Tagged: Japan

Summary:  A fictitious 1980s Japan. Soji, a soldier on furlough, returns to his country. He receives a request from Haya, who was sent from the World Bank, to help her on a mission to investigate the actual circumstances of a narcotic called “Golden Monkey” which is running rampant through Japanese society.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  TBA

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: Japan

Director: Yanakaya

Screenwriter: Yanakaya

Cast: Yoshino Fujima, Yui Fukuda, Yarita Jin, Toshihide Mori, Shinya Tomita, Yukina Tsuchida, Wataru Uenoyama

Running Time: 75 mins

Classification: TBC

OUR BATTLECRY REVIEWS

Kyle McGrath’s Battlecry Review:

I greatly appreciate films which are made as a labour of love by a small crew. Many of my favourite independent films feature stand out performance in bit parts by crew members who jumped I’m front of the camera out of necessity. Likewise there’s something admirable in today’s world of CGI heavy movies with thousands of crew members where films come along with a much smaller amount of people breaking their backs to make something. Filmmakers like Tim Miller or The Brothers Strause have been able to create impressive looking CGI feature films largely by putting in most of the hard work themselves to keep the budget down.

Battlecry is a CGI animated scifi thriller set in a fictionalised 1980s Japan. It follows Soji (voiced by Shinya Tomita) a soldier on leave who is approached by Haya (Yui Fukuda) an agent of the ‘World Bank’ with a request to assist her on a mission. Throughout the world bizarre shadow monsters are appearing unprovoked with apparent links to Japanese citizens. The new performance enhancing super drug ‘Golden Monkey’ is thought to be to blame for these monsters and together Soji & Haya must locate the source of this drug and shut it down. Discovering long hidden connections to Soji’s childhood and a government cover up along the way.

The interesting novelty behind Battlecry is that supposedly with the exception of voice actors and musical talent this entire film was written, produced and created as a solo project by it’s director Yanakaya. Apparently creating the entire thing on his laptop director Yanakaya has produced an anime-like action film which while nothing groundbreaking is one of the most interesting additions to the 2022 MIFF line-up and quite an achievement in low budget filmmaking.

The animation throughout Battlecry is extremely janky at times and it would come as no surprise to the unenlightened viewer that it was a one-man project. Having grown up with early EARLY examples of CGI animation such as 1993’s The Incredible Crash Dummies as well as Playstation 1 era video game cut scenes the aesthetic of Battlecry was one which brought back feelings of nostalgia to me. With character models being extremely simplistic what undoubtedly would look like placeholder pre-vis animation to audiences today I found myself enjoying. The foreknowledge of this film’s production meant that I was amazed by the detail the film exhibited thanks to it’s creator’s hard work rather than being disappointed by the lack of detail which it would be unreasonable to expect a production of this type to feature.

The stand out achievement of this movie’s style would be the beautifully realised locations and backdrops. It features cyberpunk design of illegal black market streets, love hotels and overhead tram systems. This creative flair more than made up for any shortcomings of the film’s more ambitious action sequences which I felt were the only times the director bit off more than it could chew on a technical level.

The storyline of Battlecry is very anime cliche heavy. Soji carries a sword for no real reason, the flashbacks to past trauma, the villain’s direct connection to the protagonist are all stock standard. Even the shadow monsters themselves seem to exist in the film solely so there can be action scenes combating them. Straight story wise there was no real reason for the shadow monsters to feature at all and even if Yanakaya is planning on building on them in follow up projects I think that time could have been better utilised on building up what minimal characters and plot the film had.

Which is to say that although the twists and turns the story goes through did still entertain me on a cheesy level the movie still feels too short. With such a scant seventy five minute runtime the hefty themes of past trauma, government conspiracies as well as the sub-plots involving childhood friends reconnecting years later all feel extremely half baked and rushed as a result.

While Battlecry may not look like much on a big cinema screen the sound design did still impress me with deafening explosions of dramatic gunfire. Not to mention the voice actors do a fine job even though there were some moments where the supposed English speaking characters are having trouble with their lines. In some ways the experience as an English only speaking audience member was just as janky as well. At least with the screening I had there were many grammatical errors, some subtitles disappearing off screen too quickly for anyone to have read them and at one point the dialogue went without any translation text at all with the subs picking up midway through a sentence.

Battlecry isn’t a brilliant film however there simply aren’t many movies it can be compare to and for that I give it credit. It is a quite literal ‘independent’ feature film and I can’t deny I enjoyed the aesthetic and appreciate that the director managed to create something very special all on his own. Now while it may not look the best….well it must be said Thor Love & Thunder cost 250 million and still looked awful in its own way!

Other Subculture Battlecry Reviews:

N/A

Trailer:

Summary:  The residents of a lonely gulch in inland California bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  11th August 2022 (Australia), 18th August 2022 (Thailand), 12th August 2022 (UK), 22nd July 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA, Japan

Director: Jordan Peele

Screenwriter: Jordan Peele

Cast: Hetty Chang (Hetty Chang), Sophia Coto (Mary Jo Elliott), Keith David (Otis Haywood Sr.), Courtney Elizabeth (Mrs. Dolan), Barbie Ferreira (Nessie), Ryan W. Garcia (Sheriff Reyes), Devon Graye (Ryder Muybridge), Roman Gross (Max Park), Alex Hyde-White (Grizz), Eddie Jemison (Buster), Daniel Kaluuya (OJ Haywood), Pierce Kang (Phoenix Park), Jacob Kim (Young Ricky ‘Jupe’ Park), Jennifer Lafleur (Phyllis Mayberry/Margaret Houston), Lincoln Lambert (Kolton Park), Donna Mills (Bonnie Clayton), Ahmad Muhammed (Pastor John), Terry Notary (Gordy), Keke Palmer (Emerald Haywood), Brandon Perea (Angel Torres), Oz Perkins (Fynn Bachman), Andrew Patrick Ralston (Tom Bogan/Brett Houston), Wrenn Schmidt (Amber Park), Michael Wincott (Antlers Holst), Steven Yuen (Ricky ‘Jupe’ Park)

Running Time: 130 mins

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

OUR NOPE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Nope Review:

It is always a weird feeling as a film journalist when you seem to be out of step with the popular belief. Believe me when it comes to filmmaker Jordan Peele I am well and truly out of step with the belief that the guy is some kind of genius who has completely re-invented the horror genre.

I’ve gone back over his films a few times trying to find something in them that sets them apart from the rest of the field, but alas I still see Get Out as an okay horror that trips itself with poorly-executed political statement and Us is a real mess of a film from start to finish. Even with repeat viewing I don’t see the genre re-invention and I certainly don’t see Peele as the genius many herald him to be.

Now comes Nope, a film which I will admit for the first three-quarters drew me right in and for awhile I started to think that finally Mr Peele had created a film that I was going to thoroughly enjoy but then the last quarter was a total let-down complete with a ‘creature’ that looked like it was made out of the leftover materials from a child’s Art & Craft box. A shame because Nope had the basis to be a creative and interesting supernatural flick.

The film itself centres around the brother and sister duo of OJ (Daniel Kaluuya – Black Panther) and Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer – Hustlers) who are left to run their father’s Hollywood Horse Ranch after his sad demise in a supposed ‘one-off’ tragic event.

The report says that he was killed by items falling from a plane but OJ is not convinced, and while he is in the middle of considering selling the ranch to former child actor and now Western Theme Park owner, Ricky ‘Jupe’ Park (Steven Yuen – The Walking Dead), he is also watching the skies for any other paranormal events.

Soon those other events begin to happen and this time Emerald experiences them as well. Together they realise they can save the ranch if they can just capture the phenomenon on camera and capture what they call an ‘Oprah shot.’ This then brings the UFO-obsessed, tech store worker Angel (Brandon Perea – The OA) who just won’t take no for an answer into the scheme.

The first three quarters of Nope work exceptionally well. For once I found myself drawn into a universe that Peele had created. I cared about the characters at hand and I found myself curious to find out what was behind the events that were plaguing them. In my head I even found myself congratulating Peele for making the wise decision of making Angel an interesting character rather than going for the traditional Hollywood trope of presenting him to the audience as an unrealistic buffoon just there for cheap laughs.

Likewise the secondary storyline of Jupe being a child actor who had survived a wild animal attack on set was creative while hammering home Peele’s subtext that you can’t ever tame a wild beast and a brief look at Hollywood greed.

But while the first three-quarters of the film hold your interest I found that the last quarter seems to completely unravel. I found that Peele’s subtext and secondary storyline just went completely out the window, what should have been a huge action set-piece that cemented this film in my brain forever was kind of lame while the ‘creature’ reveal was probably one of the biggest disappointments that you will experience in cinema this year. When you consider how amazing the first part of this film was it becomes a real shame that the film just seemed to peter out towards the end.

My big saving grace from this film though is the performance of Keke Palmer. Palmer stills the show with her performance and I’ll admit that there were times during the film where the focus was on OJ and I was wishing we were following what Emerald was doing. That is through no fault of Kaluuya because it is easy to see that Peele’s screenplay called for him to play OJ as a deadpan character, he just happens to be playing alongside an actress that puts in an amazing performance and makes the film her own.

I will say that I enjoyed Nope a lot more than I did Get Out and Us. This time there basis was really there for a film that seemed to be a cross between The X-Files and Signs and I really do feel that if the last act had been as good as the rest of the film I would probably be telling you right now that it is one of the films of the year. Instead though what I will say is that Nope is an okay film but don’t expect to reach the great heights that many of you will expect.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Alex First & Peter Krausz’s Nope Review:

Alex’s rating Out Of 5

Peter’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture Nope Reviews:

N/A

Trailer:

Summary:  Yuta Okkotsu, a high schooler who gains control of an extremely powerful Cursed Spirit and gets enrolled in the Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School by Jujutsu Sorcerers to help him control his power and keep an eye on him.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  17th March 2022 (Australia), 23rd June 2022 (Thailand), 18th March 2022 (UK), 18th March 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: Japan

Director: Seong-Hu Park

Screenwriter: Hiroshi Seko

Cast: Chinatsu Akasaki (Kasumi Miwa (voice)), Aya Endo (Shoko Ieiri (voice)), Kana Hanazawa (Rika Orimoto (voice)), Show Hayami (Raru (voice)), Yu Hayashi (Takumo Ino (voice)), Satoshi Hino (Noritoshi Kamo (voice)), Marina Inoue (Mai Zen’in (voice)), Shizuka Ito (Manami Suda (voice)), Mitsuo Iwata (Kiyotaka Ijichi (voice)), Subaru Kimura (Aoi Todo (voice)), Mikako Komatsu (Maki Zen’in (voice)), Rie Kugimiya (Momo Nishimiya (voice)), Takaya Kuroda (Masamichi Yaga (voice)), Risae Matsuda (Mimiko Hasaba (voice)), Satsumi Matsuda (Nanjako Hasaba (voice)), Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Ultimate Mechamura (voice)), Shin’ichiro Miki (Atsuya Kusakabe (voice)), Kotono Mitsuishi (Mei Mei (voice)), Yuichi Nakaura (Satoru Gojo (voice)), Megumi Ogata (Yuta Okkotsu (voice)), Takahiro Sakurai (Suguru Goto (voice)), TomokazuSeki (Panda (voice)), Sora Tokui (Akari Nitta (voice)), Kenjiro Tsuda (Kento Nanami (voice)), Koko Uchiyama (Toge Inumaki (voice)), Koichi Yamadera (Miguel (voice))

Running Time: 112 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), G (Thailand), 15 (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR JUJUTSU KAISEN O: THE MOVIE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Jujutsu Kaisen O: The Movie Review:

Okay so my love for manga and anime is fairly fanatical so if you are reading this and it feels like I am speaking an entirely different language, I apologise. I also apologise if this turns into something as long as War & Peace, I will try to curb my thoughts to a readable length, but I will be honest I have been like a kid counting down to Christmas ever since I heard that the Jujutsu Kaisen O was being released on the screen.

I thought I was a lucky puppy when it was first announced that this legendary manga series was becoming an anime serious but back then I could only dream that one day these characters that I love would make it to a big cinema screen. Of course with that much excitement building inside me there was also a pretty good chance that I was going to be disappointed at the result… luckily I wasn’t.

For those that are unaware of Jujutsu Kaisen it is a super-natural series that centres around a world where every living being has an energy called Cursed Energy. It is sent out into the world whenever somebody has negative emotions and this fuels Curses – supernatural beings that are determined to bring pain, misery and death to others. To combat Curses you have people known as Jujutsu Sorcerers that have their own special abilities to defeat them.

In Jujutsu Kaisen O your main Jujutsu Sorcerers are the angry young Maki Zenin (voiced by Marina Inoue Attack On Titan), Toge Inumaki (Koki Uchiyama – Tower Of God) who can only converse using food names and an actual reanimated Panda named Panda (Tomokazu Seki Angelic Layer).

They are training under the watchful eye of their enigmatic sensei Satoru Gojo (Yuichi Nakamura – My Hero Academia) at a special school for Jujutsu Sorcerers. Their tight friendship group is challenged though when Gojo brings a new student to the school – a loner student named Yuta Okkotsu (Megumi Ogata – Neon Genesis Evangelion) who was responsible for the death of the kids that bullied him at his last school.

Gojo brings Yuta to the school to not only train him but to get to the bottom of the curse, Rika (Kana Hanazawa – Tokyo Ghoul) that has attached itself to him.

Now you are probably thinking that there is no way that you could go and understand this film if you haven’t read the manga or seen the anime series. But don’t fear, see I did a little experiment and took along a friend who didn’t even know what Jujutsu Kaisen was and he loved the film.

I found the reason why Jujustu Kaisen 0 is so accessible to new fans is because it is prequel to the orginal series. Director Seong-Hu Park (The God Of High School) and first-time feature film screenwriter Gege Akutami make sure that this film is told through the eyes of Yuta. He is new to this world and because of that the explanations given to him of what is going in is also a great introduction for any muggles in the audience. Likewise the fact that they give us an insight with Yuta’s inner thoughts sometimes spoken allowed often mirrors what the audience are thinking as well… especially when it comes to the erratic behaviour of Gojo.

Having said that though I do need to stress that if you are a fan of the series or the books you will get a lot of ‘special’ moments out of the film. Characters turn up at times that will certainly having you gasping or oohhhing in your seat and I found that there are just enough new characters and old favourites to keep everybody happy.

Plot-wise this film is sensational, it captures the magic of the manga and the series remarkably well and you can’t help but find yourself becoming emotionally attached to the characters on the screen despite the fact they are animated. This is a story that will take you through an emotional-wringer though, you will feel the sadness of the characters at times and then sometimes you will find yourself laughing especially at Panda’s lines when he realises that perhaps a romance maybe developing between two characters.

The super-natural element is also shown well on screen and I have to credit the team for being able to juggle a major battle that is having in three different locations without ever losing their audience… sometimes even Marvel struggles with that.

The power of this film though is the characterisation. I’m sure everyone will sympathize with Yutan and some of the characters here are so well created that you can’t help but find yourself feeling for them even if they are doing the wrong thing at the time.

Jujutsi Kaisen 0 is one the best action driven animes that we have seen on the big screen for quite awhile. With strong visuals and a deeply emotional and moving screenplay this ticks all the boxes for both long-time fans of the series and those exploring it for the first time. And if you are still not sure if this is something you will like or not I will close with this – if you love Harry Potter and X-Men then you NEED to go and see this!

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture Jujutsu Kaisen O: The Movie Reviews:

Nil

Trailer:

Crunchyroll has today announced it will release Dragon Ball Super: SUPER HERO in cinemas globally, including Australia, starting August 2022.

This is the first truly global theatrical release for Crunchyroll and will be released in Japanese with subtitles and dubbed. Dragon Ball Super: SUPER HERO is the second film in the Dragon Ball Super franchise, after Dragon Ball Super: Broly, which grossed over $120 million at the box office globally and is the 5th highest grossing anime at the box office in the U.S.

Summary:  When the manic Dr Robotnik returns to Earth with a new ally, Knuckles the Echidna, Sonic and his new friend Tails is all that stands in their way.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  31st March 2022 (Australia),7th April 2022 (Thailand), 1st April 2022 (UK), 8th April 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: N/A

Country: USA, Japan

Director: Jeff Fowler

Screenwriter: Pat Casey, Josh Miller, John Whittington

Cast: Jim Carrey (Dr. Ivo Robotnik), Antwan Eilish (Nick), Idris Elba (Knuckles (voice)), Lee Majdoub (Agent Stone), James Marsden (Tom), Shemar Moore (Randall), Colleen O’Shaunussey (Tails (voice)), Adam Pally (Wade), Natasha Rothwell (Rachel), Ben Schwartz (Sonic (voice)), Tika Sumpter (Maddie)

Running Time: 122 mins

Classification: PG (Australia), TBC (Thailand), PG (UK), PG (USA)

OUR SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Sonic The Hegehog 2 Review:

The original Sonic movie was a rarity. A movie based on a video game that was both entertaining and kept the gamers happy. For once it seemed that the filmmakers behind a film actually had a vast knowledge of the game they were bringing to life and had incorporated as much from ‘game play’ as they could.

Of course that didn’t mean that some people who grew up with the game were not nervous going into Sonic The Hedgehog 2, after all sequels often don’t live up to the expectations of a first film… especially when everything went so right the first time around. But everybody can take a sigh of relief because once again we have a Sonic film that incorporates the ‘game play’ while being a film that the entire family will enjoy.

This time around we find Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz – Parks & Recreation) trying to find his independence. While he still lives with happy couple Tom (James Marsden – X-Men) and Maddie (Tika Sumpter – Ride Along) he sneaks off each night to the City where he is trying to become a superhero… except his errors make him a pretty poor hero.

When he is chastised by Tom for the damage that he has caused Sonic declares “You are supposed to be my friend, not my Dad!” Desperate to try and give the young Sonic some freedom the couple decide to leave him at home while they travel to a wedding in Hawaii. But Sonic’s plans to lounge around an relax is brought to a screaming halt when Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey The Mask) returns with a powerful friend, named Knuckles (Idris Elba – Pacific Rim). Their aim is to take down Sonic and claim an all-powerful gem as their own.

However Sonic also soon finds himself with an unlikely companion as well – a super intelligent Fox named Tails (Colleen O’Shanussy – Danny Phantom) who has a bag full of gadgets.

Director Jeff Fowler (who directed the first Sonic film) and his team of screenwriters once again deliver the goods with this film. Fowler’s experience on the first film really shows here as there is no inconsistency with the characters and it almost feels like this film picks up immediately after the events of the first.

Once again what we find from this franchise is a film that fans of all ages can enjoy. Little kids will the love the fast paced action and furry critters (even if they have never played a Sonic games) while adults will embrace a film that treats a character from their childhood with a good level of respect. And of course the film is well written enough to provide a few laughs along the way and is pure entertainment from start to finish.

Story wise the screenplay packs a lot in. From characters trying to out ‘ski’ avalanches through to an epic robot battle there is a little bit of everything here for the action junkies. But then there is a softer side to the film as well. The friendship that develops between Sonic and Tails is a good lesson for all the younger audience members while there is also a very strong moral delivered exceptionally well at the end of the film… I just can’t say what because of spoilers.

The inclusion of Tail and Knuckles adds another element to the films for the gamers out there and also help move the film franchise along as well. Knuckles provides a welcome relief so this isn’t just another Sonic vs Robotnik story while Tails also allows the audience to see Sonic breakaway from the depressing mood he is in at the start of this film. Kudos to the filmmakers for bringing in characters from the game and not just creating their own out of thin air.

While the human characters of the film are often on the bleachers in the film’s big scenes Jim Carrey does get more than once chance to steal the show… something that he does remarkably well. Even Carrey’s haters will have to admit after watching this film that his portrayal of Robotnik ranges from the comic to the intense as he relishes playing a character that is insanely evil.

If you loved the first Sonic movie then there is a good chance that you will enjoy the second as well. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 provides something for audience members of all ages and at the end of the day is just good old-fashioned wholesome fun.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Reviews:

Nil

Trailer:

Summary:  When a cult of terrorists ruins a city by releasing a toxin that causes people’s abilities to spiral out of control, Japan’s greatest heroes spread around the world in an attempt to track down the mastermind and put him to justice.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  28th October 2021 (Australia), 29th October 2021 (UK), 29th October 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: Japan

Director: Kenji Nagasaki

Screenwriter: Yosuke Kuroda

Cast: Junya Enoki (Serperters (voice)), Kiyotaka Furushima (Hanta Sero (voice)), Tasuku Hatanaka (Denki Kaminari (voice)), Yuuki Hayashi (Rogone (voice)), Megumi Hayashibara (Pino (voice)), Ryo Hirohashi (Minoru Mineta (voice)), Yoko Honna (Clair Voyance (voice)), Yoshimasa Hosoya (Fumikage Tokoyami (voice)), Tetsu Inada (Endeavor (voice)), Marina Inoue (Momo Yaoyorozu (voice)), Mariya Ise (Belos (voice)), Yuki Kaji (Shoto Todoroki (voice)), Misato Kawauchi (Burnin (voice)), Masamichi Kitado (Kamui Woods (voice)), Toshiki Masuda (Eijiro Kirishima (voice)), Shuhe Matsuda (Gang Orca (voice)), Kenta Miyake (All Might (voice)), Takumu Miyazono (Salaam (voice)), Kazuya Nakai (Flect Turn (voice)), Yuchi Nakamura (Hawks (voice)), Hina Natsume (Lala Soul (voice)), Karoi Nazuka (Yu Takeyama (voice)), Masakazu Nishida (Mezo Shoji (voice)), Hirofumi Nojima (Alan Kay (voice)), Naomi Ohora (Roro Soul (voice)), Nobuhiko Okamoto (Katsuki Bakugo (voice)), Koji Okino (Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu (voice)), Kazuyuki Okitsu (Fat Gum (voice)), Kenta Okuma (Cementoss (voice)), Shogo Sakata (Leviathan (voice)), Ayane Sakura (Ochako Uraraka (voice)), Arisa Sekine (Rody Soul (Child) (voice)), Kei Shindo (Koka Jiro (voice)), Toshitsugu Takashina (Eddie Soul (voice)), Yuichiro Umehara (Sidero (voice)), Yuto Uemura (Tamaki Amajiki (voice)), Kaori Yagi (Ryukyu (voice)), Daiki Yamashita (Izuku Midoriya (voice)), Kiyono Yasuno (Nejire Hado (voice)), Hiroyuki Yoshino (Present Mic (voice)), Ryo Yoshizawa (Rody Soul (voice)), Aoi Yuki (Tsuyu Asui/Setsuna Tokage)

Running Time: 104 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR MY HERO ACADEMIA: WORLD HEROES’ MISSION REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission Review:

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture My Hero Academia: World Hereo’s Mission Reviews:

Nil.

Trailer:

Summary: 
Buster Moon and his friends must persuade reclusive rock star Clay Calloway to join them for the opening of a new show.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  26th December 2021 (Australia), 13th January 2022 (Thailand), 28th December 2021 (UK), 22nd December 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA, France, Japan

Director: Garth Jennings

Screenwriter: Garth Jennings

Cast: Eric Andre (Darius (voice)), Bono (Clay Calloway (voice)), Adam Buxton (Klaus Kickenklober (voice)), Bobby Cannavale (Mr. Crystal (voice)), Julia Davis (Linda Le Bon (voice)), Taron Egerton (Johnny (voice)), Halsey (Porsha Crystal (voice)), Garth Jennings (Miss Crawly (voice)), Scarlett Johansson (Ash (voice)), Tori Kelly (Meena (voice)), Nick Kroll (Gunter (voice)), Matthew McConaughey (Buster Moon (voice)), Nick Offerman (Norman (voice)), Chelsea Peretti (Suki (voice)), Jennifer Saunders (Nana (voice)), Peter Serafinowicz (Big Daddy (voice)), Pharrell Williams (Alfonso (voice)), Reese Witherspoon (Rosita (voice)), Letitia Wright (Nooshy (voice))

Running Time: 110 mins

Classification: PG (Australia), U (UK), PG (USA)

OUR SING 2 REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Sing 2 Review:

One of the most charming kids’ films to have surfaced over the past few years was Sing. With so much mindless family entertainment around these days it was nice to find a film that not only entertained but also taught valuable lessons and had a story that even adults could become engrossed in. Then of course there was the film’s originality and a soundtrack so great that even until this day kids at schools right across Australia ask for it to be played for them.

Of course he danger of the first film being so good was the fact that perhaps that the sequel couldn’t live up to expectations, but cast any worries about that aside because Sing 2 is equal to its predecessor in every single way.

This time around we find Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughy – Dallas Buyers Club) happy that his theatre is running successful shows that are gaining critical praise while showing off the talents of his cast and pleasing audiences. However, Buster soon realises that he wants more after a talent scout Suki (Chelsea Peretti – Parks & Recreation) tells him that his show and cast are not talented enough to take the next step and perform in the big city.

Soon Buster sneaks his crew into an audition for world famous producer Jimmy Crystal (Bobby Cannavale – Ant-Man) who at first is not impressed by the audition but changes his mind when  Gunter (Nick Kroll – Sausage Party) pitches the idea of a sci-fi spectacular which would feature reclusive star Clay Calloway (U2’s Bono). Crystal jumps at the idea but tells Buster he needs the show up and running in three weeks or he is going to throw him off the roof-top of a high rise.

Buster jumps straight into putting the show together but soon comes across issues. Johnny (Taron Egerton – The Kingsman) can’t dance, Rosita (Reese Witherspoon – Cruel Intentions) has a fear of heights, Meena (Tori Kelly – Sing) has no chemistry with her on-stage romantic leading man, Porsha Crystal (Halsey – If I Can’t Have Love I Want Power) joins the cast but can’t act and Ash (Scarlett Johansson – The Avengers) has the hardest job of all – trying to convince Clay to come out of hiding and return to the stage.

There is just so much to love about Sing 2. First of all director/screenwriter Garth Jennings (The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy) makes sure that no character here is left without anything to do. It is almost feels like every character has their own short film that sees them overcoming the obstacle placed in front of them and somehow all of those storylines come together brilliantly to deliver something bigger. Nothing feels left out but also at the same time the film never feels crowded with too many plot-lines.

With Sing 2 Jennings also finds the right mix of genres as well. Like the original film in the franchise there are times when the film is deeply emotional and dramatic and then there are other times when Jennings gets a laugh from a great comedic line or a piece of slapstick. Jennings is a true creative genius as he seems to know when is the right time for each mood throughout the film and he never misses a beat.

Then there are the general ‘life lessons’ held within the film’s plot. Once again this franchise manages to bring a range of different lessons to the forefront without feeling like the film is trying to push an agenda onto its audience. Important lessons about never giving up on your dreams and overcoming your fears are explored in nicely presented ways while the film also features an important lesson about how sometimes those on top of the fame game are not always the nicest people to have to deal with. Once again the fact that all of that comes together in a film that is an entertaining as Sing 2 just goes to show what a talented filmmaker Gareth Jennings really is.

Sing 2 really is a fun ride for the entire family. Kids will be left in awe at the bright colours, action and kid-friendly storyline while adults will warm to the deeper messages that are hidden away under the surface. Then of course there is the amazing soundtrack, featuring new music by U2, which will have the whole family singing along. I don’t know how he does it but once again Gareth Jennings has delivered a well-rounded and entertaining family film that is guaranteed to become a favourite.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture Sing 2 Reviews:

Nil

Trailer: