Franchise Weekend – Paddington (2014)

Director: Paul King

Writer: Paul King, Hamish McColl (Screenplay) Michael Bond (Creator)

Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Nicole Kidman, Ben Whishaw

 

Plot: A young Peruvian bear travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the kindly Brown family, who offer him a temporary haven.


Tagline – The adventure is about to begin.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful

 

Story: Paddington starts when a young Peruvian bear travels to London after his aunt and uncle lose their home, London is different to what he was expecting with the Brown family taking him in, with father Henry (Bonneville) being against the idea, while mother Mary (Hawkins) isn’t taking no for an answer.

When the family decides to start looking for the explorer that connected with Paddington’s aunt and uncle, only to learn of a cover up, while museum curator Millicent (Kidman) is trying to locate the bear to complete her life’s work.

 

Thoughts on Paddington

 

Characters – Paddington is the Peruvian bear we have all gotten to know from our childhoods, he travels to London in search for an explorer that met his Uncle and Aunt, what he finds is a busy city that has no time for stranger until he meets the Brown family. Paddington is learning about a new world in London, which sees his curiosity getting him stuck in a pickle more often than not, with his love of marmalade being the cause of most of his troubles. Henry Brown is the father that has taken Paddington in reluctantly, he has been working in risk assessment which doesn’t make a bear in the house seem safe, Paddington will help unlock the wild side that Henry once had in his youth before becoming a father. Mary is the mother who wants to take Paddington in, her heart is what makes her the reason the family will let him in, always wanting to do the right thing. Millicent works at the natural history museum, she wants Paddington so she can stuff him and add him to the collection at the museum, always thinking about herself and her family’s legacy.

PerformancesHugh Bonneville as the strict father shown that he isn’t willing to take a change, he goes against everything going with Paddington, only to show just how different a man can be once hit with parenthood. Sally Hawkins brings the light to the film as the caring mother. Nicole Kidman looks like she is enjoying the villainous figure in the film, which does show terrifying moments for the family film. Ben Whishaw does make the voice of Paddington a pleasure to watch through the film, handling the comedy very well.

StoryThe story brings the character of Paddington bear to modern day London, where he must learn to fit in while alluding an evil taxidermist. We did need to keep the story simple for the first part of the chapter here, bringing Paddington to a modern London is a fresh spin because the original story was a different time, different minds and now everybody is so busy in their lives they barely notice a bear at a train station. We do get to see how Paddington must adjust to life in London, getting himself into trouble both in and out the house, but shows that his good-natured side will keep the family together, while the villain does have a good motivation which does play into the history of the natural history museum and just how twisted the reality behind it actually is. We do also have a strong theme that shows us just how difficult deforestation will be on animal families around the world, with Paddington being a victim of this.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure takes Paddington around the world to a new family, new country and new culture, seeing how he learns plays into the comedy of the film which will get laughs of the pickles he finds himself involved in.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in London, it shows just how big the city is for people who have never been there before, the Natural History museum is used well to show moments of fear in the film too.

Special EffectsPaddington being placed into the world looks fantastic, he never looks out of place which shows just how well the effects team worked to make this look seamless.


Scene of the Movie –
Using the facilities.

That Moment That Annoyed Me That jungle music line, seems completely out of place in this movie.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun family film that does bring to life one of the most famous childhood characters, it is filled with heart and brings the modernisation vision to the story with ease.

 

Overall: Family Fun Film.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – D – Dumbo (2019) Movie Review

Director: Tim Burton

Writer: Ehren Kruger (Screenplay) Helen Aberson, Harold Pearl (Novel)

Starring: Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, Alan Arkin, Nico Parker

Plot: A young elephant, whose oversized ears enable him to fly, helps save a struggling circus, but when the circus plans a new venture, Dumbo and his friends discover dark secrets beneath its shiny veneer.


Tagline – In 2019, a beloved tale will take you to new heights.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Charming

Story: Dumbo starts when Holt Farrier (Farrell) returns from war, to re-join the circus run by Max Medici (DeVito) where his kids Milly (Parker) and Joe (Hobbins) have been living and working for years, Holt has come back injured, with the only job offered to him, being cleaning up after the elephants, one of which is pregnant giving birth to an elephant with giant ears, which only causes chaos on his debut in the circus.

After Dumbo’s mother is taken away, he is left alone, while the children learn about his flying skills, which turns Max’s circus into the talk of the country, attracting V. A. Vandevere (Keaton) who wants to offer Max the world for Dumbo.

Thoughts on Dumbo

Characters – Holt Farrier is a war veteran widow that has returned to his children in a circus. He has been suffering with his time away, this has seen him not show as much affection as his wife would have, he takes the only job he can get which sees him training and cleaning up the elephants, his time back in the circus does bring him back to his kids, where he learns how important life still can be. V. A. Vandevere is the operator of Dreamland, he sales the idea of a better life for the whole troop, even if he has his own ideas to just make himself rich. Max Medici runs the small circus that discovers Dumbo’s talent, he has always been in the game for the money and can’t resist the idea of money when Vandevere arrives but must learn there is more to his life than money. Colette Marchant is the star performer in Vandevere show, she has been for years though she is just the hottest thing he has going for a while, she doe solve to perform. Dumbo is the baby elephant with giant eyes, who loses his mother, but has the incredible ability to fly, drawing crowds from miles.

PerformancesColin Farrell gives us a wonderful performance as the caring veteran who has been struggling with his own problems once returning from war. Michael Keaton enjoy the villainous role, while Danny DeVito is shows the desperation while still bringing the heart needing for the role, Eva Green shines to as the beautiful performer too.

StoryThe story here shows how a small circus that finds themselves with a star attraction in Dumbo, which sees them become a success that the whole country wants to see. The story might focus on Dumbo being forced into performing after having his mother taken away, while deeper down we get to see a family that has been broken from death and war, needing to come back together. We see themes of greed with the circus masters at times, but all together the ideas behind everything all shine through to show that people who do good will get what they deserve in life.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure shows the how Dumbo comes into the world and put through traumas at a young age before finding his feet and learn that some people are good in life, with the fantasy of an elephant that can fly being the highlight of what makes Dumbo so special.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the different sizes of circus that we see Dumbo being part of.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are brilliant bringing Dumbo to life like nothing we could have imagined.


Scene of the Movie – The Dumbo flight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does spend too much time telling Milly she can’t follow her scientist dreams.

Final Thoughts This is the best live action Disney film of 2019, it brings the scale of the idea to life, which looks wonderful and has great performances too.

Overall: Beautiful Fantasy Film.