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Kubo and the Two Strings
[ Hits:247 ]
Kubo and the Two Strings is a ridiculous movie title. Who is this Kubo and what exactly are these two strings? Are we talking about a kitten and a ball of twine or maybe this is a story about a kid who can snort noodles? Thankfully it's neither, although they've both got serious potential on YouTube. This story is set in ancient Japan, where Kubo is an eyepatch-wearing young boy looking after his ailing mother in a village. After a spirit awakens an age-old vendetta, Kubo must find a magical su...
[ Hits:379 ]
Anomalisa is a Charlie Kaufman... it's probably time we gave him a thing. You know, "a Spike Lee joint". How about "a Charlie Kaufman pearl"? The screenwriter has brought us many art house pearls: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation, Being John Malkovich, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Synedoche, New York. Every time he commits words to paper, it seems as though he's able to access another level of film-making, taking an imaginative idea and extrapolating it into a haunting an...
How to Train Your Dragon 2
[ Hits:925 ]
How to Train Your Dragon had a strange title, but managed to be a funny, moving and wonderfully entertaining animated adventure about a boy, his pet dragon and his father. Several years on... the sequel, How to Train Your Dragon 2, has swooped in to bring us more of the same thrilling entertainment with a slightly darker, more mature edge. The sequel is also much more Dean DeBlois (Lilo & Stitch), who is credited as writer-director, taking a stronger controlling influence over the story. He...
The Lego Movie
[ Hits:1285 ]
It seems strange that LEGO the beloved building block toy brand, has only just got a movie adaptation in The LEGO Movie. Well, it was worth the wait... because The LEGO Movie is nothing short of AWESOME! While still regarded as a toy for kids, it's a rite of passage for many people who used to be kids. Now that we've grown up and know everything we need to know, it seems that we don't need to be as creative, imaginative or playful. Society has managed to turn the child inside into a logic-driven...
Despicable Me 2
[ Hits:1324 ]
They said it couldn't be done. They were wrong. Who are 'they'? Who cares... Despicable Me 2 is even better than the first one. When Steve Carell... erm, Gru was interviewed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, it seemed that they were A. trying to resuscitate a turkey with a desperate publicity stunt or B. had such a solid film on their hands that they were able to go over and above the call of duty. Gru returns... having hung up his evil boots in favour of making bottled jelly to spend more time wit...
[ Hits:2267 ]
The Croods are like any other prehistoric family, with one exception - they're still alive. Grug (equal parts Homer Simpson and Fred Flintstone), has managed to keep his family one step ahead of the perils of a prehistoric lifestyle, living by the mantra "never not be afraid". When his daughter, Eep, discovers there's more to life than hiding in a cave... the family are cast into the throes of possibly the first family road trip adventure of all time. The Croods is like The Incredibles, The Sim...
[ Hits:2244 ]
Video game arcades are casinos for minors, who want to blow their pocket money in one night. Bright flashing lights, no clocks, no windows, no parents, an instant token dispenser (and drug dealer) in every dingy corner... it was every kid's dream and every other parent's nightmare. We were able to indulge in our wildest fantasies at the local corner cafe after school or Golden Nugget at the mall. Decapitating enemies with our bare hands in Mortal Kombat, flying F-14 Tomcat jets in After Burner,...
[ Hits:2598 ]
Whatever Dreamworks can do, Pixar can do better. It’s been a game of ping-pong for these major animation studios, who seem to be constantly trying to out-animate each other. In their latest battle, Brave vs. How to Train Your Dragon, it seems that Dreamworks may have just clinched it from Pixar, whose work has been slightly less than perfect of late. Brave tells the story of Princess Merida, a reluctant young woman whose ancient custom would have her give up her independence without a say in ...
Puss in Boots
[ Hits:2986 ]
Spin-offs are a risky affair which can either pay off in spades or lead to an annoying mob of disgruntled movie franchise fans. The answers to important questions like “How similar do we keep the spin-off?”, “How much of the original cast should return?” and so forth always has a huge impact on the new venture’s success. In the case of ‘Puss in Boots’, director Chris Miller (Shrek 4, Shrek 3, Shrek 2) seems to have had all the right answers, as his latest addition to the Shrek le...
The Smurfs [3D]
[ Hits:2523 ]
Avatar was more "smurfy" than The Smurfs. Not only were they blue, they lived (and stayed) in the forest, lived by a sacred set of values, using only what they needed from the forest's resources, flying and riding creatures, while living in harmony. The new The Smurfs movie is something else, taking the beloved 2D animated cartoon by Peyo, turning it into 3D and milking the title for all it's worth.The same thing happened with Garfield and it's funny how each of these live-action/animated cross-...
Jock of the Bushveld [3D]
[ Hits:7069 ]
Jock of the Bushveld is a South African story by Sir James Percy Fitzpatrick. Written and published in 1907, it wasn't long before the tales of Jock and his master became a bestseller and South African classic, now translated into Afrikaans, Dutch, French, Xhosa and Zulu. In 1986, Jock of the Bushveld was adapted to film starring Jonathan Rands as Percy Fitzpatrick with music by Johnny Clegg. The adaptation didn't fare well with American audiences and was later re-released with a happier ending....
Shrek Forever After
[ 2010 ]
[ Hits:3620 ]
The world would seem a little out-of-place without that lovable, jolly green ogre with the Scottish accent and his jabbering doggedly companion, Donkey. It's sad to say goodbye to the big green fella, but we'll always have his happy-go-lucky adventures. Shrek Forever After concludes the Shrek franchise in 3D, drawing to a close the last chapter of the tongue-in-cheek fairy tale saga. It's been fun, but all good things have to come to an end. Shrek Forever After is an improvement on Shrek the Thi...
Kung Fu Panda 2
[ Hits:4141 ]
Kung Fu Panda 2 is a sequel, and sequels generally have two options... one, stick to the formula and deliver more of the same or two, reinvent and approach from a new perspective. The Spider-Man franchise delivered a darker, more introspective sequel as a follow-up to the successful reboot of the live-action Spider-Man superhero. While Spider-Man introduced us to the character of Peter Parker becoming a hero, Spider-Man 2 introduced us to the darker side of the character as he grappled with his ...
Winnie the Pooh
[ Hits:2635 ]
"Winnie - the Pooh, Winnie - the Pooh..." is one of those theme tunes that echoes in the back of your mind. The lethargic chant from Disney's beloved Pooh bear is quite simple and sweet, but there's much more to it. This is part of the charm of the TV series, based on the books by A.A. Milne and adapted to film by filmmakers Stephen J. Anderson (Meet the Robinsons) and Don Hall (The Princess and the Frog).Winnie the Pooh may be aimed at children, but after a little scratching there's a wealth of...
[ 2011 ]
[ Hits:2693 ]
Santa is dead. Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer has been flogged within an inch of his life and they will not ride again... at least not until next Christmas. After years of recession, Hollywood has had to do the unthinkable and re-open wabbit season. Just when you thought Bugs Bunny was safe, along comes... no, not Elmer Fudd but Hop - the quintessential candy-coated Easter story to rewrite history and nestle in as a companion piece to the splurge of chocoholic and shopaholic fever that takes ove...
[ Hits:3416 ]
Did you get a slightly uneasy feeling when you discovered Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl was a Disney movie? Mild surprise may be a better description, well - you may have experienced a similar feeling when you found that Captain Jack Sparrow, better known as Johnny Depp, is Rango. That's right... the coolest actor in Hollywood, famed as a clumsy pirate is a swashbuckling "lizard".Just when you thought he couldn't possibly do anything without Tim Burton's permission, he un...
[ Hits:2527 ]
Disney have usurped our childhoods... systematically converting every fairy tale into a Disney classic and making it difficult to imagine fairy tales any different. Then a former Disney animator, Tim Burton, has been entrusted with stealing our adult nostalgia by revamping classics like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland. Pixar show that fresh new ideas do exist with films like WALL-E, Ratatouille and Up... which is why they're at the top of the food chain. Until recently,...
[ Hits:3421 ]
It seems that if you're blue, you're in vogue... well that's if pop culture in 2010 is anything to go by with James Cameron's Na'vi tribesmen in Avatar, The Smurfs feature film and now our giant blue-headed villain in Megamind. Perhaps Andy Warhol was really onto something with his colour transition duplications of Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne's heads when he coloured them blue? Perhaps it's the post-recession/posthumous Michael Jackson era that's made being blue cool again... although quite fr...
[ 2010 ]
[ Hits:3217 ]
Despicable Me, a tale about an evil mastermind, who adopts three girls from an orphanage in the hopes of breaching his arch rival's security via the time-honoured tradition of selling cookies, and instead, falling in love with the idea of losing 'despicable' for 'dependable' by becoming a dad. Almost brings a tear to my eye. Jokes aside, Despicable Me is one of those cartoons that will surprise you at just how much you've invested in the movie. Apart from the 3D admission ticket, popcorn and dri...
Toy Story 3
[ 2010 ]
[ Hits:4028 ]
Toy Story 3 completes the groundbreaking Pixar Toy Story trilogy 11 years after Toy Story 2 in Real 3D. It's been worth the wait... as Toy Story 3 throws fourteen new characters into the toy box, ups the stakes for the gang and presents another near-perfect animated adventure. The original voice cast of Tom Hanks (Woody), Tim Allen (Buzz), Joan Cusack (Jessie), Don Rickles (Mr. Potato Head), Wallace Shawn (Rex), John Ratzenberger (Hamm) and Estelle Harris (Mrs. Potato Head) are back! It feels li...
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