Wednesday, 17 January 2018

The Greatest Showman Review

The Greatest Showman

Release Date: 26th December 2017 - Australia 

Production Companies
20th Century Fox
TSG Entertainment
Chernin Entertainment

20th Century Fox Australia 

Genre: Musical

Rating: PG

Runtime: 105 minutes

Budget: $84,000,000

Box Office Gross: $198,955,153 (Worldwide) (This figure may change as new editions earn more money and increase the overall value of the box office gross)

Plot Summary
When P.T. Barnum loses his office job, he has an idea. He gathers unique and talented people in order to create a show like nothing that’s ever been seen before. He creates the traveling Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, a.k.a. “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The dazzling spectacle and celebration of his vivid imagination intrigues audiences around the world. 

Throughout his travels, Barnum was infatuated with singer Jenny Lind, known as the so-called Swedish Nightingale. 

Hugh Jackman - P.T. Barnum
Michelle Williams - Charity Barnum
Zac Efron - Phillip Carlyle
Rebecca Ferguson - Jenny Lind
Zendaya - Anne Wheeler
Austyn Johnson - Caroline Barnum
Cameron Seely - Helen Barnum
Keala Settle - Lettie Lutz
Sam Humphrey - Tom Thumb
Yahya-Abdul-Mateen II - W.D. Wheeler
Eric Anderson - Mr. O'Malley
Ellis Rubin - Young Barnum
Skylar Dunn - Young Charity
Daniel Everidge - Lord of Leeds
Radu Spinghel - O'Clancy
Yusaku Komori - Chang
Danial Son - Eng
Paul Sparks - James Gordon Bennett
Will Swenson - Paul Barnum
Linda Marie Larson - Mrs. Stratton
Byron Jennings - Mr. Carlyle
Betsy Aidem - Mrs. Carlyle
Damian Young - Mr. Winthrop
Tina Benko - Mrs. Winthrop
Fredric Lehne - Mr. Hallett
Kathryn Meisle - Mrs. Hallett
Timothy Hughes - Strong Man
Gayle Rankin - Queen Victoria

Director - Michael Gracey
Story/Screenplay - Jenny Bicks
Screenplay - Bill Condon
Executive Producers - Tonia Davis,
Donald J. Lee Jr. and James Mangold
Producers - Peter Chernin,
Laurence Mark and Jenno Topping
Co-Producer/Unit Production Manager -
Deb Dyer
Co-Producer/First Assistant Director -
Peter Kohn
Production Designer - Nathan Crowley
Costume Designer - Ellen Mirojnick
Director of Photography - Seamus McGarvey
Circus Coordinator/Choreographer -
Mathieu Leopold
Special Effects Supervisor - Garry Elmendorf
Visual Effects Supervisors - Mathieu Raynault
and Sylvain Theroux
Film Editors - Tom Cross, Robert Duffy,
Joe Hutshing, Michael McCusker,
Jon Poll and Spencer Susser
Songs - Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Score - John Debney
Score/Music Producer - Joseph Trapenese

The circus has come to town in THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, an exuberant period film musical that everyone will appreciate the fun and magic. Although there are inaccuracies with the portrayal of historical events. This movie was loosely based on the infamous exploits of the real P.T. Barnum who was an immoral figure in real life, not the flawed human being as portrayed in the film. His legendary circus in America may have been closed down for good but it wouldn’t seem to affect this film at all for it was meant to be a stunningly ambitious big-top musical rather than an accidental tribute. Audiences warmly responded to THE GREATEST SHOWMAN for its sheer delight while critics barred it for the use of artistic license and historical inaccuracy. The musical numbers were poppier and are sung and choreographed in a big-top showcase that took place in the 19th century.

The all-star cast were a huge substantial part in the movie, even Hugh Jackman who is getting well-adjusted to his post-Wolverine career and nails the role as the aforementioned visionary. Not only was he capable with his splendid acting, but he did the singing and is reliving  the experience from his previous stage musical performances. Michelle Williams was lovely as Hugh’s on-screen wife Charity. Zac Efron was the business partner and Zendaya is the trapeze artist and both together share a romantic chemistry. Even more surprising, that interracial romance subplot was added to incorporate into the movie’s themes of diversity and acceptance in spite of the setting of its bigotry.

Circus-goers will be idolised by THE GREATEST SHOWMAN which is probably the biggest movie that audiences have ever seen. It’s a great film and I recommend all of you viewers to give it a try.

Star rating: (8/10) Very Good Movie

Monday, 1 January 2018

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi Review

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi

Release Date: 14th December 2017 - Australia

Production Companies
Lucasfilm Ltd.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Australia 

Genre: Sci-Fi

Rating: M

Runtime: 152 minutes

Budget: $200,000,000

Box Office Gross: $1,040,444,228 (Worldwide) (This figure may change as new editions earn more money and increase the overall value of the box office gross)

Plot Summary
Rey has finally tracked down legendary Jedi Knight - Luke Skywalker on the planet Ahch-To. It is there that she learns there is much more to the force than light and dark. Rey’s parentage will also be addressed. 

Finn has woken up from his coma. It’s up to him and his new friend Rose, a Resistance maintenance worker, to save the day. The two work with General Leia Organa, Resistance pilot Poe Dameron and their trusted droid BB-8 to fight off The First Order.

The First Order’s assault will be led by fallen Jedi and General Organa’s son Kylo Ren. We will also learn more about Supreme Leader Snoke, the mysterious and malicious mastermind behind the First Order.

Daisy Ridley - Rey
Mark Hamill - Luke Skywalker
Adam Driver - Kylo Ren
Gwendoline Christie - Captain Phasma
Domhnall Gleeson - General Hux 
Carrie Fisher - Leia Organa
Andy Serkis - Supreme Leader Snoke
Laura Dern - Vice Admiral Amilyn Hodo
Oscar Isaac - Poe Dameron
Benicio Del Toro - DJ
Kelly Marie Tran - Rose Tico
John Boyega - Finn
Lupita Nyong’o - Maz Kanata
Peter Mathew - Chewbacca
Joonas Suotamo - Chewbacca
Anthony Daniels - C3PO
Frank Oz - Yoda (Voice)
Jimmy Vee - R2D2
Tim Rose - Admiral Ackbar
Mike Quinn - Nien Numb
Billie Lourd - Lieutenant Connix
Brian Herring - BB-8 Performer
Dave Chapman - BB-8 Performer
Warwick Davis - Wodibin
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Slowen Lo (Voice) (Cameo)
Justin Theroux - Master Codebreaker (Cameo)
Gareth Edwards - Resistance Fighter (Cameo)
Tom Hardy - Stormtrooper (Uncredited) (Cameo)

Writer/Director - Rian Johnson
Based on Characters - George Lucas
Executive Producers - J.J. Abrams and Jason D. McGatlin
Executive Producer/Unit Production Manager - Tom Karnowski
Producers - Ram Bergman and Kathleen Kennedy
Co-Producers - Pippa Anderson, Candice D. Campos and Kiri Hart
Production Designer - Rick Heinrichs
Costume Designer - Michael Kaplan
Director of Photography - Steve Yedlin
Stunt Coordinator - Rob Inch
Special Effects Supervisor - Chris Corbould
Creature Shop Concept Designer/Head - Neal Scanlan
Visual Effects Supervisors - Richard Bain,
Ben Morris and Michael Mulholland
Animation Supervisors: ILM - Stephen Aplin
and Mike Beaulieu
Film Editor - Bob Ducsay
BB-8 Voice Consultants - Bill Hader and
Ben Schwartz
Sound Designers - Ben Burtt and Ren Klyce
Music - John Williams

It’s New Year’s Day, everyone! The force is strong with the STAR WARS franchise and it’s been 40 years since George Lucas created a multi-million dollar film series that endured a cult following and is ahead of its time. It impacted all the viewers who are now part of its devoted fan-base as they even liked the grandeur of this epic space opera with three of its different film trilogies (one of them is currently ongoing) and its spin-offs. The new instalment THE LAST JEDI was more spiritual and original than its predecessor THE FORCE AWAKENS (click here) which re-uses the same plot of A NEW HOPE (click here) and is formulaic. Some fans are very sceptical and feared that this new movie will rehash THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (click here) which many fans including myself still consider the greatest STAR WARS film of all time. However, some critics have recently found this movie to be the best of the series since EMPIRE and it was more than they expected. Though not everyone was happy and excited after viewing the movie as it received some heavy fan backlash.

Fans have not reacted this badly since the prequel trilogy and a few numerous special editions that Lucas himself was responsible for, many of the unnecessary changes and ideas like Greedo shoots first instead of Han and the comic relief character of Jar Jar. Here in THE LAST JEDI, it is where the magic is slowly fading as some plot points turned out to be lacklustre and unresolved like the information of Rey's long-lost family as well as the mystery behind the character of Snoke. It seems that the new director Rian Johnson has no idea how to take a movie franchise very seriously when after stepping in the helm from J.J. Abrams (who is bound to be back in EPISODE IX) and has cared too much for style over substance.

Mark Hamill returns as the now reclusive Jedi Master Luke Skywalker since we last saw him in his brief appearance on THE FORCE AWAKENS. Now that his role is bigger, it's remarkable how Hamill was once a young inexperienced actor when he first starred as Luke in the original trilogy before he got more acting experience. He does better in the interpretation of his character in this recent instalment which is much different than his younger self and is nothing like Obi-Wan and Yoda who were the two previous Jedi Masters before him. Speaking of Yoda, the character makes a surprise appearance and returns into a form of puppetry and is performed once again by Frank Oz. I liked how the film was dedicated to Carrie Fisher who is in the last moments of her acting as General Leia Organa. The fight sequences and the space battles are amazing, but with the integration of both CG and practical effects.

There are fans like myself who like to disagree about the critics’ point of view of THE LAST JEDI that it was the best of the franchise so far and there's still hype going on about the recent instalment. I recommended all Star Wars fans to see this film and I probably rank this as a good movie.

Star rating: (7/10) Good Movie

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Home Alone: The Holiday Heist Review

Home Alone: The Holiday Heist

Broadcast Date: 25th November 2012 - US  

Production Companies
Fox Television Studios
Manitoba Film and Tax Video Production Credit
Original Pictures

Genre: Family

Rating: PG

Runtime: 90 minutes

Plot Summary
10-year-old Finn Baxter thinks his family’s new house in Maine is haunted – but the truth might be even scarier! A trio of thieves is after a priceless painting hidden in a secret room by the previous owner. So when Finn and his sister find themselves home alone, Finn rigs up an elaborate array of techno-gadgets and booby traps to protect his pad from the bumbling criminals trying to break in. 

Christian Martyn - Finn Baxter
Jodelle Ferland - Alexis Baxter
Malcolm McDowell - Sinclair
Doug Murray - Curtis Baxter
Ellie Harvie - Catherine Baxter
Debi Mazar - Jessica
Eddie Stephen - Mr. Hughes
Edward Asner - Mr. Carson
Adriana O’Neil - Gabby Marano
Peter DaCunha - Mason
Bill Turnbull - Simon

Director - Peter Hewitt
Based on Original Characters - John Hughes (Uncredited)
Screenplay - Aaron Ginsburg and Wade McIntrye
Executive Producer - David Madden
Producers - Lisa Demberg and Adrian Pjevc
Co-Producer - Paul D. Goldman
Production Designer - Craig Sandelis
Costume Designer - Patricia J. Henderson
Cinematography - Peter Benson
Film Editor - John Congilo
Composer “Home Alone” Theme - John Williams
Music - David Kitay

The joyous season of the holiday is over, but just before it can happen, I borrowed HOME ALONE 5 from a friend so I may review it for Christmas. I was so fortunate to skip ahead the third and fourth instalments which neither of them are acceptable as the original and to a lesser extent, the second movie. The first HOME ALONE feature was by far the best of the series and Macaulay Culkin was probably the best child actor in this classic comedy. It seems nowadays that Culkin is fully grown up from his childhood status and the series’ creator John Hughes, now deceased when HOME ALONE 5 was made in 2012. THE HOLIDAY HEIST is forgettable, but probably would have been a decent film if the script and booby traps were a little more inventive. This sequel was meant for television which I wasn’t aware that it was shown in America on the ABC Family channel (now known as Freeform). The acting was so-so with the exception of Malcolm McDowell who seems fittingly appropriate as Sinclair, the leader of the art thieves. He isn’t the only gentleman actor who is qualified for this amountful experience in a family picture.

While this film was a bit of an improvement over HOME ALONE 4, which made no sense whatsoever because it was a pilot for a television series. HOME ALONE 5 isn’t however changing the fact that this sequel lives up to the legacy of the original. It’d be best to skip this instalment in favour of the first two movies through the next holiday.

Star rating: (4/10) Below Average

Monday, 11 December 2017

Power Rangers Review

Power Rangers

Release Date: 23rd March 2017 - Australia

Production Companies
Saban Films
TIK Films
Temple Hill Entertainment
Toei Company (Uncredited)

Roadshow Distribution

Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 121 minutes

Budget: $100,000,000

Box Office Gross: $142,337,240 

Plot Summary
Five ordinary teens must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove - and the world - is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so, they will have to overcome their real-life issues and before it's too late, band together as the Power Rangers.

Dacre Montgomery - Jason (Red Ranger)
Naomi Scott - Kimberly (Pink Ranger)
RJ Cyler - Billy (Blue Ranger)
Ludi Lin - Zack (Black Ranger)
Becky G. - Trini (Yellow Ranger)
Elizabeth Banks - Rita Repulsa
Bryan Cranston - Zordon
Bill Hader - Alpha 5 (Voice)
Matt Shively - Damo
Cody Kearsley - Hawkeye
David Denman - Sam Scott
Robert Moloney - Ted Hart
Anjali Jay - Maddy Hart
Sarah Grey - Amanda
Morgan Taylor Campbell - Harper
Caroline Cave - Beverly Scott
Kayden Magnuson - Pearl Scott
Lisa Berry - Candace Cranston
Fiona Fu - Zack’s Mom
Fred Tatasciore - Goldar/Putties (Voice)

Director - Dean Isarelite 
Creator “Power Rangers”/
Producer - Haim Saban 
Creator “Power Rangers” - Shuki Levy (Uncredited)
Story - Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless and Michele & Kieran Mulroney
Producer - John Gatins
Executive Producers - Qiuyun Long and Allison Shearmur 
Executive Producer/Unit Production Manager - Brent O’Connor
Producers - Marty Bowen, Brian Casentini and Wyck Godfrey
Co-Producer - Stephen Meinen 
Co-Producer/First Assistant Director - Aldric La’auli Porter
Production Designer - Andrew Menzies
Costume Designer - Kelli Jones
Director of Photography - Matthew J. Lloyd
Special Effects Supervisors - Andrew Durno, Steve Hamilton and Dan Sedlacek
Visual Effects Supervisor - Sean Andrew Faden
Film Editors - Martin Bernfeld and Dody Dorn
Music - Brian Tyler

The POWER RANGERS series was a highly successful action show for children that it was shown on television around the world (including Japan, where most of the footage was borrowed from a tokusatsu franchise and was later re-dubbed into its international broadcast). Having only seen some episodes on TV and a few video cassettes since I was very young. I’ve never forgotten how it impacted me on my childhood when it began life as a campy kids show and then, many years later, a movie was officially announced. It’s very strange to consider POWER RANGERS as having a big-screen treatment when there hasn’t been a film that spun-off from each series since 1997. Although a movie was to be based on TIME FORCE when Disney’s earlier purchase of the franchise pulled the plug in its pre-production. Deciding to skip through the newer adaptation in favour of the 2017 remake of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (click here), I wasn’t exactly interested in this cinematic re-telling when it came to my hometown. Up until now, I got a chance to rent it and watched it on-demand while I was staying in Holiday Inn at Parramatta. 

The film wasn’t as colourful and as cheesy than the show has been through in its inception. It was completely modernised by the filmmakers who brough back the nostalgia and added a style that was considered darker and edgier for the series’ standards. Fans of this franchise are biased about this new approach along with the redesigns of the Ranger outfits and Zords that their bases are divided into criticising and enjoying it. Some of the other changes proved to be very useful, had it been conceived first in the original series including that one character Billy Cranston, who is the classic Blue Ranger (and coincidentally shares the surname of one of the movie’s supporting players) was now an African-American and has high-functioning autism.  

The casting of this movie was quite convincing that each of these young actors are perfectly suited for the titular characters that were destined to save the world. They absolutely done it with hint of their chemistries as well as starting future careers in their own. Bryan Cranston did a much simpler job in replenishing the benevolence of Zordon who helps to bring the Power Rangers together and teaches them how to fight evil in their destiny. Elizabeth Banks was the only other known star who also did good in her antagonistic role of Rita Repulsa whose motivations are predictable. 

It wasn’t a financial success or a critical hit by any chance, nothing any spectacular and any original has came up in POWER RANGERS since it was a decent film of its year. I do believe that it’s a hit-and-miss as non-fans like myself tend to disagree with some of the fans’ view of what they enjoyed the film. I’ll have to revisit most of the ongoing series and the first two films before anything that comes between them.

Star rating: (6/10) Fair Movie

Monday, 27 November 2017

Justice League Review

Justice League

Release Date: 16th November 2017 - Australia

Production Companies
Warner Bros. Pictures
RatPac-Dune Entertainment
DC Comics
DC Entertainment
Cruel and Unusual Films
Atlas Entertainment
Lensbern Productions

Roadshow Distribution

Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 121 minutes

Budget: $300,000,000

Box Office Gross: $481,346,643 (Worldwide) (This figure may change as new editions earn more money and increase the overall value of the box office gross)

Plot Summary
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act. Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.

Ben Affleck - Bruce Wayne/Batman
Henry Cavill - Clark Kent/Superman
Gal Gadot - Dian Prince/Wonder Woman
Ezra Miller - Barry Allen/The Flash
Jason Momoa - Arthur Curry/Aquaman
Ray Fisher - Victor Stone/Cyborg
CiarĂ¡n Hinds - Steppenwolf
Connie Nielsen - Queen Hippolyta 
Jeremy Irons - Alfred Pennyworth
J.K. Simmons - Commissioner Gordon
Amy Adams - Lois Lane
Jesse Eisenberg - Lex Luthor
Diane Lane - Martha Kent
Billy Crudup - Henry Allen
Julian Lewis Jones - King Atlan
David Thewlis - Ares
Amber Heard - Mera
Joe Morton - Dr. Silas Stone
Joe Manganiello - Mr. Wilson (Uncredited)

Story/Director - Zack Snyder
Based on Characters - Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel
Character Creator: Wonder Woman - William Moulton Marston 
Story/Screenplay/Executive Producer - Chris Terrio
Screenplay - Joss Whedon
Executive Producers - Michael E. Uslan, Benjamin Melniker, Ben Affleck, Wesley Coller and Curt Kanemoto
Producers - Geoff Johns, Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder
Co-Producers/Unit Production Managers - Marianne Jenkins and Gregor Wilson
Production Designer - Patrick Tatopoulos
Costume Designer - Michael
Cinematography - Fabian Wagner
Second Unit Director/Stunt Coordinator - Damon Caro
Stunt Coordinator - Eunice Huthart
Special Effects Supervisor - Mark Holt
Film Editors - David Brenner, Richard Pearson and Martin Walsh
Visual Effects Supervisors - John ‘D.J.’ Des Jardin and Seth Maury
Visual Effects Supervisor: Weta Digital - Keith Miller
Music - Danny Elfman

Over the past years, I had high expectations about the new JUSTICE LEAGUE movie which is DC and Warner’s answer to THE AVENGERS (click here). I remember reading a few comics of the JUSTICE LEAGUE as well as a hit animated TV series from Cartoon Network. Marvel and Disney hit the jackpot with the surprise success of their big-budgeted movie. Audiences from everywhere including comic book fanatics praised the film as it was nothing like they’ve ever seen before, this in fact, would later inspire DC into making their own grandoise feature to usurp THE AVENGERS. I’ve waited for the release of this movie for a long time as the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) was at a rocky period for being controversial to the fans. The latest and fourth entry WONDER WOMAN (click here) was the only one that was heading in the right direction as it was the first of these films to set a benchmark for the DCEU. However, what we got there is a movie that is extremely over-reliant on visual heavy spectacles and it is a tough act to follow. 

Because of the rushed and uneven story-line as well as a personal behind-the-scenes tragedy that caused its Director  Zack Snyder to leave through post-production as Joss Whedon, who is the former Director of the AVENGERS movies takes over his supervision. I like how Whedon contributed to the writing of the humour and the tone being lighter. The geniuses’ visions were clashed together with Snyder’s filmmaking style being there in the picture as well as Whedon’s quips with a sense of fun and entertainment. While these attempts to breathe life into JUSTICE LEAGUE sometimes works but not on its own. I did not like how they changed the idea of Superman being brought back from the dead as it could have got a better explanation to resolve the ending that we last seen in BATMAN v SUPERMAN (BvS) (click here). I couldn’t agree more that Steppenwolf was a weak villain who is by-the-numbers and undeveloped and falls into the “wanting to destroy humanity” cliche. But enough about the negative aspects, it’s time to move on for the positives.

Ezra Miller was excellent and funny in the role of Flash, I liked how he conveys the personality of this character as wisecracking which is an appropriate source of his comic relief persona. Jason Momoa was brought into stardom with a marvellous portrayal of Aquaman and so is Ray Fisher for Cyborg. Continuing her role of Wonder Woman is Gal Gadot who is fresh from her last film and she makes the character look very attractive. Henry Cavill triumphs his way of acting as Superman who reverts back to his old and heroic self than the lifeless-driven counterpart in MAN OF STEEL (click here) and BvS. Danny Elfman was the right composer for mastering the majestic and upbeat score on the picture and re-used a few themes that were previously heard in DC’s classic features (including his own from Tim Burton’s BATMAN and BATMAN RETURNS).

JUSTICE LEAGUE is no longer an anticipated film at the box office as audiences have already seen the missteps from the last two entries that Snyder directed. Though, it was certainly an improvement and still, this could have gone to Zack Snyder had he not backed out from post-production. A director’s cut of the movie might contain the elements that were not seen in the theatrical edition, we will have to wait to see if this is released in DVD/Blu-ray format.

Star rating: (6/10) Fair Movie

Sunday, 26 November 2017

My New Community Page

I have recently started my own community page on Facebook as FilmGuruLad and I encourage my viewers to go on to Facebook and try to find my page type in filmgurulad in the search bar. Otherwise if you already have an account on the social network you’ll probably know where it is. You’ll notice that each of these posts on my page of Facebook are linked to my reviews as well as obituaries and features including those that were shared from my account, so enjoy.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Space Chimps Review

Space Chimps

Release Date: 25th September 2008 - Australia

Production Companies
Vanguard Animation
Odyssey Entertainment
Starz Animation
The Weinstein Company 
Roadshow Distribution

Genre: Animation/Family

Rating: G

Runtime: 77 minutes

Budget: $37,000,000

Box Office Gross: $64,834,964

Plot Summary
Ham III, the grandson of the first chimp astronaut, is blasted off into space by an opportunity-seeking senator. Soon, the fun-loving chimp has to get serious about the mission at hand; ridding a far-away planet of their nefarious leader. Fortunately for Ham III, two of his simian peers are along for the ride.

Voice Cast
Andy Samberg - Ham III
Cheryl Hines - Luna
Patrick Warburton - Titan
Jeff Daniels - Zartog
Kristin Chenoweth - Kilowatt
Kenan Thompson - Ringmaster
Zack Shada - Comet/Nava Boy
Carlos Alazraqui - Houston
Omid Abtahi - Dr. Jagu
Patrick Breen - Dr. Bob
Jane Lynch - Dr. Poole
Kath Soucie - Dr. Smothers
Stanley Tucci - Senator
Wally Wingert - Splork/Various

Story/Screenplay/Director - Kirk De Micco
Screenplay - Robert Moreland and Joe Piscatella (Uncredited)
Additional Screenplay Material - Jason Mayland
Executive Producers - Eric M. Bennett, Morris Berger, Neil Braun, Steve Brown, Jerry Davis and John W. Hyde
Producers - John H. Williams and Barry Sonnenfield
Co-Producer - Curtis Augspurger
Production Designer - Bo Welch
Additional Production
Designers - Keith Graves
and Deane Taylor
Character Designer/Storyboard Artist - Sterling Sheehy
Animation Director - Adam Wood
Cinematography - Jericca Clelamd
Film Editor - Debbie Berman
Supervising Editor - Tom Finan
Music - Chris Bacon
Composers: Additional Music - Blue Man Group
and Gad Emile Zeitune

Vanguard Animation, the studio headed by one of the producers of SHREK has been producing a few animated films in the past decade and each of them were ranked as okay to mediocre. Their third movie SPACE CHIMPS had appalling box office takings it was outranked by its formidable competitor WALL-E (click here). While it wasn't a surprise hit by any chance, the film however did spawn a sequel that was never released in theatres. The original movie however feels like an animated movie that wastes its potential and was literally written by monkeys on typewriters. The animation isn't too great and the story-line is much too bland and not original enough. The over-abundance of ape puns were all over the movie like it's all covered with monkey paw-prints. A few bits of comedy remained funny and most of the other jokes don't quite get the same laugh from its intended audience.

The voice cast is imperfect, particularly Andy Samberg who is not a horrible actor but tries to give his character a daredevil persona which falls flat. Jeff Daniels who was a great actor, from his extraordinary supporting and leading parts in acting, drama and comedy has been miscast in the role as the evil alien Zartog and this may be the reason why he never has been offered any more voices in the animated features. Stanley Tucci had bad luck to voice a certain senator who seems to care about himself more than NASA as well as the opportunity that he craves. Only Patrick Warburton succeeds in following the characterisation of by-the-book chimp Titan and he seems to be more quick to follow an ill-gotten script.

Monkey see, monkey don't, this is the phrase I would use to sum up my review. SPACE CHIMPS is a simple, yet juvenile family animation for young kids.

Star rating: (4/10) Below Average