Film Review : The Boxtrolls (2014)

IMDB Score – 6.8
Rotten Tomato Score – 75%
Metacritic Score – 61
Oscar Nominated for Best Animated Feature
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Directed By – Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi
Starring – Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning, Dee Bradley Baker, Steve Blum, Jared Harris, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan, Toni Collette, and Simon Pegg

A young orphaned boy raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors tries to save his friends from an evil exterminator. Based on the children’s novel ‘Here Be Monsters’ by Alan Snow.

One of my best friends has seen this movie like five times. He likes movies but is so busy all the time that he doesn’t get a chance to see much. He saw this film FIVE TIMES. Seeing as The Boxtrolls has recently been released on Netflix, my excuses have run dry and it was time to see the film my friend calls one of his favorite movies.

I liked it. I can’t say I liked it nearly as much as he did, but I liked it.

The Boxtrolls tells the story of Eggs, a boy growing up in the sewers and aptly named after the box he wears as weird vest/shirt thing. The Boxtrolls spend their night rummaging through the garbage while the rest of the town sleeps. This garbage is taken down below and turned into crazy inventions. They’re like little elves except stinkier and not as cute. Archibald Snatcher is a lunatic that wants to eradicate the Boxtrolls from the town in order to obtain a white hat and attend cheese parties. Yes, this film is British.

Laika, the production company that makes stop motion films, made one of my favorite animated films of all time in Coraline. The film was like a dark Grimm fairy tale and the animation was fresh and alive. Their second film, Paranorman, was also dark and surprisingly very funny. The story didn’t grasp me as much as Coraline did, but I still enjoyed it. The Boxtrolls is a bit like Paranorman but less dark. These creatures aren’t scary at all. They have animalistic little voices and are generally kind spirited and fun. All the evil and darkness comes from Archibald Snatcher, voiced terrifically by Ben Kingsley. It’s a good versus evil story arch that has been done plenty of times before, but in this case a very unique and different world. That’s what made this movie work for me. The fact that it was also gorgeously shot and animated helped out a great deal too. Kids should be able to find some great lessons tucked away in the story of the film. Pride of your personality and where you came from are themes you can’t really miss. Frankly, I just enjoyed watching the way they animated this thing, and listening to the voice acting. There was some real talent on display behind the microphone here. The three henchmen played by Frost, Morgan, and Ayoade were perhaps my favorite part of the film.

It may be my least favorite Laika film, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It’s unique, funny, and gorgeously shot and should provide for some rewatchability, but maybe not five times worth.

Also, now we know what happened to Bran Stark this season.


Film Review : The World’s End (2013)

IMDB Score – 7.2
Rotten Tomato Score – 89%

Directed By – Edgar Wright
Starring – Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Roseamund Pike, and Pierce Brosnan

Five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier unwittingly become humankind’s only hope for survival.

As stated in my previous post, I’m going to be seeking out the films of 2013 that I procrastinated on seeing in the theater when they were released. First up is the third and final installment of the now infamous “Cornetto Trilogy” which was preceded by one of my favorite films of all time, Shaun of the Dead, and a vastly under appreciated Hot Fuzz.

Honestly, I think this is the most fun out of the three but not necessarily the best. Simon Pegg once again proves he’s one of the best comedic actors working today. His role in Shaun of the Dead might be the best of his career but this role certainly pushed for the title. He is hilarious albeit a bit annoying in this one. I think you just have to buy into the character to see past the frustrating way he carries himself to see what a great character study Pegg and Edgar Wright penned up. Wright has always been almost masterful in pacing. If you have ever seen Scott Pilgrim then you know what I mean. This film doesn’t take a breath the entire time. It’s almost two hours but they FLEW by like I’ve never seen. I honestly wish it was longer because of how much fun it was. The writing is to thank but it also is blessed with a perfect cast.

Usual tag team partner Nick Frost sits opposite Pegg in a starring role, but this time roles have been reversed and it is Frost who has the smart head on his shoulders. Paddy Considine (Please direct another film), Martin Freeman, and the always incredible Eddie Marsan make up the supporting three friends who each have their moments, especially Marsan. I ended up giggling a lot by how his character Peter sees most of the world. The five of them together is enough to see this movie.

This film has the unfortunate luck of having a trailer force feed the entire plot to us in two minutes so the twist in the middle is not surprising in any way but there are still great little nuances to the threat the five face throughout the second half of the film. That’s where the fun really is to be had, the second half, but the first is equally as good. I live in a town with people like Simon Pegg’s character Gary. People hold on to their youth and instead of creating new memories, they hold on to the old ones. Gary is the driving force behind the films main theme which in my eyes was to experience life to the fullest despite what other people tell you to do. I’ll admit that whole thing seems a bit cheesy but they really pulled it off here. The film also has some incredible fight scenes and great special effects. The only thing I can say I didn’t like was the films ending but by that time I was having too much fun to really care.

It’s a great way to end a hilarious, emotional, and just f’ing fun trilogy.