Christopher Robin (2018)

Disney has recreated the famous Winnie the Pooh, a story which I hope would never end and will be remembered. Some may recognise that there has just been a Winnie the Pooh film, ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ however they are not connected and instead tell rather a different story. This ‘Christopher Robin’ embeds our beautiful Hundred Acre Wood characters in a story of adventure and takes us on a journey of growing up and remembering to smile and enjoy life along the way. Of course with Winnie the Pooh at the forefront and a grown-up Christopher Robin believing Pooh to be something of his past.

Christopher Robin 1

Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) is all grown-up, with a wife, Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and a daughter, Madeline (Bronte Carmichael). And with an all-very serious job, with his important papers and missing time away from his family to dedicate everything to his work. But who else to appear than a “silly old bear” to help Christopher Robin find his way to the important things in life. With a fascination in a red balloon and the need to be polite to everyone, Winnie the Pooh crawls his way through the tree door Christopher Robin used to appear from. And into his old best friend’s life he crashes after decades. And this is where our beautiful little adventurous journey begins. Winnie the Pooh is in London, not in Hundred Acre Wood, and he is smiley and saying ‘hello’ to everyone that passes to their astonishment of a talking bear in a little red top.

Christopher Robin 3

I truly loved this film, it was beautiful, emotional and full of nostalgia. It was funny and played on the heart strings at the same time. All very clever in a simple plot (it didn’t need to be anything complicated), something for the whole family to enjoy. The voice of Winnie the Pooh is so perfect, the reminiscing of the Pooh we remember in childhood as Jim Cummings once again voices this excellent bear.

Pooh is actually an extremely comical character, he got me laughing a few times with his whispered games or his confusion to people’s reaction to him. Eeyore is also an hilarious character, a character riddled with sadness but comical in the way he becomes to dull and gloom about every little thing, for example as he sadly says goodbye to the bucket he landed in head first. We go on an adventure of Christopher Robin learning what it’s like to be young again, to not be so serious about every little thing, the importance of smiling and laughing, of imagination and playing. So just alike to this stunning moral, you don’t have to be a child to watch this film, actually most in the cinema with me were adults. It also goes without saying that the animation was phenomenal. I would recommend this film if you believe it would be one you would enjoy, it certainly wasn’t a let-down! 

Christopher Robin 2

Christopher Robin: “Doing nothing often leads to the very best of something”.

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How To Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

Almost five years on, another tale of Hiccup and Toothless has risen. Dragons have moved in on the Viking village as they live in peace – human and dragons. Everything Hiccup ever wanted. I must admit this progression of time is shown excellently, truly well, even if it’s only an animation. The characters are all grown up, from teens to young adults. Realistic in its false reality.

Now if you haven’t seen the first ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ I would recommend that to begin with: you can find my review on it here. They do not lead on from each other, as there is the four-year gap, however it would help for character recognition, especially with Hiccup and Toothless and their special bond. I think you’ll find this film much more satisfying if you did watch the beginning first.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 - Hiccup and Toothless

Everyone is back! Dean DeBlois as the original director, which I believe is always to be critical in a sequel. A change in director can ruin a sequel, it is extremely difficult to keep all the same great essences of the original film in a different director. So, I am happy to announce ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ does have all the greatness the first one does. It is definitely up to standard of the first. It’s back with the same voices and the familiarity of our great characters. This film extends the development of so many characters, it is great to see, especially of Stoick (Gerard Butler) who you see in a completely different light.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 - Hiccup and Astrid

Our magnificent Night Fury is back, playful as a puppy and protective as a dog. Toothless’ hilarious attitude is back in familiarity as he becomes even more sassy and deadly serious when needed. He once again becomes so easy to read as a silent animal. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is as stubborn and adventurous as always. Gobber (Craig Ferguson), hilarious, always a character of comedy but loyal and trustworthy as well, his new dragon is brilliant as it reflects a similar personality. Additionally, Astrid (America Ferrera) and her bond with her dragon is hilariously great as they constantly play drop and fetch, even if with baddies.

A new problem has risen. And it is one full of action and adventure. One of complexities and different new characters. Hiccup is set in his stubborn ways of exploring the world on the back of Toothless, and on this adventure he crashes into two different types of people: the Dragon Trappers and the Dragon Riders. Hiccup is soon to befriend the Dragon Riders, as he discovers the leader is his mother (Cate Blanchett) who he was told died, this is where we see a completely loving side of Stoick, it really is magnificent. Then there’s the Dragon Trappers; a mysterious Drago Bloodfist (Djimon Hounsou) is creating a dragon army, determined to take all dragons, especially one particular Night Fury and his right-hand man Eret (voiced by ‘Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington) has been commanded to collect him.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 - Valka

As I said, this is a great second movie. Developing the characters and the bonds with dragons and humans even more. The film has great action and shocking tales as the adventure grows throughout the film. Dragons are under threat and our favourite dragon and human-friend are returning to try and save the day. Oh and you have to notice Hiccup’s plait, it does make me giggle.

Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation (2018)

Ahh what happened???

I really quite enjoyed the first ‘Hotel Transylvania’ and the second too. But what happened when it’s come to the third? It’s the same director, so I thought it would have the same essence as the first two. All the original monsters are back, and the same voices, the great voices, Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James and David Spade. This one even brings in the voices of Kathryn Hahn and Joe Jonas. So what went wrong?

THE STAR

Quick plot: Everyone is in love, happily married, and it’s getting to Dracula (Adam Sandler) that he doesn’t have his one true “zing” (love) with him anymore. In a desperate act to get her father away from work, daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez) plans a holiday, a cruise for all the monsters. Although, unknown to her and everyone else, the captain of this cruise happens to be in the family of the monster-haters, and it’s her and her great great (I don’t know how many greats – it’s silly) grandfather’s plan to kill all of them. With a mass of dancing and singing, the monsters go on a cruise to visit places they’ve never seen before, a kid’s play area for the mass of babies, a singing Joe Jonas Kraken and a massive glow-in-the dark party. Oh and what else? Dracula happens to “zing” again, something he thought would never happen… to the one and only Captain Ericka (Kathryn Hahn), the one who wants to kill him. Obviously. Bit predictable, but it is a kid’s movie.

Hotel Translyvania 3 - Captain

‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ was to say the least, a bit OTT, a bit over the top. Wayyyy over the top. It felt very wound up from the beginning, and it didn’t seem to settle down at all, one thing on top of the other where it just got stranger and crazier. The whole film was just trying too hard to be modern and relatable but it missed, it didn’t quite work. The whole connection to everyday life really did flop in this film, didn’t work the way it could have, it seemed too forced. It seemed as this film was a bit too been there done that.

Heavily built on music, it again got OTT with the music. With the modern edge again, it was trying to connect to clubby dance music that seems to echo all the charts at the minute. But it was unnecessary. Nothing seemed to make sense of when this music would occur, it could have done better with some tunes that embedded into the narrative. Oh and the random evil dance off was just odd, although I do have to admit the randomness of it did make me giggle.

Hotel Translyvania 3 - Kraken

Ok ok, it wasn’t dreadful! It really wasn’t. But sadly, it just wasn’t close to the standards of the first two films. I think ‘Hotel Transylvania’ may have run its course. I feel like ideas on kid animation Dracula and family may not have many ideas left. It’s all a bit done now. Also, Andy Samberg playing Mavis’ husband Johnny, was a bit alien in this film too, I wanted him to be in it so much more like the other films! Of course, there were still parts I did have a giggle at, random as they were, I did think some parts were funny. I wasn’t a horrendous film, but I can’t say it’s one to remember.

The Blacklist (2013 -)

So I needed a new show, and this one ticked a few boxes. Recommended by my dad, I’ve never heard of it before, I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen any advertising or heard of anyone else that’s watching this. But I gave it a shot anyway, and I’m glad I did. I was hooked from the very beginning, obsessed with my new show, those that know me know I get into TV shows and watch them non-stop. So let the binge-watch begin, this one’s a good’un.

Ok, first off: this is a programme for older ages. There are gory scenes, thrilling ones and crime mysteries. Also, there could be considered some scarier scenes, especially for younger ages. You do need to pay attention, all things mentioned add to the mystery. It’s not the easiest watch ever.

The Blacklist - Season 1

‘The Blacklist’ is another FBI show, but don’t be so quick to presume it’s like the others. Because this one has a major difference. The first ten minutes of the first episode: one of the most wanted fugitives hand himself in to the FBI. Introducing Raymond Reddington (James Spader), a criminal who has managed to escape FBI custody for twenty years, but suddenly he hands himself in, and he’s got demands. Reddington has a blacklist, as he calls it, a list of criminals who he claims aren’t even on FBI radar, and he is willing to hand them over. But there’s one clause, he only will speak to one Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), an agent new on the job. Although, no one knows why she was chosen, neither does she. Agent Keen is brought in, and this is when her life changes. A new task force is created, one where Reddington hands over the criminals to the FBI in complete secrecy. This is where solving crime mysteries become exciting in thrilling action.

The Blacklist - Red and Keen

Reddington is a great character. He brings in unreliability and unpredictability into the show. As he says he will never tell the full truth, and you spend the episodes never knowing why he handed himself in. He constantly holds the shock-factor as you never know what he’s thinking or what he’s going to do next. Elizabeth Keen is another great character, as she’s confused by this fugitive’s connection to her, but also lost in her own unknown past which he knows something about. She becomes more and more drawn in, but with constant hatred of his criminal ways. Then there’s the trusting leader of the task force, Harold Cooper (Harry Lennix) and Keen’s new partner, Agent Donald Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) who’s a stickler for the rules down to a T. Finally, we cannot forget a great tech guy, Aram (Amir Arison). Of course there are other characters, and they are all fantastic, all add something to the programme.

The Blacklist- Season 1

‘The Blacklist’ is a very addictive show. There are minor and major story arcs throughout the series; each new episode brings in a new criminal to hunt and a new mystery to solve (not always solve). If you’re a fan of these shows, I would definitely recommend this one, it’s got all the FBI qualities with a criminal mastermind at the centre.

The Good Dinosaur (2015)

Imagine if: 65 million years ago, dinosaurs weren’t destroyed by an asteroid, it missed and millions of years later they’re still on earth. Well this is what this Disney Pixar animation movie is based off. A family of dinosaurs have their own farm, they must farm to survive in winter. Poppa and Momma have three baby eggs, out crack Libby, Buck and Arlo. Arlo, the focus of our beautiful story, is frightened the minute he’s born, everything scares him and his clumsy persona ruins all chores as he grows up. As he’s told he’s a coward, he struggles to fit in with his family as Libby and Buck manage to create their mark in the farm. Arlo, however, is suddenly forced on an adventure when bad luck hits over and over again, lost away from his farm, all Arlo wants to do is make it back to his family. Although, a small human dog-like boy follows him everywhere to Arlo’s distaste. Arlo’s opinion of his “critter” adjusts as they discover they are both lost from family. On an adventure, they embark a mass of other dinosaurs, scary and hilarious.

The Good Dinosaur 2

When this came out, I remember seeing the adverts and thinking it was going to be another great kid’s animation movie, and I was not let-down. It was. However, this is one definitely not like others I’ve seen before, not filled with the comedy and hilarity, but rather more moralistic and drama-like. Although, this was definitely not a bad thing, the mixture was refreshing as it still remained some comedy too.

The Good Dinosaur 3

I must admit this film was so emotional, much more emotional than I thought it was going to be! Not going to lie, I did ball my eyes out… Arlo, the cutest dinosaur I’ve ever seen on animation, has the worst luck ever! It’s one thing after another, an emotional rollercoaster. One minute you’re having a giggle at some funny part, next, your shocked or horrified by the change of pace. There are some magical, beautiful scenes, and then there are some sad, silent but so meaningful scenes. A lot more meaningful and emotional than I thought it was going to be. But adorable and funny moments throughout to. Especially with the odd hilarious triceratops naming his friends on his horns, for example the Dream-Crusher who stops him from having “unrealistic goals”. It is an emotional rollercoaster where you learn about this young dinosaur and his desperate return to get home. Then his new relationship with the young boy who doesn’t speak however says so much, it is beautiful.

The Good Dinosaur 1

I can’t say this would be a film I would watch over and over again, but I would definitely watch again! It is a beautiful film with comedy and a lovely moral. The bond that is created between boy and dinosaur, one silent but understood perfectly. It’s a wonderful film. Watch this adventure which is one of Arlo learning new life skills and facing fears, all while he grows up and recognises he can do so much more than he ever thought.