ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – K – The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) Movie Review

Director: Joe Cornish

Writer: Joe Cornish (Screenplay)

Starring: Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Denise Gough, Dean Chaumoo, Tom Taylor, Rebecca Ferguson, Angus Imrie, Genevieve O’Reilly, Patrick Stewart, Rhianna Dorris

Plot: A band of kids embark on an epic quest to thwart a medieval menace.


Tagline – For kids who rule

Runtime: 2 Hours

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Enjoyable

Story: The Kid Who Would Be King starts as we meet bullied school kid Alex (Serkis) along with his best friend Bedders (Chaumoo), they get bullied by Lance (Taylor) and Kaye (Dorris), with one of the latest escapes leading Alex to find Excalibur Arthur’s sword.

Alex learns that he must follow in Arthur’s footsteps in the battle against the evil Morgana (Ferguson) that is looking to reign darkness on the world once again.

Thoughts on The Kid Who Would Be King

Characters – Alex is raised by just his mum, he gets bullied at school and is struggling through life with his best friend, this changes when he finds Excalibur and learns he is the true king that must build an army to fight the forces of evil. He must bring together his enemies and learn his destiny to fight. Bedders is Alex’s best friend, he gets bullied just as much as Alex and is interested in learning magic. Lance is one of the bullies, he likes to pick on the smaller classmates, which sees him targeting the pair, until he joins them becoming on of the nights. Kaye is the other bully, one that does seem to follow more than enjoy the bullying. Morgana is the evil that is looking to bring her reign of terror to the surface world once again, sending her armies out to get the kids. Merlin does guide the kids along the way, showing them what they could achieve and how they will achieve it.

PerformancesFor a film carried by the young cast of Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Dean Chaumoo, Tom Taylor and Rhianna Dorris, none of them let the film down like they could have, all being strong through the film. We do get a couple of big names that shine in the supporting roles too.

StoryThe story here follows a young boy that learns that he is meant to be the next King of England, taking up the war of King Arthur against Morgana who wants to bring her reign of terror back to England. This is a nice spin on the King Arthur legend bringing everything to the modern world, showing how people can come together for the greater good, with the choice to make sure they bring a diverse cast, to prove this point even more. We do have a deeper story which shows how Alex is always trying to fill the void left by his absent father, trying to make something bigger of his absence. This story does feel very fun for the most part, which is the important ingredients required for this film.

Action/AdventureThe action is the fights against the evil, each one becomes bigger even if it doesn’t truly put the kids in the danger a real battle would. The adventure does take our kids on a journey they could never imagine across the UK.

SettingsThe film uses the historical settings to show us where the legends of King Arthur would have happened, using them for the quest.

Special EffectsThe effects used in the film are great, they never look out of place, however big the events in the film are meant to be.


Scene of the Movie – The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does feel about 15-20 minutes too long.

Final Thoughts This is a fun family adventure film, it breaths new life into the King Arthur legend, life other films have failed too often with.

Overall: Fun and Enjoyable.

Franchise Weekend – Paddington 2 (2017) Movie Review

Director: Paul King

Writer: Paul King, Simon Farnaby (Screenplay) Michael Bond (Creator)

Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Hugh Grant, Ben Whishaw

Plot: Paddington, now happily settled with the Brown family and a popular member of the local community, picks up a series of odd jobs to buy the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, only for the gift to be stolen.


Tagline – Free Paddington

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Charming and Entertaining

Story: Paddington 2 starts as Paddington is a welcome member of the Brown family, the neighbours are always willing to accept his help and now Paddington sees a gift for his Aunt Lucy in Mr Gruber (Broadbent) antique shop and decides to get a job to pay for it.

Just about to buy the present, Paddington catches a thief breaking into the store and goes in chase, only to find himself captured and thrown in prison. Paddington soon makes friends with the prisoners including the feared Knuckles (Gleeson), while the Brown family Henry (Bonneville) and Mary (Hawkins) try to free Paddington, learning that the once famous actor Phoenix Buchanan (Grant) is behind the crime.

Thoughts on Paddington 2

Characters – Paddington is the kind-hearted marmalade loving bear living in London, he has made countless friends both human and animal, he wants to get a present for his Aunt which sees him trying to get a job. He does try to do the right thing by helping with a robbery only to be found guilty. Paddington always the people bear makes friends, while believing that everybody has good about them. Henry, Mary Brown and Mrs Bird treat Paddington like their third child and will do everything to help get him out of prison. Phoenix Buchanan is the once famous actor that has moved in next door to the Browns, he is very eccentric and trying to rebuild his fortune which sees him stealing the book and learning about the clues in the book, always trying to stay ahead of the people trying to capture him, using his different costumes from his career. Knuckles McGinty is the prison chef, he is feared by the other inmates, but Paddington breaks down those barriers showing him to be a good man inside, one that could bring the prisoners together.

PerformancesWhen we go into the performances, the original cast are all wonderfully, but it is the addition members of the cast that truly shine, Hugh Grant practically steals every scene, while Brendan Gleeson proves that he can be the funniest man on camera, these two are outstanding in every single scene they are in.

StoryThe story here follows Paddington’s next adventure as he tries to give his Aunt a present of seeing London only for him to get framed and thrown in prison, while the Brown family try to figure out who really committed the crime. This is a coming together story, it shows how somebody’s good nature can change everything in life and without them around you will notice the change in life. The idea that Paddington is facing off against an evil washed up actor is entertaining too, though it would have been nice to see more of the treasure hunt side of the story. While most of the story is largely predictable it does have a huge heart behind it and shows that good people will rub off on others to show kindness can be a change to life for the better.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure side of the film seems to be focused more on the villains adventure, more than seeing what Paddington must get up to, the comedy comes from seeing just what Paddington gets himself into and the trouble he causes with his innocent nature.

SettingsWe keep London as the main backdrop for the film, while we do have Paddington in a prison and the major landmarks being used as clues to a treasure, most places are locations we are expecting to see in any London based movie.

Special EffectsThe effects are brilliant putting Paddington in every scene like he is really there, it never looks out of place which shows just how far this technology has come.


Scene of the Movie – Lets make marmalade.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Surely, Mr Gruber would be the one who decides whether to press charges against Paddington?

Final Thoughts This is a entertaining, big hearted movie that could be enjoyed by the whole family and would leave a smile on everybody’s face.

Overall: Big Heart Movie.

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.

Bridge to Terabithia (2007)

Director: Gabor Csupo

Writer: Jeff Stockwell, David Paterson (Screenplay) Katherine Paterson (Book)

Starring: Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb, Zooey Deschanel, Robert Patrick, Bailee Madison, Kate Butler

 

Plot: A preteen’s life turns upside down when he befriends the new girl in school and they imagine a whole new fantasy world to escape reality.


Tagline – The beloved novel comes to life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hard Hitting Family Adventure

 

Story: Bridge to Terabithia starts as we meet Jess (Hutcherson) one of the middle children in a big family living on a farm, he is bullied at school with the new year being no different for him, when new neighbour Leslie (Robb) joins him in school, he might finally get a friend in the hostile side of school.

The two become friends and use the local woods to create their own fantasy world to escape the realities they are living in. the two learn they can remain individual while navigating everyday life.

 

Thoughts on Bridge to Terabithia

 

Characters – Jess is one of five children, the only boy from a farm family that struggles to make ends meet. He is bullied at school, left isolated for the most part, this is until he meets the new neighbour who helps him come out of his shell, explore his imagination more, learning how to unlock the potential in his artistic nature. Leslie is the neighbour that moves in, she is an outsider too with a wild imagination which helps Jess come out of his shell, she wants to be different, she accepts people who are different always willing to offer an olive branch to everybody. Ms Edmunds is one o the teachers at the school, she is the music teacher and pushes Jess to follow his potential. Jack is the father of Jess’s family he is forced to work hard through everyday, struggling to keep it together for his family, being stricter towards Jess.

PerformancesJosh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb are two of the best child actors of their generations, their performances are both wonderful and bring the heart and soul to this movie. Zooey Deschanel and Robert Patrick both bring the role models needed to the child roles.

StoryThe story follows a boy that is isolated from the world, facing a lonely future because of his family’s financial situation who makes a new school friend who helps him see the world in another light before tragedy comes his way. This is a story that felt like a coming of age movie which was wonderful only it came and throw a shocking twist in the story. we get to see how two people young teenagers learn to accept people in the world ignoring people that are trying to get to them. We do get to enter a fantasy world that only children could create to escape their worlds, which does see them deal their own problems.

Adventure/FamilyThe adventure comes from the world created by Jess and Leslie to escape their world, filled with creatures that could only come from the minds of the two. The family side of the film shows the two dealing with life issues in the simple ways.

SettingsThe film shows that the two kids are in isolated locations, be it in the school or out of it and along with the fantasy location they create.

Special EffectsThe effects are mixed because the creatures look fantastic, but there is a running screen that just looks difficult to watch.


Scene of the Movie –
Museum trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The running scene.

Final ThoughtsThis is a shocking family adventure film that fills the coming-of-age story, which shows us how important life can be.

 

Overall: Coming of age shocker.

Rating