ICE AGE ADVENTURES OF BUCK WILD: 3 STARS
This image released by Disney Enterprises shows a scene from the animated feature ‘The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild’. (Disney Enterprises via AP)
For better and for worse, the “Ice Age” franchise seems to have existed longer than the actual Ice Age. With the latest entry, “The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild,” which is number six in the series and features the voice of Simon Pegg on Disney+, the movies are starting to show their age. The characters and voice work are still fun, but the animation doesn’t have the same pop as previous films.
The action begins in Snow Valley, the home of wayward possum brothers Crash (Vincent Tong) and Eddie (Aaron Harris). The possums are restless, bored with life in the sleepy, icy valley. They want to experience the world, away from the overprotective eyes of their makeshift family, the woolly mammoths Ellie and Manny. “It’s time for us to step out and leave our mark on the world.” By chance, they find themselves in the lost world – “We came here to live a life of adventure” – a huge underground cave and a land of danger that might be too extreme even for them.
As Ellie and Manny worry – “If we don’t find them, I’ll kill them,” Manny says – an unlikely “superhero” comes to Crash and Eddie’s rescue, a one-eyed weasel named Buck Wild ( Pegg). Together they form a team to defeat the dinosaurs that live in the Lost World. “It’s time to go wild.”
“The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild” has a distinct direct-to-air feel to it. The voice above from the title of the other films – Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary and Queen Latifah – is gone, replaced by similar sounds. Not that young children will care, or even notice. But older kids who grew up watching these movies — they’ve been around for 20 years — may feel like this one isn’t so much a movie as a long, inexpensive spin-off TV series version of the movies. .
Like all “Ice Age” movies, this one has great messages for kids about the importance of family: “The only thing that stays the same is the love we have for each other .That’s the thing with a herd, you’re a part of it, even when you’re apart.” – and embracing change – “Change is scary but it’s the way of the world. It can help us become the people we’re meant to be even if it takes us to new places.”
Nothing groundbreaking, just a solid moral of a story that should appeal to kids who haven’t heard these platitudes a hundred times already.
ONE-SHOT: 3 STARS
(Courtesy of Screen Media)
The title of “One Shot,” a new action flick starring Scott Adkins, Ryan Phillippe and Ashley Greene Khoury, and now available on VOD, is something of a double meaning. The adrenalized action heroes at the heart of the film have a shot to quell an attack, and director James Nunn cleverly filmed all the action in “real time”, using camera tricks to make it look like it did. was shot as a single continuous feature film. to take.
The story begins with a squad of Navy SEALs led by Lt. Blake Harris (Adkins) airlifting junior CIA analyst Zoe Anderson (Khoury) to a remote Guantanamo Bay prison that houses suspects from the “United Nations of terror “. Anderson’s job is to extract Amin Mansur (Waleed Elgadi), a British national who pleads his innocence, but is suspected of being the mastermind of a 9/11-style dirty bomb attack on the three branches of government American.
Deputy site manager Tom Shields (Phillippe) delays the prisoner’s release, inadvertently allowing time for ruthless terrorist Charef (Jess Liaudin) and his insurgents to invade the location, freeing captives and attempting to kill Mansur before ‘he can’t spill the beans on the plot to bring down the government.
“One Shot” isn’t about the characters, the political subtext, or even the siege story. It’s all about the “one shot” gimmick, the wall-to-wall video game-style shooter, and a sense of urgency.
For the most part the gimmick works, although if you’re like me you’ll be taken out of the story when trying to see where the subliminal edits are. It’s a distraction that fades over time as director Nunn expertly choreographs the action, creating an unpredictable sense of immediacy. You never really know who’s around the corner or who’s hiding behind a pile of sandbags. It’s the edgy cinema, you’re there, aided by cinematographer Jonathan Iles, which makes the generic story and stereotypical characters somewhat interesting.
The relentless violence, however, becomes tiresome after a while. The first shot occurs around 19 minutes and the ballet of bullets continues almost without interruption for the rest of the duration. There are breaks in the action, usually when someone tends to an injured person, but they are rare.
“One Shot” is a B-movie with effective brutality and a few edge-of-your-seat scenes, but the script is also riddled with cliches: “Sometimes it’s harder to save a life than to save one.” , intones Anderson. when things get complicated, because the characters have bullet holes.
TWO DEATHS OF HENRY BAKER: 2 ½ STARS
(Courtesy of Fireside Pictures/MarVista Entertainment)
A study in toxic masculinity, greed, and the sins of fatherhood, “Two Deaths of Henry Baker,” a new thriller starring Gil Bellows now on VOD, is a pale imitation of neo-noir westerns like “Hell or High Water.” “.
The action begins in a flashback to 1958 as young Henry Baker and his father hide a fortune in stolen gold coins. Cut 30 years later, Henry, now played by Gil Bellows, has grown up and is ready to get the money back. With young son Hank (Gunnar Burke) in tow, things go awry. Henry kills his own brother (also Bellows) and is arrested.
Decades pass. As Henry is about to be released from prison, his son Hank, now played by Sebastian Pigott, and his nephew Sam (Joe Dinicol), the son of Henry’s murdered brother, wait impatiently. Everyone wants a taste of gold, but Sam wants revenge while corrupt sheriff Ron Capman (Tony Curran) wants it all.
“Two Deaths of Henry Baker” is an ambitious film that falls slightly short of its mark.
There are well-done action sets and tense moments, but those benefits are realized by director Felipe Mucci’s slow pacing. The film’s machinations continue, making some of the story’s leaps of logic even more noticeable than they might have been in a faster-paced film.
That said, the story of intergenerational toxicity resonates. Violence begets violence isn’t a new idea, but the passing of the baton from fathers to sons is nicely informed and aided by the performances of Bellows and Dinicol here.
“Two Deaths of Henry Baker” may be the movie of the year so far. Heavy on nihilism, it’s a gritty portrait of intergenerational violence, but doesn’t dig deep enough into the psychology of the story for the characters to resonate.