‘Finding Dory’ (2016) Review

Finding Dory (2016) Review: Just Keep Feeling I've now reached a point in my life where the unnecessary sequels that are being made are based off of movies that I saw in their initial release. The feeling of a beloved story that may be muddled by the cash grab disguised as the next chapter no one asked for, I now understand. Still, Pixar is Pixar and despite not being as perfect as they once were, the name inspires confidence. Although, since their last attempt at a revival of a long property was the decent, yet forgettable Monsters University, I went into this one cautious to say the least. As I learned in the first film though, I can't go through life being afraid of everything. No need to in this case because 'Finding Dory' is nothing to fear, in fact, it's simply sublime. After having striking new memory about her parents, 'Finding Dory' follows the adventure of Dory, Marlin and Nemo as they embark across the ocean to find Dory's long lost parents. Rather than a strict repeat of the first film however, 'Finding Dory' surprised and delighted me. While it's been 13 years since the 'Finding Nemo' hit theatres, (Yeah. You're old) the movie takes place just one year after Nemo was found. It remarkably doesn't feel awkward or forced at all. The characters immediately fall back into place and it's almost as if you never left them. At the same time, the movie isn't afraid to show growth. Finding Dory does the best…

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‘Me Before You’ (2016) Review

Me Before You (2016) Review: Love and Tragedy Reviewing movies as a hobby, or a career, if you take it seriously enough, sometimes means seeing movies you don’t want to see. To date, I’ve only had about one or two experiences which made me rethink my choice to do this as consistently as I am. Many of the movies that I dread seeing end up with something redeemable about them. Still though, there are times when I’m standing in that lobby, looking at my ticket, having spent my hard earned money where I say, “Why am I here”. ‘Me Before You’ was one such time.Like all those other times though, I was pleasantly surprised that ‘Me Before You’ was not the banal run of the mill, overtly cheesy romance film its trailer suggests. The movie follows the story of one Louisa Clarke and Will Traynor. Louisa is Will’s caretaker, after Will suffers an accident that leaves him without the use of his arms or legs. As the movie goes on the two start to develop feelings for each other, and the movie explores the questions of what it means to be alive, and how to live a life worth living.The other side of the coupling fares a little better. Emelia Clarke’s Louisa Clark delightfully plays against type in this movie. I’m used to her as a take no prisoners femme fatale, but here she’s a ball of awkward quirk. A burst of positivity to crack the…

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‘Kingston Paradise’ (2016) Review

Kingston Paradise (2013) Review: Glory & Grit The Jamaican film industry is not overburdened by choice. The adage best equipped to describe it is quality over quantity. With such a small group to choose from, it's not difficult for viewers to set one film as the standard of all Jamaican cinema. For some it's 'Shottas', the 2002 film about the violent drug trade and its effect on the larger society. For others, myself included, it's 'The Harder They Come', the story of a musician turned drug lord in an effort to make a name for himself. However, regardless of your choice, you're bound to come across the same themes and story lines. The protagonist will try to escape the harsh reality of his situation, at first by legitimate means, but then circumstances will lead him to turn to the very criminal activity that made his reality so harsh in the first place.The latest Jamaican film, 'Kingston Paradise' is no different, but it's by no means a bad film. The movie follows the plight of one 'Rocksy' played by Christopher 'Johnny' Daley. Rocksy is a taxi driver who finds his side business of selling phone cards and condoms to his passengers isn't enough to aid him in his escape from the brutality that is downtown Kingston. Down on his luck, Rocksy takes to a life of crime. Of course, this being a cautionary tale, next to nothing goes his way. Some people just…

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‘Warcraft’ (2016) Review

Warcraft (2016) Review: Don't Believe The Hype* *(Non-Existent) Just as 2015 seemed to be the year of the spy, 2016 is apparently the year of the video game movie. Already we've had an Angry Birds movie, and later on we're going to be treated to an Assassin's Creed film. Those two movies are made for audiences of a different age though, and somewhere in the middle you can find Warcraft. Based on the online game everyone and their little brother were addicted to years ago, and directed by near perfect director Duncan Jones of 'Source Code' and 'Moon' fame, Warcraft seemed prime to finally, FINALLY prove that there was a way to do movies based on games right. 21%? That's worse than 'Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice', which is barely even a movie. As I sit to write this review, I can't fathom a score that low. In fact, for all the hate 'Warcraft' is currently getting, I actually kinda liked it. To get into it, 'Warcraft' starts off the same way every fantasy film does. A nice bit of narration to explain this vast and storied world to us. And as we all know, the only time it's okay to do narration, is fantasy films, Shane Black movies, and Fight Club. The narration tells us of a conflict between orcs and humans that doesn't really do much to contextualize the film. In fact, all you really need to know is…

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‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows’ (2016) Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016) Review:And Into The Trash Of all the properties in the world, I can't imagine why this one has staying power. It's name alone is a jumbled mess of concepts, thrown at the viewer with the subtlety of a freight train. It seems like the type of thing that would have died years ago, maybe to be brought back as nostalgia passed like bad gas, but to consistently be present in every decade since the 80s feels...strange. For all that time the property seems largely unchanged from what it became in the old cartoon show, which I guess is impressive but also...kind of unheard of.The latest from the heroes in a half-shell is 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows', a sequel to the 2014 reboot. Unlike that reboot, this film attempts to take a different approach. As the title suggests, 'Out of The Shadows' is a much brighter film that doesn't take itself quite as seriously as the first film. After all at the end of the day, it is a movie about giant turtles who fight ninjas.Part of that lightening of tone is in the inclusion of various elements of the TMNT canon. You have Bebop & Rocksteady, a pair of dimwitted henchmen turned into a giant Warthog & Rhinoceros respectively. Casey Jones, a hockey enthusiast pretty boy who for some reason despite being a cop, opts to use a hockey…

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‘The Nice Guys’ (2016) Review

The Nice Guys (2016) Review: Action Comedy At Its Finest Being a big movie fan, you tend to hear certain names pop up now and again. There's the usual like Spielberg, Cameron, Kubrick, Tarantino. Those are sort of introductory level names. As you go a little deeper though, you hear names that are a little more obscure, whose work isn't exactly mainstream, but not exactly indie either. One of those names is Shane Black, who's known for visceral action, biting comedy, profanity, and of course, Christmas. I wasn't aware of his work when I was younger, and I wouldn't have been allowed to see any of it anyway, but now, at the tender age of 19, I was finally able to see a Shane Black movie. I just hoped he hadn't lost his touch while I was growing up.Thank Christ he didn't. 'The Nice Guys' was easily my most anticipated film this year, and it far and away did not disappoint me. To get into the story, it's very simple. It's an old timey "Who dunnit" mystery, where a small crime ends up being connected to a larger conspiracy, and it's up to two unqualified heroes to stop it. The heroes in this case are the titular nice guys. Jackson Healy, an unofficial but capable muscle man for hire, played by Russel Crowe, and Holland March, a licensed, but largely ineffective, private investigator, played by Ryan Gosling. Both are morally grey characters…

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