The Fairy Princess and the Unicorn (2020) Movie Review

Director: Aina Jarvine, Federico Milella

Writer: Pamela Hickey, Dannys McCoy, Vanessa Walder (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Madison Mullahey, Jessica Webb, Olivia Manning, Sara Petersen, Marc Thompson, Gregory Max

Plot: Fantasy country of Bayala is on danger. Only twin sisters Surah and Sera can save it.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: One for the Younger Audience

Story: The Fairy Princess and the Unicorn starts as we head to the kingdom of Bayala, here we have the sun elves and the shadow elves, with twin sisters Surah who was raised in the shadow world, and Sera who is a sun elf, the land is split as the evil Ophira is looking to control the land, with the disappearance of dragons to the land.

When a dragon egg is discovered, Surah, Sera and Marween must return it to the parents before Ophira discovered it and the magic is lost forever, the magic which could save the land.

Thoughts on The Fairy Princess and the Unicorn

Characters – Surah is a sun elf that was held captive in the shadow realm, leaving her with shadow wings, she is an outcast in the sun elf land with the power to save the land, in hope of getting to her friend, who still remains trapped in the shadows. Sera is the sun elf that has waited for her sister to return, going on the adventure to try and save her land. Ophira is the evil ruler of the shadow realm, she has trying to destroy the rest of the world, doing everything she can to stop the mission. Marween is the young else that discovered the dragon egg and has the ability to communicate with dragons, this will be her first adventure.

StoryThe story here follows elves as they must looks to defeat an evil that is trying to take over the land in a race against time to bring the light back to the land. When we see the idea of elves, magic and unicorns we know the audience we will be aiming for, this is a story that plays perfectly for that audience, with chuckles along the way, we are never put in any truly scarier peril with the light feeling about the journey being kept away from scaring the youngest audience members.

AdventureThe adventure side of the film does take the elves to different lands, which offers new dangers to the world for them to face.

SettingsThe film does create beautiful landscapes for the characters to travel through, filled with colours to bring to life the environment.

AnimationThe animation does look strong with the computer graphics bringing everything to life with ease.


Scene of the Movie – The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The generic other leader elves.

Final Thoughts This is a film that the younger audience will enjoy, it will give them plenty of joy with the positive message throughout.

Overall: Kids will love.

Signature Entertainment presents The Fairy Princess & The Unicorn in Cinemas nationwide July 4th

Dreambuilders (2020) Movie Review

Director: Kim Hagen Jensen, Tonni Zinck

Writer: Soren Grinderslev Hansen (Screenplay) Kim Hagen Jensen (Original Idea)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Robyn Dempsey, Emma Jenkins, Luke Griffin, Tom Hale, Karen Ardiff, Brendan McDonald

Plot: It centers on Minna, a young girl who misuses her newfound ability to create and control other people’s dreams to teach her bothersome stepsister a lesson.

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Animation

Story: Dreambuilders starts as Minna and young girl and her father John are trying to remain close in life, with their third member being a hamster called Viggo Mortensen, only John is about to let his new girlfriend Helene and her daughter Jenny a social media addict, who only cares about herself, hates everything about the home.

While Minna is more understandable about what is happening, putting her happy hat on, her limits do get pushed by Jenny’s behaviour. That night Minna accidentally ends up inside a dream factor, where she learns how dreams are made, using this to her advantage to live the life she wants.

Thoughts on Dreambuilders

Characters – Minna is a young girl that lives with her father and pet hamster, they have a close relationship until a new potential stepmom and stepsister move in, she does try to be positive about the changes, until she finds herself caught in the development of dreams, deciding to use them to try and control her stepsister, seeing her own perfect life start to spiral out of control. Jenny is the new stepsister, a social media addict that is glued to her screen and isn’t afraid to be honest with anyone she doesn’t like, she makes Minna’s life difficult shattering the peace she is used to, she does have a reason for acting out, but she doesn’t make it easy for anyone else to be around. John is Minna’s father that has always wanted to do the best thing for his daughter, he does also want to move on with his life, with this latest chapter about to begin. Gaff is the dreambuilder that has been working on Minna’s dreams for years, he reluctantly helps her try to fix her life, finding himself making the same mistakes someone he once admires make.

StoryThe story here follows a young girl that must deal with a sudden change to her life, when her father’s new girlfriend and daughter move in and she learns she can change dreams, to try and make her life get back to how she wants it, learning how difficult this will be. We do get a big life lesson in this film, learn the truth about people before judging them, talk, communicate and you can learn to build on the differences, add in the idea that change is coming in life and you can’t do anything about it, we get the important life lessons across film. The dream side of everything is also entertaining, giving us elements of Monster’s Inc, which is entertaining to see.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy doesn’t hit as hard as it wants to, but the family theme is the highlight of the film.

SettingsThe film uses the home setting to show how difficult change can be, along with the imaginative dream world, where the dreams are built, which gives us a factor feeling and shows a creative side to the film.

AnimationThe animation in the film looks beautiful, with how different environments are created through the film.


Scene of the Movie – The rescue.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It seems strange that a parent would just move a new family into the home without the daughter meeting them first.

Final Thoughts This is a delightful animation that is filled with heart, teaching about acceptance of other people and learning how to adapt to change.

Overall: Delightful.

Signature Entertainment presents Dreambuilders in Cinemas nationwide July 4th

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – W – Woochi (2009) Movie Review

Director: Dong-hoon Choi

Writer: Dong-hoon Choi (Screenplay) Ho-min Ju, Park Myeong-Chan (Comic)

Starring: Dong-won Gang, Soo-jung Lim, Yook-seok Kim, Hae-jin Yoo, Young-chang Song, Sang-ho Kim

Plot: Jeon Woo-chi, an undisciplined womanizing Taoist from the Joseon era, ends up in present day Korea causing mayhem with his knack for magic.


Tagline – World beware. The wizard is coming.

Runtime: 2 Hours 16 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Fantasy Adventure

Story: Woochi starts as we enter a world of goblins which become life sized animals like rats or rabbits and wizard of ancient times, where Woochi (Gang) a mischievous wizard that has great power to calmly take over the king if he needs to, he is wanted amongst the world with his trusted sidekick Chorangyi (Yoo) who could be transformed into any animal.

On Woochi’s latest quest he comes to save a widow Seo IN-kyeong (Lim) only to find himself in the middle of a battle between the goblins and the pipe that would give them control of the world, with Master Hwa-dam (Kim) the most powerful wizard in the land trying to take the pipe.

When Woochi is trapped within a painting for five centuries, he is summoned back after the goblins have returned for the pipe, now in the modern day Woochi must continue to master his skills to save the world from destruction from the Archgod.

Thoughts on Woochi

Characters – Woochi is a young wizard, he likes to cause trouble with his powers, he believes he is the most powerful wizard in the land, even though he isn’t and wants to use his powers to do the odd criminal action against bad people, he does get put in his place by his master, and trapped in a world that he isn’t prepared for needing to fight for the right thing once again. Seo In-kyeong was the widow in the ancient times, the woman Woochi falls for, in the modern era she is an assistant to an actress who finds herself caught in the middle of the battle, having no knowledge of what could come her way. Hwa-dam is a master wizard, the most powerful in the land, he does become consumed by the power the goblins could give him, wanting the pipe for himself, it is against him Woochi must prove his own power. Chorangyi is the sidekick to Woochi, he is a dog that has been turned into a human, with the ability to turn into other animals too, including the trust horse.

PerformancesDong-won Gang as Woochi is great to watch, he embraces the cocky side to his character which only is meant to make him look foolish, without being a fool and makes us see that the confidence he brings to the role helps his character overcome the odds. Soo-jung Lim gets to play two different characters both from different eras which does make her show off the change in how the woman was perceived between the eras. Yoon-seok Kim does well through the film as the evil master wizard, showing his ability to adapt to both worlds too, while Hae-hin Yoo will bring us the most laughs through the film as the dog figure.

StoryThe story follows a cocky young wizard that gets caught up in the middle of a battle between humans and goblins for control in the world, where he gets frozen in time to continue the battle five centuries later. This is a story that is based in fantasy and does established early on and is one we can take into what we are getting into. The idea of moving to different era does help add something to the story because of the fish out of water idea and with the lack of belief in the former traditions or mythical enemies that could come towards the modern day. We do have a character that needs to learn his place in the world and learn to use his power for good instead of just being cocky about what he could do.

Action/Comedy/FantasyThe action in this film is entertaining, it is big just like you would expect it to be, using the fighting techniques to increase everything, while using elements of the comedy to lighten the mood and the fantasy to show us the world we are in.

SettingsThe film does use to eras for the settings, first the ancient world before hitting the modern era which helps show how out of place the Woochi looks in it.

Special EffectsThe effects are wonderful to see, we get to see just how many are used for the fights which do include the elements being used, transformation through flat services too.


Scene of the Movie – The first goblin fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does have a moment of confusion in the final battle.

Final Thoughts This is a fun adventure that embraces the fantasy world we are entering and with make you laugh along the way.

Overall: Entertaining from start to finish.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – T – Thelma (2017)

Director: Joachim Trier

Writer: Joachim Trier, Eskil Vogt (Screenplay)

Starring: Eili Harboe, Kaya Wilkins, Henrick Rafaelsen, Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Grethe Eltervag, Marte Magnusdotter Solem

Plot: A confused religious girl tries to deny her feelings for a female friend who’s in love with her. This causes her suppressed subconsciously-controlled psychokinetic powers to reemerge with devastating results.


Tagline – Do you dare be who you are?

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Wonderfully Tangled Together

Story: Thelma starts when student Thelma (Harboe) joins university, she has come from a religious background and joins here not knowing anybody, looking to focus on studying, she suffers from an epileptic fit, which she hadn’t ever suffered from before. This fit got notice from outgoing student Anja (Wilkins) who befriends Thelma, showing her university experience, pushing Thelma out of her comfort zone.

After Anja shows Thelma her true feelings, Thelma gets torn between her religious beliefs and a romance, all while her epilepsy continues to get worse and it has something to do with her childhood.

Thoughts on Thelma

Characters – Thelma was born into a religious family, she has been raised in a sheltered life before university, here she starts to experience new feelings including love for another girl, something she couldn’t never follow, on top of this she starts suffering seizures which aren’t easy to explain, forcing her to look into her past for answers. Anja is the student that wants to get romantically involved with Thelma, they starts as friends, she shows her a new freedom in life, but isn’t allowed in as close as she would like. Trond is Thelma’s father that has used his position to help hide her problems in the past, only for him having to face a difficult decision in the opening of the film.

PerformancesEili Harboe is wonderful in the leading role because she balances the uncertainty of her own sexuality, mixed with the move to university and an unknown illness that is holding her back, Eili shows all of these in her performance. Kaya Wilkins brings her character to life with ease being one that needs to help open somebody up. Henrik Rafaelsen is strong in the supporting role as the father too, this film does revolve around the performance of Eili Harboe.

StoryThe story here follows a university student that starts to learn of her own unique abilities, one that is very dangerous and one that she has been hiding away for years after her own tragic discovery, she also must go through the university experience which only shows us more of her change. This story is filled with a lot to break down, it seems to start with the basics of a shy girl being broken out of her shell at university, her religious beliefs being questioned when she becomes attracted to another female student and the pressure of being ill, but no easy answer to what is going on. The truth does get unfolded slowly and this adds to the effective side of the film, making us wonder just what will happen next to her. We might have a lot to piece together through this film which could make the story complicated in place too.

Fantasy/Horror/Mystery/RomanceWe do jump into a bunch of genres here, with the fantasy side of the story coming from Thelma’s mind, which does add into the horrors she experiences and the mystery behind why they are happening, the romance shows how God loving people will still not be willing to accept something different in their lives.

SettingsThe film is set mostly in two main locations, the university campus which is new for Thelma, a place for her to adapt to and meet new people, while the other setting is her family home, which is away from the world, the two different locations show how Thelma must adapt to life before getting caught up with her own problems.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well in the film, we don’t turn to them that often, which makes the few usages of them surprising and they do come off effective for their moments.


Scene of the Movie – Nice day for boating.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We could blink and miss a key part to the story.

Final Thoughts This is a fantasy horror mystery that will keep you guessing, you will need to watch carefully for the clues to the answer or certain things might not make sense, but it is very rewarding with a wonderful lead performance.

Overall: Mystery that keeps giving.

Rating

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – J – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (2017)

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: Itaru Era (Screenplay) Hirohiko Araki (Manga)

Starring: Kento Yamazaki, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Nana Komatsu, Masaki Okada, Mackenyu, Kenji Mizuhashi

 

Plot: A teen gifted with supernatural power discovers the truth behind his cursed and bizarre bloodline, and the evil that lurks within his town.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wildly Imaginative

 

Story: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure starts with high school student Koichi Hirose (Kamiki) getting to learn the new surroundings which contains the mysterious slick cool Josuke ‘JoJo’ Higashikata (Yamazaki) who has the ability to defeat enemies with his unique abilities.

When JoJo learns about his bloodline with the appearance of a distant relative, he learns of a bigger battle going on, one that JoJo will finally learn the true powers that he possesses.

 

Thoughts on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

 

Characters – Josuke or JoJo for short is the high school student everyone wants to be friends with, the one that sticks up for the bully victims and has his own unique look that makes him stand out, he does possess an ability that he doesn’t know the true power of, until a distant relative arrives to teach him what he is capable off. JoJo takes his first steps into this world where he can be involved in supernatural battles. Koichi Hirose is the new kid in the school, he helps us understand JoJo’s place in the school, while trying to come to grip with what is going on around him. Yukako is the friend that Koichi has made at the school, there is something mysterious about her, though it remains a mystery even to Koichi. Keicho is the man with the strongest ability causing trouble around Japan, he has targeted JoJo after learning about his powers.

PerformancesKento Yamazaki in the leading role is an entertaining watch, he makes his character look the slick cool figure he needs to while showing a much more grounded figure behind that persona. Masaki Okada does make for a strong villain that fits this over the top world we have entered. The rest of the cast let the main two stars steal the show without looking out of place in the film.

StoryThe Story here follows a teenager that learns about his powers to use a ‘Stand’ which will give him additional strength when it comes to battling his enemies and here he must face his own biggest enemy in the world. This story is adapted from a manga, so you need to accept the over the top style the film is creating, it does have the themes of fitting in, loss and understand how to fight your own enemies running through the story. we get plenty of interesting ideas here which will see how the power can be misused and how it can be used for good. This does feel like a story that you do need to have some back story before stepping into though which can hold back the highest level of enjoyment from it.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure side of this film takes us into a world where people can have the power to have ‘Stands’ which will fight for them to prove themselves in battle, each vision is different which does make this feel interesting as the fantasy side of the film comes through with this too.

SettingsThe film is set in one of the most popular cities in Japan, it shows how a fantasy war could be going on behind anybody’s back without them knowing.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are strong throughout, they bring to life the Stands which have their own unique look in every scene or fight.


Scene of the Movie –
That is your Stand?

That Moment That Annoyed Me This isn’t helpful for a gateway to the world we are entering.

Final ThoughtsThis is a highly ambitious live action version of a popular manga, the problem comes with it being difficult to walk into if you haven’t seen anything beforehand.

 

Overall: Ambitious fan service.

Rating