Hollywood forgets every so often that audiences are made up of real people who don’t always want films that carry a political statement or modern day protest. Breaking boundaries is great and all but sometimes films only ever need to be family entertainment in the form of an escape to be a success and that’s exactly what Sonic the Hedgehog is.
My very first memory of video games is sitting beside my older brother while playing the then SEGA console of the time and seeing that blue speedy ball flash past the ever so colourful visuals while he collected gold rings. Sonic the Hedgehog is a gaming establishment and I have forever cherished the memories of playing those games as they came out in the early 90’s.
Over the years there have been a stack of video game to cinema adaptations. I can count the enjoyable one’s on a single hand and so when I saw they were finally giving Sonic the same treatment, like most I was hesitant in my belief. Turns out they did it and they did it rather well!
Over the weekend my brother joined me at the local cinema and like those days of old we watched that blue sphere rush through rich cinematic landscapes but this time with a narrative and so full credit goes to Ben Schwartz for voicing the ‘fastest thing alive’. And now after they improved the CGI of our main character it does look quite good.
The story is simple and easy to follow; they’ve blended Sonic’s world with ours and so that’s the story; an alien hedgehog has been living in solitude on Earth until he gets discovered by ‘Green Hills’ local cop played by James Marsden who brings character balance to the film; he’s not only fun himself but bounces off the humour Sonic piles into the dialogue. Although there were many gags and funny moments; most were aimed at younger audiences but overall everyone will find the humour and fun in this. Our antagonist comes in the form of Jim Carrey, now say what you will about him; many don’t like his style or his performances but I thought he brought a perfect sinister level of creative humour that gave life to the iconic Doctor Robotnik – again another character who has never spoken in the earlier games. Some of his one-liners are typical Carrey which mainstream audiences will laugh at.
You’ll find plenty of nods and tributes to the original games such as names, music interludes and even dialogue moments. For big time fans of Sonic; check it out, you will most probably enjoy the majority of it. To see my original gaming hero reach number 1 in both the US and UK film charts is quite special and credit where credit is due because they have done a good job in providing a film that might not be protest towards anything or have a ground breaking cast; but it’s entertaining and fun for all ages. Sometimes that’s all stories need to be!
8 Rings out of 10
A perfect combination of homage to both Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick…
Apparently this film isn’t doing well at the box office, that doesn’t mean a damn thing other than that most people probably haven’t read what is easily in my top 5 books of all time.
The movie translates rather well even if the book is of the typical Stephen King epic persuasion; there is only so much you can fit into a two and half hour run time and in all honesty they did a great job with this!
Ewan McGregor/ Obi Wan is perfect as an adult ‘Dan Torrance’ who has spent his life shrouded by the demons that haunted the Overlook Hotel while trying to control his extrasensory gift related to it known as the shining. That is while battling alcoholism; eventually he starts fresh in a new town and that’s when he starts getting messages from another who carries the same ability; enter ‘Abra’ played by Kyliegh Currann who may have actually stolen the show – like she does in the book but in this film more for her performance.
The world of the Shining is expanded via an organisation known as the ‘True Knot’. They feed on folks who ‘shine’ and so it’s up to ‘Abra’ and ‘Dan’ to team up and stop them because the ‘Knot’ are bad guys. This is essentially the plot but we get so much more, Rebecca Ferguson puts in an incredible depiction of ‘Rose the Hat’ and the ‘Knot’ are everything I imagined and pictured.
The last half hour of this film was a pure and wonderful homage to Kubrick’s masterpiece while also being wrapped up in the world Stephen King established. It’s a great sequel full of atmosphere, gripping performances, cinematography and dark imagination. Those who are into horror will enjoy this whether you have read or watched the first story; it doesn’t matter, this one will get ya!
4.5 Stars or 4.5 Here’s Johnny’s….
A fun, emotional and sometimes laugh out loud film that finds the true meaning of purpose and life…
There are many sequels out there that never live up to the heights of their original, many try to recapture the magic of the first and there are even some that just re tell an old story.
Toy Story 4 achieves way more than any of it’s previous installments in what is a true masterpiece of storytelling. Now some of you are probably wondering what else is there left to tell other than just remapping of old ground. Well in this film the word purpose is explored in a deep and somewhat emotional fashion. Toy Story 4 is not just a fun action packed adventure, it’s a deep look at the purpose of life and its beautifully done.
Just what happens to a toy when its owner no longer wants to play with it? You can find out by watching this film. Its a combination of nostalgia and something new; a concept many sequels barely achieve. Woody embarks on a journey of reflection while doing what he does best; caring for other toys and trying to be there for his kid; along the way he finds the truth and although its sad, it’s kind of liberating and heroic.
The concept of Toy Story is such an original and fun thing. It has captivated generations of kids including me who saw the first one at aged five, I was blown away then and I am now by the fourth. On more than one occasion I will happily admit I was moved to tears during this film; the triumphs, the drama, the comedy and the reality of purpose this film conveys caps of what is a wonderful series of imaginative stories.
The animation looks real, something I noticed straight away. Pixar have done an awesome job in putting together the epitome of emotional story and childhood all rolled into a fun film!
You’ve got a friend in me….
5 Stars – A must watch for everyone who likes the series…