Kubo and the Two Strings
The animated fantasy adventure film Kubo and the Two Strings, directed by Travis Knight, tells the tale of Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of “Game of Thrones”), a Japanese boy who is responsible for his mother. Clever, kindhearted Kubo ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town. But his relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (Academy Award winner Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey), and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known. With the help of his shamisen – a magical musical instrument – Kubo must battle gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King (Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes) and the evil twin Sisters (Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara) to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family and fulfill his heroic destiny.
Critic Comments: “Kubo and the Two Strings stands as the sort of film that feels richer with each successive viewing, from the paper-folded Laika logo at the beginning (an early taste of the stunning origami sequences to follow) to the emotional resonance of its final shot.” (Variety) “Kubo and the Two Strings, a stop-motion film from Laika Entertainment, is a wondrous tale about the power of stories.” (LA Times) “A visually stunning stop-motion story set in feudal Japan …” (The Wall Street Journal) “The adventure fantasy blends spectacular storytelling with great characters.” (Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune)
Rocky (Jane Levy), Alex and Money are three Detroit thieves who get their kicks by breaking into the houses of wealthy people. Money hears about a blind veteran who won a major cash settlement following the death of his only child. Figuring he’s an easy target, the trio invades the man’s secluded home in an abandoned neighborhood and discover that breaking in is a lot easier than getting back out alive. Finding themselves trapped inside, the young intruders must fight for their lives after making a shocking discovery about their supposedly helpless victim.
Critic Comments: “A muscular exercise in brutal, relentless peril that should please genre fans.” (Variety) “Alvarez (director) uses the camera like a stealth weapon, exploring dark corners and hidden areas of the house with devilish glee.” (The New Yorker) “Fede Alvarez’s simple housebound horror film is sparse on dialogue but its editing and sound design lend to a slow roll of dread that makes it a triumph.” (The Guardian) “It will probably please fans of this simple genre with its solid suspense, murky lighting and ‘gotcha!’ scares.” (The New York Times)
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