I really enjoyed Finding Dory, I did. It was a well put together film going into the backstory of one of the funniest, most memorable side characters in animation history. It's just hard for me to say whether or not it matches or tops 'Nemo'. All in all, the two are entirely different from each other though they are in the same franchise. Finding Nemo was more of an adventure with a ton of memorable characters, Finding Dory is more of a coming of age moment for Dory, as she starts to remember more and more of her backstory as the film progresses. I don't wanna say that the film disappointed me, because overall it didn't. Far from it actually. I guess I just wanted it to be more similar to the original in that we got to take in the environment and talk with a ton of different sea creatures. But alas, it's just not that kind of movie. But the new characters they give us like Dory's parents and Hank the octopus are a lot of fun, and they do add what they need to add to the movie. They just don't have as much screen time as say Crush or the three sharks in the original. But on the plus side, the animation was great as always, the backstory is interesting and serves a purpose, and the humor and climactic moments are a lot of fun. It is a great flick to put Pixar back on track, let's just hope that this doesn't lead to more overexploitation with a Finding Nemo 3 or anything unnecessary. Both of these films are finite and winners on their own with nothing else to be added.
It's hard to call The Good Dinosaur a good movie, but it's also hard to call it a bad movie. It did bring some interesting elements to the table contemplating what would have happened if dinosaurs survived and thrived like humans and the overall message of conquering fear. But the problem is that it doesn't delve far enough into it, and just tells a straight bland story. On top of that, the film's look is lackluster, which is unbecoming of a studio that has been known to bring whizbang effects to the silver screen. Some of the backdrops can be nice, but the character designs are so contrived and cheaply made that they look as though no effort was put in at all. As bad as "Cars 2" was, at least it fell back on it's visuals. This film can't, which does deteriorate into it being a less than likable film. There are some enjoyable moments here and there, like Sam Elliot's T-Rex rodeo and some bit s with the caveman kid, but they are just here and there. And we don't care about any of the characters either. Not the worst from Pixar, but it's decidedly mediocre. It might have resonated if it was better put together, or even put together at all.
It's difficult not to love a Marvel film that tries to relate to its audience while simultaneously being entertaining like this one. Some more serious undertones here such as when heroism can miss the mark and the overall battle of innocence vs. guilt and mercy vs. bloodshed is shown brightly through the inner rivalry all these characters have. It's hard to find anything integrally wrong with Civil War, it follows in the lines of Avengers and other superhero films that have significance.
Zootopia is a movie that at first glance seems like one of Disney's more child-friendly efforts. Many of their movies are about solely animal worlds with no humans, so nothing was grabbing from the trailers. Once you get past the first viewing, though, it is full of artistic value and true redeeming qualities. Zootopia continues the uphill popularity of the Disney company, if not a perfect effort. Our main characters, Judy Hopps and Nick Wylde, are two classic leads. Lots of bickering, bantering, but a cute friendship on the side. Judy's ambition to be a cop as an innocent rabbit has its moments, though we know why the character exists. The film hits us with it so early. Somewhere down the line, the film wanted to get out of its plastic, canned "Anyone can be anything" moral but probably had a hard time risking being unconventional. This film is incredibly long, maybe Disney's longest at an hour and forty eight minutes. It said all it needed to say and tried to lay it on even more, and it lost me. But that doesn't mean its a lost cause. The comedy is fast and gets some roaring laughs, the story is interesting enough, the animal world in general is creative, and it's enough to make it good.
The Graduate is one of those films that is both dated and timeless at the same time. It was written for the rebellious teens and college students of the time, but still has a lot of universal forces driving the plot. Ben is our anti-hero who is the tortured soul that has no idea how to live his life. All he knows is that he is constantly under the thumb of his parents and their friends. His affair with Mrs. Robinson, his eloping with Elaine, and the way he spends his spare time all revolve around a deep need to satisfy them. Him and Mrs. Robinson make the movie stand out, as they are easily character staples in cinema while the other characters aren't nearly as developed. Just goes to show that you don't have to have a star-studded involved cast to make a pertinent film. A personal theory I have about The Graduate is that Mrs. Robinson's affair with Ben was her way of keeping him from marrying Elaine, in her insane drive to be over protective. She nearly succeeds until they run from the church away from her. There is much debate about the ending of the film, the long bus ride with the altering faces and the Simon and Garfunkel pop song "Sound of Silence". Think of it this way, these two newly grads have never lived a life outside their family, and now they are at a state where they can't come back to them. A dark aspect to this coming of age tale, but it takes a turn to discuss the destruction of the family structure long before it was the norm to do so. It's hard to find anything wrong with a film that does so well at a subtle pushing of the envelope as this one does.