Hol­i­day movies: what’s worth watch­ing

Kapi-Mana News - - WHAT’S ON - JAMES CROOT, GRAEME TUCKETT

The win­ter school hol­i­days. It can be a time of de­spair as the weather pre­cludes many out­door op­tions taken dur­ing other times off from school. How­ever, it’s also the time when Hol­ly­wood un­leashes its big-bud­get block­busters in Kiwi cinemas. But are any of this year’s tod­dler, tween or teen tar­geted movies any good? Stuff’s James Croot and Graeme Tuckett sur­vey the op­tions.

CARS 3 (G, 102MINS)

The most po­lar­is­ing of Pixar’s pro­duc­tions since its in­cep­tion, the Cars fran­chise roars back into life here af­ter 2011’s con­fused and con­vo­luted spy ca­per Cars 2.

If the orig­i­nal was a paean to small town life, rookie di­rec­tor Brian McFee’s tale is an ode to old-school rac­ing. While it might be a lit­tle too se­ri­ous for some young­sters, there’s plenty of ac­tion and ad­ven­ture to keep them en­ter­tained.

JC DESPICABLE ME 3 (PG, 90MINS)

Those who thought the Min­ions had taken over the asy­lum in the last in­stal­ment of this pop­u­lar an­i­mated fran­chise will be pleased to know the baby-talk­ing, ba­nana-lov­ing slap­stick spe­cial­ists have been side­lined here. Any­one un­der 8 though, will be dev­as­tated. In­stead, the fo­cus is back firmly on re­formed su­pervil­lain Gru (Steve Carell), his three adopted ‘‘gir­rrls’’ and wife Lucy (Kris­ten Wiig).

This se­ries has al­ways been at its best at its most silly and sur­real and chil­dren of a cer­tain gen­er­a­tion (hint: it’s not the cur­rent one) will get the big­gest kick out of see­ing Trey Parker’s 80s-in­spired vil­lain fight with Ru­bik’s Cubes, while backed by an eclec­tic range of pe­riod clas­sics, from Take on Me to Money for Noth­ing.

JC DI­ARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL (PG, 91MINS)

While some of the set-pieces in this lat­est adap­ta­tion of Jeff Kin­ney’s mega-pop­u­lar se­ries of books feel aw­fully fa­mil­iar – hor­rific cross-coun­try short­cuts, run­ning feuds with fel­low trav­ellers – there’s enough mem­o­rable mo­ments to keep au­di­ences and in par­tic­u­lar pri­mary-aged kids en­ter­tained and en­thralled.

From the open­ing ball pit hor­rors to the ‘‘de­lights’’ of fair­ground deep-fried but­ter-ona-stick, my two un­der-10s were laugh­ing like drains at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals.

JC LONGWAY NORTH (PG, 82MINS)

A stir­ring ad­ven­ture filled with in­ci­dent and in­deed no lit­tle tragedy, this French-Rus­sian an­i­mated fea­ture looks and feels im­pres­sive, but the over­all ef­fect is strangely in­ert. Whether that’s down to the less-im­mer­sive hand­drawn an­i­ma­tion, the episodic na­ture of the story or the iso­lat­ed­sound­ing English dub it’s hard to say, but what could have been a song-free Tan­gled- meets- Frozen, in­stead feels like it’s be­set by ex­actly those two ad­jec­tives.

JC SPI­DER-MAN; HOME­COM­ING (M, 133MINS)

Rookie di­rec­tor Jon Watts and Marvel co-head hon­cho and cre­ative over­lord Kevin Feige has crafted a Spi­derman re­boot for the ages.

This Spidey is grat­i­fy­ingly true to the kid-cen­tric world of the comic-book char­ac­ter. Spi­derman: Home­com­ing is re­fresh­ing, grounded, hu­man and ex­traor­di­nar­ily like­able.

GT TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT (M, 149MINS)

An unashamedly daft film, Michael Bay’s lat­est chucks in plot points from In­de­pen­dence Day, The Da Vinci Code and Na­tional Trea­sure, takes de­sign cues – ac­knowl­edged – from Star Wars and Robo­cop, while ref­er­enc­ing True Ro­mance, Blade Run­ner and Scar­face among count­less oth­ers.

Maybe The Last Knight got me at the right time. On an­other day that numb­ing run­ning time and Bay’s leg­endary in­abil­ity to show any woman with­out ob­jec­ti­fy­ing her, or any non-white char­ac­ter with­out mak­ing them a car­i­ca­ture might have been enough to make me dis-like this film quite a lot.

But right now, it seems to me, Bay has re-lo­cated the fran­chise’s mojo. It’s a fun watch.

GT

Tom Hol­land is the lat­est ac­tor to don the Spidey suit.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.