Not so Christmas Review: Chicken Run

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Chicken Run is a very unusual movie to say the least, Wallace and Gromit creators Aardman teamed up with Dreamworks animation to make an animated version of the Great Escape starring chickens and its fantastic.

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In a slightly kinder interpretation of a Nazi Concentration Camp Chickens are forced to produce eggs for their farmers and if they dont produce enough eggs for the week then its off to the chopping block, all of the chickens are miserable and want to escape but with the farmers Mr and Mrs Tweedy only living only a few feet away from the pen and their sadistic dogs killing any chickens that get out of the pen escape looks near impossible, that is until one day a rooster lands into the pen and Ginger (One of the chickens) sees this rooster as their saving Grace possibly giving them a chance to escape their captivity.

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The Voice Acting in Chicken Run is really great but to be honest I don’t recognize much of the cast except for two people, the first is Miranda Richardson who plays Mrs Tweedy and of course Mel Gibson who plays Rocky the Rooster.

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The Animation is done using stop motion, but like many of the past Aardman productions which have used this method the stop motion in Chicken Runs animation is so smooth that it may fool you into thinking it was made using CGI, due to the nature of the the film most of imagery is dark and depressing most likely to match the atmosphere of the film, I did notice that happier characters were decorated with brighter colours but I’m not sure if these colours were to help empathise their good spirits.

Chicken Run is one of greatest British animated films of all time and it needs to be seen by everyone, I’m not sure if it was released outside of Europe but if you haven’t seen it then you can stream it on Netflix or you can purchase the film if you would like to support Aardman to make more great movies.

I hope you enjoyed my review of Chicken Run

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at

ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

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Not so Christmas film Review: Bridget Jones Diary

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Hugh Grant returns to play a cynical prick in the hit film  Bridget Jones Diary which is based on a book of the same name.

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Hugh Grant isn’t the only recognisable star in this British Classic as he is joined by co star Colin Firth and Renée Zellweger who plays the lead character Bridget Jones.

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Bridget Jones is a lonely, single, chain smoking 32 year old woman whos never had a boyfriend and is fed up with her life so she starts a diary to try and get control of her life.

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Bridget Jones Diary is a comedy and therefore the jokes really need to hit for the film to work and thankfully they do, its not by any means the funniest film ever made but it does pack a lot of laughs especially due to the way Bridget looks at the world and how she portrays those views into her diary, the diary is really the star of the film maybe even more than Bridget herself, its due to the diary that we had so many iconic moments in the first film including blue soup, tarts and vicars and of course the Bridget’s many drunken moments

Bridget Jones Diary is an iconic British romcom and with its massive legacy, great cast and lots of memorable moments its become a Christmas Classic too.

I hope you enjoyed my review of Bridget Jones Diary

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at

ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

The Phantom of the Opera (1943) Review

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The Phantom of the Opera is the final review of the month and unfortunately its the worst film in the Universal Classic Monsters Collection.

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Claude Rains who was well known for playing the Invisible Man takes on the role of Erique Claudin a violinist who is fired by the Paris Opera house after 20 years of service due to sudden arthritis in his left hand.

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Of  course anyone who knows the story of the book or stage play will know that Erique eventually becomes the Phantom and Claude Rains does an excellent job at playing both roles, in this production Christine is played by Susanna Foster, Susanna has quite an interesting past she went to a singing and acting school with the likes of Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney she was only 17 when she took on the lead female role in Phantom of the Opera, two other big names in the film were Nelson Eddy who played Antone Garron and Edgar Barrier who played police officer Raoul Daubert.

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In my personal opinion the best part of the movie was the sets, the Paris Opera House used in this adaption of the book was the same set that was built for the 1925 film of the same name starring Lon Chaney, if the Paris Opera House set wasn’t impressive enough another great set is the Phantoms home hidden underneath the Opera, the set is very gothic which helps to set the mood before the love interest rips off the Phantoms mask revealing his disfigurement.

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The 1943 adaptation of the Phantom of the Opera is ok and that’s unfortunately the best I can say for the movie, I really enjoyed the cast they were campy and fun, the movie used comedy in a way that it didn’t ruin the dark romantic atmosphere of the movie, Claude Rains did a fantastic job at playing the Phantom and the sets were all extremely memorable, the film was even filmed in Technicolour but even with all this going for it something was missing and that was the the monster movie I was promised, this is not a monster movie and I’m not even sure if I could class it as a horror, the Phantom of the Opera is more of a romantic drama with a dark coat of paint, even twilight has a vampires and werewolves but would you cast that a horror? At least Twilight had monsters which is something I cant say about this so why on earth was it included in a classic monster collection? To most it’s the Phantom of the Opera but to me its more like the Phantom of the Mediocre.

The Bluray for Phantom of the Opera wasn’t very generous with its bonus features it does have a documentary and a commentary track   but that’s about all that’s worth looking at.

you can purchase the Universal Classics Monsters Collection on Blu-ray here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Classic-Monsters-Essential-Collection/dp/B008H45YSO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-1&keywords=universal+monster+collection

A DVD version can be bought here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/THE-CLASSIC-MONSTER-COLLECTION/dp/B001GQWT24/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-2&keywords=universal+monster+collection

Thank you for joining me for all of these reviews, all of these movies had a great effect on horror movies today and even though they are old, most of them are not in colour and the effects aren’t great compared to CGI but they are still great films that need to be seen if only to help you appreciate how far film has come over the years.

Happy Halloween

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

 

Frankenstein (1931) Review

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Frankenstein is not the first ever movie about Frankensteins Monster that achievement goes to director  Eugenio Testa with his 1921 short film Il monstro di Frankenstein, however the 1931 film starring Boris Karloff is the adaptation which helped to shape and develop the monster into the horror icon he has become.

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The movie is filled to the brim with Iconic peformances such as Colin Clive who plays the mad doctor, it was he that first screamed the lines “HES ALIVE, HES ALIVE”, both Dwight Frye and Edward Van Sloan make a return from Dracula this time with Frye playing Fritz the doctors hideous assistant and Van Sloan playing Doctor Waldman, Dr Frankensteins previous teacher at the university but even with all of these wonderful performances the best performance is given by none other than Boris Karloff who plays the title role of the monster.

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Karloff played the monster as a lost puppy type of character, the monster was dangerous but his bursts of anger and destruction came from his confusion and the way people reacted to seeing him more than it was his own decision, the monster wasn’t cruel it had just never had the chance to experience kindness, there is a very powerful scene in the movie where a young girl gives the monster a flower and unfortunately she is killed by the monster when he accidentally drowns her in a river while they were playing.

maxresdefaultAn interesting piece of trivia about Frankenstein for those who haven’t seen it is that the film first begins with a warning from Edward Van Sloan its a chilling warning that im sure would have set many people into a fit of fear back in the day, the opening dialogue is as such” How do you do? Mr. Carl Laemmle feels it would be a little unkind to present this picture without just a word of friendly warning. We’re about to unfold the story of Frankenstein, a man of science who sought to create a man after his own image without reckoning upon God. It is one of the strangest tales ever told. It deals with the two great mysteries of creation: life and death. I think it will thrill you. It may shock you. It might even horrify you. So if any of you feel that you do not care to subject your nerves to such a strain, now is your chance to, uh… Well, we’ve warned you”.

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Frankenstein is an amazing piece of history that still stands the test of time, it is one of the most enjoyable of the older Universal classic horrors and its performances went on to inspire multiple books, stage adaptrations and newer Frankenstein films, its a monster of a movie which has enough heart and fright for any movie fan, the Blu-Ray has many features including three documentaries and two commentary tracks.

you can purchase the Universal Classics Monsters Collection on Blu-ray here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Classic-Monsters-Essential-Collection/dp/B008H45YSO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-1&keywords=universal+monster+collection

A DVD version can be bought here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/THE-CLASSIC-MONSTER-COLLECTION/dp/B001GQWT24/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-2&keywords=universal+monster+collection

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Splatoon 2 (Nintendo Switch) Review

Is Splatoon 2 a good reason too buy a Switch?

splatoon-2-artIt’s been over two years since the release of the original Splatoon so it was no surprise when the sequel was announced during the Switch reveal earlier this year and even though this review is over a month late due to all the new content in Splatoon 2 I am finally ready to talk about this much anticipated game.

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The single player story mode hasn’t changed much since the first game but there are a few small differences, first of all you are now playing as Agent 4 and not Agent 3 from the first game, the plot still revolves around rescuing the great zapfish from an unknown threat, there are five areas which each hold multiple stages and a boss fight, apart from using some of the newer weapons which I will get into later the game play hasn’t changed a lot the objective is to rescue the zapfish by getting from point A to point B, each stage has a different obstacle for example some levels require the player to fill up sponge platforms with ink in order too increase the platforms size, another obstacle requires the player too activate buttons in order to change and rearrange some platforms in order to reach the goal.

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The Boss fights follow a similar design as before however they still offer a fresh experience for players returning to the series. my favourite of these new bosses is the Octo Oven a giant toaster which requires the player to avoid its nasty attacks until the bread pops out of its oven doors allowing the player to maneuver their way to the top of the boss and hit its weak point.

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Turf War is the main mode in Splatoon 2, just like in the first game players will team up with other players online, each player is separated into two teams and the goal is too ink as much turf as possible, the team that inks the most turf by the end of the game wins.

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All of the old weapon types return for Splatoon 2 so you can still play with the splattershot, splat roller and the inkbrush however many new weapon types have been added to the series two of my favourite new editions include the splat dualies which is similar to the original splattershot but the player holds 2 guns (1 in each hand) and they hold half the amount of ink, another fave of mine is the splatbrella an umbrella weapon which can fire a shotgun blast while also protecting the player from enemy fire in a similar manner to the movie Kingsman a Secret Service.

Splatoon2-SplatZones-1024x576 Ranked Battle is back and its more intense than ever, there are three modes available the first is splat zones where teams must go up against each other to try and splat certain areas of the map and then keep that area inked in their colour in order to win the game, next up is tower control where players must ride a moving tower into enemy territory to reach the goal and finally there is the mode I suck at the most rain maker, the rain maker is a special powerful weapon which players must carry into the enemy base without being splated by the opposing team.

DGPBIXCUAAAikEy_thumbOnce you reach rank B minus you can try your hand at league battles, a league battle is 2 hours long and they allow competitive players to battle it out in ranked battle modes without being able to lose their level

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A brand new mode introduced to the series, salmon run is a horde survival mode where players must destroy hordes of enemy AI and bosses in order to gain experience points and golden eggs, the golden eggs must be picked up and dropped off at the collection point and if all players are dead in the game then salmon run is over, salmon run is awesome and by far the best part of the game but unfortunately its only available during certain times of the year.

Whats to be said other than Splatoon 2 is amazing and is a great reason to buy a Nintendo Switch, my complaints from the first game still stand I wish you could choose maps and game modes instead of them being swapped out during 2 hour time slots, the amiibo support here really sucks compared to the first game as it only allows you to save another players gear to the amiibo for a quick costume and weapon swap between games and mini games such as squid jump have been removed completely,  however putting this aside the graphics and music are as fresh as ever and the addition of salmon run is enough for me to rate this game a little bit higher by giving it an off the hook 9.5/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Splatoon 2

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Book Review: A Series of Unfortunate Events 4-6 by Lemony Snicket

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Last Halloween we took a look at the first three books in Lemony Snickets: A Series of Unfortunate Events, the book series was written by Daniel Handler under the pen name Lemony Snicket, the series follows the terrible lives of the Baudelaire orphans who are pushed between relatives after the death of their parents and throughout the series they must deal with an evil man called Count Olaf who wants to steal their family’s fortune.

The Miserable Mill (Book 4)

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In the fourth book the Baudelaire orphans are sent too the Lucky Smells Lumber mill in the town of Paltryville, the children are placed under the care of Sir a man who to be honest doesn’t have much of a personality other than he’s a bit of dick and smokes so much that a cloud of smoke is constantly covering his face, he forces the children to work in his mill where he only pays his employees in coupons for discounts at the other businesses in town and only feeds them a stick of gum and a small casserole a day, I was surprised with the absence of Count Olaf for the majority of the book but this was handled very well as there is so much happening in the novel that he really isn’t needed straight away, in fact this book has three villains sure two of them are characters we already know but one person is actually a brand new person brought into the series, I think its very clever how Lemony Snicket is able to describe deaths and horrific injuries without making them too grizzly for kids because this happens a lot here due to the book taking place in a Lumber mill which is one of the most dangerous jobs available, apart from this there isn’t much else to say about the Miserable Mill but it was a very good read, so good in fact that I got through the entire novel in just two days.

The Austere Academy (Book 5)

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After leaving the Lucky Smells Lumbermill the Baudelaire orphans are sent to Prufrock Preparatory School, I have to admit that the first chapter of this book failed to draw me in, it was boring and I found it difficult to follow, but from the second chapter onward’s the Austere Academy ended up becoming my favourite book so far, this book follows a similar structure to the predecessor stories however there a few new elements that I really appreciated, the introduction of the Quagmire Triplets was interesting, for the first time in the series Sunny, Klaus and Violet finally make friends who want to help them defeat Count Olaf, I wont give away any spoilers about the book but I will say that I feel that the Quagmire triplets will be in a few more books to come, the characters in this book are very over top and genuinely very silly which makes them perfect for younger children, they make the book a little less scary than it actually is, over imaginative characters are nothing new for the series but I feel that this book shows the characters at there most likeable so far.

The Ersatz Elevator (Book 6)

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After the not so cheerful ending of the last book the Baudelaire orphans travel back to their home town with Mr Poe, this time they are placed under the care of Jerome and Esme Squalor of number 667 Dark Avenue, the new guardians are very well written, Esme is a bossy, spoilt rich woman who enjoys showing off her wealth while at the same time being obsessed with making sure that she doesn’t fall behind whats currently popular or in fashion, Jerome is a very kind man who genuinely wants the best for Violet, Klaus and Sunny but he is too afraid of Esme to ever argue with her, this of course becomes an issue throughout the book especially went Count Olaf inevitably shows up, one thing I really enjoyed about this book is how realistic it was compared to its predecessors, now I am not saying that the book doesn’t have its non believable moments but the majority of Violets inventions here can be made in real life, to be honest I did prefer the Austere Academy but this is still an important part of the series that will only leave you wanting more.

These books are absolutely brilliant for children, when I reviewed the first three books in the series I talked about how I found it annoying that Lemony Snicket had to keep explaining the meaning of big words as I found it slightly mocked me as a reader but thankfully this writing style is toned down a bit in these three books, my favourite has to be the Austere Academy not only did it give us a completely new setting but it even introduced us to some new and very important characters, both of the other books I also really enjoyed and I am struggling to choose which one I enjoyed the least as all three of them kept me hooked on the story,  I will eventually get around to reviewing  the next three instalments but in mean time I think I would like to read something a bit different to what I usually decide to shove my nose in.

Thank you for reading this review of A series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

ZBOX June 2017 Unboxing and Review

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The June Zbox has finally arrived, due too one item not arriving to Zavvi’s warehouse on time, June’s box was delayed and as a result it shipped quite late and only recently arrived on July 1st.

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Each box comes with a small magazine which discusses the boxes theme for the month, Junes ZBOX is all about villains, I really like the design of cover here, it blatantly takes inspiration from the Joker who is one of my favourite comic book villains.

IMG_20170701_130335Every box comes with an exclusive T-shirt, the design for June is this really inspired artwork based on Batman villain Oswald Cobblepot aka the Penguin.

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The smallest item this month was an air freshener designed around Mad Max, to be honest I have never seen Mad Max so this item doesn’t mean much to me

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Another item I was disappointed with this month was this Storm Trooper print, I love Star Wars but I really don’t the Art Style that was used here, I cant help but feel that this was only  thrown into the box for filler I cant imagine this piece of cardboard does much to help make up the 40 pounds value which Zavvi promises to provide.

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I’m not one to often my toys keep my toys in the box but this Lex Luthor figure I just cant bring myself to open, its awesome and due to the small parts I don’t want to open it just in case I end up losing them,  it was also possible to receive a figure of Deadman a DC character I don’t recognise but after doing some research he is definitely a character I am interested in checking out.

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This Joker apron is pretty cool, I already have a full Batman apron and oven glove set so I was really pleased with this item, unfortunately I am dieting at the moment so I wont be baking cakes for a few months however I am looking forward to wearing this when the time comes.

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Every box comes with a small badge which commemorates that you received that months box , the design this month is again based on the Joker, the way that the artist has made the laughter his teeth is very clever and its a small detail that makes this badge a lot more interesting than it needed to be.

July’s ZBOX is all about Teams, I imagine you might find an item to help bring hype for the upcoming Justice League film along side a few more items from different franchises, I personally would like to see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles get some love this month but we will have to wait and see.

If you would like to subscribe to the Zbox you can do by following this link https://www.zavvi.com/zbox/zbox-subscription/11142494.html?widget_id=54

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com