Murder on the Orient Express (Cinema Review)

12A – 114mins – 2017


 

NO BEACH-SIDE HOLIDAY

Kenneth Romeo & Juliet LIVE Branagh has dual duties as both headliner and director of this fourth adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic 1934 mystery novel, featuring “probably the greatest detective in the world” (self-professed), Hercule Poirot, the Dickens-loving gentleman with the distractingly-iconic moustache which successfully upstages a train-full of Hollywood A-listers.

… Keep Scuttling!

Beauty and the Beast (Cinema Review)

PG – 129mins – 2017 – 3D


A READY-FURNISHED CLASSIC

Disney continue their recent trend of mining past animated hits for future live action gold (as I write it is currently the highest grossing film of 2017) with this fifth conversion – following Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, Cinderella and The Jungle Book (which I reviewed HERE) – of one of their greatest ‘toons as old as time into 3 living, breathing, singing and dancing dimensions.

… Keep Scuttling!

The Angry Birds Movie (Cinema Review)

U – 97mins – 2016 – 3D


 

OINK MISBEHAVIN’

When an island community of incessantly chirpy flightless birds is invaded by a boat-full of porky-telling neon green pigs, only ostracised and irritable Red (Jason We’re The Millers Sudeikis) is cynical enough to see through the mysterious visitor’s pretence of friendship – but his disagreeable temperament sees his valid claims fall on naïve beaks.

When the greedy snout troop – led by their bearded king, Leonard (Bill Hader) – makes off with the bewildered birds’ unhatched newborns, the feathered flock put their full faith in Red and his fellow Anger Management attendees, Chuck (Josh “Olaf” Gad) and Bomb (Danny McBride), to lead the resistance and claim back their eggs before their babies become breakfast for bacon!

With a script penned by the king of the animated movie genre, Jon Vitti (he has written or consulted on everything from Blue Sky’s Ice Age and Robots to The Simpsons Movie and Alvin and the Chipmunks), The Angry Birds Movie is as colourfully chaotic and hilariously hyperactive as you would expect from a film based on a mobile phone time-waster.

While it feels like it may be slingshotting into cinemas a couple of years too late, it is still a cloyingly app-dictive viewing experience, doing a flocking decent job of transplanting the “swipe-out” simplicity of Rovio Entertainment’s platform game into the central proponent of a larger universe-building (and destroying!) narrative.

It may favour style over substance and laughs over logic, but when there are this many giggles to be got (“Calvin Swine”, “Brad Pigg”, “John Hamm”, “Bomb’s Shelter”), you’d be bird-brained not to jump upon this trampoline. Sure, its garish mentality and maddening persistency does veer mighty close to overkill, but the strike rate is impressive enough to forgive a few missed targets.

CR@B Verdict: 3 stars