Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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All you need to do this Easter is...
*flies to Denver*
Outstanding. Maybe the best Laika film to date (which is saying something). 'Kubo' is thrilling and bizarre and emotionally resonant and funny and resplendent and... other superlatives. It's just great. There are several stunning sequences and lovely world-building that's almost Middle-Earthian in scope of Japanese folkloric storytelling. There are perhaps some smaller inconsistencies in explaining Kubo's magical proclivities and getting "control" of it, but it's easy to wave off against an engrossing narrative that really draws courage from tragedy. Even in creating and developing characters the movie feels richly innovative - an ongoing hallmark for Laika - and the scary moments are all the more so in these beautiful, atmospheric worlds. This movie was a damn treat. Probably one of the top 2 or 3 on the year.
A stellar ensemble sells a strong script that doesn't bop the viewer on the nose with the enough-said obviousness of the injustices at work here. It's a nice ode to the elbow grease and determination of journalism and the forces that beat on integrity along the way. It also humanizes the focal journalists enough to see how a story that big - the now infamous child abuse scandals in the Catholic church - affects each one of them in different, jarring, personal ways. With that grounded approach for our protagonists and the narrative momentum inherent with needing to pull the curtains back on this awful phenomena, the movie was engaging and mostly stirring throughout. Strong film.
Stupid, silly, ridiculous, and a lotta good fun. I watched it on a Saturday morning lounging on the couch, which feels like the right way to view something like this. It's endlessly ridiculous but I enjoy David Wain's constant pokes at conventions within movies (I was also quite a fan of They Came Together). The cast and soundtrack here are juggernauts, securing a nostalgic veneer to keep everything likeable, even if a lot of the goofiness falls flat. Paul Rudd cleaning up the cafeteria floor is gold, as is the group trip to town montage.
Definitely good fun, and mostly unimpugnable in that category. Chris Pratt is likeable, as is the rest of the core group, and they create a motley mix of rapscallions that believably join forces to save the day, etc. etc. It's funny, the film looks luxurious and colorful in so many ways, the chief characters get enough development to make their arcs interesting and fulfilling. That said, Guardians never truly rises to excellence, and possibly not even "very good" like some other Marvel Cinematic Universe flicks, maintaining a steady plateau of expected beats that are nonetheless quite entertaining. I anticipated a strong soundtrack coming in, but it still was unexpectedly good in parts. The film bore resemblance to Pirates of the Caribbean on more than one occasion - but that's mostly a good thing, in my opinion, especially in a space opera setting. Fun stuff.