ABC Film Challenge – Animation – F – Ferdinand (2017)

Director: Carlos Saldanha

Writer: Robert L Baird, Tim Federle (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Cannavale, David Tennant, Gina Rodriguez, Daveed Diggs

 

Plot: After Ferdinand, a bull with a big heart, is mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure.


Tagline – Built to fight. Born to love

Runtime: 1 Hours 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Animation

 

Story: Ferdinand starts when a young bull calf doesn’t want to become a fighting bull, he runs away from his farm and is raised by a young girl called Nina who lets him live a life he enjoys, with flowers and being kind natured. Once Ferdinand is grown up he becomes an enormous bull, meaning he can’t go to the flower festival.

Ferdinand decides to go anyway causing chaos, being seen as a beast, he is taken back to the farm where he meets the fellow grown up bulls, including his old rival Valiente, as the bulls are preparing to impress a bull fighter, Ferdinand searches for a way to escape and return to his quiet life once again.

 

Thoughts on Ferdinand

 

Characters – Ferdinand is a kind natured bull going against everything he has grown up to be, a fierce beast for bull fighting. He likes flowers, doesn’t want conflict and always wants to make sure other animals are safe, he is raised in a small farm away from the conflict only to be mistaken as a beast and taken back to a bullfighting farm, he still refuses to fight and spends his time there trying to show the other bulls about life away from fighting. Valiente is rival bull, he is always the one that believed he is the strongest and most worthy of being selected as the next bull, he dominates the farm with his power. Lupe is a calming goat that is sent to help Ferdinand relax when he returns to the farm, she gets most of the laughs through the film as she is the slapstick figure. We do get plenty of supporting characters with the other bulls, the feisty hedgehogs and the stuck up horse, each one adds to the comedy through the film.

StoryThe story here follows the reluctant fighting bull that gets captured and must teach the other bulls about their fate before arranging an ambitious escape. This story does dive into the ideas of being able to follow your own path in life, don’t let the crowd lead you down a trail that isn’t for you, we get the themes of standing up for what you believe to be right and the difficult side of the story sees how bullfighting is seen through the bulls eyes, almost seeing it as an honour to be selected, which of course is how a human imagines it to be. The bull fighting side of the film will be too dark for a younger audience, but hopeful it can help shape a world where the barbaric form of entertain ends.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure side of the film follows Ferdinand being able to adapt to new locations as he looks to find a way to make sure he can rescue the animals and free himself from a life he isn’t happy with, the comedy comes mostly from the supporting character, with a range of slapstick and breaking of stereotypes of the animals.

SettingsThe film uses plenty of different setting throughout Spain, with the two different farm lives, the Madrid chase and one of the scariest in animated, the slaughterhouse.

AnimationThe animation like most films now is beautiful, never putting anything wrong with the world we are taken into.


Scene of the Movie –
Slaughterhouse.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Bull fighting is too dark for a young audience.

Final ThoughtsThis is a dark animated movie for a younger audience, it has strong themes about picking your own path, but isn’t afraid to show the darker side of a bulls life.

 

Overall: Dark animated film.

Rating

 

 

Friend of the World (2020) Movie Review

Director: Brian Patrick Butler

Writer: Brian Patrick Butler (Screenplay)

Starring: Nick Young, Alexandra Slade, Michael C Burgess, Kathryn Schott, Kevin Smith, Luke Anthony Pensabene

Plot: After a catastrophic war, an eccentric general guides a filmmaker through a ravaged bunker.


Tagline – You have been saved. This does not mean you are safe.

Runtime: 58 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Dark Comedy

Story: Friend of the World starts as Diane (Slade) finds herself waking up surrounded by dead bodies on the outskirts of a bunker, she finds herself a way in, where General Gore (Young) has been living alone for so long, prepared for what has happened on the outside world.

As Diane learns to deal with Gore’s brutish ways, she starts to learn more about what has been happening in the real world.

Thoughts on Friend of the World

Final ThoughtsFriend of the World brings us the dark twist on the end of the world idea, bringing us some a person in Diane who doesn’t know the complete problem in the world, with the general that will go to extreme limits to remain safe. The two do clash easily, showing their differences through the film, while trying to put these differences aside. The environment is filled with terror, with each room seemingly offering something new, almost like a lesson for Diane along the way. Both Nick Young and Alexandra Slade are both wonderful to watch, showing us the mindsets of both of their characters. We do have a few unusual spots in the film, with certain bits trying for comedy that doesn’t seem to fit the dark mind of Gore, who when he spins iconic quotes usually gets the laughs required.

Overall: Very Dark Comedy Sci-fi.

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – F – Far from the Madding Crowd (2015) Movie Review

Director: Thomas Vinterberg

Writer: David Nicholls (Screenplay) Thomas Hardy (Novel)

Starring: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge, Juno Temple

Plot: In Victorian England, the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer; Frank Troy, a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Costume Drama 101

Story: Far from the Madding Crowd starts as we meet the independent Bathsheba Everdene (Mulligan) who works on a family farm, with the neighbour of a shepherd Gabriel Oak (Schoenaerts) who becomes friends, leading to her first marriage proposal, only for her to refuse, wanting to remain independent.

After a tragic twist of events, Gabriel loses his farm, just as Bathsheba inherits her own farm, where Gabriel ends up working on. Bathsheba does continue to turn heads with William Boldwood (Sheen) being the latest man that wants to marry her and things get even more complicated when Sergeant Francis Troy (Sturridge) arrive on the property, leaving Bathsheba having three men wanting her love.

Thoughts on Far from the Madding Crowd

Characters – Bathsheba Everdene has always worked for a living, she has always wanting to remain independent, which sees her reject the first marriage proposal. She always attractions attention, even if that means she becomes everything she promised not to be. She will run a farm and isn’t afraid to get her own hands dirty, wanting to be fair to everybody who works for her too. Gabriel Oak is the quiet farmer that becomes friends with Bathsheba, he asks her to marry him before getting rejected and losing everything he owns, in a twist of events he ends up working for her, being her most loyal farmer, always putting the farm before rank. William Boldwood is a wealthy older man in town that wants to offer Bathsheba a chance to be his wife, he comes off fair with his offer, giving her the remaining independence, she requires. Sergeant Francis Troy is a full of himself soldier that has seen his love not turn up for their wedding, before turning his charm onto Bathsheba making her fall for everything he sells her on, never being the man she could be happy with.

PerformancesCarey Mulligan is great in the leading role, showing she is one of the go to actresses for a costume drama, while Matthias Schoenaerts continues to prove himself as one of the best actors in the business, Michael Sheen shines in the supporting role, while Tom Sturridge makes you want to hate his arrogant character.

StoryThe story here follows the lives of a farmers daughter and a neighbouring father as their fortunes change putting boundaries in their lives, when it comes to love and friendship. This is based on a classic Thomas Hardy novel and puts us into a world before women were allowed to independently think, with Bathsheba designed to go against the trends placed on front of her, only she doesn’t seem to make smart decisions, still trying to play into the traditions of what is known. The three love stories only have one of the three men being a sensible pick, with that same one being the only one with any sort of romantic connection about them. It doesn’t feel like this is anything we haven’t seen before, which just plays into the same old story we see all the time.

RomanceThe romance shows how Bathsheba must make up her mind on three potential partners, all from different background, even though she only has a spark with one of them.

SettingsThe film shows the farming like in the 1800’s and just what it would have meant to the people who run the farms, trying to find love and break boundaries.


Scene of the Movie – The storm.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Bathsheba does everything wrong in love.

Final Thoughts This is a typical costume drama which shows how the love felt should have just been followed, instead of leading us down a trail that was always going nowhere.

Overall: Costume Drama we have seen before.

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

Found Footage 3D (2016)

Director: Steven DeGennaro

Writer: Steven DeGennaro (Screenplay)

Starring: Carter Roy, Alena von Stroheim, Chris O’Brien, Tom Saporito, Scott Allen Perry, Jessica Perrin

 

Plot: A group of filmmakers set out to make the first 3D found footage horror movie, but find themselves in a found footage horror movie when the evil entity from their film escapes into their behind-the-scenes footage.


Tagline – A new dimension in terror

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Idea for Found Footage

 

Story: Found Footage 3D starts as we follow the film crew, Derek (Roy), Amy (Stroheim), Mark (O’Brien), Andrew (Saporito), Carl (Perry) and Lily (Perrin) as they look to create a brand new found footage movie, in 3D. packed up and heading to the remote cabin to shot the disappearance of Derek and Amy characters, we see how the behind the scene footage is being shot.

As the film unfolds we start to see unusual events happening, until they realize they have become part of their own horror movie with an unknown entity haunting them in the cabin.

 

Thoughts on Found Footage 3D

 

Characters – Derek is the one who has had the idea for the film, he is taking the leading role, while having a director on hand, he is controlling over everything that is being made, with his ex-wife in the lead role, brother shooting the behind the scenes and friends helping out, he does however show the shines of the stress of the film as the tension on set rises. Amy is the ex-wife of Derek, she is jumping at the chance to be in a new feature film and we see just how difficult her life has become after the divorce. Andrew is the guy hired to help direct, he knows the two big rules that need to be explained in found footage, he does try to hold together the crew through the tension. Mark is the brother given the chance to shoot the behind the camera footage for the eventual release of the film, he is in an awkward position because of his friendship with Amy and blood ties with Derek. We have the sound guy and an intern which complete the crew.

PerformancesThe main six cast members are good through the film, we get the sense that they are this small crew working together to make this film happen without anyone become too much of the star of the film.

StoryThe story here follows a film crew that are trying to make their own found footage film one that will be different from any other only to see themselves become the star of the film when they get haunted by an unknown entity. This is a unique idea for found footage, we know how the genre has been blasted for being lazy in the past and having a small crew with their own idea, shows how accessible the basics of a found footage film can be. We get explained the basic rules, first needing a reason to be filming and second to have a reason to still be film by the end of the film. if you do watch this as a found footage only film the story does follow everything we have seen before because there is very little new you can bring to this genre.

Horror Found footage the genre with the biggest divide in the horror community, as a fan of the genre being done correctly I liked the twist to the story, the weakness comes from the shaky cam we do know is coming.

SettingsThe film takes us to a remote cabin in the woods, this is horror 101, this is drivable away from, but with weak phone signal, the setting helps with the haunting and shows how the people making the movie know where they need to be.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are simple they do work and make us believe what we are seeing for what the crews low budget horror is trying to do.


Scene of the Movie –
The idea.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The shaky cam isn’t needed.

Final ThoughtsThis is a smart idea for a found footage film, it could easily be the ‘scream’ of found footage giving us the rules that must be followed, it does fall into the fast ending which could be considered weak, but for a found footage film it does make sure we know why it is important.

 

Overall: Found footage version of Scream.

Rating