Tagged: Werner Herzog

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:

Jack Reacher

Summary: One of the most compelling heroes to step from novel to screen: ex-military investigator JACK REACHER. When a gunman takes five lives with six shots, all evidence points to the suspect in custody. On interrogation, the suspect offers up a single note: “Get Jack Reacher!” So begins an extraordinary chase for the truth, pitting Jack Reacher against an unexpected enemy, with a skill for violence and a secret to keep.

From Academy Award Winning Directory Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) comes the action-packed thriller JACK REACHER, based on the New York Times best-selling novel by Lee Child, starring Tom Cruise, Robert Ducall, Rosamund Pike and Australia’s own Jai Courtney.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 3rd January, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Screenwriter: Lee Child (book), Christopher McQuarrie

Cast: J. Bizel (Matt), Jai Courtney (Charlie), Joe Coyle (Darren Sawyer), Tom Cruise (Jack Reacher), Kristen Dalton (Mindy), Robert Duvall (Cash), Tristan Elma (Macos Coronado), Alexia Fast (Sandy), Tammy Felice (Anne Yanni), Nicole Forester (Nancy Holt), Peter Gannon (Mr. Archer), Josh Helman (Jeb), Werner Herzog (The Zec), Richard Jenkins (Rodin), James Martin Kelly (Rob Farrior), Dylan Kussman (Gary), Scott A. Martin (Wesley), Alicia Murton (Mrs. Sawyer), David Oyelowo (Emerson), Delilah Picart (Rita Coronado), Rosamund Pike (Helen), Michael Raymond-Jones (Linsky), Joseph Sikora (Barr), Vladimir Sizov (Vlad), David Whalen (Mr. Holt), Julia Yorks (Chrissie Farrior)

Runtime: 131 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Jack Reacher’ Review: 

You have to feel for Tom Cruise. Over the years he has done nothing but deliver brilliant movie after brilliant movie yet he still considered a public pariah and comedians are always lining up to have another go at him. His fans however have relished in the fact that movies such as those in the ‘Mission Impossible’ franchise have only gone further to enhance him as a true action hero… now that stature is about to be justified even further with ‘Jack Reacher’.

Lifted straight from the series of novels created by Lee Child, Tom Cruise (Rock Of Ages, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) plays Jack Reacher an ex military cop who disappears from the face of the Earth and then re-appears when somebody is in need of his help.

The people needing his help this time round are alleged mass-murderer Barr (Jospeh Sikora – Safe, TV’S Boardwalk Empire) and his defence lawyer, Helen Rodin (Rosamund Pike – Wrath Of The Titans, Devil You Know). Barr has been blamed for a random mass murder that has left a number of people killed, and sadly all the evidence found by Homicide Detective Emerson (David Oyelowo – Lincoln, The Paperboy) seems to point at Barr, but Barr isn’t going to go down without a fight and just before he is placed in a coma due to a in-custody beating he hands Emerson a note that says ‘get Jack Reacher’.

With the audience already knowing that the shooting was done by a hit-man organized by The Zec (Werner Herzog – TV’S Metalocalypse & The Simpsons) the suspense is raised when Emerson seems to take an instant disliking for Reacher whose knack of getting into trouble seems to make Emerson’s job even easier. With Helen eager to ‘defeat’ her D.A. father (Richard Jenkins – The Company You Keep, Killing Them Softly) she knows she has to keep Reacher on the straight-and-narrow in order to have any chance of defending Barr at all.

The fact that the audience knows who the killer is from the very start would make you think that the film should lack a little bit of suspense but luckily director/screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie (The Way Of The Gun) knows what he is doing and instead he shifts the suspense on to whether or not Reacher is going to be brought down by a corrupt Police Officer.

McQuarrie’s script works amazingly well (a lot better than a lot of crime thrillers) and in the end the film ends up feeling like you are watching an episode of ‘N.C.I.S.’ mixed in with the action of ‘Mission Impossible’. Obviously Cruise was impressed was McQuarrie’s work on the film because it looks like he will be handed the directing reigns of ‘Mission Impossible 5’ and is currently writing the script for ‘Top Gun 2’.

As previously mentioned Cruise is a real standout in ‘Jack Reacher’. There are few actors that have the ability to pull off physical stunts and then delivered a powerful dramatic performance the way that Cruise can… and here he is in his element. Poor Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo are reduced to being ‘back drops’ as Cruise puts in one of his better performances. The only actor who comes close to him is Robert Duvall (Jayne Manfield’s Car, Hemmingway & Gellhorn) and the scenes between them are sensational to watch.

‘Jack Reacher’ is one of the best written crime thrillers to surface for a long time and while the opening of the film seems to have upset a few Americans nobody should put off seeing the film because of it. ‘Jack Reacher’ is a must see.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Jack Reacher′: Check Episode #13 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Jack Reacher’. Dave’s other review of ‘Jack Reacher’ can be found at http://www.helium.com/items/2401587-jack-reacher-review

Rating: 4.5/5

IMDB Rating:Jack Reacher (2012) on IMDb