‘Toy Story 4’ Film Review

Grade: A

Tom Hanks, Keanu Reeves, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Christina Hendricks, Keegan-Michael Key, Ally Maki, and Jordan Peele in Toy Story 4 (2019)

You would think that ‘Toy Story 4’ was nothing more than a pointless cash grab, but in the case of this continuation of a sweet conclusion to a trilogy, you would be surprised. ‘Toy Story’ is Pixar’s most beloved and meaningful of its properties. Not only did it put Pixar on the map and pave the way for computer animation to be the new norm, it also manages to appeal to both children and adults. Just the name “Toy Story” alone is enough to bring joy into the hearts of those who hear it being mentioned. To ruin such a beloved trilogy for the sake of money and merchandising is basically a crime against humanity. Thankfully, ‘Toy Story 4’ still has enough heart to keep the franchise alive.

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‘Us’ Film Review

Grade: A-

Lupita Nyong'o in Us (2019)

After the critical and financial success that was ‘Get Out’, for which writer/director Jordan Peele won an Oscar for ‘Best Original Screenplay’, the new mastermind of horror has now returned to give us… well… ‘Us’. It plays as a throwback to 70’s horror films with its cinematography and style, and as a feature-length ‘Twilight Zone’ episode with its themes and characters, yet one thing is for certain; Peele is a filmmaker that requires you to throw expectations out the door and pay attention, even if the results turn out as predictable as you expect for a horror film.

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‘Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie’ Film Review

Grade: A-

It’s a funny coincidence how two superhero movies are playing over the same weekend. Not only that, but the two superheroes I am talking about have been long overdue for a movie. While almost everyone else is seeing ‘Wonder Woman’ – which took 75 years to bring to the big screen as a solo effort (She had a ‘Lego’ incarnation of her in ‘The Lego Movie’ and ‘The Lego Batman Movie’, as well as a supporting role in ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice’) – I went to watch my childhood dream come true, with ‘Peanuts Movie’ style of brightly colored animation and funny juvenile humor that captures the original source material’s spirit without trying to be too serious. (‘Baywatch’ should have taken notes.)

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‘Get Out’ Film Review

Grade: B

Get Out Movie Poster

A horror movie directed by Jordan Peele about the twisted side of racism should play as a ‘Key and Peele’ sketch made for Youtube. But nope! This was actually released in theaters almost a year after ‘Keanu’ (a ‘Key and Peele’ movie) was released. Whereas, Peele went in front of the camera to give the performance of his life with his comic partner Keegan-Michael Key in ‘Keanu’, here in ‘Get Out’, there is no trace of Peele to be seen. Instead, he is working behind the camera (and writing) to bring us a twist on the usual horror comedy trope and anxiety about meeting your girlfriend’s parents. Alfred Hitchcock may be the master of suspense, but with Jordan Peele’s masterful work behind the camera, he might just bring a new kind of horror to modern audiences.

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