Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017)

Director: Simon Curtis

Writer: Frank Cottrell Boyce, Simon Vaughan (Screenplay)

Starring: Margot Robbie, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Macdonald, Will Tilston, Alex Lawther, Phoebe Waller-Bridge

 

Plot: A behind-the-scenes look at the life of author A.A. Milne and the creation of the Winnie the Pooh stories inspired by his son C.R. Milne.


Tagline – Inspired by the True Story

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: By the Books Biopic

 

Story: Goodbye Christopher Robin starts as we see how Alan Milne (Gleeson) a World War I soldier and playwriter is struggling to come up with new ideas and struggling with the effects of war on his everyday life. With his wife Daphne (Robbie) a socialite that loves the fame. When they have a child Christopher Robin they hire Olive (Macdonald) to be nanny as the family move to the country.

With Christopher (Tilston) now aged 8, Alan is left to look after Christopher alone where the two start going on adventures in the woods, where Alan gets the inspiration to write the adventures of Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh, but when the fame brings him an unwanted attention on his young son who will be left with the brand of being Christopher Robin for life.

 

Thoughts on Goodbye Christopher Robin

 

Characters – Alan Milne served in the First World War, he was never the same when he returned as he has lost his ability to write and be around the crowds, moving his family to the country to work on an anti-war book he ends up building a relationship with his son, which gives him the inspiration for the Winnie the Pooh books. Alan did seem like he was a distant sole that never recovered from the horrors of war. Daphne is the wife of Alan, she loves the busy life with the other high society people, she hates the country and has no idea on parenthood. She uses the new found fame to put the family back in the spotlight not worrying about the consequences. Christopher Robin is the son of the family, he has an open imagination which creates the adventures, he was raised by his nanny, but when the books takes off he becomes an international celebrity that can’t handle the pressure he is put under, taking away part of his childhood. Olive is the nanny that raises Christopher, the two become closer than the parents making her decision to leave all the more difficult.

PerformancesThe performances across the board are good, Domhnall Gleeson does a good job in the leading role as does Margot Robbie giving us a character you just don’t want to like. Will Tilston shines as Christopher with all the innocence needed for the role.

StoryLearning the creation of the Winnie the Pooh characters is what we were expecting here, what we got was the difficult relationship Christopher Robin had with his parents, while Alan could be forgiven because of his PTSD Daphne just comes off clueless to the idea of children. We also see how child stars can struggle with fame and the brand that will follow them for life. This story does lack the spark that could have made it magical but does show a couple of important messages just not in the fullest and most effective way.

Biopic/HistoryThe creature of Winnie the Pooh, a man that suffered the horrors of war but found his happiness in his own son. That is the most part of the biopic and history side of the film, learning how the characters were created together in the small moment of father son time.

SettingsThe settings are good, they show the crowded side of life in the city and the moments of peace in the country showing how the two worlds give different inspiration.


Scene of the Movie –
Pooh Sticks

That Moment That Annoyed Me There should have been that little bit more magic about this film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a standard biopic, it doesn’t hit all the marks to make it great but the performances from the whole cast are good throughout the film.

 

Overall: Watchable biopic that tries to pull on the heart.

Rating

 

 

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Storks (2016)

storksDirector: Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland

Writer: Nicholas Stoller (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Kelsey Grammer, Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell, Anton Starkman, Keegan-Michael Key

 

Plot: Storks have moved on from delivering babies to packages. But when an order for a baby appears, the best delivery stork must scramble to fix the error by delivering the baby.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Typical Childish Animation

 

Story: Storks starts as we learn storks used to deliver babies before they moved into the main stream delivery business. Junior is the known as the best delivery stork and is about to get a promotion of Hunter as we learn why the storks stopped delivery babies is because they lost an address for a human and adopted her Tulip. She is turning 18 and the Hunter wants her out of the business and to enter her back in the human world. With the stork problem looking to be solved we move onto meet our human family which is young boy Nate who feels lonely because of his constantly busy real estate agent parents are always working leading him to ask for a baby brother or sister.

Tulip continues to cause trouble by accidentally restarting the baby making machine and she must team up with Junior to clean up the mess. The story turns into an adventure between Junior and Tulip to deliver the baby while also seeing how parents need to look after their children over work.

Storks is an animated film that goes for the low attempts of comedy to give the laughs to the youngest of its audience not making any of the laughs come off for an adult audience. Against the low level of comedy, we do have a film with heart based story as the parents don’t give the time to the child they have and learn they only get one chance to raise their children. The adventure between Tulip and Junior does feel like it got ripped out of the original Ice Age but otherwise this isn’t the most inspiring comedy film.

The characters are very generic with most just wanting to find a way to fit in the world be it from being the popular one of being the one completely out of place. The boss character is always the loudest of the group while the family all works well but doesn’t get enough time for what could be a more important story.

 

Overall: Dull animated comedy that doesn’t give enough time to the heart in the film.

Rating

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The Golden Compass (2007)

Director: Chris Weitz

Writer: Chris Weitz (Screenplay) Philip Pullman (Novel)

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards, Ben Walker, Freddie Highmore, Ian McKellen, Eva Green, Sam Elliott

 

Plot: In a parallel universe, young Lyra Belacqua journeys to the far North to save her best friend and other kidnapped children from terrible experiments by a mysterious organization.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Been Here Seen This

 

Story: The Golden Compass starts in a world with parallel universes where the human spirits can walk next to humans in animal form known as daemons, with a Golden Compass being the only way to find the different universes. We meet young Lyra (Richards) who lives with her Uncle Lord Asriel (Craig) who is an adventurer that is seeking the Dust which can travel between universes.

With the children getting taken by Goblers Lyra in her high life promises to search for poor boy Roger’s (Walker). Lyra is chosen by Mrs Coulter (Kidman) to help with her research in the North which just so happens to be where Lord Asriel is heading, in what looks like a battle for the dust.

Learning that Mrs Coulter is behind the missing children Lyra teams up with a host of other characters in the Gyptians as they search for the children and her Uncle before Coulter’s research is complete.

 

Thoughts on The Golden Compass

 

Characters/PerformanceLyra is the type of leading child you will need for this type of film, she comes from a rich background, she is curious and brave. Mrs Coulter comes along as the villainous character that believes in the cause she is fighting for with Lord Asriel is the explorer looking to change the future. The rest of the characters do their part well as Lyra goes on her adventure.

Performance wise, Kidman and Craig both do a good job in their roles, but it is Richards that really struggles in the lead role, she is meant to come off posh but too often comes off a common which takes away from the character.

StoryThe story is one I have come to believe was butchered from the book, which when you watch you can see, it gets the basics correct but anything which involved developing a character sadly gets forgotten as the film unfolds. The story ends up becoming slightly messy and focuses on just doing action to cover the lack of story.

Adventure/Family/FantasyThe adventure side of this film should be clear, but it just shows one person’s adventure, I don’t feel the family could enjoy this movie but the fantasy world we find ourselves in does work well.

SettingsThe settings all look good with their own fancy way of saying countries we all know in the world just having slight twists on them.

Special EffectsMost of the special effects all work well, but there are moments which look pretty bad for the CGI.

Final ThoughtsIf you want a cliff hanger that never gets complete, well here is the film for you.

 

Overall: This seems like a solid start to the franchise but we will never see the end.

Rating

 

 

Monster House (2006)

Director: Gil Kenan

Writer: Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab, Pamela Pettler (Screenplay) Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talens) Steve Buscemi, Fred Willard, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Lee, Spencer Locke, Mitchel Musso, Catherine O’Hara

 

Plot: Three teens discover that their neighbor’s house is really a living, breathing, scary monster.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great but Dark Family Film

 

Story: Monster House starts as we meet DJ a boy who lives opposite the neighbourhood crazy old man Nebbercracker who terrorizes anyone who comes into his yard. When his parents go away for the weekend, DJ and his best friend Chowder find themselves trying to retrieve a lost ball only for Nebbercracker to have a heart attack.

With Nebbercracker away from the house DJ, Chowder and local girl Jenny start seeing the house coming to life but with no adult believing them, the three start to investigate. The three find themselves inside the house learning the truth about the house and the monster that is inside it.

 

Thoughts on Monster House

 

Characters DJ and Chowder are you typical best friends that are reaching the age where they need to look to grow up, DJ is ready to take that step while Chowder isn’t, the two work well as a team. Jenny plays into the idea that a girl can come between best friends and is the brains of the trio. Nebbercracker represents the neighbourhood crazy that once you get to know has a good reason for being like they are. The adults are always looking down on the children which is fine as for the story the children need to learn to grow up. The characters here, while not special all help tell the story well.

StoryThe story that plays into children’s imaginations to a new level, we all know children can create stories of the crazy person in their town and this takes that story and runs with it. It shows that the stories could be real but also have a reason for the stories that you should learn about a person’s past. There is also a story about children reaching the age to grow up which is greatly told for the kids.

Comedy/Family/FantasyWe have plenty of laughs from how the children see the adults, the family side works because we can see the whole family can enjoy with the fantasy side of the story coming from the idea that a house can come to life.

SettingsThe film is set all within a small town with it coming off as all in one day within one street as kids can come and play. This works for the house’s reputation within the neighbourhood.

Animation The animation is very impressive having it’s own style compared to other animated films around the same time.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good family film that can be enjoyed by all, it does have moments of darkness but comes off original which is very important.

 

Overall: Good film to be enjoyed by all.

Rating

 

 

Strange Magic (2015)

Director: Gary Rydstrom

Writer: David Berenbaum, Irene Mecchi, Gary Rydstrom (Screenplay) George Lucas (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Elijah Kelley, Meredith Anne Bull, Sam Palladio, Kristin Chenoweth

 

Plot: Goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Kids Will Enjoy

 

Story: Strange Magic starts as we see the difference between the Fairy Kingdom and the Dark Forest, the two kingdoms are side by side but both live different lives. When one of the fairies, Marianne accidently steps into the dark forest, angering the Bog King.

Marianne is about to marry the handsome fairy Roland but learns of his true nature, finding herself crushed. Swearing off love, Marianne sets out to protect her sister Dawn and friend Sunny from danger and the dark forest.

When Roland wants to become king, he must find a way to make Marianne take him back which leads him to trick Sunny into going into the dark forest to find a love potion so they can both get the one they want by finding the Sugar Plum Fairy.

This brings the Bog King into the Fairy Kingdom to retrieve the love potion giving the fairies one day to retrieve the potion or he will keep Dawn prisoner forever, with Marianne going out to rescue her.

 

Thoughts on Strange Magic

 

Characters Marianne is the typical strong female character who doesn’t want to follow the traditional trends and be extra independent, she fights for family while hating love. Bog King rules the darkness, hating the world because of his failures in love, he is a strict ruler but also sums up what it is like to have loved and lost becoming bitter to the world. Sunny the comic relief and we see him give us the most laughs as he tries to find a way to show his love for Dawn. Dawn is the annoying princess who is very shallow. Roland is the arrogant wanna be king who is completely annoying throughout.

StoryThe story is the old forbidden love story about two different sides of the fence falling in love against the wishes of everyone. We touch on the elements of trying to force someone to fall in love with you and the consequences it will have on them. It focuses a lot of the people’s individual mistakes when it comes to love.

Adventure/Comedy/Family/FantasyWe have a big adventure into the world forbidden, with elements of comedy going on throughout. We also have the fantasy elements of the film which is one the whole family could enjoy with catchy songs throughout.

SettingsThe creation of the worlds looks fantastic seeing how both sides live giving us a beautiful selection of settings.

AnimationThe animation does work well bring it into a different style to the normal, that all looks great.

Final ThoughtsThis does have a very big judgmental statement being made about treating people equally but this doesn’t over shadow the fun music side of the film.

 

Overall: This has a poor rating overall but this is enjoyable.

Rating