So, the premise of the movie is that there is a fox who really wants to be a dog. I'm sorry, but I'm having trouble understanding who thought this was a good idea.
Well, movie with an unrealistic premise aside, what is Arctic Dogs? It is directed by that auteur of furry cinema, Aaron Woodley, whose previous movie, Spark: A Space Tail, I reviewed here. In case you don't want to read a whole different review on top of this one, I'll just spoil that one for you and say that I did not like Spark very much.
But, Aaron Woodley now has the unique distinction of having directed two fully furry movies, featuring full anthropomorphic animal characters without any humans, theatrically released to American cinemas. That's a notable achievement. We now seem to have a mainstream director who specializes in furry movies. That's good!
But, pity about the movies.
Just today the trailers for the upcoming sequel to Peter Rabbit have hit the Internet. Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway is coming to theaters next April, once again directed by Will Gluck. According to Wikipedia, “The film stars the voice of James Corden as the title character, with Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, Daisy Ridley, and David Oyelowo also starring.” Meanwhile The Hollywood Reporter says, “The sequel to 2018’s Peter Rabbit catches up with Thomas, Bea and the rabbits that have become a makeshift family. Despite his best efforts, Peter can’t seem to shake his mischievous tendencies. When adventuring out of the garden, Peter finds himself in a world where his mischief is appreciated. Conflict ensues when his family risks everything to come looking for him, which forces Peter to figure out what kind of bunny he wants to be.” Check out the trailer for yourself.
Here’s more from Animation World Network: “Channel 4, Lupus Films, and HarperCollins have announced the voice cast for their upcoming animated film, The Tiger Who Came to Tea… Based on the classic children’s book by Judith Kerr OBE, the half-hour film will bring the vivid images and irresistible story of this classic picture book to life. Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Avengers: Infinity Wars), Tamsin Greig, David Oyelowo, David Walliams, and Paul Whitehouse will portray the characters of Daddy, Mummy, Tiger, Narrator and Milkman respectively, while seven-year-old newcomer Clara Ross will make her TV debut as Sophie. Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books and produced by Lupus Films, The Tiger Who Came to Tea tells the story of what happens when the doorbell rings as Sophie and her Mummy are sitting down to tea in the kitchen. Confronted with an unexpected guest – a big, furry, stripy tiger – they invite him inside where he proceeds to eat everything in sight before making a timely exit, just before Daddy gets home. Inspired by the author’s daughter, The Tiger Who Came to Tea was first published in 1968 and has sold over 5 million copies. Lupus Films’ distinctive, hand-drawn animated style will bring the story to life, introducing the characters to a whole new audience. Channel 4 will broadcast the one-off half-hour special this Christmas.” Now we’ll see if it becomes available in North America after it airs in the UK.
"No, hold on. Sorry, that's The Lion King."
- Doctor Who, "The Christmas Invasion"
The Lion King is a 2019 movie directed by Jon Favreau. It is a faithful adaptation of the 1994 animated movie of the same name, using cutting edge, realistic CGI animation to create it's cast consisting entirely of talking animals.
The original version is considered a classic of animation; this movie follows the original closely enough that most of its positive attributes are contained. There is enough deviation from the original that those familiar may get something new from the experience. Like most adaptations, most viewers will find the "original" is preferable, however.
So, that's the review, okay, bye!
Just two months after the live action Sonic the Hedgehog movie's character design caused such a backlash that the movie was delayed to 2020 to fix it and on the very day the controversial "live action" Lion King hits theaters, we have yet another entry in 2019's "was 'live action' really a good idea here?" canon. The trailer for Cats is out now, and to quote the villain of the aforementioned Lion King (which is also a Boy Scout motto), "Be prepared."
Look, the best joke in the first Secret Life of Pets is that if you do the trendy thing of acronym-ing it's title, it becomes SLoP, which is funny because it's true.
Honestly, I can't even say I remember the first movie very well. I did see it. I mostly recall that I didn't really like it that much. So, as you can probably deduce, I wasn't entirely looking forward to the sequel. The trailers also prominently featured coprophagia, so that wasn't helping anything.
But about those trailers— if you take out the inter-titles and the music, you just watched that scene in the movie. That's exactly how it's cut in the movie. All of the trailers are like that. They're just scenes from the movie. The movie is cut like a trailer.
And the weirdest thing about this movie is that, somehow, despite being just scenes from the movie, this is a case of bad trailers being way worse than the actual movie. This is a very weird movie.
'Detective Pikachu' becomes the first widely-released "fresh" video game adaptation in Rotten Tomatoes' historyPosted by 2cross2affliction on Mon 20 May 2019 - 11:19
No well-reviewed film adaptation of a video game has ever achieved a combined positive review score of 60%, the threshold needed to count as "fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes. Until now.
With 158 of 242 reviews from professional movie critics at least somewhat positive, the first live action Pokémon movie, Detective Pikachu, has managed to squeak into the "good" side of the Tomato-meter with a score of 65%. Its average critical rating is lower, at 5.97 out of 10 - not every critic assigns a movie rating. However, its Audience Rating is much higher at 83%! (Although the Audience Score is notoriously vulnerable to "review bombing", Detective Pikachu was never likely to be deliberately targeted.)
"I am Iron Man."
- Black Sabbath, "Iron Man"
As I'm writing this, Avengers: Endgame has made $2,272,706,419 in theaters around the world, according to Box Office Mojo, making it currently the second highest grossing movie in cinematic history, with the number one spot well within it's sights. It only has approximately half a million dollars to go to take that spot, and that's a lot of money, but it's been out only one full week.
Whether it ends it's theatrical run first or second, one thing is certain. A review on a small news-site (with readers in the high double digits!) catering to a niche demographic will not be the deciding factor. There is no world where I write a rave review that sends everyone back to the theater, nor is there a world where I so utterly critically destroy this movie that theaters empty like, well, like what happened at the end of the last Avengers movie. Of course, the real reason to review this movie is because I reviewed the last one, and I reviewed that one because it's got a talking raccoon in it, and the coming possibility that the biggest movie ever might soon feature an anthro character is something that should be noted on a furry site.
SPOILER ALERT: The Russo brothers say I can spoil the movie now, but don't worry, I won't. However, if you haven't seen Avengers: Infinity War and want to see it unspoiled, hold off on hitting read more.
Fun fact: no movie directly adapted from a video game has ever scored as "fresh" on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. Oh, there have been movies about video games that have reached the "fresh" side of the Tomato-meter. And we may have a soft place in our heart for, say, the oeuvre of Paul W.S. Anderson, but most of us will admit 46% for Mortal Kombat is probably fair, if a bit harsh. The point is, unless Detective Pikachu somehow lives up to the surprisingly positive amount of hype it's gotten, there may not be a "fresh" video game adaptation for a while yet.
But, a new challenger approaches! Starring James Marsden and Jim Carrey (as Dr. Robotnik), Sonic the Hedgehog, an adaptation of the classic series of Sega games, will hit theaters November 8 of this year. The newly released trailer is below.
Update 5/2: The director of the movie has Tweeted that the design for the titular character will, in fact, be changed before the final movie is released. Also, while we're here, quick correction; 2018's Rampage did garner a score of 52% on RottenTomatoes, and the article has been edited to more accurately reflect this. This has also caused the movie to be delayed until February 14, 2020.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) is the latest film in the HTTYD series, the first of which came out in 2010 and was followed by a second film in 2014. Now, after a four-and-a-half-year gap, we have a third one, presumably (?) the last, but even if DreamWorks decides to keep the film franchise going, The Hidden World feels like the completion of a trilogy, all of which have involved Dean DeBlois as screenwriter and director.
I'm going to try and avoid major spoilers, so I'll summarize the plot points introduced in the early part of the film. I won't be linking to trailers, because they give away some of the locations and scene gags that are better kept a surprise. I watched a 2D screening, and I haven't kept up with any of the franchise spinoffs or shorts. I'm not a fan of most of the dragon designs or of several secondary characters, but regardless, I've happily enjoyed Hiccup and Toothless' adventures together.
Well, I managed to keep the number of superhero movies way down from last year, just one instead of five, and that's only because there was a late entrant.
Perhaps it was me, but I sensed a smidgen of negativity towards my review of Avengers: Infinity War. Like, just featuring Rocket Raccoon on the poster (he's in there somewhere, I'm sure) just wasn't enough for some of you. To be fair, if Infinity War ends up winning the Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture, as billion dollar box office blockbusters from Disney are known to do, well, that would be both bad and also probably completely my fault, so preemptive apologies if it does!
Now I'm reviewing another Marvel movie with a supporting character who's totally furry, but that's about it. In this case, it's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and that character is Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham (voiced by John Mulaney), an anthropomorphic spider (bitten by a radioactive pig, see). On one hand, despite being a part of a much larger cast, I feel Rocket got a slightly bigger role in his movie. He has his own subplot with a bit of an arc to it, while Peter Porker is basically just another member of the team; the movie's focus is on other teammates.
On the other hand, Spider-Ham is part of a much smaller ensemble, so though his role is smaller, his screentime is bigger, and though the movie focuses more on the three versions of Spider-Man that are the most "normal" (Miles Morales, Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy) rather than the "gimmicky" characters (Spider-Man Noir, Peni Parker and Spider-Ham), Spider-Ham gets the most attention of that trio, being the last of the three to leave and the one who gets the stand-out action beat (as well as being just a scene-stealer in general).
And on the gripping hand, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is just a way better movie than Avengers: Infinity War.
This is a triple movie review! Three animated films for kids from 2017, all of them originally French, that have been dubbed into English (or soon will be): The Jungle Bunch, Sahara, and The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales. The last one is the best by far, but isn't available in English yet. Coming soon!
The Jungle Bunch
Original title: Les as de la jungle (literally "The Aces of the Jungle"; here's the trailer). When my nephew was little, I took him to see the Thomas and the Magic Railroad movie, because he loved the whole Thomas The Tank Engine thing. I knew it was a franchise with loads of characters, and the movie relied on familiarity. I know I watched it, but to this day, I have no memory of it.
Similarly, The Jungle Bunch is based on a lot of television episodes, plus an earlier movie or two. You don't need to have followed any of them to watch the 2017 movie, but it probably helps to connect with it more. Personally I didn't find the characters particularly deep, and they're not meant to be. I liked some of their designs more than others. It's a computer-animated film, and the animation and backgrounds came out well. Visually it looks very good!
Detective Pikachu will be hitting theaters May 10 of next year. Hopefully, Pikachu talking goes down a little better with the fans this time.