Missing Link (2019) – Proof Of Happiness

Released: 11th April
Seen: 13th April

Missing Link

Stop Motion animation is probably the most difficult kind of animation there is. Building scale models and animating them in the physical world, moving just a tiny portion of the models for every single frame and slowly creating movement by hand, something where a small accident could ruin days of work. If a model dries up then that could destroy a film. For the longest time the big name in the field of stop motion animation was Aardman Animation, the people who made Chicken Run (which I just found out is getting a sequel, which is awesome), and now the new people claiming the throne of stop motion animation is Laika who has been fairly consistent in releasing great films, and their latest film is no exception.

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Wonder Park (2019) – Wonder Meh

Released: 4th April
Seen: 31st March (Advance Screening)

Wonder Park Info

So, I’m not exactly a theme park enthusiast. I’ve tried to go to them before and never really enjoyed them. Maybe it’s the people, maybe it’s the food, maybe it’s the weight restrictions that basically tether my feet to the ground that I don’t want to walk on for four hours for three rides, I’ve just never been big on them. However, films about theme park rides? I… don’t care for those either, but only because they’ve never actually been good. With the notable exception of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie, a film based on a theme park never seems to work and only seems to irritate the audience that goes to see it. When a film was announced to be about a girl who builds a magical theme park, I was ready to be annoyed and irritated by it. I was prepared for it to be Emoji Movie level trash. I was ready to sit down and write almost 2000 words about why it was an abhorrent piece of cinematic sludge that will poison your children’s minds and render them mute with its awfulness… but that implies that what I saw had something in it that was interesting enough to elicit that reaction from me and the only reaction I really have is “Oh, that exists”.

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Dumbo (2019) – Dumb

Released: 28th March
Seen: 29th March

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In 1941 Disney released its fourth animated theatrical film. Dumbo holds a special place in Disney history. Clocking in at 64 minutes, the film was made to try and cover the losses brought on by Fantasia (Which at the time hadn’t turned a profit because WW2 cut off a large part of the market) and during its production, there was a five-week strike at Disney’s studio. On a budget of under a million dollars with a mandate to keep everything as simple as possible, Disney somehow did the impossible and created one of the most beautiful animated films of all time. The film still works today, with the notable exception of the crow sequence (one of the crows is called Jim… that should probably clue you into the problem), and it’s proof of just what Disney is capable of doing and is so truly beloved that it even earned a spot in the US National Film Registry in the Library of Congress, meaning it will be preserved forever as something culturally significant… and then Tim Burton said “WAIT! I HAVEN’T RUINED ENOUGH CLASSIC MOVIES YET!” and decided to remake it.

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The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) – Everything Is Almost Awesome

Released: 28th February
Seen: 10th March

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In 2014, the movie The Lego Movie came out and shocked everyone. Sure, Lego had released parody movies before straight to DVD and had little joke sketches made but a full-length original feature-length film that was just generally about Lego? That sounded like it was destined for disaster. And yet, stunningly, it wasn’t. The Lego Movie fast became a monster hit, the 5th highest grossing film of 2014, it got an Oscar nomination for the deliriously catchy song “Everything Is Awesome”, a song so catchy that me typing that sentence has forced that song back into the heads of everyone who heard it. It also managed to surprise everyone with an emotional story about someone’s imagination being restrained by the attitude of their distant father. It’s genuinely one of the greatest animated films of the last decade and I will gleefully die upon this hill… so, when they announced that there was a sequel coming out, I was incredibly nervous because there aren’t exactly many sequels to great animated films that are as good as the original. Lucky me then that The Lego Movie series just enjoys surprising me with how good it actually is.

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Flying The Nest (2019) – Free Bird

Released: 28th February
Seen: 7th March

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So this film has gone under many names, for some reason. Originally from Iceland, the film was released under the title “Lói: Þú Flýgur Aldrei Einn“. In several English speaking countries, the film was released under the title “Ploey: You Never Fly Alone“, which is a little bit wordy but it works. In the USA, Spain and Germany it just got the title “Ploey“, which is a perfect single word title… I saw it under the title Flying the Nest which is a horrible title thought up by bad people who don’t understand how you work with words. Even I, noted bad word user, thought that title was a garbage title and was not looking forward to this movie based upon that title. Then I walked into the cinema and out of over 160 seats, I was the only person there. Bad title, no audience, and then the film started and I realised that I had made a terrible mistake by going to see this movie. I will be referring to this movie by the title I saw it under for the remainder of the review because I want you to have that stupid title drilled into your skull.

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A Dog’s Way Home (2019) – Go Home!

Released: 28th February
Seen: 24th February (Advanced Screening)

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I didn’t start reviewing movies until about June of 2017. I was pretty slow for a few months when I first started doing this because I was in the throes of university so, at the end of the year, I decided to do a little game of catch up where I would go to my local library and rent movies I had missed throughout the year to watch them for review. One of those movies was A Dogs Purpose, which was instantly my worst movie of 2017, is still the most awful movie I’ve watched since I started reviewing and the front runner for my most hated movie of all time because I have no time or patience for a movie that tries to use dog death as a substitute for emotional quality storytelling. It’s a loathsome film that made $200milliion worldwide because God hates me. So when I heard that there was going to be a spin off movie I was already starting to whimper in irritation because I knew I’d need to see it, and I did… and congrats movie, you suck less than a movie with five dead dogs, this is the biggest compliment I intend on giving you.

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The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) – All Hail The King

Released: 17th January
Seen: 27th January

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One of the most enduring stories of all time is the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. It’s the kind of story that has been retold more times than I dare to count and in every form you can imagine. It’s a glorious story about a group of men brought together out of loyalty and friendship who fight to defend their country and the iconic imagery from it is a key element of our culture. The adaptations of this story can focus on anyone in it, from Merlin to Arthur or even one of the knights, it’s a great classic tale and we have another adaptation of it and, to the surprise of almost no one, the story still finds a way to resonate with the audience and capture our imagination.

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Storm Boy (2019) – It’s Beak Can Hold More Than It’s Belly Can

Released: 17th Janurary
Seen: 13th January (Advance Screening)

storm boy info

 

In 1964, Colin Thiele wrote the book Storm Boy about the relationship between a boy and his pelican. Storm Boy is something of an Australian classic, getting an adaptation in 1976 that netted several awards and was a fairly big box office hit in Australia. According to my quick research, Colin Thiele’s only requirement was that his book couldn’t be turned into a sex comedy. That might be the greatest bit of information I’ve ever found… and it’s also probably the way they should’ve taken this remake because that might’ve been a little bit more interesting.

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How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2018) – We Had Dragons!

Released: 3rd Janurary
Seen: 8th January

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How to Train Your Dragon is one of the best animated films of the decade. I know, starting on a subtle statement is a great way to open one of these things but it’s accurate. Even with so many years between the original How to Train Your Dragon and the sequel we’ll be talking about today it’s impossible to understate how amazing the original film is. Not only is the original film a visual marvel but it has one of the most touching stories put in a kid’s film, a story about a kid trying to get the respect of his father who believes in killing every dragon while the kid wants to be kind to the creatures. It’s a touching tale even without the part that is just the adventures of a young boy and his dragon (a night fury named Toothless). The film was an instant hit that was absolutely beloved by everyone who saw it, and then the sequel came out and was even better. The story got darker, the animation was some of the most glorious to be put on the screens and it didn’t seem like it was possible to top it. Now, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World has come out and… OK it’s not better than the second movie, but its close.

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Mary Poppins Returns (2019) – Practically Perfect In Almost Every Way

Released: 1st Janurary
Seen: 3rd January

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In 1964, the world was enchanted when a nanny flew in from high upon her cloud to the door of 17 Cherry Tree Lane and graced us all with her charm and wit. Mary Poppins remains one of the few movies that you can justifiably say “Everyone loves this one”. If you meet someone who doesn’t love Mary Poppins, I suggest running as fast as you can away from them because there is no time to be dealing with such nonsense. Mary Poppins is a movie that the main character herself might describe as “Practically perfect in every way”, which would possibly be the most accurate statement ever made… so, naturally, 54 years later is the perfect time to release a sequel to this beloved classic.

Right?

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