Ice Age: Collision Course (2016) Review

There’s a tendency among long running movie series – especially those which have no business being there – to launch into outer space. And so, in its fifth and conspicuously tired outing, the “Ice Age” franchise looks to the heavens for salvation. When Scrat (the spiritual descendant of Wile E Coyote) accidentally reactivates a buried … Continue reading Ice Age: Collision Course (2016) Review

The Secret Life Of Pets (2016) Review

If you were to make a movie about the secret life of my family pet, our cat Rufus, it would probably have to be set at night because what he does during the day is sleep. However, given he’s sometimes turned up at the back door in the morning with everything up to and including … Continue reading The Secret Life Of Pets (2016) Review

The Angry Birds Movie (2016) Review

Since it was launched in 2009, the Angry Birds game has been downloaded over a billion times. It’s had numerous spin-offs and tie-in merchandise and now it’s got its own movie. If you’ve ever played the game, you’ll know the feeling when you’ve got your shot lined up (or so you think) only for your … Continue reading The Angry Birds Movie (2016) Review

Robinson Crusoe (2016) Review

The latest Euro-animation project, following the likes of “Justin And The Knights Of Valour” and “Capture The Flag”, “Robinson Crusoe” is a French/ Belgian co-production based very (very) loosely on the famous novel by Daniel Defoe. In fact, so loose is the adaptation that the likely reason it was called “Robinson Crusoe” at all was … Continue reading Robinson Crusoe (2016) Review

Ratchet & Clank (2016) Review

Veterans of more than a dozen video games, Ratchet and Clank are the latest pixelated characters to find the leap from platform pleaser to popcorn powerhouse is more than any double jump or button mashing can easily manage. When the galaxy is threatened by Chairman Drek and his fearsome Deplanetizer, it’s up to a plucky … Continue reading Ratchet & Clank (2016) Review

Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip (2016) Review

Clearly Jason Lee is comfortable subordinating to selfish, arrogant, bossy and manipulative pipsqueaks with trademark conspicuously central dental arrangements. Scientology will have taught him that. I guess those dianetics courses aren’t cheap, though, hence why Lee continues to subject himself to the indignity of these increasingly slapdash and lazy sequels. When a series of misunderstandings … Continue reading Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip (2016) Review

Ghosthunters On Icy Trails (2015) Review

Suggested by some to be Germany’s answer to J K Rowling, prolific children’s author Cornelia Funke has not, to date, enjoyed her illustrious counterpart’s success with movie adaptations. 2008’s “Inkheart” was a disappointment both artistically and in box office terms and unfortunately it looks like “Ghosthunters On Icy Trails” is unlikely to do much better. … Continue reading Ghosthunters On Icy Trails (2015) Review

Minions (2015) Review

I saw “Minions” accompanied by Mertmas and four of his friends as part of a 9th Birthday treat, so here’s their perspective: “Minions” pretty much hits its target market spot on. The Minions themselves retain their goofy adorability and their mix of slapstick comedy and inferred verbal repartee still amuses, as do moments of potty humour. Although … Continue reading Minions (2015) Review

Thunderbirds Are Go! (2015) S1E01 Review

You know what? That was pretty good. Not great, but it’s definitely got potential to grow into a good series. The CGI Tracy brothers are much less creepy and dead-eyed than they appeared in the publicity images and even the updated and bulkier Thunderbird 2 (all right thinking people’s favourite ship) looks good. Thunderbird 3 … Continue reading Thunderbirds Are Go! (2015) S1E01 Review

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water (2015) Review

There’s something comfortingly familiar and yet frustratingly unambitious about SpongeBob’s latest cinematic outing. All the usual hallmarks are there: it’s cute and unashamedly goofy, the roster of characters are exactly as you might remember them and the oddball plot rambles along in the haphazard way we’ve come to know and love, peppered with the occasional … Continue reading The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water (2015) Review

Shaun The Sheep Movie (2015) Review

It’s unlikely the target audience of the latest family friendly stop motion feature from Aardman will be as bothered by the grammar of the title as I am (not the “Shaun The Sheep Movie” or “Shaun The Sheep: The Movie”, just “Shaun The Sheep Movie”. Huh?) but if you’re looking for something to keep your little … Continue reading Shaun The Sheep Movie (2015) Review

Penguins Of Madagascar (2014) Review

Spin-offs, eh? It seems like a sure thing: take a popular supporting character and give them own fully-fledged adventure but there can be hidden pitfalls. As the swaggering, cocky never-say-die plot drivers (and frequent deus ex machinas) of the “Madagascar” franchise, the team of Penguins led by were charming and hilarious but really, how hard … Continue reading Penguins Of Madagascar (2014) Review

Howard The Duck (1986) #Rediscovered

When he popped up in the end of credits stinger on “Guardians Of The Galaxy” (I’m not posting a spoiler warning for that because any right-thinking person has already seen that movie at least twice by now, and if you haven’t, stop what you’re doing and go watch it right now) , I knew it was time. … Continue reading Howard The Duck (1986) #Rediscovered

Tarzan (2014) Review

This new motion-capture animated take on the Tarzan legend comes courtesy of German animation studio Ambient Entertainment GmbH. Set in an Uncanny Valley somewhere in Africa, it tells an updated version of the story of a young boy who is orphaned in the jungle in tragic circumstances but is adopted by a colony of apes … Continue reading Tarzan (2014) Review

Muppets Most Wanted (2014) Review

You always know what to expect when a new Muppet movie comes around: there'll be spectacle, there'll be fantasy, there'll be derring do and stuff like you would never see. There'll be heroes bold, there'll be comedy, and a lot of fuss, that ends for us real happily. Yes, a movie – starring everybody and… … Continue reading Muppets Most Wanted (2014) Review

Tinker Bell And The Pirate Fairy (2014) Review

With The Mertmas being nearly eight years old and his sister not even being one yet, I figured I had at least three, maybe four years before I’d have to see films like “Tinker Bell And The Pirate Fairy” in the cinema. But, when he decided, having viewed the trailer, that he wanted to go … Continue reading Tinker Bell And The Pirate Fairy (2014) Review

Toy Story Of Terror (2013) Review

Released on DVD to coincide with the half term holidays and exclusive to Sainsbury’s, Pixar’s 2013 animated short “Toy Story Of Terror” reunites Buzz, Woody, Jessie and the rest of Bonnie’s toys for a spooky and well observed pastiche of horror movies in general and slasher movies in particular. The plot itself is a mix … Continue reading Toy Story Of Terror (2013) Review

The Lego Movie (2014) Review

Denmark has given the world many things: excellent bacon, the works of Hans Christian Andersen and Vikings to name but a few. And while it may be difficult to admire their overly harsh approach to giraffe population control, you have to admire the sheer brilliance of one of their most celebrated exports: the Lego brick. … Continue reading The Lego Movie (2014) Review

Epic (2013) Review

The main problem with the film “Epic” is that, well…it isn’t. Not even in the slightest. Oh, it’s handsomely animated but in nearly every other aspect it underwhelms. Treading a well-worn plot path first hacked through by “Ferngully” then shamelessly pillaged by “Avatar”, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly which one this film is a reimagining … Continue reading Epic (2013) Review

Mr Peabody & Sherman (2014) Review

There is an itch that Hollywood just can’t seem to scratch. It’s a nagging, nostalgic yearning for something from its collective youth that try as it might, it just can’t seem to get to catch on with the modern audience. I’m talking, of course, of “The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show”. Hollywood keeps on coming back … Continue reading Mr Peabody & Sherman (2014) Review

Walking With Dinosaurs: The Movie (2013) Review

1999’s “Walking With Dinosaurs” was a ground-breaking and spectacular six part BBC nature documentary using state of the art film making techniques and special effects to give dinosaurs the full natural history documentary treatment. Narrated by Kenneth Branagh, it was serious, scholarly and also immensely entertaining. Imagine, then, such a bold, principled approach being revisited … Continue reading Walking With Dinosaurs: The Movie (2013) Review

Frozen (2013) Review

While Pixar can’t seem to break their recent slump (“Cars 2”, “Brave”, “Monsters University”), resurgent stable mate Disney Animation Studios is going from strength to strength; first with “Tangled”, then “Wreck-It Ralph” and now “Frozen”, bursting onto screens with the kind of confidence and artistry that evokes “The Little Mermaid” kicking off the Disney renaissance … Continue reading Frozen (2013) Review

Ender’s Game (2013) Review

I’d heard of “Ender’s Game” before but never got around to reading it. When I learned they were making a movie of it, I figured I should probably check it out before I saw the movie. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and was curious about how it would be adapted for the screen given the … Continue reading Ender’s Game (2013) Review

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 (2013) Review

Arriving in cinemas some four years after its predecessor, “Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2” continues the trend of moving away from the source material by completely bypassing the second book (“Pickles To Pittsburgh”) and picking up the moment the first film finished. When a corporate clean-up crew from Live Corp arrive, Flint, Sam, … Continue reading Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 (2013) Review

Justin And The Knights Of Valour (2013) Review

“Justin And The Knights Of Valour” surprised me. I was expecting a dreary, underdeveloped euro-animation in the turgid tradition of “Freddie As F.R.O.7.” or “Sammy’s Great Escape” but it’s not. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing here that will unduly trouble Pixar and DreamWorks. Well, apart from the fact it was made for about a … Continue reading Justin And The Knights Of Valour (2013) Review

Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters (2013) Review

"Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters" is the sequel to 2010's modestly successful and reasonably entertaining "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief". Unfortunately, the wordiness of the title isn't the only thing that's been scaled back since the last time we hung out with Percy & Friends. "Sea Of Monsters" is a cheap and … Continue reading Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters (2013) Review

The Smurfs 2 (2013) Review

I quite enjoyed the original Smurf movie. Sure, it was saccharine sweet, predictable by-the-numbers family entertainment but I thought it was a fair attempt to reintroduce The Smurfs to a contemporary audience following a significant absence from the public consciousness. The film was appealingly cast and the whole unlikely venture succeeded for me through the … Continue reading The Smurfs 2 (2013) Review

Despicable Me 2 (2013) Review

Back in 2010, two new animated features made their debut (and their pitch for franchise glory). One was the star-loaded DreamWorks film “Megamind” boasting Brad Pitt, Will Ferrell , Tina Fey and Jonah Hill, the other a more eclectically cast feature from fledgling studio Illumination Entertainment. Both dealt with the concept of a super villain … Continue reading Despicable Me 2 (2013) Review