There are so many plot holes in this silly British holiday sequel that the script hardly seems to exist at all. As in the previous two Nativity! movies, the emphasis is on Christmas wackiness, with inane set pieces designed only to keep small children giggling. Writer-director Debbie Isitt clearly isn't interested in connecting these scenes together into something more than vaguely coherent, asking us to just go with it. And if you can do that, you might have some fun with this.
Once again, it's all change at St. Bernadette's School in Coventry. This time there's a new headmistress in the humourless, astonishingly unobservant Mrs Keen (Celia Imrie). She sensibly sacks the dopey teaching assistant Mr Poppy (Marc Wootton) and instead hires "super-teacher" Mr Shepherd (Martin Clunes), who immediately gets rid of Poppy's donkey, the class mascot. In the process though, Shepherd takes a blow to the head and loses his memory, which is a problem because he's due to get married to Sophie (Catherine Tate) in New York. So Shepherd's daughter Lauren (Lauren Hobbs) teams up with Poppy to get the kids into a flashmob competition that culminates with a final round in, of course, Manhattan. The problem is that the competition is being organised by Sophie's preening ex Bradley (Adam Garcia), who wants her back.
Issitt keeps the film moving at such a hyperactive pace that there's barely time to notice that nothing about this story makes any sense. But before we can say, "Wait a minute!" the film has already lurched into a corny slapstick sequence or a big musical number performed with screechy karaoke-style authenticity. Although the songs are packed with clever hooks and repeated so many times that they're impossible to get out of our heads. Oddly, the children are sidelined in this movie, appearing at random for a bit of cacophonous mayhem or another pastiche holiday number. Only Hobbs registers as a character.
Continue reading: Nativity 3: Dude Where's My Donkey?! Review
With the recent release of 'Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey?!', it appears that certain film franchises can survive.
Not all franchises are created equal. The release of 'Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey?!' shows that sometimes audiences just want a bit of silly escapism rather than more ambitious attempts to wow us with effects and bigger/better plotlines.
This certainly isn't unprecedented: other thoroughly silly franchises include 'Alvin and the Chipmunks' (3 movies), 'Spy Kids' (4), 'Step Up' (5), 'Scary Movie' (5) and 'Tyler Perry's Medea' (7 and counting). And an argument could be made for including 'The Expendables' (3 and counting) on this list.
Mr. Shepherd is the new teacher at St Bernadette's Catholic School in Coventry who is eager to propose to his friend Sophie, to the delight of his young daughter who wants so badly to have a new mother by Christmas. Meanwhile, the school has also gained a new headmistress, Mrs. Keen, who deeply disapproves of the school's favourite teacher - the ever child-like Mr. Poppy - and their pet donkey Archie. The latter pet-peeve is probably for a good reason as soon enough, Mr. Shepherd finds himself deeply concussed after being kicked by Archie, completely forgetting who he is, where he is, where Archie is and, more importantly, that he's soon to be married on Christmas Eve in New York. Mr. Poppy and the class decide to band together to get him to his bride by joining a flash mob, where the top prize is a trip to the Big Apple. Will the class succeed in their latest endeavour and make this Christmas the best yet?
When this South African animated adventure embraces its unique setting and characters, it's visually stunning and a lot of fun. But it also tries to force everything into a trite Hollywood formula, unnecessarily adding clunky songs, goofy comedy sidekicks and big action set-pieces. Still, there's enough fresh storytelling and lively humour to keep us engaged, and some spectacular animation too.
It's set in the Great Karoo desert, where a herd of zebras has fenced off its own watering hole. But as a drought sets in, bullied half-striped zebra Khumba (voiced by Jake T. Austin) becomes worried about the animals outside. When he hears about a mythical pond that can restore his stripes and supply water to everyone, he leaves his best pal Tombi (AnnaSophia Robb) to take an epic trek across the desert. Along the way he picks up a variety of goofy travelling companions, including a hyena (Steve Buscemi), buffalo (Loretta Devine) and ostrich (Richard E. Grant). But he's also hunted by the vicious half-blind leopard Phango (Liam Neeson), who blames Khumba for his own hot-tempered misfortunes.
The animators far surpass the simplistic script with imagery that takes the breath away, from expansive landscapes to cleverly designed characters. And as the wacky sidekicks continually try to push the film over into slapstick silliness, the startlingly violent Phango reminds us of the darker side of nature as well as some deeper African cultural issues. This mix sometimes feels jarring, but that works in the film's favour. As do some inspired comical gags involving, for instance, a nutty sheep (Catherine Tate), a gang of hilariously agreeable meerkats and a herd of dumb-jock springboks.
Continue reading: Khumba Review
Check out the colourful trailer below
When Khumba – a zebra with a lack of markings – is born into a superstitious herd, his fellow species think it’s a bad sign. And, much to young Khumba’s detriment, a potentially deadly drought soon follows his birth. But instead of letting his fellow zebras vilify him, he attempts to find a watering hole.
Hey, it's Khumba
In doing so, he meets a wide range of brilliantly funny, scary and loyal characters along way. There’s Phango, the dangerous leopard who controls the waterholes and terrorizes the animals in the Great Karoo, played by Liam Neeson.
Khumba is a young zebra who was born missing half of his stripes. Following his birth, there came a deadly drought threatening the survival of the herd and killing his mother. To his superstitious peers and his father, Khumba's unusual appearance is an extremely bad omen and he is eventually driven to run away from the herd to find water and acceptance elsewhere, leaving his only friend in Great Karoo, Tombi. On his travels, he meets a motherly wildebeest named Mama V and her wacky friend Bradley the Ostrich who are willing to travel with him and protect him from the ills of the wild, namely Phango the Leopard whose presence is a threat to every other creature in Great Karoo. He also meets Mantis, who reveals a map that could lead them to a waterhole - or will it instead lead Khumba to find his stripes?
'Khumba' is a heart-warming animated flick about that timeless message of accepting people's differences. It has been directed by Anthony Silverston in first direction, who co-wrote the screenplay alongside previous writing partner Raffaella Delle Donne ('Zambezia'). It was nominated for a Cristal award for best feature at the 2013 Annecy International Animated Film Festival and has already been released in the US.
Big School has garnered mixed reviews.
The new comedy went out on BBC One at 9pm, pulling in 20.6% of the audience and giving a boost to a repeat of Mrs Brown's Boys, which drew 3.61 million at 9.30pm. Earlier in the evening, Celebrity Mastechef went out to 3.25 million, a dip of around 200k from its previous episode.
On BBC Two, Mastermind pulled 1.65 million, while new series Burrowers: Animals Underground appealed to 2.17 million.
Continue reading: David Walliams' 'Big School Pulls In 4.2 Million, But Is It Any Good?
Can a UK version starring Lee Mack and Catherine Tate work?
British comedy stars Lee Mack and Catherine Tate have signed on to appear in a British remake of Everybody Loves Raymond, one of the most successful US sitcoms of all time. The Smiths will be set in Cheshire and follows a successful sportswriter who lives across the street from his overbearing parents and socially inept older brother. The BBC One pilot has been written by Mack and will be produced by Silver River, the team behind Pulling.
Image: Catherine Tate
Continue reading: Lee Mack And Catherine Tate Sign Up For UK 'Everybody Loves Raymond'
The upcoming 50th anniversary of legendary British sci-fi series 'Doctor Who' has sent a flurry of fervent excitement through fans everywhere who are now spending every waking hour wondering what producers could possibly have dreamt up for this milestone celebration. Rumours have been flying around everywhere suggesting jaw dropping twists and major reunions (some of which are frankly impossible) and it is true to say that everyone is hoping for it to be their favourite 'Doctor Who' story ever.
There are, at least, some definite confirmations about what we can expect for the upcoming anniversary show. On November 23rd 2013 (that's precisely 50 years on from the airing of the first ever episode 'An Unearthly Child') a special 3D show will be aired on BBC HD and in cinemas. It's a rather apt way of celebrating 50 years; by using our own technological advances on a show full of gadgetry. Lead writer Steven Moffat told the Guardian: 'Technology has finally caught up with 'Doctor Who' and your television is now bigger on the inside' - making a reference, of course, to the Doctor's TARDIS; a police box spaceship that is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.
All hopes of Steve Carell returning to the US version of The Office may well just have been crushed.
During NBC’s segment at the Television Critics Association Tour on Sunday, the networks’ chairman pretty much crushed any speculation that Carell might be coming back, after leaving in series seven so that he could focus on his movie career. “I’m hopeful but I don’t think he will be back” said Robert Greenblatt, before adding “he left the way he wanted that character to leave.”
That character, of course, was Michael Scott, the US counterpart to Ricky Gervais’ David Brent, in the original UK series. Greenblatt explained that Carell doesn’t want to “tarnish the character’s final exit from season seven,” E! Online have reported. This may not be entirely the end of the road for Carell’s character though. Greenblatt still gave glimmers of hope for a cameo, at least. “There’s maybe a little Hail Mary pass on a cameo.” The series won’t be the same without him though, that’s for sure.
Adrian Chiles is dating Catherine Tate. Yep, another one for the ‘bizarre celebrity pairings’ book. TV presenter and ITV football host Chiles has apparently been dating the popular comedian Tate secretly since earlier this year, according to The Sun, who have published snaps of the couple lounging in a Californian park together.
Continue reading: They Kept That Quiet! Adrian Chiles And Catherine Tate Are Dating
Grace has always wanted to visit Paris, having finished college and working in a dead end job, she decides now is the perfect time for her to take her dream vacation. Accompanied by her friends Meg and Emma, the three girls use their savings to jet off to Europe. As soon as they arrive, they're met with disaster, the 'ambassador' suite they've book isn't far from being a rat trap, however the girls are in the city of their dreams and are willing to get over it.
Continue: Monte Carlo Trailer