(PG; 100 minutes; Walt Disney/Pixar): “Finding Dory” is the much anticipated sequel to Pixar’s 2003 masterwork “Finding Nemo,” with Ellen DeGeneres voicing the absent-minded fish in both films. In this iteration, our fishy heroine seeks out the parents she was separated from as a child, on a trek that feels both like a retread of the earlier film and, inevitably, less novel and surprising.
There’s no denying that Dory is still a delightful creature, with a heart as big as a horseshoe crab. After a heartbreaking flashback to her earlier trauma, the film finds her happily ensconced with Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo, who have become her surrogate family. Still, she pines for the parents she left behind and sets off for the place she vaguely remembers she came from, which turns out to be a marine life museum in California.
After a perfunctory swim across the Pacific, during which Dory and Marlin meet up with at least one friend from their previous epic trek, they land at the Marine Life Institute, where the dulcet tones of Sigourney Weaver introduce human visitors to the wonders of the deep, and where Dory makes a series of friends who will help her reunite with her personal blue tang clan.
The most amusing of her new acquaintances is Hank (Ed O’Neill), a cranky, Lou Grant-like octopus who longs to sidestep the lab’s policy of “rescue, rehabilitation and release” and stay there forever.
In deciding not to stray far from the first film in plot or tone, it makes for a pleasant, familiar, cheerfully unassuming fish-in-her-water tale.
Contains mild thematic elements. Washington Post
‘Army of One’
(R; 92 minutes; Anchor Bay Entertainment): If nothing else, this comedy brings back the unself-consciously kooky Nicolas Cage after a string of mumbly, monotone performances, mostly in mediocre action movies.
In “Army of One,” Cage and “Borat” director Larry Charles riff on the true story of Gary Faulkner, a colorful American civilian who made multiple attempts to sneak into the wilds of Pakistan and capture Osama bin Laden. As portrayed by Cage, Gary is a jovial know-it-all with a good heart and delusions of grandeur, who makes friends and causes trouble everywhere he goes.
The motormouthed Gary comes up with a half-baked kidnapping scheme, fails miserably, and starts over, with the cautious support of his girlfriend (well-played by Wendi McLendon-Covey) and the guidance of “God” (Russell Brand).
The movie’s noisy, busy and not that funny. But there is a sweetness and a cockeyed optimism here. At heart, it’s a salute to American gumption – however misguided.
Contains language and drug use. Los Angeles Times
Also out Nov. 15
- “Better Call Saul: Season 2”
- “Game of Thrones: Season 6”
- “Looking: Complete Series + Movie”
- “The Mindy Project: Season 4”
- “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week” (Nov. 18)