‘Bao’: A Brutally Meaningful Showstarter

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

If you like movies and aren’t completely ignorant, you’ve definitely heard of the seamless Incredibles 2. But we aren’t here to talk about that movie – we are here to talk about what comes before it.

Prior to the Disney Pixar sequel, a short film titled Bao was featured. It was a short with no talking and very minimal sound, but brilliant animation. This, of course, can be expected of the mega animation company behind it.

The creator was a woman by the name of Domee Shi, who wrote and directed the entirety of it. This was the only produced piece on her filmography, but still made her the first woman to direct and create a Pixar short.

The story itself revolves around a woman who is making dinner for her husband – dumplings, specifically – and as her husband leaves for work, the woman is left alone. That is, except for one dumpling that sprouts arms and legs. Don’t worry, it’s not creepy, it’s cute.

It zooms through the life of the woman and her dumpling as he grows up into a bigger dumpling and eventually wants to leave home. This leads to the tragedy of the woman *SPOILER ALERT* eating her child dumpling. Once again, it’s not creepy. Seconds after, it’s revealed that, all along, the dumpling was her son. A son that abandoned her and distanced himself, creating tension when he comes back. It all ends happily when the love of a mother overpowers the fear of him leaving again.

This short film had me in tears before the main attraction even started. I was left shook and half-tempted to leave the theatre to call my own mom. Shi knew how to tug at the heart strings with a self-understood passion that she clearly demonstrated, telling a story with a moral that can only be described as undebatable and astounding. Family is around for a reason, and you shouldn’t cut that unless it’s necessary and healthier.

Even leaving Incredibles 2, I was thinking about this short. The story, the metaphors within, and all the thought that Shi must’ve put into the – for a lack of a better word – incredible journey of a mother and her child.


My Rating: 97.5%

Animation: 3.9/4

Direction: 3.9/4

Story: 3.9/4

Enjoyability: 3.9/4

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Film Forecast Friday: June 29th

On June 29th we have…

1. Sicario: Day of the Soldado

2. Uncle Drew

3. Escape Plan 2

4. Black Water

5. Woman Walks Ahead

6. Leave No Trace

Julia’s Prediction:

This week there aren’t really any big blockbuster movies coming out.

The movie I have seen the most marketing for is definitely Uncle Drew, and it has a lot of big names in it like Tiffany Haddish, Nick Kroll, and more. So based on that I think this could be the biggest movie out of those coming out this week.

However, there have been so many big releases this month I doubt any of these movies will make a big impression at the box office. Between Incredibles 2 and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom these movies will have a hard time coming anywhere near the top of ticket sales.

Anthony’s Prediction:

I’ll start with Uncle Drew, which will make the most at the box office this weekend due entirely to its insane marketing and constant advertising on every platform.

Then we have Sicario: Day of the Soldado which is a sequel, so it’ll make nearly as much as Uncle Drew, even if it’s horrible.

Those two are going to be pretty much the only relevant ones this week, given that there hasn’t been much advertising or anticipation for the sequel to Escape Plan or whatever the heck the other movies are.

‘Brain on Fire’: Drowning in Your Own Insanity

For this week of Netflix content, we have Brain on Fire. This is the true story of a woman named Susannah (played by Chloë Grace Moretz) as she goes through her self-proclaimed “month of insanity”.

Let me just start out by emphasizing how much I despised all the characters in this. Not that I hated the people who played them, I just hated the characters because of how they treated Susannah. This poor girl was losing her damn mind and they were all assholes. Her dad was yelling at her about stupid things like plumbing and her boss completely ignored her obvious sickness. Her best coworker friend was a sassy journalist who also ignored the sickness. Each character was cleverly written, but they were all just so mean and it frustrated me.

If I’ll say anything negative about this movie – that’s not about the characters – it’s that it’s incredibly slow. It takes the first twenty minutes for her to feel any symptoms, another thirty to go to the hospital, and fifteen after that to make her go entirely catatonic.

This was based on a book of the same name by the real Susannah Cahalan and her accounts of her month of insanity. Obviously they had to follow the events, even if that meant the movie was slug-paced.

Moretz was brilliant. She couldn’t have done better as she was so believable as this mental patient that so quickly became dark. Of course she looks very young, but she still gave off a believable performance as a mature adult who works for the New York Post.

For the most part, this was a good movie. It was intriguing to watch someone’s mental sanity deteriorate so fast. Granted, Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 17% which I completely don’t understand. That just goes to show that you can’t always trust a score.


My Rating: 78%

Acting: 3.2/4

Cinematography: 2.9/4

Story: 3.4/4

Enjoyability: 3/4

‘Shrek’ Me Up: A Look Back on the Childrens’ Classic

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

For this Time Warp, I decided I would touch on one of my absolute favorite animated movie franchises. That, of course, is the Academy Award winning film, ‘Shrek’. It’s still funny to me to be able to say “Academy Award winning” to the classic swamp-dwelling ogre that is my man Shrek.

Many who haven’t seen this iconic film may ask why it won Best Animated Feature in 2002. Well, those who have seen it can tell you exactly why.

The mean green fighting machine Shrek (Mike Myers) is an angry ogre who just likes to be left alone, as most people nowadays. But once love comes along, that changes, as with anyone who suddenly finds love. Shrek’s love didn’t come suddenly, of course. It came after a long journey with his new friend – whether or not he likes to admit it – a donkey, whose name is, well, Donkey (Eddie Murphy).

The love interest/self-hating princess in the movie is Fiona (played by Cameron Diaz), who loves throwing tantrums at every moment she can. You may think that it’s obnoxious, but it becomes very easy to love her by the end.

That is the overall plot of the entire first movie, but they do so well developing all the relationships within it. Being able to meet dozens of fairy tale creatures who annoy Shrek to the brink of absolute fury is, even if it’s not to Shrek, completely hilarious to watch.

Half the enjoyability of this movie revolves around the supreme soundtrack that plays throughout. I mean, we have songs like “All Star” by Smash Mouth and “Bad Reputation” performed by Joan Jett. That sells it right there, doesn’t it?

It’s an undeniably enjoyable movie and impossible not to love. It sparked a sequel that is debatably better than the first if not just as good. It’s one of those movie franchises that anybody will want to watch on a lazy afternoon in the summer, with their kids for a family movie night, in the middle of a snowstorm in the winter, or pretty much at anytime. That is how I define a classic.

‘Hereditary’: A Real Horrorshow

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Anthony Peyton

Over the weekend, I had the frightening pleasure to see the greatest horror movie in the past two decades, Hereditary, which is about a family who comes to find out about the sinister secrets that resides in their family tree.

Of course, that is my own opinion, but it has received an unbelievable amount of praise from critics everywhere as they call it “the new The Exorcist”. It’s always interesting when film critics compare a modern film to an absolute classic, which rarely ever happens for the horror genre.

It’s dismissed by most because of the lack of originality and true terror. Well let me tell you, Hereditary is not only original and terrifying but it also takes it to a level that is usually taken in a distasteful and childish way.

There’s gore that not only makes you sick to your stomach (many decapitated heads) but also brings you to a mental state of actual fear. There’s points where it feels like you’re there with the characters and experiencing their fear. It’s feels like you’re going through a haunted house but, covering your eyes and ears to escape the situation that you’re encased in.

It’s not only a wild ride, it’s an emotional one too.

The performances given by the actors were remarkable and career defining. From seasoned thespians such as Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne to the impressive first timer, Milly Shapiro (who is my new favorite actress). They all shined in their roles but it goes without saying that the performance that 20 year old, Alex Wolff, delivered was surprising and gut-wrenching.

Portraying a teen with severe PTSD, Wolff regresses his normal, rebellious adolescent character Peter to a petrified young boy. When I say ‘regress’, I mean he literally does not act like a teenager anymore. After the incident that creates his PTSD, Peter begins speaking like a child and reacting like a child. He uses the word ‘Mommy’ and when he’s scared he cries – a lot.

He also quickly becomes the 2nd main character alongside Collette’s character and his mother, Annie. They create a rivalry which includes them even having nightmares about the other killing them. Annie and Peter’s relationship shows how their tension causes an explosion of emotion and Collette and Wolff portray this in such a perfectly brutal way that it cuts like a knife.

Hereditary is the horror movie that conjures a new kind of fear in film – real fear. It is a brilliant reintroduction to the psychological, disturbing, and original content that generations before had.


My Rating: 98%

Acting: 3.7/4

Cinematography: 4/4

Story: 4/4

Enjoyability: 4.4

Film Forecast Friday: June 1st

On Friday June 1st we have…

1. Adrift

2. Upgrade

3. Action Point

4. American Animals

5. A Kid Like Jake

Julia’s Predictions:

This is an interesting week because for the first time in a while there are no big blockbusters being released. Out of the movies that are being released I think Adrift will have the biggest box office numbers. It has notable actors Shailene Woodley (Fault in Our Stars, Divergent) and Sam Claflin (Me Before You, Hunger Games) in it and I’ve seen a lot of marketing for it.

I think Action Point and Upgrade will do alright. I haven’t heard too much about either of them, but Action Point has Johnny Knoxville (Jackass) in it which will likely bring out audiences. Also, Upgrade is a Blumhouse Productions film and those tend to do well.

American Animals is absolutely amazing and I strongly recommend you go see it. We have already reviewed it, so if you need any more convincing to go see it check out our review!

Finally, A Kid Like Jake which honestly I didn’t know was a movie until today. It has Jim Parsons in it so maybe it will attract some Big Bang Theory fans?

Anthony’s Predictions:

I am beyond excited for Adrift with Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin. This will also be the moneymaker for the week at the box office, even if it will not make quite as much as previous weeks.

I have heard so much about American Animals that I’ve gotten very excited to see it. It has such a unique group of actors in it (including Evan Peters!) so I know that I’ll enjoy it already.

I definitely forgot Action Point and Upgrade were even coming out this week. I don’t really have a high opinion on them but I believe they will do about the same at the box office.

A Kid Like Jake won’t be too crazy spectacular, but should be fun because of Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons, as he is in it.

‘RBG’: The Queen of Law

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

Let me just start out by saying that this is absolutely one of my favorite documentaries that I have ever seen.

RBG, which tells the story of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, quickly turned into the story of the history of the fight for gender equality. This is for a number of reasons. First, Justice Ginsburg spent her entire young life in law studying gender discrimination. This, in itself, created the basis of what she believes.

Granted this has caused a few problems between her, her fellow justices, and the majority. Some people may believe that she had it relatively easy at first as she was always delivering the majority opinion. It became significantly more difficult when George W. Bush was elected into office.

She became the queen of dissenting opinions, the Notorious RBG.

This documentary featured interviews from Justice Ginsburg, those obsessed with her, and even former president Bill Clinton. It also developed the story regarding her relationship with her husband of fifty plus years, Martin Ginsburg, who rapidly became her happy place, serving as the outgoing spokesperson she couldn’t be for herself. The two made it a rule to never give each other advice on things the other did not know.

Between that story as well as numerous case examples, RBG brought a new light to what it’s like to be the minority in the Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg promises to do this job until she can no longer physically bare it. And that, right there, is the Supreme Court Justice we knew we needed but never fully appreciated.


My Rating: 91%

Direction: 3.6/4

Cinematography: 3.6/4

Story: 3.7/4

Enjoyability: 3.7/4