Cast: Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Olivia Munn and Jackie Chan
Director: Charlie Bean
In The Lego Ninjago Movie, Ninjago seems like the coldest place on Earth but that could just be because of how Lloyd Garmadon is treated here – as the son of the evil Lord Garmadon, the city doesn’t like the young boy, even though Lloyd always saves Ninjago as the ‘Green Ninja’. Luckily, Lloyd has his fellow ninjas to depend on: Nya, Kai, Jay, Cole and Zane; Lloyd is also their leader and each of the ninjas have their own amazing character qualities, from Kai’s outgoing demeanour to Nya’s competitive streak. The entire film focuses on the six ninjas and their master, Wu trying to save Ninjago from Lord Garmadon, when the latter strikes the city in a mammoth way – the film is battle-heavy and the battles are exciting but the whole experience would have been more of an absorbent quality if character-exploration had happened on a deeper scale for the ninjas.
Cast: Jesper Christensen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen and Karl Markovics
Director: Erik Poppe
The King’s Choice explores the story of Haakon VII and Prince Olav, during the Second World War, and it’s a tale worth remembering: hailing from the ruling family of Norway, the two are pensive because their country is at war with Germany; eventually, Haakon VII and his family has to tragically run away from their land because the invasion is getting very close. On the surface, the film appears packed with too much of history with a limited reel-time of 133 minutes but what the movie does is really focus on what transpires over just three days in 1940. After a small introduction of Norway’s history starting from the year 1905, the film brilliantly shows a glimpse of the kinds of trouble at hand, aside from war: socialism wants to get rid of Norwegian royalty, and the differing personalities of Haakon VII and Prince Olav over saving Norway – Haakon VII has a level-handed approach to war, whilst Prince Olav seems more reactionary and it’s a character trait that seems like it should really be cautioned against. The film is also good with the details and for doing something different with the topic of war on film – it’s more about history, rather than the military.
Cast: Robert Gulaczyk, Jerome Flynn, Chris O’ Dowd and John Sessions
Genre: Biography, Animation
Loving Vincent provides a unique insight into one of the greatest figures in art: the Dutch Post-Impressionist painter, Vincent Van Gogh, who is often regarded as the father of modern art; Van Gogh had managed this feat despite never having sold a single of the more than 800 paintings (he had done) to members of the public. Told through frames which encompass oil paintings on canvases, drawn in the remarkable style associated with Van Gogh, the story of the film follows the hurried mission undertaken by a postman’s son to deliver Van Gogh’s last letter to his brother, Theo. The narrative starts out straightforward but later on in the film, when it is revealed Theo died soon after Van Gogh committed suicide to lift the burden he had placed Theo under, due to being a failed artist, the primary plotline becomes an anticlimax. The overarching message of the movie remains clear, though – tragic circumstances had always coloured Van Gogh’s life. It’s also important to point out that Loving Vincent manages to remarkably cinematically untangle the dark mystery associated with Van Gogh’s sudden death, even though the whole process is very long and really slow.