Tagged: Jason Headley

Summary:  While spending years attempting to return home, marooned Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear encounters an army of ruthless robots commanded by Zurg who are attempting to steal his fuel source.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  16th June 2022 (Australia), 16th June 2022 (Thailand), 17th June 2022 (UK), 17th June 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Angus MacLane

Screenwriter: Jason Headley, Angus MacLane

Cast: Uzo Aduba (Alisha Hawthorne (voice)), James Brolin (Zurg (voice)), Chris Evans (Buzz Lightyear (voice)), Bill Hader (Featheringhamstan (voice)), Keira Hairston (Young Izzy), Angus MacLane (ERIC/DERIC & Zyclops (voice)), Mary McDonald-Lewis (I.V.A.N. (voice)), Keke Palmer (Izzy Hawthorne (voice)), Efren Ramirez (Airman Diaz (voice)), Peter Sohn (SOX (voice)), Dale Soules (Darby Steel (voice)), Taika Waititi (Mo Morrison (voice)), Isiah Whitlock (Commander Burnside (voice))

Running Time: 100 mins

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

OUR LIGHTYEAR REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Lightyear Review:

Lightyear is perhaps the origin story that you never knew you needed. When you consider that the now famous Buzz Lightyear was in fact one of the original toys in the Toy Story you would have to wonder how Disney and Pixar could make an origins story for him. But as the class saying goes where there is a will there is a way and the result has been Lightyear a film that this week we have learnt has become one of the most controversial films of 2022.

Directed and written by Angus MacLane (Finding Dory) Lightyear is supposedly the film that Andy, the main character from Toy Story, had just watched way back in 1995 when he asked his mother to buy the Buzz Lightyear toy for him.

That film’s story finds Buzz (voiced by Chris Evans – The Avengers) proudly working as a Space Ranger alongside his partner Alisha Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba – Mrs. America) as they investigate a recently discovered planet. However, when they find themselves being attacked and then crash-land as they try to escape themselves and their crew find themselves stranded.

In the years that follow Alisha tries to build a civilisation on the planet while Buzz tries to experiment with a number of ways to leave the planet. That eventually leads to him having to lead a rag-tag group of ‘space rangers’, that includes the brave but unsure Izzy Hawthorne (Keke Palmer – Hustlers), the criminally minded Darby Steel (Dale Soules – The Messenger), the nervous and out of his depth Mo Morrison (Taika Waititi – JoJo Rabbit) and a robot cat called SOX (Peter Sohn – Monsters University) in a bid to protect the planet from a ruthless invader named Zurg (James Brolin – Traffic).

Lightyear is kind of a strange film. It seems like it should be a film for children but a lot of the storyline and themes seem like it has taken a leaf out of the Anime playbook and is aimed for an older audience. There is of course the same sex kiss between Alisha and her partner but even that aside the dialogue between the characters seems to be aimed at an older audience while the time travel element of the film will go right over the head of most younger audience members.

In fact to be honest the whole time travel story that pops up three-quarters of the way into the film seems very redundant. First of all it is the simplicity of the first half of the movie that makes it warm to its audience and the time travel twist not only completely ruins that but it falls on its own face and makes no sense when you really think about it. It actually leaves a bit of a sour taste in the mouth of its audience which is a bit of shame because the first half of the film is a sweet delight.

The film actually works better when it is a simple fight for survival by the main characters. Buzz and the team that surrounds him and all likable, okay SOX actually steals the show and is a merchandise dream, and as an audience you not only find yourself rooting for them – you actually do like them. Each character has their own traits that make them feel special and McLane and Jason Headey’s (Onward) screenplay allows for some witty dialogue that provides laughs amongst the action ensuring that the first half of the film is a pleasurable experience.

The film is so intriguing at times that you are willing to overlook that even though the film was supposed to have been made in 1995 its animation looks nothing like the cartoons of the 90s but it is virtually impossible to overlook the poor plot turn as it becomes a time travel movie with a story that makes no sense. The best way to go into this film is to expect a finale that is going to be a bit of a fizzer.

Lightyear is well worth a glance if you a big fan of the Toy Story franchise but you do quickly realise that it could have been a lot better. The fact that the first part of the film is so much fun and action packed makes you wonder why the creative team went in a whole different direction for the later parts. It ends up being an okay film with a really disappointing finale.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Alex First, Jacqui Hammerton and Peter Krausz’s Lightyear Review:

Alex’s rating Out Of 5

Jacqui’s rating Out Of 5

Peter’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture Lightyear Reviews:

You can read our review of Lightyear that appeared in The Phuket News right here – https://www.thephuketnews.com/lightyear-a-real-buzz-for-fans-84606.php

Trailer:

Summary: Set in a suburban fantasy world, two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, go on an journey to discover if there is still a little magic left out there in order to spend one last day with their father, who died when they were too young to remember him.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian Home Entertainment Release Date: 1st May 2020

Country: United States

Director: Dan Scanlon

Screenwriter: Dan Scanlon, Jason Headley, Keith Bunin

Cast: Kyle Bornheimer (Wilden Lightfoot (Dad)(voice)), Grey Griffin (Dewdrop (voice)), Tom Holland (Ian Lightfoot (voice)), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Laurel Lightfoot (voice)), Chris Pratt (Barley Lightfoot (voice)), George Psarras (Officer Avel (voice)), John Ratzenberger (Construction Worker Fenwick (voice)),  Mel Rodriguez (Colt Bronco (voice)), Octavia Spencer (The Manticore (voice)), Tracey Ullman (Grecklin (voice)), Wilmer Valderrama (Gaxton (voice)), Lena Waithe (Officer Spector (voice)), Ali Wong (Officer Gore (voice))

Running Time: 102 mins

Classification: PG (Australia) TBC (Thailand)

 

 

OUR ONWARD REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Onward Review:

Twelve months ago if you asked any film fan if they were excited about any animation films that were set to be released the answer most likely would have been a resounding ‘no.’  Hollywood was getting slammed from pillar to post because it felt that the animated films that it was producing where all mirror images of each other or just another instalment in what were becoming tired franchises.

Even the animation leaders Pixar were not immune from the backlash with many believing that films like Toy Story 4 and The Incredibles 2 were inferior films in what had once been brilliant film universes. The question seemed to be ‘why can’t Hollywood be making animated movies with the creativity being shown by their Asian counterparts?’

Well it seems like the Hollywood filmmakers were listening. Earlier this year we had the surprisingly creative Spies In Disguise starring Will Smith and Tom Holland and now Pixar has just released one of the most intriguing films of the year – the very creative Onward which again stars Tom Holland (Spider-Man: From Far Home) this time alongside his Marvel universe co-star Chris Pratt (Guardians Of The Galaxy).

Together they voice Ian (Holland) and Barley Lightfoot (Pratt). Two teenage elf brothers growing up in a land that resembles The Shire from Lord Of The Rings but also contains all the modern day suburban comforts that you and I are used to in everyday life. It is those modern day comforts that have led to serious issues though for the inhabitants of the land that the Lightfoot’s call home. Technology means that the ancient magic of the wizards of that has been long forgotten, while characters like pixies and fairies have even forgotten what their wings are for.

Some people live in hope though. Barley preciously lives the lives of his ancestors through this dungeon and dragons style role-playing games while at the same time trying to look after Ian and their mother Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus The Seinfeld) who was left a widow after the death of her husband shortly after the birth of Ian.

The two boys have always wondered what their father may have been like but nothing prepares them for what happens on Ian’s sixteenth birthday when Laurel gives them a gift their father had prepared before he passed away. The staff that he leaves them tells them he was in fact a wizard and the spell that goes with it allows them the opportunity to bring their father back for a day. However, when Ian only manages to bring back half of their father (his legs) he is forced to team up with Barley to go on an odyssey that will see them have to revert back to the ways of their ancestors before them.

Onward is like nothing Pixar has ever created before. Director/screenwriter Dan Scanlon (Monsters University) has delved deep into his creative bank to create what could be loosely described as a ‘stoner’ film for families. While the film’s plot does at times feel a little light on you can’t help but fall in love with it as it introduces you to characters and a world that you simply just want to know more about.

While they are elves most audience members will find themselves drawn to Ian and Barley from the very beginning. There is something so natural about Ian – a young boy who feels that part of his identity is missing because he never knew his father and Barley – an almost lost teenager who society frowns up because of the energy that he puts into his faithful van and his path of discovering the lost arts of those that came before him.

As a filmmaker Scanlon doesn’t allow Onward to become a lazy film because of its supernatural elements either. No amount of great visual effects can ever make up for the connection that an audience can get from well-rounded characters. Here that connection is made straight away and throughout the film Scanlon plays on that garnishing suspense from putting the loved characters in peril  while also allowing a more emotionally touching side of the film to shine through as the characters learn some valuable morals revolving around what they are going through as a family. Scanlon also weaves some true comedic moments into the film with some great sequences featuring Ian and Barley’s battle with the biker pixies and their distrust of their mother’s boyfriend Officer Colt Bronco (Mel Rodriguez – Little Miss Sunshine).

Perhaps the biggest weakness of Onward is the fact that Scanlon at times seems to make the brother’s quests just a little too easy to overcome, something that seems to be highlighted even more so due to the fact that the world the boys live in is so interesting that you can’t help but feel you want to see more of it and know more about it.

Still at the end of the day this is the kind of animated film that audiences have been waiting for. To be honest it is kind of unexpected that Pixar would deliver a film that seems to have a Gothic edge while embracing the quirkiness of a film like Planet 51, but they have and it works wonderfully well. Many asked for more creativity when it comes to the kind of animated films that we are singing in cinemas and if a film is like Onward is anything to go back it looks like that request has well and truly be delivered. Onward is the kind of film that can be enjoyed by family members of all ages – so sit back and enjoy a little bit of Pixar magic.

 

 

 

 

Kyle McGrath’s Onward Review

 

 

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:  Onward (2020) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Onward Reviews:

Our Onward review that appeared in ‘The Phuket News’ can be read at this link – https://www.thephuketnews.com/onward-puts-animated-movies-back-on-track-75875.php

Trailer: