TL;DR – A film that is a pure delight from start to finish.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this movie.
Luca Review –
We have a longing for those moments in our childhood when everything seemed to come together. I think this is an almost universal drive in people, the place and location might be different, but that drive is still the same. Today we look at a film that captures this drive and crafts it into a narrative that will delight.
So to set the scene, once evening off the coast of the Italian Riviera, two fishermen decide to fish close to Isola del Mare even though the reputation that monsters surround it, which was sort of true because around the island live a village of sea people. Among the sea people/monsters is Luca Paguro (Jacob Tremblay), who lives with his family herding goatfish. However, one day in the fields, a human approached collecting the flotsam on the bottom of the ocean. Luca runs but soon finds that this is not a human but another sea person called Alberto Scorfano (Jack Dylan Grazer). Alberto lives on the surface in a tower because once a sea person leaves the water, they can turn into a human when they dry out.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene but some pictures in the mid-credits
Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film
Space Jam: A New Legacy Review –
When there are 25 years between entries in a film franchise, there is always a fear of who will be your target audience. Are you trying to bring in new fans, or are you catering for those who liked the last film? Today we get a movie that tried to bridge both groups with an entertaining film for kids but filled with moments that only the parents will get.
So to set the scene, we open in Akron, Ohio, in 1998. A young LeBron (Stephen Kankole) is practising, but his coach thinks his head is not in the game, and he has to ditch all the distractions. One montage of LeBron’s career later, and a now champion LeBron James (LeBron James) is raising a family. While he is all about basketball, his son Dominic “Dom” James (Cedric Joe) likes to code and has built a video game. This is heading towards conflict when at Warner Brother Studios, their inbuilt algorithm Al-G Rhythm (Don Cheadle) has devised a plan. A plan that pits son against father and makes the Looney Tunes fight for their very lives.
TL;DR – A blast from the past that has unfortunately lost a bit of its sheen.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is an End Credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this film.
Space Jam Review –
When Space Jam first came out in cinemas, I was in primary school, and I can remember that it was a film that teachers would put on when they needed a break from us but not that much more. It has been over a decade since I have seen the film, and besides the occasional look at the old website, I hadn’t thought about it much. However, then they went and made a sequel. I felt I had to give it another watch for due diligence to see just what it was that captured people all those years ago.
So to set the scene, in 1973, a young Michal Jordan (Brandon Hammond) is practising at his home well after midnight. When talking to his dad, the one thing he wants to be is a champion and play on a championship team. One montage of Jordan’s career later, and a now champion Michael Jordan (Michael Jordan) is retiring from basketball to join baseball. But on a planet in deep space, a theme park boss is Swackhammer (Danny DeVito), is trying to find a new attraction, and he decides to steal all the Looney Tunes. But instead of being captured, Bugs Bunny (Billy West) cons them into playing a basketball game for their freedom.
When you have worked a long time in retail, it is difficult to ‘get into the Christmas Spirit’. Which does sort of extend into those classic Christmas films. But enough time has passed to dive back in maybe, and well where best to start is the new Christmas film on Stan.
So to set the scene, we open in a hospital as a man is brought in for surgery. We find out that he is a prisoner and that he is considered dangerous. A little time later, Daryl (Daniel Henshall) tricks the local hospital Santa (Alirio Zavarce) and escapes just before the illusive Dingo (Sullivan Stapleton) arrived to kill him. Running in the Santa’s truck, he crashes into the farm of Hazel (Tatiana Goode), Tom (Eadan McGuinness), and Daisy (Lena Nankivell). He pretends to be Santa to Tom and Daisy, in the attempt to find his ‘sack’ (full of stolen money) that is buried on the farm somewhere.
There has been a couple of attempts in recent times to do the ‘what if the fantasy realm that you know was set in modern times’ and well, on the whole, they have been bad. But as a concept, it is solid, so I have been wondering if anyone would be able to pull it off. Well if anyone can do it, it is Pixar, and boy did they.
So to set the scene, Ian Lightfoot (Tom Holland) is just an average teenage elf, winning math awards, learning how to drive, avoiding his brother Barley Lightfoot (Chris Pratt) and trying to find friends. He is trying to find his place in the world with his brother, who is a bit of a screw-up, and his mother Laurel Lightfoot (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) who is trying her best with the chaos. On his 16th birthday, their mother surprises them with a gift from their late father Wilden Lightfoot (Kyle Bornheimer) which turns out to be a magic staff and a spell, one that can bring him back, but only for one day.
TL;DR – A charming family film created in a style I have not seen in an age, but it just works
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
We Can Be Heroes Review –
When I was growing up, this delightful film series called Spy Kids used a very particular style and tone and made a film that worked for all ages. However, since then, I have yet to see a film nail that same thematic direction, well, that is until today.
So to set the scene, it is just a typical day for the Heroes of this world as Miracle Guy (Boyd Holbrook) and Tech-No (Christian Slater) team up to fix a damaged satellite. However, when Miracle Guy goes up into space, he finds an alien armada waiting for him. Seeing the coming wrath, all the active heroes including Lavagirl (Taylor Dooley), Sharkboy (JJ Dashnaw), and Marcus Moreno (Pedro Pascal) are mobilised. As a precaution, the Heroics Program rounds up all the heroes’ children to keep them safe much to Missy Moreno’s (YaYa Gosselin) annoyance as she does not have any powers. However, when all the heroes are captured, the kids may be the only ones who can save them and the planet.
There is this common misconception that animated films are somehow an inferior form of cinema, especially those slated for a younger demographic. However, this is simply just not the case, and several animated films over the last few years have proved that point. This week we get to see another movie enter that frame with the follow up to The Croods.
So to set the scene, we begin with a tragedy as Guy’s (Ryan Reynolds) parents get caught in a tar pit and force Guy to move on without him hoping to return to a mystical place known as tomorrow. Fast forward and a lot of time marching he runs into the Crood Family, father Grug (Nicolas Cage), mother Ugga (Catherine Keener), daughter Eep (Emma Stone), son Thunk (Clark Duke), baby Sandy (Kailey Crawford), and grandma Gran (Cloris Leachman). They live a simple life of foraging for food and trying not to get eaten, but romance blossoms between Guy and Eep, much to Grug’s consignation. But everything changes when they find a big wall in the middle of the wilderness hiding mountains of food behind.
TL;DR – There was so much wasted potential here that you actually start to feel sorry for the film
Rating: 1.5 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special Review –
Well, few things in pop culture have such infamy as the original Star Wars Holiday Special. Sure you may have been the first time we got a look at Boba Fett, but well you don’t get to be a gag in Weird Al’s seminal White & Nerdy for nothing. Well, today we look at Lucasarts giving a second crack at the idea, but this time Lego.
So to set the scene, at the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The New Order was defeated, so Rey (Helen Sadler) and Fynn (Omar Miller) decided to travel to visit Chewbacca and his family on Kashyyyk to celebrate Life Day. But for Rey, this is a big struggle because she is struggling to train Fynn in the ways of the Jedi and takes a trip to the past to get some inspiration.
TL;DR – This is an excellent resource for parents wanting to know more about video games to help understand and engage with their kids on the issue
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Help! My Kid Is A Gamer! Review –
Last year, I got a chance to see a documentary series that was as informative as it was entertaining. Help! My Kid Is A Gamer! was very much as the title suggested. It explored the world of Video Games for parents that might not have a firm grasp on it. In my review, I found the show to be exciting, but there were some areas that I thought they had missed. Well, Season 2 is here, and those topics and more have been addressed, which is great to see.
So to set the scene, Help! My Kid Is A Gamer! is a show that explores the realm of video games for parents and caregivers, and not just video games but the surrounding ecosystem that supports and thrives around it. This season, we get topics that run the gamut from Online Safety to potential careers in Esports. All of these topics are important for parents and other care providers for giving them insight into a rapidly changing but also influential world. They are also presented in an easy to understand manner, with experts that can walk you through the issues, and an excellent summary at the end to give you strategy to engage with the issue at hand.
As the march of the copyright extension powers forward more and more, few stories are both in the public domain and have enough thematic strength to be engaging after all this time. However, I should note that not even Sherlock Holmes is not entirely removed from this mess. One of the few stories that match both of these criteria is the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. We have reached the point that not only have we had the many different interpretations of the original stories but also original works within the universe. Today we look at an adaption of the later as we delve into a mystery at the heart of a family … well families.
We open with Enola (Millie Bobby Brown) running through the English countryside giving us a back story of her life with her mother Eudoria Holmes (Helena Bonham Carter). A life that was full of mystery and joy. However, on the day of Enola’s 16th birthday, she woke up to find her mother missing. The only thing that was left was a single gift for Enola, a box of notes about flowers … or a box full of clues. Hoping to get some assistance she enlists the help of her two brothers Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft (Sam Claflin) … and that goes about as well as you can expect.