Bridge to Terabithia (2007)

Director: Gabor Csupo

Writer: Jeff Stockwell, David Paterson (Screenplay) Katherine Paterson (Book)

Starring: Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb, Zooey Deschanel, Robert Patrick, Bailee Madison, Kate Butler

 

Plot: A preteen’s life turns upside down when he befriends the new girl in school and they imagine a whole new fantasy world to escape reality.


Tagline – The beloved novel comes to life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hard Hitting Family Adventure

 

Story: Bridge to Terabithia starts as we meet Jess (Hutcherson) one of the middle children in a big family living on a farm, he is bullied at school with the new year being no different for him, when new neighbour Leslie (Robb) joins him in school, he might finally get a friend in the hostile side of school.

The two become friends and use the local woods to create their own fantasy world to escape the realities they are living in. the two learn they can remain individual while navigating everyday life.

 

Thoughts on Bridge to Terabithia

 

Characters – Jess is one of five children, the only boy from a farm family that struggles to make ends meet. He is bullied at school, left isolated for the most part, this is until he meets the new neighbour who helps him come out of his shell, explore his imagination more, learning how to unlock the potential in his artistic nature. Leslie is the neighbour that moves in, she is an outsider too with a wild imagination which helps Jess come out of his shell, she wants to be different, she accepts people who are different always willing to offer an olive branch to everybody. Ms Edmunds is one o the teachers at the school, she is the music teacher and pushes Jess to follow his potential. Jack is the father of Jess’s family he is forced to work hard through everyday, struggling to keep it together for his family, being stricter towards Jess.

PerformancesJosh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb are two of the best child actors of their generations, their performances are both wonderful and bring the heart and soul to this movie. Zooey Deschanel and Robert Patrick both bring the role models needed to the child roles.

StoryThe story follows a boy that is isolated from the world, facing a lonely future because of his family’s financial situation who makes a new school friend who helps him see the world in another light before tragedy comes his way. This is a story that felt like a coming of age movie which was wonderful only it came and throw a shocking twist in the story. we get to see how two people young teenagers learn to accept people in the world ignoring people that are trying to get to them. We do get to enter a fantasy world that only children could create to escape their worlds, which does see them deal their own problems.

Adventure/FamilyThe adventure comes from the world created by Jess and Leslie to escape their world, filled with creatures that could only come from the minds of the two. The family side of the film shows the two dealing with life issues in the simple ways.

SettingsThe film shows that the two kids are in isolated locations, be it in the school or out of it and along with the fantasy location they create.

Special EffectsThe effects are mixed because the creatures look fantastic, but there is a running screen that just looks difficult to watch.


Scene of the Movie –
Museum trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The running scene.

Final ThoughtsThis is a shocking family adventure film that fills the coming-of-age story, which shows us how important life can be.

 

Overall: Coming of age shocker.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – Z – Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005)

Director: Jon Favreau

Writer: David Koepp, John Kamps (Screenplay) Chris Van Allsburg (Book)

Starring: Jonah Bobo, Josh Hutcherson, Dax Shepard, Kristen Stewart, Tim Robbins, Frank Oz

 

Plot: Two young brothers are drawn into an intergalactic adventure when their house is hurled through the depths of space by the magical board game they are playing.


Tagline – A new adventure from the world of Jumanji

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Family Adventure

 

Story: Zathura: A Space Adventure starts as two brothers Danny (Bobo) and Walter (Hutcherson) are trying to get the attention of their father (Robbins), with his work getting in the way they must learn to occupy themselves, which leads to them finding a board game Zathura which leads to them ending up in outer space.

The two brothers must learn to put their differences behind them to survive the game which is filled with multiply different space based threats.

 

Thoughts on Zathura: A Space Adventure

 

Characters – Danny is the youngest of the three children, he wants to be accepted by his brother even though he isn’t as good at sports and has a habit to cheat when playing games. Walter is the middle child, he wants to spend time with his father and get angry when Danny is allowed time too, he hates having Danny around never wanting to spend time with him. The Astronaut is a stranger from the game that assists the brothers through the game.

PerformancesThe performances are next up and we must first consider that we have two child actors, they are good in their arguments and it is strange to see that only one made it to the adult level in Josh Hutcherson. Dax Shepard is good and never gets to the annoying we know from him now, while Stewart and Robbins are good for the supporting roles.

StoryThe story does follow many of the same ideas as Jumanji, we have two brothers this time being forced into playing the game, needing to put aside their difference to finish the game to return to normality. We have the similar peril only in space which brings a freshness into the concept, there is a weird side story going on which brings a twist which is disturbing more than clever. If you want something just fun, this will hit the marks.

Adventure/Fantasy/Sci-FiThe adventure takes our two brothers to a place they could never imagine which plays into the fantasy elements of the film, the sci-fi side of things takes the whole story into space.

SettingsThe film is set inside the house, which is works because what would happen if your house was in space suddenly.

Special EffectsThe effects are surprisingly brilliant, I say this because Jumanji had weak effects, even though this is set in space it never looks out of place.


Scene of the Movie –
The game first moments.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The twist seems weird.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun family film that can be enjoyed by everyone, it feels like it has full adventure that can be enjoyed by all.

 

Overall: One for the adventure fans out there.

Rating

 

 

Robin Williams Weekend – R.V.: Runaway Vacation (2006)

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

Writer: Geoff Rodkey (Screenplay)

Starring: Robin Williams, Cheryl Hines, Joanna ‘Jojo’ Levesque, Josh Hutcherson, Jeff Daniels, Kristin Chenoweth

 

Plot: Bob Munro and his dysfunctional family rent an RV for a road trip to the Colorado Rockies, where they ultimately have to contend with a bizarre community of campers.


Tagline – One family. Eight wheels. No brakes.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Serviceable Comedy

 

Story: R.V.: Runaway Vacation starts as businessman Bob (Williams) is facing the reality of seeing his kids about to start preparing for their next steps in life, he decides to cancel their Hawaii vacation to take them across country in an RV. Bob must convince his wife Jamie (Hines) and children Cassie (JoJo) and Carl (Hutcherson) this trip is going to be good.

As their journey continues we get the usual series of mishaps along the way as Bob is fighting to keep his job by secretly doing his work while the others sleep, just what else can happen in the family’s adventure.

 

Thoughts on R.V.: Runaway Vacation

 

Characters – Bob Munro is an officer worker always on his boss’s good side, his family is growing up and about to move on with their lives and he decides to take them on a cross country trip to keep his job. Jamie is his wife that isn’t happy about losing the Hawaii vacation but understands he wants to spend time with his family. Cassie and Carl are the children with their own growing up problems that Bob has been ignoring for the most part.

PerformancesRobin Williams is the main star of the movie, he gets to do a watered-down version of his comedy which is serviceable for the film. Going into the supporting cast we don’t get too much that stands out as most of them are playing off what Williams does.

StoryThe story follows a family vacation in an RV which takes them on a series of unfortunate events. The story does feel weak for the family growing dynamic because too much of the movie is focused on the father’s problems rather then looking at how the family needs to come together. This will pass as a comedy level story which is fine and never becomes the importance a lighter comedy could achieve.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy is hit or miss, it is mostly material we have seen before and even with Williams in the leading role, it doesn’t always hit.

SettingsThe film takes us across parts of America which is fine, we get the beauty spots in certain places.


Scene of the Movie –
The reason why the trip happens.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The weakness of the comedy.

Final ThoughtsThis isn’t the best comedy, it has moments but in the end it will become one that you do end up forgetting.

 

Overall: Forgettable comedy for the most part.

Rating

 

 

Jeffrey Dean Morgan Weekend – Red Dawn (2012)

redDirector: Dan Bradley

Writer: Carl Ellsworth, Jeremy Passmore (Screenplay) Kevin Reynolds, John Milius (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Connor Cruise, Edwin Hodge, Brett Cullen, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Will Yun Lee

 

Plot: A group of teenagers look to save their town from an invasion of North Korean soldiers.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Remake

 

Story: Red Dawn starts as we get filled on how North Korea has risen in power and threatens to take on America in battle. We move to meet our characters with returning marine Jed Eckert (Hemsworth) his high school quarterback brother Matt (Peck) and fellow high schoolers Robert Kitner (Hutcherson), Toni Walsh (Palicki) and Erica Martin (Lucas).

When their quiet town awakens one morning they find themselves under attack by North Korea as we see Jed, Matt, Robert, Danny (Hodge) and other students escape to safety of the cabin. With Jed leading the students they prepare to go up against the army to free their families as they join forces with ex-marines Tanner (Morgan), Smith (Choi) and Hodges (Gerald).

Red Dawn is a remake of one of the iconic 80s movies and to be fair this isn’t as bad as you were thinking it would be. First the war scenario looks like it could have been realistic with the rising tensions between the nations. I will go into a few negatives where Matt is very annoying with his decision making process which causes us to roll our eyes at what he is doing. It does feel more rushed and you do think the Korean army would be able to handle a few rebellious teenagers though. If you watch this with just relaxed style you could see how this would be enjoyed but just don’t expect the emotional level it should have.

 

Overall: Solid remake that is an easy watch.

Rating60

 

 

 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015)

hunger gamesDirector: Francis Lawrence

Writer: Peter Craig, Danny Strong (Screenplay) Suzanne Collins (Novel)

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Sam Clafin, Elizabeth Banks, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright

 

Plot: As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Finally, it’s Over

 

Story: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II starts right where the last outing finished as Peeta (Hutcherson) is starting to recovery after trying to kill Katniss (Lawrence). President Coin (Moore) along with her advisor Plutarch (Hoffman) are playing a strike back against President Snow (Sutherland).

We follow Katniss along with a recovering Peeta and her other love interest Gale (Hemsworth) along with a group of rebels to enter the capital and take out Snow once and for all.

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II is a film that I wasn’t really looking forward too after seeing the last one which only disappointed. I was let down one more time in a film that should be incredibly dark when the film finishes especially with how this ends. The film focus way too long on who Katniss will choose for the romantic angle and not giving us enough time to deal with the political side of the story. This all tries to give us a rise against the government story but from the wrong side because no one cares what is going on with Katniss and her stupid love interest.

 

Actor Review

 

Jennifer Lawrence: Katniss is back still deciding who she wants as her boyfriend while wanting to kill President Snow for causing all the problems in the world. She is a pawn in a much bigger game but if she has a boyfriend who cares? Jennifer does a solid job but you do feel like she is just seeing out her contract.

Josh Hutcherson: Peeta tried to kill Katniss but is now cured, well sort off, he some how goes on this mission to kill Snow and ends up being a problem because he isn’t cured. He is also a romantic interest for Katniss. Josh does a basic job but can’t pull off brooding very well.

Liam Hemsworth: Gale is the soldier who looked after Katniss’ family while she was in The Hunger Games, she was her boyfriend and goes on this mission to kill Snow. He starts making decision that Katniss doesn’t like as he knows what will win the battle. Liam gets buried in this film, you can see he was talent but they don’t let it out in this film.

Donald Sutherland: President Snow is the target for all of the offence in the film, he is who Katniss wants to kill and he has to use all his brains to stay ahead of any plans. Donald does well but this time he doesn’t get enough screen time.

Support Cast: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II has such a big supporting cast barely any of them get enough time on screen to make the impact they should.

Director Review: Francis LawrenceFrancis closes of the saga in a plain way where we just are not pulled in enough to enjoy this one.

 

Action: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II as standard action scenes which won’t be remembered in a few years’ time, but they are too dark for how the film is played out.

Adventure: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II doesn’t feel like an adventure film like it I being advertised.

Sci-Fi: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II I in the dystopia future but this time you can almost forget that you are in it.

Settings: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II keeps everything inside the city this time which doesn’t seem to suit what the whole world that was created in the first film.
Special Effects
: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II has basic effects that don’t really come off too strong when needed.

Suggestion: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II is one you should watch to finish the saga but otherwise you can skip it. (Finish the Franchise)

 

Best Part: The execution scene.

Worst Part: Where do I start? Finn.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 2 Hours 17 Minutes

Tagline: Nothing can prepare you for the end

 

Overall: Lacklustre conclusion to a franchise that seemed to go off track after the first film

Ratingard