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Finding Dory

 Finding Dory is the long awaited sequel to Finding Nemo, which is one of Pixar’s best movies. I’m glad to report that it doesn’t disappoint. It doesn’t feel like a sequel, it feels like a continuation and that’s hard to do with such a classic movie. The story picks up a year after the events of the first film. Marlin and Nemo are living comfortably in their sea anemone with Dory living right next to them. Dory starts getting flashbacks of her childhood and remembers that she has parents that love and miss her. She feels compelled to cross the ocean to be reunited with them. High jinx ensue. I’m not going to talk about the plot. I’m just going to say that if you like Finding Nemo, you will like Finding Dory. You might even like it more than Nemo. I think Dory is a more complex film. The storytelling is nonlinear. It’s sad and happy, funny and serious, nostalgic and fresh. We revisit old characters and meet new ones. It’s everything that you want from a sequel. I left the theater feeling very satisfied. I felt like I got my money’s worth and I would gladly see it again. 

 The voice cast is solid. Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks reprise their roles as Dory and Marlin. Ed O’Neil plays a surly octopus. Sigourney Weaver has an unforgettable voice cameo. Eugene Levy plays Dory’s awkward father. Newcomer Hayden Rolence takes over the voice of Nemo because puberty is not kind to child actors, but Alexander Gould (the original Nemo) lends his voice to a minor character. Diane Keaton, Idris Elba, Dominic West, Kate McKinnon, Bill Hader, John Ratzenberger, Willem Dafoe, Stephen Root, and many others have bit parts. Andrew Stanton returned to write, direct, and play Crush, everyone’s favorite sea turtle. 

 Finding Dory is a good family flick. It’s also great for date night. I saw it a few days after opening night and my auditorium applauded it after it was over. Not every movie deserves an ovation. This one did. Go watch it. It’s worth it.

 Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young


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Drive

I remember when Drive came out in theaters last year, a few people told me that I needed to see it, and I didn’t believe them. And now that I finally have seen it, I know that I was right. Drive is a pretty craptacular movie. It’s about a stuntman/mechanic who works as a getaway driver on the side, and he stumbles into a plot and gets in over his head and has to fight his way out. It sounds cool. It’s not.

I’ve never heard of the director, Nicolas Winding Refn, so I looked him up on Wikipedia and he hasn’t directed anything good and he looks like a doofus. I don’t like him. Ryan Gosling stars as the Driver. You never learn his name and you don’t care. He goes around wearing a stupid satin jacket with a giant scorpion on it. He works as a mechanic and as a Hollywood stunt driver, but his main thrill is driving getaway cars. The Driver works at a garage. His boss Shannon (Bryan Cranston) arranges his getaway jobs. The Driver has a few rules that he abides by: he never does a job for the same people twice, and they only have five minutes to do their shit before he drives off.

The Driver meets a girl in his apartment building named Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her young son Benicio. The Driver and Irene have some chemistry, and the Driver likes little Benicio and it seems like the love story will move along nicely, but then Irene’s husband Standard gets out of prison and comes home. Standard (Oscar Isaac) owes an Albanian Gangster named Cook some money, and Cook forces Standard to rob a pawnshop for him. The Driver decides to help Standard and offers his services as a getaway driver.

Standard, the Driver, and a random bitch rob the pawnshop, but things go wrong and Standard gets shot and dies. The Driver and the random bitch flee the scene with the money, but they are being chased by another car. So the Driver outdrives the other driver and they escape. And the Driver deduces that the random bitch set him up. And then some hitmen show up and kill the random bitch and the Driver kills them and escapes again.

The Driver tracks down the gangster Cook and he finds out that Nino (Ron Pearlman) is behind the heist. Ron Pearlman might be the ugliest guy in Hollywood. He looks like Eric Stoltz in Mask. Nino sends a hitman to kill the Driver. The Driver kills the hitman by repeatedly stomping his face into the ground, before looking at Irene with puppy dog eyes and wondering why she is so freaked out by him.

The Driver tracks down Nino and kills him and then goes after Nino’s partner Bernie (Albert Brooks). After he gives Bernie back the money in exchange for Irene and Benicio’s safety, Bernie stabs him. The Driver stabs him back and kills him. And then he doesn’t die, and he celebrates by driving off into the night without the girl.

This movie drags on and on. It was marketed as an action movie, but there’s not much action. There’s not even much dialog either. It just creeps along at a snail’s pace, pretending to be smarter than it really is. Compare this movie to Reservoir Dogs. Reservoir Dogs is an action movie without much action. But it’s riveting, it’s got a nice flow and pace, it never drags. Michael Madsen slices off a cop’s ear and it’s terrifying and you can’t look away even though you want to. In Drive, Albert Brooks kills a guy by stabbing him in the eye with a fork and hacking at him with a butcher’s knife. It was much more gruesome, but had no impact on the plot, and therefore is unnecessary and stupid. Tarantino’s Death Proof had much better driving scenes and stunts. This movie seems likes it’s trying to emulate Tarantino, but it fails miserably.

It’s false advertising to call a movie Drive when they don’t do much driving. They should call it Bore, because boring is a much more accurate description. This is not the worst movie ever, but I can’t respect you if this is your favorite movie.

Critically Rated at 10/17

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