Dearest Blog: Yesterday it was off to Marquee Cinemas for a promising pair of pictures: Finding Dory and Central Intelligence.
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.
First on the docket: Finding Dory. Everyone's favorite memory-challenged blue fish goes searching for a piece of her past.
Dear reader(s): Finding Nemo is my favorite thing that Pixar has ever done. Outside of dear ol' Captain Jack, it may be my favorite thing Disney's ever done, too, so it was with equal parts excitement and trepidation I accepted the idea of a welcome, but unnecessary, sequel. I am pleased to report that, if Finding Dory doesn't quite match Finding Nemo, it does an admirable job of carrying on the franchise nonetheless.
In the grand tradition of Pixar product, Finding Dory looks amazing. Outstanding art, bold colors, and lovely animation combine to create a picture that appears to live and breathe on its own. If Dory were a real, live person instead of a cartoon fish, Ellen DeGeneres undoubtedly would earn some serious awards consideration; she is brilliant.
Her supporting cast is filled with familiar and capable voices, including Albert Brooks, reprising his role as the clownfish Marlon, as well as Ed O'Neill, Diane Keaton, Idris Elba, and Sigourney Weaver.
The predictable-but-charming tale is backed by a lovely score by Thomas Newman. If I were to quibble over one small flaw, it's that the movie has too many false endings, which make it seem to drag on a bit, but the post-credits scene is well worth weathering the extensive end credits. Finding Dory runs 97 minutes (which includes an adorable short called Piper) and is rated PG for "mild thematic elements." Finding Dory is an almost-perfect mix of beautiful art and a sweet, family-friendly story.
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Finding Dory gets eight.
Fangirl points: Idris Elba, Dominic West, Kaitlin Olson.
Next up: buddy comedy Central Intelligence.
A bullied youth turned CIA agent drags his only high-school friend into the world of international espionage. If you took all of Hollywood, put it in a bag and shook it up, then dumped out any ten random actors, Dwayne Johnson would probably have more charisma than all ten combined.
He's no Crowe or Denzel in the acting-chops department, but the guy is always fun to watch, and, in Central Intelligence, he has great chemistry with his hilarious co-star Kevin Hart.
Central Intelligence boasts a well-plotted story with a fair few twists, and, though most of its laugh-out-loud moments were revealed in trailers, the movie is uniformly entertaining and amusing, and the action keeps it moving at a good clip.
Central Intelligence clocks in at 114 minutes and is rated PG13 for "crude and suggestive humor, some nudity, action/violence, and brief strong language."
A serviceable buddy comedy that provides both laughs and thrills a-plenty, of a possible nine Weasleys, Central Intelligence gets seven.
Until next time...