Tagged: Conrad Vernon

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:

Star Wars

We take a look at what where the most popular movies and television shows on the Web over the past week.

 

  1. Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015): Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver
  2. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014): Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson
  3. Interstellar (2014): Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy
  4. The Walking Dead (2010): Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Steven Yuen
  5. The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies (2014): Ian McKellan, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett
  6. Terminator Genisys (2015): Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Arnold Schwarznegger, Aaron V. Williamson
  7. The Maze Runner (2014): Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster
  8. Exodus: Gods & Kings (2014): Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley, Sigourney Weaver
  9. Songs Of Anarchy (2008): Charlie Hunnam, Mark Boone Junior, Katey Sagal, Kim Coates
  10. Horrible Bosses 2 (2014): Jason Bateman, Jason Sudekis, Charlie Day, Jennifer Aniston
  11. Fury (2014): Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena
  12. Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014): Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana
  13. Arrow (2012): Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Susanna Thompson
  14. American Horror Story (2011): Evan Peters, Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy
  15. Spectre (2015): Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Monica Bellucci
  16. Predistination (2014): Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor, Madeline West
  17. Game Of Thrones (2011): Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Maisie Williams, Emilia Clarke
  18. Peter Pan Live! (2014): Allison Williams, Christian Borle, Keli O’Hara, Taylor Loudman
  19. The Flash (2014): Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Rick Cosnett
  20. Nightcrawler (2014): Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Riz Ahmed
  21. Jurassic World (2015): Chris Pratt, Judy Greer, Ty Simpkins, Bryce Dallas Howard
  22. Homeland (2011): Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Damian Lewis, Morena Baccarin
  23. Penguins Of Madagascar (2014): Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Conrad Vernon
  24. Once Upon A Time (2011): Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Josh Dallas
  25. Big Hero 6 (2014): Ryan Potter, Scot Adsit, Jamie Chung, T.J. Miller

Madagascar 3

Summary: Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent – Madagascar style.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 13th September, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: 9th January, 2013

Country: USA

Director: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Conrad Vernon

Screenwriter: Noah Baumbach, Eric Darnell

Cast: Cedric The Entertainer (Maurice (voice)), Jessica Chastain (Gia (voice)), Sacha Baron Cohen (Julien (voice)), Bryan Cranston (Vitaly (voice)), Nick Fletcher (Frankie The Dog (voice)), Steve Jones (Jonesy The Dog (voice)), Vinnie Jones (Freddie The Dog (voice)), Frances McDormand (Captain Chantel DuBois (voice)), Tom McGrath (Skipper/First Policeman (voice)), Chris Miller (Kowalski (voice)), Jada Pinkett-Smith (Gloria (voice)), Andy Richter (Mort (voice)), Chris Rock (Marty (voice)), David Schwimmer (Melman (voice)), Martin Short (Stefano (voice)), Ben Stiller (Alex (voice)), Conrad Vernon (Mason/Second Policeman (voice)), Frank Welker (Sonya (voice))

Runtime: 90 mins

Classification:PG

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ Review: 

It’s not often that three films into a franchise that the series seems to be getting stronger, but that is certainly the case with Madagascar because Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted could well be the strongest film in the series… sadly it also seems like it will be the last.

This time around begins with Alex (Ben Stiller – The Watch, Towerheist), Marty (Chris Rock – What To Expect When You’re Expecting, 2 Days In New York), Melman (David Schwimmer – The Iceman, John Carter) and Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith – Madagascar 2, TV’S Hawthorne) still trapped in Africa and beginning to believe that they will be stuck there forever as it is clear that the Penguins really aren’t returning for them.

Still believing there is a way back to New York they head to Europe to find the Penguins but in doing so cause a disturbance that leaves the evil Captain Chantal DuBois (Frances McDormand – Moonrise Kingdom, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon) chasing after them, eager to add a lion’s head to her trophy wall. In a bid to escape Chantal and her mad cronies the New York refugees join a circus with the likes of Gia (Jessica Chastain – Lawless, The Dark Fields), Vitaly (Bryan Cranston – Total Recall, Rock Of Ages) and Stefano (Martin Short – Frankenweenie, TV’S The Cat In The Hat Knows A lot About That), but when they lie about their circus experience they are left have to proving themselves.

There is absolutely no weakness with Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted at all. The screenplay works well and captivates the audience from start to finish. Even more importantly the film appeals to both adults and children alike, and despite the fact that there are jokes that are aimed for adults they certainly aren’t anything that is damaging to children.

Credit must also be given to the three directors involved – Eric Darnell (Madagascar 2, Madagascar), Tom McGrath (Megamind) and Conrad Vernon (Monsters vs Alens, Shrek 2) – who for once used the 3D technology to enhance the film and not just as a gimmick. Together these filmmakers go back and visit the original fun that 3D can create, things appearing to be flying at the audience etc while the psychedelic 3D circus that they create is some of the best 3D animation that you are ever likely to see.

The voice cast certainly come to the party as well, the usual cast are fine as always while it seems Frances McDormand really enjoyed the task of playing the ‘baddie’. The clear standouts however were Sacha Baron Cohen (The Dictator, Hugo) who seems to capture ‘fun’ in his voice like no other as well as Bryan Cranston and Martin Short who seem to enjoy playing around with some thick accents.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is a sensational animation that needs to be seen on the big screen and in 3D.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted′: Dave’s other review of ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ can be found on the Helium Entertainment Channel

Rating: 4/5

IMDB Rating: Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012) on IMDb