Kubo and the Two Strings: An absurdly beautiful, hand-made hero's tale.
What it is: The latest from the stop-motion wizards at Laika, whose other films include 2009's Coraline and 2012's woefully underrated ParaNorman.
What I've watched: Watched the movie last night.
Is it good? Yeah, it's really cool. A few things kept me from loving it quite as much as the first act made me think I would, but it's a gorgeous and good-hearted movie.
Quick thoughts: I went in knowing absolutely zero about it and liked it a lot. It's an unusually fluid film, shifting its lore and storytelling goalposts in and out of focus in a way that forced me to simply relax and go with the flow. The whole thing is light and ever-changing, which makes for a pleasant viewing experience even if it robs the story of some dramatic tension.
Laika's stop-motion magic is more ridiculous than ever, and they have stepped up their game with regard to action sequences. One particularly cool battle is a straight-up Dark Souls boss fight involving a hand-made monster that, as it turns out, really was room-sized. My one real gripe is that the tone shifts about 30 minutes in with the addition of a wisecracking comic relief character, while I would have preferred it if the screenwriters had stuck with the mysterious and awed tone of the first 20 or 30 minutes. Still, a really neat movie. I'm glad the people at Laika are able to do what they do, and so well.
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