Pixar’s New Short Film ‘Bao’ Is Weird, But Also Kind Of Essential

Bao

I recently wrote up an explainer for Bao on The Young Folks:

Bao was directed by Domee Shi, the first woman to ever direct a Pixar short…Over the course of about eight minutes, we see a dumpling become a baby boy, growing up under his mother’s love until eventually becoming too old to stay home with her. Essentially, Bao is a Chinese retelling of “The Gingerbread Man.”

I saw Incredibles 2 for the second time last night with a large audience, and I was almost more curious about how Bao would come across in front of other people. In case you haven’t seen it, Bao has a very “Pixar” plot with an absolutely shockingly weird twist that almost lampoons Pixar. It’s probably genius?

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Incredibles 2 Review: Not Every Pixar Movie Can Be Super

incredibles 2

From my official review of Incredibles 2 on The Young Folks:

These are the clearest shortcomings of Incredibles 2, as it fails to be as strong an ensemble piece as The Incredibles, where every main character (even the villain) had a defined, cohesive arc. But in virtually every other respect, Incredibles 2 is just as wonderful, gorgeous, and thrilling as the first, to the point where most super fans of the original likely won’t care about these flaws.

Overall, I liked the movie. It even exceeded some of my expectations, particularly with some of the clever writing surrounding the infant Jack Jack and how he creatively factors into the super family’s heroic antics.

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2018 Movie Power Rankings

Oh, how time flies. This is my fourth year doing these “power rankings,” so most of you know the drill. I’ve watched enough movies at this point in the year to unveil my rankings, and I’ll continue to update this list as I watch more films until the end of December.

Solo: a Star Wars Story – Review and Spoiler-Free Analysis

Going into Solo: a Star Wars Story, I had my own fair share of reservations due to production shakeups and even the very idea of this movie. Maybe you’ve heard this before: “No one asked for a Han Solo movie.” “Disney is ruining Star Wars.” “Jon Negroni’s YouTube channel is a disgrace.”

All of these points are valid, but for me, Solo happens to be a genuinely satisfying summer movie, and even one worth analyzing. In the video above, I give a spoiler-free review and analysis of the movie, spending most of my time discussing my personal baggage with Han as a character in the original trilogy, plus a lot of what you can expect overall from his adventurous origin story.

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Which is Better: Zootopia or Finding Dory?

Both 2016 films are competently made. Both films are humorous, well-realized, and stunning to look at. Both films have engaging, wonderful main characters with goals and story arcs that are as insightful as they are entertaining. Both films share many of the same strengths, making it hard to objectively point to one being better than the other on any sort of technical level. But…

‘A Quiet Place’ Is Scary For Kids, But Terrifying For Adults

QUIET PLACE

I don’t have children, so I have to imagine the new film A Quiet Place is far more frightening for a parent than it could hope to be for someone like me. It’s probably more impactful, too.

In A Quiet Place, most of the world has been eradicated. A young family of survivors has to live as silently as possible to avoid the blind, super-hearing creatures who prey upon anything making a sound. Danger is everywhere. The family can’t escape these bulletproof nightmares.

So the family perseveres by creating strict, logical rules. They communicate with lights and sign language. They walk barefoot. They make soundproof trails and play board games with cloth materials. The message is quiet, but it’s clear. To parents in any context, the world is a scary place, and every family has a set of idiosyncratic methods for raising their children. In this case, it’s playing a high-stakes version of “the quiet game.”

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‘A Wrinkle In Time’ Takes Us Far, But Goes Nowhere

A Wrinkle in Time probably should have been an animated movie. Disney has had a better track record with animation when it comes to fantasy if we’re being honest, and it’s a shame to see a filmmaking team produce such a visually stunning movie trapped inside a vacuous bore of a screenplay.