Categories
Animation Features Live Action Movies

Hundreds
of Beavers

Director – Mike Cheslik – 2022 – US – Cert. 12 – 108m

***1/2

A ruined drinks purveyor reduced to hunting beavers (played by actors in onesies) attempts to kill the amount required to buy a trader’s daughter’s hand in marriage – visually astonishing slapstick comedy is out in UK and Ireland cinemas on Tuesday, July 9th

Opening with what is essentially a music video extolling the bibulous virtues of the booming, farm home of Jean Kayak’s Acme Applejack, this shows a simplistic caricature of a prosperous nineteenth century business when the wooden supports of one of Kayak’s gigantic barrels of beverage is nibbled by a beaver causing it to roll down a hill on which it’s situated into his house at the bottom of the hill, causing it to burn down his hillside apple orchard.

Leaving aside such questions as, why store the huge barrel on top of a hill above your house? – the answer, so it can roll down a hill, catch fire and burn down your orchard to get the plot going, proving less than satisfactory – this leaves the ruined Jean Kayak (co-writer Ryland Brickson Cole Tews) homeless in midwinter and forced to survive by hunting animals.… Read the rest

Categories
Animation Features Movies

Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles
Mutant Mayhem

Directors – Jeff Rowe, Kyler Spears – 2022 – US – Cert. PG – 99m

*****

The much loved comic-generated franchise gets a remakable reboot in animation that breaks the filmmaking mould to really get under the skin of the teenage experience – out in UK cinemas on Monday, July 31st

Hollywood animated children’s films since the advent of computer animation. They all look the same. Okay, that’s not entirely fair, but with notable exceptions like the Laika films and the recent Spider-Verse films there’s a definite homogeneity to this output overall, industry wisdom dictating the production parameters and the overall look and feel. There’s a mould there, the films make money and producers are terrified to break that mould. Not so here.

The irony is that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property, born out of a late night joke between two comic book artists who never expected to sell more than a one-off issue, has spawned numerous spin-offs in comics, animated TV series, video games and movies. Somehow, the previous six movies – three in the 1990s (including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Steve Barron, 1990; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze, Michael Pressman, 1991), one in 2007, and two more in the last decade following a reboot in 2014 – never quite delivered on the promise of the franchise, as if everyone concerned was too focused on the moneymaking potential and trying to play everything safe, an approach completely at odds with that of the two artists who originated the property and simply thought of it as a fun idea worth developing.… Read the rest