Flick and Flack: The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Posted on | April 26, 2012 | Add Comments

While at TIFF Kids, on April 18, 2012 Flick and Flack attended a preview screening of Aardman Animation’s new film, The Pirates! Band of Misfits. After the film, an approximately thirty minute Q&A with Peter Lord (director of Pirates!) followed. We asked him questions, got our picture taken with him (see below), and saw the real claymation puppets of the Pirate Captain played by Hugh Grant, and the dodo.
The next day we both went to the hour long Master Class with Lord. We were honored to be there and we both enjoyed hearing Lord discuss four of Aardman’s films (Chicken Run, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse Of The Were Rabbit Arthur Christmas, and Pirates!) and a short from 1992 titled Adam (also  from Aardman). A cool fact we learned? Steven Spielberg (head of Dreamworks, the studio that produced Chicken Run) approved Chicken Run because Spielberg has chickens, Aardman pitched it as “The Great Escape with chickens”, and The Great Escape is his favorite movie.
Next up for Aardamn is Pirates! 2, some secretive projects, and possibly another Wallace and Gromit movie. Hopefully The Pirates! is a box office hit (it deserves to make more money than Alvin and The Chipmunks). Here are both of our reviews of the film. The Pirates! Band of Misfits opens this Friday, April 27th.

Flack reviews The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

Flick reviews The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

Photos Courtesy of TIFF – Toronto International Film Festival.

3rd Annual Providence Children’s Film Festival 2012 Preview

Posted on | February 11, 2012 | Add Comments

Flick and Flack discuss their top picks for this year’s PCFF.
Providence Children’s Film Festival: February 16-21, 2012

Hugo (Flack’s Review)

Posted on | November 21, 2011 | 1 Comment

Hugo – 5.0 Stars

Hugo is a movie about movies.  It tells the story of a boy named Hugo Cabret and his friendship with a girl named Isabelle.  They discover a mystery involving clocks, forgotten pasts, and films themselves, all in the setting of a train station. Together they find out the history of Isabelle’s godfather and go on an adventure unlike any other.

This is an example of the excellent visual style and 3-D greatness.

Martin Scorsese’s latest picture is the first of his films I’ve seen.  The use of 3D is excellent and brings you deeply into the world of Paris in the 1930’s.  It starts out slow, yet smartly used the 3D strongly at the beginning because it wears off later on, as in all films. It’s not that it’s boring at the beginning, it’s just not exciting.  However, movies don’t need to be and so that’s why Hugo is not like most kid’s movies.  It almost has the charm of a silent film.  Although some of the scenes with Sacha Baron Cohen (as the station inspector) are unnecessarily silly, they do add to the films tribute to movies because they remind you of Charlie Chaplin.  Asa Butterfield, as Hugo, gives a star making turn and does an excellent job, because he makes you want to tell Isabelle’s godfather about the automaton and he makes you sad when his father dies (it happens at the beginning so don’t tell me I spoiled the movie).  Chloë Grace Moretz, as Isabelle, is also great as portraying the character as a friendly nice person you’d like to meet.  The movie is also a great tribute to movies.  The montage of old film classics is terrific, and the movie teaches you a great deal about special effects from a long time ago.  Although you might think that a 3D kid’s movie wouldn’t be very emotional, the last scene made me cry.  Ben Kingsley also is impressive because of the way he portrays his character as a man who on the outside seems like a grouchy old man, but on the inside is really a thoughtful loving person, making him the heart of the film. Because I have read the book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick there were a few parts that I missed such as the character, Etienne. However it is impossible to recreate the beauty of the book so changes must be made. It would be foolish if the filmmakers attempted to use the same drawings and pictures (in the film it would have been animation and live action) but the film attempts and definitely succeeds at having it’s own visual style. The movie is technically dazzling.  The cuts and editing are terrific and I loved how the cinematography focused on one thing and then another (in one scenes the focus moves from Hugo’s face to a key).  The 3D works well to serve the story, although it could have been a disastrous distraction. The film is a must see and I’m sure it will be Oscar nominated.

My favorite scene is at the end, when it was sad and made me cry, but I don’t want to give it away.

My favorite character is Hugo, because Asa Butterfield does a very good job at playing him and is very convincing and relateable.

Three Notes:
1. This film is produced by Johnny Depp, which surprised me, even though he can do whatever he wants because he’s a mega-billion, trillion movie star.
2. The reason I’m posting it now is because we saw it at a preview screening for critics.  We got reserved seats in the middle of the theater at Providence Place Mall and I was very happy.
3. The author of the book on which the film is based on has a brief cameo in the film as an eager student.

This film should be seen on the big screen because not only is it about movies, but it has an epic scale that is at the same time very human.  I suggest that it should be seen in 3D, although other members of my family do not.  This film is one of the best of the year.