Happy New Year! January 1st brings a mix-bag of flicks for the kids and adults, as well as a Australian horror returning to cinemas…
Penguins of Madagascar:
We first meet these scene-stealing, ballsy birds in the DreamWorks hit franchise Madagascar, and now, they have a spin-off their own! Plucky penguins Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Rico (Conrad Vernon) and Private (Christopher Knights), join forces with an undercover organization known as the North Wind. Led by highly trained, handsome and arrogant wolf named Agent Classified (suitably voiced by Britain’s Benedict Cumberbatch), this special inter-species task force must stop a many-tentacled villain, Dr. Octavius Brine (John Malkovich, again great casting), from destroying the world. The dialogue is a treat for all ages and the characters are just dam cute. Fun for all the family, I’m sure!
Penguins of Madagascar is out now
The Imitation Game:
Sticking with Cumberbatch, is this stylish British wartime drama set during the toughest times of WWII. He stars as computer whiz Alan Turing, a complex, arrogant individual who is recruited to break the elusive German enigma code. With a bevy of Britons finest minds at his disposal (played by Matthew Goode, Keira Knightley, Matthew Beard and Alan Leech) and lead by Bletchley Park’s commanders (a steely Charles Dance and a softer than usual Mark Strong), Turing’s life and work collides in dramatic fashion as the top-secret team race against the clock to save soldiers lives and end the war. Norwegian director Morten Tyldum has created a nostalgic yet dangerous Britain in the throes of one of the deadliest wars in history, and at the hands of the Nazis. Added to the drama, Turing was a homosexual – a preference that proved just as dangerous to him as the war itself. An Oscar contender and a must see for all, Cumberbatch is outstanding!
The Imitation Game is out now
Big Hero 6:
Disney studios are back doing what we love most – cute, morally inspiring animations for the whole family! Robotics prodigy Hiro (Ryan Potter) lives in the city of San Fransokyo (yes, that is a futuristic blend of San Francisco and Tokyo). Besides his older brother, Tadashi, Hiro’s closest companion is Baymax (Scott Adsit), a plushy robot whose sole purpose is to take care of people – cue the “awwwwhhhh”. When a devastating turn of events throws Hiro into the middle of a dangerous plot, he transforms Baymax and his other friends, Go Go Tamago (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.), Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) and Fred (T.J. Miller) into a band of high-tech heroes whose mission has become not just looking after people, but saving the world. Baymax is going to be a hit with all who see this movie, and I can guarantee it is nearly impossible to not be charmed by his cuddly build and sweet nature.
Big Hero 6 is out now
You probably missed this one when it came out earlier this year in selected cinemas, but lucky for horror fans, Australian cinema fans and just movie buffs alike, it’s back – exclusive to Nova once again. This stylish, minuscule-budget gem of a film is a good old fashioned psychological thriller. It’s timeless themes of possession and haunting are reminiscent of classics like The Exorcist and The Shining, but even more terrifying as they all play out in a suburban Aussie home. A weary single mum (Essie Davis; The Slap, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) is struggling to cope with the loss of her husband whilst managing her hyperactive young son (an impressive new talent, Noah Wiseman). They select a bedtime story at random one night, unawares that the spooky protagonist – known simply as The Babadook – will change their lives forever… and not for the better! Check it out while you still can.
The Babadook is out now at cinema Nova