My favourite family-friendly films have a bit of salt and sour with their sweetness and this gorgeous British comedy is genuinely funny, a little bit sad and a tad subversive. It also has some of the best child actors in the business.
I could hear the fanboys (and some girls) wailing from across the globe as I left the cinema. Absolute garbage! The worst Star Wars movie ever! Such a joke! I quite liked it and perhaps for all the reasons they didn’t. Continue reading →
It was a feelgood Sunday for me at the Japanese Film Festival with two charmers – My Uncle and this animation that also showed at MIFF this year. Aimed at kids, it is a two-layered story about Kokone (voiced by Mitsuki Takahata), whose father Momo (Yôsuke Eguchi) repairs cars, and Princess Ancien, whose magic tablet allows her to give life to objects in the beleaguered kingdom of Heartland. Continue reading →
I was completely charmed by this family comedy at the Japanese Film Festival. Yukio (Riku Ohnishi) must write an essay for a school contest about an adult in his family. His parents are too unexceptional so he chooses his infantile loafer of an uncle (Ryûhei Matsuda). Continue reading →
Can Taika Waititi please direct every Marvel/DC film? Then I might be tempted to watch them. Not my favourite genre, New Zealand director Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows, Boy) for the most part refuses to take his job too seriously and peppers the script with largely improvised and genuinely funny dialogue. Continue reading →
This slightly oddball, feel good film is formulaic in many ways but with idiosyncratic styling that lends it an off-kilter, other-worldliness. Beginning with a fairy tale realism, we see Bella Brown (Jessica Brown Findlay) abandoned as a baby in a park. Watched over by ducks until she is found, she grows up without a family and with a fear and loathing of nature. Continue reading →
Gru is my favourite villain. And now there’s the breakdancing Balthazar Bratt, who comes in at number two. And number three is Gru’s twin brother Dru, who’s like a more optimistic Gru with a blonde wig. Sequels are usually something to endure but this third installment of the Despicable Me franchise was almost as good as the first and definitely more entertaining than the second. Continue reading →
Harold and Maude meets High School Musical in this messy, funny, teen romp of a film by Australian Neil Triffett. Ethan (Benson Jack Anthony) is a misfit in his school. Identifying as an emo with black eyeliner and a melancholic preoccupation with death, he is expelled after trying unsuccessfully to hang himself from a tree in the schoolyard. As the new kid at scruffy Seymour High, he finds his tribe with wannabe emo band Worst Day Ever who are vying for a prize in a regional band competition. Trouble arises when Ethan falls for Trinity (Jordan Hare), singer in rival Christian band Hope. Continue reading →