THERE WAS NO ONE AROUND ME, so I decided I would be the first one to climb the mountain in front of me. Technically, it was a large hill; but to me it looked like it would be the biggest challenge facing me while on vacation. I was not well prepared to undertake such a feat; I was wearing gym shoes, no hat and carrying one water bottle. Ahead of me was what I thought might be a path, simply because there was little grass and rocks compared to the rest of the landscape. I started my way up and at first it seemed like it would be an easy climb. Let me add here, as I have grown older, I have gotten more afraid of heights. However, that thought was the furthest thing from my mind as I was feeling exhilarated from the breeze blowing and the receding land below me. As I was making my way up, the climb started getting steeper. There were a few times my shoes slipped from under me; luckily, if I were going to fall face forward, it would not have been a far fall since I was required to use my hands to help pull myself forward at times. I got as far as halfway up before I felt I would need the same amount of time to descend before it started getting dark. With one turn, I tried taking a step down but freaked out. It was too steep to walk down; I had to sit on my backside and slide myself most of the way down before I felt comfortable enough to stand up. HAVING TAKEN TWICE THE AMOUNT OF time to get back down from the climb up, I sat in my car listening to music to calm myself. What was I thinking? On a scale of things, I am sure this hill might rate mild for most people, but I realized if there is not a defined path with a gift shop at the end of it, I have no business climbing up a hill. In fact, I honestly do not understand why anyone wants to mountain climb. I am sure it must be exciting to say you have done something that so few have been able to do; but if it could kill you, why would you want to do it? A friend of mine one day decided he wanted to skydive. I did not understand the motivation, but he set his mind to it and made it happen. We saw the video of the jump and sure, it was amazing to see; however, seeing his cheeks flapping from the wind force as he was diving was enough for me to realize there is no need for anyone to jump out of a plane. Yet there will always be individuals who want to challenge themselves to do something extraordinary. An example would be one of the main characters in this prequel. HOW IRONIC THAT A MILD-MANNERED bank teller’s dream was to break into one of the world’s most secure bank vaults. All he needed was a little motivation. With Matthias Schweighofer (What A Man, The Red Baron) as Ludwig Dieter, Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones-TV, Maze Runner franchise) as Gwendoline Starr, Ruby O. Fee (The Invisibles, Polar) as Korina Dominguez, Stuart Martin (Only You, Jamestown-TV) as Brad Cage and Guz Khan (Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Bubble) as Rolph; this action, crime comedy was your basic heist film with a few fun tweaks done to it. I enjoyed watching this movie because it was fast paced, with some thrilling and exciting scenes. The idea of the story was sound, but I had wished the writers would have gone further with the telling of it. The other reason I enjoyed this film was because the telling of it was not dependent on CGI effects; they did it the old-fashioned way by letting the actors tell and show us the story. I do not necessarily feel like one must see the original film to enjoy this one.
2 2/3 stars
For some of you one of your earliest memories may have been waking up in the morning to see 2 eyes intently watching you from a nose distance away. You may have woken up from the warm breath pulsing at you or maybe the low sounding purr. One of the earliest relationships many of us have had was the bond between us and our pets. Though I did not experience it at a young age, I do remember how much I enjoyed slipping in between the bed sheets to discover the warmth a pet had created in my space. I still get a chuckle from the stories and photos my friends share of them waking up to have a sleeping cat draped around their head or going to sleep and finding their dog was already snuggled into the bed with the sheets pulled up to their dog collar, their head resting on a pillow. One picture in particular you would swear the dog was looking at his non-furry friend as if to say, “C’mon, it is time to go to sleep.” The bond between animals and humans has stayed strong throughout the centuries. In the past I would always have a line drawn between the characteristics displayed by animals and humans. An animal acts differently than a human; I never assumed a dog or a cat was thinking in a similar way to me. Seeing the interactions between my friends and their pets, I know some of their pets are more than pets. I get it and I am not judging because I have witnessed some interactions that can only be explained as telepathy or empathy. Even some of the movies I have reviewed here that were based on true stories about humans and animals amazed me. In fact today’s film showed something I never knew about the classic story of Robinson Crusoe. STRANDED and alone Robinson Crusoe, voiced by Matthias Schweighofer (Rabbit without Ears, What a Man), did not realize he actually had friends on the small island. This film festival winning animated adventure comedy also had the voices of Kaya Yanar (Schillerstrabe-TV) as Papagei Dienstal, Ilka Bessin (Der Nanny) as Tapir Rosie and Dieter Hallervorden (Nonstop Nonsens-TV, On Track) as Ziegenbock Zottel. In case you were wondering this Belgium film had dubbed in English for the dialog. The best part of this picture was the colorful animation; that pretty much was it. I did not mind the twist the writers did to the Robinson Crusoe story but was surprised this script lacked anything fun or funny. Maybe the youngest of children would enjoy this but there were a couple of times where I thought the film was mean spirited. If I had never seen an animated film before in my entire life maybe I would have at least found something to like about this movie. It really was such a flat, uninspired production that I could not wait for it to be over. Honestly if this is an award winner, what were the other nominated films like? Your time would be better spent volunteering at an animal shelter or at least taking the money you would have spent for this film and donating it.
1 ½ stars