Franchise Weekend – Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang (2010)

Director: Susanna White

Writer: Emma Thompson (Screenplay) Christianna Brand (Characters)

Starring: Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ralph Fiennes, Ewan McGregor, Oscar Steer, Asa Butterfield, Lil Woods, Maggie Smith

 

Plot: Nanny McPhee arrives to help a harried young mother who is trying to run the family farm while her husband is away at war, though she uses her magic to teach the woman’s children and their two spoiled cousins five new lessons.


Tagline – The magic’s back, warts and all.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: More Serious Sequel

 

Story: Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang starts as we meet mother Isabel (Gyllenhaal) who is trying to run the family home and raise her three children, while her husband is away at war, adding to her pressure is her brother-in-law Phil (Ifans) that is looking to get money and two cousins added to the family that are used to the luxury life.

When Isabel starts struggling, she gets the call from Nanny McPhee (Thompson) who offers to help put the children back in line with her magic. The children must learn to work together to help the farm stay in the right hands.

 

Thoughts on Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang

 

Characters – Nanny McPhee is the magical nanny that comes to family’s when they are in need of support, she has come to this family in their time of need to help teach them how to be together in one of the most difficult times in their lives, the war, she brings her rules like before as she looks to bring the best out in the people. Isabel is the mother of the three that is trying to run and farm and work, her husband is at war, with the uncertainty of whether he will be returning. She doesn’t want help, but must accept it to keep the pressures of her life away from her children. Phil is the brother-in-law to Isabel, he has created his own gambling debts and wants the farm to clear the debts, he will do anything to get what he needs. Mrs Docherty is the boss of Isabel and family friend, she isn’t quite all there which makes her character come off funnier than she should. The children do come from different worlds which does see them clash in the time of conflict.

PerformancesEmma Thompson does continue to enjoy playing this role which she handles with ease. Maggie Gyllenhaal gets to play the role well through the film, which shows us just how difficult a position her character is in. Rhys Ifans does everything you would imagine in the comedy role in the film, while Maggie Smith also adds plenty of comedy through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a mother that takes over the family farm with her husband away at war, with money running low and the stress of life getting to her, that gets help from Nanny McPhee. The story here easily becomes a much more serious one because we are dealing with children that are being separated from their parents during war, where they don’t know if their family will be together once the war is over. This story does have a very different tone to the first one, one that does feel real, even though it does seem slightly stranger for Nanny McPhee to be here, this time around. The story here is more entertaining than the original which is always a good thing.

Comedy/FantasyThe comedy in the film does hit better than the first film, most of it comes from the arguments which feel funnier, the fantasy in the film does work too, which ends up blending with the comedy involved.

SettingsThe film is mostly set within one farm which does show us just how much trouble the family will be facing in their time of need.

Special EffectsThe effects here are the biggest step back sadly because we can see the CGI moments looking completely out of place.


Scene of the Movie –
Connection.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The CGI.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great sequel that does have a strong story to cover up the weaker CGI being used in the film.

 

Overall: Wonderful sequel.

Rating

 

 

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Great Expectations (2012)

Director: Mike Newell

Writer: David Nicholls (Screenplay) Charles Dickens (Novel)

Starring: Toby Irvine, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Flemyng, Sally Hawkins, William Ellis, David Walliams, Jeremy Irvine, Helena Bonham Carter

 

Plot: A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic story

 

Story: Great Expectation starts as we meet the orphaned boy Pip, living with his sister and brother in law Joe (Flemyng) a blacksmith raising Pip to be his assistant. After Pip learns of a better life he dreams of becoming a gentleman in London after spending time with Miss Havisham (Carter) and her own orphan Estella.

Now a young man Pip (Irvine) gets to move back to the city after an unknow inheritance, so leaving his family and friends behind, Pip gets to start on the road to becoming a gentleman. Pip finds himself needing to learning the hierarchy of the wealthy as he also wants to know who gave him the chance to become one of the gentlemen of the city and even after his childhood sweetheart Estella (Grainger) returns to his life, love takes over his life.

 

Thoughts on Great Expectation

 

Characters/PerformancePip is a young man who dreamt of being a gentleman in London, but achieve this he must learn a new way, forget his past and even find himself wondering about who put him in a position of power while dealing with love. Magwitch is a prisoner that Pip helped at a young age and a man that comes back into the life to learn the truth about the past. Miss Havisham is a lonely woman left heartbroken after being conned and left at the alter, she has been teaching Estella about the ways of the man, teaching her to never love. Estella is the young woman that Pip falls in love with when they are children and no as adults doesn’t believe she has a heart even though Pip wants to love her.

Performance wise, we have a very impressive cast that all give us wonderful performances fitting into the period piece that this film is.  

StoryThis is one of Charles Dickens classics tales and one I was unfamiliar with, so I thought I would give it a go. This story shows the social hierarchy during the early 19 century, this is one that has forbidden love, revenge and a position of what would be the right thing in life. I do feel this is one story people should be enjoy even if this might not be the best version.

RomanceThe romance side of this comes from Pip falling for Estella and is left wondering if he could fall in love during a time when status would put people together.

SettingsEach setting makes us believe we are in the time the film is set whether it be the small marsh like area of the city of London.

Final ThoughtsClassic story and one that goes in a direction you could only find yourself wanting to know more about.

 

Overall: A must watch for classic literature fans.

Rating

 

 

The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

legoDirector: Chris McKay

Writer: Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, John Whittington (Screenplay) Seth Grahame-Smith, Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster (Story/Creators)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Zach Galifianakis, Jenny Slate

 

Plot: Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: PG Suicide Squad?

 

Story: The LEGO Batman Movie starts when Joker brings together every villain Batman has face to try and take down Gotham City once again only for Batman to save the day with the Joker escaping. We follow Batman in his lonely life in his Bat Cave and Wayne Manor with Alfred his loyal butler.

When Gotham gets a new commissioner in Barbara Gordon she wants to work with Batman to actual catch Joker and the rest of the villains locking them away once and for all. Batman must learn to work in a team and learn that he needs the Joker in his life while he adopts Dick Grayson.

 

Thoughts on The LEGO Batman Movie

 

StoryThe story focuses on how Batman lives a lonely life hiding from commitments while still having to take on the villains in the city. This does end up being slightly too serious in places which doesn’t work for me because we must deal with elements most Batman movies never have. Through the film, we do get plenty of references from every Batman through the years which we do get to understand for all generations.

Action/Adventure/ComedyWe do have plenty of action going on through the film with the adventure that Batman must go on. The comedy is very much hit or miss for me with plenty of laughs coming from references previous outings that not everyone would understand.

CharactersBatman is always a popular choice for the leading character but this version does feel almost too serious when he is alone, he does have laughs but he is very hit or miss, The Joker works in places and has good chemistry with Batman while Robin, Barbara and Alfred all become the family Batman never had. I feel most of the cameo like characters get extras laughs which all come off well if you understand their references.chracers

SettingsThe settings are nearly all in Gotham city with the references to location the character would find themselves in.

AnimationWe always have flawless animation throughout the film which you would expect to see from the studios now.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is fun and can be enjoyed but I do feel if you miss the certain references you might not understand.

 

Overall: Fun, but too many misses in the jokes.

Ratingrating

 

 

Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

kuboDirector: Travis Knight

Writer: Marc Haimes, Chris Butler (Screenplay) Shannon Tindle, Marc Maimes (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Ralph Fiennes, George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Rooneey Mara, Matthew McConaughey

 

Plot: A young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Animation

 

Story: Kubo and the Two Strings starts as we see the show a young boy Kubo can put on for the local town where he shows a battle between his characters and the evil Moon King.

When Kudo breaks one of the rules he ends up outside at night where a world he has never experienced before has taken over. Kudo must find his father’s armour to stop his grandfather the Moon King from taking his other eye. Kudo has to go on his own adventure where his charm Monkey and Beetle must travel across the land to defeat his Grandfather.

Kudo and the Two Strings is a beautifully shot animated adventure tell that plays into the fantasy world of magic. We get to see how the adventure gives Kudo a chance to grow and defeat his enemies in the world with friends that take the roles of mother and father figures in his life. We do get plenty of traditional style behind the story which does make us believe the world we are entering.

Kudo is a brilliant look at how a young child can escape into the world of fantasy going into an adventure with pure innocence to become the hero he wants to be to his parents. Monkey is fun as the mother like character which is over protective of Kudo while Beetle is fun in his clueless way of just being the protective warrior figure a father would be. This is easily one of the most beautiful animation of the year that I think can be enjoyed by the whole family.

 

Overall: One of the most beautiful animations ever made that has a story with a real heart about it.

Ratingcard

 

 

Schindler’s List (1993)

schnidersDirector: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Steven Zaillian (Screenplay) Thomas Keneally (Book)

Starring: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall, Jonathan Sagall, Embeth Davidtz

 

Plot: In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the Best

 

Story: Schindler’s List starts as we see the early stages of World War II in Poland where German Oskar Schindler (Neeson) uses this to his advantage by moving to Poland to start his own business with a Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern (Kingsley) where he gives the Jewish people jobs during their exile by the Germans.

Oscar’s business is challenge when the German concentration camps start taking his workers with Amon Goeth (Fiennes) merciless leading the execution of the Jews in Krakow. Oscar has to conduct himself like a business man through this horrific time as he tries all he can to keep as many Jews alive against near impossible odds.

Schindler’s List is always going to go down as one of the hardest films to watch because of the subject matter, but it is also one of the most important films to watch. The film shows the brutality of holocaust during World War II. The fact that this is a true story shows us just how incredible the risk Oscar took to save as many as he could. The direction is flawless the acting is flawless it is hard to say a single bad thing about this movie.

 

Overall: One of history’s most incredible stories shown in full emotional impact.

Rating100