Away (2019) Movie Review

Away – Stunningly Beautiful

Director: Gints Zilbalodis

Writer: Gints Zilbalodis (Screenplay)

Plot: A boy and a little bird are on a journey across a strange island trying to get back home.

Runtime: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Away starts as a young man finds himself stranded in a location where he doesn’t know, a strange figure is heading his way and a bike is his best escape, joined by a small bird that hasn’t learnt to fly, they flew across the beautiful landscapes to discover the world they are in.

Thoughts on Away

Characters – The nameless young man is on the run from the shadow figure, showing his kind nature along the way, helping different creatures, with the little bird joining him, he tries to outsmart the shadow, while learning more about himself. This is a film that has no words, with the other characters being the shadow, just following the young man and the other creatures he meets along the way. We might not get much character development, it is more than the journey.

StoryThe story here follows a young man travelling across an island with a small bird to escape a shadow figure following him. This is a story about the journey, it does reflect what has happened in the young man’s life, showing that kindness will help escape the darkness following, we could dive into many different metaphors going on through this story.

ThemesAway is an animated movie that looks beautiful, with the stunning landscapes, the animal look and the journey, each chapter creates a new visual pleasure.

Away will be on Digital Download from 18th January and can be pre-ordered on iTunes here & AppleTV here

Away is one of the most beautiful movies you will see, engaging in the story and stunning landscapes make this journey a true pleasure to experience.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch Up 2020 – O – Onward (2020) Movie Review

Director: Dan Scanlon

Writer: Dan Scanlon, Keith Bunin, Jason Headley (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Octavia Spencer, Mel Rodriguez, Kyle Bornheimer

Plot: Set in a suburban fantasy world, two teenage elf brothers embark on a quest to discover if there is still magic out there.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Pixar 101

Story: Onward starts as we enter a world that was once filled with magic, which slowly got replaced with science, creating the world we know, only with the fairy tale characters including the elf family the Lightfoot’s, student Ian, his older brother Barley, that is always trying to remember the past and their mother Laurel.

Being Ian 16th birthday his late father left the boys a gift, to use magic to bring him back to life for one day, only for Barley to interfere causing him to come back as just legs. The brothers must go on an adventure to complete the spell before time runs out and they lose him forever.

Thoughts on Onward

Characters – Ian Lightfoot is the younger of the two brothers, he is a shy student that hasn’t ever fit in at school and has wanted to meet his father his whole life, on his 16th birthday he learns that he has the power of magic and can bring their father back to life for a day, he must learn to overcome his own fears on this adventure to understand what he could become in life. Barley is the older brother that has played games studying the ancient ways, using his own faith to lead the adventure, despite having a screw up mentality to the rest of the town. Laurel is the mother that has always scared for her boys, encouraged them and now is in search for them after they vanish. The Manticore was once a monster of fear that unlocks the quest while trying to recapture her past glories.

StoryThe story here follows two brothers who get a chance to spend one day with their father through magic, only for things not to go to plan, with the two needing to go on an adventure to complete the spell. This is a story that is looking to turn into a big heart, with the two brothers needing to look at themselves and understand the truth about themselves to get through this day. We see how even if people are going on different paths, they can always be there for each other. We try to dive into a world of magic once lost, which seems to be a clear reflection on how the human society has started to get lazier and forget where we came from, but it just doesn’t hit that level on a strong enough note.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure is the two brothers travelling to try and find an item that could bring their father back, it takes them to locations, only for everything to not seem that worth it, because the adventure is learning about the two of them, with most of the comedy coming off very weak for a Pixar movie.

SettingsThe film uses a mix of the modern ideas for homes, with how the historical ones are now modernised, along with a typical quest route.

AnimationThe animation standard is never going to be question when it comes to a Pixar movie, you know it will look perfect in every frame.

Scene of the Movie – The realization.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The comedy seems weak.

Final Thoughts This is one of Pixar’s weakest movies, that isn’t saying it is bad, it just doesn’t reach the heights that the others have in the past, lacking the true heart the rest achieved.

Overall: Typical Pixar Film.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2020 – F – Frozen II (2019) Movie Review

Fun Fantasy Family

Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Writer: Jennifer Lee (Screenplay) Hans Christian Andersen, Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck, Marc Smith, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, Sterling K Brown, Evan Rachel Wood

Plot: Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest of an enchanted land. They set out to find the origin of Elsa’s powers in order to save their kingdom.

Tagline – Find your strength. Face your fears.
Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Forced Sequel

Story: Frozen 2 starts as Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven living in peace in Arendelle until a story the girls parents told them, comes to them, leading them to an adventure into the enchanted forest, a location that has long been unenterable.

Once in the forest, Anna and Elsa find themselves in the middle of the battle they once heard about, when Elsa goes in search of voice that is calling for her, one that could explain more about her own powers and heritage.

Thoughts on Frozen 2

Characters – Anna is still doing everything to protect her sister without having any of the magic Elsa possess, she mostly goes against the traditional Disney Princess, without being anything else in the film. Elsa is still looking to control her powers, with her being drawn towards the voice from the distance, a place where she could learn more, she wants to learn more, she will hold back from letting anyone else get hurt along the way. Olaf is the comic relief snowman, who does seem to be held back form the levels he had in the first film, while Kristoff is trying his hardest to propose to Anna, never getting to the time he would like to ask the big question. We do get glimpses of the characters from the past, with the people the girls grew up believing were legends in their history, while also seeing the people of the forest, who were once considered an enemy.

StoryThe story follows Anna and Elsa as they look to learn about their past with one of the stories of their childhood, only to learn the truth about the story and go in search of fixing the mistakes of the past. This does feel like a story that has been thrown together to try and build on the universe the first one built, by mixing a moment of the past, with the reality of the future, we get to see how changes can be made by people in power to help everyone, not just themselves. It tries to tug on the heart strings more than you would expect, but it doesn’t feel like it is as deep as it deserves to achieve.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure side of the film shows us how the five will go on journeys to fix the future, by learning about the past, seemingly holding off on the comedy for the most part of the film.

SettingsThe film continues to rebuild the world around Arendelle, becoming what we would expect to see in the fantasy universe of magical kingdoms.

AnimationThe animation looks perfect, we wouldn’t expect anything less from Disney though would we?

Scene of the Movie – Discovering the truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – No catchy songs.

Final Thoughts This is a forced sequel with plenty of heart, it is one that can easily be watched without being anything that will make the greatest Disney films list.

Soul (2020) Movie Review

Soul – Lacks the Spark & Heart

Director: Pete Doctor, Kemp Powers

Writer: Peter Doctor, Mike Jones, Kemp Powers (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Graham Norton, Rachel House, Alice Brage, Richard Ayoade, Pyhlicia Rashad

Plot: A musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself.

Tagline – Everybody has a soul. Joe Gardner is about to find his.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Soul starts as we meet jazz musician teacher Joe who has reached the point in his life, where an offer for a fulltime teacher is the smart option, but when one of his former student Curley gets him an audition with famous musician Dorothea, a job he gets, only he dies.

Joe’s soul ends up on the path to the light, where all lost souls go, trying to find his way back to his body, but he must mentor a new soul first, one which needs guiding, only not everything goes as planned.

Thoughts on Soul

Characters – Joe was raised on jazz, plays jazz and dreams of being a big jazz musician, he hasn’t found fame yet, turning to teaching to make a living, at a crossroads of his life, teach the next generation or take on the one last shot given to him, only not everything goes to plan, after he dies. He is taken to the place where souls are created and pass over, he is left to mentor a soul, which will see him needing to try and get back to his body and find his true calling. 22 is the soul that has been partnered with some of the biggest names in history to try and guide them, which shows how they are reluctant to learn more about what might be coming, they help Joe get and learn what they want most out of their own potential new life. We do get the counsellors named Jerry who are the guides for the souls, they do come off like babysitters for the developing souls and the people that Joe has been helping throughout the years.

StorySoul follows a musician that is looking for his big break or settle on his teaching job, only for him to die, which will see his soul trying to return back to his body before his big break, where he will learn a bigger lesson on life. This story could have been a lot bigger and better, because we dive into the idea of potentially getting a second chance to live life, we do get stuck in the idea that Joe has always been waiting not taking chances, certain parts of the story feel like something we have seen before, giving little life to the ideas, even if the big heart is trying to come through hard here.

ThemesSoul is an animated movie, which looks beautiful like every Pixar movie does, it has basic comedy down well, holds back on more of the pop culture jokes and relies on the fast talking nature of Tina Fey for the laughs. We get to see the world of jazz through the eyes of somebody who holds a big passion for the music and shows us how being put into a world where life is one and done, means you need to find what makes you happy, not what you believe is important to you.

Final Thoughts Soul wants to have a big heart, only it seems to get caught up in trying to be funny instead of serious, which many other Pixar films have managed before.

DAISY QUOKKA:WORLD’S SCARIEST ANIMAL – Coming to UK Cinemas Nationwide February 12th

A cute and colourful family adventure from the team behind Peter Rabbit and featuring
the voice of Sam Neill.
When an unbearably adorable, eternally optimistic Quokka named Daisy wants to
achieve the impossible – to win the annual ‘World’s Scariest Animal’ championship,
she enlists the guidance of a washed-up, former champion, a grouchy Saltwater
Crocodile, to help her achieve her dreams and prove that champions can come in all