Pixar is the best at what they do. The consistently put out quality material and Coco is no exception. This time we have a story of a Mexican boy who longs to pursue his dream of being a musician against the wishes of his family who come from a legacy where music is considered a root of bad things. Pixar deserves a huge pat on the back for bringing in an all Latin cast to fill the roles. With the huge success of Coco, hopefully other studios can follow suit. All that aside, don't miss out on this one. The visuals are gorgeous, the music outstanding, and the story a real heart tugger.
Remember the scene early in Guardians of the Galaxy where Chris Pratt walked through the planet dance steppin' to his walkman, kicking aliens aside in tune to the beat? It was pretty cool, right? Now imagine a heist movie that instead of just having an intro like that (it does), is largely built on similar scenes throughout the course of the movie. It makes for a unique and stylish experience while at times feeling a bit too much. But Edgar Wright still gets a nod of the head for trying something different.
I must admit I don't always get the anime scene. In fact, I don 't get it the vast majority of the time. Redline is another one that I can't quite wrap my head around. The art is stunning, but the weird stories and dialogue just don't translate very well which dampens the experience for me.
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Veronica tells the tale of a teenage Spanish girl who plays with a Ouija board in an attempt to talk with her dead father. During her session with the board, there is also a lunar eclipse going on outside. In standard horror fashion, this is somehow bad and results in some kind of evil entity causing havoc in her life.
The one good thing that really keeps Veronica from being an absolute snoozefest is the relationship the title character has with her younger siblings. Veronica is left to take care of her family as her mom is now a workaholic widow struggling to make ends meet. The rapport Veronica has with the kiddos is both tender and entertaining and that keeps audiences on her side. The rest of the movie is boring, full of D-list scare moments and plot cliches that we have seen many times before.
Abacus is a compelling look at how the government has responded in varying degrees to banks they feel have played a part in the mortgage crisis a decade ago. On the one hand, you have the large banks that received bailout money in the amount of billions to keep the US and world economy from imploding. On the other hand, you have a small, family owned bank like Abacus who at worst participated in the same predatory lending practices that the big boys did. If you believe the filmmakers, Abacus actually didn't do anything of the sort as an institution, in fact they did the opposite. It makes for a very interesting watch that is an indictment not only on how the government responded to the recession but also in how they use the media to spin stories to their liking.
The rare occurrence when a sequel trumps the OG, Reynolds shows he knows what it takes to carry a franchise both in front and behind the camera having contributed to the script. The over the top comedic and violent aspects that worked so well in the original are kicked into overdrive here for outstanding results. The supporting cast also help carry this to high levels and leave me ready for the next one.