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Review: How To Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) — Animated Perfection Breathes Hot Fire into Cinemas

How-To-Train-Your-Dragon-2-

Animated movies these days are a dime a dozen, with studios such as Pixar, DreamWorks, Blue Sky Studios (Ice Age), Disney, and newcomers such as Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me) all dominating the 3D computer-animated landscape. This lucrative market is big-business and big bucks, and many of the top grossing films each year are from 3D animated films. But as the quantity rises, the overall quality of the output seems to be taking a dip. Even the once infallible Pixar are no longer a sure thing; increasing the numbers of sequels produced to diminishing critical response.

But every now and then an animated film comes along that reminds us how magical the medium can be with the right execution. Enter How To Train Your Dragon 2.

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Review: This Is the End (2013) — Apocalypse is the Perfect Occasion for Improv Comedy

This Is the End

What we have here is possibly the most brilliant high-concept pitch ever conceived for a comedy: What would happen if a ragtag collection of popular comedians — all playing themselves — were trapped together in James Franco‘s mansion as the apocalypse rages outside? This is exactly what you get with This Is The End, from the writing and, for the first time, directing combination of Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen (Superbad, Knocked Up, The Green Hornet).

This Is The End does a fantastic job of taking the personalities of these real-life stars and either embellishing or subverting them. The

Pants-Off-A-Clypse! (sorry)

Pants-Off-A-Clypse! (sorry)

relationship of Jay Baruchel (She’s Out Of My League, Goon) and Seth Rogen takes centre stage as Baruchel, well-known for eschewing the Hollywood lifestyle in favour of a permanent residence in Canada, comes down to visit his buddy Rogen. The pair’s chemistry is, as you would expect, natural; as are the relationships of all the core cast. It makes it easier for the audience to relate to the film when the actors are clearly at ease with one-another and obviously had a blast filming it.

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Review: Fanboys (2009)

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m Late.com on 21/06/09.

Fanboys

It’s 1998, and for four die-hard Star Wars fans (they’re fanboys. Get it?) anticipation for the new Star Wars movie, The Phantom Menace, to be released in nearly fifteen years has reached boiling point. Upon revealing that one buddy Linus (Marquette) has terminal cancer, and with not enough time to live to make the theatrical release of the film, the group (Huntington, Baruchel and Fogler) embark on a cross country journey to George Lucas’ famed Skywalker Ranch and steal a rough copy of the film. Joined by nerd-girl Zoe (Bell), road trip fun and shenanigans ensue on their very own hero’s journey.

Don’t be turned off by the very clichéd road movie plot, because although Fanboys follows similar tropes seen in many that have come before it, the film is just too damn charming to not like. And it’s quite possible that it couldn’t have been. Producer Harvey Weinstein’s vision of this much maligned film (originally set for release in 2007) was a final cut that saw the cancer subplot ditched for, well, nothing apparently. A big mistake it would have been, our friend Yoda would have said. The cancer subplot drives the entire narrative, and was never played with too much emotion but enough for to get a connection with the audience without being depressing. Kudos to the filmmakers involved who stood for their original vision, even though it delayed the release by years.

Also, without the cancer plot, the driving force and emotional core that it is, this movie would have been in major jeopardy of receiving a Dr. Ian Malcolm. Not cool.

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