‘Toy Story 4’ Review: A Worthy Conclusion to Pixar’s Long-Running Saga

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When Toy Story 4 was announced, many fans have also been speculating on what worth would a fourth film have following the conclusion of Toy Story 3 with Andy’s time now having come to an end. But of course with the stakes having been raised incredibly high up by Toy Story 3, the initial proposal of Toy Story 4 as a romantic comedy with Woody and Bo Peep would already have been met with negative feedback, even after her absence in Toy Story 3. But nevertheless, the film had came around anyway and maybe there’s so much more that we can imagine to what it feels like to be a toy than simply being passed around from Andy to Bonnie at the very end of Toy Story 3? With all of this being set in mind, there’s no way that Toy Story 4 should work as well as it does but it still finds itself a worthy entry into Pixar’s long-running saga, and as a way for them to bookend the decade, just as they started it off with Toy Story 3, it feels more than just satisfying enough. I’m still left wondering what more could an entry like this have done in the grand scheme of things but if this is how the Toy Story series finally must come to its own conclusion, I’m more than fine with it.

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Us Review: Jordan Peele’s Sophomore Boasts a Confident Eye Behind the Genre

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For his sophomore feature film as a director, Jordan Peele returns to the realm of horror but also takes on a whole new approach with Us. But there’s also a great deal to admire about how much ambition Jordan Peele is showing in regards to where he wants to take his career, going from the funny guy on MADtv and Key & Peele to an Oscar-winning creator of horror films starting with Get Out. That’s about everything I feel can really be said about the fact that Peele is willing to take on a new challenge with Us, because there’s an incredible sense of confidence that one can pick up on from looking at what he presents for your eyes to see. But something else that I’m also finding myself loving about this new turn for Jordan Peele is the notion that this time around he seems to be unveiling even more potential for what he could bring to the horror genre. Like all the very best, he finds a way to get under your skin, but Peele’s vision is so distinctly made out of a love for the genre to that point even the most familiar concepts could be made into something more abstract.

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General Thoughts: The 90th Academy Awards

One knows already how predictable the Academy Awards can become after the route of the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards among many more, but in the 90 years that we have seen them moving onward, what they had managed to turn forth was not only one of the strongest lineups in a while but also one of the most pleasantly surprising, knowing where their own habits lie. If there was anything else to be said about what the Academy Awards have in store for us this year, then it only makes this year’s ceremony – unlike the past few at least, worth looking forward to.

Bold indicates my vote for said category.
Underline indicates who I think will win.

To read more about the picks this year in the major categories, click “read more.” Continue reading →

Why I Care: The 90th Academy Awards

We always tell ourselves whenever there’s an Oscars ceremony that we don’t ever care about what they pick for Best Picture, because it’s always been up to us to decide how the films play for ourselves. But no matter how many times we like to reaffirm that the Oscars are ultimately just meaningless to our own opinions of the films themselves, the better question to ask ourselves is why do we keep watching them? I’m not of a mind that has ever believed in the Academy Awards as arbitrary to how we feel about the films that we watch over the years, but I always watch because they are also indicative of how the industry chooses to move forward in the future. When La La Land lost last year to Moonlight after an erroneous announcement, what did not come by was merely a victory for LGBT films in the sense that we were finally recognized by the Academy in their choice to award us Best Picture, but because odds were never certainly going to add up in its favour, it was a moment of triumph for aspiring filmmakers like myself.

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Get Out – Some Second Thoughts

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NOTE: This is a revised opinion that represents my current thoughts as opposed to my previous review. You can find the original review right here.

When I first saw Get Out in the theater, I came out thinking that it was merely good; yet it managed to stick inside of my head far more in the days that came afterward. Not merely because of the fact that I was stunned Jordan Peele of all people was the director, but the scathing social commentary of this work is one among many things that makes Get Out among the most effective films of our own time. Effective in a sense that it plays as a reminder that we must change for the better and not just wear it on our sleeves that we are going to “accept” a change in pace. But because Jordan Peele chooses to tell us this story as a horror film, it gives us a grasp on a greater truth. It may not strike on the first watch, but knowing more about the world it presents and how it reflects our own is the most terrifying thing that Get Out opens us to.

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2017: A Year in Review

Another year is complete, but not without having talked about the wonderful experiences we’ve had at the cinemas. Together with the not-so-wonderful films. But alas, this has been an extraordinary year for films for the highlights still managed to stick their landing inside of our minds – and the inevitable “what about such and such?” will come but I will remind you that it would have been outright impossible for me to have been able to catch virtually every movie that had come out the previous year to make sure I wouldn’t forget other highlights that may not have made it.
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Get Out – Review

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Keegan Michael-Key and Jordan Peele have already made a name for themselves as two of the funniest men on television but after a seemingly rough start for their film career with Keanu (which played more as an overlong Key & Peele sketch) but now one half of them goes behind the director’s chair for a horror film. Get Out marks the directorial debut of Jordan Peele and it still carries his own dash of comedy, while intact remaining so terrifying. But I’m astonished that a man as funny as Jordan Peele could have made something like this given how he handles horror, and if Get Out signified anything for his future, he’s certainly on his way to becoming a great screenwriter and director. If he were to direct another comedy film or a horror film, count me on board.

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Storks – Review

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Following The Lego Movie, Warner Bros. Animation comes out with Storks – and of all the people whom I would have expected to be behind it, it was none other than Nicholas Stoller, the man responsible for Neighbors, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and The Five-Year Engagement among many more (although knowing his background having written The Muppets, it does make some sense). What else I also would never have expected from Storks was that it would also be nearly half as cute and insane as it made itself out to be, and if Warner Bros. Animation continues off with this streak, then I can only see promise coming for them in the future. Continue reading →