The Super Mario Bros. Movie

The Super Mario Bros. Movie

In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day) are two working-class jamokes from Brooklyn who leave their steady jobs to start their own plumbing business.  When they reveal that they’ve put all of their savings into a corny-yet-catchy television commercial to promote themselves (with stereotypical “a-this and a-that” phrasings) I thought, these guys are living the American dream.  They should be commended for doing something so risky, given how most small businesses fail within the first year.  So when their own family openly derides the brothers at the dinner table for being idiots, I was a bit stunned.  Is this the message we really want the future business owners in the audience to hear?

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Minions: The Rise of Gru

In this prequel sequel, Gru (Steve Carrel) is intent on joining the Vicious6, a group of super villains who have deep-sixed their leader, Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin).  Even though the minions have given Gru nothing but unwavering loyalty and dedication to his cause, he doesn’t believe that the minions are ready for prime time.  What 11 & ¾ year-old kid doesn’t need some help becoming a supervillain?  As for Wild Knuckles, he’s furious that the team he founded tried to kill him.  If you haven’t guessed, Minions: The Rise of Gru is about loyalty.  Well, it’s about loyalty in those moments when it isn’t hilariously funny.

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Soul is a clever examination of the nature of being presented in the guise of an animated feature.  The movie delves into what comprises our souls, from how we get the different aspects of our personality, to what gives our lives its spark (or inspiration).  As expected, the animation in Soul is exceptional, and its depictions of the Great Beyond (and the Great Before) are a treat for the eyes.  Soul’s main story focuses on one man’s dream to become a professional jazz pianist, and how that may or may not be his calling in life.  While Soul doesn’t reach the same emotional height as Inside Out, it is insightful, thought provoking and very funny.  Highly recommended.

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