Movies of the week: Dope and Inside Out

For some time now, I’ve been hearing a lot of positive things about a movie called Dope, and I want to get in on this and find what all the fuss is about. Rick Famuyiwa has written and directed a dramedy about a kid named Malcolm who aspires to get into Harvard. He is a native of a neighborhood called The Bottoms, a tough little burb around the LA area where gang and drug activity is prosperous. Malcolm and his friends are invited to an underground party where life as they know it is about to turn upside down.

What am I expecting to see from Dope?: So far, mostly everything I’ve seen this year has been a dreaded disappointment so maybe something off the beaten path, something that’s not Hollywood per se, can reinvigorate my moviegoing spirit. This will be my first film from Rick Famuyiwa and he has some powerful people in his corner in producers Forest Whitaker and Pharell Williams. I don’t recognize most of the cast of Dope but I do see include Tony Revolori from The Grand Budapest Hotel, Zoë Kravitz, and the lead is played by Shameik Moore. I think Dope is going to exceed my expectations and the potential to leave other films I’ve seen so far this year in it’s wake.

This year’s potential animated Oscar contender from Disney introduces the world to the little voices in our heads. We all have them, so don’t bother trying to deny it. Inside Out is a colorful adventure about a young girl named Riley who introduces the audience to the core emotions that drive her character: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust. When one of Riley’s core memories is lost, Joy and Sadness embark on an adventure to retrieve it, but their absence leads to Riley finding unbalance, which affects everyone around her.

What am I expecting to see from Inside Out?: Directors Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen could have crafted something genuine for Disney to get behind (for once). I had an inkling that this would be a movie that could carry itself to the Oscar podium and I have high hopes that this could be one of the best movies of the year. I see a diverse cast of actors lending their voices to a diverse crop of characters: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader and Lewis Black, in addition to Diane Lane, Kyle McLachlan and Richard Kind. I think this could be a stronger film than Big Hero 6 and something I can hope refreshes Disney’s image from my perspective.

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