Unless you’ve been living in the wilderness for your entire life, you’ve probably seen a family road trip movie before. Whether it be Chevy Chase trying to visit Wally World, or Robin Williams tricking his family into going on his business trip, you’d be forgiven for reading a synopsis of Captain Fantastic and deciding that it’s the sort of movie that you’ve already seen. Of course, you’d be completely wrong. For all his quirks, I don’t remember Robin Williams ever celebrating the works of Noam Chomsky with a sing-song, and the children in Vacation were never anywhere near as compelling and unique as the small army of juniors in this movie. This is a strange, highly politicized beast with a lot of heart. And a lot of darkness.
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It’s been an interesting year when it comes to film. For the most part, the movies that have been a success both critically and financially have been few and far between, something that is actually quite uncommon, despite the snide remarks that everyone’s uncle will make about “films these days” at the family picnic. But one genre has escaped unscathed for the most part this year, and that’s horror.
I’m not the world’s biggest horror fan, but I enjoy a well made horror movie, and this year has produced a number of horror films that piqued my interest enough for a cinema trip – with The Witch, The Conjuring 2 and Light’s Out all stand outs. But the best of that crop may have come this week, with the release of the surprise hit (in America), Don’t Breathe.
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Guest reviewer Kieran Meaney brings you his thoughts on the latest animated film from Illumination Studios. Give it a read and stay tuned for my review tomorrow, featuring a spooky horror film. I can’t wait! *hides under blanket* – Adam
Just in case you notice the different handwriting – yes, I’m not your usual beloved reviewer. I am, in fact, yet another bloody critic. Sorry, the usual guy had some other film to see. That’ll probably come along later. For now, let’s follow some random guy off the street’s opinion of the Illumination Studios tried-to-be-a-Pixar-masterpiece The Secret Life of Pets.
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David Brent: Life on the Road is the latest cinematic effort from controversial comedian Ricky Gervais. The controversial comedian, whose brash and unflinching sense of comedy has proven very divisive over the years, originally broke out with the BBC2 sit-com The Office, and has had many more hit TV series over the years, such as sitcoms Extras and Derek, and a whole raft of documentary and conversational shows featuring his friend Karl Pilkington. But he’s always struggled to translate that particular brand across to film, with many of his efforts proving quite middling.
David Brent: Life on the Road changes that trend.
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It’s been a very strong year for animated films. The dynamic duo of Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Studios brought out mega-hits with Zootopia and Finding Dory earlier in the year, and other films like Kung Fu Panda and The Secret Life of Pets (coming soon in Australia) have had huge financial success. Even something like Sausage Party has been a hit in the genre, as… unconventional as it is. Sure, we also got Ice Age 5, but nothing is perfect.
And into this stacked field comes Kubo and the Two Strings, a stop-motion animation film from the mostly unheralded but very accomplished studio Laika. And it’s probably the best of the lot. An absolute delight.
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Welcome back, readers! I’m back reviewing another movie for another week, and this week it is the delightful, cute and cuddly animated film Sausage Party. By delightful I, of course mean dark, cute translates to raunchy and cuddly is code for DEFINITELY NOT FOR KIDS. Just thought I’d get that one out right off the bat. In fact, just to slam that point home, my normally kid-friendly blog will temporarily become an MA15+ affair. Just to drill home the point. Seriously, don’t take your kids to this one, parents.
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This is the definition of an OK movie. That said, I’m going to preface this particular review by saying that, while I like to think of myself as some sort of pop culture renaissance man, able to equally appreciate a Shakespeare play and a Star Wars movie (I said “like to think” because it’s probably not true. Star Wars is pretty awesome), I have never really seen the appeal in the works of Jane Austen. I get that they are a nice little time capsule into the time and place that Austen existed in, but their not interesting enough in a modern context to really work in my mind. I mean, some of them are OK. I actually quite like the 1995 film of Sense and Sensibility, for example. I get entirely bored by Pride and Prejudice, in any of its iterations, however.
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