Balto (1995)

Director: Simon Wells

Writer: Cliff Ruby, Elana Lesser, David Steven Cohen, Roger S H Schulman (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Kevin Bacon, Bob Hoskins, Bridget Fonda, Jim Cumming, Phil Collins, Jack Angel, Danny Mann

 

Plot: An outcast half-wolf risks his life to prevent a deadly epidemic from ravaging Nome, Alaska.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Hero Story

 

Story: Balto starts as we see the sledge racing in Nome Alaska, Steele is the most famous lead dog in all the races, he breaks the rules as well as being feared by the other dogs, Balto a stray half breed roams the streets trying to impress the female husky Jenna with his bumbling sidekick goose Boris.

When Nome is struck down with diphtheria the town is running low on antidote they have no way of getting the antidote to the town directly, the only option is to put together a team of the fastest sledge dogs to pick up medicine with Balto showing the town he is fastest in town, but still not welcome to the town’s team.

When Steele’s team goes missing in the snowstorm, Balto goes out with Boris, Jenna and polar bears Muk and Luk to collect the medicine to save the town making himself the hero.

 

Thoughts on Balto

 

CharactersBalto is the outsider of the town, never fitting in but given the chance to prove himself to the whole town by returning the medicine, he is the reluctant hero type. Boris is the sidekick here for extra laughs in the story, with Jenna being the love interest needed for the story. Steele is the typical arrogant villain that doesn’t want anyone to take his place. All of the character blend together to make this a pleasant viewing experience.

StoryThe story is loosely based on the true events of the sledge team that saves a small town from a medical disaster, we get to see this from the dogs side of the events which does take away from the true story of heroism the real dogs went through.

Adventure/Family/HistoryThe adventure is great to see unfold keeping us on edge, it does have a couple of dark scenes going on through the film which could be slightly too much for the younger members of the family. I don’t think this story does enough justice to the true history story though.

SettingsThe settings all look fantastic showing just how peril filled the journey would have been for the dogs as well as the people stuck with no chance of rescue unless they get the medicine.

AnimationThe animation all looks great with the darker characters including the bear feeling terrifying and the heroes all looking pure.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great adventure movie but does forget the true story involved too much to make a family friendly movie.

 

Overall: Great fun animated movie that can be enjoyed by all.

Rating

 

 

Resident Evil: Vendetta (2017)

Director: Takanori Tsujimoto

Writer: Makoto Fukami (Screenplay) Joe McClean (Adaptation)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Erin Cahill, Kevin Dorman, Jason Faunt, Matthew Mercer, Arnie Pantoja, Alexander Polinsky

 

Plot: Chris Redfield enlists the help of Leon S. Kennedy and Rebecca Chambers to stop a death merchant, with a vengeance, from spreading a deadly virus in New York.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Addition to the Animated Resident Evils

 

Story: Resident Evil: Vendetta starts as we see our soldier Chris Redfield searching a mansion for missing persons but the mission goes terribly wrong when the mansion is filled with the infected led by mercenary Glenn Arias who has a grudge with the system.

Chris teams up with Rebecca Chambers a scientist that has found a cure for the new virus being released in different areas of the world. The pair turn to Leon Kennedy to join in the battle against Arias, giving him a chance to finish everything once and for all.

 

Thoughts on Resident Evil: Vendetta

 

Characters Chris Redfield has been fighting the infected for years, he always has a trick up his sleeve when it comes into battling them and now his leadership skills put the team into battle. Leon Kennedy returns once more to put an end to the infection spreading around the world, the same infection he has been battling for years. Rebecca Chambers is a scientist that has discovered a cure for the infection but she doesn’t know everything. Glenn Arias is a man looking for vengeance for the death of his wife to be and now he has all the cards on the table to take down the people that ruined his life. I believe these four characters placed together make this feel like the game more than the live action films.

StoryThe story does feel like it could be part of the video game world created, we have three different good characters looking to battle one big bad with obstacles along the way. This story is a good watch and easily more entertaining and complete than the live action films (which I do have a soft spot for). One glaring story problem is the smart scientist is just a damsel in distress which disappoints in a game world that has created strong female characters.

Action/Horror/MysteryThe action is all good, not quite as big as Damnation but a lot closer quarters. The motorbike sequences are both strange and delicious to watch though. I would say this film hits many of the horror marks needed but does try very hard with the opening sequence. The mystery is easier to solve too but it doesn’t feel like a problem here.

SettingsMoving the biggest action sequence to New York City instead of the fantasy worlds shows us how the infection is starting to become a bigger threat.

AnimationThe animation does look great and does feel like a series of cut scenes from the games.

Final ThoughtsIf you are a fan of the Resident Evil games and or the animated films you will enjoy this outing but I would suggest not starting here.

 

Overall: Enjoyable animated movie well worth watching.

Rating

 

 

Ice Age: Collision Course (2016)

iceDirector: Mike Thurmeier, Galen T Chu

Writer: Michael J Wilson, Michael Berg, Yoni Brenner (Screenplay) Aubrey Solomon (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Ray Romano, Jennifer Lopez, Adam Devine, Queen Latifah, Simon Pegg, Josh Peck, Seann William Scott

 

Plot: Manny, Diego, and Sid join up with Buck to fend off a meteor strike that would destroy the world.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Thank God it Ends Now

 

Story: Ice Age: Collision Course starts with the adventures of Scrat and his acorn because the main story clearly isn’t enough for the film, this time he ends up in space because all franchise go to space when they run out of ideas and he causes a meteor to head towards Earth because science.

Meanwhile on Earth Manny and his daughter Peaches are playing ice hockey because why not this film has jump to ridiculous a few films ago. Manny, Sid and Diego are all still best friends having their own problems with their mates so we get a bar for them all to go too because this is an animated nonsense film I guess.

Why am I watching this film? We have you forgot the anniversary between Manny (typical Ray Romano character) and Ellie. Parenting issues between Diego and Shira while Sid just can’t get a sloth of his own.

The story actually starts happening when the first signs of the meteor start impacting Earth bring back Buck rom the underground to lead the family to safety giving the animals a chance to deal with their personal issues and family problems.

Ice Age: Collision Course has only one good feature and that is the look of the animation which is always flawless. The story is beyond ridiculous this time around that puts horrendous science into the film that makes you forget what should be an easy subject to understand. The family issues all come off tiresome as we have seen Manny deal with his issues for 5 films now.

The voice acting is also becoming questionable here with each character almost now written to be stand up routine for the additional characters with Adam Levine doing his thing, Wanda Sykes doing her thing and Ray Romano bring back his Everybody Loves Raymond character. Thankfully this is the end of the franchise because this is just not acceptable from them anymore.

 

Overall: Awful addition to the franchise.

Ratingcard

 

 

The Boss Baby (2017)

Director: Tom McGrath

Writer: Michael McCullers (Screenplay) Marla Frazee (Book)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire, Mike Bakshi

 

Plot: A suit-wearing briefcase-carrying baby pairs up with his seven-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Co.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Family Film

 

Story: The Boss Baby starts as we meet seven-year old Tim, he has an overactive imagination living the perfect world growing up with his successful parents who work for Puppy Co. When they have another baby, The Boss Baby, Tim finds himself incredible jealous and questions everything about him.

After the two find themselves against each other, the two put their differences aside to go on the Boss’s mission to expose they puppies are stealing all love babies should be getting.

 

Thoughts on The Boss Baby

 

Characters Tim is the typical kid before technology era took over, he makes his own stories using his imagination. He becomes jealous of his little brother but overcomes that to become best friends. The Boss Baby is set to uncover the truth about a puppy company where puppies are become more popular than babies. He is super smart and has never had a normal childhood. Francis Francis owns Puppy Co and has an evil plan to get rid of all the babies in the world. Looking at the character’s you can see some greatly created truths that have been pushed to the next level when it comes to the brother’s bonding.

StoryThe story does play out like how a solo child must deal with a new baby, sure there is a farfetched idea that babies can work in undercover to solve issues. The difference between the two are clear and you can see how siblings can be effected by changes like this happening.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy works very well with Alec Baldwin seemingly having the best voice possible for this role which helps add to the comedy. The whole family could enjoy this film with jokes hitting for all to enjoy.

SettingsThe settings we find the characters in are all enjoyable and add to the comedy the characters find themselves in.

AnimationThe animation all looks fantastic like you would expect from a big budget animated movie.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that does impress more than I was thinking and I feel the comedy does hit on the levels required.

 

Overall: One of the highlights of the animated films this year.

Rating

 

 

Your Name (2017)

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Writer: Makoto Shinkai (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Ryo Narita, Aoi Yuki, Nobunage Shimazaki, Kaito Ishikawa

 

Plot: Two strangers find themselves linked in a bizarre way. When a connection forms, will distance be the only thing to keep them apart?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Wow

 

Story: Your Name starts as we meet small town girl Mitsuha who dreams of getting out of the town and moving to the busy Tokyo, we also meet Tokyo school student Taki who has found himself looking after himself searching for his next stage in life.

With an incoming comet passing over the strange event starts to happen for the two strangers who find themselves swapping bodies and lives, the two start communicating through messages to inform the other what they have been doing, some good other bad, but when the communication is lost, the truth about their connection comes out.

 

Thoughts on Your Name

 

Characters Taki and Mitsuha are both fantastic characters, they both come off like normal high school students in the lives they are living, both dreaming off things outside what they see as their reach, both confused but adapting to the body swapping lives they believe to be dreams. The rest of the characters who are part of both lives which does work for our main characters story arc.

StoryThe story brings a fresh approach the body swapping sub-genre, we become invested in the lives of both of the students and the bigger story going on which I don’t want to get too detailed but this story will make you go through a full range of emotions and you will be left shocked with the final outcome of the story.

Fantasy/RomanceThe fantasy side of the film comes from the body swapping elements which does get increased when you learn the twist within the film’s story. the romance comes from how these two people from different worlds can fall in love being part of the others life.

SettingsThe settings for the film show the different worlds the two come from, we get to see the busy streets of Tokyo and small town where families work to support the next generation filled with tradition.

AnimationThe animation is as you would expect almost flawless for telling the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film I have heard only wonderful things about, those things were not wrong, this is a wonderful story with great leading characters, that will pull on the all the emotions you have through the whole film.

 

Overall: Truly special animated film.

Rating