Monthly Archives: September 2022

Summary:  Down on her luck and saddled with debt, Emily gets involved in a credit card scam that pulls her into the criminal underworld of Los Angeles, ultimately leading to deadly consequences.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  12th August 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: John Patton Ford

Screenwriter: John Patton Ford

Cast: Jonathan Avigdori (Khalil), Bernardo Badillo (Javier), Megalyn Echikunwoke (Liz), Amje Elharden (Robert), Ricarlo Flanagan (Mike), Gina Gershon (Alice), Wesley Han (Mike), Sheila Korsi (Luna), Janice Sonia Lee (Becca), Roman Mitchyan (Armen), Tomas Pais (Taylor), Aubrey Plaza (Emily), Ben Rodgers (Jason), Theo Rossi (Youcef), Kimiko Singer (Sarah), Brandon Sklenar (Brent), Jack Topalian (Vaz), Lamar Usher (Lamar)

Running Time: 97 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 15 (UK), R (USA)

OUR EMILY THE CRIMINAL REVIEWS

Kyle McGrath’s Emily The Criminal Review:

I’ve always loved crime films regardless of what level of crime or what country these films come from. With The Godfather, Once Upon a Time in America, Goodfellas and Pulp Fiction being considered some of the greatest movies ever made it’s undeniable that many filmgoers feel the same way that I do. While not always realistic the genre can be approached from all sorts of angles not simply being about the crime itself but often as interesting character studies on people and what it is in their lives which drives them to the wrong side of the law.

Emily the Criminal is a drama thriller which acts as the debut feature film from writer director John Patton Ford. It follows Emily (Aubrey Plaza) a former artist with a past criminal assault record weighing her down. She struggles to make ends meet and pay her student debt with her low paying job, by chance one day a co-worker gives her the opportunity to make some quick cash via a credit card fraud ring operated by Youcef (Theo Rossi) and his cousin Kahlil (Jonathan Avigdori). Quickly Emily becomes seduced by the allure of making fast money and developing a relationship with Youcef however this new life of crime she has adopted begins leading her down an increasingly dark path she may not be ready for.

Along this entire journey is a distinct feeling of intensity which never let’s up. Although there is definitely a sudden change at some point I felt the film hadn’t earned up until then Emily feels like someone who doesn’t quite gather just how deep she’s digging this hole for herself and around this John Patton Ford crafts some nail biting sequences for sure.

What I found interesting about this movie is how it only really scrapes the surface of the crime world Emily becomes involved in. Some might find this disappointing however as there isn’t a lot to this story that we haven’t seen before in other films. We never go too far into the organisation or branch out into different areas it largely stuck with simple credit card fraud in action coupled with the bond which grows between Emily and Youcef.

I admit I have not seen all of Aubrey Plaza’s recent work however she always struck me as an actress with a particular charisma and she puts her all into this movie. As the stakes get higher and Emily goes from someone who is simply a cog in the machine to the person calling the shots it was great seeing that when pushed she can definitely take care of herself, all the while still there are hints that she is still a good person underneath.

The relationship which grows between Emily and Youcef leads to us seeing Youcef in a completely new light as time goes on. It never really struck me as a cliched ‘thief with a heart of gold’ character arc rather it was a role reversal I enjoy seeing done well in films. Through Theo Rossi’s great performance over the course of the film there is almost a switch as he becomes the out of his depth character while Emily is the one willing to get dirty and hurt people for a big pay day.

Something I disliked was how the film seemed to have the same issues a lot of others have in where to go with this type of story. This isn’t at all a good vs evil Robin Hood-type storyline and while I don’t wish for any morale grandstanding Emily’s ambitions are quite shallow and her capabilities and competency as a master criminal is debatable. As such I think the final act definitely needed work to create something with more significance all things considered.

Ford has does an excellent job creating a thrilling crime flick beginning to end with Aubrey Plaza & Theo Rossi nailing it showing off their respective talent. Unfortunately the film strikes me as not building towards an ultimate goal and I felt myself disappointed when the ending credits rolled on.

Other Subculture Emily The Criminal Reviews:

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Trailer:

This is Laurie Strode’s last stand.
After 45 years, the most acclaimed, revered horror franchise in film history reaches its epic, terrifying conclusion as Laurie Strode faces off for the last time against the embodiment of evil, Michael Myers, in a final confrontation unlike any captured on-screen before. Only one of them will survive.
Icon Jamie Lee Curtis returns for the last time as Laurie Strode, horror’s first “final girl” and the role that launched Curtis’ career. Curtis has portrayed Laurie for more than four decades now, one of the longest actor-character pairings in cinema history. When the franchise relaunched in 2018, Halloween shattered box office records, becoming the franchise’s highest-grossing chapter and set a new record for the biggest opening weekend for a horror film starring a woman.
Four years after the events of last year’s Halloween Kills, Laurie is living with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) and is finishing writing her memoir. Michael Myers hasn’t been seen since. Laurie, after allowing the specter of Michael to determine and drive her reality for decades, has decided to liberate herself from fear and rage and embrace life. But when a young man, Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell; The Hardy BoysVirgin River), is accused of killing a boy he was babysitting, it ignites a cascade of violence and terror that will force Laurie to finally confront the evil she can’t control, once and for all.
Halloween Ends co-stars returning cast Will Patton as Officer Frank Hawkins, Kyle Richards as Lindsey Wallace and James Jude Courtney as The Shape.
From the creative team that relaunched the franchise with 2018’s Halloween and Halloween Kills, the film is directed by David Gordon Green from a screenplay by Paul Brad Logan (Manglehorn), Chris Bernier (The Driver series), Danny McBride and David Gordon Green, based on characters created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. Halloween Ends is produced by Malek Akkad, Jason Blum and Bill Block. The executive producers are John Carpenter, Jamie Lee Curtis, Danny McBride, David Gordon Green, Ryan Freimann, Ryan Turek, Andrew Golov, Thom Zadra and Christopher H. Warner.
Universal Pictures, Miramax and Blumhouse present a Malek Akkad production, in association with Rough House Pictures.

 Stan, Australia’s unrivalled home of original productions, today announced production has commenced on the brand new Stan Original Series C*A*U*G*H*T. Director, producer and writer Kick Gurry (Edge of Tomorrow) stars in the six-episode series alongside Sean Penn (Stan Exclusive Series Gaslit), Ben O’Toole (Detroit), Lincoln Younes (Last King of the Cross), Alexander England (upcoming Stan Original Series Black Snow), Mel Jarnson (Mortal Kombat), Fayssal Bazzi (Stateless), Dorian Nkono (The Twelve) and Rebecca Breeds (Stan Exclusive Series Clarice). The series is produced in association with Fremantle.

Also joining the cast is Matthew Fox (Stan Original Series Last Light), Bella Heathcote (Stan Original Series Bloom), Bryan Brown (Stan Original Series Bloom) and Erik Thomson (Black Snow).

The satirical comedy series C*A*U*G*H*T follows four Australian soldiers sent on a secret mission to a war-torn country. Mistaken for Americans, they are captured by freedom fighters and produce a hostage video that goes viral. When the soldiers reach celebrity status, they realise that being caught might just be the best thing that could’ve happened to them. 

Following a deal with Fremantle, the series is due to launch exclusively on new streaming service ITVX in the UK in 2023.

Stan Chief Content Officer Cailah Scobie said: “To have an award-winning international superstar like Sean Penn join a superb cast that includes major Australian and Hollywood actors like Bryan Brown, Bella Heathcote, Fayssal Bazzi and Matthew Fox is a real coup. Helmed by the extraordinary Kick Gurry, C*A*U*G*H*T marks yet another blockbuster addition to our growing slate of locally produced, world-class Stan Originals — with the series promising to poke fun at celebrity culture, while exploring the often outrageous price of fame. We look forward to working with Fremantle, ITVX and the creative team ahead of C*A*U*G*H*T premiering on Stan in 2023.”

Director, Producer and Creator Kick Gurry said: “The biggest challenge for me was creating something worthy enough of all my insanely talented friends. I genuinely cannot wait to share this show with the whole world and look forward to the internet telling me how terribly I missed the mark.”

Executive Producer and Actor Sean Penn said: “Kick’s brand of irreverence is so charged by an enthusiasm for all things considered inappropriate. From ball-sacks, to fame, idiots & intellectuals, and finally to that creepy-crawly continuum of war. C*A*U*G*H*T captures the comedy that is generally confined to fox holes.”

Jamie Lynn, EVP Co-productions and Distribution, EMEA, International, Fremantle said: “Stan continues to set a high bar for premium originals and with the mirrored ambition of the soon to launch ITVX, we knew this could be a perfect partnership. Kick Gurry’s contagious enthusiasm and delightful scripts immediately convinced us this was a special and timely project unlike anything else in the market. The fact that A-list talent like Sean Penn, Matthew Fox and others quickly came to the same conclusion, along with an array of star studded cameos, only reaffirmed this. C*A*U*G*H*T is going to surprise people in 2023 and we can’t wait to share it with the world.” 

ITV’s Head of Content Acquisitions, Sasha Breslau said: “We are thrilled to be working with Stan and Fremantle to bring C*A*U*G*H*T to UK audiences, the star-studded cast and satirical humour will be a real treat for ITVX viewers next year.”

The Stan Original Series C*A*U*G*H*T is created, produced and directed by Kick Gurry. Sean Penn executive produces alongside producers John Schwarz and Michael Schwarz (Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan, Stan Original Film Gold) from Deeper Water Films, and Brendan DonoghueC*A*U*G*H*T is executive produced by Cailah Scobie and Amanda Duthie for Stan. The series is produced in association with Fremantle, who will also handle international distribution for the series.

The Stan Original Series C*A*U*G*H*T is now in production and will premiere in 2023.

Director Stacy Peralta’s an award-winning documentary filmmaker and one of the most influential skateboarders of all time. His documentary Dogtown and the Z-Boys won him the Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival and his brand new film, The Yin & Yang Of Gerry Lopez turns its attention to Gerry Lopez.

While “Mr. Pipeline” is famously known for his calm demeanor in the tube, Gerry built his career with aggressive surfing that left behind a trail of blood and tears. He’s one of the most influential surfers and surfboard shapers of all time, an entrepreneur, a family man, a movie star and a lifelong yogi who brought surfing to new frontiers.

Can you tell us about how you first got into surfing?

GL: I spent a lot of time at the beach growing up. My mother was a teacher and some of her students had a surfboard concession. I don’t know whether they were bad boys or maybe she gave them a break on homework or something, but when I was ten, and my younger brother was eight, she took us down to the beach in Waikiki and her students let us use two rental surfboards. And so, that was the first time and we paddled out with my mother. She was a very good swimmer and she pushed me into the first wave. The feeling of gliding, the French call it La Glisse and somehow, when the French speak of it, it has much more than just a physical feeling to it. It has much deeper metaphorical connotations. Just La Glisse, it’s the glide. And I remember that, the gliding of just the wave pushing the surfboard. I didn’t understand it. All I did was feel it and it made me feel really good. And it made me feel like I wanted to do it again and again – and my whole life changed. Actually, it didn’t change right away because it took a few years more before I really started to get into surfing. But that first time was feeling that glide and just, having that wave carry you along like that, it was a real magical feeling.

And then how did you get from there to the North Shore and eventually to the pipeline?

By high school I was really into surfing. I mean more than just the fun of it. You know, in high school you need to be somebody. You have to find some kind of identity. I wasn’t good at sports or big enough to play football or baseball. So, I guess I was a surfer because it was really easy to be – you didn’t even have to be good at it, you just had to identify with it. That was my identity.

When you’re 15, you can get a license in Hawaii. So, I was 14 and my friend was already 15, so he was able to drive and we would go to the North Shore. And one day he wanted to go to the pipeline, and that winter for some reason the surf was very small. That day at the pipeline, the biggest wave was maybe four or five feet. But it was a beautiful day, and we were the only ones on the whole beach, so there was nothing scary about it.

The pipeline already had a little bit of a reputation. But this day was very calm and very friendly looking. So, we went out and the waves at the pipeline break very, very fast and it’s very steep and on longboards that are very straight with no rocker, it’s difficult. You can catch the wave, but then to make the take-off is really hard because the wave stands up so fast that the nose goes down and you end up swimming to the beach. And that’s what happened to me and my friend. Every wave, we would just wipe out, wave after wave. Then another kid came paddling out and we saw it was Jock Sutherland and he already had a reputation. He’s the same age as we were but he grew up on the North Shore, so he had done quite a bit of surfing and he was very good and he helped us to make the take off.

Jock and I went on to become great friends and he was a great mentor to me in those very early days of surfing, because he was a much better surfer. He taught me a lot of things at the pipeline in the very beginning.

You talk in the film about stealing waves. How has that mindset shaped the way that you surf?

If you wanted to get better at surfing and there were lots of people already surfing in your spot, then you have to be aggressive, because the only way you can get better at surfing is by riding a lot of waves and you have to practice.

If there’s a lot of other guys taking waves, you know, sometimes you just don’t want to wait until it’s your turn again. You want to cut in line. And I did a lot of that, which wasn’t very nice, but that’s how I was back then. I’m not like that anymore.

When I was at Eisbach recently, I noticed that there was a line and everybody had to wait their turn. And I went “Wow, that’s a great thing, you know?” And I’ve experienced that here with our river wave that the attitude, the vibe, is really like the early days of surfing, where everybody welcomes everyone and is really helpful and everybody’s having a good time and smiling. I thought about that a lot and went “Yeah, it’s really simple.” Everybody knows who’s turn it is why we can’t embrace that? The world would be a much better place if everybody took their turn.

Another very important part of your life is yoga. How has that influenced you?

I was already really into surfing, but in 1968, I started making my own surfboards as well, so I guess it’s coincidental that yoga came at that point in time too. Looking back on it all, I think that was just the way it was supposed to be, because for every difficult question I’ve ever had in life, every meaningful question, yoga has had the answer.

For example, what happened when I felt so bad losing a contest? I learned from yoga that nothing in life is about winning. It’s about mastering and when you’re able to master something, then you never lose. Even if you got last place, you still won something. That was a light bulb moment for me.

Really the ultimate platform of yoga is the spirituality of it. It lets us know that’s what life’s all about.

Thanks for taking time, Gerry. Any parting words for us?
I really believe that all of us surfers are very fortunate because surfing is a gift that keeps on giving, because there’s so much depth to it. None of us have really examined the deepest secrets that surfing holds – maybe Duke Kahanamoku came the closest. Surfing is something that can really bring a person eternal happiness. And you know when you have that, there’s nothing wrong. Ever.

For tickets to the special Q&A screenings with Gerry Lopez and Stacy Peralta or to find out more about The Yin & Yang of Gerry Lopez visit Patagonia.com.au/gerrylopez.

Director Stacy Peralta’s an award-winning documentary filmmaker and one of the most influential skateboarders of all time. His documentary Dogtown and the Z-Boys won him the Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival.


You were a professional skateboarder before you went into filmmaking. How did that transition happen?

I fell into filmmaking. During the 80s I had put together the greatest competitive and innovative skateboard team of all time, a team called the Bones Brigade, and we needed to show the world how good these skaters were so we decided we needed an hour-long film that could play on VHS devices inside skateboarders living rooms. The job of making those films fell on me.

How has your background in skateboarding influenced the way you approach filmmaking?

Skateboarding teaches you to deal with constant obstacles, dead-ends, setbacks and failure and as a result of this it teaches you to be very adaptable and flexible and these are all the same issues one finds in film making. Every corner you turn you find an obstacle. 

You’ve always had a connection to surf culture. How do the surf and skate scene differ and what unites these subcultures?

I originally wanted to be a professional surfer and that is the direction I was headed, until the urethane wheel was invented, at which time I changed my plans. Both surfing and skateboarding were and still are outlaw cultures that the greater society looks at from a distance. Both attract outcasts who are looking for a place they can create their own identity within. Both (surfing and skateboarding) offer a distinctive lifestyle and way of living.

The Yin and Yang of Gerry Lopez tells a long and detailed story. How did you approach this film project and what was your focus?

I originally approached the film, like I do all of the films I’ve made, by asking endless questions and listening. I asked Gerry and anyone I could find questions about him. I asked and asked, and listened until I started getting a sense of what was most important in his life’s journey. Film making is about careful listening, careful observing and paying constant quality attention to the subject you’re documenting. It’s essentially getting my own self out of the way so that I can be a vehicle for this story to pass through and that takes time to gestate.

What interested you most in Gerry’s story that you took on this project?

His dual nature. His peaceful yoga posture on land and his tigershark alpha male mentality in the water. How he struggles and lives with that duality and his relentless pursuit of all forms of surfing throughout the years he’s been alive.

The film uses a lot of archival footage. How did you go about the selection of those scenes and what were some of your favorite parts?

By looking under every single rock we could find. You want to surprise your audience when making films like this and one of the ways you do that is by searching for photos and footage they have not yet seen. It takes a lot of time and a million phone calls to locate the content but it’s worth it in the end.

What were some of the highlights of making this film?

Watching Gerry learn how to foil surf and kite surf made me realize that things actually don’t come so easy for him, that he struggles like all of us, and that he spends lots of time as a kook just like the rest of us when we’re learning something new. Watching him do something not well humanized him for me.

You’ve created some of the most influential films in skateboarding. What projects are you most proud of in 30-40 years of filmmaking?

I never expected that my life would turn out the way it did and that I would have the opportunities I’ve had. My hope is that I’ve delivered and returned on what I’ve been given because I’ve been the recipient of many great opportunities. It’s been an unusual journey of being both an athlete with one foot in and an observer with one foot out simultaneously.

Thanks a lot for taking the time, Stacy!

For tickets to the special Q&A screenings with Gerry Lopez and Stacy Peralta or to find out more about The Yin & Yang of Gerry Lopez visit Patagonia.com.au/gerrylopez.

Trade Bait

Subculture Entertainment and 94.1FM’s resident football journo Dave Griffiths keeps you updated with all the 2022 AFL Trade Bait news right here.

CONFIRMED TRADES, DELISTINGS AND RETIREMENTS

ADELAIDE –

Outgoing: Luke Brown (retired)

Incoming: Nil

BRISBANE –

Outgoing: Mitchell Cox (delisted), Mitch Robinson (retired), Ely Smith (delisted), Deividos Uosis (delisted)

Incoming: Nil

 

CARLTON –

Outgoing: Will Hayes (delisted), Oscar McDonald (delisted), Jack Newnes (delisted), Luke Parks (delisted), Liam Stoker (delisted), Tom Williamson (delisted)

Incoming: Nil

 

COLLINGWOOD –

Outgoing: Callum Brown (delisted), Tyler Brown (delisted), Isaac Chugg (delisted), Liam McMahon (delisted), Jordan Roughead (retired)

Incoming: Nil

ESSENDON –

Outgoing: Tom Cutler (delisted), Tom Hird (delisted), Michael Hurley (retired), Garrett McDonagh (delisted), Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti (retired), Devon Smith (retired)

Incoming: Nil

FREMANTLE –

Outgoing: Connor Blakely (delisted), David Mundy (retired), Joel Western (delisted)

Incoming:Nil

 

GEELONG –

Outgoing Luke Dahlhaus (retired), Francis Evans (delisted), Shaun Higgins (retired), Quinton Narkle (delisted), Joel Selwood (retired), Nick Stevens (delisted), Paul Tsapatolis (delsited), Zane Williams (delisted)

Incoming: Nil

GOLD COAST –

Outgoing: Matt Conroy (delisted), Jez McLennan (delisted), Patrick Murtagh (delisted), Rhys Nicholls (delisted)

Incoming: Nil

GWS –

Outgoing: Matt De Boer (retired)

Incoming: Nil

HAWTHORN –

Outgoing: Jackson Callow (delisted), Connor Downie (delisted), Kyle Hartigan (delisted), Daniel Howe (delisted), Ben McEvoy (retired), Tom Phillips (delisted), Liam Shiels (retired)

Incoming: Nil

MELBOURNE –

Outgoing: Mitch Brown (retired), Majack Daw (retired), Fraser Rosman (delisted)

Incoming: Nil

NORTH MELBOURNE –

Outgoing: Kyron Hayden (delisted), Tom Lynch (retired), Matt McGuinness (delisted), Patrick Walker (delisted)

Incoming: Nil

PORT ADELAIDE –

Outgoing: Robbie Gray (retired), Sam Mayes (delisted), Steven Motlop (retired), Taj Schofield (delisted), Sam Skinner (delisted)

Incoming: Nil

RICHMOND –

Outgoing: Josh Caddy (retired), Shane Edwards (retired), Kane Lambert (retired), Matthew Parker (delsited)

Incoming : Nil

ST KILDA –

Outgoing: Jarryn Geary (retired), Dan Hannebery (retired), Darragh Joyce (delisted), Dean Kent (retired), Paddy Ryder (retired)

Incoming: Nil

SYDNEY –

Outgoing: Josh Kennedy (retired), Colin O’Riordan (retired), Callum Sinclair (retired)

Incoming: Nil

WEST COAST –

Outgoing: Hugh Dixon (delisted), Tom Joyce (delisted), Josh Kennedy (retired), Jackson Nelson (delisted)

Incoming: Nil

WESTERN BULLDOGS –

Outgoing: Nil

Incoming: Nil

Summary:  Not many people know that every house is inhabited by finns. They are furry creatures that appear in human world to take care of a house and keep the hearth. Finnick is a young Finn, who doesn’t seem to care about his responsibility of making a home out of the house. He is just making pranks on «his people» and that is the reason why none of the families wanted to stay long in his house. Everything changes when a new family comes to his house, where Finnick’s tricks do not work at all, and he meets 13-year old Christine and inexplicable events begin to happen in the city. Finnick and Christine, who are so different, will have to team up and work together to solve the mystery of the events and save the city.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  15th September 2022 (Australia)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: Russia

Director: Denis Chernov

Screenwriter: Tatiana Belova, Denis Chernov, Aleksandr Kim, Neil Landau, Lev Murzenko

Cast: Artur Babich (Pinkfin/Flyufin (voice)), Clifford Chapin (Christine’s Dad (voice)), Emily Cramer (Christine’s Mom (voice)), Boris Dergachev (Papa Kristiny (voice)), Nathalie Ferare (Christine (voice)), Ida Galich (Mama Kristiny (voice)), Veronika Golubeva (Kristina (voice)), Aleksandr Gudkov (Mafin (voice)), Mikhail Khrustalyov (Finnick (voice)), Vlad Levskiy (Punkfin/Finol (voice)), Andrey Lovin (Dzhey Bi (voice)), Danila Milokhin (Tifkin/Hamsterfin/Motyafin (voice)), Robb Moreira (JB (voice)), Billy Bob Thomson (Finnick (voice)), Tyoma Voterfork (Grifin/Alfin (voice)), Lyosha Yanger (Timfin/Tupikfin (voice)), Ten Yudzhin (Frogfin/Bagfin (voice))

Running Time: 85 mins

Classification: PG (Australia)

OUR FINNICK REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Finnick Review:

This seems to be the school holidays of hidden gem family films. A couple have been released with very little fanfare and one of the better ones just happens to be new Russian animation Little Monsters… which has been released worldwide under the title Finnick. I just had to write about this film because I feel so often that international family films often get lost in the ocean of Hollywood films – which is a shame when you realise how good, including this one, often are.

Directed by Denis Chernov (Teddy Boom!) I found that Little Monsters contained a level of creativity that so many filmmakers seem to forget that animated films need to have to make them enjoyable for an entire family. I remember how I was blown away by how different Planet 51 was so many years ago and I found that magical feeling returning to me as I loved watching every second of Little Monsters.

Little Monsters is set in a world where every house has a creature called a Finn living it. A Finn cannot be seen by humans but has the role of helping each household run smoothly, but that is not exactly the case with Finnick (voiced by Billy Bob Thompson). He is a Finn that seems to hate humans and relishes in the fact that he becomes so annoying that humans leave the house that he inhabits – the result is a rundown home that nobody wants to live in… and Finnick couldn’t be happier.

But then along comes Christine (Nathalie Ferare) who has once again been made cities due to the fact that her actor Dad (Clifford Chapin) and actress Mum (Emily Cramer) have just landed roles in a popular television show.

As they constantly prepare for their ‘big break’ the inquisitive Christine soon discovers the grumpy Finnick who is doing all he can to force the family to move out. But then when the evil JB (Robb Moreira) devises a plan to destroy the city that involves cruelty to Finns suddenly Christine and Finnick find themselves having to become an unlikely duo.

I think what I love the most about this film was the creativity and how different it was to anything else we have seen on the screen for a long time. Often the animated films that we see are either based on a television series or a book but with Little Monsters this is a world that has been entirely created, from the ground up, by a team of screenwriters and the result is something fresh that I found fuelling my own imagination.

The film also steers away from stereotypes. While the characters of the Mum and Dad, as well as their boss, are over the top they are never clichéd and are given characteristics of their own. It is kind of a weird feeling watching the film because the characters are so real and believable that at times you forget that you are watching an animated film.

What I took away the most from Little Monsters though is the creativity of the world that has been created by the film. The legend of the Finns feels like it should be made folklore somewhere while the city itself contains characters that you can’t help but fall in love with and even relate to. Even the ways created for the writers for JB to try and destroy the city are new and creative and you can only hope that this filmmaking team stick together and we see more tales from this world brought to the big screen.

Please don’t let the fact Little Monsters is an international animated film put you off. The film has been dubbed so well into English that you could never tell that it has been dubbed. The animation itself is out of this world and it touches on topics and themes that are universal and important to all. Above all though this is one of the most creative films that you will see this year and I feel that families everywhere will simply fall in love with it.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture rating Out Of 5

Other Subculture Finnick Reviews:

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Trailer:

Summary:  Hank, a loveable dog with a head full of dreams about becoming a samurai, sets off in search of his destiny.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  15th September 2022 (Australia), 15th July 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA, China, UK, Canada

Director: Chris Bailey, Mark Koetsier, Rob Minkoff

Screenwriter: Ed Stone, Nate Hopper, Mel Brooks, Norman Steinberg, Andrew Bergman, Ricahrd Pryor, Alan Uger

Cast: Mel Brooks (The Shogun (voice)), Michael Cera (Hank (voice)), Ricky Gervais (Ika Chu (voice)), Djimon Hounsou (Sumo (voice)), Gabriel Iglesias (Chuck (voice)), Samuel L. Jackson (Jimbo (voice)), Kylie Kuioka (Emiko (voice)), Asif Mandvi (Ichiro (voice)), Cathy Shim (Little Mama (voice)), George Takei (Ohga (voice)), Michelle Yeoh (Yuki (voice))

Running Time: 98 mins

Classification: PG (Australia), PG (USA)

OUR DC LEAGUE OF SUPER-PETS REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Paws of Fury: The Legend Of Hank Review:

I think I just had one of the funniest experiences that I am likely to have in a cinema this year and was something that I was wasn’t really expecting. Brand new animated family flick Paws Of Fury: The Legend Of Hank has been released in Australia with very little fanfare, a shame really because I found this to be the kind of film that can be enjoyed by the whole family – both kids and parents alike.

A mixture of both a Western and an Oriental feel the film centres around a young dog named Hank (voiced by Michael Cera – Juno) who dreams of becoming a samurai. That dream stems from the fact that when he was a young pup he was rescued by a great samurai named Jimbo (Samuel L. Jackson –  Pulp Fiction), but it is a distant dream because samurais can only be cats. In fact dogs are not even allowed to be in the areas protected by samurais – those areas are solely reserved for cats.

Undeterred Hank travels into the forbidden area and soon finds himself captured by the evil Ika Chu (Ricky Gervais – The Office) who has devised an evil plan to impress The Shogun (Mel Brooks – The Producers) and one day bring him down so he can steal his role.

After hearing about Hank’s dream to become a samurai though Ika Chu realises that he can use the young dog for his own good. Part of his plan is to get rid of a town that interrupts the view from his palace so he sends the inexperienced Hank to ‘protect’ the town knowing that he will not only fail at his mission but will also be despised by all who call the town home.

What he doesn’t count on though is that the town is home to Jimbo and that one young kitten, named Emiko (Kylie Kuioka – Better Nate Than Ever), will believe in Hank and try to help him become the best samurai he can.

I think the most surprising thing about Paw Of Fury: The Legend Of Hank was just how damn fun the film was. Directed by a team of directors including Chris Bailey (The Great Wolf Pack), Mark Koetsier (first time director) and Rob Minkoff (The Lion King) the film takes on all the tropes of a western and mixes it together brilliantly with the style and action of a kung-fu film. Along the way the team of screenwriters also infuse just the amount of comedy – both written and slap stick – that will certainly appeal to those that like the old school kinds of animations made famous by Warner Bros. in the past.

The other thing I loved about this film was the messages and morals that it touched on. The film tells the younger audience members that they should never give up their dreams no matter what obstacles are placed in their way while it also the dog vs cat storyline to have a very meaningful moral about racism. The great thing is the film doesn’t over-preach but still manages to get its point across to people of all ages.

I also found the voice casting to be spot on. Ricky Gervais steals the show with his vocal athleticism playing the film’s villain while Michael Cera takes on a more unrecognisable style. I should also say that audience members should listen closely to the voices of some of the villagers and they will hear the work of people such as Djiimon Hounsou (Guardians Of The Galaxy) and Michelle Yeoh (Everything, Everywhere All At Once).

While it hasn’t received the love that it should have before it has been released I think Paws Of Fury: The Legend Of Hank is the kind of film that all members of the family will enjoy, laugh with all while learning some valuable life lessons.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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