The 13 year wait with our beloved sea friends has finally arrived! Finding Dory takes advantage of its beautiful animation and charming characters, giving us more heart than ever before.
A visual splendor, Finding Dory is a sequel that works from beginning until end. Its thought-provoking themes adds yet another exciting chapter to our sea community. Backed by talented voices (Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolence, Ed O'Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Idris Elba, Dominic West and Sigourney Weaver), Dory and her pals swim to perfection.
The film takes place one year after the events of 2003’s Finding Nemo, Dory (voiced by a fantastic DeGeneres) finally remembers her long-lost family is out in the ocean somewhere waiting for her. Cue Dory’s request to embark on another journey through the deep blue. Dory, of course, is hindered due to her short-term memory loss and needs Marlin (voiced by a sensational Brooks) and Nemo to help find her parents. Along the way, Dory and her pals ride the underwater current to California, fight off giant squids and endlessly listen to Sigourney Weaver’s voice at the Marine Life Institute. From start until finish, the Weaver joke never gets old.
On the journey, Dory reunites with her childhood friend Destiny (voiced by a vibrant Olson), a near-sighted whale shark. She also befriends a cranky East Pacific red octopus, named Hank (voiced by an excellent O’Neil) and a Bailey (voiced by a hilarious Burrell), a beluga whale who temporarily lost echolocation due to a concussion. While Finding Dory will never fully capture that pure moment of bliss like Finding Nemo did 13 years ago, nevertheless, it’s still a grand Pixar sequel for the books. With highest respects, Finding Dory hits all of the emotional highs we, as an audience, have come to love in a Pixar film.
While the impressive and beautiful animation captures the mystery and wonder of the ocean; this film alone stands as a tentpole for future animated films to follow. I was over joyed to experience the warm welcome of Dory and Marlin again. Who knows, maybe in ten years we’ll be back to the big screen again finding Marlin. As for now, we are dazzled with this exciting second chapter and take in ever ounce of delight this film has to offer. As Dory continually tells the audience throughout both films to “just keep swimming,” I will also tell you, as a world, to do the same.
Finding Dory is rated PG (Parental Guidance). For mild thematic elements.
Jane Austen’s Hidden Gem
Love & Friendship is a lush period drama filled with comedic roots from head to toe. It’s one of the freshest films to hit the screen in 2016.
Kate Beckinsale soars in the role of Lady Susan Vernon Martin, a beautiful young widow visiting the estate of her in-laws. While there, Lady Susan is determined to be a matchmaker for her daughter Frederica (Morfydd Clark) -- and herself too, naturally. Quick, sly and witty are only a few attributes that apply to Beckinsale in this runaway film. Austen originally wrote the book in 1794 when she was 20, but it remained unpublished until after her death.
Love & Friendship is a comedic romp for English buffs and fans of British pop culture everywhere. The costume and production design are visually stunning alone. It exceeds moments of pure beauty as it captures your heart on screen. Director Whit Stillman (Damsels in Distress) takes Austen’s clever story and expands it onto film, hitting moments of true bliss. Backing Beckinsale’s charm are actors Chloë Sevigny, Xavier Samuel, Emma Greenwell, Justin Edwards, Stephen Fry and the hilarious Tom Bennett as Sir James Martin.
Bennett completely stole the show for me as he captures the ignorance of a man blithering away on a multitude of topics. Elegant can’t even begin to describe this delightful outing director Stillman has made for us. Love & Friendship is a comedy of manors on this speechified adventure. I’ll be rooting for it coming this awards season as it’s bound to grab a few prizes. Fingers crossed this isn’t the last time we see Lady Susan on the big screen. In the end, this was an Austen gem uncovered from the very pages of literature. Classic.
Love & Friendship is rated PG (Parental Guidance) For some thematic elements.
20 years ago, Independence Day blew audiences away using old fashioned effects. Now, Independence Day: Resurgence is nothing more than a bloated concoction of alien junk. In the end, Director Roland Emmerich’s (ID4, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012) stale popcorn flicks have gotten really old.
In 1996, Independence Day hit theaters leaving audiences everywhere fueled with popcorn excitement. The 4th of July summer flick embraced its patriotism and explosions, oh the explosions. Now, I’m not a huge fan of big bangs and little plot but in this case Independence Day worked thanks to its terrific cast and old school visual effects. Man vs. Alien, that was the simple plot and audiences everywhere ate it up.
Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith were hilarious together on and off the screen. Smith even punches an alien in the face, Oorah! Fast-forward to present day, Smith is dead because he didn’t want to appear in this lousy sequel and Goldblum is just old. Here’s the plot, after the first Independence Day invasion, Earth is faced with a new extra-Solar threat. So two decades later and director Emmerich makes basically the same movie with better special effect … come on. This sort of filmmaking is lazy and nothing more than an easy cash grab.
Pairing Goldblum with a fresh Liam Hemsworth is not the same as Smith’s original chemistry. The visuals are impressive as ever, but that can’t save this film from the end-of-the-world stakes. The dialog is cheesy and the emotional heft is nowhere to be found. The dull, brainless sequel shows a major decline for Fox Studios in the past two decades. The first Independence Day slapped a smile on your face. Now, two decades later Resurgence rips that smile from existence. You know the saying: “the bigger they come, the harder they fall.” Same applies for Independence Day: Resurgence. Rest in peace Will Smith.
Independence Day: Resurgence is rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned). For sequences of sci-fi action and destruction, and for some language.
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