It’s easy enough to recognize the distinctive aesthetic of a Wes Anderson film but where it finds itself at its most delightfully tangible, without a doubt, is in The Grand Budapest Hotel. But even by Wes Anderson’s own standards, the elaborate structure of such a work is nearly impossible to match, for this feels like the sort of film that only Wes Anderson could have made. The Grand Budapest Hotel is the most Wes Anderson film that Wes Anderson has ever made, because it’s where each and every one of his most distinctive skills find themselves at their most free. If that alone weren’t enough to amount to what could easily become one of Wes Anderson’s best films, I don’t know what else can – because this may very well be the most Wes Anderson film ever to Wes Anderson.
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Kind of like The Lego Movie in a sense that it would not be easy to expect something along these lines at first to be half as good as it was, but it manages to succeed in bringing good fun. The unexpected success of The Lego Movie was one among many of the decade’s biggest surprises for it managed to capture a certain playfulness in itself that in turn created a product far better than it really had much right to be, but with The Lego Batman Movie now focusing on DC characters, one can only have enough of Will Arnett’s Batman impression filling up the final product. Turns out what I got was exactly what made The Lego Movie work nearly as well as it did although probably not to the same degree of effectiveness as said film, but maybe the same sort of fun.
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Laika’s latest offering, Kubo and the Two Strings is a film that is motivated through what it is about, the power of storytelling. Showing influence from the work of Hayao Miyazaki, what’s offered through Kubo and the Two Strings shows not only from the beauty of the animation left behind, but also from an evident love for its own inspirations are, but only a fraction of the beauty arises from there. If one were to tell me that Kubo and the Two Strings was indeed a stop motion feature as it were directed by Hayao Miyazaki, I would believe it on the spot, because this sort of beauty which I’ve found in here is something almost indescribable as it splashes all the more with imagination right as it drifts along. I don’t think I’ll see another animated film from this year that will ever be as gorgeous as this. Continue reading →