NOTE: There sadly isn’t a Queued in Fridays post this week. Hopefully, this little review helps make up for it.
Release: August 19, 2016
Story: Kubo and the Two Strings is about a young, one-eyed boy, Kubo (voiced by young actor Art Parkinson), who lives in ancient Japan with his mother (voiced by Charlize Theron). Kubo is a storyteller and shamisen (a string instrument) player. Kubo, who possesses magical powers, must come home everyday before dark or else his evil grandfather (Ralph Fiennes) and creepy, masked aunts (both voiced by Rooney Mara) will find him and take him away. After Kubo accidentally stays out too late in a vain attempt to contact his dead father, his relatives discover his whereabouts. Kubo goes on the run and is forced to find three powerful magical artifacts that will help him defeat his grandfather. Aiding Kubo is a talking monkey and a giant talking beetle named…um…Beetle (Matthew McConaughey). Monkey was formerly Kubo’s small wooden monkey charm and Beetle claims to be a former apprentice to Kubo’s father before he was cursed and transformed into a beetle-man. With fricken scary sisters, giant skeletons and dangerous ocean creatures standing in their way, it won’t be easy for Kubo and his friends to find the artifacts before they are hunted down by Kubo’s terrible grandfather. Continue reading
Release: June 27, 1986
Story: Sarah (played by Jennifer Connelly) is a, let’s be honest, bratty 15 year-old who always has her face buried in novels, playbooks and her own imagination. After yet another night of her baby brother being forced upon her while her father and step-mother have a night out, Sarah wishes the Goblin King from the play she is reading would take her brother away. The king, also known as Jareth (played by David Bowie), turns out to be real, and he does as she wishes. Sarah, not having meant the wish, must travel to Jareth’s fantasy kingdom if she hopes to save her brother. In her way is Jareth’s massive labyrinth full of twists, turns and unforeseen paths. If Sarah wishes to find her way through the magical maze and survive the creatures and perils within and around, she must ally herself with the untrustworthy dwarf Hoggle (voiced and co-puppeteered by Jim Henson’s son Brian Henson), a kindhearted giant of a beast called Ludo, and Sir Didymus, a small but ever courageous fox aided by his not so brave English Sheepdog, Ambrosius. Sarah only has 13 hours to make it through the maze before the Goblin King keeps her brother forever, and Jareth certainly won’t be playing it fair.
“Only six of these cameras were ever made. Only five of them ever worked. We have four of those.”
You may know Albert Brooks as a post-modern, 1970s stand-up comedian or you’re maybe familiar with his work directing shorts during the very early days of Saturday Night Live. It could be his Oscar nominated role in Broadcast News that caught your attention or possibly his occasional voice work for The Simpsons. Me? It’s his part as Nemo’s nervous and safety conscious father Marlin in Pixar’s Finding Nemo and Finding Dory that introduced me to Mr. Brooks. Also, praised for his directorial work, I decided to try out his freshman outing as a feature film director, Real Life. Continue reading