Category Archives: Adventure

ONWARD (2020): The Things I Liked…

Onward (2019), Disney Pixar
Onward (2019), Disney Pixar

Onward is a movie with a beautiful big brother / little brother relationship at its heart. And this relationship is my favourite thing about the latest Disney Pixar animated adventure starring Chris pratt, Tom Holland, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer.

Set in a suburban fantasy world, two teenage elf brothers set off on a quest to discover if there is still magic out there. A quest that neither could do without the other. 

In terms of how much I enjoyed the story, I think Onward is OK. I wanted to have been more engrossed with it all but there wasn’t enough newness to it, theme wise. There wasn’t necessarily much animated cuteness either butI l doubt I’d have noticed that if I’d loved the way the story played from beginning to end. It’s really the last third of director Dan Scanlon’s film that I enjoyed most. Before then, I was more than a little impatient for the results of the film’s central magic spell to manifest.

Other things I enjoyed about Onward include the fullness of Holland’s character Ian’s blue hair and what Scanlon’s film has to say about belief in general – but especially self belief and confidence.

As far as animated movies about sibling relationships go, particularly the big brother / little brother dynamic, my favourite will probably always be Big Hero 6 (2014).

Watch Onward because it’s not bad and perhaps you’ll find even more to love than I did. 

Happy Film Loving 

G

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG (2020): The Things I Liked…

Sonic The Hedgehog (2019), Paramount Pictures
Sonic The Hedgehog (2019), Paramount Pictures

The fun trailer, ’being a fan of old school Jim Carrey’ and 90s nostalgia are the main reasons I was drawn to Sonic The Hedgehog; a story about a super fast alien hedgehog. One who must avoid government capture, with the help of a small town cop named Tom (James Marsden). 

As director Jeff Fowler’s movie played, I soon realised that there are only really two things that kept me watching and somewhat enthused. The first is  Marsden’s character. I just generally enjoy Marsden’s roles. The second is Adam Pally as Wade. His dialogue reminded me of how much I really enjoyed his work as Dr. Peter Prentice on The Mindy Project.

I’m definitely not saying that any of the other actors were bad. It’s just that I didn’t find most of the story and particularly the dialogue especially inspiring or fresh.

As for Carrey’s role as evil genius Dr. Robitnik, it turns out that seeing Carrey play a character similar to the ones I used to enjoy watching him play back in the 90s felt far too ‘same old, same old,’ rather than exciting and fun. 

I’m sure that fans of the Sonic The Hedgehog games will enjoy this movie that little bit more. Sadly for me, even with some good special effects, star power, and a few useful notes on loneliness and isolation, I didn’t find Sonic The Hedgehog to be as fun as I’d hoped.

Give it a chance if you’re especially curious. 

Happy Film Loving 

G

SOUL (2020): New Trailer Starring Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, John Ratzenberger, Daveed Diggs…

Soul (2020), Disney Pixar
Soul (2020), Disney Pixar

The latest trailer for Disney Pixar’s Soul, just arrived.

Starring Tina Fey, Jamie Foxx, Daveed Diggs and John Ratzenberger, it’s the story of Joe Gardner, a musician who is transported out of his body and must find his way back, with the help of an infant soul.

I’m really looking forward to this one. Looks just about as comforting as one would want it to be. The premise also has me thinking about Netflix’s hit show The Good Place.

Ahmir-Khalib Thompson, and Phylicia Rashad also star.

Soul Release Dates: June 19th, 2020 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

JUNGLE CRUISE (2020): New Trailer Starring Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Jesse Plemons, Edgar Ramírez…

Jungle Cruise (2020), Emily Blunt,Dwayne Johnson, Walt Disney Studios
Jungle Cruise (2020), Emily Blunt,Dwayne Johnson, Walt Disney Studios

A fun new trailer for Disney’s Jungle Cruise just landed.

A fantasy / adventure based on Disneyland’s theme park ride, where a small riverboat takes a group of travellers through a jungle where everything wants to kill you, and there’s a the promise of the supernatural…

Emily Blunt, Dwayne Johnson, Edgar Ramirez and Jesse Plemons star while Jaume Collet-Serra directs.

I like that Jungle Cruise kind of reminds me of Jumanji – and not just because of Johnson and the jungle setting.

The Johnson / Blunt dynamic looks like a lot of fun and I can’t wait to hear more from the villains. For example, who is Ramirez playing because the snake through the face moment in this trailer is quite something.

Veronica Falcón, Andy Nyman, Paul Giamatti, Quim Gutiérrez, Raphael Alejandro and Mark Ashworth also star.

Jungle Cruise Release Dates: July 24th, 2020 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 (2019): The Things I Loved…

The Secret Life Of Pets 2 (2019), Mel (Bobby Moynihan), Chloe (Lake Bell), Buddy (Hannibal Buress), Illumination
The Secret Life Of Pets 2 (2019), Mel (Bobby Moynihan), Chloe (Lake Bell), Buddy (Hannibal Buress), Illumination

An animated comedy about what our pets get up to when their human families are out of the house; I found The Secret Life Of Pets 2, the sequel to 2016’s animated hit The Secret Life Of Pets to be a much better film than I expected. 

I really enjoyed the fun adventures of Chloe, Max, Snowball, Gidget and friends; particularly the way all the separate stories were written to work well together. There’s also a good number of fun and memorable scenes, moments and new characters to take in.

One of my favourite scenes happens at the veterinary office waiting room, especially the moment when ‘starting fires’ is mentioned. Character-wise, Rooster who’s brilliantly voiced by Harrison Ford is an unforgettable new character.

Overall, there’s really zero doubt in my mind that if you had a good time with The Secret Life Of Pets, this sequel too will be fun. I only advise that you remember to leave your ideas of ‘what would really happen in real life’ at the door. This is especially important in reference to the ‘silent new character’. 

Watch it because it’s fun, good and features great voice work by the likes of Kevin Hart, Nick Kroll, Tiffany Haddish, Patton Oswalt, Jenny Slate, Eric Stonestreet and more. 

Happy Film Loving 

CONNECTED (2020): New Trailer Starring Olivia Colman, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Eric André…

Connected (2019), Sony Pictures Entertainment
Connected (2019), Sony Pictures Entertainment

Directed by  Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe, a tech uprising is what’s happening in Olivia Colman, Eric André, Maya Rudolph and Danny McBride latest animated comedy, Connected.

Centred around soon to be college student Katie Mitchell, Katie’s family decides to make a road trip out of driving her to university. Only those plans get interrupted by the aforementioned tech uprising, and soon it’s up to the Mitchells to save the world.

There seems to be a lot going on in this trailer but I do like the animation style which reminds me of some story book illustrations young me used to enjoy.

I’m also interested in seeing how Katie’s father’s struggle dealing with his daughter no longer needing him as much as she used to is dealt with in this story. Fingers crossed the end result will be a very pleasant surprise.

Michael Rianda and Abbie Jackson also star.

Connected Release Dates: September 18th, 2020 (US); October 9th, 2020 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

JUMANJI – THE NEXT LEVEL (2019): The Things I Liked…

 Jumanji - The Next Level (2019), Dwayne Johnson, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Jumanji – The Next Level (2019), Dwayne Johnson, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Jumanji – The Next Level, a comedy / adventure where four teenagers are sucked into Jumanji‘s world, the very place where they have to escape an endless variety of jungle traps and survive, is a movie almost as good as Jumanji – Welcome To The Jungle (2017)

There is a fair amount of newness in this second instalment to keep things interesting. Firstly, the characters are on a completely new level with new dangers, traps and puzzles. Then there’s the addition of Danny DeVito and Danny Glover’s characters. Yet, even with all this newness and more, the main reason director Jake Kasdan’s latest didn’t come out in front for me is in large part because sequels just can’t be as ‘fresh and new’ as their predecessors.

I did also find the ending of the first movie / solving of the final puzzle that little bit more satisfying and action packed. That’s not to say that Kasdan’s film doesn’t feature some very well choreographed action sequences of its own – because the scene with the mandrills and bridges is quite impressive.

In terms of the characters, DeVito as grandpa is the main highlight for me. Followed by the parts played by Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson – unsurprisingly. I just really love their great chemistry, comic timing and fun dialogue. I also remember particularly appreciating Hart’s delivery of the below line, in Glover’s speaking voice and cadence. 

Did I die – and turn into some kind of muscular Boy Scout?’

One more highlight is of course, the ‘special skill’ of the beautiful black horse.

Watch Jumanji – The Next Level because you’re curious and it’s good. Also, especially if you had fun watching 2017’s Jumanji movie.

Happy Film Loving 

G

ARTEMIS FOWL (2020): New Trailer From Colin Farrell, Josh gad, Judi Dench, Ferdia Shaw…

Artemis Fowl (2020), Colin Farrell, Ferdia Shaw, Walt Disney Studios
Artemis Fowl (2020), Colin Farrell, Ferdia Shaw, Walt Disney Studios

The latest trailer for Artemis Fowl, a fantasy / adventure about a young criminal mastermind is here.

Directed by Kenneth Brannagh; key cast includes Colin Farrell, Judi Dench Josh Gad, Ferdia Shaw…

With this one, rather than the story, I find myself more interested in the special effects, especially where the villains / monsters are concerned.

Fantasy is generally not my go to genre. However I do like Farrell, and I’m sure I’d eventually forget about how little Shaw seems to resemble Farrell once the movie gets started.

Nikesh Patel, Hong Chau, Nonso Anozie, Miranda Raison, Adrian Scarborough, Taylor James, Lara McDonnell, Joshua McGuire, and Ferdia Shaw also star.

Artemis Fowl Release Dates: May 29th, 2020 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G