Seth Green Weekend – Mars Needs Moms (2011)

Director: Simon Wells

Writer: Simon Wells, Wendy Wells (Screenplay) Berkeley Breathed (Book)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Seth Green, Dan Fogler, Joan Cusack, Elisabeth Harnois, Mindy Sterling, Kevin Cahoon, Tom Everett Scott

 

Plot: A young boy named Milo gains a deeper appreciation for his mom after Martians come to Earth to take her away.


Tagline – Mom needs a little space.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Adventure

 

Story: Mars Needs Moms starts when young boy Milo is making his mom’s life difficult, right down to telling her that he doesn’t need her, that night she is taken by Martians, with Milo following her to Mars. Milo finds himself being hunted down by the Martians until he finds fellow human Gribble who has been there for years.

Milo finds himself face seven hours to save his mom from the latest Martian project which takes mother’s discipline to put into their nanny bots to race their young, Milo joined by Gribble and hippie loving Martian Ki to save his mother and uncover a truth about Martians.

 

Thoughts on Mars Needs Moms

 

Characters – Milo is your typical troublesome young boy, he doesn’t want to eat his vegetables, clean his room or follow his moms instructions, until she is taken by Martians, here Milo must do everything he can to try and save his mom from them, where he shows how much he does actually loves her. Gribble is a man that has been trapped on Mars for along time alone, he tries to help Milo even if he starts by wanting to make Milo his friend, he knows the truth about what will happen to Milo’s mom and does everything he can do to protect him from the truth. Mom has been dealing with a lot of trouble that Milo has been putting her through, she has been trying to raise him alone and her rules sees her getting abducted. Ki is one of the Martians that has learnt about hippie culture, she is a rebel in this world painting flowers on the walls completely against the rules, she helps Milo learning the errors of the Martians ways.

StoryThe story here follows a young boy that must travel to Mars after his mother is abducted by Martians to save her from their plans for her creating a new revolution on the planet that could stop this process. This is an interesting way of looking teaching a young boy a lesson which is easily the core part of the story, we do go through the basic ideas of making the villains very easy to defeat. This does have moments that are very dark which might be unsettling for a younger audience even though it does have a strong morale story.

Adventure/Sci-FiThe adventure side of the film does take Mile to Mars where he must save his mom, this is a location that a child would never see himself heading to. The sci-fi side of the film does deal with the ideas of aliens needing parents and taken them to solve their problems.

SettingsThe film is mostly set on Mars, if we are honest it could be any planet, it does involve a special looking space centre along with the surface which shows how the Martians are dealing with the world.

AnimationThe animation does look very impressive, with a new style to help make everything look different to the normal animation style we are seeing.


Scene of the Movie –
Ki’s introduction.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does head into a dark tone at points.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple to watch fun adventure animation, it doe shave a strong morale message, with characters that do make sense.

 

Overall: Fun throughout.

Rating

 

 

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Director: David Yates

Writer: J.K. Rowling (Screenplay)

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Zoe Kravitz, Ezra Miller

 

Plot: The second installment of the “Fantastic Beasts” series featuring the adventures of Magizoologist Newt Scamander.


Tagline – The fate of one will change the future of all

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple World Building

 

Story: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald starts with Grindelwald (Depp) escaping prison pulling his forces together as he is going in search for Credence Barebone (Miller) who is now on the run, the Ministry want Credence bought to safety, which gives them a chance to offer Newt (Redmayne) a way to travel internationally.

Tina (Waterston) has been selected to go in search of Credence, which ends up giving all parties interested in search for Credence, the one person who has the power to killed Dumbledore (Law).

 

Thoughts on Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

 

Characters – Newt still considered an outside in the magical world, he is offered a chance to redeem himself to stop Grindelwald from gaining too much power, he still has the connection with the fantastic beasts, is trying to redeem his relationship with Tina and prove himself to the Ministry. Grindelwald has escaped his prison and is now looking to raise an army for a war against the non-magics, he knows how to take down the biggest threat ad is working to get Credence on his side. Tina has moved away from Newt after reading something incorrectly, which sees her leading the investigation into Credence’s location. Dumbledore has a connection the Grindelwald, one that means he can’t track him down and he selects Newt to help him search for his old friend. Credence is the young man that everyone is searching for, he has power that others simply can’t control, he doesn’t know who to trust in any way, leaving him on the run as he wants answers to who his parents are. Leta Lestrange is the former classmate of Newt, she has been put in a position where she can make up for her own mistakes in the past, while dealing with her own secret.

PerformancesEddie Redmayne is solid enough returning to his role, there are moments where he is annoying though. Johnny Depp was solid too even with all the issues around him being cast in this film. most of the cast are just basically solid, nobody does anything to stand out in this movie.

StoryThe story continues the adventures of Newt as he must learn why Grindelwald is searching for Credence. We do see both sides bring drawn out in a war between the two sides, with the different wizards needing to learn pick a side. Where we do have a lot characters we do seem to lose focuses on just what is happening within the bigger picture, as this is only an early chapter in series, it des feel like a building story rather than one that has a beginning or end, which also disappoints. We do however know that the Harry Potter franchise was similar with this, giving us moments which will be used for latter moments in the franchise.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure side of the film does take Newt to new locations with more of his fantastic beasts which is fine, though it just feels like more of the same with the magic being more about who wants power over clever little tricks.

SettingsThe film does use a couple more settings with Paris and London being involved, most of the locations are used to show the secret places where magic can take place.

Special EffectsThe effects are not as strong as previous films though, we have seen a lot of different moments through the film, with this being more of a let-down over anything else even with some of the beasts looks amazing.


Scene of the Movie –
Cats chasing down Newt.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters to follow.

Final ThoughtsThis is an average chapter in a franchise which has gone on for a while now, it has good moments and tries to save itself with a twist, which is here for shock value over any meaning.

 

Overall: Simple chapter building.

Rating

 

 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

fantsticDirector: David Yates

Writer: J.K. Rowling (Screenplay)

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Carmen Ejogo, Jon Voight, Ron Perlman

 

Plot: The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Best Family Film of the Year

 

Story: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them starts as Grindelwald had started to terrorise the wizard community around the 1920s as we move to meet Newt (Redmayne) as he travels to New York. We learn that something has be terrorising the streets of New York which has grab the attention of Graves (Farrell).

Getting to learn his away around New York Newt finds himself using her magic which effects the life Kowalski (Fogler) and fellow wizard detective Tina (Waterston). After a mixing up cases Kowalski ends up with the case full of fantastic beasts which Newt and Tina must track down before they cause any more problems in New York.

We continue to learn of the kind heart Newt has as he helps rescue these beasts from the edge of extinction but a darkness as all creatures have will look to take control of the beasts with a potential battle between no magics and the wizards just waiting to be unleashed on the world.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a visually stunning addition to the Harry Potter magical universe, while this is a prequel it works on all the levels it needs to because it is actually so distant from the original series. We have the 1920s New York settings that looks authentic throughout and the beasts all look truly fantastic.  Being set with adult characters help because we don’t have to deal with the learning process which often held back the early Potter films.

Eddie Redmayne gives us a brilliant performance that fully fits the character Newt but it is here where the brilliance finishes with the rest of the characters all looking greatly cast without being as memorable as Newt, Farrell takes the lead villain role but doesn’t really get the full chance to be as evil as he could well have been but this is designed for purpose to make the next villains more menacing. If you ever want to see what could well be the best family film this year I whole heartedly suggest this film that comes off original to the rest of the current market without being to heavy on the wizard ways.

 

Overall: Visually brilliant and purely fun film that can be enjoyed by all.

Ratingcard