Film Reviews – The Croods + G.I. Joe Retaliation + The Host

 

THE CROODS.

WRITTEN BY – Chris Sanders (Aladdin, Beauty & the Beast, Lilo & Stitch.,
– John Cleese (Monty Python, Families & how to survive them)
DIRECTED BY – Chris Sanders & Kirk de Micco.

This prehistoric adventure has topped the US box office and looks to do the same here with the Easter break and school holidays on the horizon. The last family of cavemen – The Croods – meet a slightly more advanced human – Guy, who convinces them their sheltered world is coming to an end.
Nicolas Cage voices the very traditional Dad – Grug, Emma Stone is his daughter Eep, she’s a teenager who is getting sick of being locked up in a cave 24/7 and wants to know that there is more to life. Grug believes that fear is the only important rule that will keep his family safe. His mottos – “Darkness brings death” & “Never not be afraid”. They head off on a journey that really is a trip and the colours of the animation alone are worth the price of a ticket My five year old daughter got a bit scared and a bit restless, but my 12 year old son thought it was pretty good. I loved it. Big doses of slapstick combined with quite confronting ideas like people who have never seen fire before. In one sequence they manage to simultaneously invent fireworks and popcorn. Cool.

VERDICT – 4 stars.

G.I. JOE RETALIATION.

WRITTEN BY – Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick (Zombieland).
DIRECTED BY – Jon M. Chu (Step Up & Justin Bieber Never Say Never).

The U.S. Army’s elite commando force of GI Joes are back, led by Dwayne Johnson. Channing Tatum returns only to be killed in the opening sequence. Guest cameos from The Shield’s Walton Goggins, Bruce Willis and Rome’s Ray Stevenson help make this explosion-fest highly entertaining.
I found the story pretty hard to follow beyond the American President has been kidnapped and replaced by a master of disguise who is hell bent on ruling the world with a nuclear arsenal. Expect the standard fare of one liners and gun battles, with a cliff face ninja battle one of the most inventive action scenes I’ve seen lately. Overall the film doesn’t make too much sense and I was miffed to discover no GI Joe toys whatsoever on the shelves at K-Mart directly after seeing the movie. Hasbro gave the go ahead for the first film based on the huge success of making a Transformers movie, so I am dumbfounded that what is essentially a 90 minute toy commercial is not backed up with product in the shelves… Coming in May…
A good movie for boys of all ages. Packed with gadgets and snappy lines like “A riot with a zipcode”… Hoo Ah.

VERDICT – 3 Stars.

THE HOST.

WRITTEN BY – Kiwi Andrew Niccol ( Truman Show, Gattaca) & Stephenie Myer (Twilight)
DIRECTED BY – Andrew Niccol (Lord Of War, Gattaca).

Earth has been invaded by aliens. Little jellyfish looking dudes who take over our bodies and are really polite. But some humans resist and that’s the bulk of this film. Melanie doesn’t want to give up her body for the alien soul of Wanderer and this idea starts out as kind of kooky gets really annoying. Some great ideas like what does it mean to be human and what exactly is a soul provide some good food for thought, but on the whole it’s slow paced and more like a book or play than a movie. I was happy when it ended. Good teenage fodder.

VERDICT – 2.5 Stars.

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