured by the invaders, and it is up to Rex find Lucy and for both of them to once again save their city. I will start by saying that I don’t think this film worked nearly as well as the first one. My daughter called it right: the movie tries way too hard for its laughs. But at a deeper level, the laughs will come to those who are very young and respond to …

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

I wasn’t totally sure about this movie – an animated version of Spider-Man that was reviewed well, but I couldn’t imagine how this could top the other Spiderman films (especially my favorite, Spider-Man 2). Well, I think this has become my favorite. This movie is incredible. First, it has exceptional animation, and it is filmed in such a way that you feel like you are inside a moving comic book. Every scene is fresh and takes you somewhere you don’t always expect to go. The film follows the traditional Spiderman story but brings to it a fresh twist with a …

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The Breadwinner

Parvana is a young girl growing up in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule. Girls and women are expected to be fully covered at all times and not to be seen in public without a husband or close relative. One day, while they are on the street selling possessions to pay for food, her father makes one of the young Taliban soldiers angry, and the next day they arrest him and send him to prison. Parvana decides to cut her hair and pass as a boy to support her family and get her father out of prison. This film is exceptional; …

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The Incredibles 2

This movie picks up exactly where the first one left off. The superheroes are still living incognito, as the law against superheroes continues. A slick marketing agency has a clever plan to bring enough positive media attention to politicians that they will reverse the years-long superhero ban. However, the face of the marketing campaign is not going to be Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible), but his wife Helen (aka Elastigirl). Eliza said, about 2 minutes into the movie, that “this one is going to be a lot funnier”; and it was indeed. A lot of the humor comes from the parenting …

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Incredibles

Bob Parr, who used to be known as Mr. Incredible in the days when superheroes could roam the streets as superheroes, is working as an insurance adjuster. He and his family are living in a home in the suburbs in kind of a witness protection program – except here, superheroes live among everyone else, until they are discovered. Then, they must move to a new community. One day, Bob gets a call to a remote island from someone, and he hopes that this job will help them to bring superheroes back. The movie is well-crafted – great animation, a wonderful …

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Isle of Dogs

This latest from Wes Anderson is a stop-motion, animated feature about a young boy who sets off to find his dog Spots after all dogs were quarantined, due to an outbreak of canine flu, to Trash Island by the boy’s uncle, mayor of Nagasaki. After crash landing his plane on the island, the boy is befriended by a pack of dogs who vow to help him find Spots. There are a lot of strengths in this film. The stop-motion animation is beautiful to behold, and one can tell throughout that Anderson has an eye for meticulous details; the story is …

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2018 Oscar Nominated Shorts (Animation)

What a fun lot of animated shorts! Four of them timed at 7 minutes or less, and one was 29 minutes, but each of them tells an interesting story using very different animation styles. Dear Basketball (USA; https://www.go90.com/videos/261MflWkD3N), voiced by Kobe Bryant, is his ode to a long and successful career in the sport that he loved. The animation is a series of pencil sketches and with splashes of purple and gold. Lou (USA/Pixar) tells the story of a schoolyard bully who turns a corner when he comes into contact with the creature from the lost and found box. Revolting …

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Coco

Animated Pixar Studios film in which Miguel, the son of a long line of relatives who have learned to despise music, aspires to be a musician. He lives with his mother and father, grandmother, and Coco, his old great-grandmother. His idol is Ernesto de la Cruz, who was a popular singer and film star who died young but left behind a trove of beautiful songs. The Day of the Dead is approaching, and his family has all of the pictures and candles ready to remember the deceased relatives. Desperate to find a guitar to enter a local musical talent contest, …

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Lego Ninjago Movie

The third in the Lego movie series finds Lloyd, member of a secret ninja society led by Master Wu and son of the terrible Garmadon, the evil warlord trying to conquer the city in which Lloyd lives, trying to save the city from his father’s wrath. Gamadon doesn’t know Lloyd (who he calls L-loyd) is his son, and Llloyd, who is made fun of because he is Gamadon’s son, wants a real father-son relationship. The movie is about the paths of father and son in the conquest of/saving the city. I have to say that, overall, I am disappointed in …

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Loving Vincent

I have been waiting for about 3 years for this movie to come to the screen, and it was well worth the wait! This was originally a Kickstarter campaign that was used to raise money to help actualize the project. It is hard to fathom, a film that has a narrative structure to it and that is entirely painted – over 100 artists created paintings that were used to bring Van Gogh’s paintings into motion. The story begins with a postman who discovers a letter from Vincent to his brother Theo; he asks his son, who seems to be routinely …

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