On DVD & Blu-Ray: November 15, 2016


It has been thirteen years since Disney and Pixar released their fifth feature length film together in Finding Nemo, a movie about a timid clownfish who set out across the ocean to try and find his son. With that film, Disney and Pixar achieved the worldwide domination that the Toy Story franchise thus far had suggested and that Monsters Inc. had more or less solidified two years earlier. With Finding Nemo the animation studio proved once and for all they were no fluke and that their originals could be just as compelling and inventive as their sequels. So now, thirteen years later, we finally have a sequel to one of the Pixar films that both could have remained a stellar single film while also (along with The Incredibles) being one of the Pixar films that audiences longed for a sequel to and would have much preferred over another Cars movie. Has the moment passed though? Even Toy Story 3 came in under the thirteen year mark, but it has now legitimately been a full generation (or two) since Finding Nemo debuted in theaters. Of course, the answer is no as through the power of DVD's, blu-ray's and the ever-improving home theater experience children and viewers who were once children who now have their own children will continue to watch their favorite Disney and Pixar films no matter how much time passes. I will certainly show my child the magic of Finding Nemo once she's emotionally ready for those first ten minutes, but the point is to say that it was never going to be too late for Finding Dory and more than anything most audiences will be happy to know it's finally here. And so, with that said and with all of that to live up to, how is the actual film? In short, it is perfectly capable. It is extremely sweet and cute in all the right ways. The flashbacks to Dory as a baby with her parents (voiced by Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy) teaching her how to cope with her short term memory loss will absolutely make a puddle out of any viewer with a heart. Finding Dory also succeeds in not being a carbon copy of the original and offers a fair amount of new characters that are also fun, sweet, and cute. As the film draws to its close though, it becomes clear Dory will pack none of the emotional heft that many of the best Pixar films do. While there are certainly moments of great weight and substance in Dory's quest to locate where she came from the overall arc of the film never latches onto a specific idea or theme in a way that through the films execution comes to feel profound. Instead, Finding Dory is a fun, beautifully animated diversion and sometimes that is just good enough. Video review here. Full review here. B-

Based on the true story of Gary Faulkner Nicolas Cage and Russell Brand star in this Larry Charles (Borat) directed film about Faulkner's quest to find Osama Bin Laden on his own. The trailer for Army of One that premiered a few months ago made it look outlandishly and ridiculously fun if not for nothing else, but for the type of Cage performance it seemingly featured, but when it finally arrived in limited release and on demand a few weeks ago the critical reception labeled it as something of a bust. I'm still curious enough to rent the flick now that the price will have dropped on streaming outlets, but my expectations have also dropped so I'm not exactly hoping for as much as I once was.

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