Summer Movie Season: Part Five

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It’s been a long and wonderful look back at the summer months and all of the blockbuster movies that I enjoyed or despised. So far we’ve covered a wide span of films from May through early August, but it’s about time we wrapped this up. There were two movies to view in August, and one great film in September that I’m tagging on here because of the famous “Indian Summer” phenomenon (do dooo dee do doo).

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When I first heard about yet another classic film from Disney being remade, I did the typical, “I wish Disney would do something original.” Early images and teasers didn’t encourage me to take the time to view it. Nevertheless, by the time this movie came out, I was getting a little excited.

I managed to see this film in 3-D thanks to some connections with my Stepmother (she’s not so wicked after all!) at a press screening. This movie was a bit more serious while still keeping that sense of magic and wonder alive. This movie got you emotionally involved from the very beginning by showing you the first meeting of Pete and Elliott. Thanks to a book, we even got an idea of how Elliott got his name! With a cast featuring Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, and Karl Urban (Mr. Summer Blockbuster 2016) the real stars here were breakout performances by the child actors Oakes Fegley and Oona Laurence (I still don’t understand modern naming conventions.)

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Kubo and the Two Strings was not a summer blockbuster. It sat at number 4 as audiences flocked to view Suicide Squad again and again. But this movie was truly one of the best films of the summer, and I’m sure it will gain and keep a following as DVD and Blu-Ray releases are pending. I know I’m adding this one to my library.

Laiku takes such painstaking efforts in their craft in designing their puppets and their sets for their stop motion films. This film is absolutely beautiful to behold and a wonder of animation. It’s story is rich and heartfelt, it’s characters are delightful, and the ending song is a rendition of an old Beatles hit.

What is not the like? I’m going to take a guess that maybe you didn’t see this one, so I’m going to tell you that you should remedy that situation as soon as you can. I don’t want to go into the story too much, because I don’t want to spoil anything for you. Watch and enjoy!

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The original Magnificent Seven is a western classic starring Yul Brenner. Seven gunfighters save a town from banditos in what could be called an inspiration for The Three Amigos. If I’d have known they were remaking it, I’d have had my doubts.

However, the fist encounter I had with this movie is a wonderful trailer that introduced one of the finest casts I’ve seen this summer (even if this was September.) Denzel Washington leads a cast with Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Ethan Hawke. They bring to life such wonderful characters that you will enjoy and thrill with during the course of this slightly different take on a town in trouble.

And these are not just gunfighters, they are dagger throwing, arrow shooting, axe hurling, card tricking, bad guy killers. Each has their strengths different from the rest of the seven, and they fight like heroes.

This movie is going into my library.

And with this final film, I’m wrapping up this 5-part series. I hope you have enjoyed taking a look back at some of my favorite and least favorite movies of this year 2016.

As always, feel free to send your own thoughts to podcast@neverlandpodcast.com.

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