Franchise Weekend – The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)

Director: Andrew Adamson

Writer: Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (Screenplay) C.S. Lewis (Novel)

Starring: Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Williams Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Sergio Castellitto, Peter Dinklage

 

Plot: The Pevensie siblings return to Narnia, where they are enlisted to once again help ward off an evil king and restore the rightful heir to the land’s throne, Prince Caspian.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Magic Lost

 

Story: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian starts in Narnia where Prince Caspian (Barnes) is taken away from the kingdom for his own safety when his Uncle Miraz (Castellitto) has a son. We move to London, post-war now as we meet the Pevensie children, Lucy (Henley), Edmund (Keynes), Peter (Moseley) and Susan (Popplewell) who find themselves magically transported back to Narnia, a different Narnia to the one they left though.

With Narnia on the verge of another war the children must lead the resistance against Miraz as they all wait in hope of Aslan’s return, but with a battle from within as Prince Caspian clashes with Peter as the children must answer questions to why they abandoned Narnia all those years ago.

 

Thoughts on The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

 

Characters/PerformanceThe children are now all back in London, they get called back to be the leaders Narnia thought they were going to be. The children all seem to have smaller parts in this film and just doing less of the more we saw first time around. Prince Caspian is a solid character but nothing too important in this battle with the villain just being human makes the threat not are scary as the first time around.

Performance wise, it would be fair to say we have nothing but average at best performances here, the kids are all fine coming off slightly too posh with the rest all feeling like no bigger name actors wanted to get involved in the film.

StoryI feel the story just doesn’t seem to have the magic we had first time around, first the idea the kids just go back after the war seems out of place because the first story seems to be about escaping the war. The battle within Narnia is just a power struggle again but the animals don’t talk as much and it is mostly a human battle losing all the fantasy elements which made the first fun.

Adventure/Family/FantasyThe adventure side of the film does feel lost here, as does the family and fantasy side which showed how Harry Potter was the dominate force at the time.

SettingsThe settings also don’t seem to be as well created as first time, nothing comes off memorable through this one.

Special EffectsWith this seeming to be a human battle the special effects are no as needed in what should be a big fantasy battle film.

Final ThoughtsThis was a huge step back, with a huge budget I just don’t get how it came off as dull as it did.

 

Overall: Poor sequel that should have continued what was created.

Rating

 

 

The Angry Birds Movie (2016)

casting cardDirector: Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly

Writer: John Cohen, Mikael Hed, Mikko Polla, Jon Vitti (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Sean Penn, Kate McKinnon

 

Plot: Find out why the birds are so angry. When an island populated by happy, flightless birds is visited by mysterious green piggies, it’s up to three unlikely outcasts – Red, Chuck and Bomb – to figure out what the pigs are up to.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Animated Film

 

Story: The Angry Birds Movie starts as we follow Red on the island on flightless birds who always finds himself getting into trouble finding himself in anger management run by Matilda where he meets over birds with anger issues with Chuck, Bomb and Terence.

When the mysterious green pigs led by Leonard turn up on the island Red becomes suspicious about what they real plan for visiting is. When the pigs steal all of the eggs the birds must turn to Red and his angry side and go into battle with them.

The Angry Birds Movie does create a story from the phone app that actually works really well. The story follows how the games play where the pigs steal the eggs and the birds attack them be angry if you want. The story is filled with bird related puns which all works keeping everything light hearted even if a lot of ideas are taken from other films.

 

Character Review

 

Red: Red is your typical angry bird living in a world where all the other birds are happy go lucky. He likes to isolate himself from the rest of the birds but when the pigs turn up he instantly questions their motive while the rest of the birds welcome them. Red leads the battle against the pigs to bring the eggs back home. Red is an important and strong leading character even if I did feel like he was Brian Griffin from Family Guy.

Chuck: Chuck is the yellow and fast bird all keeps getting in trouble for speeding. He is very hyperactive and gets fully involved in help Red just because he wants something to do. Chuck gets most of the laughs in this film.

Bomb: Bomb struggles with being able to control his explosions and with the help of Red and Chuck he does learn as the film unfolds. Bomb is a good character that has good odd couple chemistry with Chuck.

Matilda: Matilda is the anger management councillor that is help the three with their issues but deep down she is really just as angry as them. Matilda is also a good character that works well as the supporting character for laughs.

Support Characters: The Angry Birds Movie has a great set of supporting characters with Leonard being a good villain and Terrence getting plenty of laughs.

Director Review: Clay Kaytis, Fergal ReillyThe directors give us all we need without really pushing the story to the elite level of animation story.

 

Animation: The Angry Birds Movie has almost flawless animation throughout.

Comedy: The Angry Birds Movie has jokes that will work for all different audiences that watch this.

Family: The Angry Birds Movie is something you can show the whole family where everyone can enjoy it.

Music: The Angry Birds Movie uses music very well to show the mood of each scene.

Settings: The Angry Birds Movie creates the islands which all come off looking like what you would expect form the game.
Suggestion
: The Angry Birds Movie is one for the family to enjoy. (Family Time)

 

Best Part: The story actually working.

Worst Part: Quicksilver rip off scene.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $73 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

Tagline: Playtime’s over

 

Overall: Enjoyable and simple to watch animation film.

Ratingcard

 

 

Pixels (2015)

logoDirector: Chris Columbus

Writer: Tim Herlihy, Timothy Dowling (Screenplay) Patrick Jean (Short Film)

Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad, Matt Lintz, Brian Cox, Sean Bean, Dan Aykroyd

Plot: When aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth in the form of the video games.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Never Really Levels Up

Story: Pixels starts in 1982 with Brenner and Cooper as the first video game arcade opens in their town where Brenner shines before entering the world championships. At these Championships Brenner and Cooper meet Eddie for competition and Ludlow as a new friend, these games get filmed and sent into space. Even though Eddie wins the championship Brenner and Cooper remain long term friends.

Move forward to the current time Brenner (Sandler) works as an engineer, while Cooper (James) becomes President (yes it is true Kevin James is the president). Brenner meets fellow divorcee Violet (Monaghan) to start to potential romantic angle but more to the problem comes aliens invading using 80’s video games which leads to Cooper calling in Brenner to help with the situation.

Ludlow (Gad) finds the answers and the alien race wants to challenge Earth to the video game with the losing planet being owned by the winning planet. Brenner ad Ludlow need to train the soldiers to go into battle against the aliens, before they take over the assault with the former champion Eddie (Dinklage).

Pixels tries to play on the nostalgia levels on the gaming fans, and on that part of the story the film really works but then you add the Sandler factor which sucks all the fun out of the film. I want to give this a positive review because I do think the idea is a great idea but I just think they used the wrong humour throughout the film. You could see this film reaching the levels of 21 Jump Street with they had played the correct comedy level and used smart jokes but in the end just stick to Wreck it Ralph. (5/10)

Actor Review

Adam Sandler: Brenner is the former gaming prodigy who never used his skills in life. He now works as an engineer but when the alien video games invade his skills come to the forefront as he leads the attack against the video games. Adam give us his used lazy comedy that really doesn’t work for the film world created. (2/10)brenner

Kevin James: Cooper is the best friend on Brenner who is now the President of the USA, when the alien games invade he calls to his best friend and former gaming community to save the world. Kevin does work in the role and that fact it is him adds to the comedy. (6/10)coopr

Michelle Monaghan: Violet starts off as just a random customer for Brenner before we discovery that she works for the President and is the romantic interest for Brenner. Michelle is just used for eye candy never really being a major part of the film. (5/10)

Peter Dinklage: Eddie is the former champion who now is a criminal but he is the best so Cooper turns to him to help with the battle where his ego still hasn’t changed. Peter gives us a solid performance getting extra laughs but just not to the level he could reach. (6/10)eddie

Josh Gad: Ludlow is the former gamer who has turn into a conspiracy theorist who joins Brenner in the battle for the planet, he gets most of the funny lines because he will change mood instantly. Josh is the highlight of the film that easily gets all the laughs. (7/10)ludlow

Support Cast: Pixels has plenty of supporting cast members that all try to add extra comedy that works sometimes in the Sean Bean character but doesn’t in others.

Director Review: Chris ColumbusChris is a class director and I think he could easily have made this great but he doesn’t reach the levels he could here. (5/10)

Action: Pixels has good gaming action used throughout which I think gets created well. (7/10)

Comedy: Pixels has some funny moments but falls from grace when Sandler jokes take over. (3/10)

Sci-Fi: Pixels creates a good idea with aliens using video game characters to attack Earth. (7/10)

Settings: Pixels has basic settings with well known landmarks being the targets of the alien destruction. (5/10)
Special Effects: Pixels has good effects to create the alien invaders which make things look like they have been taken out of the games. (7/10)

Suggestion: Pixels is one to try but I would say you have to deal with Sandler level humour throughout. (Try It)

Best Part: Pacman.

Worst Part: Sandler.

Action Scene Of The Film: Pacman game.

Funniest Scene: Josh Gad in Pacman game.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $68.5 Million

Budget: $88 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

Tagline: Play for the Planet

Overall: Disappointing Effort of smart idea.

Rating 40

 

Knights of Badassdom (2013)

logoDirector: Joe Lynch

Writer: Kevin Dreyfuss, Matt Wall (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Kwanten, Steve Zahn, Peter Dinklage, Summer Glau, Jimmi Simpson

 

Plot: Live-action role players conjure up a demon from Hell by mistake and they must deal with the consequences.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Comedy But Not Fantastic

 

Story: Knights of Badassdom starts by explaining about an ancient book that brings demons to life and that has been hidden for years but has been found by a group of role playing friends Eric (Zahn), Hung (Dinklage), Ronnie (Simpson) and more. Their ritual is interrupted by some paint ballers who then open the book.  Next we meet Joe (Kwanten) you everyday slacker who enjoys death metal and lives in a castle with the rest of the guys and gets dumped by his girlfriend.

Eric and Hung help Joe get over his break up by getting him high leading to him to pass out and take him to a role playing event against his will. Ronnie still has a grudge with Joe and as he is hosting the event as the gamemaster he is putting thing together. For Joe to be able to compete in the game he must have a ritual performed on him giving him a chance to have a real sword again, but the group ends up summoning a real demon. The missions are lined up and the three friends are joined by the beautiful Gwen (Glau) as they have a fun filled time while the demon starts taking out the people taking part in the weekend. The remaining members of the game players have to team up to beat the demon which has left bodies all over the game.

Knights of Badassdom gets to make light of the idea of role playing events that people do enjoy, it might not be for everyone but the people who do it do get enjoyment which is shown in the film. The film also keeps things very simple with the story of two friends trying to help another get over a girlfriend only for him to meet a new love interest and prove himself in combat. The film doesn’t take itself too serious and is very easy to watch, the fans of Big Bang Theory will enjoy the comedy but otherwise it will look strange at time. This is one story that will be easily forgotten but equal enjoyed. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Ryan Kwanten: Joe the run of the mile slacker who gets dumped because he wasn’t growing up, his friends take him to a role playing weekend only to end up having to fight a real demon. Ryan takes the lead role and fits the reluctant hero idea well without really shining. (6/10)

 joe

Peter Dinklage: Hung friend of Joe’s who makes him go to the weekend and explains the rules, but he doesn’t last as long as we would have liked which is a huge disappoint because he is the biggest name in the dam film. Peter does well for his short time on screen making a laugh happen with every line. (7/10)

hung

Steve Zahn: Eric the sorcerer of the group of friends who upon finding a new book actually brings a real demon to life and has to figure out a way to send it back to hell. Steve shows he is always a good comic relief character here and usually has the funniest lines. (7/10)

 eric

Summer Glau: Gwen the beautiful warrior that looks completely out of place in the event but also proves to be one of the best players in the game. Summer does a good job a continues to show she will always appear in geek themed films. (7/10)

 

Jimmi Simpson: Ronnie Kwok the game master for the weekend who has been planning the event for months but everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Jimmi brings his unique style to this film well and makes the quirky role his own. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: Knights of Badassdom has a supporting cast that is most the rest of the players in the game that all face the demon and most lose.

 

Director Review: Joe Lynch – Joe has openly said he has disowned this film and I would like to see how his vision of the film really went before making him work. (NA/10)

 

Comedy: Knights of Badassdom does have some funny moments but not enough to make it a real comedy of memorable levels. (5/10)

Fantasy: Knights of Badassdom takes us into a real fantasy world of role playing which works for the idea of the film. (7/10)

Horror: Knights of Badassdom enters into the real tongue in cheek world of horror, where things happen but they are just bloody not scary. (6/10)

Settings: Knights of Badassdom ends up putting us into a real isolation idea for the horror with nowhere to run and no one to call. (7/10)
Special Effects
: Knights of Badassdom has basic effects you can tell how fake some of it is but that also helps because it makes it all look like part of the role playing. (7/10)

Suggestion: Knights of Badassdom is one to try but I can’t guarantee everyone will enjoy it. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Demon destroyed.

Worst Part: The terrible song to beat the demon.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

Tagline: ‘Tis about to get medieval up in here.

Trivia: The main cast went through Live Action Role Playing sessions before filming and Peter Dinklage was declared the most successful out of everyone.

 

Overall: This is a real just simple fun film that never really gets to the full level it could achieve.

Rating 60

Trailer Alert – Pixels

Plot – When aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth in the form of the video games.

Release Date: 12th August 2015

Stars:

  • Adam Sandler (Happy Gilmore)
  • Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
  • Kevin James (Grown Ups)

Director: Chris Columbus (Home Alone)

Highlight of the Trailer: Pacman meets his maker.

What Looks Good? This will appeal to all the gamers out there.

What Looks Bad? Adam Sandler being the lead.

Summary: I do think this will be a fun film but I am very worried with Adam Sandler and Kevin James being the stars. The saving grace for this film has to be Peter Dinklage.

Questions:

Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating – 70%

My Guess Rating – 65%

Will It Be Number One In UK? – Yes