Tag Archives: film review

The Croods In 3D

22 Mar

Have you ever watched a film and found yourself totally In captured in the wonderful world of make believe? What about at the age of 30?

This was me as I sat and watched a preview screening of The Croods in 3D at the our local Odeon Cinema. Everything about this film was magical and I think the kids would totally agree with me.

The film, a DreamWorks Animation,
Is one not to be missed! Its both a funny and extremely touching story.

The film follows a prehistoric cave family (The Croods) who together embark on a magical Journey discovering the beauty of world they live in, while learning important lessons about themselves and each other along the way.

The film starts with a fantastic opening scene made all the better with the 3D element. The scene in question takes us on the Croods chase for an egg. This is real fast food that requires much more than a trip to a local drive through. Family members work as a team to grab an egg and get it back to the cave in time for tea. its one big battle to keep the egg from various strange creatures all while keeping it off the ground and free from breakage.

The Croods, however prehistoric they may be, are still very much like your everyday family. The family is made up of Grug (Nicolas Cage) who as both Caveman and father, takes his role to keep his family safe very seriously! Then there’s Ugga (Catherine Keener) Grugs devoted wife, Eep (Emma Stone) the teenage daughter who feels her fathers over protectiveness is holding her family back, Sandy (Randy Thom) who is the youngest Crood and at times acts more like an angry four legged creature then that of a baby, Thunk (Clark Duke) the tubby son and finally Gran (Cloris Leachman) Ugga’s elderly mother and to his utter “Delight” Grugs mother in law.

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Some may call Grug an over protective husband and father, but his way of doing things has lead to the Croods being the only family of its kind still alive. Grug feels its safer to keep his family hidden inside the darkness of their home (the cave) While his teenage daughter Eep is just itching to discover what more life has to offer and therefore feels her father is holding the family back with his over protective ways.

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When the cave is destroyed, due to the result of an earthquake, Grug has no choice but to embark on a family Journey to find a new cave for his family to live in. The only problem is Eep’s discovery & interest in a cave boy (homo sapien) named ‘Guy’ (Ryan Reynolds). Grug feels somewhat threatened and Jealous by guys intelligence. Guy introduces some great ideas and inventions to the Croods such as his discovery of fire and his creation of shoes, that he puts together to help the family cross a rocky pathway. The family want Guy to help them on their Journey while Grug is concerned that the boys ideas will lead them into danger. Yet, as the film progresses, we watch how Grug has a change in heart, soon discovering that by working together, his strength and Guys intelligence can lead them to where they need to be (and a cave isn’t it).

The Croods set travel across a spectacular landscape that is filled with weird but wonderful prehistoric species ranging from flying piraña fish to strange four legged owls. The addition of 3D Technology, makes you feel that your there with them discovering this vibrant and exciting land right there next to them.

The Sun also has a key part to play in this animation! What with Eep’s increasing fascination in the planet and the light it produces and that of Guys intentions to find it and ride it to a beautiful and magical place called tomorrow.

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There are some real spectacular scenes and real funny moments. The relationship between Grug and Gran produces many of these moments as they both engage in some funny banter directed at one another.

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However, if your not laughing, you may find that you’re actually shedding a tear or two. There are a few really touching scenes such as the one that sees both Grug and Guy become stuck in tar. When guy confines to Grug that this was the way his family died, Its at this moment that Grug has a change of heart towards guy and together they discover that by working together as a team they can both escape that same fate and go on to discover the land of “tomorrow”.

Its also the developing relationship amongst Grug and his daughter Eep that provides some great emotional scenes within the film. It does well to show that no matter what, humans will always experience them same emotions whether they are experiencing them today or that thousands of years ago.

I don’t want to say to much, but I will say that the world of tomorrow looks all the more brighter the closer they come to reaching it.

With the films closing scenes being as powerful as the opening scenes I’d advise that you watch the Croods with a packet of tissues close at hand.

The Croods is a magical admiration that will interest families of all ages.

I’d highly recommend watching this in 3D to really experience the film through the eyes of each character. You will truly see the world around them as they see it, so much so you will almost feel yourselves reaching out to touch it.

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Checkout the trailer below… It will have you itching to watch it!

For screenings and film times for your area, please check out the Odeon Website

Disclaimer: We received an invitation to a pre-screening of the Croods by Odeon Cinemas. All words and opinions are honest and that of my own.

The Premiere of Mr Poppers Penguins

27 Jul

A few weeks back I was delighted to receive an invite from ‘Thinkjam’ to attend the premiere of, ‘Mr Poppers Penguins‘ starring funny man ‘Jim Carrey

 The Premiere was screened in London’s Leicester Square at the beautiful Empire on Saturday the 23rd July .

I went along to this early morning screening with my good friend Donna and my daughter who brought along her, (I quote) best friend in the whole wide world! 

 I decided it would be find, and likely best if my daughter had her friend stay over at ours on the Friday night, and both could be heard chatting in an extremely excited manner about the coming events of the following day. I had decided that it would possibly be to too much for Little man to contend with, given his hate of crowds, his dislike towards his little sister (So, not joking) and his reluctance to walk around London (Yes I wanted to hit the shops after the film) I decided It would be best that he remained behind with his Little Bro who both spent the day with their father.

 (However, It’s not all doom and gloom! The ODEON will be screening, ‘Mr Poppers Penguins’ as part of its, ‘ Special autism friendly screenings’ which I will elaborate on a little further on) 

 We arrived a little after nine to a stunningly decorated foyer, filled with many delights  for little excited children. both my daughter and her friend demonstrated their joy by whirling around and giggling excitedly. Face painting, ballooning modelling, and pictures were just some of what was on offer. There was food and drink and a host of Celebes plotting about. I turned around at one point to find that Ophelia Lovibond who plays pippi in the film, was having her picture taken behind me. ” Gosh, Little old me mixing with the stars! Whatever next?” Said with a cheeky smile and a bit of a giggle.

 So… The Film, “Mr Poppers Penguins what’s it’s all about and is it worth a trip to the Cinema during this years summer holiday?

 Title: Mr Poppers penguins

Director: S. Waters 

Release date: 5th August 2011

Genre: Family, Comedy

Rated: PG

Running time: 1 Hr 34 mins

The plot: The life of a businessman, ‘Tom Popper’ (Jim Carrey) is turned upside down when he inherits an unusual gift from his late father, an explorer who had little time for his son when growing up. The unusual gift of six penguins join Tom Popper at his swanky Manhattan apartment, work commitments begin to suffer and his charming and devoted personal assistant, ‘Pippi’ (Ophelia Lovibond) who has a fondness for the letter ‘P’ can be seen desperately trying to keep both Mr Poppers work affairs and penguins in order. 

At first Tom popper frantically tries to get rid of his new flat mates, who he later names, Captain, Stinky, Loudly, Nimrod, Bitey and Lovely. Well, that’s up in-till his son ‘Billy’ (Maxwell Perry Cotton) catches a glimpse of the little cute waddling six, mistaking them as a birthday gift.

 

The Penguins play a vital role in bringing divorced parents Tom and Amanda Popper (Cala Gugino) back together much to the delight of their Children Billy, and that of over hormonal teenage daughter ‘Janie’ (Madeline Carroll) who’s having a boy crisis!

But this isn’t before Mr Poppers has turned his apartment into a snowy ‘Winter Wonderland’ and become a father all over again when six penguins become eight.

All the time his business is going down the pan, what with him failing to close the deal and buy out, ‘Mrs Van Gundy’ (Angela Lansbury, better known in the UK for, ‘Murder she wrote’) an equally tough business woman who shows no signs of selling the restaurant he and his father would visit during his childhood, sees him get fired from his well respected position in his high flying job. 

Like most movies aimed at a young audience, there’s a bad guy. The Zoo director, ‘Nat Jones’ (Clark Gregg) is that guy. He has a sinister plan to get his dirty mitts on the Antarctic penguins by posing as somebody who actually gives a dam about the penguins welfare! There’s a touching scene that sees Tom Popper waiting anxiously for the third egg to hatch, “Penguin number nine” that sadly never gets to see life beyond its shell! With this, Tom hands over the remaining eight penguins and tries to convert himself back into the “workaholic” he once was, much to the disappointment of his ex-wife and two children. 

Releasing his mistake and families unhappiness, the whole Popper family gang, along with personal assistant ‘Pippi’ set out on a rescue mission to reclaim the penguins, which leads to ‘Captain’ (The first of Mr Poppers penguins) flying from the roof of the zoo and into the sun roof of the waiting get away car! (Yes, I know Penguins, they don’t fly! Trust me this one certainly does!) 

With lots of very loud squawking and, umm, Yes… Farting, beside a truck load

 of Penguin poop the film had most the audience holding their sides.

Our Thoughts 

My daughter and her friend are both 8 years of age and sat though the film with no problems except for the trip to the loo that needed to be made only five minutes into the start of the film, (Kids)!

I asked both my daughter and her friend what they thought of the film! Both gave the same answer, “It was sick” Translation from Mum… I think you’ll find that actually means, “It was great, good, wicked, fantastic… take your pick!” Both also stated how they found the penguins both cute but equally funny.

My daughter, ‘Alice Sara’ shared her favourite scenes as being… The flooding bathroom scene that resulted in a floating penguin; the cute choreographed dancing scene, that saw Nimrod fall over, ‘YET AGAIN’ lastly the touching scenes where Tom Popper lies in the snow with the egg.

Her friend was equally impressed with the above (proving why these little girls are best friends) she also throw in the scene where Captain flies from the roof and into the sunroof of the waiting car, during the rescue mission form the Zoo.

My friend who is of course a grown up like me (no sarcasm please) shared her thoughts on the film as being that of enjoyment, yet a little confusion as to some of the points that made up the film. She made an interesting comment, by stating that some parts of the story line tended to become a little overloaded and were not really unneeded, stating that at times there was just a little bit to much going on. Still, like myself she giggled along to the film and at times even demonstrated a laugh out loud moment, as did 99% of the audience. 

I, myself found it a good family film that has enough laughter to hold an audience for the 1 Hr and 34 minutes it was screened. It made a welcome change from your, “Tipcally” cute talking puppy (that I’ve seen my fair share off thanks to that of my daughter)! Jim Carrey was fantastic, though I’ve seen this guy in funnier, ‘Liar, Liar’ being one example! Yet this film showed a somewhat softer side to Mr Funny and I liked that! When I told my daughter that Mr Poppers was in fact the same actor who played, ‘The Grinch’ & the ‘Mask’ she struggled to believe me, (though that could have something to do with him NOT having a green face for this title)! 

Though at times I found the story line to be somewhat predictable, my daughter didn’t and that to me was all that mattered. I must admit, what really made it something for me was that these penguins were the real deal! Yes, these were very cleverly trained penguins with some scenes featuring both the penguins & a combination of clever CGI (computer generated imagery) I think this was done in such a skilful way it was hard to work out which bits were actually CGI and which wasn’t. (Ok, all with the exception of the very loud opened mouth squawking shots!) It was easy to see why all the children in the audience, including that of my daughter and her friend, rolled about in their seats laughing loudly to the pooping and farting scenes… It was funny stuff especially to a couple of eight year old girls who couldn’t get enough of it! 

‘Pippi’ the assistant, played by, ‘Ophelia Lucy Lovibond’ was a pleasure to watch, as  was that of Mrs Van Gundy (Angela Lansbury) both Uk actress. Sadly I didn’t have a clue as to who Carla Gugino (Amanda Poppers) actually was having not seen her in any previous films (I know, This mum don’t get out much)! Jim Carrey, as mentioned wasn’t at his funniest but played a good part all the same

So, If you like Carrey, penguins and lots of penguin poop then this is the film for you! Some very funny scenes and cute penguin moments, you may even shed a tear or two when watching the precious moment between Carrey and the un-hatched penguin egg.

Would I add it to the DVD collection that’s already greatly over following?

Yes, I would!

Mr Poppers Penguins will be realised in Cinemas nation-wide from the

5th August 2011

I will be watching Mr Poppers penguins for the second time with my eldest son, aka Little man who has a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome.

Dimensions and ODEON have come together to bring us  ‘Mr Poppers Penguins autism friendly screening’ which is taking place at a number of ODEON cinemas across the country on Thursday 11th August 2011

There are 30+ cinemas involved in the screening and a full list can be found, ‘HERE’

What makes the screening autism friendly?

The lights will be on low

The volume reduced

You’ll be able to bring your own food and drink

You’ll be able to move around the cinema freely without having to worry about upsetting other public viewers

Tickets go on sale August 2nd and can either be purchased in the usual way form cinemas in your local area or online through the ODEON website “Here”

Support workers and carers go free with a valid CEA card. to find out more or apply click, “HERE”

Depending on the turn out and success within all 30 participating cinemas of the pilot screening of ‘Mr Poppers Penguins’ on the 11th August  will determined whether the green light will be given for other upcoming films in the near further.

We are going to our local ODEON to watch this great film while showing our support for this fantastic & much welcomed idea. Why should children miss out due to autism? If you ask me this is something all cinemas should have been providing for a long time.

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