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Kubo and the Two Strings

Director:  Travis Knight
Year Released:  2016
Rating:  2.0

One-eyed Kubo, who can play a shamisen that turns paper into animated origami creatures (!?), partners up with magical surrogate parent-types, Monkey (voiced by Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Matthew McConaughey), to eradicate the vicious Moon King (Ralph Fiennes), who has the audacity to actually want the kid's other peeper. The stop-motion animation/visual design is exemplary - Knight also worked on Coraline - although the movie has too much of a Video Game-type feel to it: there are boss battles (Skeleton with swords in its head! Twin sisters! A giant worm! A sea monster with multiple eyes!) and the need to acquire better equipment (legendary helmet! legendary armor! legendary sword!) as Kubo and company go from 'stage' to 'stage.' It's so technical, it actually washes away its emotional side (managing life parentless) ... and mines Japanese culture for as many 'symbols' as it can.

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