1/8 Movie Trip

Paul McGuire Grimes, creator of Paul’s Trip to the Movies, has three suggestions for you to take in.

SOUL (Disney+)

Pixar has taken us to infinity and beyond and inside the mind of a young girl. Their new film Soul takes us deep within ourselves. Jamie Foxx lends his dynamic voice to Joe Gardner, a band teacher who finds himself stuck in a bit of a rut as his kids are unmotivated and lacking any enthusiasm for jazz. Joe gets the opportunity to play at a prestigious night club with the illustrious Dorothea Williams voiced by Angela Bassett. His night doesn’t go as planned when he literally falls into a place called “The Great Before” He learns this is the place personalities come from. Joe becomes the mentor for a soul named “22” voiced by Tina Fey, who hasn’t quite found the right body on Earth yet.

Pixar swings big for this film honing in on a pretty introspective journey for the two main characters. Joe and 22 are on this adventure together which comes with a silly body swap approach that will garner laughs from kids.

Soul may not grab a hold of you at first, but it really starts to come together in a big way in the second half asking kids and adults about our passions, the spark in life that drive us, and those negative voices in our heads telling us we’re not good enough. Pixar has created so many masterpieces along the way, their bar is unbelievable high. It may not be your favorite of theirs, but there’s no denying the imagination and lofty vision Pete Docter and Kemp Powers have with this film. And yes, like most Pixar, it very well may make you cry at the end.

RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS

 

DICKINSON Season 2 (AppleTV+)

Hailee Steinfeld is an Oscar-nominee, a massive recording artist, and the star of many blockbusters like Bumblebee and the Pitch Perfect series. Now she’s returning as renowned poet Emily Dickinson in the AppleTV+ series Dickinson, which returns January 8, 2020. Gender roles in society become a big theme in season two as Emily and her friend Henry bond over not being able to be published using their true identities. We see Emily struggle with her identity and what she wants her legacy to be. She has a passion for writing but there’s a mental toll it takes on her. We see her question whether to seek fame and the loss of identity that comes with it.

Fans of Emily Dickinson, literary period dramas like Bridgerton or Little Women will enjoy this show. There are coming of age elements, romance, humor, lavish parties, and other shenanigans.

It is not nearly as highbrow or stuffy as you think. The tone is perfectly balanced between the darker themes and its light humor. Series creator Alena Smith keeps it set in the period but modernizes it with its music, comedy, and language to make it feel just as relevant in today’s society.

RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS

 

COBRA KAI Season 3 (Netflix)

The ending of Cobra Kai Season 2 left our young characters in an all-out karate brawl in the hallways of their high school. Season 3 picks up two weeks after that tragic event that left Miguel fighting for his life unsure as to whether he will walk again. His aggressor, Robby, is on the run with no one able to find him. Karate has been banned at school and the LaRusso name has been tarnished jeopardizing Daniel’s career. The divide between Miyagi-Do and Cobra Kai continues to grow as Kreese manipulates his students to a dangerously aggressive matter. It’s up to Daniel and Johnny to figure out how to mend their decades old feud if there’s any hope of resorting order and balance.

The creators and writing staff have done an exceptional job at rebooting the Karate Kid movies while making this its own fresh story. You don’t have to have watched the Karate Kid movies to enjoy or understand this series as there are continual flashbacks and references to character relationships and the spirit of Mr. Miyagi.

Fans who love nostalgia will relish in a few guest surprise appearances by former characters in the movies. Part of this stems from a trip to Okinawa.

There’s enough heart and humor written into this show that will keep you binging one episode after the next. Plenty of life lessons to be learned if you think about the lessons of each dojo. You can’t run away from your problems, and there can be no unity and balance with division and rivalry.

RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS

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