Netflix A-Z: Penguins of Madagascar (2014)

Next up on Netflix A-Z is our P selection! It really wasn’t much of a decision here! I haven’t seen an animated film in a while and I just needed time to relax and just be entertained.  Mind you, I’m a fan of Madagascar to a certain extent but my feeling towards Madagascar is something like my current feeling of Ice Age. However, Madagascar has always been able to entertain me a little more.  I guess that’s a plus so there are higher hopes of a spin-off movie working.

Let’s check it out! 🙂

Penguins of Madagascar (2014)

Penguins of Madagascar

Director: Eric Darnell & Simon J. Smith

Voice Cast: Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Conrad Vernon, John Malkovich, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong, Annet Mahendru, Peter Stormare

Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private join forces with undercover organization The North Wind to stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world as we know it.-IMDB

 The goal of most animated films is to entertainment.  Penguins of Madagascar should have one goal: entertaining families.   Animations are aimed towards a younger audience usually and Madagascar franchise has always had that sort of appeal.

Penguins is a hard one to pinpoint. It really is a sequel to the previous Madagascar since it shows them escaping the circus.  It gives it some continuity and context to what is going on.They definitely have comedic value. This animation should be probably more engaging for children especially with the cute and cuddly penguins and the not too long run time mixed with constant action and some funny visual comedy. Its also quite colorful and energetic.  For adults watching this, it still has a fun value and the humor has its smart moments especially using actor names in the context of sentences. We had a good laugh over catching those bits.

Penguiins of Madagascar

While our heroes are the silly penguins and its a lot based on their absurd and spontaneous plans, it adds in a villain just for them called Dave who is an octopus that lost its popularity at zoos because of penguins. Dave disguises intelligently as a successful scientist and while being a villain, he also is pretty old school especially when he is being voiced by the talented John Malkovich and is bad at technology. In contrast, our side heros is an elite group called the North Wind put together but a wolf, polar bear, seal and snow owl. An abnormal group still but one that has some fun moments when interactimg with the penguins since they are rather more professional and uptight and the penguins are not. All this is to say that the balance and character design is done well.

Penguins of Madagascar

One of the outstanding parts of any animation are their voice actors and this cast has some big names that add a lot more to the characters. I previously mentioned John Malkovich as our villain. I’ve always thought that he has a rather distinctive voice and he just grasped the character of Dave so well that it actually made us find him rather fun to watch.  In North Wind, there is Benedict Cumberbatch (which I totally did not recognize before), Ken Jeong and Peter Stormare.  While I don’t think that the North Wind group in particular was a huge part of the movie or even memorable, I do think that Ken Jeong and Peter Stormare did a good job as their roles as the dorky (and sometimes angry-ish) seal and the big softy polar bear respectively. On that note, our stars of the show Penguins hold a few familiar looking names but none other than Chris Miller than I seem to recollect however, they are enthusiastic and energetic and breathes a lot of life into the Penguins we know and love from the Madagascar series, keeping them as fun to watch.

Penguins of Madagascar

Overall, Penguins of Madagascar was a fun and entertaining watch.  It doesn’t take a lot of attention to understand whats going on because it has a simple plot.  I can say that because I watched this 2.5 times over three days but each time I was doing something else and still enjoyed it but didn’t get lost despite missing different parts.  Its a nice one to put in the background.  However, I do believe there is some appeal to kids because of its bright colors and energetic characters along with a rather action-packed and/or silly parts that are put rather frequently throughout the film.  Penguins of Madagascar is a good one!

Have you seen Penguins of Madagascar? Are you a fan of the Madagascar franchise?

Warm Bodies (2013)

I’ve been raving about Warm Bodies since forever.  Probably even before all of you started talking about it, because well, it was filmed right outside my office building.  They closed off streets, warned us that if we heard gunshots or explosions, saw cows and goats, it was all good and safe.  Talk about a calming notice for a few days.  They may have piled on the streets with dirt and then put up boards and damaged cars, and after some research, they actually filmed in other parts of Old Montreal as well.  It makes this movie so much more exciting.  So much so that I went and picked up the book and reviewed it HERE. I liked the originality even if the concept was new and slightly bizarre.  Enough rambling…lets check out the movie!

warm bodies coverDirector: Jonathan Levine

Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Dave Franco, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry

R (Nicholas Hoult) is a zombie who lives at the airport with other zombies.  When he goes out to feed with his fellow zombies, they run into a group of apocalypse survivors out from camp to help replenish supplies.  This group includes leader Perry (Dave Franco) and his girlfriend Julie (Teresa Palmer).  Unfortunately R kills Perry but becomes attracted to Julie and takes her back to his home to protect her.  Little did he know that something in her sparked a change in him and he started becoming more human.  Was there a cure to turn the undead back to living?

warm bodies julie and r

I’m going straight to saying that I liked how this movie was adapted.  One of the main reasons is because they chopped off the part that I found really off the charts weird in the book.  But, it still isn’t a perfect adaptation as having read the book, I felt like this was slightly choppy.  I read it a while back so the book is also a bit foggy in my mind and I don’t remember a lot of details but I couldn’t help but feel that the flow wasn’t great.  To me, it still worked fine.

warm bodies city

Normally, I don’t go talking about setting because thats not my forte unless it really peaks my interest. Well, I live in that beautiful city up there, minus the fake wall they put up as dividers.  As cool as it was that it was shot totally and completely in Montreal, in my opinion.  That is my city right there, I live there.  So, when the movie ended with that shot and I was feeling a bit uneasy and started thinking, so, this is what my city would be like if there was a zombie apocalypse.  You know, at least make changes to the scene.  I’m staring at Montreal, probably viewed from Mont-Royal.  Just makes things a little awkward.  So at home and yet, not really…

warm bodies john malkovich julie

Moving along because most of you won’t feel that way about it as you don’t live in Montreal.  I haven’t had much knowledge of the two main characters.  Nicholas Hoult is completely  a new face to me.  Looking at IMDB, he was in Clash of the Titans but I don’t remember anything from that piece of garbage. I rarely feel so strongly for a movie so I don’t want to think about that.  Nicholas Hoult is pretty good as R.  It fits how I pictured R would be.  Very zombified and slowly going human.  Teresa Palmer is rather new to me also.  I’ve seen her before in I Am Number Four and I actually was impressed with her in that, not so much certain elements of the movie but just her.  In this one, I loved her as Julie.  She was pretty sassy and fun, pretty awesome all around. However, the character that I really thought was pretty hilarious was R’s friend, M, played by Rob Corddry.  There is really just one big name here (at least to me) and that’s John Malkovich as Julie’s father who also leads the army protecting the survivors.  In the trailers, he made me feel like he could be irritating but he actually was awesome.  I don’t even know why I doubted it. 🙂

warm bodies boneys

I felt like there should be a little mention on our baddies here.  Nope, not our reviving corpse but instead, its these fellas here, known as Boneys.  Those undead that has been in that state for too long and just can’t turn back.  They sense the living and sense threat to their being what they are.  There were moments, I have to admit they were a bit chilling and creepy.  This movie is categorized as horror but I’d say its more comedy and romance so it wasn’t a huge dose of it.  Nothing too intense, which is good also 🙂

Thats really all I have to say.  I was looking forward to checking this out to begin with but I also had some reservations.  I enjoyed the movie quite a bit.  The romance was cute, the story was adapted not flawless but relatively good, the cast put life into the characters and it was a nice time.  Its nothing like my favorite movie or anything but I’d gladly sit through it again eventually. Its a new take on the zombie apocalypse so I’d recommend it.  Give it a shot 🙂 It might turn into a pleasant surprise. I mean, my boyfriend’s dad was the one who encouraged us to watch it (much to my surprise)!