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Review: Paddington

7th April 2015 | Films

Review: Paddington

The new Paddington movie is officially the most successful British family film of all time. And it totally deserves that title. Following a tremendous box office opening this past Christmas, the film has finally made its home entertainment release just in time for the summer – so, having been sent a copy, I sat down with the family to see what all of the fuss was about.

I do not envy anybody tasked with the job of turning a much loved, sacred children’s character into the subject for a family film. Some have done it well (e.g. Harry Potter), some have done it decently (e.g. SpongeBob) and some have done it awfully (e.g. Garfield). Luckily, Paddington and Harry Potter share the same producer (Heydey Films) so, in a way, this was destined to be a success.

With an all star cast, the ‘new Paddington’ is by far the most lovable furry animal on screens today. I have never wanted to cuddle my dog so much after watching this new release! I find it difficult to call him the ‘new Paddington’ as director Paul King has done a stellar job at keeping him as close to the original as possible (including the red hat and blue duffle coat).

It truly is one of the fastest 120 minutes you will ever encounter. It hits all of the marks – the moment it feels right for a baddie to appear, Nicole Kidman turns up as the evil taxidermist who you love to hate. The moment you’re in need of an inspirational speech, Hugh Bonneville is standing at the top of the Natural History Museum exclaiming his love for the bear. The film never leaves you waiting and there isn’t a moment when there isn’t a smile plastered across your face.

Review: The Voices

7th April 2015 | Films

Review: The Voices

It’s really hard to describe why The Voices is so brilliant to someone without blurting out every single thing about it. Since seeing it at Sundance London early last year, it’s been difficult to contain my excitement for its official release, and so it brings me a great honour to review it.

Ryan Reynolds plays Jerry Hickfang, a lonely bathtub factory worker who frequently holds conversations with his two pets, Mr Whiskers and Bosco (also voiced by Reynolds). But when Jerry meets Fiona, an English girl who works in accounting at the factory, things starts to get bad, as Mr Whiskers starts persuading him to use Fiona as the start of a killing spree.

Not only is the Michael R. Perry’s script brave and creative, Marjane Satrapi makes her English-language debut brilliantly colourful and enticing, managing to hit both style and substance perfectly. On top of this, Reynolds is likeable as ever, with The Voices quite possibly marking his greatest performance to date. For the most part, the supporting cast are also excellent, with Anna Kendrick especially standing out.

The Voices is a very funny film. But it’s also dark and upsetting. It succeeds at everything it sets out to do, and definitely warrants repeat viewings. Oh, and be sure to stay right though to the end credits for an extra surprise.

The Voices is out in UK cinemas now, and is available to rent on iTunes in the US.



Preston has his own movie blog. For more from the world of film, visit ’http://prestondefends.tumblr.com.

Review: SpongeBob SquarePants: Sponge Out Of Water

7th April 2015 | Films

Review: SpongeBob SquarePants: Sponge Out Of Water

SpongeBob SquarePants has been a stable for kids TV ever since it’s birth on Nickelodeon in 1999. One of the longest running kids TV series in history, there are very few people who do not recognise SpongeBob’s high pitched, excitable laugh from a mile away. We’ve endured it on TV for years, we’ve endured it in cinemas in 2004… and now he’s back on the big screen.

SpongeBob SquarePants: Sponge Out Of Water tells the story of SpongeBob, Patrick, Mr Krabs, Sandy and the rest of the Bikini Bottom crew as they need to go behind the sea in order to rescue their sacred Krabby Patty recipe from Captain BurgerBeard (voiced by Antonio Banderas).

Whilst the characters remain faithful to the original animations under the sea, once they reach land they turn into superheroes ready to save the day. Their new, super outfits look fitting and are designed perfectly to ensure that the characters are still recognisable, although enhanced. Also, there superpowers are humorously exact to what you’d expect.

The team have definitely pushed the boundaries to create a fun, energetic kids film that will suit both adults and children alike – there’s even appeal for teens to go with some characters voiced by YouTube sensations Joe Sugg and Caspar Lee. But, there is one issue with the film that makes it a bit dry for viewing.

For a 92 minute long film, director Paul Tibbitt and Mike Mitchell leave it very late for the main plot points to come in place. When the film is titled ‘Sponge Out Of Water’, it surprised me that it’s not till very near the end of the film that the sponge does come out of the water. There are several points in the film where I felt ready to…