Friday, August 26, 2016

Minor Injustice that Causes Me Great Annoyance

Hello everyone!  It's been a while, I know.  I'm working on a couple of ideas for blog posts that I should be posting in a few days.  Before I get to work on finishing the first one though, something came to my attention that made me just want to vent a bit.

I'm a huge movie lover.  Last year, despite not really being able to afford it, I would try to go see at least one movie every weekend.  This didn't happen, of course, and I've been further limited this year by a few separate factors.  However, I still try to go see as many as I can, and I have greatly enjoyed what I have partaken in the theaters this year: "Hail, Caesar!", "Deadpool", "Hardcore Henry", "The Nice Guys", "Captain America: Civil War", "Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping" and "Keanu" among others, have all been fun romps for a couple of hours.  That being said, the movie that I went to see last weekend blew them all away, and that was the animated masterpiece that is "Kubo and The Two Strings".

"Kubo" is essentially a a Japanese epic that would be somewhat analogous to a kid's version of The Odyssey; a major quest fraught with monsters and magic, centered around Kubo, a young boy who can make origami move with his powers, often channeled through his shamisen, a traditional Japanese guitar-like instrument.  Without giving anything away about the plot, this movie is pure art: from the incredible stop-motion animation done by Laika (just add another to this list along with "Paranorman"), to the great voice work to go along with that animation (especially Matthew McConnaughey, who does a fantastic job just kinda being himself, really), to the truly thoughtful themes and the beautiful, powerful and thought-provoking ending.  The movie made me laugh, think and cry in equal measure while making me feel like I had grown as a person over the course of its 1 hour and 42 minute running time.  Of course, on top of all that, they had the amazing Regina Spektor do a beautiful cover of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with a shamisen as the lead instrument in the arrangement, which I think does a fantastic job of encapsulating the spirit of the film: both its mournful and hopeful sides.

Here is the video released by Focus Features (the distributor).  It's the single version of the song with clips of the movie interspersed with Regina in the studio:

Try and tell me you don't want to see this movie after watching that.

So, why am I annoyed exactly?  Well, according to, "Kubo" debuted at number 4 this past weekend, behind "Suicide Squad", "Sausage Party" and "War Dogs".

America, this is why we can't have nice things.

I can't speak personally to the quality of "War Dogs" or "Sausage Party", as I have yet to see either of them (I plan on seeing "Sausage Party" tomorrow), but I have seen "Suicide Squad" and I can very comfortably say that that movie has no business being above "Kubo" in ANYTHING aside from budget and amount of stupid moments.  Seriously, what the fuck guys!?

Normally, I couldn't care less about box office numbers: I didn't care last year that "Jurassic World" destroyed "Dope" in sales last year despite "Dope" being vastly superior in every way.  But when an undeserving product of hype and marketing like "Suicide Squad" (which was decent by recent DC film universe standards, but hardly close to the "Guardians of the Galaxy" it was desperately trying to be) has more viewers on its third weekend vs. a fucking masterpiece like "Kubo and The Two Strings" on its first, I can't help but be way more annoyed than I should.

I sure hope that "Kubo" is profitable for the sake of Laika, because I want to see a lot more of them in the future; otherwise this might be their last movie, which would be a crying shame.

Not that America deserves any more greatness from them.


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