The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie is coming to the UK – released in cinemas on February 14th 2014, it’s becoming quite a hotly anticipated event. We went to a preview screening earlier today, and these are our thoughts.

The Lego Movie Official Poster

The Lego Movie trailer has been one we’ve watched in awe, thinking the film was going to be amazing based on a minute of random footage. I happened to spot there were some preview screenings happening so booked us in for today – for a total of £30ish.

We went to Cineworld in Wandsworth and opted for the 3D version. So what’s to say about the film?

The Lego Movie plot is straightforward. Emmet is a normal kind of chap, the sort who tries to be friends with everyone, but as the film progresses is actually one of the people who seems to blend into the background. To everyone else he isn’t someone special – but to those who know about The Prophecy, he is the chosen one.

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He lives in Bricksburg, “a humongous city built entirely out of LEGO bricks. Under the all-controlling leadership of President Business, everything in Bricksburg is done exactly by the instructions, from waking up and getting dressed in the morning to smashing old buildings and assembling new ones down at the construction site” from watching ‘Where’s My Pants’ on tv and listening to the horribly catchy ‘Everything is Awesome’ by Tegan and Sara which is played all day every day continuously to the residents (who love it).

He is declared a master builder; and it’s pretty apparent he’s not; by Vitrivius – and meets Wyldstyle who becomes his sidekick (and romantic interest), while escaping from Good Cop Bad Cop and the evil Lord Business and his dreaded Taco Tuesday. I’m saying no more so as not to spoil, but the final part The Lego Movie almost had me in tears – from craziness to one of those moments which really do make you come out of the cinema feeling that Everything Is Awesome. Oh yes. You don’t need to follow instructions, just open your mind.

Oh, and don’t expect to get ‘Everything is Awesome’ out of your head for at least a month or two. A special mention to Batman’s song too which made me smile.

Lego Jo

The Lego Movie is one of those films which appeals to Lego fans young and old – with plenty of nods to the past and numbers from various Lego sets. It feels like there’s a lot of Lego love and attention to detail that has been put into the film with scope for several more films in the future. It’s heartwarming too.

I feel like I’ve probably missed so much, I could waffle on about it for a long time.

The Lego Movie is released in cinemas in the UK from the 14th February, is 100 minutes long and certified U. Of course Lego has many things available alongside it (as you’d expect). I spotted a pretty impressive sticker book in Waterstones today too and plenty of stationery sets – and let’s not visit the new kits that have just come out..

Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheLegoMovieUK

Official Twitter page: https://www.twitter.com/TheLegoMovieUK

Legofy yourself over here

Movie Night – Scooby Doo Adventures – The Mystery Map

After a busy weekend we decided to have a movie night on tonight – mainly as we hadn’t had one for a while, and also as we had two films to watch – one of them being the new Scooby Doo Adventures – The Mystery Map film.

Scooby Doo Adventures - The Mystery Map

Scooby Doo Adventures – The Mystery Map is the same old Scooby Doo we’ve all grown up with, but as a puppet movie – think along the lines of the Muppets, that kind of puppetry. ‘The Mystery Map’ has the gang eating pizza (Scooby snacks are mentioned) to find the frankly quite terrifying (for a 4 year old) Phantom Parrot who has a map for Pirate Gnarlybeard’s treasure which they try to locate, and where that then leads. The ending is absolutely suitable for a four year old, and helped convince H it wasn’t that scary – it was just the getting to that point which was!

It keeps in spirit with the original Scooby Doo we all know and love, and is good for someone of H’s age as an introduction to the show. Unfortunately H was a little scared by some parts but we made it through – the whole feature is 45 minutes, so not too long. My thinking was that the first time we watched ‘Monsters Inc’ she was scared, but once you know it’s a much easier viewing a second time, so this is something we’ll revisit I’m sure.

Scooby Doo Adventures – The Mystery Map has a little break in the middle for a dance which was welcome relief for H, and of course as is the case with all Scooby Doo adventures, they’d have got away with it ‘if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!’

Scooby Doo Adventures - The Mystery Map

So in summary, it was fun. H liked it (and did laugh at several parts of the feature) – the DVD has a certificate U but does warn of mild threat and scary scenes – so we knew it was there. Fortunately it isn’t the kind of thing nightmares are made of, and for us it was nice to see what looks like a tribute to The Muppets in a Scooby Doo style.

Scooby Doo Adventures – The Mystery Map is available now in all good stores and of course Amazon.

Afterwards we had home-made pizza and watched Alice in Wonderland – see, we’ve been reading the Emma Chichester Clark books that Harper-Collins Kids have published, a review of those are to follow very soon…

We were sent The Scooby Doo Adventures – The Mystery Map for the purpose of review. All opinions are our own, post contains an affiliate link.

Jack The Giant Slayer – Movie Night

Jack the Giant Slayer is a film I’ve wanted to see as it’s a remake of the two traditional stories Jack and the Beanstalk and Jack the Giant Killer (a film I watched every year when I was young when it was shown on Christmas Day – check that link for the trailer, seeing the giant on there still scares me – despite it being the least scary giant ever, serious 1970s flashback moment)

magic beans

We all know the Jack and the Beanstalk story, but the other story is lesser known. In Jack The Giant Slayer, Jack (Nicholas Hoult) is given beans, the beanstalk grows as you’d expect, but the other story’s elements are a little more violent, giving this film a 12 rating.

Princess Isabelle happens to be in Jack’s house when the beanstalk grows, taking her up to the land where the giants live, so Jack and the King’s men all climb up the beanstalk to find her. Ewan McGregor is the military commander in charge, Ian McShane is the king. Bill Nighy plays the part of the two-headed leader of the giants, Fallon – just one of the heads though. Ewan Bremner appears as one of the Kings men too.

There’s plenty of giants eating humans, you don’t see a lot but it’s implied. Ewan McGregor almost becomes a sausage roll and there’s plenty of ‘fee fi fo fum’s in there too – which originated in Jack the Giant Killer and has evolved through the years (as you’ll hear at the end of the film).

I found the film enjoyable, grim (the picking nose bit made my stomach turn!) and one of those ones you enjoy watching. It’s 109 minutes long, and is out now. Here’s the link at Warner Bros for more information

Jack The Giant Slayer

We were sent a DVD with some beans for the purpose of review, all opinions are our own. No beanstalks have yet grown, nor giants harmed.

Sammy’s Great Escape Review – Movie Night

Sammy’s Great Escape was released on DVD this week, and we’ve been sent a copy to review. I saw the trailer for this when we went to a kids morning show at the cinema, so we knew this would be suitable for H – the certificate is U – Contains mild threat.

If you were to compare it to a film in feel, Finding Nemo is the closest reference – the main characters are separated from their family and have to get home – but don’t compare the two – Sammy’s Great Escape is a follow-up to A Turtles Tale – Sammy’s Adventure (which we haven’t seen). It’s a Belgian/American animation and was in cinemas last year.

Sammy's Great Escape

So, the plot – Sammy and Ray are looking after the new leatherback hatchlings, who are attacked by seagulls who want the hatchlings for food. In their rush to escape they’re split up, with Sammy and Ray left with Ricky and Ella – two hatchlings – who are captured by poachers and taken to an aquarium where they try to escape.

We liked the music! It features Rachid Taha’s cover of ‘Rock the Casbah’ (Taha claims the song was inspired by The Clash hearing a demo he handed to them in the early eighties) as well as the B52’s ‘Rock Lobster’.

H really enjoyed Sammy’s Great Escape – she’s less scared of things these days so spent more time laughing and enjoying things than asking questions – the scary bits weren’t too bad and didn’t trouble her. She does have a great reaction when she’s quietly urging someone to swim faster though, which amused me!

Sammy’s Great Escape has a total running time of an hour and 33 minutes and comes with UV – you get a code with your DVD, so it can be watched across portable devices (we use it on the iPad with Flixster).

We were sent the DVD for review, all opinions are our own! 

Monsters University Soundtrack

Out now is the Monsters University soundtrack – here’s our review.

The Monsters University Soundtrack  is out now. We saw the film a couple of weeks ago, and loved it. I reviewed it for the very lovely Sharon over at I Heart Motherhood where we had a fabulous time.

Monsters University soundtrack

So, the soundtrack – think of it as more of a score than a soundtrack. While certain things didn’t bring back memories, one of the key bits of the film, the disco in the frat party, stood out and the music from Axwell & Sebastian Ingrosso of Swedish House Mafia is definitely our highlight of the songs here. It also has H jump up and dance every time (while pulling her best monster face).

The score is composed by Randy Newman and doesn’t disappoint, as ever. The last song is the only one with any vocals, everything else is instrumental – and Newman added a unique flair to his score, calling on renowned international drum corps The Blue Devils to contribute a definitively collegiate sound. The composer also used elements of concert band music to create the feeling of being in school. In fact, said Newman, “There’s a little bit of Brahms’ ‘Academic Festival Overture’ when Mike is riding the pig. I like to think Brahms would be extremely flattered by his inclusion in the score.”

Not all songs featured in the movie are on the soundtrack. Mastodon’s song ‘Island’ is one which jumps out, though you can buy it separately rather than as part of the soundtrack anyway. If you enjoyed Monsters University, then you’ll probably enjoy the Monsters University Soundtrack.

Check out the trailer which features a lot of the Swedish House Mafia song!

The Monsters University Soundtrack is available now as a download

We were sent a digital copy of the album for review. Please note the download link is an affiliate link.

Film Review – Playing For Keeps

Playing For Keeps DVD

This one for me has quite a mixed review. At first I quite liked the film – I’ve never seen anything with Gerard Butler in it and had to google him as I wasn’t sure if he really is scottish or if he was trying to do the accent (he is), but a film which is based on football is always a good thing in my book. The football matches with him edited in kind of amused me and I thought it was all set to go in a good way. He’s retired from the game and wants to be a sports presenter on tv.

BUT THEN

Enter three women, one of which you have had some respect for as an actress, playing dim, WAG-esque ladies throwing themselves at the footballers feet, and suddenly things aren’t so enjoyable any more.

The football takes a back seat. Catherine Zeta Jones was particularly annoying. Sorry Catherine. Uma Thurman I was disappointed in… Uma, you were fabulous in Pulp Fiction and all those other films around then – what are you doing?! Dennis Quaid is the husband who throws around cash to make sure his daughter is included and sweeps Gerard Butler off his feet with flash cars and more. As Shaun put it, “Dennis Quaid is going to be a moral quandary in this film” (which he was).

BUT

The football element of the film gets quite lovely at times – a former player who becomes coach for kids and shows them how to play. I wish it had been a bigger focus rather than one for the women – oh, and the three annoying women are married too, of course. Apart from the one who isn’t any more. Anyway, Gerard Butler was married and he’s trying to win his wife back (played by Jessica Biel who was quite good) who is about to marry someone else anyway.

Playing For Keeps

Oh, and they have a child, who is in the football team of course.

There were funny moments, and I have to admit, were it not for the annoying women I would have enjoyed this much more – they were pointless, irritating and annoying and the story would have worked just fine without Gerard Butler having all the women throwing themselves at him.

So yes, a bit disappointing, not my kind of film. If you forget the bits with the married women are in there, it’s quite enjoyable!

Playing For Keeps

Sorry.

Playing For Keeps is released on DVD on the 20th May 2013.

Disney Movie Rewards!

Disney Movie Rewards

I’m really late to the party on this one – if you buy a Disney DVD you’ll find a leaflet inside which tells you about the Disney Movie Rewards site. Being as busy as we are I didn’t actually read the leaflets, just kept them in a pile to deal with at some point in the future. Anyway… it ends up you can redeem points for DVDs, BluRays and more!

The points vary too – our Now That’s What I Call Disney CD gave us 80 points, whereas Toy Story 2 gave us 250 – we had twelve vouchers so already I’ve redeemed two lots of points (and got Monsters Inc and Aladdin for 500 points each!) – and I’ve still 400 left.

One top tip, if you do this, put the points in as soon as you open the DVD, as more often than not you’ll need to add the barcode – I messed up and didn’t know what went with what so guessed, and was mostly fine until we got to Toy Story 3 which had a code which was unique to that title. Fortunately an email to their customer services and my account was credited today.

I had no idea you could get free DVDs – and free shipping with it too – so if you’re finding yourself with a bit of a Disney stash, get your points registered today! You can get some nice freebies on the site too. You can earn extra points doing surveys too (though I’ve only had the one). Some things are specific to a title but the site tells you more about that.

For more information head to http://www.disneymovierewards.co.uk/

Thanks to Alex for the heads-up on this!

Polesden Lacey and the Royal Family

Polesden Lacey royal honeymoon

In 1923 the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George VI and the Queen Mother, spent part of their honeymoon at Polesden Lacey. Celebrate their 90th anniversary by following in their footsteps around the grounds – from Friday 26 April to Monday 6 May, you might stumble across delightful life-size photos of the royal couple relaxing in the gardens! There will also be special exhibits in the house, including copies of some never before seen photos of the royal couple from the Queen’s private collections.

On Saturday 4 May, you can also enjoy a special outdoor screening of the award winning film The King’s Speech. Tickets are £12 each (over 15s only). Please book in advance on 01372 414944 or via WeGotTickets.

Kings Speech Polesden

For more information about Polesden including opening times and upcoming events please call 01372 452048 or see www.nationaltrust.org.uk/polesdenlacey

Adventures In Zambezia – A Review

Adventures in Zambezia is a South African movie – a CG Animated one – featuring the voices of Abigail Breslin, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy, and Samuel L. Jackson.

Adventures in Zambezia

Now here I’d love to do a more detailed review, but H and I sat down to watch after her swimming lesson, and she fell asleep about half way so we’re not quite there yet – BUT! What we did see was some glorious colours, and a story about a young falcon named Kai who leaves home to head to the city of birds, Zambezia. His dad (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) isn’t so happy about that, and eventually finds himself captured by an evil lizard who has plans to attack the city. The story is pretty much Kai rescuing his dad as well as helping save Zambezia with help from his new friends.

With us being half way I can’t be too detailed about the movie but what we saw we enjoyed – H is three and a half and quite sensitive, and there were a couple of moments I wondered if she’d be upset, but she didn’t seem too bothered (which is good!). I think this will be one we sit and watch as a family next weekend, so I’ll add some edits to this when we get there.

There are loads of extras too – it’s a fun family film and what we’ve seen so far we’ve enjoyed! The film is 79 minutes long, so the perfect length for a younger child, and is rated U.

It’s released on DVD tomorrow the 18th March 2013 via Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The Official Zambezia website

And!

I have two copies to give away. Fill out the rafflecopter form below, you’ve two weeks and then we’ll pick a winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We were provided with a copy of the film for review, and all opinions are our own!

Review – The Sapphires on DVD

Sapphires DVD Cover

We were sent a copy of The Sapphires to review – and is based on a true story, though the film is based on the stage play. Think along the lines of something like The Commitments but without as much humour, heartwarming and plenty of soul.

Oh, and it features Chris O’Dowd from the IT Crowd (who even sings – if that is his voice and not someone else dubbed in then he’s got a good one).

So, the film. Firstly, I enjoyed it – I like a bit of that ‘feelgood’ feeling and this came along at the right time. Shaun wasn’t so keen after a while, but I put that down to him being a bit grumpy that night.

The Sapphires

It’s 1968 and three sisters have a singing group, enter a local talent competition and despite being the standout talent, don’t win due to being Aboriginal. Dave Lovelace (O’Dowd) is rightfully angry and ends up becoming their manager encouraging the girls to find soul, and finally their cousin comes on board. They then set out on a tour of Vietnam to sing for the troops.

Obviously, being in Vietnam back when the war is on isn’t the safest, and we see parts of their journey, highs and lows and plenty of courage and commitment, and especially their friendship and family.

The Sapphires

If you like your films to have that kind of slushy feelgood feeling, this will be right up your street.  It’s available to rent and own on DVD from the 4th March 2013 and if you’re stuck for a film then I reckon this would make a fab Mother’s Day present!

We were sent a copy of the DVD to review, all opinions are our own