Category: Family/Kids

Oddball

Summary: Middle Island was once a flourishing penguin population but sadly over the years the numbers have dropped from a few thousand down to around ten due to the fact that foxes have worked out how to get to the Island. This has now caused problems for Emily Marsh (Sarah Snook), Jack Jones (Richard Davies) and Zoe (Tegan Higginbotham) who have been told they will lose their jobs if the Island is no longer considered a sanctuary.

As the nearby town of Warrnambool works hard at becoming a tourist destination by having the local council including Mayor Lake (Deborah Mailman) working with an advisor named Bradley Slater (Alan Tudyk) to come up with new tourism ideas. But when Bradley’s idea means the future of Middle Island is doomed a local chicken farmer named Swampy Marsh (Shane Jacobson) and his granddaughter, Olivia (Coco Jack Gillies) decides it is up to them and a mischievous dog called Oddball to come up with a way to fix everything.

Year: 2015

Australian Cinema Release Date: 17th September 2015

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Australia

Director: Stuart McDonald

Screenwriter: Peter Ivan

Cast: Terry Camilleri (Judge Burns), Richard Davies (Jack Jones), Coco Jack Gillies (Olivia), Tegan Higginbotham (Zoe),  Shane Jacobson (Swampy), Dave Lawson (Sergeant Gosch), Deborah Mailman (Mayor Lake), Sarah Snook (Emily Marsh), Alan Tudyk (Bradley Slater), Frank Woodley (Dog Catcher)

Runtime: 95 mins

Classification: G

 

OUR ODDBALL REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

This has been the year when the Australian film industry has hit back with vengenance. Amongst the good drama films that have surfaced Aussie cult cinema has led the way around the world with films like Kill Me Three Times and Wrymwood making the charts in America while Mad Max: Fury Road seemed to thrill action film lovers as well. Of course one of the biggest Australian films over the past few years has been Red Dog – a family film that surprised everybody. Not surprisingly many Aussie filmmakers thought they had just discovered the best way to make people watch your film and that was to create a family friendly film about dog. Several projects fitting that description have fallen by the wayside but now Oddball manages to make its way to the big screen.

Yes I’ve made the clichéd comparison between Oddball and Red Dog so now let’s take a look at whether or not the film is actually any good. The answer to that question is a solid yes because director Stuart McDonald (who over recent years has worked on all of Chris Lilley’s projects) and screenwriter Peter Ivan have been brave enough to make Oddball a little bit different to the thousands of dog movies over the years. When the opening to Oddball boasts that this is a fairy tale they aren’t joking. Yes this is a true story that saw the people of Warrnambool embrace a Maremma dog but together these talented filmmakers have told the story in a fairy tale style which incorporates a smart script with a little bit of pantomime acting, especially from comedian Frank Woodley who plays the mean dog catcher. In the past this style of filmmaking has led to some pretty woeful Australian films, I’m looking at you Welcome To Woop Woop, but here it makes a refreshing difference and makes Oddball the kind of film that could be enjoyed by the whole family.

Ironically when watching Oddball the old fart joke and over the top dog chase does have a bit of a feel of a Paul Jennings story and sure enough a quick check of Peter Ivan’s bio shows that he was one of the writer’s on Two Twisted, a show based on Jenning’s work. Somehow this script manages to incorporate that kind of humor with a dramatic storyline revolving around how greed can impeach on nature and also explores the fractured relationship between father and daughter when it comes to things between Swampy and Emily. Yes Ivan and McDonald together have somehow created a film that will actually have you laughing one moment and tearing up the next.

The key to this film working as well as it does though is through it’s casting. Shane Jacobson does a great job in the lead role of Swampy. He made the character of Kenny famous all those years ago and while his comedic talent is held back a little here he now has also made Swampy a much loved Australian character. He is well supported by Alan Tudyk who plays the pushy American but the scenes here are stolen by Sarah Snook who once again shows why she is an Australian actress on the rise and young Coco Jack Gillies who here shows the world that she is a child actress with a huge future ahead of her.

Oddball is a genuine treat. It is a film that has a strong conservational message but doesn’t get bogged down in preaching to its audience. A great script that manages to mix humor and drama together well without becoming to adult for children is a rarity these days, but here it works well and allows it’s talented cast to really show there skills. Different but smart, cute but dramatic Oddball will surprise more than a few people who take the time to watch the film.

 

 

 

Stars(3.5)

 

 

Greg King:

You can read Greg’s full Oddball review on www.filmreviews.net.au

 

Stars(3)

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3.5)

 

IMDB Rating: Oddball (2015) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Oddball reviews:Oddball with be reviewed in an upcoming episode of The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show.

Trailer:

Tinker Bell And The Legend Of The NeverBeast

Summary: Tinker Bell’s (voiced by Mae Whitman) good friend Fawn (Ginnifer Goodwin) creates a stir when she brings a predator into Pixie Hollow to care for. The ‘Eagle incident’ soon sees her cop the wrath of Queen Clarion (Anjelica Huston) and the fairy in charge of security, Nyx (Rosario Dawson) which leaves the young fairy wondering whether or not her kind heart makes her act without using her brain.

She soon finds herself torn again however when she stumbles across the mysterious NeverBeast, a creature that she has never seen before. While she decides that she needs to study the creature it soon becomes apparent that the NeverBeast may not be a welcome creature in Pixie Hollow.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th March, 2015

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Steve Loter

Screenwriter: Steve Loter, Tom Rogers, Robert Schooley, Mark McCorkle, Kate Kondell

Cast: Pamela Adlon (Vidia (voice)), Chloe Bennet (Chase (voice)), Jeff Corwin (Buck (voice)), Rosario Dawson (Nyx (voice)), Ginnifer Goodwin (Fawn (voice)), Grey Griffin (Narrator), Danai Gurira (Fury (voice)), Megan Hilty (Rosetta (voice)), Olivia Holt (Morgan (voice)), Anjelica Huston (Queen Clarion (voice)), Thomas Lennon (Scribble (voice)), Lucy Lui (Silvermist (voice)), Raven-Symone (Iridessa (voice)), Kari Wahlgren (Robin (voice)), Mae Whitman (Tinker Bell (voice)),

Runtime: 76 mins

Classification: PG

 

OUR TINKER BELL AND THE LEGEND OF  THE NEVERBEAST REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

While animated franchises like Ice Age and Madagascar have dominated the box office over the last decade or so Disney has also had a smaller franchise that has chugged along nicely and never really delivered a bad film. Sure the Tinker Bell franchise doesn’t exactly set box office records nor does it dominate headlines but then this is a series aimed at young girls who are too young to be going out and buying the latest video game or expensive electronics so it has really been a franchise that has been left to its own devices and enjoyed by its fans… and some film critics alike.

Sadly despite the fact that the Tinker Bell franchise has never had a weak spot it does look like the latest film, Tinker Bell And The Legend Of The NeverBeast, may be the finale as Disney is yet to commit to a seventh film. If that is the case than it will be a bit of shame seeing that fans of the star herself, Tinker Bell, might be a little miffed at why this Tinker Bell film doesn’t centre around the green fairy but instead centres around her friend, Fawn.

Despite that fact however it is hard to fault the film which was written and directed by Steve Loter (who strangely enough also worked on Kevin Smith’s Clerks animated series). Once again the film is entertaining from start to finish and while it doesn’t reach the heights that Tinker Bell And The Secret Of The Wings it still has enough charm to flow along nicely, and yes even contains an ending that may or may not bring a tear to the eyes of both adults and children alike. Like the other films in the franchise Tinker Bell And The Legend Of The NeverBeast is not afraid to take the young viewers on a journey that will see some well placed morals drilled into them as well. Topics such a stranger danger are there for all to see, while dig under the surface a little and you will also see the screenplay pushes across valuable lessons in preventing cruelty to animals and also not judging people (or creatures in this case) for looking a little bit different to the way you do as well.

Once again this film also manages to again bring a big name voice cast to the table as well. Mae Whitman reprises her role of Tinker Bell and franchise regulars Anjelica Houston, Raven-Simone and Lucy Liu. This time however we also see current ‘it’ girl Rosario Dawson take on the role of the tough Nyx while Once Upon A Time star Ginnifer Goodwin plays the sweet natured Fawn, revealing a natural talent as a voice actress.

If the Tinker Bell franchise is to come to a close with Tinker Bell And The Legend Of The Never Beast than it is a bit of a shame. While the film isn’t weak at all, the fact that it doesn’t centre around the main character of Tinker Bell will be a little sad for the fans of this amazing series. With suspense and emotion littered all through out the script this film once again shows one of this is one of the better franchises doing the rounds.

 

Stars(3)

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating: Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Run All Night reviews: You can also read our Tinker Bell And The Legend Of The NeverBeast review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

Annie

Summary: In the remake of the classic musical Annie (Quvenzhane Wallis) is a young orphan who lives with Hannigan (Cameron Diaz), a washed-up, alcoholic pop star who now lives off the money she earns for looking after a number of foster children… none of which she particularly likes.

Annie spends most of her time trying to keep out of Hannigan’s way and trying to piece together what happened to her parents who abandoned her at a restaurant years earlier. Things change for her however when a chance encounter occurs between her and wannabe-Mayor, mobile phone tycoon Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx), his assistant Grace (Rose Byrne) and campaign manager Guy (Bobby Cannavale).

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 19th December, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Will Gluck

Screenwriter: Will Gluck, Aline Brosh McKenna, Thomas Meehan (play), Harold Gray (comic)

Cast: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Nash), Scarlett Benchley (Fish Goddess), Mike Birbiglia (Social Services Inspector), Brad Bong (Pickle Stevens), Rose Byrne (Grace), Bobby Cannavale (Guy), Zoe Margaret Colletti (Tessie), Cameron Diaz (Hannigan), Eden Duncan-Smith (Isabella), Andrew Fleming (Cleve Sweetzer), Michael J. Fox (himself), Jamie Foxx (Will Stacks), Ray Iannicelli (Waiter at Domani), Mila Kunis (Andrea Alvin), Stephanie Kurtzuba (Mrs. Kovacevic), Ashton Kutcher (Simon Goodspeed), Dorian Missick (Annie’s “Dad”), Jill Nicolini (Ms. Giannetti), Nicolette Pierini (Mia), Taylor Richardson (Red Haired Annie), Rihanna (Moon Goddess), Jessica Sherr (Mary Gillen), Pauline Simkin (Maria), Raushanah Simmons (YaYa L’Occitane), Temple University Diamond Marching Band (themselves), Tracie Thoms (Annie’s “Mom”), Amanda Troya (Pepper), Peter Van Wagner (Harold Gray), Quvenzhane Wallis (Annie), David Zayas (Lou)

Runtime: 118 mins

Classification: PG

 

OUR ANNIE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Greg KingYou can check out Greg’s Annie review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(3)

 

David Griffiths:

The critics seemed to by baying for blood for Annie before the film had even been released. Many were tipping that it was the kind of film that was perfect for a Worst Films Of 2014 list and many even seemed to rejoice in the fact that the cast seemed to be ever revolving door as producer Will Smith tried to put the film together.

Then of course there was disaster for the film’s distributors Sony when Annie turned out to be one of the films that the hackers managed to steal from them and release online weeks before it was due to the cinemas. Yes it really did seem like it was going to be a hard-luck life for Annie, but luckily this has turned out to be a film that comes with a few surprises.

By the time Annie did reach the cinemas early there should have been more than enough warning signs to indicate that Annie might have a few things in its corner. First of all its director Will Gluck has good pedigree being the man responsible for the fairly well received comedies Easy A and Friends With Benefits. Add that to the fact that the cast contained the likes of Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne and Cameron Diaz and maybe it was time to start re-evaluating things.

Having said all that though Annie is the kind of film though that will divide audiences. Some will instantly dismiss it will others will be able to spot a certain quirkiness that makes Annie it an enjoyable, dumb-but-fun film.

Gluck it seems is the perfect man to be at the helm of Annie as he makes sure the film never takes itself too seriously, something that he sets-up from the get-go with an opening shot of a red haired Annie, showing he is only too aware of the original film. He then manages to keep the fun and games going while at the same time pointing out some very relevant facts such as how many black American students slip through the cracks when it comes to things like reading and writing. Gluck makes sure that the film is just the right amount of over-the-top, he allows Cameron Diaz to really go all out and also allows to Jamie Foxx to center himself in the middle ground between comedy and drama.

Even the early concerns that this was just going to be a rap/hip-hip version of Annie are put to rest with most of the original songs getting just the right amount of R&B flavour to make them new and interesting but not getting to the point where they are unrecognisable from the original. Bringing on board Sia to oversee a lot of the musical side of things was also a fair touch of genius from the people behind the scenes.

The one thing that will hit most people about Annie is how many actors use this film to showcase their many other talents. Rose Byrne has already shown the world she can do more than just drama with her comedic performances in films such as Bridesmaids and Bad Neighbors, here she shows she has another string on her bow by adding singing and dancing to her resume. Likewise Jamie Foxx capitalises on the fact that he already has a successful singing career behind him and manages to make himself a triple threat with music, comedy and drama.

Perhaps the biggest acting surprise in Annie though comes from pint-sized Quvenzhane Wallis who has already wowed audiences with her dramatic performances in Beasts Of The Southern Wild (which she scored an Academy Award nomination for) and 12 Years A Slave. Here Wallis also shows she is a worthy little singer and dancer and she quickly wins you over as she plays the sassy and intelligent Annie.

Annie isn’t exactly going to be the film that you are going to be raving about for years to come but it is fun enough that you won’t exactly be leaving the cinemas complaining about it either. It’s cute and funny, but never gets annoying, while it’s reworking of the story is just modern enough to make it work and create its own identity.

The real plus though are the acting performances. Everyone seems to be having fun and it shows on the screen, especially with Cameron Diaz who seems to love the fact that she is playing a role that completely allows her to lose control. Meanwhile the film even finds time to take a swipe at social issues such as modern politics and how the rich treat the poor making sure the film does have some substance as well. Also watch out for some smart cameos from Michael J. Fox, Sia, Rihanna, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis.

Stars(3)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating: Annie (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Annie reviews: For our full Annie review make sure you check out The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #110. You can also read our review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

Penguins Of Madagascar

Summary: You’ve all come to know the cute but wise-cracking Penguins from the hit Madagascar franchise of films, but now is the time to learn a little more about them as they have their own film. The film shows how Skipper (voiced by Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller) and Rico (Conrad Vernon) first come to ‘adopt’ the baby of the bunch, Private (Christopher Knights) and also shows how in their own minds they have become an ‘elite’ squadron… who can’t fly.

Things turn really nasty for the Penguins though when they decide it is time to leave their Madagascar buddies but soon find themselves being hunted by the evil Dave (John Malkovich), a shape shifting squid who has a serious vendetta against the flippered quartet. The Penguins seem even more in danger when they can’t bring themselves to work with an elite animal protection squad called The North Wind, led by the smart agent Classified (Benedict Cumberbatch).

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian DVD Release Date: 1st January, 2015

Country: USA

Director: Eric Darnell, Simon J. Smith

Screenwriter: John Aboud, Michael Colton, Eric Darnell (characters), Tom McGrath (characters), Brandon Sawyer, Alan J. Schoolcraft (story), Brent Simons (story)

Cast: Sean Charmatz (Cricket (voice)), Benedict Cumberbatch (Classifed (voice)), Werner Herzog (Documentary Filmmaker (voice)), Danny Jacobs (King Julien (voice)), Ken Jeong (Short Fuse (voice)), Christopher Knights (Private (voice)), Annet Mahndru (Eva (voice)), John Malkovich (Dave (voice)), Tom McGrath (Skipper (voice)), Chris Miller (Kowalski (voice)), Andy Richter (Mort (voice)), Peter Stormare (Coroporal (voice)), Conrad Vernon (Rico (voice))

Runtime: 92 mins

Classification: G

 

OUR PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Greg KingYou can check out Greg’s Penguins Of Madagascar review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #111

Stars(2)

 

David Griffiths:

Spin-offs from successful franchises often fall by the wayside. Anyone remember how spectacularly Joey failed after the demise of Friends, or seen your local store littered with DVDs in the bargain bin of characters such as Stitch or Pumba who have failed to reach the popularity that the franchise they were lifted from managed over time. Even Disney learnt that Planes couldn’t capitalise on the success of Cars before it.  Now the brains behind Madagascar try to do the same with Penguins From Madagascar and while the film is likely to put bums on seats it is highly unlikely that fans of the franchise will be as impressed as they have been previously.

Perhaps the biggest problem for this film is that it follows hot on the heels of Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, a film that many fans say is the clear best in the series. Penguins Of Madagascar had a lot to live up to but sadly fails on most levels… a fault that sadly falls at the feet of the screenwriters.

First the screenwriting team have decided to bring out the tired old cliché of introducing a James Bond style character into the cartoon world. Here it is Classified the suave talking Brit (who happens to be a wolf) who is always able to save the day, except here he seems to fail on a number of levels. It’s as if the screenwriters have just chosen to ignore how many cartoons and animations have done this over the years, including Cars 2 which was released not all that long ago. Recycled plot lines are never a good idea in a movie.

Even Dave the ‘baddie’ seems to be a re-hash of the bad guys we have seen previously in much better films like Despicable Me or Planet 51. It almost seems like the writers decided that there was no need to actually come up with anything creative at all when developing the script, that the name Madagascar being in the title would be enough to ensure that this film would put bucks in the bank regardless.  In fact the only thing you could even say the screenwriters get remotely right is that they push the edict that everybody is important no matter how they look, which is a more than worthy life lesson for the kiddies watching.

Then there is the fact that many of the so called jokes written into the Penguins Of Madagascar script just end up becoming unfunny and going nowhere. The idea of throwing an actor’s name into the ring to get a laugh, eg ‘Let’s save Kevin’s Bacon’ gets tired really, really quickly and is never fully explained to why it is there… are the penguins closet cinephiles? We don’t know because we are never told anything that in depth about the characters.

Sure some of the chases and moments of supposed peril that the penguins find themselves in may be enough to impress the littlies that go along to see this film (and most likely pester their parents to buy them the toys from whatever fast food restaurant has them on offer) but this is hardly going to be a film that even kids are going to want to watch over and over and it is bland and predictable. And well if you are a parent who is being forced to go along and watch this with your tikes be prepared for a film that is likely to put you to sleep very, very quickly as it is nowhere near as exciting as the previous films in the Madagascar universe.

Stars(2)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(2)

 

IMDB Rating: Penguins of Madagascar (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Penguins Of Madagascar reviews: You can hear our full Penguins Of Madagascar review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #111. You can also read our Penguins Of Madagascar review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

Alexander And The Horrible Terrible Bad No Good Day

Summary: Alexander’s day begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by more calamities. Though he finds little sympathy from his family and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him, his mom, dad, brother, and sister all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 4th December, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Miguel Arteta

Screenwriter: Rob Lieber, Judith Viorst (book)

Cast: Tara Brook (Receptionist Abby), Joey Capone (Jimmy), Steve Carell (Ben Cooper), Jennifer Coolidge (Ms. Suggs), Mekai Curits (Paul Dumphy), Alex Desert (Mr. Rogue), Kerris Dorsey (Emily Cooper), Eric Edelstein (Mr. Tonucci), Andrew Franklin (Captain Hook), Sidney Fullmer (Becky Gibson), Jesse Garcia (Dwayne), Jennifer Garner (Kelly Cooper), Donald Glover (Greg), Jonah Goldman (Actor John Darling), Burn Gorman (Mr. Brand), Ben Greene (Joaquin), Martha Hackett (Mrs. Gibson), Reese Hartwig (Elliot Gibson), Katelyn Hilario (Actor Wendy Darling), Joel Johnstone (Logan), Samantha Logan (Heather), Rizwan Manji (Mr. Cellars), Lincoln Melcher (Philip Parker), Dylan Minnette (Anthony Cooper), Mary Mouser (Audrey Gibson), Megan Mullally (Nina), Ed Oxenbould (Alexander Cooper), Alina Phelan (Sheila), Bella Thorne (Celia), Toni Trucks (Steph), Dick Van Dyke (himself), Elise Vargas (Baby Trevor), Zoey Vargas (Baby Trevor)

Runtime: 81 mins

Classification: PG

 

OUR ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Greg KingYou can check out Greg’s Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(3)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day reviews: For our full Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day review make sure you check out The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #108.

Trailer:

Tarzan

Summary: Tarzan and Jane Porter face a mercenary army dispatched by the evil CEO of Greystoke Energies, a man who took over the company from Tarzan’s parents, after they died in a plane crash.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 11th September, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Germany

Director: Reinhard Klooss

Screenwriter: Reinhard Klooss, Jessica Postigo, Edgar Rice Burroughs

Cast: Brian Bloom (Miller (voice)), Lynn Robertson Bruce (Karla (voice)), Les Bubb (Jim Porter (voice)), Jeff Burrell (Derek’s Father (voice)), Robert Capron (Derek (voice)), Mark Deklin (John Greystroke (voice)), Cecily Fay (Teeka (voice)), Chris Fries (Chris (voice)), Craig Garner (Tarzan Aged 4 (voice)), Brian Huskey (Smith (voice)), Spencer Locke (Jane Porter (voice)), Paul Lowe (Young Terkoz (voice)), Kellan Lutz (Tarzan (voice)), Jamie Ray Newman (Alice (voice)), Edd Osmond (Young Taug (voice)), Jo Osmond (Young Teeka (voice)), Rebecca Reaney (Jane (voice)), Christian Serritello (Chris (voice)), Trevor St. John (William Clayton (voice)), Andy Wareham (Tublat (voice)), Anton Zeetterholm (Teenage Tarzan (voice))

Runtime: 94 mins

Classification: CTC

 

OUR TARZAN REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Tarzan review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #96

Stars(2)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(2)

 

IMDB Rating: Tarzan (2013) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Tarzan′: For our full Tarzan review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #96 .

Trailer:

Postman Pat The Movie

Summary: A veteran postman finds his beliefs challenged after he enters a TV talent show competition.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 14th August, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK, USA

Director: Mike Disa

Screenwriter: Annika Bluhm, Kim Fuller, Nicole Dubuc

Cast: Jim Broadbent (CEO (voice)), Jane Carr (Mrs. Goggins (voice)), Robin Atkin Downes (Simon Cowbell (voice)), Susan Duerden (Sara Clifton (voice)), Greg Ellis (Jimmy (voice)), Rupert Grint (Josh (voice)), Dan Hildebrand (Ted Glenn (voice)), Ronan Keating (Postman Pat (singing voice)), Stephen Mangan (Postman Pat), Parminder Nagra (Nisha Bains (voice)), T.J. Ramini (Ben Taylor (voice)), Enn Reitel (PC Selby/Reverend Timms (voice)), Darren Richardson (Alf (voice)), Julian Stone (various voices), Sandra Teles (Julian Clifton (voice)), David Tennant (Wilf (voice)), Peter Woodward (Carbunkle (voice))

Runtime: 87 mins

Classification: G

 

OUR POSTMAN PAT: THE MOVIE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Postman Pat:The Movie review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(2)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(2)

 

IMDB Rating: Postman Pat: The Movie (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Postman Pat: The Movie′: For our full Postman Pat: The Movie review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #92.

Trailer:

 

Tinker Bell And The Pirate Fairy

Summary: When a misunderstood dust-keeper fairy named Zarina steals Pixie Hollow’s all-important Blue Pixie Dust, and flies away to join forces with the pirates of Skull Rock, Tinker Bell and her fairy friends must embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th June, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Peggy Holmes

Screenwriter: Jeffrey M. Howard, Kate Kondell, John Lasseter (story), Peggy Holmes (story), Robert Gannaway (story),  Lorna Cook (story), Craig Gerber (story)

Cast: Pamela Adlon (Vidia (voice)), Angela Bartys (Fawn (voice)), Jeff Bennett (Smee/Clank/Fairy Gary (voice)), Jim Cummings (Oppenheimer/Port (voice)), Grey DeLisle (MC Fairy/Gliss (voice)), Christina Hendricks (Zarina (voice)), Tom Hiddleston (James (voice)), Megan Hilty (Rosetta (voice)), Jane Horrocks (Fairy Mary (voice)), Anjelica Huston (Queen Clarion (voice)), Lucy Liu (Silvermist (voice)), Jesse McCartney (Terence (voice)), Rob Paulson (Bobble (voice)), Carlos Ponce (Bonito (voice)), Raven-Symone (Iridessa (voice)), Kevin Michael Richardson (Yang (voice)), Youlika Skafida (Fawn (voice)), Kari Wahlgren (Sweetpea/Sydney (voice)), Mae Whitman (Tinker Bell (voice)), Mark Wingert (Starboard (voice))

Runtime: 78 mins

Classification: G

 

OUR TINKER BELL AND THE PIRATE FAIRY REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

While the whole cinema world has been flocking to the cinemas over recent years to see big franchises such as The Hunger Games and The Avengers one much smaller franchise has been chuffing along quite nicely producing enjoyable films while also managing to sell a lot of tickets and DVDs. That franchise has been Disney’s Tinker Bell franchise which is often overlooked by any cinema patron who doesn’t have small children… a shame because it has turned out to be a franchise that has produced some pretty good animated films and always seems to be able to bring an A-List guest to the table… or should that be microphone.

The latest film is the franchise is Tinker Bell And The Pirate Fairy a film which sees the much loved fairy Tinker Bell (voiced by Mae Whitman – American Dad, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) make a much anticipated return to Never Land where most Disney buffs would have first seen her, in the tale of Peter Pan.

The story starts in Pixie Hollow where an inquisitive young fairy by the name of Zarina (Christina Hendricks – Lost River, God’s Pocket) is making a name for herself by asking way too many questions about the science involved with Pixie Dust. When one of her scientific experiment goes horribly wrong and endangers the lives of everybody in Pixie Hollow she flees from her friends to begin a new life.

Years later as Tinker Bell and her friends Silvermist (Lucy Liu – The Man With The Iron Fists, TV’S Elementary), Iridessa (Raven-Symone – Pixie Hollow Bake Off, TV’S See Dad Run), Rosetta (Megan Hilty – Lucky Duck, TV’S It Could Be Worse) and Vidia (Pamela Adlon – TV’S Californication, Louie) prepare for the Pixie Games they are horrified when it comes under attack by Zarina who uses a potion to make everybody sleep while she steals the holy grail… the Blue Pixie Dust. Tinks and her friends set off after Zarina and learn that she has now become part of a crew of Pirates that also features Captain James Hook (Tom Hiddleston – Muppets Most Wanted, Thor: The Dark World) who plan on using the Blue Pixie Dust for criminal gain while putting all fairies at risk.

Tinker Bell And The Pirate Fairy is a film that deserves a lot more credit than it will ever get from most film buffs. Sure the animation isn’t as spectacular as what you will see in a big Pixar or Dreamworks animation but that is something that you don’t notice due to the good storyline and wonderful characters. In fact it almost feels like a bit of a journey itself being able to sit down and watch the same Disney animation style and characters that we all grew up with when we were children ourselves.

Directed by Peggy Holmes (Secret Of The Wings, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning) and put together by a long list of screenwriters Tinker Bell And The Pirate Fairy has the challenge of following up The Secret Of The Wings which too many fans of this franchise was the best film to date. Not to be outdone though The Pirate Fairy sees this franchise become a prequel to one of the greatest Disney films ever made Peter Pan. In a way that certainly can’t be described as disrespectful the film explores Tinker Bell’s first crossing of paths with the infamous Captain Hook who of course is one of the animated film world’s best loved villains.

Teh story works well and the decent script allows for Disney to produce the trustworthy formula that has always made their films work. Much loved characters being involved it storylines that will entertain the whole family while also throwing the odd song or two that is going to get stuck inside most audience’s member’s heads long after the credits have rolled. And unlike How To Train Your Dragon 2 the screenwriters here have managed to bring things such as sword fights without bordering into some violence that might scare younger audience members.

As has become the norm in this franchise the voice cast once again put in great performances. For the likes of Whitman, Liu, Hilty and Raven they have voiced these characters so many times that they now deliver performances so professional that they should now be considered some of the better voice actors going around. Once again some A-Listers come to this franchise as guest stars, this time Christina Hendricks voices the rough and ready Zarina while Tom Hiddleston (who most would know as Loki from The Avengers) seems to have a great deal of fun as he voices the legendary Captain Hook.

Tinker Bell And The Pirate Fairy once again shows that this is a franchise that can deliver quality animated entertainment. The well written script provides a story that is going to be enjoyed by children and parents alike while the fact that it serves as a prequel to Peter Pan means that this is one film that the Disney buffs out there are going to have to have in their collection. At the end of the day Tinker Bell And The Pirate Fairy is a surprisingly good film.

Stars(3.5)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3.5)

 

IMDB Rating:  The Pirate Fairy (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Tinker Bell And The Pirate Fairy′: For our full Tinker Bell And The Pirate Fairy review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #85

Trailer:

Maleficent

Summary: The “Sleeping Beauty” tale is told from the perspective of the villainous Maleficent and looks at the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse young Princess Aurora.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 29th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK, USA

Director: Robert Stromberg

Screenwriter: Linda Woolverton, Charles Perrault (story), Jacob Grimm (story), Wilhelm Grimm (story), Erdmann Penner (story), Joe Rinaldi (story), Winston Hibler (story), Bill Peet (story), Ted Sears (story), Ralph Wright (story), Milt Banta (story)

Cast: Jackson Bews (Teenage Stefan), Charlotte Chatton (Aurora), Sharlto Copley (Stefan), Kenneth Cranham (King Henry), Elle Fanning (Aurora), Michael Higgins (Young Stefan), Angelina Jolie (Maleficent), Vivienne Jolie-Pitt (Aurora 5 Years Old), Lesley Manville (Flittle), Janet McTeer (Narrator (voice)), Isabelle Molloy (Young Maleficent), Hannah New (Princess Leila), Ella Purnell (Teenage Maleficent), Sam Riley (Diaval), Imelda Staunton (Knotgrass), Juno Temple (Thistletwit), Brenton Thwaites (Prince Phillip), Jermaine Tindell (Tactus), Eleanor Worthington-Cox (Aurora 8 Years Old)

Runtime: 97 mins

Classification: M

 

 

OUR MALEFICENT REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Nick Gardener: You can check out Nick’s Maleficent review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #81

Stars(3.5)

 

David Griffiths:

The Hollywood obsession of rebooting famous fairytales continues with Disney’s Maleficent. The trend over the last few years has resulted in some good films such as Snow White & The Huntsman but also some very ordinary films, anybody else remember Red Riding Hood? Therefore as a film fan you find yourself approaching Maleficent with a little bit of hesitance. The good news is there is no reason to because Disney have released a film that deserves two thumbs up.

Technically Maleficent isn’t a reboot it’s simply telling the ‘other side’s’ story of the famous Sleeping Beauty fairytale. The film looks at Maleficent (Angelina Jolie – Kung-Fu Panda 2, The Tourist) aka the wicked witch who cursed the young Sleeping Beauty, Aurora (Elle Fanning – Low Down, Young Ones).

In Maleficent we see what led to those actions as she is left to protect her land from the advances of the greedy King Henry (Kenneth Cranham – The Legend Of Hercules, Closed Circuit) and the pain she if left with after her lover, Stefan (Sharlto Copley – Oldboy, Open Grave) cruelly turns his back on her. We also see her team up with Diaval (Sam Riley – The Dark Valley, On The Road) to try and get revenge on all at hand but her love for Aurora prevents her from being as ghastly as she would like to.

Director Robert Stromberg, who is a first time director but has worked in visual design on some of the world’s best known films and television shows over the years, is almost asked to do the impossible here – that is to make a character who has always been the villain to the audience become someone that film fan’s will warm to. To his credit, and thanks to some help from talented screenwriter Linda Woolverton (Alice In Wonderland, The Lion King), Stromberg manages to pull of this feat wonderfully well, all while creating a film that also looks amazing as well.

Stromberg pulls off his challenge so well that as an audience member you find yourself changing sides very, very easily. Suddenly Maleficent is the good guy and King Stefan is the character that you want to see suffer. Of course knowing that this has to be watched by children means that Stromberg does also bring in some comedic relief to break up the darkness and that mainly occurs with Aurora’s minders – the bumbling fairies (or is that pixies?) Flittle (Lesley Manville – Mr. Turner, The Christmas Candle), Knotgrass (Imelda Staunton – Pride, The Pirates! Band Of Misfits) and Thistletwit (Juno Temple – Horns, Lovelace). The fact that the film manages to make these characters entertaining and not annoying is a feat upon itself.

Maleficent is a film that also looks amazing. Stromberg has created mythical characters that wouldn’t have looked out of place in something like Pan’s Labyrinth and the special effects team has come on board to make the creatures come to life and look spectacular on the big screen. The battle scenes also show that Stromberg is a very visual director and doesn’t always hold back just because he knows that little eyes are watching.

Despite its brilliance though there are a couple of annoying things that occur during Maleficent. The annoying thing is they are so small and can only be put down to lazy filmmaking and screenwriting. Firstly it is never explained why Maleficent can do great feats of magic, including make a tree grow back a branch but can’t do a spell to give herself wings again, and then there is a fact that at one moment the Narrator (Janet McTeer – Hannah Ardent, The Woman In Black) is calling Flittle, Knotgrass and Thistletwit fairies and the next moment pixies. Surely somebody must have noticed that happening during the filmmaking process somewhere along the line.

You do have to feel a little sorry for Elle Fanning in Maleficent. She seems to float along playing Aurora, and while she is one of the heroes of the film is not really given much to work with, except for the direction of ‘look cute.’ No this is very much an Angelina Jolie film and boy does she step up to the plate. Jolie delivers a full range of acting emotions and more importantly makes Maleficent a likable character while she is still really the ‘villain’ at heart. While it is difficult to compare her work here to what she has done in films such as Girl, Interrupted this is certainly one of the better films in her career. A shout out must also be paid to Sam Riley who also seems to steal a lot of the screen time that he is given.

Dark yet beautiful Maleficent is certainly one of the surprise hits of 2014. While many may have dismissed this as a family film it ends up being a brilliantly made film that once again captures that magic that Disney has been known for in the past.

Stars(4)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(4)

 

IMDB Rating:  Maleficent (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Maleficent′: For our full Maleficent review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #81

Trailer:

Mr Peabody & Sherman

Summary: Using his invention the WABAC machine, Mr. Peabody and Sherman go back in time to experience world-changing events and interact with some of the greatest characters of all time.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 27th March, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Rob Minkoff

Screenwriter: Craig Wright, Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, Michael McCullers, Jay Ward (series creator)

Cast: Jasper Johannes Andrews (Baby Sherman (voice)), Guillaume Aretos (Robespierre (voice)), Lake Bell (Mona Lisa (voice)), Leila Birch (WABAC Machine (voice)), Karan Brar (Mason (voice)), Mel Brooks (Albert Einstein (voice)), Ty Burell (Mr. Peabody (voice)), Zach Callison (King Tut (voice)), Max Charles (Sherman (voice)), Stephen Colbert (Paul Peterson (voice)),  Walt Dohrn (Spartacus/French Peasant/Taxi Driver (voice)), Lauri Fraser (Marie Antoniette/Egyptian Woman (voice)), Jess Harnell (Abraham Lincoln/George Washington/Bill Clinton/Isaac Newton/New York City Cop (voice)), Allison Janney (Ms. Grunion (voice)), Tom McGrath (Odysseus (voice)), Pautrice A. Musick (Teacher (voice)), Al Rodrigo (Ajax (voice)), Joshua Rush (Carl (voice)), Stephen Tobolowsky (Principal Purdy (voice)), Stanley Tucci (Leonardo da Vinci (voice)), Steve Valentine (Ay (voice)),  Patrick Warburton (Agamemnon (voice)), Ariel Winter (Penny Peterson (voice))

Runtime: 97 mins

Classification:PG

OUR MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN REVIEWS & RATINGS:

Greg King:

To see Greg’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman review please go to www.filmreviews.net.au.

Stars(3.5)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3.5)

IMDB Rating:  Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Mr Peabody & Sherman reviews: For our full Mr Peabody & Sherman review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #73.

Trailer: