Detective Pikachu (2019)

Director: Rob Letterman

Writer: Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, Rob Letterman, Derek Connolly (Screenplay) Satoshi Tajiri, Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, Nicole Perlman, Ken Sugimori, Junuchi Masuda, Atsuko Nishida, Tomokazu Ohara, Haruka Utsui (Original Content)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Suki Waterhouse, Bill Nighy, Ken Watanabe, Karan Soni, Rob Delaney, Kathryn Newton

 

Plot: In a world where people collect Pokémon to do battle, a boy comes across an intelligent talking Pikachu who seeks to be a detective.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cuteness Can Only Get You So Far

 

Story: Detective Pikachu starts when Tim Goodman (Smith) a young man living in a small town where he is content with his job not wanting to leave like most of his friends, until he gets news of his father’s death in the big city. Once in the big city Tim meets a talking Pikachu that was his father’s partner and the two go in search for answers to what happened to his father and why Pikachu can’t remember a thing.

 

Thoughts on Detective Pikachu

 

Characters – Tim Goodman is the young man that once dreamed of being a Pokémon trainer, he has settled with the idea of insurance for his job, his mother died when he was young and his father has become distant. When his father is killed in an accident, Tim travels to the big city in search for answers and closure only to find himself involved in the big mystery with a new Pikachu partner. Tim feels like a character that is trying to connect to the audience of the people that once loved Pokémon that got hit by life as they grew up. Pikachu is the partner of Tim’s father, only for an unknown reason he can talk to Tim, he is snappy his lines which sees him trying to remain confident as he wants to learn what he happened to his partner and his memory. Lucy is an intern that dreams of being a reporter, she gets the heads up on the story and starts diving into trying to solve the story with Tim. Howard Clifford has built the city where Pokémon and humans can work together and is involved in a power struggle with his son for his company.

PerformancesJustice Smith is the stronger performer in this film, he does show the held in grief his character is feeling, while showing his character is on the verge of coming out of his shell. Ryan Reynolds lends his voice to Pikachu which does work for the most part, he gets the jokes, while handling the serious moments too. Kathryn Newton is strong, though it would have been nice to see more from her character. Bill Nighy is one that brings the calming presence to everything being the typical brains for change into the world.

StoryThe story here follows a young man that teams up with a talking Pikachu, to figure out what happened to his father only to learn about a bigger conspiracy that is going on in the world. The story does easily take a back burner for large amounts of time because we want to focus on the cuteness of the Pokémon. We do get a standard investigation story, which is meant to have twists and turns along the way like all mystery films. We do cut over smaller stories around the supporting characters which disappoints in Lucy’s mostly. We do get a few moments that just don’t make sense though because they go against other rules created in the film.

Action/Comedy/Mystery/Sci-FiThe action sequences are fun to watch which are mostly Pokémon battles which look brilliant, the comedy is fun enough, though we did get most of the best moments in the trailer. The mystery is everything you would expect without being anything new or need to be. The sci-fi world created shows us just how the human and Pokémon can live together in one world.

SettingsThe film creates a wonderful location for the big city which looks nature throughout the scenes there, outside the big city we get to see how the Pokémon would live in our own world.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are truly amazing, to create the world which sees Pokémon living next to humans, everything looks nature when they appear on screen.


Scene of the Movie –
The Pokémon in life.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story is pretty basic.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun easy to watch film about Pokémon, it gets everything it needs to right without trying to test the audience with the lengths of the story.

 

Overall: Fun and Over Cute.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – P – Pride (2014)

Director: Matthew Warchus

Writer: Stephen Beresford (Screenplay)

Starring: Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine, Ben Schnetzer, Andrew Scott, Freddie Fox, George MacKay

 

Plot: U.K. gay activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.


Tagline – Based on the inspirational true story.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant

 

Story: Pride starts in the summer of 1984, the miner’s strikes are on and the Pride movement is taking over London, Mark (Schnetzer) one of the leading campaigners joined by shy college student Joe (MacKay) in a movement known as ‘Lesbians & Gays Support the Miners’ after Mark sees that they are struggling through the same problems from the authority figures.

Dai (Considine) is part of one of the mining communities in Wales, he is the only person that will even consider taking the money raised by the support group, with the group heading to Wales, they are welcomed by some including the head of the committee Cliff (Nighy), but not everyone is as welcoming as the rest.

 

Thoughts on Pride

 

Characters – Mark is the leader of the Lesbian & Gays Support the Miners group, he believes if the two work together they could one day stop the problems they are facing, he inspires his group, builds bridges between the communities become one of the most iconic members of the movement. Joe is a young gay that is still in the closest, he wants to support the group and joins in the activities only to need to keep things secret from the rest of his family. Dai is the man that is willing to listen to the group, he welcomes the group to the village. Jonathan is one of the oldest members of the group, he has lived with the taboo for his whole life and will help the group make the right connections. Cliff is one of the miners that welcomes the group with open arms not seeing them to be different in anyway. Hefina is one of the committee that will push for any rights to help her community that has suffered for so long.

PerformancesBen Schnetzer in the leading role is fantastic, showing the charisma required as well as giving us the feeling that he doesn’t know what will happen. George MacKay continued to show he is going to be a big name in the future with his withdrawn and important performance in this film. Dominic West is good in his role which shows us just how much range he has. Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton both shine in the supporting roles.

StoryThe story here shows us how the Lesbian & Gay community came together even against their own battle to help the minders in their own strike against the government. We are shown how communities would have needed to come together to be given their chance to just have equality in the world, this both frustrates because of what was around and shows the support needed to make things happen and how easily minds can be changed. We get to see the people that made a difference in the world, the people that held them back and just how important each and every person that supports equality can be. This is one that could show us how the country changed, came together and most importantly showed us how difficult the steps can be for the people who are struggling.

Biopic/ComedyThe biopic side of the film shows us how the people who were truly involved showed the courage to stand up for what they believe in. the comedy comes from the actions from both sides of the fight and how they remained confident and broke barriers.

SettingsThe film uses two main settings, London where we follow the LGB community with their own fight and in Wales as we see the miner’s village which has been struggling with their problems with the strike.


Scene of the Movie –
The march

That Moment That Annoyed Me Knowing this was still a problem in 80s.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the powerful biopic that shows us just what people can achieve by working together to make a difference in the world.

 

Overall: Must watch.

Rating

 

 

Valkyrie (2008)

Director: Bryan Singer

Writer: Christopher McQuarrie, Nathan Alexander (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Carice van Houten, Thomas Kretschmann, Terrence Stamp

 

Plot: A dramatization of the 20 July assassination and political coup plot by desperate renegade German Army officers against Hitler during World War II.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good War Thriller

 

Story: Valkyrie starts in the middle of World War II, outspoken German Colonel Claus Stauffenberg (Cruise) is assigned duty in Tunisia where he gets injured. Back in German Major General Henning von Tresckow (Branagh) has been working on a plan to assassinate Hitler and ending the war.

When Henning’s latest choice fails, he gets his fellow General Friedrich Olbricht (Nighy) to recruit a new member to this secret group and Claus is that man. We follow as the plan to assassinate Hitler comes together with espionage between the ranking officers, secret meetings and changes in potential candidates.  

 

Thoughts on Valkyrie

 

Characters/PerformanceColonel Claus von Stauffenberg is the soldier injured during the war and now he is the man with the plan to assassinate Hitler. Major General Henning von Tresckow is the officer that brings Claus into the circle as he wants to find the end of the war. General Friedrich Olbricht is the handler of Claus in the ranking side of things but off the books he must follow the instructions of Claus. The characters are all based on real people all involved in the real assassination attempt on Hitler.

Performance wise, well first we need to address that this is an English-speaking movie about what is happening within German during the war so we need to look past that when judging these performances of Tom Cruise who is good showing he can do serious movies over action sequences. Nighy, Branagh and Wilkinson are all great through the film as are the rest of the cast.

StoryThis is a look at a moment in history that many people don’t know about, we all know how World War II went and the bigger events, but looking at the story of a revolution within the German army to stop Hitler ending the war. The amount of people that would risk their lives to stop Hitler but the weak point here is we know the truth that it failed.

History/War Looking in the history of World War II we get to learn about a smaller detail which get covered up because they were failed missions to end the war and this gives us that story.

SettingsEach setting shows us the image of war time Germany with little issues with the look of the sets.

Final ThoughtsNice look into history about a moment that could have changed the end of the war forever.

 

Overall: Historical film that does show us a moment of great risk that ended in failure.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – C – Chalet Girl (2011)

Director: Phil Traill

Writer: Tom Williams (Screenplay)

Starring: Felicity Jones, Ed Westwick, Bill Nighy, Brooke Shields, Bill Bailey, Tasmin Egerton, Sophia Bush

 

Plot: Former skateboard champion Kim wants to make more money after her mother’s tragic death. She joins the elite posh servicing company, which sends her off to Austria.


Tagline – How to marry a billionaire.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sweet, Delightful and Enjoyable

 

Story: Chalet Girl starts as we meet Kim (Jones) a skateboarding icon that has vanished from the circuit following the death of her mother, working in a burger restaurant caring for father Bill (Bailey). Needing to make more money Kim takes a chance to work as a chalet girl for an elite posh household in Austria, giving on the basic training from fellow girl Georgie (Egerton), she gets to start a new direction.

The family includes father Richard (Nighy) that is willing to give anyone a chance, his son Jonny (Westwick) who is happy to accept Kim, his girlfriend Chloe (Bush) and mother Caroline (Shields) are quick to judge. Over her time in the slopes Kim finds that she is a natural snowboarder and learns to love this new life, but struggles to shake her own demons.

 

Thoughts on Chalet Girl

 

Characters – Kim is a common English girl whose talents are great for home life and is now hiding from his potential from the world after the death of her mother. She has always been safe even though her skateboarding career doesn’t seem so safe, she takes a job she clear would never fit in around the clients, she soon learns that she is a natural snowboarder, but will need to overcome her past nightmares to continue her life. Jonny is one of the household that visit, he catches Kim’s attention, but has a girlfriend, he is open to giving Kim a chance in this world even if she isn’t from the posh background like the normal girls they get. Richard is the owner of the house, he welcomes any help as long as they can do the job without any problems.

PerformancesFelicity Jones broke onto the scene with this role, she is fantastic as the common girl, never letting her performance look glamorous and making it easy to connect to her real-life issues. Ed Westwick is good in his role looking the part of the rich attractive guy. Bill Nighy and the rest of the supporting cast are all great through the film with Bill Bailey does get the most laughs.

StoryThe story follows a young girl about to take on adulthood with her first long-term trip away from home, she must learn how the high life live, while battling her own past which haunts her to this day and become the star in the sport she never knew she had the talent for. This is one of the strongest points in this movie, the other side of the film is watching how she falls in love with a guy from this other world, which I feel takes away from just how important her journey needs to be. For a popcorn rom com this is a by the book story that can be enjoyed and doesn’t seem to go in any direction you wouldn’t imagine it going.

Comedy/Romance For a comedy this gets plenty of laughs from the whole cast, while romance side of the film is by the book, but does take away from the bigger story.

SettingsThe film takes Kim from start in her normal common life, to live a life she had never imagined in Austria.


Scene of the Movie –
Snowboard run.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The commentator for the snowboarding event.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable rom com that does have a deeper meaning for our leading lady Kim, this will leave you with a smile on your face and can be enjoyed by all.

 

Overall: Leaves you will a smile on your face.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – N – Norm of the North (2016)

Director: Trevor Wall

Writer: Daniel Altiere, Steven Altiere, Malcolm T Goldman (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Rob Schneider, Heather Graham, Ken Jeong, Bill Nighy, Colm Meaney, Loretta Devine

 

Plot: When a real estate development invades his Arctic home, Norm and his three lemming friends head to New York City, where Norm becomes the mascot of the corporation in an attempt to bring it down from the inside and protect his homeland.


Tagline – Bear to be different

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Pathetic Comedy

 

Story: Norm of the North starts as we head to the North Pole and the arctic home of Norm an underachieving polar bear. He wants to become the king of the arctic like his Grandfather as he lives in peace around seals, whales, birds and for some reason lemmings.

When the real estate mogul wants to build condos in the Arctic, Norm must travel to New York City to stop Mr Greene from going through with his idea and save the Arctic.

 

Thoughts on Norm of the North

 

Characters – Norm is a polar bear that needs to help save his land in the Arctic, he seems to get himself into trouble with his clumsy action, he is mostly an insult character. Vera is the struggling single mother that is trying to help her daughter even if she doesn’t believe in what she is going. Mr Greene is an evil businessman looking to build the houses in the Arctic which would ruin the life of the wildlife.

StoryThe story should be about how the humans are destroying the wildlife, but ends up just being hapless look at how one polar bear will try to stop it happening, it is mostly insulting to the audience as a story as it never gets to show the message it should be.

Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe adventure just seems like click the fingers and we are there, the comedy misses on nearly every level and I wouldn’t want anyone to put their family through this one.

SettingsThe settings are the Arctic, fine works and the New York because wild animal in New York City is meant to be funny I guess?

AnimationThe animation at least looks good being the only positive side of the whole movie.


Scene of the Movie –
They use the ‘Shut Up and Dance With Me Song’ didn’t like the scene but love the song.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just feels insulting.

Final ThoughtsThis is just a terrible animation that is more insulting that funny, it has an important message and fails to deliver it.

 

Overall: Avoid please.

Rating