Film Review: Paddington 2

We were lucky enough to attend and advance screening of Paddington 2 and we all came away feeling cheered and uplifted. Paddington 2 is the prefect anecdote to this gloomy November weather with its ups, downs, laughs, mild peril and story of friendship.

One of the things we loved about the first Paddington movie was its use of London and in particular the Natural History Museum. This movie made good use of lots of familiar landmarks and as a born and bred Londoner it was lots of fun spotting all the places we knew and recognised. I wont spoil it by telling you.

In the movie Paddington gets arrested and ends up in prison. He turns the experience around in only the way that Paddington can revolutionising the prison dining experience. Meanwhile Paddington’s family are trying to work out who did the crime. Its a brilliant story which works on many levels and entertained us as adults and the children- something many childrens films fail to do. I go as far as saying Paddington 2 is this years must see children’s film, its brilliant and we loved it!

I’ve posted a bit more information about the film below including the social media information should you want to join in the chat.

ABOUT THE FILM
A Heyday Films and STUDIOCANAL production, Paddington’s return to the big screen is helmed by BAFTA nominated director Paul King (PADDINGTON, COME FLY WITH ME, THE MIGHTY BOOSH) written by Paul King and Simon Farnaby (PADDINGTON, YONDERLAND and MINDHORN).

Paddington 2 is produced by multi award-winning David Heyman (producer of all eight of the HARRY POTTER films, GRAVITY, THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS, FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM).
 #PADDINGTON2

 

Film Review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Long Haul

This weekend we went to an advance screening of the latest chapter in the Dairy of a Wimpy Kid franchise. This was hotly anticipated in our house because my kids absolutely love the other films and the books are some of the few which my reluctant reader loves. You can go along this weekend and see it as it opens in cinemas on 20th May.

In this film the Heffley family go on a road trip to his grandma’s 90th birthday party and a few things happen along the way.

One of the things which the children were worried about was whether or not a new cast would work. Greg from the other films is just more likeable somehow and the rest of the cast dont have the same chemistry as the cast from the other films. I liked Alicia Silverstones’s mum who frankly reminded me of someone I know, she even has the same glasses. However, on re-watching a bit of the first film in the franchise I can see that this cast just haven’t captured the essence of the books at all.

My daughter (8) pointed out to me that Rowley doesn’t feature really at all in this film. This is a massive shame as he does feature so heavily in the books and she would have liked to have seen more of him.

Greg is asked for a selfie thanks to his ‘diaper hands’ fame

In terms of the storyline, I enjoyed it and thought there were some laugh out loud moments. The rest of the family not so much, I think its because I haven’t read the books or really watched the other films so for me its quite a stand alone movie. A bit like National Lampoon but without the chemistry, or the 1980’s.

Its hard to review a film which is such an iconic part of a franchise and is an entirely new cast because it is never going to live up to the original. One the one hand, it wasn’t the best film i’ve watched this year, however it did have me laughing out loud at several points. On the other hand, the kids who are massive fans thought it was ok, but didn’t live up to the books and the casting didn’t quite match their expectations. As a result I’d suggest that this is a wet Sunday afternoon sort of film, its not offensive (apart from the scene with the fairground ride and sick incident which nearly caused my daughter to leave the cinema) but its not something to rush and see with high expectations.

My last thought- how did I get so old that Alicia Silverstone is now playing a mum to teenagers?

Learn to draw like Jeff Kinney:

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#WimpyKidMovie

Film Review: The Boss Baby

This Easter there is a fab new must see film for you to enjoy. The Boss Baby is a new  comedy  from Twentieth Century Fox, DreamWorks Animation and the director of Madagascar about the arrival of a new baby to the household told from the baby’s point of view. We’re really excited about going to see this one, after we saw the trailer the older kids thought it was just like their little brother who was and still is, the boss in our household!

“Let’s just say… I’m the boss!” – The Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin)

Featuring the voice talents of Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow and from the director of Madagascar, The Boss Baby is due to arrive in cinemas this weekend.

Have a look at the trailer here and do leave a comment when you see it, i’d love to hear your thoughts.

T

Film Review: Sing

We were really fortunate to go along before Christmas to a screening of Universal’s new movie SING. This is set to be THE movie to see this half term and its been eagerly anticipated by every child I know. SING tells the story of a failing theatre owner who decides to run one of those Saturday night style talent contests and follows several different animals and their journey together.

Its an upbeat story with plenty of things for kids and adults to associate with and a brilliant soundtrack. If you want a really light hearted, fun, (if slightly predictable) movie and your children are good fans of X-Factor then you wont find better at half term. We’re off to see it again!

Have a look at the trailer here

To celebrate the release of the movie Universal really kindly sent the kids some fantastic SING merchandise to help them have their own karaoke party. They were delighted and I have to say we had SO much fun with this activity it has been the best thing we’ve done all year. Who thought that a karaoke machine could bring so much fun into the house, it was like having our own SING/ X-Factor auditions. I suspect the karaoke machine is going to come out lots of times this year! I’d urge you to try a SING party this weekend or just after seeing the film, so much more fun that just watching others sing the songs on TV!


 

The Blurb
SING is out on 27th January (previews this weekend), featuring the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Tori Kelly  and Scarlett Johansson. It follows a group of animals, who enter a singing competition hosted by a Koala called Buster, who hopes the funds raised will save his theatre. There’s a character for everyone – a shy elephant with stage fright, a busy mum, a sensitive gorilla, a punk rock porcupine…and everyone who has seen it, has loved it so far.
As well as being hilarious, it’s got a great cast (Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson) and a soundtrack featuring everyone from Taylor Swift to Stevie Wonder.
I’d love to hear what you thought about the movie; did you enjoy it? Which character did your kids most identify with? (mine liked Ash pictured above). Let me know in the comments.

Film Review: Nine Lives out on Blu-ray and DVD

Nine LivesEarlier on in the summer Fifi went along to the official press screening of Nine Lives and she hasn’t stopped talking about the film ever since.  You can have a look at the trailer on that post. She genuinely loved the film because of the cat body swop which seemed to inspire her- generating endless creative writing in her little notebook along those themes. The film is funny and heart-warming and to be honest, if you are a cat fan- as we are in our house then you’ll love it!

cats5

 

We were really thrilled to receive a Cats Protection Hamper to celebrate the release of the film. Our cat Jonny is from Cats Protection and we whole-heartedly support all the work that they do. Cats Protection is the UK’s leading cats’ welfare charity. St Albans & District Cats Protection officially became a local branch in October 2001. In the last three years alone they have homed over 350 cats and kittens.

cats protection hamper

Hamper

 

The hamper was a fantastic treat and Jonny loved the Catnip carrot in particular. I think a copy of the Blue-ray or DVD with the hamper would be a fabulous Christmas gift for any cat lover. I’d be more than happy for sure!

 

 

 

Cat with catnip

Jonny Cat with his Catnip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             The Film Blurb!

Join furry fiend Mr. Fuzzypants (a.k.a. Kevin Spacey) for this season’s most hilarious feline caper, NINE LIVES, which arrives on EST from 10th December and yours to own on Blu-ray & DVD from 12th December, 2016, courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

Tom Brand (Kevin Spacey), billionaire businessman and soon-to-be owner of the tallest skyscraper in the northern hemisphere, is a workaholic whose lifestyle has disconnected him from his family, particularly his beautiful wife Lara (Jennifer Garner) and his adoring daughter Rebecca (Malina Weissman). When Tom forgets to buy Rebecca a present for her 11th birthday he rushes out in a panic and finds himself in a mystical pet store brimming with odd and exotic cats. Fortunately the store’s eccentric owner, Felix Perkins (Christopher Walken), has the perfect pet for him: Fluffy feline, Mr. Fuzzypants.

However Mr. Fuzzypants proves to be both a blessing and a curse… En route to his daughter’s party, Tom has a terrible accident. When he regains consciousness he discovers that he has become trapped inside the body of the cat…! Despite being a self-professed cat hater, after a serious of hilarious scrapes Tom realises that occupying the body of a fluffy moggy can have its benefits – namely, spending more time with his family.

Boasting an all-star supporting cast including Christopher Walken, Jennifer Garner, Robbie Amell and newcomer Malina Weissman, Nine Lives is a funny, heart-warming tale about the importance of family – and pets! The purrrrfect Christmas gift to get your paws on this December.

Nine Lives release details

Digital Download release date:                                   10th December, 2016

Blu-ray & DVD release date:                         12th December, 2016

Running time:                                                          87 minutes

Cert:                                                                              PG

Blu-ray RRP:                                                              £13

DVD RRP:                                                                     £10

 

© 2016 – EUROPACORP – All rights reserved. Distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment UK

Extra Features

Letting the Cat Out of the Bag: The Making of Nine Lives

Cat Bloopers

Herding Cats