The Dallas Movie Screening Group

This is the homepage of the Dallas Movie Screening Group. To join our mailing list you must sign up at our group page on Yahoo. You will then be connected to receive notices on how to find passes to the local screenings in the DFW area. It's up to you to pickup or sign up for passes. You can also barter, trade or just giveaway passes you don't want, need or share with other members of the group. Please read the instructions on the Yahoo page very carefully before posting. This group is closely moderated so that your mail box is not full of spam or other unnecessary mail. We appreciate everyone's consideration and cooperation.

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Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Friday, August 19, 2016

Kubo and the Two Strings




Children centric movies have never been better. The recent opening of the excellent Pete’s Dragon raised the bar for quality stories and characters. Laika and Focus Features newest film is the directorial debut by Laika CEO Travis Knight. From an original story by Shannon Tindle and written by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler, the stop motion 3D animated feature is not only eye candy, but a story of of magic and heart. Shown recently at an advanced screening in the AMC Dolby theater, it was enhanced by the motion seats that vibrated along with the action. The film was preceded by a short presentation on the making of the film explaining the work and detail that was used to create the stop motion animation. The ending credits also brings you back stage to see what it takes to make the movie.

The story is the journey of Kubo (Art Parkinson), the son of a mysterious woman who washed ashore in a stormy sea using her 2 string lute to save her. Set in Ancient Japan, the boy cares for his sick mother in a cave who sometimes have moments of lucidity and regales him with stories. Her only rule to Kubo is to always make it back home before dark. During the day, Kubo goes to the village and tells stories using the magical lute and origami that comes to life as he plays the instruments. But one day, he doesn’t make it home before the sun set and his past comes to get him. His mother’s sisters (both voiced by Rooney Mara) from a spiritual world try to lure him wanting to take him to their world. His grandfather, Raiden the Moon King (Ralph Fiennes) wants Kubo’s other eye that he stole from him as a baby.

Hence the quest begins as Kubo must find the magical samurai armor that was worn by his legendary warrior father. After the village is burned down, Kubo only has a charmed figurine that his mother told him to always keep on him. That has turned into a talking Monkey (Charlies Theron) who is protective of Kubo and a bit snarky. They later meet a giant Beetle (Matthew McConaughey) who has no memory of how he came to be, but he thinks he may have been a samurai. They become surrogate parents to Kubo as they battle various monsters in search of the various pieces of armor.

The Asian themed movie isn’t as stereotyped like the Kung-fu Panda movies. There’s a more dreamlike quality of the narrative and the artwork that will keep even the most restless child rapt with attention. Some of the darker themes, like the porcelain masked sisters and the loss of family may be a little too much for the younger ones. It’s the plucky one eyed Kubo who discovers and tames his magical powers and an ending that is emotional and right. It’s too bad they could not have used all Asian actors for the main voices for the Asian characters.
(Review by reesa)



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