Pete’s Dragon made me believe in the magic of family all over again. I am not all gloom and doom, but in todays day and age, it’s not exactly pleasant to watch the evening news. Typically, a screaming blowhard whose name rhymes with “dump” is getting the attention, trying to put fear in our hearts, when what we really need is more messages that a film like this has. Director David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) heightens the magic with kindness and friendship, in this remake of the 1977 original. He removes the corny songs & dances, and caresses our hearts through the beautiful relationship of a boy and his dragon. Pete’s Dragon is a film that families will fall in love with.
I mean the name of the movie is Sausage Party. It’s seriously called Sausage Party. It’s an animated movie that comes equipped with a hard R, starring Seth Rogan, about a hot dog searching for his meaning in life, and a bun to er…fill. Really. When I gathered myself into my seat for the newest work of the writing team of Rogan & Evan Goldberg, I had no clue what was in store for me and the entire South by Southwest audience. The version of the film that I am reviewing was at the time deemed “a work in progress”, which means that a few scenes were missing color or a full construction of the animation, but the voices were all there, and the plot was in tact. It seriously didn’t matter. Sausage Party is a laugh riot, leaving no ethnicity or sex joke out, in one of my most memorable viewing experiences of 2016. I watched with the right crowd, and this movie wasn’t just a party, it was like a rock concert.
Anthropoid, drops into the middle of a cold and dark WWII Czechoslovakia, where Jan Kubis (Jamie Dornan) and Josef Gabcik (Cillian Murphy) are two of seven resistance fighters, parachuted into the war torn country as part of an attempt to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, the third most powerful man in the Nazi Party. The task alone is daunting, as the prospect of attempting to kill a man in that high of a position of power would be. Yet, director Sean Ellis (Metro Manilla) succeeds, placing the audience in high intensity sequences, and a finale that delivers on pulse pounding drama that had me clenching to the arm of my seat.
Who says you can’t make a western in the 21st century? What if I told you, that Hell or High Water was the best modern day western since, oh I don’t know, Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven? Now some will say that I am overrating this, especially compared to early opinions from my peers at the Cannes film festival, which are positive reviews, but likely not with the same level of praise I am about to give. I do believe though, that time will be good to Hell or High Water. It is the newest film from director David Mackenzie (Starred Up) and penned by Sicario writer Taylor Sheridan. This is a pressure cooker-of a film, about two men robbing small town banks in Texas, while a pair of rangers, lead by Jeff Bridges, are hot on their heels. Its high drama, along the lone star plains, and happens to be one of the best movies of 2016.