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FLICKS: Shaun the Sheep & Cinema Paradiso offerings

Posted on 13 August 2015 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano


We have truly reached the dog days of August with the Motion Picture Box Office as Hollywood releases overhyped financial bombs like the Fantastic Four. This August echoes last August when The Expendables 3 and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For were released to pathetic box office returns.

Shaun the Sheep Movie opened poorly in the United States last weekend, but has achieved respectable gross overseas. This film is another stop-motion animation with British charm and humor. Unlike their other films Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit or Chicken Run, this film features no dialogue. The only words that are heard are from the thematic original songs heard on the soundtrack.

The film opens in the 1970s (You can tell by the farmer’s disco clothing and his cassette tapes) in which the farmer takes pictures of his prize sheep. The years fast forward and we see that the farmer has aged, but his clothing has not changed. He, his sheep dog and sheep live a structured and routine life.

Though a series of unfortunate events, the farmer is knocked out in his trailer. The farm animals party too hard, the trailer becomes unhitched, careens down the hill and lands in the big city. The animals follow their master and it is chaos.

To enjoy this film, you have to enter the state of mind that you use to watch a baseball game or golf tournament. This film is a visual feast of sophisticated humor, but has a warm heart and a gentle spirit. I just don’t know why Shaun the Sheep was singled out because this movie is really an ensemble piece.

Cinema Paradiso features the opening of two new movies this weekend: People Places Things and 10,000 Saints.

10,000 Saints features an actor’s ensemble best known for their contributions to independent cinema: Asa Butterfield, Ethan Hawke and Hailee Steinfeld.

People Places Things is a light comedy set in New York City. It is the story of a graphic novelist and college professor who must balance his job between the demands of work and being the single father of two 5-year-old twins.

For more information, visit www.fliff.com.

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