Theater Roundup: Don’t Breathe, Kubo and the Two Strings, and Morgan

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I definitely feel like Dino Bone has gotten neglected by me this year, and it makes me feel bad.  I’ve had my most productive work year ever, and considering that this is an unpaid hobby blog…  I tend to skew my life more to making that paper, and buying stuff I don’t need; like boomerangs and novelty plates.  Until a lonely sultan comes along and payrolls me six figures to be his personal movie reviewer, this might be how it is for the time being.

But I’ll try to make up for that a little today!  …By lumping three movies I’ve seen over the past two weekends into several crappy mini reviews…?  Oh wait, that’s what I’ve been doing that’s so neglectful to begin with.  Oops.

 

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DON’T BREATHE

Two sentence synopsis, please:  Three punk youths try to rob a lawsuit fortune out of a blind guy’s house.  Turns out the blind guy is an ex-marine who is pretty good at beating people up without the use of his eyeballs.

What’s good about it?  Stephen Lang is great as the creepy blind guy, Jane Levy (The Evil Dead remake) is an ample leading lady, and the clean-cut dude whose name I don’t feel like looking up was a good supplementary hero.  If this movie’s entire purpose was just to provide non-stop, kinda stupid entertainment at a very merciful 88 minute run time; it totally did its job.  As far as I know, it’s actually an original concept, which is refreshing.  I’m genuinely pretty surprised that it has been number one at the box office two straight weeks, and has made $64 million off of a $10 million budget, so far.  I guess we can all look forward to Don’t Breathe 2: Breathe Even Less

What’s bad about it?  As fun as it is, it has its general dumbness.  The movie takes a semi-interesting twist about 2/3rds of the way through, which I assume was to give the audience a reason to root for the armed robbers instead of the blind guy defending himself in his house.  There’s also probably a few times when logic flaws became distracting.  I think a handful of moments had me wondering why the blind super soldier’s heightened sense of smell didn’t come into play?  But should I really be questioning these things in a movie where a dog chases a girl through an air duct?  I doubt it.

Grade:  B-

 

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KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS

Two sentence synopsis, please:  From the studio that brought you Coraline and Paranorman, comes another whimsical stop motion animation project about a boy in ancient Japan with a magic bloodline.  Laika had to step up their game to make up for The Boxtrolls.

What’s good about it?  Man, the visuals in this movie are downright stunning.  Awesome character and environment design.  The story was poetic and charming.  Definitely the best thing Laika has done to date.  If I had time, I’d go see this again.  Also, [closes eyes while talking in a super pretentious way] I appreciated all the little Japanese details that I noticed while I was actually in Japan earlier this year.  [Farts into wine glass] [Smells it over the next thirty minutes]

What’s bad about it?  Not much.  Maybe it didn’t make my eyes water up?  That’s in my top animated film masterpiece criteria nowadays.

Grade:  A

 

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MORGAN

Two sentence synopsis, please:  Scientists have created a superhuman girl, who lives in an underground bunker, where she is analyzed.  As they should have known from every sci-fi movie of the same concept, THINGS DON’T QUITE GO TO PLAN.

What’s good about it?  This had a decent cast, including two “we can shoot all of your scenes in one day” roles by Paul Giamatti and Brian Cox.  Giamatti acts the crap out of his main scene, which also happens to be the best thing in the entire movie.  The girl from The VVitch (Anya Taylor-Joy [all of the 2010’s up and coming actors have three names]) is proving to be legit.  I guess once the movie actually starts to get moving along, it becomes moderately entertaining.  The ending had me going “Yeah, ok.  I’m cool with that, I guess.”

What’s bad about it?  The first 30 minutes are pretty boring, and take forever to set up a really basic plot for the movie that could have been done in much less time.  The concept is kind of like a junk food version of Ex Machina.  Or it’s like Ex Machina mixed with Hanna, but not as interesting as either.  As I’m noticing with many actors made famous from Game of Thrones, they aren’t very good at acting in things that aren’t Game of Thrones.  Rose Leslie (Ygritte) isn’t a very good actress outside of Game of Thrones.  And finally, the fight scenes are cut so fast and close to the subjects that you have no idea what’s going on, or where anyone is in regards to their surroundings.

Grade:  C-

 

Hopefully next week I can actually give a full review to a single movie?!  Ha!

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