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The Boxtrolls Review

Good day to you ladies and gents, with the summer film season well and truly over I haven’t really had any reason to go back to the cinema, until last weekend when I watched The Boxtrolls. Now this is one of the few animated films I’ve been really excited to see because I love Laika as an animation studio and with their great work on Coraline and Paranorman, this was a must-see film. So how does this film fare? Well, read on and find out!

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The story for the film can be described as the following:

“The film tells the story of an orphaned boy named Eggs who was raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collecting trolls called the Boxtrolls. The Boxtrolls are targeted by an evil exterminator named Archibald Snatcher and Eggs has to save his family from Snatcher.”

The story for this film was pretty good, it offered a familiar tale while still being fun and interesting. I liked Egg’s origin story and how it tied into  the villain’s story too, and seeing the way everything unfolded was quite bizarre but also fun and unexpected. Now if I were to compare it to Laika’s previous projects, I would say that this film is better than Paranorman due to its story and character’s being much stronger, but I still don’t believe that Coraline can be touched when it comes to story and characters. That film was special, creepy and full of all sorts of scary stuff you just don’t see in a children’s animated film. In the end it comes down to the source material and this film’s material is good, but just not that strong to be innovative or too different from what we’ve seen before.

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As for the cast they’re all wonderful offering great performances in unexpected ways.

Isaac Hempstead-Wright does well as Eggs, he’s a boy who has been raised by the Boxtrolls and it is the only life knows, but once things start to go wrong for his friends and he has to step up and become a hero he definitely grows as a character and becomes a likeable protagonist. The guy is strange, funny and has a good heart and Hempstead-Wright brings a great deal of passion and flair to his role. Someone who might have outdone him is Elle Fanning, who is great as Winnie Portley-Rind. This girl is good-natured, if somewhat spoilt, rude and headstrong, she is very curious and finds herself in trouble because of it, but after she connects with Eggs they bond and then become intertwined in this mission to save his friends and Fanning does a such a good job, her delivery of some her lines is nothing short of funny and delightful. Ben Kingsley is completely unrecognizable as Archibald Snatcher, Kingsley does an absolutely stellar job as the main nemesis of this film being quite humourous, mean and at times very disturbing too. The great thing about this performance is that it is so charismatic and larger than life, but you just wouldn’t expect it from someone like Ben Kingsley, it was such a massive surprise when I saw his name in the credits, just  goes to show you how versatile he is.

And then there’s Snatcher’s henchman played wonderfully by Nick Frost as Mr. Trout, Richard Ayoade as Mr. Pickles and Tracy Morgan as Mr. Gristle. Mr. Trout and Pickles were my favourites, they are both very funny and strange henchmen who follow Snatcher, but question his actions and sometimes discuss matters of moral code from time to time and it makes for some great moments in the film, Richard Ayoade’s voice is just amazing while Nick Frost is awesome as a character who clearly has the most sense out of the lot of them. And lastly Tracy Morgan is the last person I would have guessed as Mr. Pickles however, after I thought about it, it started to make sense. This character seems like a brain-dead idiot, but he is definitely gunning and dangerous, he’s just prone to delivering pain and is single-minded about many things.

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Jared Harris is awesome as Lord Portley-Rind, this character is an upper-classmen, enjoys the finer things in life (especially his obsession with cheese) and has no time for his daughter. I love Harris in this role, I recognized his voice in an instant and after seeing him in Fringe and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows it is impossible to not notice him in anything even if it is just identified by voice alone. Toni Collette is fine as Lady Portley-Rind, Winnie’s mother and the appearance of Simon Pegg as Herbert Trubshaw was totally unexpected, but very much welcomed as his character is totally jokes. And lastly Dee Bradley Baker (Fish, Wheels and Bucket) and Steve Blum (Shoe and Sparky) were awesome, especially Steve Blum who is one of my favourite voice actors.

When it comes to the presentation it is clearly the strongest element of the film both on the visual and audio front. Laika as an animation studio have always been incredible when it comes to crafting impressive-looking visuals and have gone from strength to strength when it comes to shows how much further they can push stop-motion and I feel like they’ve done it again. All of the animation is incredibly smooth, the art design is very nice and the cinematography is so much more dynamic than before with fancier lighting, more camera angles and really impressive tracking shots too. The soundtrack by Dario Marianelli was nice as well offering some great pieces of music to suit the different tones throughout the film.

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In conclusion The Boxtrolls is a very good animated film, which is full of fun and is a very good-looking film which shows that stop-motion is a form of animation that can still be impressive in this world of CGI animated films. Is it the best animated film this year? No. However, that shouldn’t stop you checking this film out, it has plenty of laughs, a great cast of characters and story that is simple, strange, but also very effective.

Rating: 8/10

So what did you think of The Boxtrolls? Have you seen it or are you gonna watch it? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Feel the heat in this Cuban Fury Review

Good day to you ladies and gents, its film review time once again and today I’m reviewing Cuban Fury. Now I wanted to watch this film after watching the funny trailer last year. However I missed it and I thought I’d never get the chance to see it, but through the power of Cineworld I got my second win! So did the film turn out well or not? Read on and find out.

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So the story goes like this:

“Former teen salsa champion Bruce Garrett (Frost) is now a sad-sack engineer. But his passion for dancing is re-ignited by his crush on his gorgeous new boss Julia (Rashida Jones) and the only way he can win her over is by mastering the art of dance. Now all Bruce needs to do is rediscover his inner passion.”

I thought the story was good, though it wasn’t as good as I expected. I feel like the story surrounding Bruce’s history with dancing and how he get back into the groove of salsa follows a familiar formula, and it is okay, but doesn’t do much to be unique. It light on drama and heavy on humour. The humour is full of loads of sexual jokes among other things and some of it works, but it does get a bit repetitive after a while.

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When it comes to the cast they are good, but only a few of them are memorable in the grand scheme of things. Nick Frost as Bruce is great, he’s funny, charming and is definitely able to carry a film on his own. At times his character a be a bit of a whiny bitch, but for the most Frost brings fire and heart to the role. The next big name in this film is Chris O’Dowd as Drew. Now I love O’Dowd in almost everything, but this has to be my most disliked role for him, don’t get me wrong, the dude is funny and has some great moments whether they be verbal or physical. However his character is just a douche, just very unlikable and very annoying to be around. If I were Bruce I would have beaten the crap out of the guy. The other main lead is Rashida Jones as Julia and unfortunately she doesn’t stand out as much as Frost or O’Dowd. Now I love me some Rashida Jones, especially in Parks and Recreation, however in this film her character is really plain, underutilized and not very colourful when compared to some of the other people.

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The other supporting character is worth talking about is Kayvan Novak as Bejan, this guy was funny. He has a very camp, bubbly and energetic personality and is the source of so much of the film’s humour. Clearly one of the film’s highlights for sure. As for the rest well they range from good to okay to forgettable. Olivia Colman is great as Sam, she has some funny moments and I liked her character. Ian McShane as Ron is good but isn’t given much to do. And people like Alexandra Roach as Helen and Rory Kinnear as Gary have their moments but aren’t very memorable. Oh and there is also one cameo in this film that I won’t spoil, but my god was it good! So funny. XD

The best aspects of this film is dancing and music. I am a massive fan of salsa dancing, I think it is sexy, complex, technical and it looks cool as hell. My mum used to do it a lot and I’ve always wanted to take up the dance because it looks like fun and this film reinforces those feelings. The film shows off the dance in all it’s techniques to great effect. The soundtrack for the most part is great because it is filled with all that great Latin music that makes you wanna get up and dance.

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In conclusion Cuban Fury is a good film with a fun if somewhat generic story, it has laughs but not all of them hit and the cast are good, but some are forgettable. The soundtrack and dancing  for me really make the film worth watching because that’s the kind of stuff I love. I think there is an audience for this film, it is very British and some will definitely love it, but I expected more.

Rating: 6.5/10 (The music and dancing is the best part for me)

So what did you think of Cuban Fury? Have you seen it or are you gonna see it? Whatever your thoughts are drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next film review yo! 😀

Chris O’Dowd as Drew

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The World’s End Review

Howdy people of the interweb! Time for me to review a film I’ve waited AGES to see, The World’s End. This is the latest film from Edgar Wright and the final film in what is now known as the “Cornetto trilogy“. Edgar Wright is man who can do no wrong for me, I’ve loved everything he has done so far, so does Wright along with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost do it again in this film? Well read on and find out! 🙂

So the premise for this story is as follows:

“Five childhood friends reunite after twenty years to repeat a legendary pub crawl from their youth (which they originally failed) returning to their hometown once again to attempt to reach the fabled pub “The World’s End”. Over the course of the night, they realize that the town has been taken over by robots and they begin to realise that the real struggle is “not just theirs but humankind’s”, and completing the crawl becomes the least of their worries.”

Looking at the premise this sounded like a really unique idea and the trailer, while making me slightly hesitate about the end result, did however look like a good time. So after seeing the film I can say that I enjoyed the story, though it didn’t turn out anything like I thought it would. At first the film centers on Gary King and his efforts to get his old mates back together, this is the part of the film which while good was a little questionable and varying in interest. It wasn’t until the guys got back to Newton Haven and find all the crazy inhabitants of the town attacking them when story really started to pick up and get interesting. As with all Edgar Wright films there is a lot of humour in verbal and physical forms, some of which is hilarious, some of which not as funny and some of which that isn’t funny because the trailers showed the scenes liked ten times! Outside of the humour there is a lot of heart, character development and genuine emotion in some scenes and it was nice. The film is strange, crude and sometimes incredibly absurd, but if you’re a fan of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s work then you’ll have a good time here.

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As for the characters, the cast do a brilliant job at making each one of these characters relevant, easy to connect to and funny. Let’s start with Simon Pegg as Gary King, I thought Pegg was awesome. Now strangely enough unlike his last two characters in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, his central character isn’t so nice and is kind of in the vein of Ed from Shaun of the Dead in the sense that his character isn’t very nice, has bad mannerisms and can be pretty annoying. Gary however is a lot more likeable due to his charismatic nature, crazy antics and funny dialogue, plus since it’s Simon Pegg I can’t hate him because he’s fun. Also Gary is like the glue that holds this group of people together, without him, none of the stuff in this film would have happened and I gotta give Pegg credit for doing things a little differently. As for Nick Frost as Andrew Knightley he was the character who had a difficult past with Gary which led to the tension between the two of them in this film. Frost plays his part well while his character is kind of lame for the first apart of the film, once the crazy action kicks off with the “people” in Newton Haven that’s when he really shines.

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Paddy Considine as Steven Prince was good and his character has some good dialogue too. Martin Freeman as Oliver Chamberlain was cool, Freeman knows how to do comedy and he has great timing and funny facial expressions. Eddie Marsan was a surprise as Peter Page, I’ve only really seen Marsan in Guy Richie’s Sherlock Holmes films so this role was a massive departure from what I’ve experienced before. Marasn was great and offered a lot of hilarious moments especially in the area of physical stuff. And Rosamund Pike as Sam Chamberlain was beautiful as always and also provided some wonderful moments of witty dialogue and physical comedy. Also there were some great small appearances from David Bradley and Pierce Brosnan too.

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When it comes to the presentation it is pretty hardcore. Visually the film is great, there is a good use of CGI and practical effects and it comes together in a fabulous manner. I also love the choreography of the fight scenes and the way in which all these crazy action sequences were filmed are nothing short of fabulous. As for the music by Steven Price it is pretty cool offering up some nice and epic sounds for the film where is counts.

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In conclusion The World’s End is a good piece of comedy which feels familiar and yet fresh at the same time, and the film has all the wit, charm and over-the-top style that you’ve come to expect from Edgar Wright. While I can’t say that its my favourite film that Wright has made, I can say that it’s a good time at the cinema and very much worth your time, especially if you’re a fan of the previous films.

Rating: 7.5/10 (It’s some good stuff and has more pros than cons!)

So what did you think of The World’s End? Did the film meet your expectations or were you let down due to the hype and anticipation? Whatever your thoughts are drop them in the comments section below and I’ll see you on the next film review. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The World’s End Trailer Review

Okay so I know this trailer came out like a week ago but I’ve had several things to sort out which has prevented me from talking about it. But now I’m free so let’s talk about The World’s End trailer yo!

Check out the trailer below:

So what I’m getting from this trailer a group of five friends went for a pub crawl in their younger days but never got to their final destination, so twenty years later Simon Pegg gathers up Nick Frost, Martin Freeman and the other two guys to try and do it all over again and reach the fabled pub, The World’s End. But it seems like things have changed a great deal since their last time and now all these crazy happenings are going down. Cool.

When I read the synopsis for this film I wasn’t sure what to expect but this trailer really surprised me. It starts out a little dull but really picks up once the alien element comes into play and there’s all this violence and madness going down.

I just love how ridiculous and over-the-top this looks. There’s all these alien-like people who remind me of the people in Invaders of the Body Snatchers, Nick Frost hitting people with bar stools, cheerleaders, people getting hit in hilarious ways, explosions a woman rugby tackling someone in an epic fashion. All of this screams crazy to me and at the same time it is SO Edgar Wright. The jokes, the style of dialogue and action is all his style of work. I love that bit at the end when Simon Pegg tries to jump that fence only for it to fall down, that was a great reference to Hot Fuzz and I’m hoping for more in-jokes like that in the rest of the film too.

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In the end this trailer looks pretty fun and makes me pretty excited for the film. Edgar Wright has yet to make anything I didn’t like so I’ll be hopefully seeing this on opening day if life will permit me lol.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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