The Boss Baby 

The joke here being that Alec Baldwin voices a suit wearing baby who is the new arrival in a family which causes friction with the son Tim, who feels this new intruder is stealing the limelight. Then Tim discovers that this baby can talk as if adult. 

The Boss Baby drops its set up of boy vs baby surprisingly early as the duo semi team up to stop PuppyCo from taking all the love away from youngsters in the eyes of their parents. 

There are a smattering of sight gags and a few funny moments but it’s mid range stuff ultimately. 
A one joke movie in essence but it just about stretches it enough.

‘I need you kid………..no literally, I cannot reach the door handles’ 

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Sing!

Sing is moderately entertaining as an X Factor with animals animation. Toe tapping animation with a bunch of characters who come together to do a talent contest. The cast is full of famous voices but having Matthew Mcconaughey as your lead is a coo. 

There’s little new here really but it has a good message about following your dreams and it’s sound track is pleasant enough. 

There are chucklesome moments throughout but it’s not all that high grade. 

Think FAME done with animals. 

Sufferable but not fresh. 

Kubo and the two strings (2016) 

Director: Travis Knight

Running time: 1 hour 45 mins

Cast: Art Parkinson, Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara, Charlize Theron. 


Laika studios have done it again. After the wobble (in my opinion) that was The Boxtrolls, the magic is captured again as this far eastern flavoured tale of a split apart family, delights both the eye and heart. 

The boy Kubo learns he must acquire a magical armour if he is to survive his aunts and grandfather as they seek his other eye, the first which they took when he was a baby. That brings me to the darkness at its heart and it’s been the same since Coraline where eyes were swapped for buttons. 

It’s as though these films are made for adults who are kids at heart firstly and then made acceptable for young ones to view if they can handle it. 

The use of origami is masterful and no doubt painstakingly recreated. The Laika humour is peppered throughout and is brilliantly delivered by Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes and Charlize Theron and not forgetting Art Parkinson as Kubo. 

The evil aunt sisters are voiced by Rooney Mara and are like something from Clive Barkers horror novels. 

In short I loved it. But I still love Paranorman and Coraline more. 

The themes of death and revenge are not played for a kiddie crowd but delivered in black and white touching any audience member who has dealt with a dying family member and bringing tears of understanding. 

Just a beautifully constructed piece of storytelling and yet one that the whole family will take something from. 


C Whitehouse 2016

Sausage Party (2016) a film review. 

Director: Greg Tiernan

Running time: 90 mins. 

Cast : So many, please take a look at the top of the poster. 

The plot for Sausage Party is irrelevant, but since you ask, the food stuffs of a supermarket long to be bought by the gods (humans) and look forward to the paradise that awaits. Seth Rogan’s sausage, Frank learns that the gods actual mean to kill and eat them and wants to save his food friends from this fate. 

That is unimportant. All you need to know is that sexualised foods swear almost every sentence and explicitly talk about it. The cast is top notch but they are just making a comedy which is odd rather than humorous. There’s drug taking and more swearing than I’ve ever witnessed in a movie until now. It all seems rather throw away until the last fifteen minutes which features something I’ve honestly never seen on screen before. I chuckled along but couldn’t really see a point to it all besides trying to shock. I don’t really know what else to say. It’s a bit of a head scratcher.  

C Whitehouse 2016

A throw away movie for teenagers or stoners. 

Flimsy fun but mildly entertaining. 

Ice Age: Collision Course (2016) film review 


Director: Galen T. Chu

Running time: 1 hour 34

Cast: Queen Latifa, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Jennifer Lopez, Simon Pegg, Jessie J. 


The odd Ice Age family continue to evolve and work through human family problems in animal form . The normal formula of getting from A to B in order to stay alive is still followed here but this time it’s to avoid the asteroid which wiped out the dinosaurs. 

But also as usual, the plot is secondary to the bickering cast and the sight gags which are the true life of this series. Just when you think the animators would have wiped the well of invention dry, especially where Scrat is concerned, we see that’s just not the case. If you’ve seen any of the films up to now you’ll know what to expect on the whole. While that should be dull and tired in reality, it just keeps working. The kids will be happy for the full running time and the adults won’t be annoyed by any of the goofy characters. It’s just such a comfy slipper of a movie, it’s hard to find a problem with it. Cancel the apocalypse, Buck is back to help the furry gang save the world. 

C Whitehouse 2016


Film review of The Secret Life Of Pets (2016)


Director: Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney.

Running time : 90 minutes 

Cast: Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Kevin Hart, Albert Brooks, Dana Carvey, Louis CK, Steve Coogan. 
You would think that animated buddy animal movies had run their course by now after endless successes and failures. It’s a tried and tested formula which keeps getting churned out numerous times each and every year. This movie still manages to seem ambitious though which I was pleasantly surprised by. MINIONS director Chris Renaud plus now co director Yarrow Cheney (Minions art director) have done a great job of having a large group of characters who mostly run as a pack, voiced by some great voice artists of recent years, continue to deliver fresh jokes across a 90 minute running time while taking in an array of locations without becoming over complicated. 

The script is sparky and yet well trodden, but I found myself having a new found appreciation for the level of texture animation on show. Water, particles, wet fur, shadows and all other manner of once tricky effects now seem to be just as manageable as the easy plastic looks of the humanoid characters of the 90’s movies such as Toy Story. Now although my top film of this kind remains BOLT and my favourite animal led comedy animation is still THE PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR, I have you’ve credit to PETS for juggling so many factors with a great confidence. The trailer has a bunch of gags which are easily thrown away because it’s only a small portion of the jokes provided. 

The voice cast are delightful together and everyone has their moment. The action whips along at a satisfying pace and I cared about the animals and felt their individual personalities. 

I classify this experience in the pleasant surprise category. 
C whitehouse 2016.