Things I Like: Finding Dory (2016 Film)

Finding Dory 2016 Disney Pixar movie poster

When it comes to animated movies, Pixar is the best…most of the time anyways. 2003’s Finding Nemo was one of their best and it’s rather peculiar that it took like 13 years to make a sequel. I was only 15 years old when the original came out. I also remember it being one of the last movies I really saw be available on a VHS tape as DVD had pretty much made it virtually obsolete by the time. Back when Finding Nemo came out, Pixar had not made a mistake. A few years later Cars came out and their track-record could be a little hit or miss. A decade and a half is a little scary for a a sequel to be in limbo. Especially as the title suggests a tale of deja vu. Is this oceanic tale another memorable classic, a worthy sequel, or an embarrassing disappointment?

Dory and Marlin Finding Dory 2016 Disney Pixar movie

Finding Dory is set a year after the events of Finding Nemo. While Nemo and his dad Marlin are reunited and happy, Dory also lives with them too. Though she still can’t remember that as a royal blue tang that she can’t enter the sea anemones that protect clownfish from big bad fish such as the one that eat Nemo’s mother and the rest of his egg-siblings in the original movie. Marlin still has to deal with Dory’s terrible short-term memory. While the two clownfish consider her to be family, others like Mr. Ray the schoolteacher who is a spotted eagle ray considers her to be a headache. And Nemo’s classmates thinks she’s rather dumb. And to be fair, they’re for the most part right about Dory because she can’t remember anything long enough to do her much good.

The octopus Finding Dory 2016 Disney Pixar movie

But one day Dory starts to remember something. Which is something that happened long ago. Something that is…her parents. Dory realizes she must of had parents, but faded memories of them reappear in her head from the times where she was a tiny baby fish. She recalls that they were from California which is not even close to where they are. Marlin asks the sea turtle Crush for help on traveling all across the Pacific ocean so they can find Dory’s long lost parents. But bad things happen, and Dory is separated from her clownfish friends. She encounters an octopus named Hank who wants nothing more than to take her “place” at an aquarium in Cleveland, Ohio as he hates the actual ocean. But they make a deal where if he helps her find her parents, she’ll help him get across the country to Ohio.

Nice whale Finding Dory 2016 Disney Pixar movie

Finding Dory is a little worse and a little better than I expected. I did get hyped up for the film a few months ago but I didn’t think it quite met up with the excitement. But it is far better than the deja vu adventure I was expecting originally when the movie was announced. To be fair it does a feel a little similar at times, but Dory and the clownfish don’t really stay separated for that long and it’s more like Finding Dory’s Parents than it is Finding Dory. I still think the original is the far better film. But this one is a good sequel to it. Certainly not one of Pixar’s best movies though. Now I wonder if they’ll try to make it a trilogy or not.

Things I Hate: The Wicker Man (2006 film)

The Wicker Man 2006 movie poster Nicolas Cage

The Wicker Man is a movie I’ve been trying to avoid for quite some time. Around 2009 or so I saw the original The Wicker Man that was made back in 1973. It was a horror movie but a different kind of horror. It was almost like a British Stephen King had wrote the thing. The 2006 remake with Nicolas Cage was what made me know of the original movie. Fans of the original and newbies did not like this one with a passion. I also remember people mocking the movie with stuff about a bear suit and bees. But since it’s close to Halloween now, I figured it was time to see this train-wreck…or was it? Could this remake actually be redeeming? Or was it just another dumb idea Hollywood had that could have been much more with more talent behind it?

The Wicker Man 2006 movie Nicolas Cage

The story is set in the mid-2000’s with a police officer named Edward Malus. Even though he works in California, his former love Willow Woodward writes him a letter for help. Her daughter Rowan has been missing from the island of Summersisle for quite some time. The island is very remote and not more than a handful of outsiders really know what it is. Edward catches a plane-ride to the island by chance and arrives there. When he gets there, none of the inhabitants give him much help. Most claim that Rowan Woodward doesn’t even exist. While he makes sure they know he is a policeman, they don’t take him seriously. Though one lady is smart enough to know that a cop from California has no power in the state of Washington.

Nicolas Cage The Wicker Man 2006 movie

Edward gets even more frustrated when his help finding Rowan keeps getting worse. He knows there is some big mystery and nobody (and I mean nobody) is going to just let him in on it. He even reunites with Willow who is almost helpless herself. The leader of the island is Sister Summersisle whose grandmother founded the commune in the 19th century after fleeing from the Eastern half of America and her ancestors from Europe. Summersisle is an interesting place because there is no law and order. Just a community of people who act like they are living a different century. The only thing that connects them to the outside world is their honey production which was considered a disaster the year prior. But sooner or later Edward is going to learn the truth, and he isn’t going to like it.

Lady Summerside The Wicker Man 2006 movie

The new Wicker Man is pretty much the joke everyone says it is. It can be a semi-interesting tale at times, but I found it rather boring. I also thought it was weird how the story in this one changed the community where females are not only leaders but they are the dominant gender by far like the Amazonian of legend. Part of the greatness of the original was the clash between the deeply devout Christian in a world of neo-pagans. Religion is rarely made a point here as Edward never really brings it up, and the neo-pagan thing isn’t as apparent as early on as it was in the original. I also thought the story was not very believable to be in a 2000’s era of modern America than it was in a 1970’s Scotland. The movie’s only real fans seem to be the ones who like it as an unintentional comedy rather than a horror/drama.