Triple wammy success at Ellon’s Cinema

In the run up to Easter, Ellon Cinema screened three films this month, something for all the family and all attracting the crowds.

Vicki Morgan reviewed the films.

Tinkerbell and 
The Pirate Fairy

Disney has made another cracker of a Tinkerbell film, taking the audience briefly back to the familiar Pixie Hollow before they are whisked away for a high seas, pirate adventure.

Both my daughter Molly and I loved this film. There were lots of mention of characters and events from previous films, so being avid Tinkerbell fans helped us enjoy the little snippets of fairies and gizmos we had seen before. Molly liked seeing Tinkerbell’s sister Periwinkle play a part in the opening Pixie Games ceremony as she flew across the ice and make pretty snowflakes. As an old romantic I was pleased to see Queen Clarion and Lord Milori were still together and hadn’t had another break-up! The effects and animation were top-notch, something we’ve come to expect from

More hints of the link with Peter Pan were made, the second star to the right being the target location for the ship and of course we see a young Mr. Hook in James the nasty turn-coat pirate. I liked the way the film explained the origins of the ticking crocodile in the original Peter Pan story, a lovely touch and my daughter “got it” too as she shouted with excitement at the very end as she saw James being chased by the reptile across the sea - “That’s Captain Hook!!!!”.

Molly gave it 1 million out of 10, I’ll give it an 8/10. Yaaaaar!

The Lego Movie

This film takes us into the world of Lego, where we meet an ordinary, live-by-the-rules Legoman called Emmet who is deemed to be “The Special One” by an ancient prophesy and has the task of saving all of Lego world from the evil Lord Business. The animation of this was brilliant, everything was made of Lego and you could recognise the pieces they used from your own Lego-playing days (which for many of us hasn’t ended yet!). I’m still not sure whether they actually used Lego pieces or computer generated images for this film and to be honest I don’t care as it looked real enough to me. All the Lego sets of past and present star in this film, from Vikings, Star-Wars and Pirates to the what now seems crudely designed 1980s Lego Spaceman. There were jokes for young and old, the children in the audiences certainly enjoyed themselves and you could hear lots of laughter from the grown-ups too. My only criticism would be that Morgan Freeman’s voice was difficult to understand, which was a shame.

Brilliant family-entertaining film with an important message to send, go and play with your Lego!

Everything was awesome 8/10

The Monument Men

Forget the Nazis, Clooney has done a grand job of rewriting history himself with this appalling film, and it has made me cross. Very cross in fact because WW2 is a real if not distant memory now for just a few, surviving minority. The rest of us, who, thank God, didn’t go through it, have to rely on books and what we are told by our grandparents. Our children will probably rely even more on documentaries and films in the future and if this excuse of a film, advertised as based on a true story will still be around when my kids are old enough to want to know a bit about Hitler’s hidden art then they may as well go and read a bit of Dan Brown to learn about the family tree of Jesus.

Clooney just doesn’t seem to have got the story or how to portray it. One moment there’s jolly, rousing marching music which would get even Pike and Mr Mainwaring stomping down the street and then the next we get the evil, nasty music when the Nazis get on the scene (boo hiss). It was all wrong and I think in bad taste. We are all aware of at least some of the war time atrocities performed by the Nazis on the Jews, most of us have seen the piles of spectacles, shoes and gold teeth of murdered Jewish prisoners in films such as Schindler’s List, however, every time something like this was incorporated into this film, it just felt like a corny cliché. Even the times when the Nazis made an appearance I expected a French police officer to jump out from the background and say “Good Moaning” and ask where the Fallen Madonna (with the big you know whats) was hiding.

If I try to think of any positives of this film it would be the performances of Cate Blanchett and Matt Damon who shone out with their decent acting and gave the otherwise disappointing film some depth and interest. I suppose it brings to attention the enormity of the art stolen by Hitler and begs the question what would have happened to it if it hadn’t been found in time or indeed if the Nazis had won the war. Time and again in the film the question was asked is art worth dying for, would we be worse off if the Mona Lisa had never been painted or if (in the case of this film) the Madonna of Bruges had been destroyed? I can’t answer that, I do like art in it’s many forms and enjoy looking at things that stir emotion and make you think. If you do too then don’t bother going to see this film.

I’d rather watch a feature-length Dad’s Army 4/10