Hey, Lord Of The Flame, Your Tail’s On Fire – Ice Age

31 08 2016

Ice Age (Blue Sky Studios - 2002)

By the early 2000’s, one form of format/genre was beginning to dominate the movie scene more than most. It had reared it’s head in 1995 with the release of Toy Story, and by 2002 several of the most talked about films of the time were in the same format. I am of course talking about CGI animated movies and in less than a decade; there were already several well-known and near iconic films released with such titles as Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug’s Life, Shrek and Monsters Inc. Most of the films produced in this format were done by two main studios: Pixar and DreamWorks Animation, with both of them together holding a near monopoly on CGI Animated Cinema. Then another studio came along; a studio who had been in existence nearly as long as Pixar, but who were only just about to release their first big screen film; little did anyone know that such a film would become such a hit.

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Released in 2002 by Blue Sky Studios and directed by Chris Wedge, Ice Age is an animated comedy film about a group of animals going on a journey during the Ice Age. This film would be the first instalment in the commercially successful Ice Age film series and would be followed by 4 sequels making it the first animated film series to have 5 entries. While the subsequent films have sort of begun to lose their charm, the first film in the series remains to be one of the best animated films of its kind, and is a personal favourite of mine.

Scrat (Chris Wedge), a squirrel with some really pointy teeth tries hard to find a place to store his acorn, ultimately and constantly however his success is limited and goes on to cause more problems than solutions. Eventually he gets stomped on by a large migrating herd of prehistoric animals going south to avoid the oncoming Ice Age. A Ground Sloth knows as Sid (John Leguizamo) is left behind by his family, and while trying to regroup with them he angers Carl (Cedric the Entertainer) and Frank (Stephen Root); a couple of Brontops/Megacerops (Rhino). Sid is rescued by grumpy Mammoth Manfred/’Manny’ (Ray Romano), and not wanting to be pummelled by Carl, Frank, or more likely both; Sid joins Manny, which Manny finds really irritating as he prefers to be alone. Meanwhile a group of Smilodon, lead by Soto (Groan Visnjic) are planning revenge on a group of humans by eating the chief’s baby son alive. During the attack, the baby’s mother rescues the boy, and jumps down a waterfall. Soto sends his lieutenant Diego (Denis Leary) to get the baby back. Having survived the plunge, Manny and Sid discover the mother, who passes the baby up to them before disappearing. While Manny does not want to help, he agrees to as he hopes Sid will leave him alone after that. When trying to return the baby to the camp, the two run into Diego, who is desperately trying to convince them he is good. Upon reaching the human camp; they discover the humans had left, and Diego says he can help the two reach the Humans in time before they are gone for good.

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The group leave for the humans, and on the way run into several hurdles in looking after a baby including feeding it and changing it, running into a pack of melon obsessed Dodo’s. Diego runs into members of his pack, and tells them that he will be bringing a Mammoth along with the baby to their lair. As the adventure continues Scrat is still looking for a place to hide his acorn, while the trio discover all sides to the Ice Age world, with Sid playing tricks on Manny, Diego still trying to get the baby and Manny trying to be a responsible guardian to the baby. Eventually the group run into a cave with human paintings inside, which tell of the frightful story of what happened to Manny that made him such a loner.

Within sight of their destination, the group walk over a patch of lava, with Manny saving Diego’s life. With Diego filled with gratitude and seeing Manny for who he really is, he informs them of his original plan to have the group eaten by the pack. With Diego’s help, the group are able to defeat the pack, but with Diego severely injured. Manny and Sid continue on to the Glacier Pass, and just manage to catch up with the boy’s father. Manny gives the boy back to his dad in a tear felt moment for all. Manny and Sid watch as the humans leave, with Manny having received a gift of compassion from the boy’s father. The two then turn around to see Diego injured but alive. They then leave to find a warmer climate. Thousands of years later, Scrat; frozen in an ice-cube washes ashore but is helpless as his Acorn is washed away. He does however find a Coconut to eat which brings him joy, until he accidently causes a Volcanic Eruption with it.

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Ice Age is actually a very surprising deep film I find. It’s amazing I think how a film like this can still bring a tear to my eye, even more so now than when I first saw it. There are things I am even beginning to discover more now than I did when I first saw it at about the age of 12. It’s a film with a lot of comedic moments; moments which carry references to what we might consider to be a normal modern life and the things carved into it, plus a lot of mentions to popular culture. These moments of comedy I find to be pretty simple, but in that there is an instant laugh. There is no need for thinking or jokes to get, because it’s all visual and even at times there may be something that children may not get, but ones that adults will making this film’s comedy one all the family can enjoy. Add to this some more clever puns and ideas in relation to such ideas like Extinction and Evolution provided by the film’s strong menagerie of prehistoric animals and it’s a real laugh a minute film. But it’s not just a comedy film, more in fact I find that it’s a film with a lot of heart and a bucket full of emotion.

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The film shows it’s comedy through its situations, but it tells it’s stories through its characters, and here we do have an odd bunch that has both comedy, but also peril. The film’s minor cast in part comes in several characters like Soto’s pack of misfits with characters like the near rabid Zeke (Jack Black), to the other two henchmen. Then this leads us on to characters like Carl and Frank who provide a way of Sid and Manny coming together, but in turn creates two semi-minor antagonists which are just so funny to watch and hear talk, especially with the spoken lines of “Carl?” and “Easy Frank”. This of course leads us on nicely to the film’s semi narrator but also comic relief Scrat the Squirrell. Scat’s scenes are indeed meant to be funny, and shows him really struggle to keep but also look after his acorn which he fails at a constant rate, and though while occasionally will meet some success and even a sense of reprieve this does lead him to more trouble. Though in the end he is not necessarily an entirely comical character, but also a representation of animals struggling to survive in a dying climate and how far they will go for what is theirs and things they need, and will persist to achieve them, even if they result in failure.

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The film portrays something of an interesting form of spoken juxtaposition as though while this film involves the animals talking in a clear understandable language, the humans are only heard making un-understandale noises. It’s like saying that the humans are just animals to the animals, and that animals are just animals to humans. It provides something of a counter point and helps to change the perspective for the audience to see their part in the film and whom they should be looking out for. Into this we get the baby; now while it’s name may not really be known possibly, that is far from the point as to where he belongs in this film. To begin with of course he is just an objective, a goal, something for the trio to do and to achieve on their journey and in order for them to go on a journey in the first place; but then as the film progresses, and the theme of friendship and family takes hold, the baby becomes something of a way of connecting the group. Initially they have their own ways of how they see the child, but then it helps bring them together, and helps face and provide them with comfort and reasoning in their past life to a more positive future. And so when finally it’s time for them to split, it is a real heart-felt moment as the group comes to acknowledge what such a benefit he was to them, and in some way, they don’t want him to go, in belief that maybe they will split when he is gone.

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The group’s trio of talent is an interesting but also very potent mix of characters made up of what is basically an odd bunched group. Sid for instance is of course a clown, a complete idiot who is the provider of constant laughs. He has a genuine attitude of trying and wanting to do the right thing, but is definitely not cut out to do, well anything. He is a complete misfit who is even abandoned by those who know him, and just happens to run into Manny as a sort of bodyguard. He will try his hardest of course, but comes across as a complete failure. However, as a baby sitter he turns out to be completely indispensable, especially as he is the only one of the group with hands, fingers and opposable thumbs; making him ideal for the purposes of looking after a baby, especially in cleaning up after it. By the end he proves himself to actually be generally useful and someone who is rather caring, if not the best father figure. Meanwhile Diego comes across initially of course as a villain, because well, you would think so wouldn’t you, I mean he is a Sabre Toothed Cat after all and has shown to be in league with another group of Cats who want to eat the Baby. So from here on in he is someone to be watched and looked out for and spends a lot of time trying to get the baby plus set up Manny. Then however he has a complete change of heart, as he realises who Manny is and how special the baby is, especially after Manny saves his life. From here on he tries to fix things, and while nearly loses his life shows with all his strength that he is a changed man (of sorts) and that what he really desires is a life with these guys, and not the life he once lead.

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Manny though is the one with the greatest story. Out of the main group he is the one who you see first and shows quite categorically that he would be rather left alone. He spends a lot of the first act trying to be left alone, then get rid of Sid and everyone he keeps running into, even when he is charged with helping the baby return home it’s just so he can return to his private lonely life. Of course, much like the others, he begins to change, but is still unsure of where this new life is leading, until the moment you discover why he is the way he is. Something that could be considered a mere coincidence, leads to a paralysing memory, as a simple cave painting tells his exact story, a story of how he once had a family, but then by the hand of humanity it was all taken away from him, and has since gone on to lead a cynical lonely life, but through the relationship with the baby, an infant to the species that brought his world to an end; he is able to relive that life once more, and know once again what it’s like to have a family, and have hope for his own future, and by the end of their journey; even with the loss of his and possibly the groups shining light, he knows he doesn’t want to part ways with the others, because he is part of not a group of friends, but part of a family once more.

OKAY, yes this film is a CGI Driven form of animation so I suppose I should take a quick moment to talk about it. As a form of animation the digital effects provided take on two forms. One the design of the landscape is rather blocky to keep in context with the ideas of Ice and an Ice Age, while of course the animals use more rounded shapes. The design of the animals in question is rather neat but carries a lot of character and does not bog itself down with attempts to look realistic, instead working to make the goofy looking shapes and designs of an extinct age work as part of their own design mythos and in turn make them look both rather cute while also maintaining a daft and silly look too. One thing though that has come about I discovered is that I feel that the shading effects, all while be it still very do seem to have aged a bit and don’t look as crisp, but as the film gets going, these effects completely disappear to your eyes looking on something else.

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One thing your mind won’t want to be distracted from is the quality of the film’s soundtrack composed by David Newman. The film does do that thing of creating one piece of music and then sort of editing it around for it to be used in a variety of circumstances but is still the same piece of music. Thankfully it does not do this all the time. The film’s main theme tune is actually rather pleasant and increasingly enjoyable. The film though goes on to create more sounds that become just as a part as the main theme if not more a part from there on. Some of these pieces range from the comical and fast, to the slow and sombre, such scenes of note including the sliding around in the cave, Diego’s near end, Giving the baby back and Manny’s memories in the cave.

One theme though stands out the most and becomes the films semi-main theme if not it’s main: that being Send Me On My Way by Rusted Root. It gets featured as the main travel song for the film’s main journey moments across the ice, as the trio discover the life and environment of the ice age as time goes by on their adventure. Seemingly though, it’s a song with a passionate theme and lyrics that in turn show that while it’s more of a road travel song, it is also talking about the themes and ideas that go into going on a journey; but not by yourself…..but with others.

Ice Age is a really fun film altogether. It has its comedy and laugh out loud moments while also going on to present the look as well as the ideas and troubles faced by animals living during the Ice Age, even going to cover a semi-dark toned route as to cover the deaths that some go to, even if it’s not entirely shown. Ice Age is an adventure with friends; it’s about going on a journey, with a goal to accomplish that in turn bridges the gaps between species and each other. There are times though that this little kiddy animated movie, thing is just going to pull at your heart’s strings and provide moments that will make you laugh, but also feel and even cry; and in that comes a film that is not really a comedy, nor is it a film about a journey, but is a film about family, and the joys of family in a difficult world, and what it’s like to have it, lose it, then find it again, even in the most weird of ways.

GENEPOOL (Whoo, Yeah! Who’s up for round two?).

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Deadpool Trailer

12 08 2015

Deadpool Comic-Con

Last week a trailer was released for the upcoming X-Men spin-off movie: Deadpool. It was not the first time I actually saw that trailer as I did see a trailer from Comic-Con shown many weeks ago which was filmed by someone with a personal hand-held video camera, or more likely phone. I was a bit annoyed at the time as I didn’t think it was all that fair for lots of news coverage to be made around a movie trailer no-one else would see for several weeks. I did see some of that trailer though, and couldn’t wait for both the movie and a proper trailer release. Well now there is a proper trailer release, so now I can take a much better look at it.

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I am no stranger to the character of Deadpool. I have known about him for over 10 years now after I first saw him in my copy of  X-Men: The Ultimate Guide book, but back then I did not know all that much about him. It was not really until maybe 2008 that I began to learn more about him thanks to the Wolverine and Deadpool comic series published by Panini Comics. I didn’t read or buy it, but the name sort of began to stick more. My first real sighting of him was in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I knew he was going to be in it, but despite not reading a single comic with him in it, I knew that wasn’t Deadpool. The Deadpool movie though has been talked about since despite no real progress until last year. My interest in the film was a bit low, until about a year or 2 ago when I found a video of a man dressed as Deadpool gate-crashing the announcement of the Deadpool Video Game. After that, about year ago now, I found more videos from that including Deadpool walking around the Comic-Con convention centre area.

And the numerous videos of him visiting  HQ.

These little videos though made me that little more excited when the announcement of the Deadpool Movie came nearly a year ago now. Well the film’s trailer is here, so let’s have a look.

The trailer begins by looking into the life of Wade Wilson who is dying of severe levels of Cancer and volunteers for a procedure to cure him of it. Things then begin to take a twist as somebody suggests he could become a super hero, to which main star Ryan Reynolds makes a little joke about him being in the Green Lantern movie. It shows him going through the procedure before it changes angle completely to show a man in a red and black costume who loves to hurt people. It pretty much continues from there on with Deadpool himself appearing with the movie title card at the end talking to the audience, or breaking the fourth wall as its known (much like the character does in the comics).

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I really do like this trailer. It’s funny and has Ryan Reynolds appearing in a similar role to his appearance in Blade: Trinity (but mostly in a verbal sense rather than action). It contains a lot of dramatic and emotional elements plus lashings of action and fighting sequences that make me think of The Raid and The Raid 2, particularly the car fight scene from 2.

The suit looks terrific, and much like all X-Men films since appears to ignore what happened in Origins. The trailer also includes the appearance of X-Men Legend Colossus. I quite like that too, as while he is not to be played by Daniel Cudmore in this film, I think that throughout the X-Men film series, Colossus has been a very underrated and underused character, and it’s nice to see that he will be in this film, in what capacity is unknown (at least to me) at this time. And above all else, it’s actually Deadpool in this film. From the way he talks, to the way he fights, and even a brief glimpse of his powers. But the best thing of all, the trailer; everything in it and about it just looks so violent, awesome, loud and outrageous, makes it one of the most stand out cinema trailers to date and could make Deadpool one of the most stand out films of 2016. It combines comedy with extreme levels of violence. It just looks absolutely Fantastic. Expect it to be a 15 rated film in the UK when it gets released early next year.

Deadpool (20th Century Fox - 2016)

GENEPOOL





High Speed Car Chase……….In A Cement Truck – Beverly Hills Cop II

6 11 2013

Beverly Hills Cop II (Paramount Pictures - 1987)

The idea of the traveller from an arcane land is not used as heavily as it has been done in cinema in the past. Many films, particularly during the 1980’s used to do it a lot mainly in the form of someone from the east (in a stereotypical china man with a long beard) such as The Karate Kid. However it is good to see when someone uses this traveller from an arcane land in a different sense which is more to the real world such as Beverley Hills Cop II which is by far in many ways one of the funniest and best cop and comedy films to date.

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The film is the follow-up to Beverley Hills Cop and relies a lot on the ground already set up in the first film including main characters Detective Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy), Detective Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold), Detective Sergeant John Taggart (John Ashton), Inspector Douglas Todd (Gil Hill) and Captain Andrew Bogomil (Ronny Cox). In Beverley Hills a bunch of robberies named the Alphabet crimes take place. Captain Bogomil, Detective Rosewood and Detective Sergeant Taggart try to get to the root of the problem but are hindered by incompetent Police Chief Harold Lutz (Allen Garfield) who suspends Bogomil. On his way home Bogomil gets shot and becomes the latest victim of the Alphabet Crimes. Meanwhile in Detroit Detective Foley is trying to catch a group of Credit Card scammers when he hears about the shooting. After covering for his absence with Inspector Todd, he then travels to Beverley Hills and sees Bogomil in Hospital with his daughter Janice (Alice Adair) by his side. Axel requisitions a house for him to live in and then goes to the police station have a look at the notes from the Alphabet Crime only to be disturbed by Lutz and disguises himself as a psychic by the name of Johnny Wishbone. It is here that Foley, Rosewood and Taggart agree to work together to work on the case.

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The trio head to a gun club to check out a bullet, here Foley meets a six-foot tall woman named Karla (Brigitte Nielsen) and gun club owner Charles Cain (Dean Stockwell), both of whom work for Maxwell Dent (Jürgen Prochnow), the man behind the alphabet crimes. Rosewood and Taggart meet Axel at his house and Taggart changes his clothes (after falling into the swimming pool), they then go to a strip club where Axel tells everyone that Taggart is former president Gerald Ford. When they leave the club, a drive by sent by Dent to kill them goes wrong. Lutz arrives and finds out about Axel’s true identity. The trio head to Billy’s place and using a street cop trick, they get a finger print for Cain and then break into the gun club to get information.

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They head to a bank where the next crime is taking place and Axel and Billy end up chasing the getaway truck in a cement truck. The trail eventually leads to a party at the Playboy Mansion thrown by Hugh Hefner. Axel is told to leave Beverley Hills by Lutz but stays to solve the case. The trio goes to Dent’s accountant Sidney Bernstein (Gilbert Gottfried) and trick him into finding out that Dent is planning on leaving the country, this combined with information from Janice stating that all his businesses no longer have insurance except for his race track means that they have evidence of where the next crime is to take place. They are however too late to stop the crime taking place.

While at the race track they find evidence which leads the trio to Dent’s oil fields. There they find a weapon stash of weapons which Dent is planning on selling. This leads to a shootout on the site where most of the men surrender while Dent and Karla get shot. Lutz arrives on scene only to get fired by the Mayor of Beverley Hills. Bogomil is made new Chief of Police and Todd finds out what has been going on and orders Axel to return to Detroit. Axel says goodbye to everyone at the house only for its real owner to suddenly arrive.

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Beverley Hills Cop II’s supporting cast is a brilliant bunch. Bogomil, while incapacitated for most of the film is the real connection to the previous film, and that friendship is much apparent. Sidney Bernstein is incredibly funny during his brief moment while Janice has that rookie sidekick idea about her who while only appearing very briefly is a great character. For my money however, I really do like the character of Inspector Todd, because while very funny in the way he talks and acts is one of the anchors to this film to keep the serious note going through, thus preventing the film from going into a cheap comedy.

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The films main characters though are where the real enjoyment exists. Eddie Murphy uses the combination of serious acting along with his well-known comedy routines to make this film funny in any way he can but does not do that all the time, meaning that the film can be enjoyed by those who may not necessarily like a comedy film. His character is well constructed and while he is a joker, he is also a very caring person and cares very much for those around him, like a true friend. Another one of his great attributes is that due to him being from a different police culture, his street wise antics are a real blessing to those in Beverley Hills who rely pretty much on a combination of Computer Technology and Politics to get the job done.

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Judge Reinhold’s character meanwhile is the perfect sidekick to Axel Foley. He is a man who very much wants to rise to the top but is generally quite shy and only really comfortable with those around him. He is a great admirer of Rambo and in many a way wishes that police work was a lot like that compared to the strict going Beverley Hills way of policing, in some sense making him want to be more like Axel or at least work in a similar climate. John Ashton is the film’s real anchor. He is not a funny man, he does not make jokes but he uses comedy very differently in the form of mostly being annoyed as to what is going on around him and very much not only cares for those around him, but also his job and worries that he may end up eventually losing it. He is very much held back by the political side of the job but seemingly does not care that much about it.

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The soundtrack is a nice blend of 1980’s American pop as well as a soundtrack made specifically for the film. You have scenes of the police nature such as dark night scenes or when a crime is going down or being investigated, such as the scene at the oilfields towards the end where you are really into the whole scene, it sounds very low cover but then it would pick up the pace for the action bits. Then there would be scenes where the famous theme music would be used but then you would get scenes such as the opening themeend theme or the cement truck chase where it has this great upbeat vide about it. It may sound silly in those places, but the song is well made and gets used amazingly well, making it a nice change from the hard gripping soundtrack.

The film is very cleverly written. While in essence it is a silly comedy film, it has good background seriousness to it. The whole crime case and everything attached to it is kept serious throughout and all the comedy comes from its characters. It’s not like some films produced these days where the film is made for both quick cash and a cheap laugh, Beverley Hills cop is made to entertain those who watch it. I mean if you take the comedy out of it, Beverley Hills Cop II is a very dark police thriller.

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Beverley Hills Cop 2 is brilliant, absolutely brilliant. It is one of that rare breed of comedy films where the comedy is almost a second thought. It uses great characters, music and story to produce both a dark and suspenseful story while also using those previous comments to inject some comedy. While there have been other comedy films like this that have been produced and in many a case are as funny if not more a lot more funny such as Tropic Thunder, DodgeBall and Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Beverley Hills Cop II is by far in many ways one of the best and funniest films to date, and that is something that is going to be hard to beat.

GENEPOOL





Blackadder Is A Spy The Second – Johnny English Reborn

25 11 2011

In the history of my Blog I have not done a sequel Review. While I have done both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight I did The Dark Knight first. I have also done Godzilla vs King Ghidorah and Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack and while Godzilla vs King Ghidorah was made first Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack was made 6 or 7 films later. So this is a first. Two film reviews chronological order of when they were made. Last Month it was Johnny English. This Month it is Johnny English Reborn (or Johnny English 2).

It has been Seven Years since the first film and the film almost replicates this by having the film set 5 years after an incident where Johnny messed up. A lot has changed in the film but the biggest change is the cast. Only one person from the original is still in it and that is Rowan Atkinson. The cast includes James Bond Girl Rosamund Pike, X-Files Star Gillian Anderson, The Wire Star Dominic West, Torchwood Star Burn Gorman, West Wing Star Richard Schiff and Blackadder Star Tim McInnerny (Darling). The film has a different tone to it than its predecessor. It has the idea of English trying to be a spy where as in the first film he was a spy although not a very good one. The several times in the film that it is trying to be a spy film and not a comedy so it is hard to get into but when the big jokes start you can’t stop laughing.

The beginning of the film shows English living with Tibetan Monks trying to forget an incident in Mozambique and training with the monks. This scene looks similar to both the training scenes in Batman Begins and early scenes in Hot Shots! Part Deux (which Rowan Atkinson did star in). English is eventually told to go back and work for MI7 which is now owned by Toshiba (hahahahaha). He is sent on a mission with another agent called Tucker (Skins Star Daniel Kaluuya) to China so they can meet up with an informant and possessor of 1 of 3 keys to a secret weapon. Before heading off to China they get some Gadgets from Darling (I did wish that Darling would get said in this film) and a voice activated Rolls Royce. The contact is killed by a cleaner and English chases one of the people working for the evil gang known as Vortex all over Hong Kong in a funny scene (hahahahaha).

While accidentally attacking Pegasus’s mother thinking it was the killer cleaner an MI7 psychologist thinks he may be telling the truth that what happened in Mozambique may not be entirely his fault and is able to help English identify the second member of Vortex. English and Tucker go to a Golf Club and talk to a Russian Guy who maybe the other guy who is then shot by the killer cleaner. They take him to a hospital in a helicopter with some impressive helicopter flying (hahahahaha) and also a reference to one of the adverts which inspired the Johnny English film in the first place (hahahahaha). The Russian dies but gives English another key and tells him that there is a mole in MI7 which English hears as vole and tucker tells him mole and so English thinks there is both a vole and a mole in MI7.

English goes to speak with another MI7 agent called Simon (the bloke from The Wire) and talks to him about the keys and tucker discovers that Simon is the Mole and English does not believe him. He gives Simon the keys and Simon then tells Pegasus that English is the third guy in Vortex, setting him up. English then runs from MI7 throughout London in Darling’s Wheelchair (hahahahaha). He goes to the psychologist’s flat and they have a Takeaway and find out what the secret weapon is, a mind controlling drug, the same thing was used in Mozambique. The psychologist and Simon go to Switzerland for the negotiations with the Chinese Premier (who the bad guys want to kill) and English is attacked in the psychologists flat by the killer cleaner. English escapes to Tuckers house and gets his help and together they go to Switzerland to stop the evil plan.

When they get there they try to get into the cable car station using a hook. English mistakes a device thinking it is the mechanism used with the hook and it is actually a distress beacon as loud as a panic alarm or smoke alarm. All the guards can hear this and set out to capture them. English and Tucker hide the beacon in the snow and it then fire’s off a flare showing the guards where they are (hahahahahahahahahaha, funniest scene). English asks Tucker to capture him so they can get into the base. They get into the base and find out that Simon plans to use Pegasus as the killer and give her the drug but they give it to English instead. English uses the lipstick gun originally meant for Pegasus and tries to shoot the Chinese Premier. English’s mind training comes into effect and tries to stop himself. Tucker manages to cut the signal communicating with English. Simon shouts at the microphone but reveals himself as the actual villain because Tucker changed the output device to the speakers. He also manages to stop English by making him dance to Word Up by Cameo. English dies from the drug but is brought back to life by a combination of the psychologist kissing him and his monk training. English chases after Simon in the cable car and finally kills him with a rocket launcher umbrella.

English is given his Knighthood back by the Queen but it turns out that the Queen is the killer cleaner in disguise. He chases after her and thinks he has captured her and starts beating her up. Some agents enter the room with the killer cleaner and English discovers that he is beating up the real Queen.

In the credits English is shown cooking the Takeaway at the psychologists flat to the tune of In The Hall Of The Mountain King.

Johnny English Reborn is an enjoyably Funny film but it is not as good as the first. It is trying to be a spy film instead of a funny film with a spy story. If it was like the first in story and how it was presented it may have been better. Also what happened to the Good Opening Theme of the original. The cast is an interesting mix of characters and you will be going through the film thinking wasn’t she in or isn’t he. Overall it is a Fun film but it could have been better but don’t let that put you off from seeing it. If you like to laugh there are points in this film where you won’t be able to stop. 

GENEPOOL





Animal Puppets Return To Television

7 11 2011

Tonight sees the return of Mongrels to Television. Mongrels is a Comedy Puppet Show about a group of animals living in London. The show is the best puppet show on television since Roger and the Rottentrolls (over 10 years ago) and tonight it is the start of the 2nd series.

The show is made by puppeteer Andy Heath and Director Adam Miller. The two guys worked together on Ripley and Scuff (the Rubbish spin-off of Roger and the Rotten Trolls) and it was here where the Idea for Mongrels started. The 2 wanted to make an American styled comedy but with puppets. They wanted to achieve something similar to the Simpsons but with Puppets.

“We wanted to make something that had the pace of an American animation but with British sensibilities, that was adult, but not crude, that was based in the realities of the animal world, and that didn’t rely on the puppets to do the comedy.” – Adam Miller

Mongrels arrived on Television last year and was really funny. The show starred a Fox named Nelson, a Cat called Marion (my favourite character), Vince the Fox, Destiny the Hound and Kali the Pigeon. Nelson is a fox trying to be more than a fox and is always trying to be upper class. Vince is a fox but is also quite rude but all of his bad language is bleeped out (“adult, but not crude”). Destiny is a dog (possibly an Afghan hound) who acts a bit like a teenager/pop singer. Kali the pigeon is a villain type character. Marion the Cat is an extremely daft animal who is Nelson’s sidekick and is always doing something funny.

The show includes little sketches in between the main dialogue and scenes. Kind of like the clip scenes from Family guy. The show also contains celebrity appearances and a song during the show performed by the puppets, one of which appeared at this year’s BBC Proms.

Some of the adult humor can be really close to a step too far (and sometimes a bit offensive) but because the puppets are animals they can kind of get away with it. While the show does contain adult themes some of these elements are still pretty funny (with only a few pieces which are almost a step too far). The show is enjoyable to watch and has some really funny scenes but just be warned that it does have some Adult Themes. While it does contain adult themes the show as a whole is really good, with some really funny scenes and funny characters.

Watch Mongrels tonight at 22:30 on BBC Three (WARNING: Show Contains Adult Themes and Strong Language)

GENEPOOL








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