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

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Mythica: A Quest for Heroes (2014)

Director: Anne K Black

Writer: Anne K Black, Jason Faller, Kynan Griffin (Screenplay)

Starring: Melanie Stone, Adam Johnson, Jake Stormoen, Nicola Posener, Christopher Robin Miller, Natalie Devine Riskas

 

Plot: The young magician Marek dreams of exciting adventures. When she meets the help-seeking priestess Teela she offers her assistance and provides a motley troupe. Together they go in search of Teela’s sister, who was kidnapped by a wild ogre.


Tagline – Heroes will rise. Legends will come to life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Made for TV Adventure

 

Story: Mythica: A Quest for Heroes when Teela (Posener) is set away with a hidden item from a wild ogre, meanwhile in a small village, disabled young woman Marek (Stone) has been learning about spells and is forced into using one after her owner gets abusive, forcing her on the run.

With Teela desperately in need to people to help fight back to save her sister, the only person that offers to help is Marek, seeing it as a chance to go on her first quest, Teela uses her own ability to see just how much potential Marek has, accepting her help, building her own team including Thane (Johnson) and Dagen (Stormoen), all to save Teela’s sister.

 

Thoughts on Mythica: A Quest for Heroes

 

Characters – Marek is a young slave woman, left to struggle through life because of her limp too. She dreams of going on her own adventures, which has seen her learning about magic, only a beginner, she has learnt about spells, she jumps at a chance every other bounty hunter refuses, which sees her build her own team, which will give her a chance to go on her first adventure. Thane is a warrior that isn’t afraid to get involved in a big fight against the odds, Dagen is a thief that gets forced into helping on the quest, his skills will be used to sneak with him being an archer when forced into combat. Teela is the sister of a priestess, she is sent for help to rescue her sister, which sees her using her powers to help her team.

PerformancesMelanie Stone is the leading lady that shows us how much she wants to go on the adventures, she doesn’t do anything wrong and makes us care about her characters adventures. Adam Johnson brings the brute performance needed, while Jake Stormeon shows us a cocky figure. Nicola Posener does well in her role too.

StoryThe story here follows a new group of fantasy based characters, a witch, brute, thief and a healer that go on a rescue mission to try and save a priestess from an evil ogre. This story does feel like one of the opening levels of an RPG video game, we get to meet the different characters, all drawn together for different motivations that will work together to save the day. It is strange because if this was a cinema movie, you would feel disappointed with the story, but for television, this is everything you need to introduce our characters and show what they are capable off, with a villain that can be defeated easily in a world which will offer bigger threats.

Action/FantasyThe action in this film is basic television style fight sequences, they are easy to watch, but you always know the heroes will win them. The fantasy world we get to enter shows us just how many different people with different skills are in this world.

SettingsThe settings fill us with small farming villages, mixed with woodland walking which shows us that we are meant to be in an ancient times.

Special EffectsThe effects are not the greatest, but they do work for the film, they bring us a disturbing looking creature as well as the use of magic in its own unique way.


Scene of the Movie –
The creature in the woods.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The clearing monster, it is the weakest of the CGI moments.

Final ThoughtsThis is an entertain opening to a franchise, we get to meet the characters, learn their abilities and see them face their first enemy.

 

Overall: Simple and effective.

Rating

 

 

ABc Film Challenge – Horror – # – Flight 7500 (2014)

Director: Takashi Shimizu

Writer: Craig Rosenberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Kwanten, Amy Smart, Leslie Bibb, Jamie Chung, Scout Taylor-Compton, Nicky Whelan, Jerry Ferrera, Christian Serratos

 

Plot: Flight 7500 departs Los Angeles International Airport bound for Tokyo. As the overnight flight makes its way over the Pacific Ocean during its ten-hour course, the passengers encounter what appears to be a supernatural force in the cabin.


Tagline – At 30,000 feet. There’s Nowhere to Run

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tries too Hard

 

Story: Flight 7500 starts by letting us meet the crew Laura (Bibb), Suzy (Chung) and Captain Pete (Schaech), along with the passengers including couples Brad (Kwanten), Pia (Smart), Liz (Whelan) and Rick (Ferrara) along with a host of singletons Jacinta (Taylor-Compton), Raquel (Serratos) and Jake (Frost) who are traveling from LA to Tokyo on an overnight flight.

When a passenger suddenly dies on the flight, it is only the beginning of a nightmare journey, which brings a supernatural force to the plane, one that nobody is prepared to fight against.

 

Thoughts on Flight 7500

 

Characters – Brad and Pia are a married couple looking to take a vacation away from their normal lives, there is some tension between them because of the decision, Brad will help out more during the supernatural phases of the flight as he is prepared for an emergency situation. Laura and Suzy are the two flight attendants, one is having an affair with the pilot, the other is waiting for her wedding day, they are quick to judge the passengers on the flight. We do meet slightly too many characters in this film because we have newlyweds on their honeymoon, a rebellious looking woman, a prankster and a woman worried about her past. By giving us this many characters it makes it hard to learn everything about them.

PerformancesWe have a cast that are all known actors here, most you might not remember their names, but you will have seen them before, first we have Ryan Kwanten, who like most of this cast is going to get the same problem with their performance, they don’t get time to make an impact, we seem to waste Amy Smart getting not enough time to make any impact for her talent. Leslie Bibb is stronger, but only because her character is in the position to be allowed to make a different.

StoryThe story follows the passengers and crew of a 10 hour flight that start getting haunted by a supernatural presence mid-flight causing them to need to figure out what is going on before it is too late, with nowhere to run. This story does end up throwing us into a mystery about what is happening, which doesn’t really get solved by the characters on the plane, only to end up trying to turn to a big reveal on the truth, which feels more like a cop out leaving too many unanswered questioned in the story.

Horror/Mystery/Sci-FiThe horror elements are interesting because we do get to focus on the idea of something supernatural going on, this does dive into the mystery, sci-fi elements of the film because once we learn what the answers are.

SettingsThe film is set on a plane which is important because once in flight, there is nowhere our passengers can go and when things start going through the supernatural events.


Scene of the Movie –
Adding the pieces together.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It just seems to end.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror mystery which starts off keeping us interested, only for it to run out of ideas and just end suddenly.

 

Overall: A horror without a true ending.

Rating

 

 

At the Devil’s Door (2014)

Director: Nicholas McCarthy

Writer: Nicholas McCarthy (Screenplay)

Starring: Ashley Rickards, Nick Eversman, Michael Massee, Mark Steger, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Naya Rivera

 

Plot: A real-estate agent finds herself caught up in something sinister when she has to sell a house with a dark past and meets the troubled teen who used to live there.


Tagline –  It’s looking for a home.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Messy & Confused

 

Story: At the Devil’s Door starts as we see teenage runaway Hannah (Rickards) planning to run away with her boyfriend, only to find herself in the middle cult like environment. Moving away from this situation Leigh (Moreno) an ambitious real-estate agent gets the chance to sale a house with a history, only to learn Hannah is haunting those hallways.

Hannah has been taken over by a dark force who has set her sights on her latest target, only this time it isn’t Leigh, it is her artist sister Vera (Rivera). What have they gotten themselves into, that is the question.

 

Thoughts on At the Devil’s Door

 

Characters – This was a hard film to figure out who the main character was until the end, so I will talk about the three biggest characters in no particular order. Hannah is the first one we meet, she is a runaway that finds herself in the middle of a demon worshiping cult, walking the halls of a house up for sale, she has a secret waiting to reveal. Leigh is the real-estate agent that is trying toe sale the house only to learn that there is a force in the house trying to control certain movements. Vera is the younger sister of Leigh, an artists that becomes the target of the presence that is haunting the land.

PerformancesWhile I don’t think the actors do a bad job in anyway in this film, the scorecard is being harsh on them, most of this complaint that the characters don’t become the main until late in the film which doesn’t give us enough time to get behind the actors. The three actresses do well with what they have without having that one moment that makes them stand out.

StoryThe story follows a potential demon being born into the world, I think, it would be fair to say this movie does put forward all the generic ideas that something is off with each scene, but as I was saying with the characters, we follow ones events only for the to mean nothing and these scenes go on for a healthy 20 odd minutes before we move onto the next character’s story, which only leaves us confused and feeling withdrawn from where the story is going.

HorrorThe horror is the normal, people walking around the empty houses following or running from noises, the only scene that stands out is involving the hospital.

SettingsThe film keeps us in a few houses that always seem to be empty, nothing is overly interesting with the locations being used.

Special EffectsThe effects are the strongest part of the film, it does have a couple of stand out moments which will make you look away but also make you want to watch.


Scene of the Movie –
Hospital time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not knowing the main character early on.

Final ThoughtsThis is a messy confusing movie that does try to break the mould because of the source material of demon trying to be born, we skip over the been there scene that parts but it takes too long to get there.

 

Overall: Not good enough horror movie.

Rating

 

 

Bill Murray Weekend – St. Vincent (2014)

Director: Theodore Melfi

Writer: Theodore Melfi (Screenplay)

Starring: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Chris O’Dowd, Terrence Howard, Jaeden Lieberher

 

Plot: A young boy whose parents have just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic war veteran who lives next door.


Tagline – With neighbours like these, who needs family?

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Comedy

 

Story: St. Vincent starts as we meet Vincent (Murray) a selfish man living in New York city, he has a hooker on call in Daka (Watts), he owes people money, drinks and gamblers. He gets a new neighbour in Maggie (McCarthy) and her young son Oliver (Lieberher) who are going to change his way of life.

With Maggie working to keep Oliver in school and away from her husband, which keeps her working late, giving her needing to turn Vincent to babysit after school, leaving Vincent to teach life lesson, while dealing with his own problems.

 

Thoughts on St. Vincent

 

Characters – Vincent is a lonely figure that drinks, gamblers and spends time with a hooker. He struggles for money and when he meets his new neighbour he ends up with a babysitting job, where he gets to teach life lessons which opens the doors to his own problems in life. Maggie is the single mother trying to keep her son with her as we as working a fulltime job, meaning she must turn to Vincent. Daka is a stripper and hooker that spends time with Vincent, she is also pregnant which has seen her job disappear, but her loyalty to Vincent comes through. Oliver is the young boy that gets taken in by Vincent to help cover for her mother’s work. He is the new kid at his school which he learns from Vincent how to fit in here.

PerformancesBill Murray is wonderful in this role, he must handle a mix of situations which only helps with the carefree style Murray delivers. Melissa McCarthy is always an actress I never have time for, but this is my favourite performance of her career. Naomi Watts never looks out of place in this role with her accent not missing once through the film. Jaeden Leiberher is an actor that has gone onto bigger things, this showed his potential.

StoryThe story shows us that you can meet people in life that are not what the cover seems, it has the idea of one man being down on life, but he has a story that he has never been seen by the people closest to him. A young boy is the person that learns the most as he must learn to grow up quicker than he should. This is a coming of age type of movie for Oliver which is important for him too.

ComedyThis movie does have good comedy coming from each moment that will make you laugh, it also has moments which you need feel.

SettingsThe setting works because it shows us how people in and around New York can live different lives.


Scene of the Movie –
The project.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The debt collector character seems to fade away.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good and enjoyable comedy that shows the important side of life from the people you don’t think will be as big as people believe.

 

Overall: Comedy fans enjoy.

Rating