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.

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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!

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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

Film Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

fantastic-beasts-cast-xlarge

Unless you’ve been in an underground bunker for the last few months you’ll know that the release of J.K Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is imminent. This Friday in fact. Along with Star Wars Rogue One, it’s tipped to be one of the top films of the year, so expectations were high as we fastened our seatbelts to drive around the M25 to the O2 for an advanced screening last night.

It turns out that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the perfect tonic for a two and a half hour car ride at an average speed of 20 miles an hour, followed by 40 minutes of queuing outside a cinema screen in a corridor bereft of air-conditioning but with no shortage of other people.

Yes, I wasn’t in the best frame of mind when I finally sat down in the cinema with Fifi, the boy and one of their Harry Potter mad friends yesterday but fortunately once the opening credits rolled, everything was put right. I’ll get it out of the way up front, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is, erm, fantastic.

Since Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is based around the concept of a textbook of magical creatures, it is able to create it’s own characters and story in an entirely different manner to a straightforward book adaptation, thereby neatly sidestepping any pacing issues that adapting a 500+ page novel into a two hour film might suffer from. To this end there is a fairly strong argument that it’s a better movie than the majority of the Harry Potter films because it doesn’t have to remain true to a narrative book whilst cutting massive sections of it out.

The story follows wizard and magizoologist Newt Scamander as he arrives in America to release a beast he’s freed from captivity. Through a series of amusing incidents, his magic briefcase that’s full of beasties gets swapped and a load of the creatures get released by mistake. Newt and his new made friends Jacob (a Muggle), Tina and her sister Queenie go through various scrapes to try and recover them, whilst the New York wizarding community also fight against unexplained manifestations of magic that threaten outright war.

Although there are a group of four lead characters, who you’ll see in the majority of posters, this film is really about Newt, played by Eddie Redmayne who seems to be doing his darnedest to channel Matt Smith’s Doctor Who, (costume, check, TARDIS/briefcase that’s bigger on the inside, check, wand/sonic screwdriver that gets him out of a tight corner, check) but then that’s not a bad thing and Redmayne is great.

I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan, I’ve watched the films and am currently (tortuously) reading The Prison of Azkaban to the kids at a rate of two pages a night, but that didn’t matter as the story is self contained-there are continuity nods all the way through: Dumbledore is mentioned, apparently the wand maker from the HP films is name checked etc, but if you miss these, you’ve not missed out and they’re not shoehorned in too obviously.

The film looks wonderful, the 1920’s New York setting is done perfectly, there are plenty of great performances too and the characters interact well with the CGI, which helps make for a believable world. Since the film deals with adults, there is no need to explain everything to the protagonists, which at times hampered the Harry Potter films, everybody just gets on with stuff. The majority of the magic used is of the teleportation, things moving on their own, broken stuff repairing itself or wand waving followed by an explosion, so it doesn’t require exposition of what the spell is or means. This lets the plot flow without any unnatural pauses.

The film gets a thumbs up from me but to put it properly to the test, I asked the kids. Despite the film finishing at around quarter past nine on a school night, they loved it. The kids friend was literally bouncing up and down with excitement in her Harry Potter t-shirt afterwards (a continuation of the bouncing beforehand that had to stop once we sat down). The kids had a long discussion over the best of the beasts and the funniest way they were recaptured. Fifi said there were one of two scary bits that were quite intense but overall she loved it- she’s the one out of the three kids with the least Harry Potter exposure, so that bodes well the films mass appeal.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is out on Friday 18 November, with a 12A rating.

Film Review: DreamWorks Trolls

TrollsDreamWorks make some of the best children’s films. Their movies are the ones which frame childhoods and create memories and Trolls is no exception. If you’re looking for a frenetic, joy filled musical extravaganza then this is the movie for you.

I should say that Fifi was a little bit worried about the Trolls being scary (she admitted this when we were halfway to the screening) but she soon realised how silly she was being and is now a massive fan. They really are the cutest little movie characters, possibly ever and the scenes which involve what can only be described as fuzzy felt to explain what might happen are a stroke of genius.

I was excited to see Trolls as I remember having the little dolls when I was little and they really were a feature of my childhood. I still have them and I even have a little jewel box which sat on a wrist band and held a Troll- something which is referenced in the film for uber fans of a certain age like me.

Despite being 41 instead of 7, there was no stopping us getting a photo with the Trolls at the gala screening. In all honesty I don’t think I could have been more excited!

trolls

This film is a musical and the soundtrack is awesome, we were all jigging about it our seats and singing the songs all the way home. These Trolls are cast as little Party People with pink haired Poppy Troll (voiced by Anna Kendrick) in charge. She’s a sassy little girly troll with an attitude not unlike my daughter and there were some brilliant almost teenager like one-liners from her.

The film is a roller coaster ride of emotions, particularly for younger kids. The bad guys (Bergens) are a little bit scary. Branch  the boy Troll (voiced by Justin Timberlake) reminded me of my eldest son in attitude and latent musical talent.

If you like Shrek, then you will like this movie as it has a very similar sort of feel about it. However, we thought it was better than Shrek, its much more visually stimulating, the comedy is more contemporary and the music really takes it to the next level.

It is without doubt the perfect movie for a rainy autumn half term and will serve to raise the spirits of even the battle hardened parent. I defy you not to feel happy once you’ve seen it. We all love it and the soundtrack is now a fave on our Spotify playlist.

Have a look at the trailer:

The Blurb:

DreamWorks’ TROLLS is a hair-raising comedy filled with unbelievable adventure and incredible music.  Known for their crazy, colourful, and magical hair, Trolls are the happiest, most joyous creatures ever to burst into song. But their world of rainbows and cupcakes is changed forever, when their leader Poppy (Anna Kendrick,) must embark on a rescue mission that takes her far beyond the only world she’s ever known.

TROLLS stars Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Gwen Stefani, Russell Brand, Ron Funches

DreamWorks TROLLS is released in cinemas from October 15 in 3D and 2D.

I’d love to hear about your childhood memories of Trolls and if you see the film yourself don’t forget to leave a review here.