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  • Review: The Good Dinosaur (2015) | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    stroke of genius What I didn t expect was that The Good Dinosaur is essentially a dinosaur Western and contains a lot of elements we associate with the genre We have settlers trying to eke out a living in the wilderness with the Apatosaur family we have T Rex cattle ranchers who canter across the plains with their arms bobbing up and down like cowboys riding upon horses and you have Pterosaurs and Raptors preying on the weak or stealing livestock just like bandits and rustlers meaning that the Raptors thick Southern accents are not accidental Spot even howls just like a wolf so you could imagine this as a real life Western with a human boy adopting a wolf cub All of these familiar elements work really well within the film s context The score by Mychael and Jeff Danna also channels a lovely Western flavour as well with plenty of brass fiddle and guitar strings an atmospheric use of wind instruments and plenty of soaring uplifting moments as well In a very straightforward film with relatively limited dialogue the animation carries a lot of the story and Spot in particular manages to convey exactly what he s thinking through his the eyes expressions and comedic timing Even Arlo manages this as well during the quieter scenes The detail and realism of the weather water vast landscapes and forest creatures stand as a testament to how far Pixar Animation has come since Toy Story in 1996 This also helps the intensity of the various natural calamities that unfold in how detailed and realistic they are As for the dinosaurs themselves most of them are very cartoonishly designed almost like illustrations out of a children s book While I mostly didn t mind this choice as it made them look more vulnerable I do feel like a slight touch of realism would have helped the two feel more connected Despite playing the story very safe for the most part the tone still enters a few dark corners of the natural world After Arlo survives that rapid river his body is actually covered in bloody cuts and his knees are red and swollen When the Tyrannosaurs talk about their scars they get as gorily detailed as possible And there are multiple on screen deaths a couple played for laughs but others played quite seriously The message is that while fear is a natural part of life and you can t live without it you can overcome it by having a cause bigger than yourself to motivate you We see Arlo s arc reflect this and how he learns to think on his feet when in peril and in contrast we have the fanatical Pterosaurs who claim to be devoid of fear but are all too often blind to danger There are however a lot of familiar story beats that invite similarities to such films as The Land Before Time Homeward Bound Ice Age even older Disney films such as Bambi and

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2015/12/review-the-good-dinosaur-2015/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Movie Reviews | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack - Part 3
    finally gets his time to shine but is it a giant sized success for Marvel read more REVIEW Terminator Genisys 2015 July 8 2015 at 2 59 pm Movie Reviews Movies 0 comments Liam gives us a POSITIVE review of Arnold s franchise comeback You hear that Schwarzenegger Positive read more REVIEW Ted 2 2015 June 29 2015 at 2 41 pm Movie Reviews Movies 0 comments The deviant teddy bear is back Did Seth MacFarlane bring the goods read more THE BLU REVIEW The Interview 2014 June 24 2015 at 3 39 pm Movie Reviews Movies 0 comments Cal finally catches up with the Seth Rogen James Franco joint that divided the world and also takes a look at the Blu ray read more REVIEW Jurassic World 2015 June 12 2015 at 1 26 pm Movie Reviews Movies 0 comments Dino expert Oscar is our guide for the fulfilment of John Hammond s vision Welcome back read more REVIEW Tomorrowland 2015 May 26 2015 at 2 43 pm Movie Reviews Movies 0 comments Has the director of The Incredibles and Ghost Protocol scored again Oscar jetpacks to the future to find out read more REVIEW Mad Max Fury Road 2015 May 15 2015 at 11 42 am Movie Reviews Movies 0 comments Oh yeah it s a masterpiece alright Cal returns to wasteland Australia for Max s amazing comeback read more Previous 1 2 3 4 5 20 Next Movie Squabbles CULT CORNER The Return of the Living Dead 1985 SEQUELISED RoboCop 3 1993 REVIEW The Jungle Book 2016 LICENSE TO THRILL The Mask 1995 SquabbleCast 17 20 Years in Raccoon City Gaming Squabbles GAMING GREATS L A Noire 2011 LICENSE TO THRILL The Mask 1995 SquabbleCast 17 20 Years in Raccoon City GAMING GREATS Super Mario Sunshine 2002

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/category/movie-reviews/page/3/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Movie Reviews | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack - Part 20
    November 15 2012 at 3 00 pm Features Movie Reviews Movies 0 comments The year s most divisive blockbuster is finally out in HD for reappraisal Is Ridley Scott s return to the Alien mythos a misunderstood and important film read more THE BLU REVIEW The Raid 2011 November 13 2012 at 4 03 pm Features Movie Reviews Movies 2 comments Cal finally catches up with the decade s best action film on shiny disc read more REVIEW The Forbidden Four 2012 November 10 2012 at 3 00 pm Features Movie Reviews Movies 0 comments A horror anthology from deepest darkest Kidderminster The Forbidden Four is a true shot to the brain read more THE BLU REVIEW How I Spent My Summer Vacation Get the Gringo 2012 September 18 2012 at 11 24 pm Movie Reviews Movies 0 comments Mel Gibson is on fine form in this criminally overlooked crime flick But can you look past your feelings on the star to give it a go read more Previous 1 18 19 20 Movie Squabbles CULT CORNER The Return of the Living Dead 1985 SEQUELISED RoboCop 3 1993 REVIEW The Jungle Book 2016 LICENSE TO THRILL The Mask 1995 SquabbleCast 17 20 Years in Raccoon City Gaming Squabbles GAMING GREATS L A Noire 2011 LICENSE TO THRILL The Mask 1995 SquabbleCast 17 20 Years in Raccoon City GAMING GREATS Super Mario Sunshine 2002 GAMING GREATS The Secret of Monkey Island 1990 Podcast Squabbles TV Squabbles TV GEMS Cockroaches 2015 SquabbleCast 16 Batfan v Superfan TV GEMS Marvel s Daredevil 2015 TV GEMS Columbo 1971 2003 SquabbleCast 14 RETARDIS Search SquabbleBox Music Squabbles REVIEW Babymetal Metal Resistance 2016 AWESOME ALBUMS Gomez In Our Gun 2002 REVIEW Blur The Magic Whip 2015 AWESOME ALBUMS Bad Religion Into the Unknown 1983 Stranger Than

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/category/movie-reviews/page/20/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Cinema Classics: RoboCop (1987) | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    s titular star never inspires sniggering unless the script actually calls for it The film s all important action sequences are also smartly handled never existing just for the sake of pyrotechnics They also possess an old school charm In an era before rampant computer generated trickery some of the effects shots are showing their vintage but Phil Tippett s amazing stop motion animation deserves a shout out Robo s encounter with ED 209 is still a highlight belying the picture s tight 13 million budget Verhoeven incorporates all of the shooting explosions and bloodshed the genre demands without drowning out the picture s themes As good as this film s aesthetics are it ultimately works due to the cast They say a film is only as good as its villain and RoboCop has one of the best in 80s cinema Smith is simply phenomenal as the sadistic Boddicker Some will remember him best as the well meaning dad on That 70 s Show but he ll always be the deplorable Clarence to me Intelligent well spoken nutters are always the best and Smith delights in every vicious detail He is assisted ably by the equally cast against type Cox as Jones who is so effective as the corporate slimeball that Verhoeven cast him as an antagonist again in Total Recall 1990 But not everyone at OCP is duplicitous Ferrer as RoboCop s creator Morton gives the character a fascinating complexity He wants the best for his city and means no one harm but the most important thing in his life is his career This is a trait the sequels lacked painting the corporation as wholly evil when a little grey area would have made more sense On the other end of the spectrum Nancy Allen drops her trademark locks as the desexualised Ann Lewis Murphy s former partner and the key to bringing his human side to the surface Whilst you could argue that she doesn t fully live up to the image of a strong self sufficient heroine Lewis is paramount to making the film s emotional core work It s a shame that her part was decreased in the resulting follow ups But if anyone deserves our respect in this cast it s Weller Filming RoboCop was notoriously difficult for the actor due to the confines of the costume but he absolutely delivers on the robotic aspect of the character His mannerisms and vocal work completely sell the role taking him from a mortal man to a metal behemoth to a fallibly human machine with a great deal of believability Weller even latches onto the script s biblical allusions raising his arms in a Christ like pose during the character s murder as well as giving a booming god like authority to his lines as a death defying product There s something conceptually satisfying about a resurrected man getting revenge on the men who killed him at the site of his death It even leads to a

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2016/03/cinema-classics-40-robocop-1987/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Cinema Classics: The Thing (1982) | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    the blood test are enthralling in their unpredictability Even though this was director Carpenter s first feature made inside the Hollywood system The Thing was not weakened by studio interference There s no sappy Hollywood romance or forced happy endings here Carpenter was allowed to stick to his hallmarks masterful widescreen photography extreme violence anti heroes but the studio backing gave him the added benefit of a generous budget And my word every penny of the 15 million budget was well spent The creature effects are still for the most part convincing and the gore is still repellent decades on which is a testament to both the skill of FX technician Rob Bottin who was only 22 at the time and the fact that prosthetics are superior to CGI On top of this the atmosphere is convincing with a combination of sets and location filming allowing us to believe that these Americans are truly trapped in the middle of nowhere Also effective is Ennio Morricone s minimalist score which competently builds suspense The music was clearly inspired by Carpenter s composing style and those unaware of Morricone s involvement may be fooled into thinking that the director was responsible for the score as he frequently is on his movies Kurt Russell who had worked with Carpenter a year prior on Escape From New York is top notch as helicopter pilot R J MacReady A badass likeable character actor Russell owns the role and his low key performance is utterly convincing The Thing is very much an ensemble picture though with strong work all around from the likes of Keith David Wilford Brimley T K Carter David Clennon Richard Dysart Charles Hallahan Joel Polis and Donald Moffat There are no weak links in this cast Only one female is in the movie and it s strictly a vocal role that of a computer It s amazing to watch a horror movie which isn t marred by some bimbo of a love interest whose sole purpose is to look beautiful and attract more viewers Watching The Thing in the 21st Century it s amazing how well the film has aged It was produced long before polished contemporary cinema ruled by digital effects but it remains ageless which just proves how accomplished Carpenter and his team truly are Its agelessness is derived from the state of the art practical special effects and the fact that Carpenter relies more on tension and psychological terror than outright gore This is a B movie through and through but B movies do not come much better or more proficient than this The Thing would continue to find success on home video and television eventually becoming a cult film and a bona fide masterpiece in the eyes of critics This led to a videogame sequel in 2002 also called The Thing which was released on PC PlayStation 2 and Xbox Anyone who s ever played it will tell you that its one of the hardest Survival Horror titles

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2016/03/cinema-classics-the-thing-1982/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Cinema Classics: The Wicker Man (1973) | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    she is not and has never been a pupil in this school the only one on the island This is not the first time that the very existence of the girl has been doubted by the islanders In fact they seem to be in unanimous agreement that she s not a resident of the island and even Rowan s supposed mother denies that she has a daughter of that name Howie is highly suspicious of the veracity of these claims someone must have sent him that letter and after witnessing what he perceives to be the degenerate sacrilegious practices of these people he begins to suspect that Rowan may have met a sticky end at the hands of pagan barbarity and that the entire island is complicit in the perpetration and cover up of this heinous crime Bloody heathens indeed But Howie isn t going to take any shit from a bunch of girls Liars You are despicable liars he proclaims with indignation after having found Rowan Morrison s name on the school register Rowan Morrison is a schoolmate of yours isn t she And that is her desk isn t it Proceeding towards the vacant desk convinced that this time he s caught them out he expects to find the evidence that has so far evaded him but upon opening it he is presented with an absurd and somewhat grotesque sight a beetle attached by a piece of thread to a nail that is stuck into the desk The little old beetle goes round and round one of the girls explains somewhat sadistically always the same way you see until he ends up right up tight to the nail poor old thing She might as well be describing Sgt Howie He is the helpless beetle tirelessly ploughing onward unaware that his every move is being overseen and orchestrated by some sort of malevolent force And that s where the horror element comes in there s a pervasive sense of something very sinister underlying all the frivolity and games and we laugh but feel somewhat uneasy about doing so This balance is crucial as it would have been a far lesser film had it pursued exclusively either the horror route or the comedy route The film isn t interested in being either of these things and as a result it transcends both If it had gone the comedy route then either the islanders would have been made ridiculous or Sgt Howie would have Someone would need to be the butt of all the jokes someone for us to laugh at and feel superior to But although there are some laughs at the expense of the islanders and of Howie both parties are ultimately portrayed sympathetically and fairly Similarly if the film had gone out of its way to be a conventional horror then the portrayal of the islanders would likely have been distorted to exaggerate their grotesque and menacing characteristics at the expense of their humanity One of the film

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2016/02/cinema-classics-the-wicker-man-1973/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Cinema Classics: Rocky (1976) | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    many women run a mile But where is she going to go Where is he going to go They re two lost souls discarded by the universe who come together and give each other the power they need Avildsen and Stallone ensure that we actually give a shit about this schlub before it all comes to a head in the ring I can t say the same for much of the sequels I ve always loved the idea that Rocky s opportunity comes to him by sheer chance too He s never won a title worth a damn but if it wasn t for his self styled moniker The Italian Stallion he might have very well spent the rest of his days hanging out around street corners singing songs with the other bums He is plucked out of obscurity by gifted black opponent Apollo Creed Carl Weathers for a bicentennial fight Didn t an Italian discover America after all The guy s chutzpah is as uproarious as his confidence Whilst Rocky looks up to Apollo as a great fighter Creed views him as a small time Southpaw and a pushover How wrong he is There s a chance that Rocky will be too slow and uneventful for newbies in 2016 but there s a real beauty to the way it takes the time to flesh out these personalities Balboa s sudden success brings out the best and worst in his friends particularly Paulie who never misses a chance to make a buck on his name Even Mickey changes heart and my favourite non montage sequence in the film is when the humbled trainer practically begs for a second chance the late Meredith confirming why he was a great actor in a heartbreaking plee for acceptance Like Rocky his best days are behind him but Balboa just can t turn him down It s impossible not to love this dim witted pugilist Avildsen gives everything a fitting documentary sheen aided by the revolutionary work of Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown It frees up the shot on sticks aesthetic and enables us to follow Rocky s infamous training with a degree of credibility There s still a real rush climbing those museum steps with Rocky as the sun sets over Philly that image of him at the summit arms aloft triumphantly is surely one of the most beautiful in cinema If there s anything dated about the filmmaking it would be composer Bill Conti s signature Gonna Fly Now but even that manages to make a little low budget movie seem heartfelt and grandiose Rocky is pure street poetry told on an intimate canvas and it nails every last beat Should it have gotten that golden statuette back in 76 Perhaps not but in my mind Rocky only gets better over time This is surely one of the best feel good movies ever made with characters that have more than stood the test of time and an artistic integrity that only part two

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2016/01/cinema-classics-rocky-1976/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Cinema Classics: Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983) | SquabbleBox.co.uk - Entertainment Under Attack
    the intense atmosphere the Jabba scenes do feel protracted especially before Leia thaws out Han with all the musical numbers and even the fight at the Sarlaac Pit could have been trimmed A lot of the Endor scenes feel slow because of the heroes being captured by and later befriending the Ewoks and the plot doesn t kick in until Luke surrenders to Vader The destruction of the Second Death Star is probably too similar to the original film and with the return to Tatooine and Dagobah the film feels smaller and more cyclical and repeats the theme of the mighty Empire being defeated against all odds by a smaller force I hesitate to call it a rehash as that sense of thematic familiarity is relevant to Luke s journey At times I wonder if the Ewoks attract too much criticism for basically being teddy bears with spears The big controversy is that they were the first subject of heavily commercialised toys cartoons and spin off movies But it s not like they were a helpless species they were about to eat our heroes and they had the advantage of numbers and stealth to outflank the Troopers Their courage reminded me of the Hobbits in the Scouring of the Shire chapter from The Return of the King who were able to out manoeuvre Saruman s ruffians And I admire the theme of people of small stature overcoming brute force Now obviously this analogy doesn t excuse how the Ewoks were able to toast the Imperial AT ST s so effectively or the comedic battle shots that also throw the tone off but for me their size and primitive nature didn t grate as much The theme of nature versus technology is at best a seed of an idea and would have been better served if it was played more seriously and believably but I still admire the notion behind it Despite the inclusion of the Ewoks the film is not really that lighthearted considering how compellingly dark the story is The action can get pretty brutal with Leia strangling Jabba to death or Luke slicing up his henchmen and even lunging at Vader with the intent of killing him hacking away like a medieval knight Both sides of the war sustain heavy casualties you feel the weight of this battle Everybody loves the scenes with the Emperor as the atmosphere is so brooding and shadowy it s like diving into the depths of Hell and the Emperor is Satan I love how we don t see the Emperor s face in full until Vader presents him to Luke and we get a powerful close up of this mangled twisted old man steeped in the Dark Side The visual metaphor of Luke being halfway between dark and light is ingrained in everyone s mind and for good reason as we re even made to question if Vader should be redeemed The finale is sad but happy at the same time making

    Original URL path: http://www.squabblebox.co.uk/2015/12/cinema-classics-star-wars-episode-vi-return-of-the-jedi-1983/ (2016-04-26)
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