THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS

Twenty-one years ago, Toy Story started a revolution. Not as a breakthrough in computer animation — though it was that as well — but as a breakthrough in imagination. What went on when our backs were turned? Once we left the room and shut off the lights, would inanimate objects spring to life, establish political systems, social hierarchies, develop romantic relationships and carry grudges? It’s a romantic notion to turn objects into friends with personalities, but those personalities are only as inventive as the humans who conceive of them. That is what makes Toy Story, and its subsequent sequels, so … Continue reading THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS

FINDING DORY

Preeminent film director Howard Hawks succinctly described a good movie as: “Three great scenes, no bad ones.” Many since have tried to elaborate on what defines a good movie through various criteria and rubrics, but all fall short of Hawks’s dictum. “Three great scenes, no bad ones.” Elegant and concise, and simply states: I know it when I see it. Finding Dory — Disney/Pixar’s follow-up to the incredibly heartfelt and successful 2003 Finding Nemo — is a good movie, full stop. Picking up shortly after the events of Finding Nemo, everyone’s favorite blue tang, Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), begins … Continue reading FINDING DORY

CONCUSSION

Just in time for College Football Bowl games and the NFL playoffs, Concussion tells the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith), the Nigerian-born forensic pathologist who discovered and named chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the brains of several recently deceased NFL players. Omalu’s discovery began with Pittsburg Steeler, Mike Webster (David Morse), who died in 2002 at the age of 50. Physically healthy, Webster suffered from brain damage due to repetitive concussions from playing football, a risk that most players, owners and viewer suspect is a by-product of the game, but a truth not many are willing to acknowledge … Continue reading CONCUSSION