Cinema Dispatch: Finding Dory

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Finding Dory and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Directed by Andrew Stanton

Well… I guess we’re back again.  Pixar has gotten pretty passé for me recently and making a sequel to my least favorite of their movies that ISN’T a rip off of Maximum Overdrive is probably not gonna be what ends up turning them around for me.  Still, the studio never makes a lazy movie (except for those G rated Christine films) so we can at least expect a certain level of quality from them, and maybe I’ll be a bit more receptive to their fish story this time around.  Does it manage to bring back that Pixar magic that has gotten kinda dull and played out recently?  Let’s find out!!

The movie takes place a year after the events of the first one (which I guess means this takes place in in the heydays of George W Bush and Nickelback) and since then Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) has been living with Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Hayden Rolence).  One day during their day to day life of… swimming I guess, Dory sees something that triggers a memory that had long been forgotten which is that she has parents and lost them many years ago; probably due to her short term memory condition.  Now that she’s aware that her parents are out there somewhere, she manages to rope Marlin and Nemo into going with her to the last place she remembers being at before losing them forever which was somewhere in California.  That somewhere just happens to be the Marine Life Institute which is a rescue center to provide care to, rehabilitate, and eventually release the sea creatures that they either catch or are sent to them for treatment.  As you’d expect, Dory manages to separate herself from Marlin and Nemo who have to then FIND her, and while they’re doing that Dory meets up with an octopus named Hank (Ed O’Neill) who is willing to help her find whatever exhibit her parents are in if she’ll do something for him.  See, Dory was sent to the medical wing and immediately got a tag put on her to send her to the Cleveland Aquarium because… I actually don’t know why come to think of it.  The tags are only placed on fish that are too sick to survive in the open ocean, so… is there gonna be a really sad third movie coming out in ten years?  Anyway, Hank wants to go to the Cleveland Aquarium but isn’t sick enough for them to send him off, so he’ll take her tag in exchange for carrying her around until they find her parents.  Oh, and they’re on a timer because the truck to Cleveland leaves in the morning so Hank is not in the mood to mosey about take their sweet time.  Will Dory manage to find her parents in this place?  What about Marlin and Nemo?  Are they gonna find her before… I guess something bad happens?  Will Pixar ever get to The Incredibles 2!?

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“That’s where my parents are…”     “Congratulations kid.  You found them.”     “Found what now?”     “Ugh…”

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Cinema Dispatch: Love the Coopers

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Love the Coopers and all the images you see in this review are owned by CBS Films and Lionsgate

Directed by Jessie Nelson

‘Tis the season for the bold and foolhardy to try and make films that will enter into the catalog of class Christmas movies!  Probably the last one to make the leap to big leagues in regard to enduring Christmas Classics is Love Actually from 2003, but that hasn’t stopped film makers from trying to break into that market which brings us to today’s feature.  Will this movie face this challenge head on and make it through the neigh impossible glass ceiling of beloved Christmas films, or will this be yet another failed attempt to recreate that Christmas magic and will be doomed to the same fate as Four Christmases, Deck the Halls, or god forbid Christmas with the Cranks?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the misadventures of several members of the Cooper family on Christmas Eve as everyone is trying to get ready for the family dinner that is to take place later that night.  At the head of the family is Sam and Charlotte Cooper (John Goodman and Diane Keaton) who are trying to keep it together long enough for them to have a happy holiday with the family despite the fact that they plan to get divorced soon after the season ends.  We also have Charlotte’s sister Emma (Marisa Tomei) who’s just a bitter jerk during the holidays (think Marie Schrader from Breaking Bad) and gets caught shoplifting which means she has to get out of it while being driven to the police station by a cop played by Anthony Mackie.  Charlotte and Sam’s kids  are Hank and Eleanor (Ed Helms and Olivia Wilde) who have their own problems to deal with as the former just recently got divorced and then fired from his job while the later… just doesn’t like coming home for the holidays and is procrastinating in an airport with a solider she just met (Jake Lacy).  There are other members of the family such as, Bucky Cooper (Alan Arkin) who’s hanging around the fringe of everyone’s story but also has his own thing going on with a waitress in a diner played by Amanda Seyfried, and Aunt Fishy (June Squibb) who’s basically playing a female version of Grandpa Simpson.  With all these characters dealing with their problems during the most stressful time of the year, will they somehow manage to have a happy Christmas, or will this end in total disaster?  Can this movie manage to juggle all these subplots without feeling like a poorly paced mess?  Okay, seriously.  Can’t we just watch Love Actually instead?

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“We’re gonna get through this. Just grin and bear it for a little bit longer.”

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