Kubo and the Two Strings

2016

Action / Adventure / Animation / Family / Fantasy

388
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 97%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 87%
IMDb Rating 7.9 10 65789

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Downloaded 786,790 times
February 28, 2017 at 04:48 PM

Director

Cast

Charlize Theron as Monkey
Rooney Mara as The Sisters
Ralph Fiennes as Moon King
3D 720p 1080p
1.55 GB
1920*1080
English
PG
23.976 fps
1hr 41 min
P/S 17 / 83
752.11 MB
1280*720
English
PG
23.976 fps
1hr 41 min
P/S 111 / 1,252
1.55 GB
1920*1080
English
PG
23.976 fps
1hr 41 min
P/S 91 / 1,059

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by FairlyAnonymous 5 / 10

Interesting premise that doesn't know how to be told

I am a pretty big fan of Laika. As a studio, they have brought a blend of stop-motion and CGI into the mainstream and have also tested much riskier subject material than other animation companies. Not only is their animation time consuming and risky, but their ideas are fairly risky as well (in today's market, that is).

And Kubo is another interesting premise with beautiful animation, gorgeous backgrounds, and a nice style to it. It looks really good. Props to the animators. Stop-motion is advancing further and further with every movie Laika is making, and the stuff that is done in this movie would have seemed impossible to do only 7 years ago when Coraline was first released.

The first 20 minutes of this movie are excellent and well-told!

However, beautiful animation does not make a good movie...

Story is the heart of a movie, and if you don't know how to tell a story, then you should go back to the drawing board (or storyboard). The biggest issue with Kubo isn't the most obvious one. The characters are nice, the animation is nice, the action is nice, and everything feels pretty solid, but what really kills this movie is the editing, the script, and its lack of solidity.

In short: Kubo and the Two Strings doesn't know what it is.

I could write a 10 page essay on the deeper issues of this movie, but that doesn't fit in one IMDb review. In Kubo, and lot of interesting ideas are brought up, but none of them fit together or are cohesive.

For example, what is Kubo's motivation? Staying alive? Saving his mom? Beating his grandpa? Kubo never really gets true motivation until the third act and this is a major issue for the movie. The movie says Kubo is on an adventure, but he doesn't seem to feel the stakes until the final act, which is way too late in the game for us to care about him.

The same goes with the villain. The background and motives of the villain are constantly changing and inconsistent. One second he wants to kill Kubo. Next second he wants his eye. Yet another second later, he just wants to help Kubo come to heaven with him. Then he hates everyone becomes they are human. Then his motives change to he just hates human because they could overthrow him. Then another motive where it is because he thinks they are disgrace.

THIS IS A BIG ISSUE.

For the villain's motivation and reasoning to be completely ambiguous and confusing completely ruins Kubo's arc... which is equally confusing and muddled. Essentially, both the villain and the protagonist are the weakest points of this movie. A movie can't really hold together with this big of a problem.

And this issue is repeated throughout the movie where nothing is actually fully realized.

For example: there is one scene where Kubo briefly loses control of his powers and it does something he didn't mean to do. Never mentioned again in the movie.

The plot of his mother being sick and needing to be taken care of. Never fully explained or fully realized.

Why the mom can't recognize her own husband when she sees his face? Why does the mom pretend she isn't kubo's mom (she says it is so he won't feel bad?!?!?). How come the mom told stories of the locations of all of the MacGuffins, but then doesn't know where they are?

What did the moon king want with Kubo's eyes? Why does the moon king have Kubo's eye at the end when he is a human, but not when he is a spirit being? Why does the moon king become a human? Why does the town lie about his past? Why did Kubo trust the moon king in the dream, when his whole journey is to beat the moon king, but then when he sees the moon king he trusts him?

*big spoilers* Why is there a red paper samurai? Why is there a red paper samurai once the beetle shows up, who is the actual real-life version of that samurai! Why didn't anyone recognize the beetle as the father, especially when the father's samurai armor appears to be sitting within that same cave? Why didn't anyone follow the red paper samurai to the last location of the armor? They followed it the entire time, but not at the end?

Long story short, this list of character problems and inconsistencies is much longer than this, but a lot of these are pretty big plot problems and not just nit-picks. The finale of the movie is problem the worst element of the movie and not because it isn't visually stunning, but mostly because it is one character who has no tangible motivation versus someone else who hasn't had a very clear goal throughout the film. To make it worse, the movie doesn't even know what it is about. Is it about memories? Is it about death? Is it about stuck-up snobs? Is it an attack on tradition? Is it attacking perfectionists? What is the movie about?

What makes this all the more frustrating is the fact that ParaNorman is a movie that has a similar premise, but it does it perfectly. The ending of ParaNorman works, because all of its themes tie together flawlessly.

ParaNorman is a cohesive story and knows what it is saying. Kubo does not.

Sadly, if you are expecting the next Coraline or ParaNorman, then prepare to be disappointed. This movie feels like a first-pass. A lot of ideas, but none of them mesh together or are completed.

Reviewed by Donna May 10 / 10

Beautifully done, action-packed, great story

Attended a pre-opening screening of Laika's stop motion animated movie "Kubo and the Two Strings" yesterday and I have to say I totally loved it! The story is set in ancient Japan, where a young boy named Kubo cares for his ailing mother in a seaside Japanese village. He is a beloved storyteller who plays a magical shamisen (Japanese 3-string instrument). A spirit from the past turns Kubo's life upside down by re-igniting an age-old vendetta. In order to survive, he sets out on a quest to locate a magical suit of armor once worn by his late father, a legendary Samurai warrior. He makes friends and allies, encounters monsters and evil demons, and learns important lessons along the way. Visually, this is epically incredible and a game changer for stop motion. The action and excitement kept me on the edge of my seat. I wouldn't recommend it for really small children, though. There are times it's scary and the monsters are very well done! There's an excellent moral to the story and delightful humor, so children and adults will both enjoy it. Well done Laika. Best one yet!

Reviewed by MisterWhiplash 10 / 10

a plethora of imagination, invention, and a fusion of visual storytelling and myth

You know what I love in Kubo and the Two Strings (among several other things)? It doesn't go out of its way to explain its magic. It simply IS. Oh, sure, there's a talking monkey that saves the lead character Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson, the monkey by Charlize Theron), and there's an explanation briefly (and then a later one, which I won't reveal at all), but it doesn't matter any more than how Kubo can use his guitar strings to make his origami turn into sword-wielding samurai, or how the former bodyguard named Beetle comes to be (Matthew McConaughey going back into his 'McConnaissance' mode as being a truly great performance expanding what we thought he's capable of a semi-comic sidekick).

The filmmakers let the characters explain when they need to, yet when they do it's done in the form of storytelling - at one point when Monkey is finally pressed by Kubo (and Beetle too) to say what is going on with his otherworldly grandfather and his Aunt who is out to, well, kill him and what Monkey has to do with it, she can only tell it as Kubo plays his guitar and the papers for his origami go into the air to show as she tells. This is a film that loves storytelling and storytellers, and yet never forgets that this is a full-bodied CINEMATIC experience.

I can't remember the last time I've recently seen so much imagination and visual invention in one fantastical animated film, stop motion or otherwise (not even Finding Dory, which certainly has both humor and some heartfelt moments, got to that this year). The story involves a little boy, who we are introduced to at the start as being saved/protected by his mother as a baby (with an eye cut out, by his grandfather), that is at the start making money by performing with his flying/magic origami in a village while tending to his mother who seems to be suffering from amnesia (as an aside, I knew I would love this movie about five minutes in when the filmmakers show us what this dynamic between son and mother is as the latter stares off into space with a haunted, sad look as the son tries his best to care for her, all without words, a perfect moment that I'd never expect to see in a kid's film in a multiplex kind of environment).

But Kubo can't be out after dark, the evil sister of his Mother - with a black hat and white mask that makes her creepy past Burton-type standards - attacks, and Kubo is sent away and is knocked out. When he awakes Monkey is there and, soon after on this quest to find items that will help him face his evil Aunt and grandfather, the Beetle guard, and it becomes a hero's journey story. And what a hero and journey! There's a lot of action that the filmmakers pack into this movie - it is a Japanese fantasy-inspired film, so there may be some violent imagery that may scare the wee ones like under four of five, but most kids should be able to take it and, if I remember how I was at that age, love it - and it involves things like a giant skeleton monster that comes to life with swords stuck in its skull (and the three characters have to find which one is their unbreakable one), and, my favorite weird and wonderful creation, a group of underwater eyeballs that, when one looks too long at them, puts the person in a trance leading down to a... well, don't want to give it away.

The voice-work is a delight which, as I said, McConaughey really digs into being a character who is the faithful protector though has some 'off' memory problems at times and a looser way of looking at protecting a child than Monkey (Theron plays the strict motherly figure as good as she's played any role, including Monster or Furiosa), and it becomes this story that's as much about family than it is about revenge or other petty things. You do have to pay attention, this isn't a movie that you can throw on for your kids and they can act crazy or get distracted: it asks that you watch it and take in a story that at its core isn't too far removed from Joseph Campbell, but does so many twists that it becomes its own original entity.

Kubo and the Two Strings gives you all that you could want in a family animated movie, but more than that is a splendid, heart-rending fantasy epic in under 100 minutes. It brings me back to when I first saw something like The Dark Crystal and was amazed at what creators can do when they embrace really creating a WORLD that their characters can inhabit - not to mention keeping any humor to the situations or behavior, nothing that dates it at all. I can't recommend it enough.

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