Penguin Bloom – Movie Review

TL;DR – A beautifully charming film that will make you feel a lot of emotions    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Penguin Bloom. Image Credit: Roadshow Films.

Penguin Bloom Review

You may have many fears, some might be more obvious like spiders or heights, but others are deeper down like what if you were in a crash and became paralysed. This fear is at the heart of the film we are looking at today as we see the aftereffects of this profound change.

So to set the scene, we open with Noah Bloom (Griffin Murray-Johnston) giving a rundown of his life. It is full of living on the beach, going for a surf, and making honey as a family. However, on a fateful trip to Thailand, Sam Bloom (Naomi Watts), her husband Cameron (Andrew Lincoln), and their three kids Noah, Rueben (Felix Cameron), and Oli (Abe Clifford-Barr) were climbing up to the top of a building to get a look of the view. However, when Sam leans on a fence, some rotten wood gives way, and she falls over the edge to the concrete below. Back at home, Sam is trying to adjust to her life in a wheelchair, but as Noah is down the beach, he finds a magpie chick that had fallen out of a nest who they take home and call Penguin.

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Soul – Movie Review

TL;DR – A perfectly fine film, with great animation, but it felt like it was missing something.   

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene (sort of)

Awards

Nominated: Creative Animation & Exquisite Musical Score

Soul. Image Credit: Disney.

Soul Review

Well, it has been a long, and let’s call it, interesting year, but today brings to a close our last reviewed of a film from 2020. To round out the year, it is time to look at Pixar’s next entry, and given we already had a strong movie in Onward this year. I came into Soul with some reasonably high expectations.   

So to set the scene, Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) is a high school music teacher, but his real passion is performing jazz. This puts him in conflict with his mother Libba (Phylicia Rashad) who wants him to have a stable job. Well, those two worlds are about to collide when he is offered a full-time position teaching while also getting the chance to perform with the famous Dorothea Williams (Angela Bassett). This would be a big decision for Joe if he didn’t then fall through an open manhole and wake up on the escalator to the other side.

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Baby Done – Movie Review

TL;DR –  One of the funniest films I have seen in a while that also has a real heart to it.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene

Awards

Nominated: Most Fun.
Winner: Most Fun.

Baby Done. image Credit Piki Films.

Baby Done Review

I’ve not been able to get to cinemas for a while due to a large work commitment over the last two months. So I have not been able to catch many of the new releases as I would have liked. However, I have finally gotten a chance to get back into the movies, and wow, what a film to come back to.

So to set the scene, Zoe (Rose Matafeo) and Tim (Matthew Lewis) are a couple who work together as arborists. Zoe spends most of her days climbing trees and she is good at it, as in she qualified for internationals for climbing trees. They are the last of their group of friends to have a baby, which is fine for them because they have a lot of work and internationals to look forward to … which of course means that it is the perfect time for Zoe to discover that she is expecting.

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Movie Review – The Breaker Upperers

TL;DR – At times hilarious, at times incredible farcical, and at times a deeply moving look at the trials of friendship.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene

The Breaker Upperers. Image Credit: Piki Films/Madman.

Review

For a long time, there has been this growing bubble of particular dry absurdist comedy coming out of New Zealand. You see it in the work of Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie, Rhys Darby, Rachel House, and also some of Peter Jackson’s early films. These are films that mix comedy and emotional understanding in equal measures. Whenever one of these movies like Hunt for the Wilderpeople (see review) or Hibiscus & Ruthless (see review) make it across the ditch I always really look forward to seeing it. Well, today we get the chance to look at a new entry into this wonderful genre The Breaker Upperers, from the comedic team of Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek.

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Movie Review – Thor: Ragnarok

TL;DR – A visual extravaganza, Taika Waititi with the cast and crew gave their all to this film, and it amazing to watch.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

P.S. – There is a Mid and End Credit Scene

Thor: Ragnarok. Image Credit: Marvel/Disney

Review

Wow, what an amazing end to a film trilogy, and one of the strongest so far for Marvel. I’ve always had a kind of indecisive feeling towards the Thor films so far. They have been a case of fantastic casting matched with just ok storylines. Now when you have Anthony Hopkins going gangbusters, then even a bad script will look good, but overall I just thought the Thor films were ok and nothing more. To be fair, I think it was a testament to the quality of Marvel’s films that while Thor might have been my least favourite Marvel films it was because they were only ok, not fantastic. However, I was honestly wondering with everyone doing their big Cinematic Universes now if superhero fatigue would set in given my relationship with the films so far, but nope this film was a riot from start to end and I highly recommend it. So today we will set the scene, and then have a look at all the factors that went into making the film work. However because of the nature of Thor Ragnarok and its story, we are going to hit spoilers much earlier than we would normally do, so to be on the safe side I am implementing a [SPOILER] warning from this point onwards.

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Movie Review – Moana

TL;DR – A beautiful film from the animation, to the story, to the characters, a must watch this holiday season

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Moana. Image Credit: Disney.

Review

Moana is a powerful story which is brilliantly animated, wonderfully acted and tells a great story. All of that would have been enough for me to recommend it to you, but on top of this Disney took a big risk in telling a story from Polynesia a place that rarely gets a look in this modern media landscape yet it is full of fascinating stories. I highly recommend you check Moana out at the movies if you can.

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Movie Review – Hunt for the Wilderpeople

TL;DR – A beautifully filmed story, with real depth and heart, a great cast, and more so since the Lord of the Rings makes the most out of its New Zealand setting

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Image Credit: Madman.

Review – Wow, people had recommended ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ to me, but nothing prepared me for just how good it would be. It runs the gamut of emotions from humour to sadness, from absurdity to quiet contemplation, from grief to rejoicing. Wilderpeople tells the story of Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) who is a general problem child and on his last chance when he is sent out into the bush to live with Bella (Rima Te Wiata) and Hec (Sam Neill). Bella is a loving woman who takes an immediate shine to Ricky even though Paula (Rachel House) the social worker insists he is a problem case. Hec is a more gruff character that seems to more tolerate than actual like Ricky. It is within this framework that we get the motivation for act two and three when people are propelled forward and have to fight for what they believe in.

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