“War Dogs” is an extremely well done dark comedy based on fact about two losers who somehow become successful international arms dealers. Jonah Hill and Miles Teller give two of their best performances by making these two asses relatable and somewhat sympathetic. As they get in over their heads so does the audience, as people who may have expected a “Hangover”-style comedy instead get a piercing critique of American capitalism. One of the film’s most interesting aspect is the use of title cards to indicate what is going to happen next; it actually creates suspense rather than lessening it. A lesson learned from the film is not to ever tell your wife what you’re really up to because she doesn’t really want to know and wouldn’t understand. The movie represents a big improvement on the similar “Lord of War” with Nicolas Cage and is superior entertainment.
However, “War Dogs” is apparently not what people want to see, judging by the empty theatre. No, they want to see “Kubo and the Two Strings,” the new stop-motion animated film. In fact, due to good reviews, I did too, so I sat down in a packed house and waited for the film to start. Let me get the positives out of the way: this movie is extremely well animated and scored, and creates a fairly interesting fantasy world. What’s the problem, then? The story sucks. It doesn’t make much sense, with lots of talk about how Kubo is the chosen one and weird emphasis on blindness as a plot device and heroic monkeys and beetles or something and a happy ending that’s not really happy. I hated “Finding Dory” but at least I could follow it. I was lost within 20 minutes of “Kubo.” Nevertheless, the audience loved it; there was laughter throughout and applause at the end.
Lesson learned: audiences prefer mindless pap over anything piercing and real. We will probably get a zillion Harry Potter clones over the next few years and hardly anything related to real life. Capitalism sure is great, isn’t it? –CoolAC