Laika’s done it again

“If you must blink, do it now,” the titular character begins in Kubo and the Two Strings, a warning viewers will be eager to heed, as they won’t want to miss a second of Laika’s latest masterpiece.

The magical story follows a young boy named Kubo (voiced by Game of Thrones’ Art Parkinson), who weaves spellbinding stories in his village with his shamisen (a Japanese guitar) and impressive, origami creatures who come to life through his tunes.

Kubo lives an exciting, fantastical life through his stories, while his reality is a bit more bleak and restricted.

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The Witch: Under its spell

I’ve been dying to see Robert Eggers’ directorial debut The Witch since first hearing murmurs of the “New England Folktale” as it debuted at festivals. And as it drew closer to wide release the nonstop chatter surrounding the film saw my excitement build, as I wondered if it could be this year’s It Follows.

And after finally seeing it on Friday, I can say that it is… and it isn’t. See, it isn’t like normal horror films as it comes to the scares. The Witch is very atmospheric and slowly builds, feeling almost suffocating with its Puritan values, desperate confusion, and the crushing guilt thrown at its characters.

The story follows Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), the teenaged daughter of a family banned from their Puritan community after their father’s “proud” acts, leaving them isolated as they set up a new home in front of unfamiliar woods.

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Thoughts: How To Be Single

So, anyone dating Jake Lacy’s character in a movie/TV show has pretty much got it made. That much seems to be clear. But that 30-year-old hunk of walking rom-com perfection aside, it’s rough out there for a single gal.

And while the struggle of dating is often simply depicted in film as a drop dead gorgeous actress messing up her date by being too clumsy or doing an alarming amount of background checking, How To Be Single seems to actually have a handle on the plight of mid-twenty-something singledom.

The story follows Alice (Dakota Johnson) as she faces the New York City dating scene, after ending things with her college boyfriend Josh (Nicholas Braun), thinking she should be on her own for a bit before settling down for good. Continue reading

Stuck in the dark

Ugh… so as much as it kills me to admit it, Vulture was pretty spot on with their review for Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places.

After just about dying of anticipation, then realizing that I could have watched the movie all along on iTunes… I was already feeling a bit iffy about the quality. (Why did it go right to VOD? Why, when it said it had a release date of August 7, were only two theaters “near” me showing it… and why were they over two hours away?!)

So this past weekend I finally checked it out. And first of all, as expected, Charlize Theron is a badass Libby Day. She’s gritty, fearsome, and does a great job of portraying the darkness simmering below the surface for the character. Continue reading

Dark Places countdown is on

So this post is mostly gratuitous but guys, oh my gosh am I excited for Dark Places. And guess what? It’s only NINE days away. That’s all.

Just nine days until Gillian Flynn’s brilliantly written crime thriller hits the big screen, bringing to life anti-hero Libby Day.

Oh, and did I mention Libby is played by god’s gift to earth, Charlize Theron? She’s joined by Nicholas Hoult, the breathtaking Christina Hendricks, Chloe Grace Moretz – who I’ve been obsessed with since Kick Ass – and Corey Stoll, who I adore despite his evil inclinations in Ant-Man, because come on, House of Cards. Continue reading

Still can’t say no to a DCOM

Fans of Disney Channel’s app WATCH Disney Channel were treated to quite the surprise this past weekend as it was revealed that they could access the upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie Descendants a week ahead of its July 31 premiere.

As a Disney nerd and longtime DCOM lover, I of course, checked it out, and it’s about as cheesy and entertaining as you would imagine. See, Descendants tells the story of a world where all of the villains have been banned to Isle of the Lost, while heroes and heroines live it up in the dreamy Auradon.

However, tides turn as – ahead of his coronation – Ben (Mitchell Hope), the son of Belle (Keegan Connor Tracy) and Beast (Dan Payne) decides that his first act as king will be to allow students from the Isle of the Lost to attend Auradon Prep.

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Not another teen movie

This weekend saw the opening of a highly-anticipated Blockbuster action thriller in Jurassic World, but an indie gem also made its debut, and the star-studded dramedy is certainly not one to be missed.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl tells the tale of self-deprecating loner Greg (Thomas Mann) as his senior year is thrown upside down when he befriends the quietly confident Rachel (Olivia Cooke), who has just been diagnosed with leukemia.

His newfound friendship with the “dying girl” will force him to confront his noncommittal relationship with everyone else in his life, including Earl (RJ Cyler), a “co-worker,” with whom he creates parodies of classic films. Continue reading

Jurassic World Review: “Monster is a relative term”

Okay guys, we’ve been waiting for this one for a while. Now, everyone loved the first film, hated the next two, and has either some pretty high hopes for the reboot, or is sitting soundly in skeptic city.

I feel I should preface this with the fact that Parks and Recreation is one of my favorite shows of all time, and I adore Andy Dwyer – aka Chris Pratt – so whether I mean to or not, this review may be a bit biased. Either way, here we go…

I was pretty pumped heading into Jurassic World – an IMAX 3D screening, something I never do – as despite the stigma surrounding reboots or the drama surrounding the bevy of big budget action flicks getting churned out these days, I thought the trailers looked good.

Jumping right into the story, first we’re introduced to Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson) whose parents are shipping them off to visit their Aunt Claire – who happens to be an exec at Jurassic World, played by Bryce Dallas Howard – on Christmas, or so the scene’s corresponding soundtrack leads us to believe. Continue reading

The Goonies turns 30 today!

There are lots of big anniversaries in cinema this year, as it’s time to look back and celebrate those unforgettable Eighties classics. I’ve already written about one of my favorite films of all time – The Breakfast Club – but now it’s time to remember Richard Donner gem The Goonies.

The cult favorite – starring Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Martha Plimpton, Jeff Cohen, Kerri Green, and Jonathan Ke Quan – hit theaters June 7, 1985, and celebrates its 30th anniversary today. Continue reading