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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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Goon (film)

 The other night I was browsing through Netflix’s vast library looking for a movie to watch. I couldn’t find anything that I was in the mood to watch, so I caved into choosing one of their suggested movies for me. I ended up watching Goon, a little known 2011 sports comedy that I must have ignored a thousand times before. I thought it was just a random hockey flick starring Stifler. I’m really glad that I was wrong. Seann William Scott plays Doug Glatt, a nice guy and self aware dummy with a skill for fisticuffs. His talent is enough to get him a gig as an enforcer with a minor league hockey team. He can hardly skate but he knows how to punch, and his love of the game transforms his team from a rag tag bunch of losers into playoff contenders. It sounds cliche. It kind of is. There’s even a tacked on romantic subplot. 
 But it’s good. It’s really funny, there’s a lot of action, it’s sappy when it needs to be, and it’s genuine. You can’t fake honesty. Jay Baruchel cowrote the movie, and he costars in it. It was a passion project of his and it shows. He’s even tacked on to direct the sequel. Liev Schreiber plays a rival enforcer on another team and provides a lot of enjoyable drama as you await the inevitable matchup between the two gladiators. Alison Pill plays the imperfect love interest. Eugene Levy plays the awkward dad. Marc-André Grondin plays the cocky teammate who squandered his talent and only plays for himself. Kim Coates plays the coach who tries to control his players and get them to work as a team. It’s a solid movie with a solid cast and the film deserves a lot more attention.
 So I decided to blog about Goon in order to get the word out. Good movies deserve to be watched. Goon is a good movie. I was a little late to find out about it, but I still beat you to it if you haven’t seen it yet. And if you haven’t seen it yet, you should. It’s worth it. I promise.

 Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young 

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