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Archive | June, 2019

Toy Story 4 Review

22 Jun

It’s a good movie, though the justification for its existence and its connection to the larger Toy Story universe is tenuous at best. It struggles a bit with the Woody-Bo Peep romance, as well as with characters like Buzz, when it comes to building off of what we’ve seen in the series predecessors. On the new character side of things, it introduces interesting themes with Forky while simultaneously dropping them in favor of strange digressions and half-formed ideas. It’s oftentimes strange and repetitive, and it’s symptomatic of a series that is straining for ideas. There’s just too much going on and not enough weight behind most.

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Late Night Review

16 Jun

“Conventional,” or some equivalent, is the descriptor I’ve seen most commonly applied to this film. While that’s certainly not wrong from a comedic structure standpoint, there’s still an evident freshness in the perspective of the script – the comedic structure itself is then bolstered even as Kaling works within the genre’s boundaries. She makes it very clear what dynamics and issues she’s playing off of and what her priorities are, and there’s plenty of effective comedy that springs forth as a result. There are a number of threads that don’t wind up adding much to the film, but Thompson and Kaling are both wonderfully charming and bring so much energy to the film even in its weaker moments. Yeah it’s a mainstream crowdpleaser. It also has an undeniable point of view that I want to see more of.

GRADE: B+

Booksmart Review

1 Jun

There are several really beautiful threads in here, one involving Kaitlyn Dever’s Amy and her exploration of her sexuality. The film is so respectful and affirming of her complicated emotional journey, in a way that teen comedies oftentimes aren’t. The other thread is the bedrock of the film: Amy and Beanie Feldstein’s Molly and the unconditional love and support that bind the two together. Again, the film is so loving and affirming and so unabashedly in love with this friendship, and you really do feel every ecstatic high and painful low. Both actors are wonderful – Dever in particular has been on the “needs to become a star” list since Justified, and I’m glad it’s happening.

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