REVIEW: “Finding Dory” Has Heart, Lacks Heft

 When I first heard that Pixar was making a sequel to Finding Nemo, one of its (in my opinion) better and supremely underrated films, I was equal parts excited and worried. Excited, due to the obvious nostalgic appeal, but worried that that’s all the film would be — a cheap attempt to cash in on its predecessor’s success with a weak sequel that would likely have less of the Pixar magic and more of the cheap jokes. Dory’s character in the first film had largely been one of plucky, memory-hampered comic relief. How, then, did Pixar intend to give her any gravitas?

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REVIEW: “Me Before You” and the Romanticization of Death and Disability

The basic premise of Me Before You isn’t particularly unique among the recent slew of illness/disability/death-oriented romances (ie. The Vow, The Fault In Our Stars, Silver Linings Playbook, Love & Other Drugs, Rust & Bone, If I Stay): kindhearted-to-a-fault Louisa “Lou” Clark (Emilia Clarke) takes on the job of carer for Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), a wealthy former finance bro who was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident, and in trying to show him life is worth living, the two fall in love. Add in a dash of class struggle and the medical drama of assisted suicide, and the film hopes to leave not a single eye dry.

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REVIEW: There’s a “[Civil] War” Going on Between Both Halves of This Film

I’m back! My apologies for the long hiatus — five classes made it a bit difficult to even go see new movies, let alone write about them. But, blessedly, Captain America: Civil War came out right near the end of the semester, so I was able to go see it last week. And like any good Marvel fan, I have some opinions.

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REVIEW: Bond, Forever Haunted By The “Spectre” Of His Past

Spectre opens in Mexico City, in full swing for Dia De Los Muertos. Bond (Daniel Craig), clad in black, is running through a crowd of skeletons. It’s an in-your-face reminder of the only constant in Bond’s life: death. Which he soon delivers to an unknown bomber, in a helicopter above a crowd of thousands. It’s not exactly a subtle introduction. Actually, it almost makes you wonder who is hit harder over the head with it—the dead man, or the audience?

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LIST: Study Soundtracks

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted here — since back-to-school all those weeks ago, I haven’t had a chance to sit down and watch new movies yet. (But I will! Spectre‘s on deck for the next post.)

Anyway, in honor of midterms this week, I’ve decided to share my favorite study mix, which is entirely soundtracks, and take you track by track. If you just want to listen to the mix, it’s at the bottom of the post.

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REVIEW: “Amy” Gives New Brightness To A Fallen Star

I was in London when Amy Winehouse died. The newspapers trumpeted her death, as well as all of her sordid history. Her struggles with addiction were, though, pretty much all I had known about her, due to my exposure to her only through her 2006 hit “Rehab.”

This documentary rewrites that story. From its opening scene, featuring a 14-year-old Winehouse (sans eyeliner!) singing “Happy Birthday” to her friend, it’s apparent that this film does not want to take the well-trodden path when it comes to biographing Ms. Winehouse. Instead, it shows us the vivacious, soulful, troubled woman she was.

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ESSAY: “Game of Thrones,” “Hannibal,” and Hot vs Cold Violence

I know, technically these are TV shows, but this article has been bouncing around in my head for a while now. With Game of Thrones just wrapping up its most recent season (so expect some spoilers in this article), and Hannibal in its newest (and last, unfortunately), it seemed like an appropriate time.

So, Hannibal. It’s interesting, because whenever I mention that I watch the show, someone invariably asks me how I can stomach how violent it is, or how gory the deaths are. Yet, no one asks me the same when I bring up GoT. But when it comes down to the shows themselves, I find GoT much more difficult to stomach than Hannibal. And the difference lies in how the violence is presented.

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