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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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Films To Look Out For In 2014 Part 3

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to PART 2 of Films to look out for in 2014! In this series of blog posts I’ll basically be listing a number of films that you should keep your eyes on over the course of the year.  If you missed part one and part two then check those out and come here when you’re down.

The Rules:

  1. Obviously a lot films come out, so if they’re not only my list it’s either because I don’t know about them or I don’t care.
  2. 2013 films getting their UK releases this year don’t count! 😛

Alrighty then, let’s start 😀

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Release Date: July 11th (USA), July 17th (UK)

Trailer:

This is on my high priorities list of films to see this year. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a surprisingly strong, action-packed and heartfelt reboot of the franchise that gave enough nods to the past while having a few new ideas to make the film its own thing. Dawn looks like it’ll be chaotic and start create the shift that’ll lead to the eventual ape take over that we all know will eventually go down. The teaser looks dark and gritty, the cast is awesome and I’m expecting some cool stuff from Caesar and his crew.

Jupiter Ascending

Release Date: July 18th (USA), 25th (UK)

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Trailer:

Well this film certainly looks interesting and if there’s one thing you can’t knock The Wachowskis for is their continued levels of creativity and crazy visual experiences. This film looks like classic sci-fi with a few new things in the mix. I like Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum is growing on me these days, the film does loo a bit strange and it could be either surprisingly good or really questionable, guess we’ll later on in the year.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Release Date: August 1st (USA & UK)

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Unfortunately at this current point in time there is no official trailer for this film which SUCKS, however if you were lucky enough to see the Comic-Con teaser trailer when it leaked online then you know that this film looks special and totally unique with its interesting sense of humour and action scenes. GotG could be my most anticipated film of the year just because it looks pretty insane and promises to be a superhero adventure unlike any other that Marvel have given us before. Everything that is said about the film sounds incredible, I just want the film to kick ass and be the success that it should be.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Release Date: August 8th (USA), October 17th (UK)

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Now this is a film I’ve been really against ever since Michael Bay’s involvement and then once Megan Fox got cast I think I just mentally throw up and even the after the set pictures were released didn’t help much. However for the hate and animosity I feel towards the production of this film, I still want to see a good Ninja Turtles film, it can be done and with the right kind of care and attention it could be amazing. I seriously want this film to work, but I can’t help but feel like it’s on the path to hell. Can’t believe we’ll have to wait until fucking OCTOBER to see this while everyone else gets this film in August, I may not be overly with the way the film is shaping up but that’s bullshit! Better get a trailer soon.

The Expendables 3

Release Date: August 15th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

It is no secret that I love action films and while The Expendables 1 and 2 are pretty silly, absurd and lack any form of interesting plots, they’re still pretty fun films. Seeing kick ass action stars teaming up and beating the crap of other guys through hand-to-hand combat or an assortment of weaponry is stuff I’m down for. This cast looks incredible and I’m just curious to know what they’re gonna do with the new additions especially finally seeing Wesley Snipes back on-screen for the first time in YEARS! 🙂

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

Release Date: August 22nd (USA), 29th (UK)

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The only justification I have for me wanting to see this film is that the first film was awesome and now I wanna see the sequel. I highly doubt that it’ll be as good as the 2005 film, but the cast look pretty solid and if the filmmakers are somehow able to capture the magic from the last film then we’ll have a good sequel.

The Boxtrolls

Release Date: September 26th (USA) 12th (UK)

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Trailer:

So far the animation studio Laika have yet to make a bad film. Coraline and Paranorman are both key examples of how to be a fine stop motion film and make it fun and engaging for all audiences. Laika’s film’s also look incredible with the most absurd attention to detail that I’ve ever seen and this film looks like it’ll follow suite too. Whether it’ll be as good as their previous efforts remains to seen, all I know is that they have a new film and I’ll be there to watch it opening weekend. 🙂

Interstellar

Release Date: November 7th (USA & UK)

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Trailer:

Okay, here we have another Christopher Nolan film and finally its NOT Batman, yay! Chris Nolan is a director who hasn’t made a misstep as a director yet so I hope that this new film follows that trend. Even though the teaser trailer tells you absolutely NOTHING about the film and cannot engage anyone who isn’t in the know about the film or the director, I’m sure it’ll do well.

Dumb and Dumber To

Release Date: November 14th (USA), December 19th (UK)

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Now under normal circumstances I’d totally dismiss a sequel to a film that only a certain number of people from a specific decade would remember, however I will make an exception with this film. I’m not sure if it is nostalgia talking or natural curiosity that is drawing me towards this sequel, I think it’s a bit of both, either way I hope that this follow-up with worth our time and not another failure from Hollywood as they continue to push out their sequels, remakes and reboots.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Release Date: November 21st (USA & UK)

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If you had asked me this time last year, “Would you be looking forward to the next few Hunger Games film sequels?” I would have said no straight up. But after the really good Catching Fire, I really wanna know where they go with the story and find out how Katniss ends up after the end of the last film. I want more danger, more drama and more footage from the other districts. Don’t let me down now Mockingjay – Part 1!

The Hobbit: There and Back Again

Release Date: December 17th (USA), 19th (UK)

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Now I dunno about you, but The Desolation of Smaug was pretty much awesome thanks to one key aspect, a big massive dragon voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch! Don’t get me wrong, I really loved the like the last Hobbit film with all of its action and additional character development, but Smaug really made the film for me. So I’m curious how this Hobbit trilogy will be concluded later on this year, I just hope it’ll be satisfactory and not feel like a cop-out.

And that is it! PROJECT OVER! That is the rest of my picks for films to look out for from August straight through til December! So yeah there’s my picks from the summer, make sure to come back to the blog asap as I finish the year off with part 3! 🙂

P.S. What do you think of the list? Also is there any films you think I’ve left out? Feel free to drop me a comment below and I’ll get back to you asap. Until the next time, peace out! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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