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Paw Patrol: The Movie | An Animated Film For Kids and Kids Only

Paw Patrol: The Movie is an adaptation of a popular TV show destined solely for die-hard fans (and their parents).



As I went to the theater last weekend to attend an empty IMAX screening of Lisa Joy’s Reminiscence, I was shocked by how many people were inside the theater. It was the first time since 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker that I saw a cinema this packed with families who were going to see a movie, especially on a hot and sunny Friday afternoon. Moviegoers were lined up at the concession stand; the arcade was full of children happily playing and enjoying an unfiltered version of life. This was a sign that the movies are indeed back. But what particular film drew a literal crowd akin to The Rise of Skywalker‘s opening weekend in mid-August? By now, most people had seen F9 and Black Widow, and while Free Guy is certainly entertaining for families, it may not be appropriate for small children. What movie was it? That’s right, PAW Patrol! If you were living in Montreal’s greater south shore region and wanted to see it in cinemas this weekend, heh, good luck trying! Most screenings were packed with families making their grand return to the movies after an 18-month long period of no theatrical experiences, and what better way to return to the place where all dreams are possible than watching an adaptation of a top-rated children’s TV show that contains the same aesthetic as the TV PAW Patrol with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio and film stars instead.

If you aren’t a fan of the TV show (which probably means your age is above 6 years old), don’t bother. The film panders strictly to children who are well-versed in the world of PAW Patrol through a breezy animated adventure that won’t require much thinking nor any storytelling risks in the process. This feels more like a film to introduce young children to the art of moviegoing (and could potentially influence them to work in the industry, you never know) than anything else. I mean, put yourself in the mind of a 3-year old going to see a movie on a screen so immense with a bag of buttered popcorn ready to be whisked away to be a part of the latest PAW Patrol adventure. It’s immensely memorable and something they will never forget for the rest of their life, especially when this film introduces them to the art of the cinematic language. It’s not groundbreaking, by all means, but for them, it’ll be a masterpiece.

PAW Patrol: The Movie chronicles our titular characters’ fight against political corruption in Adventure City (not even joking) as they are tasked to stop the nefarious Mayor Humdinger (Ron Pardo) from destroying the city through a cloud-sucking weather device unleashing a week’s worth of bad weather and multiple instances of criminal negligence to fill his overtly petulant ego. It’ll be up to the PAW Patrol to regain control of the city and arrest the mayor for his crimes against the citizens of a rather peaceful place. And if you’ve seen any kids’ films with despots/egotistical politicians as its primary antagonist, then you’ll be glad to hear that PAW Patrol: The Movie is no different than the plethora of risk-free animated films being released on our screens these days.

Foreground: Chase (voiced by Iain Armitage) and Ryder (voiced by Will Brisbin). Background L-R: Skye (voiced by Lilly Bartlam), Rocky (voiced by Callum Shoniker), Rubble (voiced by Keegan Hedley), Zuma (voiced by Shayle Simons), and Marshall (voiced by Kingsley Marshall) in PAW PATROL: THE MOVIE from Paramount Pictures. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Spin Master.

I was surprised by how many positive reactions the film has gotten from professional critics, with many unironically calling it a sweet and lovable animated film. And while it certainly is quite lovable and carefree for children looking for pure escapism, PAW Patrol: The Movie isn’t anything groundbreaking, nor an animated film that’ll do any wonders for the medium. It exists purely as a commercial for kids that haven’t been introduced to the TV series and an accompanying piece of content for existing franchise fans. If you haven’t seen the show, don’t worry, the film does a decent job of contextualizing who the main characters are within its opening scene, which is the film’s most entertaining part. Tyler Perry voices a distressed truck driver carrying Canadian maple syrup, who has an accident trying to avoid a turtle on the road and gets rescued by the PAW Patrol. The comedic timing of the sequence is quite good, featuring bouts of humor adults will enjoy. But it’s after the film’s opening credits sequence where PAW Patrol: The Movie becomes strictly for young children looking to see a cinematic version of their favorite animated TV characters.

L-R: Chase (voiced by Iain Armitage), Rocky (voiced by Callum Shoniker), Skye (voiced by Lilly Bartlam), Zuma (voiced by Shayle Simons), Rubble (voiced by Keegan Hedley), and Marshall (voiced by Kingsley Marshall) in PAW PATROL: THE MOVIE from Paramount Pictures. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Spin Master.

This scene, alongside its surprisingly cinematic action sequences, which strangely recalls the work of Zack Snyder in Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, make PAW Patrol: The Movie a relatively easy film to watch, though it’s not anything spectacular. None of the protagonists are developed and stay inside the same cyclical character beats of the show. We know a bit more about Chase (Iain Armitage) compared to the film’s other characters, as he has a traumatic past life in Adventure City but not much else to clamor for. Most of his fears get resolved through two pep talks, with Ryder (Will Brisbin) and Skye (Lilly Bartlam), which are extremely surface-level, though that may be enough for young kids to find poignant and adults enjoy its messaging.

Unless you’re three years old, you’ve seen the film’s plot countless times before, where a group of lively protagonists will overcome faux adversity to defeat pure evil. This time around, the pure evil is Mayor Humdinger, an egotistical political force who does everything he can to serve himself and himself only while looking down at his population. Adult viewers will likely find the similarities between him and President Donald Trump (the movie never hides it). At the same time, kids may see Humdinger as an adult version of a high school bully who constantly plays the victim and flees the scene after harming people. It’s an interesting antagonist for a children’s film and one that could’ve worked if it was better developed and didn’t revert to endless clichés and familiar character traits.

But the problem is that writer/director Cal Brunker and his co-scribes Billy Brolick and Bob Barlen never go past clichés and familiar character traits. Some will say, “you’re judging a film made for three-year-olds too harshly,” which is a valid argument but riddle me with this. When I was three, we had legitimately intelligent kids programs like Sesame Street to not only educate us but raise awareness on the social issues of our time in a thoughtful life. Nowadays, kids seem to enjoy brainless entertainment without much thought on the values they’re learning, nor if they’re being educated by watching one episode per day. If we expose our kids to thoughtful stories as they grow up, they have a better chance of becoming more literate in society, not only through art but on the way they see the world. And while PAW Patrol: The Movie certainly has the makings of a thought-provoking animated film, it never wants to surpass audience expectations and pander to die-hard fans of a cyclical show that’ll never end.

Great animated movies go above and beyond fan pandering and craft a truly memorable story for kids and adults to enjoy, but this one has no interest in doing that. Instead, it presents a simple story with simple character development and simple resolution. Heck, the PAW Patrol resolve three similar situations (or strikes) brought by the Mayor before arresting him. Strike one gives us a first look at Chase’s fears, while strike two exalts them until strikes three finally sees Chase overcoming his fears through pure willpower and cinematic slow-motion. Minimal development equals minimal results and minimal entertainment. Of course, if you’re looking to introduce your child to the art of moviegoing through a purely carefree and escapist piece of entertainment that won’t require much thinking from children and will distract them for 88 minutes with popcorn and a large screen, then look no further. But if you’re looking for something more wondrous and imaginative for both children and adults, with values that are way more memorable than in anything eight years of PAW Patrol taught us, then you better watch Vivo on Netflix instead.


PAW Patrol: The Movie is now playing in theatres and streaming on Paramount+

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Halloween Kills | A Fun Popcorn Flick With The Right Amount Of Slasher, Horror And Humour



Michael Myers terrifies the townsfolk of Haddenfield once again. halloween Kills uses elements from the 1978 original and fuses them with tense, gruesome and gore, it’s BLOODY BRUTAL!!!

In 2018 David Gordon Green’s Halloween, starring icon Jamie Lee Curtis, killed at the box office, earning more than $250 million worldwide, becoming the highest grossing chapter in the four-decade franchise and setting a new record for the biggest opening weekend in history for a horror film starring a woman. 

However that Halloween night when Michael Myers returns isn’t over yet as the movie picks up right where we left off from the last one. Laurie Strode (Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (And Matichak)  have left the masked monster caged and burning in Laurie’s basement, Laurie however is rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries and believes that she’s finally killed her lifelong tormentor. 

Photo: Blumhouse/Universal

But when Michael manages to free himself from Laurie’s trap, his ritual bloodbath resumes. As Laurie fights her pain and prepares to defend herself against him, she inspires all of Haddenfield to rise up against their unstoppable monster. 

The Strode women join a group of other survivors of Michael’s first rampage who decide to take matters into their own hands, forming a vigilante mob that sets out to hunt Michael down, once and for all.

Evil Dies Tonight. 

And speaking of evil, everything about this depiction of Michael is phenomenal. From his onscreen chilling presence, to his mask and the way he commits these brutal murders. Michael’s rampage through Haddenfield is pure carnage, he absolutely demolishes everyone and everything is his path. He’s let loose and becomes an even bigger dangerous threat, which is to be expected from masked killers. 

His kills are inventive and vicious and he’s gone one step ahead with the performance of killing someone as I felt that Michael has some theatricality aspects and truly admires his work by the way he displays their bodies. However I felt that some kills were forgettable due to the fact that we don’t get to care for some characters as by the time they’re in Michael’s line of sight, you know they’re a gonna. 

Photo: Blumhouse/Universal

For fans of horror and violence in movies, there are many spine-chilling moments such as Skull crushing, eye-gouging, gunshots and plenty of bodily horror. 

And if you’re a fan of the original 1978 Halloween film, you’ll be pleased to see many of the actors who were once children, teenagers in the original reprise the same roles in Halloween Kills as adults. It feels so believable and genuine to see the likes of Kyle Richards (Lindsey Wallace ), Nancy Stephens (Marion Chambers) and Charles Cyphers (Sheriff Leigh Brackett) . The film truly pays homage to the original that started it all. many other characters return from the 2018 film and another classic character returning is Tommy Doyle, though recast and now played by Anthony Michael Hall. 

Photo: Blumhouse/Universal

With all these characters the film switches the narrative by focusing in on how the town itself responds and reacts to Michael as the Haddonfield townspeople are fed up and exhausted after 40 years of trauma which was brought on by Michael Myers. We follow groups of unlikely heroes throughout the town armed and ready to take out an unstoppable force of nature by any means necessary. Tommy rallies the whole community to band together. They don’t listen to the Police so this film shows what happens when a town is dissatisfied with a failed system and a useless authority. All hell breaks loose and a mob is formed, this becomes a story that isn’t about Laurie vs Michael, instead about Michael vs Haddonfield itself. 

Photo: Blumhouse/Universal

The movie’s central location takes place within a hospital, we see bodies being swarmed in as a result of Michael. Fear starts growing within the town which unfortunately morphs into panic and eventually utter complete chaos when misinformation and rumours star to spread. I felt that the residents of Haddenfield’s true enemy was their own idiotic decisions, society and rage has made them the monsters. 

Cinematography is certainly elevated this time with unique camera angels showcasing the murders. John Carpenter’s score is beautiful and certainly adds suspense to certain scenes. I also love the film’s nods and nostalgia throughout flashbacks to 1978. 

Overall Halloween Kills is a solid setup and middle chapter of this trilogy. It’s a fun popcorn flick with the right amount of slasher, horror and humour. It also sets into motion what will eventually become Halloween Ends. 

Photo: Blumhouse/Universal

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After We Fell- Review



After We Fell is the third instalment of the “After” series, based on a series of fanfiction published on Wattpad in 2011 by Anna Todd. The film stars Hero Fiennes Tiffin as Hardin Scott and Josephine Langford as Tessa, the leading couple. This film follows the pair as they face troubles as Tessa makes a life-changing decision, her estranged father gets back in touch, and Hardin’s family secrets begin to unravel. Check out the trailer below.

The film is laden with issues. The script is awful, you can really tell it was fan fiction from Wattpad. The dialogue makes you cringe and it really doesn’t sell that these people and their relationships are real. The direction is just about competent, the acting is barely passable, and the story is predictable and vapid. I’m sure the cast has great acting chops, but they can’t flex them here in the slightest. Every ‘twist’ is set up so badly that when the jaw-dropping reveals happen, anyone who has been paying attention has seen it coming for the last hour. The story isn’t engaging. It sets things up that don’t really go anywhere. The characters outside of the central duo are completely interchangeable and they feel superfluous to the story. Anyone who isn’t Hardin or Tessa feels like they’re there just to fill the vacuum between awfully shot sex scenes until the credits mercifully roll.

I could go on for hours about how this fails on every level as a film, but honestly, I don’t think its intended audience cares about cinematography, screenwriting, or production design etc.- which is fine, most people don’t care about those things as long as the story is engaging and enjoyable- (if they did this wouldn’t have many fans). The film clearly knows its target audience is teenagers, the type of person who reads fan fiction on Wattpad about One Direction. The film has a few, shall we say, ‘intimate’ scenes, which are cleverly edited to ensure a 15 rating. During those cleverly edited moments, there is always a shot where the camera cuts away to show Harden getting a condom and opening it, so the audience knows that even ‘bad boys’ like Harden Scott use protection. And then during one scene where they don’t show Harden getting a condom, the next morning the two mention how they didn’t use protection the night before and have a brief discussion about contraception. Which is great, encouraging safe sex is always great, regardless of how you do it. However, people should not be having sex with someone as manipulative and toxic as Harden, even if he is wearing a condom. This is a nice segue into the real problem with After We Fell.

The biggest issue with this film and the whole After series, in general, is the relationship at the centre of it. Hardin is controlling, possessive, and aggressive. One evening in After We Fell, Tessa and Hardin are enjoying a romantic time in a hot tub. After being interrogated by her boyfriend, Tessa eventually confesses to briefly having feelings for someone else while they were broken up and Hardin storms off and ignores her for the rest of the night. He disrespects a waiter who is innocently talking to Tessa, he stalks her, harasses her. In some scenes, it feels like he is only a step away from hitting her. At best their relationship is toxic and at worst it’s abusive and manipulative. And despite all of this, their relationship is presented as romantic and merely “troubled”. Hardin is dominating and proprietorial, he refuses to listen to Tessa, he lashes out at her, invades her privacy, and then someone assures Tessa: he only acts this way because he loves her. He is the way he is; he does the things he does, out of love. The writers and the characters act as though Hardin being extremely toxic and pretty much abusive is sweet and caring. It’s difficult to write a review of the film when the overarching concept and theme is just too wrong to look past. This is not a well-made film, but I’ve seen many poorly made films that are an absolute blast. This being a bad film, though, doesn’t matter because its issues run so much deeper than just below-par technicalities.

The idea of young people watching this and imagining that this kind of relationship is not only normal but romantic and passionate is genuinely concerning. If this is the standard filmmakers set for romantic relationships for young people, it is extremely worrying. This film is rated as appropriate for 15-year-olds. However, the subject matter and the type of relationship this is romanticising warrants an 18 rating. No 15-year-old girl should be watching this and thinking that it is a good relationship, that Hardin is a troubled but sweet person, which is how the film presents it. This is really one of the most irresponsible film series being made right now; it’s borderline dangerous.

After We Fell hits Amazon Prime on 22 October.

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Comic Book Movies

Venom: Let There Be Carnage A Dark Comedy Infused With Fast-paced Action



‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ was absolutely Full of CARNAGE. It’s a dark comedy infused with fast-paced action and the relationship between Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and Venom was like watching an old married couple. And Woody Harrelson’s performance was CHAOTIC in a good way. 

After so many potential release dates due to the film being delayed, Venom: Let There Be Carnage was officially released in Cinemas here in the UK on Friday the 15th of October. It is the sequel to Sony’s 2018 film Venom in where the Symbiote links himself with a host and used their bodies to service. Venom now lives amongst us but Eddie Brock struggles to adjust to his new life as the host of the alien symbiote. Venom grants him super-human abilities in order to be a lethal vigilante. Brock attempts to reignite his Journalism career by interviewing serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), who becomes the host of the symbiotic Carnage and escapes prison after a failed execution. 

The film wastes no time and dives straight into the storyline which dives deeper into the origin of Serial Killer Cletus Kasady. Harrelson’s performance as said earlier was Chaotic in the best way possible as his character encapsulates the rage and insanity. His performance was brilliantly matched by Tom Hardy who reprises his role as Eddie Brock, his chemistry with Venom is once again the true highlight of the film. The duo of Harrelson and Hardy work great as frenemies.

Speaking of venom this is truly where the film shines. Since this is a continuation from the first movie, Venom fells more settled inside his host and is more comfortable as Eddie’s conscience. However their rocky relationship has caused a lot of problems for Brock as both want to do different things for example, Eddie just wants to get on with his life and get his career back up and running, Venom does comply however he lusts for brains and chocolate. he feels stuck and wants to be free, but unfortunately cannot control his impulses. 

They argue, fight and trash Eddie’s apartment. This is a very venomous love affair between them both but in an interesting scene, Venom attends a rave and opens up and i’m not kidding about his love for Eddie. Director Andy Serkis opens up about this particular scene saying that it was Tom’s idea to have Venom sort of Come out and go to a party that was a ideally an LGBTQIA festival. Venom speaks for freedom of others by asking to stop this cruel treatment of aliens. 

At it’s heart this film is a love story about the extraordinary relationship between symbiote and host. 

Reprising their roles from the first film are Michelle Williams (Anne Weying) , Reid Scott (Dan Lewis) and Peggy Lu as Mrs. Chen. I felt all have less screen time during the film but these characters are vital to help Eddie’s journey and Venom’s. 

However I felt Naomi Harris was criminally underused. Her character Shriek acts more as a walking plot device than an actual character, though she does brilliantly on what the writers have given her to do. Another Character i felt that had potential but little to do was Stephen Graham, his character felt more like another plot device to tease the sequel. 

With a new director to the franchise, Andy series brings a new quality to the story and action due to his knowledge of motion capture, the VFX on the symbiote’s are outstanding and realistic.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a step up from the first film. It’s a fun 90 minutes and OMG do not miss the credits!!!!!

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