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‘Lassie: A New Adventure’ Review | A Nostalgic Canine Caper

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If one is of a certain generation, they may fondly recall the weekly anticipation of witnessing the escapades of Lassie on the small and big screens within the comfort of their home. The audience followed the canine’s daring missions with earnest enthusiasm. In an exciting development, Lassie makes a triumphant return to the silver screen on the 3rd of May exclusively to Vue Cinemas, just in time for the forthcoming bank holiday weekend. ‘Lassie: A New Adventure’ showcases the beloved collie once again venturing forth to uphold justice and restore order. This latest instalment marks the continuation of the cherished franchise, building upon the resounding success of ‘Lassie Comes Home, released in 2020. The film serves as an ideal opportunity for parents to introduce their children to a timeless hero, evoking nostalgic sentiments from their childhoods, including mine. 

During the school summer holidays, Flo faces the dilemma of leaving his beloved Lassie behind to accompany his family on a trip to Gran Canaria. Instead, he opts to spend his vacation at his Aunt Cosima’s farm in South Tyrol, where he bonds with her Jack Russell Terrier, Pippa, and her foster children, Kleo and Henri. As the group settles in, they become privy to a troubling trend of missing pedigree dogs in the vicinity. Initially presumed to be mere runaways, the situation takes a dire turn when Pippa goes missing from the farm. Thus begins a suspenseful narrative, as Lassie’s detective instincts are put to the test in a race against time to uncover the truth behind the disappearances, rescue Pippa, and thwart the nefarious dognapping scheme.

Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment

“Lassie: A New Adventure” brings back the cherished Collie heroine in a heartwarming tale that captures the essence of family, friendship, and loyalty. Director Hanno Olderdissen masterfully guides the cast through a picturesque adventure in the Deutsche countryside, where Lassie, played by the talented Bandit, teams up with her young companions to outsmart these dognappers led by the menacing Delphine, portrayed brilliantly by Maike Jüttendonk and her partner Dustin portrayed by Dennis Mojen 

This engaging Canine Caper explores themes of friendship, loyalty, and perseverance, underscored by the endearing bond between Flo and Lassie. Nico Marischka shines once again as Flo, Lassie’s faithful owner, while the supporting cast members add depth and charm to the story. The film stays true to the classic Lassie formula, offering familiar tropes and heartwarming moments that will resonate with fans of the franchise. While the plot may follow a predictable path, the film’s emphasis on timeless values and the enduring bond between humans and animals is where it truly shines. The film’s blend of heartwarming moments and thrilling escapades keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, as the protagonists navigate the challenges before them.

Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment

Olderdissen and writer Andreas Cordes skillfully blend nostalgia with contemporary storytelling in “Lassie, A New Adventure,” resulting in a film that is both heartwarming and captivating for viewers of all ages transporting audiences into Lassie’s world, where messages of courage and compassion shine through amidst challenges. The film’s emphasis on family values and the unbreakable bond between humans and animals strikes a chord with audiences of all ages.

Lassie’s overall tone is undeniably feel-good, providing an enjoyable viewing experience, particularly for younger audiences. While the film may be perceived as quaint and old-fashioned by more media-saturated viewers, this very aspect adds to its charm, evoking a sense of classic adventure akin to Enid Blyton’s beloved Famous Five series. The colour palette and cinematography contribute to the film’s whimsical, storybook-like aesthetic, creating a nostalgic atmosphere.

Since her inception in Eric Knight’s 1943 novel “Lassie Come Home,” the iconic Collie heroine has continued to resonate with audiences, proving to be a timeless and beloved character. Additionally, the subplot involving Gerhardt at the Grand Hotel Sternberg adds depth to the narrative, showcasing themes of self-discovery and unexpected connections. 

Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment

It is worth noting that the film is officially titled “Lassie – Ein Neues Abenteuer,” indicating its origin as a German production that has been dubbed into English for broader accessibility.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, “Lassie, A New Adventure” offers a delightful cinematic experience that harkens back to classic storytelling, replete with endearing characters and a heartwarming message whilst serving as a delightful tribute to a beloved classic. Its blend of nostalgia and contemporary elements makes it a charming and memorable viewing choice for families and fans of timeless tales. 

Lassie: A New Adventure is now unleashed exclusively to Vue Cinemas

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‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ Review | A New Generation Rises

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“Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is a breathtaking continuation of its predecessor, evolving deeper into the reimagined world established in the previous trilogy. Caesar’s (the venerable leader whose memory still looms large over this burgeoning saga) legacy expands in a manner that draws parallels to our very own and how his actions are used for both noble and nefarious purposes. Situated approximately three centuries after the tumultuous events of “War for the Planet of the Apes,” this standalone entry serves as both a homage to its predecessors and a bold new beginning for the franchise. 

Director Wes Ball breathes new life into this world set several generations in the future following Caesar’s reign, in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all that he has known about the past and to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike.

In the absence of Caesar, Noa (Owen Teague) assumes the central role, shouldering the responsibility of ushering in a new era. Noa’s character is meticulously crafted, exhibiting a nuanced balance of reverence for Caesar’s principles and a bold willingness to question and re-evaluate them. Teague’s multifaceted portrayal of Noa is crucial to the narrative, as his reinterpretation of Caesar’s seminal mantra – modifying the phrase from “Apes together strong” to “No, together strong,” with humanity incorporated – establishes the philosophical, biblical and ideological foundation for the trilogy’s future development. Noa is our guide through this new era and evolution, ultimately becoming the heart of this new chapter. He’s a kind and resolute young ape. Forced by circumstances to defend his home, the Eagle Clan, Noa embarks on a journey of self-discovery during which he wrestles with who to trust and must draw upon his inner strength along the way. Throughout his journey Noa encounters feral human Mae (Freya Allan) and perhaps my favourite character the orangutan Raka (Peter Macon). 

© 20th Century Studios.

As a lifelong fan and enthusiast of the Planet of the Apes franchise, I have always been fascinated by its recent modern trilogy, helmed by Rupert Wyatt (Rise) and Matt Reeves (Dawn/War). My admiration for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes specifically is particularly noteworthy, making it a daunting task for any subsequent director to follow in their footsteps. Wes Ball, known for his work on the Maze Runner trilogy, was announced to take the reins of the franchise. Initially, I adopted a cautious approach, eager to witness his take on the series. With “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes”, Ball has not only met but exceeded my expectations, delivering a cinematic coming-of-age journey that transcends. This film is not only a worthy continuation of the franchise but also a profound exploration of complex themes, including family, community, trust, and cooperation, which resonated deeply. 

“Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is a stunning visual achievement, showcasing WETA’s unparalleled mastery of digital effects. The team’s impressive craftsmanship effortlessly goes beyond the boundaries of CGI, rendering the apes as photo-realistic as possible as these captivating characters will leave you fully invested in their world. The meticulous attention to detail in their movement, facial expressions, lip movements, and fur is particularly noteworthy thanks to the visual effects artists and the actors who embody and perform as these characters through motion/performance capture, adding to the overall sense of authenticity and immersion. Furthermore, the film’s ambitious scope, and world-building delve deeper into the complex society of ape civilisation than ever before in the Planet of the Apes franchise, which is a testament to the filmmakers’ vision and dedication to pushing the boundaries of storytelling. 

© 20th Century Studios.

Screenwriter Josh Friedman brings such an impressive portfolio to the table which includes notable collaborations with Steven Speilberg, the latest being James Cameron on the Avatar franchise. Now he brings his expertise from the Na’vi to the Apes, taking the time to craft such nuanced relationships between these characters and their setting whether that would be the Eagle Clan’s homestead or Proximus Caesar’s kingdom. Skillfully he blends elements of the previous entries such as War’s horseback road-trip dynamic mixed with the intricate character arcs, motivations, and conflict from Dawn. But this being a new era for the franchise, Friedman introduces fresh concepts and ideas as the film delves deep into the fraught dynamics between humans and apes, refusing to simplify the multifaceted layers of conflict and coexistence that define their interactions. This commitment to maintaining the tension provides a rich soil for character growth and development and ensures that the general audience and die-hard fans remain invested in the journey of both species.

The addition of renowned actor Andy Serkis as a special consultant has yielded impressive results, as the new cast bring such a fresh yet faithful interpretation to the iconic franchise. While we acknowledge the pioneering work of the original cast, including Serkis, Karin Konoval, and Terry Notary, in their groundbreaking performances as Caesar, Maurice, and Rocket, it is undeniable that their absence is deeply felt. However, Owen Teague’s masterful portrayal of the lead character, Noa, infused with a sense of soulful sensitivity, helps to bridge the gap. Teague’s nuanced performance skillfully captures the complexity of the character’s personality, doubts, and perceptions of his world while still maintaining the essential essence of Caesar’s intelligence and goodness. Noa is on the cusp of a pivotal coming-of-age bonding ceremony, but as he embarks on his perilous quest, Noa finds an unlikely ally in Raka (Peter Macon), a wise and aged orangutan who follows the teachings of Caesar and shares with him the storied history of the first Elder’s leadership. 

© 20th Century Studios.

Peter Macon stands out in this role, becoming, in my eyes, a scene-stealer. Raka clings to the ideals of peace and coexistence embraced by Caesar. With unwavering hope, he seeks to impart Caesar’s wisdom to Noa and preserve Caesar’s legacy for a new generation. Unfortunately, the teachings in question have been increasingly misinterpreted and distorted to justify and condone behaviours that would be unacceptable to Caesar. Notwithstanding this, Macon’s performance is noteworthy for its humour, sincerity, and thought-provoking impact on the character of Noa, portrayed by Teague.

Kevin Durand delivers a majestic wonderful performance as the main antagonist, who is feared by all. Proximus Caesar is a force to be reckoned with. With his bloodshot eyes and imposing demeanour, the new ruler of the Ape Kingdom seeks to secure dominance by appropriating human knowledge and technology, ensuring the continued supremacy of his kind. Proximus is formidable alongside his army. 

While Mae, the film’s central human character, may initially seem to conform to a traditional damsel-in-distress archetype, Freya Allan’s nuanced performance reveals a more complex and multifaceted individual. In her breakout cinematic role, Allan brings depth and richness to Mae’s character, which defies simplistic categorisation. As the story unfolds, Mae’s intentions become increasingly ambiguous, leaving the audience questioning her motivations and allegiances. Allan’s portrayal of Mae is marked by a subtle interplay of trustworthiness and cunning, which keeps the viewer in a state of uncertainty, mirroring the protagonist’s own conflicted emotions and assumptions. This masterful balance of traits not only adds depth to the narrative but also fosters a sense of emotional resonance and psychological complexity.

© 20th Century Studios.

What sets “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” apart as a sequel is its innovative approach to the narrative of its predecessor. The film reimagines the original story as a deeply ingrained mythological framework, imbuing it with a sense of reverence and significance. The passage of time has erased the specific details of human history, leaving behind only remnants of decay and rebirth. However, when Noa is confronted with competing visions of the past and the world beyond his community, the void left by this forgotten history becomes a palpable character in its own right.

FINAL THOUGHTS

While the film is a visual feast for the eyes, it also has a substantial amount of heart, making it a complete cinematic experience. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” left me yearning for more, eager to see where the story will take us next in this magnificent world. The film also resonated with me long after the credits rolled, which is a testament to the power of storytelling and visual artistry and a must-see for fans of the franchise. 20th Century Studios must invest heavily in this world, as Ball’s thoughtful dramatic approach and the detailed, nuanced motion-capture performances create a rich tapestry of personalities and backstories. These carefully crafted histories serve as the foundation for a thrilling new trilogy that builds tension and suspense as the stakes escalate, culminating in heart-pumping action sequences that are both physically and emotionally resonant.

TOGETHER STRONG

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‘SEIZE THEM!’ Review | A Rollicking British Comedy Adventure

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This review was made possible by watching an early preview thanks to Escapes supported by the BFI and the National Lottery for organising free nationwide screenings designed to encourage everyone to rediscover the joys of independent cinema

Seize Them!” is a riotous British comedy that marries the best traits of Monty Python, Horrible Histories, Blackadder, and Carry On into a rollicking adventure with a valuable message at its core about finding your song. Director Curtis Vowell delivers a clever, fast-paced film that doesn’t hold back on sword fights, crude humour, and unexpected friendships. The Dark Ages provides us with a British comedy classic. 

The film is a comedy road movie set in the Dark Ages that follows the story of the clueless Queen Dagan (Aimee Lou Wood), an egotistical ruler who is unexpectedly overthrown and toppled from her throne by the charismatic and ruthless Humble Joan (Nicola Coughlan). As Queen Dagan embarks on a quest to reclaim her kingdom, she is joined by unlikely companions, including Shulmay, a former servant with a lot of secrets (Lolly Adefope), and Bobik, a shit-shoveler who ultimately wants more out of life (Nick Frost). Both companions add depth, warmth, and hilarity to her journey as Dagan begins her quest for justice and ultimately faces every conceivable hardship and danger as she embarks on this voyage to win back her throne. She also has to face up to the very worst parts of herself and ultimately answer if she can ever become queen again, can she become a better person while she does it? And what if she has to choose?

© Entertainment Film Distributors

At the heart of this adventure is Queen Dagan, a master of all she surveys, with an ego to match, played outstandingly with delightful arrogance by Aimee Lou Wood. who finds herself headfirst with the revolution-led Humble Joan, portrayed by the charming Nicola Coughlan. The Queen, however, becomes a fugitive in her kingdom, alongside a hefty bounty that’s been put on her head. The dynamic between these two leading ladies is electric, setting the stage for a quest filled with laughter, heart, and a surprising dose of self-discovery.

© Entertainment Film Distributors

The ensemble cast, including the hilarious Lolly Adefope and the ever-charismatic Nick Frost, adds depth and nuance to the story, creating a compelling tapestry of characters that you can’t help but root for. The chemistry between the actors is infectious, making their journey from foes to friends a joy. We also get appearances from some of the U.K. and Ireland’s best comic talent, such as Jessica Hynes as Leofwine, Paul Kaye and John MacMillan as Kings Ivarr and Guthrum, Jason Barnett as Thane Tostig, alongside James Acaster as Felix the Ironmonger. 

Visually, “Seize Them!” shines with its detailed production design and cinematography, which immersed me and the audience at my screening into the mediaeval world of the film. The practical effects and action sequences are seamlessly integrated, adding an extra layer of excitement to the already engaging plot. 

But what truly sets this film apart is its sharp, witty dialogue that harkens back to the comedic genius of its predecessors. Written by Andy Riley, the clever banter and quick wit keep the pace brisk and the laughs coming, making “Seize Them!” a thoroughly entertaining ride from start to finish. 

© Entertainment Film Distributors

Overall, “Seize Them!” is a delightful blend of humour, heart, and adventure that will leave you grinning from ear to ear. Whether you’re a fan of British comedy or simply looking for a feel-good movie with a meaningful message, this film is sure to delight you. So, seize the opportunity to watch this comedic gem and prepare to be swept away on a whimsical and hilarious journey across the Dark Ages. I applaud and give this film a high fünf! just make sure to be in a circle of safety when Big Liam arrives.

Seize them! will be in UK Cinemas from April 5th.

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Bad Boys: Ride or Die | Official Trailer – Sony Pictures Entertainment

Miami’s finest end up on the run.

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Comedy

Release Date:

2024

Director:

Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

Cast:

Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens

Plot Summary:

Miami’s finest end up on the run

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