Anton Yelchin Weekend – From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)

fromDirector: Goro Miyazaki

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki, Keiko Niwa (Screenplay) Chizuru Takahashi, Tetsuro Sayama (Comic)

Starring: (American Voice Talents) Anton Yelchin, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bruce Dern, Sarah Bolger, Isabelle Fuhrman, Christina Hendricks, Ron Howard

 

Plot: A group of Yokohama teens look to save their school’s clubhouse from the wrecking ball in preparations for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Average Ghibli Story

 

Story: From Up on Poppy Hill starts as we meet Umi who lives on the Poppy Hills that overlook the bay in Tokyo as they have just been award the Olympics of 1964. Umi even as a school girl age runs the house with her parents away as we see how the locals are starting to campaign to save their town from change.

In the town where Umi is raised she learns of a Shun is her brother which changes all the romantic feelings she has been having as the campaign to stop change within their town continues.

From Up on Poppy Hill is a simple Ghibli film that does tell the important story of community within the small neighbourhood. There isn’t too much to make this film stand out above the more fantasy based projects which does disappoint. The film looks as fantastic as you would expect from any of the film from the studio but it does lack that punch that makes it one of the best.

 

Overall: Easy watch for the great study.

Rating60

 

 

Trolls (2016)

trollsDirector: Walt Dohrn, Mike Mitchell

Writer: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger, Erica Rivinoja (Screenplay) Thomas Dam (Good Luck Trolls)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooe Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Christine Baranski, Russell Brand, Gwen Stefani

 

Plot: After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy, the happiest Troll ever born, and the curmudgeonly Branch set off on a journey to rescue her friends.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Animated Story

 

Story: Trolls starts with the Trolls living a happy life but the Bergens discover them and learn that eating a troll will make them happy. On the grand day of Prince Gristle is to be feed his first troll the Trolls escape to rebuild their society.

20 years later Princess Poppy continues the stories of how they escaped and continue to be positive with single and dancing but on troll Branch doesn’t believe they will ever be safe from the Bergens.

When the Bergens find the trolls Princess Poppy must team up with Branch to save the taken trolls from the Bergen and save the day.

 

Thoughts on Trolls

 

StoryThe story feels like it could just be another episode of the Smurfs really because it is about a small group of creatures Trolls that get taken by bigger creatures Bergens that want to eat them. Everything that goes on through the is generic with the reluctant hero having to work with the overly cheerful character to beat a villain that is using the royal figure to get what they want. This all works for keeping things simple without being anything overly original.

Animation/Comedy/Family/MusicalThe animation is all good and works for the world of toy trolls but the comedy misses on most levels but would work for the young audience. I don’t feel this has enough for all ages but the musical songs used will bring back memories for the fans of the music of people’ youths.

Characters/PerformancePoppy is your typical heroine for this style of film plucky and over ambitious while Branch is your reluctant hero. The villains all come off like Gargamel from Smurfs while the others feel like mis-lead over the years. The choice of Kendrick and Timberlake in the lead singer characters does work because know they are great singers.

SettingsThe settings all would be what you would expect from the world of Trolls with nothing else coming off too exceptional.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good film to stick on for the kids to enjoy but otherwise it will be hard to get through.

 

Overall: Easy to watch kids distraction film.

Ratingcard

 

 

My Neighbours the Yamadas (1999)

myDirector: Isao Takahata

Writer: Isao Takahata (Screenplay) Hisaichi Ishii (Comic)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Hayato Isohata, Masako Araki, Naomi Uno, Tore Masuoka, Yukiji Asaoka

 

Plot: The life and misadventures of a family in contemporary Japan.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Family Comedy

 

Story: My Neighbours the Yamadas starts as we meet the Yamada’s Noboru, Nonoko, Takasi, Matsuko a family in Japan we learn how they must get through each different life moment be it positive or negative but whatever happens you will have each other to help you get you through.

 

Thoughts on My Neighbours the Yamadas

 

StoryWhen it comes to the stories going on here we have plenty that can be everyday life for a family each one feels like it could and would have be a Simpsons episode. While these stories are all nice short snippets you just won’t get drawn into this like you could with of Ghibli other pieces of work.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy comes from each odd story going on as most feel like a series of unfortunate events. The family side of the film comes from the idea that we could all relate to moments in this film.

CharactersWhen it comes to the characters in this film you get what you could call a traditional family with their strengths and weakness that get supported by the rest of the family. The characters all work for this film without being anything special.

SettingsThe settings are mostly where you would see a family go to with their wild adventures.

AnimationThe animation is designed to have its very own unique look which does work for the extra comedy.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sweet little family comedy that is filled with little moments for the whole family to enjoy.

 

Overall: Enjoyable for everyone watching.

Rating70

 

 

The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

legoDirector: Chris McKay

Writer: Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, John Whittington (Screenplay) Seth Grahame-Smith, Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster (Story/Creators)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Zach Galifianakis, Jenny Slate

 

Plot: Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: PG Suicide Squad?

 

Story: The LEGO Batman Movie starts when Joker brings together every villain Batman has face to try and take down Gotham City once again only for Batman to save the day with the Joker escaping. We follow Batman in his lonely life in his Bat Cave and Wayne Manor with Alfred his loyal butler.

When Gotham gets a new commissioner in Barbara Gordon she wants to work with Batman to actual catch Joker and the rest of the villains locking them away once and for all. Batman must learn to work in a team and learn that he needs the Joker in his life while he adopts Dick Grayson.

 

Thoughts on The LEGO Batman Movie

 

StoryThe story focuses on how Batman lives a lonely life hiding from commitments while still having to take on the villains in the city. This does end up being slightly too serious in places which doesn’t work for me because we must deal with elements most Batman movies never have. Through the film, we do get plenty of references from every Batman through the years which we do get to understand for all generations.

Action/Adventure/ComedyWe do have plenty of action going on through the film with the adventure that Batman must go on. The comedy is very much hit or miss for me with plenty of laughs coming from references previous outings that not everyone would understand.

CharactersBatman is always a popular choice for the leading character but this version does feel almost too serious when he is alone, he does have laughs but he is very hit or miss, The Joker works in places and has good chemistry with Batman while Robin, Barbara and Alfred all become the family Batman never had. I feel most of the cameo like characters get extras laughs which all come off well if you understand their references.chracers

SettingsThe settings are nearly all in Gotham city with the references to location the character would find themselves in.

AnimationWe always have flawless animation throughout the film which you would expect to see from the studios now.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is fun and can be enjoyed but I do feel if you miss the certain references you might not understand.

 

Overall: Fun, but too many misses in the jokes.

Ratingrating

 

 

Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

kuboDirector: Travis Knight

Writer: Marc Haimes, Chris Butler (Screenplay) Shannon Tindle, Marc Maimes (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Ralph Fiennes, George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Rooneey Mara, Matthew McConaughey

 

Plot: A young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Animation

 

Story: Kubo and the Two Strings starts as we see the show a young boy Kubo can put on for the local town where he shows a battle between his characters and the evil Moon King.

When Kudo breaks one of the rules he ends up outside at night where a world he has never experienced before has taken over. Kudo must find his father’s armour to stop his grandfather the Moon King from taking his other eye. Kudo has to go on his own adventure where his charm Monkey and Beetle must travel across the land to defeat his Grandfather.

Kudo and the Two Strings is a beautifully shot animated adventure tell that plays into the fantasy world of magic. We get to see how the adventure gives Kudo a chance to grow and defeat his enemies in the world with friends that take the roles of mother and father figures in his life. We do get plenty of traditional style behind the story which does make us believe the world we are entering.

Kudo is a brilliant look at how a young child can escape into the world of fantasy going into an adventure with pure innocence to become the hero he wants to be to his parents. Monkey is fun as the mother like character which is over protective of Kudo while Beetle is fun in his clueless way of just being the protective warrior figure a father would be. This is easily one of the most beautiful animation of the year that I think can be enjoyed by the whole family.

 

Overall: One of the most beautiful animations ever made that has a story with a real heart about it.

Ratingcard