Sonic The Hedgehog ★★★☆☆

The Blue Blur speeds back onto the big screen after a quick makeover to fix some…….problems. Sonics’ peaceful life on Earth is suddenly disrupted as he is pursued by the sinister Dr Robotnik……

Directed by Jeff Fowler

Starring Ben Schwartz, Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Tika Sumpter 

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The Lion King ★★★☆☆

The relentless Disney train stops by in Africa for the latest remake from their archives. We go back to 1994, as The Lion King gets the 4k remake! With exceptional animations and a stunning cast, can it deliver?

Directed by Jon Favreau

Starring Donald Glover, Beyonce, Chiwetel Ejiofor, James Earl Jones

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Toy Story 4 ★★★★☆


It’s been almost 10 years since the last instalment, but the latest release of Pixars’ crown jewel is still just as good as ever. Acting as an epilogue to the Andy trilogy, Toy Story 4 closes things well, yet still , leaves the door open for more fun down the road.

Directed by Josh Cooley

Starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Christina Hendricks

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Coco Dazzles


Pixar have a habit of constantly releasing critically acclaimed hits, and their latest venture, could prove to be their greatest triumph yet. It’s taken Coco a few months to arrive on these shores, but the wait has been worth it.

The Day of the Dead, is our main focus here, the Mexican holiday in which people come together to celebrate the lives of the members of their family who have passed away. Miguel, our young protagonist, yearns to be a musician, but due to a complicated family history, the art of music, in any form, has been prohibited in the family. But in his attempts to emulate his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz,, the greatest musician of his time, Miguel finds himself trapped in the Land of the Dead, seeking his hero for a way out.

UNLIKELY DUET — In Disney•Pixar’s “Coco,” aspiring musician Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) teams up with charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal) on a life-changing journey through the Land of the Dead. Directed by Lee Unkrich, co-directed by Adrian Molina and produced by Darla K. Anderson, Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017. ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Considering the theme of film is pretty morbid, the movie itself is surprisingly vivid! It is probably one of the most resplendent settings in any Pixar movie, with the festival ambiance providing a fantastic backdrop to the story. The visuals are stunning, and has some of the best animation the studio have produced.

Pixar movies are always an emotional ride, and Coco delivers. The recurring themes of death, grief and family are mentioned throughout the film. So it’s not too much of a surprise that there is a certain level of poignancy to the plot. But the final third of Coco is so well done, it should move most people to some degree! Without spoiling, it packs a punch!

FAMILY REUNION — In Disney•Pixar’s “Coco,” Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) finds himself magically transported to the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead where he meets his late family members, who are determined to help him find his way home. Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”), Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017. ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

The cast are thoroughly enjoyable. Hector, a charming, witty trickster who accompanies Miguel on his journey is a wonderful character, he’s just not there for comic relief though, his story arc plays out to perfection. Ernesto, our pompous superstar, is just about the right level of irritation & arrogance! Considering there are two sets of families, one alive, one passed away, there is an abundance of names and faces, not all of whom are important to the plot. But it plays a vital role in pushing through its message about family.

With it being a Disney production, the musical score will always be a crucial factor. With Coco, the soundtrack delivers a wonderful blend of music, will the effervescent flamenco/latino party rhymes, to the sombre melodies. ‘Remember Me’, the recurring track that plays throughout, not only carries a great level of poignancy, it also plays a vital role within the film.


Regarding negatives, there really isn’t much to say against it, but if you were to knit pick, the opening 1/3 is rather slow to kick on. It’s really not too clear where the movie is going with things, but the remainder of Coco is so good, you’ll let that go. Also, there really isn’t a villain in the film, it doesn’t really hurt the enjoyment, but if you like a movie with a clear antagonist, this may bug you a bit.

That being said, these are very minor flaws in what is already one of the candidate for film of the year! A sure winner for the Oscar for best animation!

The Red Turtle, Silence is Golden

The Red Turtle comes with the pressure of having the name Studio Ghibli attached to its production, even if it’s only as a co-producer (Wild Bunch, being the other half). Director, Michaël Dudok de Wit, had the daunting task of working on a film that would validate the faith put on him to lead this motion picture.

Luckily I had the opportunity to watch a screening of The Red Turtle at the glamorous May Fair Hotel in London, a comfortable setting for a very charming movie.


The most striking aspect of The Red Turtle is that the entire film has virtually no dialogue, barring some shouting or crying. The story is beautifully told simply via the animation and the musical score. So if that doesn’t sound appealing, than this film is not for you! The animation is also very European, so do not expect the usual Studio Ghibli presentation, even though their name is tagged on. This doesn’t mean that the animation is any less stunning. Considering the lack of any speech, it is critical that the visual aspect of the movie is on point, something that excels here. The island produces some gorgeous visuals, such as the bamboo groves frequently visited here! De Wit does a fantastic job in storytelling, in such a minimalistic method.


So the story revolves around a nameless man, who is left stranded on a island following a shipwreck. After discovering that he is the solitary human on this tropical island, he survives on fresh fruit and water from the lake. But the constant loneliness drives our man to plan an escape, using the endless supply of bamboo at his disposal. His efforts are in vain, as his escapes are always wrecked by a wild red turtle. Without disclosing the entire plot, the movie follows the interaction between the man, and the turtle, and their interactions.

What we have a is wonderfully simplistic movie, which manages to go into some surprising meaningful  topics, the fact it is all done in visuals makes the movie even more enjoyable. The Oscar nomination it received for Best Animation was most certainly deserved. The movie even manages to fit in some humour, using the crabs living on the island, which form a bond with the man, to great comic use!


Some may not enjoy the movie though, as the story line does drift off into a more fairy-tale like territory, after a more realistic opening third act. Also, the films locations do get repeated, a lot! It’s clear to see their production value was not huge, as we frequently go back to the bamboo grove, lake and beach a lot. This does not diminish the story, though it may fatigue some viewers in that regards.

If you’re a fan of prior Ghibli movies, and the themes they follow, than the The Red Turtle is another stellar addition to their portfolio. If you simply enjoy animation, and storytelling, The Red Turtle also delivers on that front. Although it’s on a very limited release, if you do happen to stumble across it somewhere, do take the time out to see it!

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