Saturday, 31 October 2009

2, The Spiderwick Chronicles

Okay so this isn't a new film, infact its been around a while, but..... it is Halloween and it was the kiddie club flick at the cinema today (£1) so, family in tow, we all headed off.

I think it was a PG, not entirely sure but all in all it was not too bad. For those that don't know the story a mum and her 3 kids head to a spooky house in the middle of nowhere after her marriage breaks down. The house was left to them by a crazy great aunt who now resides in a nut house due to claiming her father was taken away by fairies!!!

BUT, in all good movie plot lines she was of course totally correct and roll on a barrage of goblins, hobgoblins, trolls etc. The special effects were good, with a great little "Dobby" style character who lives in the house and has done for the past 80 years. A secret book "the Field guide" is basically being hunted for by the evil baddie dude who can end the world as we know it if he gets his hands on it.

Normally you would expect Bruce Willis or Arnie to storm through right about now but our hero is none other than one of two twin brothers, who quite quickly identifies the entire history of the "chronicles" and manages to recruit his slightly nerdy twin, older irritating sister and 2 friendly creatures to assist in protecting the book and defeating the bad trolls.

Obviously after recruiting the help of the not so nutty aunt, our heroes end up saving the day and even managing to summon a griffin to rescue the 125 year old original writer of the field guide and reunite him with his daughter (the aunt) who decides to go back with him to the land of the fairies (ahhhh)

It's on Sky Movies so don't buy it. But the Trolls etc look good on the big screen so if its on near you, and is showing for a quid, you could do a lot worse.

See this if..........It's part of Kids Club or you fancy a kiddie friendly up to date "Labyrinth / Willow" style movie without the Celebs.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

1, Fantastic Mr Fox

I know I am starting with a kids film, but it's day one and its the only one I've seen since starting this so here goes....

I never really understood the term "The book is better than the film", infact, I never found any real enjoyment from reading anything except "Look-In" Magazine as a kid and more recently "Official Playstation" but when you have kids of your own and part of the job involves reading to them it all of a sudden becomes a slightly different story!!

I remember this book as a kid. Actually, I remember all the Roald Dahl ones growing up, its all I ever read through choice, that was until I got my first Sega Master System!!

Obviously this story needed padding out to make a movie, the book itself can be done and dusted in about 60 minutes max so it was interesting to see what Wes did with it. The first thing that jumps out is the cast. Clooney, Streep, Gambon, Wilson, Murray to name a few but even I had to IMDB Schwarzman to find out what he had been in (and even then was still not sure!) but him aside the level of "hollywood" names was a definate draw and made up for the animation.

Now I have seen Up!, Think the trailer for Christmas Carol looks awesome, Can't wait for Avatar and even understand the logic behind "9" but I cant work out if the aim of this film was to try something new, take a step backwards in technology or merely the budget ran out due to the cost of the cast!!! Dissapointing is an understatement. Luckily the story sees it though and the "Clooney / Streep" relationship between Mr & Mrs Fox makes any slightly childlike, fun loving husband who is definately glad to be married to a sensible woman / fox take his side throughout the whole film.

The Kids enjoyed it but I could not help but imagine "Tarantino" directed it and tried to think of all the different words he would have used to replace "cuss" which cropped up everytime a character needed to make a point, "What the Cuss was that?", Who the Cuss does he think he is?" and more. Now imagine Tarantino was at the helm, you get my point!!!

The story stayed true to the book except for Kristofferson (Mr Fox's Nephew) and the secondary sub plot of the competition between Mr Fox's Son and the "highly athletic" cousin holds amusement for all of about ten minutes but wears out quicker than the Stig on a rocket.

Overall, enjoyable - Michael Gambon sounded the best, The kids had a good time and to be honest, more people were next door watching "This is It"

See this if............You remember it as a child and the kids make you go!