“A Ghost Story” Ponders Time, Legacy, and the Meaning of Loss

Writer-director David Lowery’s A Ghost Story is a contemplative tone poem on the vast expanses of time, captured in a single relationship between two people.  As the two main characters reach a turning point about where they are going to live, a car accident removes one of them from the equation – except that it doesn’t. After the body is identified and the sheet pulled back, the body erects itself, walks out of the morgue, and starts observing.

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“The Discovery” Under Delivers on a Fascinating Concept

The Discovery has all the markings of a potent science fiction parable, but none of the follow-through.  The central conceit, that a scientist has discovered irrefutable evidence that an afterlife exists, is simple yet wrought with fascinating consequences.  But, as the film attempts to explore its ideas, it is bogged down by poor characters, confusing and unnecessary plot devices, and a banal ending that treads familiar paths, lacks visual storytelling fundamentals, and still confuses.  As it stands, The Discovery feels less like a feature film, and more like an episode of Black Mirror – and a weak one at that.

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A Pair of Afterlife Trailers: “The Discovery” and “The Void”

A pair of off-the-radar film released trailers recently, and both of them appear to offer something interesting for the fan of genre film.  Each also, in their own way, use concepts revolving around the afterlife as major plot elements.  These films are The Discovery and The Void.  This will be a short piece introducing each of these films and their trailers, and offering a few stray observations about what we’re seeing (and what other people have been saying).  Here we go!
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“Kubo and the Two Strings” Sports Gorgeous Animation and Weighty Themes, but is Marred by Sub-par Voice-Acting and Pacing

Stop motion animation giant Laika consistently produces alluring and powerful films.  Kubo and the Two Strings, directed by Laika CEO Travis Knight, continues this tradition.  Kubo may be the best-looking stop-motion film ever produced, complete with fantastical creatures, awe-inspiring landscapes, and even action sequences that shame actual action movies.  In addition, unlike some of the animated films this summer, Kubo and the Two Strings packs significant thematic punch, deftly handing complex issues and ideas.   There are serious issues with the film, mostly revolving around the uneven pacing and lackluster vocal performances (which may actually be poor dialogue writing – it is hard to say).  In the grand scope, the result is an absolute treasure, but one in which you have to slog through some needlessly slow and awkward moments.  Fortunately, it is just so damn pretty and cool that, for some people, that won’t matter too much.

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