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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Lost and Found Review

If you are familiar with this animation film then you will be wandering why I am reviewing it now when it was released in 2008.
Well, I came across the front cover somewhere and honestly just thought well the the two characters look really cute I want to see more. I hadn't even read what the story was about but I knew it was going to be something special as I think all stories that feature humans forming bonds with animals are.
After watching the film I realised that the book could be read in five minutes whereas the film was around twenty five minutes long.
What the makers of film have done amazingly have managed to stretch the story without pushing the characters where they don't need to go.
So the tale begins with a penguin, an incredibly cute one I have to say, finds himself in a cosy little fishing town seemimgly lost.
In one of the houses a boy with a knitted bobble hat and red and white stripy jumper is beginning his day with his daily routine.
A knock on the door sends him downstairs, there stands a penguin; curious and inquisitive about this strange building he finds himself in, he takes a shine to a radio which the boy becomes irritated by as the penguin fiddles with his precious music delivering treasure.
The boy decides to get the penguin back home, there are no departing boats to escort the penguin so he decides to build his own little one (as you do) , setting sail with a lunchbox and his radio.
However, their journey is disrupted as a raging and aggressive storm punches at the boat, flipping it over, then a gigantic red squid rises from the depths, helping the duo on their way. This rather lovely sea creature enables the boy to reach the North Pole with surprisingly no injuries to show for his journey.
As he says goodbye to the pneguin, handing him his umbrella as a momento, he opens the penguins lunchbox and discovers some photos that the little bird had taken in a photobooth they walked past. One of those photos is of the boy pulling the penguin out of the booth but to the penguin it looked like a hug.
Hurriedly, the boy finds the penguin and they set sail back to the seaside town where their friendship began, they just didn't know it yet.
This story in itself is one of the sweetest and most adorable tales I have ever come across and demonstrates how magical and powerful film can be for younger children. The morals about the penguin not being lost but was looking for a friend could I hope allow the readers of the book to uphold a more open mind about people and the different cultures around them.
As the film didn't include dialogue the physical movements of the characters were more powerful in how they expressed their emotions using simple connections like a hug was sublime in its subtly to show the development of the boy and penguins friendship.
Furthermore, the style art of the characters and how their bodies moved were basic drawings that encompassed the simplistic but most valuable actions of the characters finely using the right amount of colour and light to emphasis the story's idealic atmosphere and calmness.
The question remains who was lost and who was found? Mmmmm.....

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Doctor Who- Forest of the Night Review

Hello there,

So trees....everywhere!! There is no one villian of this piece, just multiple trees which is what makes this story so sublime and magical.
A fairytale concept that aims to set up the forest as Earth's shield in juxtaposition to predictable invaders.
The conclusion that the doctor faces is that he cannot face nature or psychics and when he leaves I utterly and completely believed for a second that the doctor was going to leave the Earth to die.
And he does, he flies away but then discovers that this has happened before but the human race forgot and the trees were there to act as an airbag to protect the Earth from a solar flare from the Sun.
Thankfully, I loved the children characters as each one had their own believable personality whether that be; vulnerability, anger management or an intense need to panic. They made me laugh and I was genuinely interested in who they are and their relationships with each other.
Then there were wolves and a TIGER, running after the doctor and Clara was something so fantastic, fresh and a representation mystical creatures found in the most warming and heartwarming stories that forever sit in the minds of children.
A most impressive production element of the episode was the direction; with the camera following the doctor around the TARDIS, the chasing scenes, and the shifting of the doctor looking at the individual children to look for Mauve.
What I found to be most phenomenal was the evolution of Clara's character as her priorities are to protect the children but is more focused on what caused phenomenon to occur.
Also, she continues to lie to Danny when he comes across some the children's school books in the TARDIS even when she thought the world was going to end. Very bad.
This predicament just makes her character even more interesting to watch and revamps a circle of excitement around how she is going to depart from the doctor which is inevitable in the life of the companion.
Danny's little description of what Clara means to him which was very sweet and adorable. I find that their relationship becomes unstable when the doctor is around. 
Who saves the world here, no, it's not the doctor but the children- Awwwww what a great conclusion to this beautiful story.
Colourful, incredibly fairytale like, moving, stunning and spectacular. I welcome back Frank Cottrell- Boyce.

Agents of SHIELD- Season 2 Episode 1- Shadows Review

Yay, the agents of Shield from the Marvel comics are back with ferocity and some snappy dialogue.
After the epic conclusion to the first season I was sceptical at how the writers were going to better themselves for season two.
Cleverly, they have done so with a mystery that began in 1945 in Austria where a strange silver object was in the hands of Nazi soldiers. 
The present Shield team come across the strange markings on the box that contains said same one.
The misson was on as they pummelled and zapped their way into a US government storage facility to retrieve the box and learn about the object's origins.
It was a thrill to see the team again; Mai was as stern and kick ass as usual but with a hint of warmth this time around, Skye- well it certainly isn't just her hair style that has changed. Mai has been training her and she seems to have obtained a militaristic attitude to Shield and it feels like she has become confident in the role that she plays within the team which is a brilliant development for her character. Then there is Coulson; the kind and righeous leader who feels a little more authoriative and unsympathetic then last season. The contrast is a great way to show that the characters have actually been affected by the stories that have happened to them. And not forgeting Fitz; the sweet Scottish scientist who I was surprised to see awake and physically active.
What the writers have done well here is that the audience are seeing what Fitz sees which is Simmons talking to him, motivating and comforting him that he will get better when in reality Simmons isn't really there and turns out that Fitz has been talking to himself. Once I made that discovery it was a very poignant moment to know that he still needs his buddy scientist to help him out.
I did find that it was a bit out of character for Simmons to just leave him but I'm hoping that she will be back before long.
Now a really impressive super villian appeared in this corker of a opener; named the Crusher, this insanely muscled baddie has the ability to obtain the material of any object that he touches which means he can blend into the surface of walls, make cars flip over his steel made body and for some weird reason likes the feeling of it. The power is too much for this guy.
I had no idea that the team were going to keep Ward close by but then decided it made sense to get valuable information out of him. His character really interests me because he is so unpredictable, I never know when he's lying or telling the truth which does make the story more exciting when he is involved.
We didn't really have long to get to know the new team members as two were killed by the Crusher but the British one (I am going to call him that because I can't remember his name) did survive so I'm intrigued to find out a little bit more about his history and how he waas recruited to Shield. 
The structure of the new agents were given enough substance and character to tell you a little about thier history and the snappy responses to each others interactions made them fit well into the group.
Coulson's speech about the team becoming like ghosts, shadows to protect people and the world was a surpremely important representation of the organisation and why I love it so much.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Doctor Who Flatline Review

Hello visiters of Kryptonian Warrior,

A classic opening of a fateful victim meeting their demise but with a two dimensional twist that sets this story up so imaginatively was my interpretation of Flatline.
Never before has a single episode greeted us fans with as much creative visuals surrounding the shrinking dimensions of the TARDIS.
The sight of this magnificent and well known piece of British culture suddenly a miniature version of itself was a squealing fan moment of mine.
But not stopping there; Clara discovers the big blue box is now the little blue box and it is adorable as Clara points out.
The whole concept of aliens who tackle dimensional constraints and the demonstration of the beings dissection of the victims blazoned across the walls was a mind blowing creation with the depiction of a nervous system and a microscopic piece of human skin fantastically plotted.
The writer Jamie Mathieson's decision to devise the scenes where Clara carries the TARDIS around in her bag with the doctor's hand popping out from time to time to hand out gadgets and gizmos were some of the comedic highlights of mine of the series.
There was a really fascinating character development with Clara that is such a contrasting path for the companion to take because never before has the companion been able to experience what it's like to be the doctor in such raw and dangerous detail.
I could clearly see the harshness and authoritive attitude that the doctor himself possesses when she says that she is the person who is going to save Fenton's life. 
There were so many moments that I just absorbed with joy, horror and hilarity. I won't start bullet pointing but I do want to mention my favourite funny sequence where Clara and Rigsy are clinging onto a round 3-D chair, then this seems to act as a beacon for Danny Pink to give Clara a quick call.
Jenna Coleman's execution of her side of the conversation was marvellous and comedy genius in my eyes but underlining this scene emphasise's on her continuation of lying to Danny and the doctor.
Cleverly, I think this ties in with the writers focus on showing how the doctor can corrupt his companion rather then making them better which the Russell T Davies era concentrated on. 
Douglas MacKinnon has directed this episode with visual animosity and poignant patterns that have impressed me with a wild artistic delight.
I would have liked to have discovered a little more for the enemies reason for coming to Earth but maybe that's one of the favourable aspects of their creation.
The supporting characters could have been layered with more history and depth to them but that didn't shift my attention one bit.
Importantly, the most valuable piece of the story for me was when the doctor tells Clara that she was an exceptional doctor but there was no goodness included. That for me was an important stage in her character's journey because I could see in her expression that she knew exactly what he was talking about and the doctor is having to come to terms with how his behaviour and turbulent life may have a negative impact on the people around him.
I've been trying to find a word that can represent this episode with the meaning that is deserves,  and the only one I could come up with is - unique.
Flatline is one of the truly unique and mystifying stories that Doctor Who has told and I shall remember it fondly with a huge smile.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Doctor Who- Mummy on the Orient Express Review

Here we are again, 
 Another whomper of a story following on from the whooper that was Kill the Moon!
A sliding camera zoom along the skeleton of the grand Orient Express train in space begins the thrilling adventure.
The 1920's period is a favourite of mine with everyone sounding very posh and proper- it is very hilarious to hear them in such a horrifying situation.
Which brings me onto the magnificent creation of the Mummy; the detail of his ragged bandages and his ribcage lying beneath was surreal in how real it looked. An applaud is due!
The 66 seconds to live was an immediate up level of the suspense of the deaths of the passengers and their sudden inevitability.
As the doctor and Clara entered into the story I was a bit confused as to how much time had passed since their quite big spate but once they started talking it was all fine- this was their last hoorah but not really...
I really enjoyed the awkward atmosphere that surrounded their conversation, it was no surprise that the doctor was trying to hide behind his explanation of where they were and all the facts and figures.
The story ended up somewhere I very gladly accepted because of the shifting setting from the 20's to a futuristic science lab with the passengers being physicists, doctors and holograms.
Particularly, I found that Peter Capaldi's incarnation is the most outwardly complicated in fact that in one scene the doctor supposedly persuades Clara to bring Maisie to her death rather coldly but then admitting that he had to make the mysterious Gus think that he was going to let the Mummy kill Maisie.
However, this was definitely not the case when he implanted all of Maisie's guilt and weaknesses into his mind so that the Mummy would come after him. He concluded that the Mummy was a century old soldier who just wanted the passengers to surrender.
Clara's reaction to the doctor persuading her to lie to Maisie about him saving her was a sequence I was hoping for and it didn't disappoint.
The appearance of Frank Skinner was a nice addition to the piece and his character fitted in really well especially with the doctor.
Never before has the companion looked at time travel as an addiction; this is a really positive thing for the writers to do because it shows that each companion sees travelling in space and time differently as they should.
Even though Clara asked the doctor if he thought the travelling was an addiction I think she was just pointing it out to herself or secretly letting the doctor know that this is her opinion on what the travelling feels like.
I'm just glad that Clara has decided to stay for a while longer but obvious that her feelings and fears of this life she leads are still there but just buried slightly deeper into her subconscious.
Her enthusiasm for new planets and adventures got me jumping and saying 'Yay let's go'! Whoo!
Wonderfully atmospheric, very scientific and a great evolution for the doctor and Clara.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Doctor Who Kill the Moon review

Hello again!

Well, well, well, well what an episode that was! Blimey, the doctor and Clara's relationship has really entered a new and fascinating conundrum.
The beginning of the story sets a groundbreaking theme that just made me go 'Whoo, what is going to happen here'?
It was such a bold move to make by the writer Peter Harness but one that I was thankful for in that it set the tone of the story where sometimes things are just bad, really really bad.
All was not lost in the comedic aspect as Clara explains to the doctor that telling Courtney that she wasn't special and his confused expression as a response was a delightful speck of lightness.
Not only that, but the doctor referring to Courtney Woods as a what instead of a who was a funny reminder that the doctor is such a long streak of alien that could leave me in fits on his description of how he sees humans.
I was glad that Clara hadn't actually agreed to allow Courtney to take a trip in the TARDIS because that would have just been really bad teachering or make her the coolest teacher ever for just allowing one of her students to be whizzed around in the doctor's box depending on how you look at it.
To point out, this story for me was one of the most creative and intriguing of the whole series because as a concept the idea of the moon being an egg for an enormous creature about to hatch from it inconceivably brilliant and creative.
More so that whenever I gaze upon the moon from now on all I will see is a big egg and the image of a majestic creature hatching from it.
The approach that the doctor takes was a huge development in how he leaves it to Clara to decide whether to let the creature live or let the Earth die.
It's quite a dangerous development that the doctor has become so unpredictable and erratic in his decision making. I really never know which path he is going to take which I quite like.
I think the doctor has to be like that to remind the audience and his companions that he is an alien and sees the universe differently to everyone else.
The surprise for me in this episode was how much I enjoyed Courtney's character, there is such a sincerity, warmth and attitude that is not overbearing but quite fitting for her character.
Spiders, spiders GIANT SPIDERS WITH TEETH SHAPED LIKE PINS!!!!!! AAAGGGHHHH
They were certainly incredibly horrifying and skittlish not just bringing the scare elements but discovering that they are bacteria for the creature about to hatch from inside the Moon a very clever role for these eight legged beasts.
At no point did the pace feel rushed or pushed because there was time for the confrontational scenes between the doctor and Clara to breathe and expand further into their future journeys.
I love the writers for bringing different sides to Clara's character as she hounds the doctor for leaving her to make quite a big decision that could destroy the whole planet or a brand new creature just born.
The jokes that were weaved into the dark and despairing scenes were great and quite hilarious in the anguish and black mood of the fateful decision making. 
I don't mention the CGI much which I do regret not because it's not fantastic, the work done on Who are the best I've ever seen but I forget to mention everything that I loved about an episode.
So here I am applauding the phenomenal CGI that has been achieved on this episode- the shot as the TARDIS crew gracefully make their way on the surface of the Moon was absolutely stunning and so detailed.
I was astounded by the colossal scale of how far you could see the Earth from the character's point of view really beautiful.
A phenomenal, creative and character driven drama that is packed with frightening spiders and landscapes that could inspire an insect.

Friday, 3 October 2014

The Boxtrolls Review

From the makers of Coraline and Paranorman the Laika brings us another inventive and extremely imaginative story about a boy who the people of Cheesebridge believes was kidnapped and eaten by the boxtrolls that live underground wearing yes you guessed it boxes for clothes.
However, what the makers have cleverly done is made the characters think that this happened as well as the audience when in fact the boy's father who was a brilliant inventor told the trolls who had become his friends to take care of his son because he knew that he was going to be horribly killed the actual monster of the piece.
The themes rest heavily on who people perceive as monsters by their appearances and having the closed mindedness to believe rumours that are an interpretation of what actually happened.
I loved the Victorian style of the characters and the setting was immensely gothic and rich in its context and the visual images of the town and its architecture.
The main character of Eggs who believes he is a troll is very sweet and a empathic quality that you can't help but connect with and admire his kindness and open mind.
The animation style that Laika produces is one of my favourites with the big bodies and skinny limbs and the intrinsic detail of the characters and their physicality continues to amaze me.
A heartwarming, creative, unique, gothic and inspiring piece of storytelling that should continue to grow and build on its talents and imaginative interpretations of real stories that can amaze and bring some light to people's lives.