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RE: Happy Feet - 7/12/2006 4:34:23 PM   
Rod Hull

Posts: 460
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Spiral Mountain
But the film's shift in undertone is very important.  If the film had grim mumblings (ha!) from the begining the message in the film would have been watered down.  This sudden shift gives resonance to the issues the filmakers are concerned with.  The classic films have always had unexpected shifts in tone.  Look at the Wizard of Oz.  Things are all peachy then a big gust plonks DOt somewhere clearly not in Kansas anymore, squishing an OAP in the process.  THe poster for that hardly signifies that this kind of behaviour will happen (or those bloody monkeys either).  Similarly Bambi takes a sudden turn for the worse.  Little deer is happily playing in the meadow when mummy byes it big with bullets.  So I find your criticism slightly odd, from a historic perspective at the least.

What people seem to be getting caught up on is the star system.  I agree totally with your controversial 5/5 for Attack of the Clones when in comparison with the Phantom Menace, but not when compared with the likes of Lawrence of Arabia.  People need to take the ratings in to context.

Perhaps you could do what Edge magazine did and experiment a little with reviews.  They did an entire issue based on the review debate and omitted the score for each game from the bottom of the review (and hid the actual review scores elsewhere in the magazine).  They also did a natty little feature whereby four different staff reviewed the same game, resulting in quite disparate scores.  Just a suggestion, but it could properly address the review score debate.  Or would a lack of numerical scoring result in your good name being dropped from many DVD boxes/movie posters?


Not with the pastry!

(in reply to Helen OHara)
Post #: 31
RE: Happy Feet - 7/12/2006 4:51:49 PM   


Posts: 17
Joined: 9/5/2006
I have no idea what has been written about clones, superman returns, king kong or any of the other "odd ratings" (yes my view) prior to my short life on this forum, im merely expressing the view that it has become more frequent a conversation amongst people i know that when we have seen a film, people have commented "I cant beleieve Empire gave it that". And further that general concensus on movie forums like avforums seem again to go against your reviews ratings (not spefically yours but when you say good film they sad bad).

Rod I agree entirely that a suitable system is the "multi" reviews. Empire isnt a collage magazine or the Sunday Times with one celeb reviewers view. I bought Empire cause I thought it always got it right and it did so through a process of not getting caught into hype, looking at the logevity of a film etc. I am not so sure that is the case anymore, but i do hear what Helen is saying and take it into account. This is not the result of one review I have disagreed with, this is the result of a "tipping point" of not understanding why the magazine seems to fall for the hype of Superman yet chastise a film that dares to be different.

Anyway at the risk of going in circles I want to say I agree about the marketing of Happy Feet but not the content and most of all Im glad Helena and Chris you have taken the time to debate it out. Or are you just putting off writing a review for Santa Clause 3 or something horrible hehehe (kidding).

< Message edited by discostewart -- 7/12/2006 4:59:46 PM >

(in reply to Helen OHara)
Post #: 32
RE: Happy Feet - 7/12/2006 8:27:37 PM   

Posts: 175
Joined: 10/11/2005

Why don't you just get a room?

Now listen you two - I think you both make some valid points, but honestly Helen - why are you rising to him?

Stewart - I too thought Supes Return was a bit crap - hardly better than Batman Begins, which I adored! I do have to say though, Tallegeda Nights was a load of old bollocks. Funny? Not really. Anchormanlite? Not even that good!

Helen - you ARE NOT DUMBING DOWN - don't fret lassie! Empire is still the Best Movie Magazine out there! T**** F*** gave Tallegeda Nights 5 stars. Enough evidence of the crapness of the "competition" for you?

I'd also add that there is another mag out there which not only posts starred reviews, but also includes a section where ALL the reviewers' star marks can be compared in a handy (bloody confusing!) table. They are not exactly consistent.

Empire is a cracking good read. I actually wake up happier near the end of the month because I know there's a new one out soon! I skip merrily like a pansey-assed schoolgirl down to Londis to pick one up!

Here's the thing though - and this is where I cannot understand Stewart at all. A movie magazine which tailors its reviews to its core audience is one which does NOT review movies. A film lives or dies on its inherent merits. A good kid's movie is a good kid's movie. A brilliant crime flick IS a brilliant crime flick, etc.

Yes - one review merely represents one reviewer's opinion. Thankfully, since the Empire writer's have their collective head screwed on right - these reviews are pretty reliable.

I love you Empire!

Give us some freebies though. TF beats you hands down there, but that's another matter.

< Message edited by BenClay2005 -- 7/12/2006 8:34:11 PM >


"Fear can hold you prisoner - hope can set you free"

(in reply to Helen OHara)
Post #: 33
RE: Happy Feet - 7/12/2006 9:14:58 PM   

Posts: 964
Joined: 12/1/2006
From: Plymouth
I just find it funny that a guy called discostewart is having such a serious conversation with Helen while she wears that hat.

That said, where's the beard?


If you think I've just insulted you, it probably wasn't my intention

(in reply to BenClay2005)
Post #: 34
RE: Happy Feet - 9/12/2006 6:07:22 PM   


Posts: 5957
Joined: 30/9/2005
Right, so, about Happy Feet...

Am I the only person who found the first hour or so really, really tedious?  We know dancing penguins look great; we saw that in the trailer.  The first hour of the film seemed to be a line of big set-piece, song-and-dance numbers, loosely strung together with a bit of story.  It was only in the last half hour or so I found myself quite interested by the story, and not by the "look what we can do!"-ness of the animation.  Once again, it is proven that the story is the important part, not which medium you use.  However, the kids will probably lap it up, and that's who it's made for, isn't it?

(in reply to enemysprout)
Post #: 35
RE: Happy Feet - 9/12/2006 8:07:39 PM   

Posts: 2669
Joined: 16/11/2005
From: Grim up North
Happy Feet is one of the best movies of the year!


Bolt: [gets up and looks up at the cats] Hello, hairballs.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 36
RE: Happy Feet - 9/12/2006 11:43:09 PM   

Posts: 175
Joined: 10/11/2005
Yes that's right.

Also, I hear that the Straight to DVD "American Pie:The Naked Mile" is right up there with Some Like It Hot and even funnier than Spinal Tap crossed with Airplane. Times 10.

Just off to watch "Jaws 3D". Someone told me it was really good. Bet it's nothing compared to "Boxing Helena".

Ooh - have you seen, erm, "Tooth". Probably the best kids film ever made. Okay, that's being silly. But the character arcs and original set pieces in it really took me by surprise.

Check out Swept Away if you have time too. Probably Guy Ritchie's opus. In time people will realise just what an emotionally resonant movie it is - and Madge is simply awesome in it.

Watched Rashomon the other day. It was shit.


"Fear can hold you prisoner - hope can set you free"

(in reply to Timmy_Brisby_05)
Post #: 37
RE: Happy Feet - 10/12/2006 6:41:02 PM   
Comrade Zutroy

Posts: 1986
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: all over the shop
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.  Your sarcasm has me rolling on the floor laughing.  ROFL!!!!


Seriously mate, shut the fuck up.  Your way of putting people in their place by spuouting out the "greats" is fucking tedious and all too common on these boards.  If it's someones opinion that this film was the best of the year then let them have it and don't be so fucking judgemental.

And just to keep this on topic, I loved this film.  Completly off its tits.  Personally I loved the brief period of the film where it decided to teach kids about the separation of church and state.  All that and tap dancing penguins.  Ace.


If there were no rewards to reap,
no loving embrace to see me through this tedious path I've chosen here,
I certainly would've walked away by now.

I'm gonna wait it out

"It's a day spa, you fuck!"

(in reply to BenClay2005)
Post #: 38
RE: Happy Feet - 10/12/2006 6:56:07 PM   

Posts: 1667
Joined: 30/9/2005
Well, I just got back from watching it........

It was one of those films my girlfriend dragged me to in payback from dragging her to see shite like Hostal etc.  I was particularly dreading seeing it.  Not that the film wouldnt be any good, but the cinema was packed with kids screaming and shouting before hand and it just did my nut in.  Adding to this headache was the awful trailers with an enitre episode of a shitty Cartoon Network series that wasnt very good, and the trailer for The Reef which looked terrible (hadnt I seen that movie two years ago?).  So you could say I wasnt in the mood.

Well, the film started and it was truly brilliant.  Funny, heartfelt, and engergetic with superb voice talent you wouldnt recognise if there werent credited at the start.  I mean, if someone told you that the scottish Noah the Elder pengiun was voiced by Hugo Weaving you wouldn't believe them, they're that good.

Visually it is stunning with even "is that real or CG?" moments during the Whaling Station sequence.  The set-pieces are adrenaline fulled and imaginative as well as epic in scale, it had me grinning and pinned to my seat.

Overall, its a fun filled, song and dance extravaganza, with a heavy handed message (well you cant be subtle to kids about this shit can you?) but is also emotionally engaging to a point where you'll wipe away a little tear or two.  One of this years best.



"You bailed out a Jamaican street named Monkey the other day, I want him. This other piece of shit, Screwface, I want him. I know you're a scumbag and a puke, I don't mind that, but give me what I need and I'll leave here a nice guy. If you don't, I'm gonna fuck you up. "

Hatcher. Marked For Death

(in reply to Comrade Zutroy)
Post #: 39
Loved it.... - 10/12/2006 7:39:14 PM   

Posts: 932
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: 30 minutes walk from Manchester city centre.
And I've already seen it twice.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 40
ew: Happy Feet - 10/12/2006 8:12:55 PM   


Posts: 5
Joined: 2/11/2005
For a children film, I thought this wasn't really aimed at children at all! Its pretty much about the music and dancing and the music was very much what adult would recognise not the kids. There wasn't much visual gags for the kids at all.I took my nephew and he didn't enjoy it one bit. And I was the same. Total false advertising. Not one for the kids.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 41
ew: Happy Feet - 10/12/2006 8:22:51 PM   


Posts: 5
Joined: 2/11/2005
For a children film, I thought this wasn't really aimed at children at all! Its pretty much about the music and dancing and the music was very much what adult would recognise not the kids. There wasn't much visual gags for the kids at all.I took my nephew and he didn't enjoy it one bit. And I was the same. Total false advertising. Not one for the kids.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 42
RE: ew: Happy Feet - 10/12/2006 10:29:59 PM   


Posts: 107
Joined: 30/9/2005
Happy Feet is one of the most random films I've ever seen. Essentially it's about a dancing penguin who can't sing (when penguins sing to attract mates of course), but veers from his struggle to fit in randomly to trying to restore the penguins' supply of fish. Which is never mentioned until about halfway through.

Still, it's very amusing in places, I'll call it a 6 out of 10.

(in reply to macqueen)
Post #: 43
RE: HAPPY FEET - 11/12/2006 1:37:27 AM   


Posts: 20
Joined: 30/11/2006
This is a good film for the kids!
Great animation..
London to Brighton
Post #: 44
RE: HAPPY FEET - 11/12/2006 10:27:11 AM   

Posts: 175
Joined: 10/11/2005

You don't need to resort to blasting me with bad language to make your point. Simply say that you'd rather I didn't critisize other people for their opinions.

Essentially, by disagreeing with someone - that's what you're doing anyway. So it all seems a bit silly.

I was being humourous/sarcasric. Happy Feet is not one of the best films of the Year.

By the way - if you thought the films I listed above were greats - then, well you have a lot of catching up to do. Mate.


"Fear can hold you prisoner - hope can set you free"

(in reply to lovebhadz)
Post #: 45
RE: HAPPY FEET - 11/12/2006 3:03:58 PM   
Comrade Zutroy

Posts: 1986
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: all over the shop


You obviously didn't see the quotation marks on "great", did you?

And I'll use whatever language I want.  Mate.


If there were no rewards to reap,
no loving embrace to see me through this tedious path I've chosen here,
I certainly would've walked away by now.

I'm gonna wait it out

"It's a day spa, you fuck!"

(in reply to BenClay2005)
Post #: 46
RE: HAPPY FEET - 11/12/2006 9:48:19 PM   

Posts: 175
Joined: 10/11/2005
Well - trying to keep this thread on topic - the first half of Happy Feet was brilliant. Someone else on here mentioned it reminded them of Moulin Rouge too. I liked the slightly "darker" edge too.

It just collapsed in the second half.

Still think that nothing has been made since Toy Story 1&2 which lives up the promise of CG toons. Japanese ones like those of Studio Gibli are much deeper textured films.

Merry Christmas to all!


"Fear can hold you prisoner - hope can set you free"

(in reply to Comrade Zutroy)
Post #: 47
RE: HAPPY FEET - 11/12/2006 11:09:07 PM   

Posts: 548
Joined: 8/10/2005
I liked happy feet..and I do agree with Empire's review. Sometimes I don't agree with their reviews but it's always interesting to read someone else' perception of a film.

At the end of the day everybody has a different idea of what a good/bad film is... I like looking at both sides of the argument...and even if a film gets a poor rating in a review I like to see it myself and make my own mind up.

OK so i'm not sure what the point there was...except that film viewing is objective and, eben if you don't agree with's never a bad idea to see another side of an argument

(in reply to BenClay2005)
Post #: 48
Review; Happy Feet - 13/12/2006 12:01:22 AM   


Posts: 2
Joined: 12/12/2006
A well made film in IMAX, though i'm not sure if it was good anywhere else, Happy Feet did have some exciting scenes, cautious characters, and a penguin who sings with his feet! Starring Elijah Wood as Mumble, a penguin who has no voice, but can dance somthing aweful....or wonderful. Either way, Happy Feet did raise a few questions when the credits came up, but overal, George Miller created a mildly stunning animated movie, that overdid at the Box Office.
Even though, kids will like Happy Feet and a few adults will too.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 49
Don't look too deep - 14/12/2006 9:01:56 PM   


Posts: 7
Joined: 26/11/2006
Ok this film started off well. Cute characters lots of fun but as a kids film why couldn't it be about a dancing penguin? Why did it have to ram the environmental stuff down our throats so blatantly? this ruined the film for me and the route to getting the message across was beyond ridiculous.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 50
RE: HAPPY FEET - 19/12/2006 11:50:06 AM   

Posts: 4450
Joined: 28/4/2006

Happy Feet is a CG animated musical film with an all star cast about an Emperior penguin called Mumbles (Elijah Wood) who unlike the rest of his penguins cannot sing to find a mate but instead is a great dancer and is rejected by almost everyone apart from his parents (Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman) and his childhood friend Gloria (Brittany Murphy) because of it. He finds friendship and acceptence by a gang of different penguins (can`t remember what type they are I`m afraid but one is voiced by Robin Williams) and who also introduce him to a idolised guru/heart throb of a penguin called Lovelace (Robin Williams too).

However when Lovelace is almost chocked by a necklace he wears made from plastic soft drink packaging after he claims he was abuducted by aliens (between you and me humans!), they come under attack from some nasty birds of prey and seals due to a lack of fish they decide to look for some more fish and maybe find the aliens.

I have to say I adored this film. For me it is the best musical animated film since The Lion King with jaw dropping animation, a terrific soundtrack of classic songs from Earth, Wind and Fire, Queen, Stevie Wonder and even The Mambo Kings, great cast, a touching unique story and a highly amusing script. A more orgional musical score would have been to its credit but its all done so well with a minimum of smultzy sentiment and loads of style. When Mumbles and Gloria get all their penguin peers apart from the stern elders to dance Boogie Wonderland you really are treated to something special.

I do agree that they have marketed it inaccurately and that there isn`t much indication in the movies trailers of the enviromental angle taken. It really isn`t ideal viewing for really young children (My three year old neice feel asleep for the first half and wouldn`t sit still for the second half but my six year old neice loved it) with its enviromental message or with its longer than usual length for an animated movie. However it was quite clear to me early on from when Mumbles has a close shave with some nasty birds of prey because they can`t find any fish and from Lovelaces necklace that the enviromental man made damage of the Antarctic would be touched on and wasn`t an unexpected turn of events to me. Admittingly I had read some reviews that had hinted this would be the case but I could see it coming and think that can only be a good thing.

So to sum up this is an unmissable animated masterpiece that only those who hate penguins, musical animations and have been dragged to see it by their kids or the very young could possibly dislike. I`m not embarrased to admit that I can`t wait for the DVD to come out despite being a 35 year old man and can`t recommend it enough!



Last five movies seen & rated by me.

1.12 Years A Slave. 4/5
2.Robocop. (1987) 3/5
3.Devils Due.3/5
4.American Hustle. 4/5
5.Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. 3/5
Post #: 51
RE: HAPPY FEET - 28/12/2006 8:10:15 PM   


Posts: 7
Joined: 5/1/2006
Went to see Happy Feet with some friends under protest and really quite enjoyed it.  The animation was pretty decent and the environmental story line simplistic but at least worthwhile.  It was the music that really sold it to me.  Definitely worth your time though probably not an essential cinema experience.

< Message edited by Winspurd -- 28/12/2006 8:11:01 PM >
Post #: 52
happy feet - 29/12/2006 12:32:18 PM   

Posts: 110
Joined: 7/5/2006
From: York
i thought this film was great and particually enjoyed robin williams characters and all the songs that were featured especially kiss/heartbreak hotel.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 53
- 4/1/2007 4:21:53 PM   

Posts: 517
Joined: 17/9/2006
I was a bit wary at first, but was won over by the music and cute characters. But the environmental meaaage at the end was a bit tacked on- otherwise I would have given it 5 stars

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 54
RE: - 7/1/2007 12:35:55 AM   

Posts: 383
Joined: 30/9/2005
Absolutely loved it. I nearly cried at the end. Is that pathetic?
Probably tied with Children of Men as the best film I've seen this year. I just can't shake off how jubilant and thrilling it all was and I was genuinly surprised by how scared I got by the humans in the film.


I don't discriminate. I HATE EVERYONE!

(in reply to moviemaniac2)
Post #: 55
RE: RE: - 7/1/2007 1:44:17 PM   

Posts: 1296
Joined: 30/9/2005
Was it actually aimed at kids? It didn't seem very kiddie friendly and most of the tots in the crowd today were clearly restless during it.
I honestly don't quite know what to make of this film:
It didn't seem to know what it wanted to be and was pretty much all over of the place in terms of style and tone.
If you were to chop film up and show various sequences and segments seperately then I'm sure it would look awesome and everyone would be impressed, but when all these scenes line up side by side in the full movie it just doesn't quite work.
I still can't decide if I liked it or not: I loved the direction and visuals of the film but hated other parts of it. I actually preffered the film once its tone changed and the dancing stopped.
In ways the opening hour or so reminded me of Moulin Rouge eg the choice of songs and the way they were interwined into the story.
My girlfriend enjoyed it, but for me there were some good sequences but the rest didn't really work.

< Message edited by skeletonjack -- 7/1/2007 1:45:21 PM >

(in reply to meh...)
Post #: 56
RE: Happy Feet - 7/1/2007 1:47:19 PM   
john davidson

Posts: 102
Joined: 3/1/2006
I took my kids to see this over the holidays and it went down very well.
The first half is basically March of the Penguins - the animated musical and the second half is an admittedly pretty heavy handed environmental story.
The environemnt and being good to animals is very high up the kiddie agenda so it hits the mark rather than being frighening (at least it di for mine).
It isn't Toy Story but the songs are daftly funny and I chortled my way though it..


"I ain't got time to bleed"

(in reply to Monkeyshaver)
Post #: 57
RE: Happy Feet - 11/1/2007 11:24:29 AM   


Posts: 2577
Joined: 6/9/2006
From: Sheffield
Me and my girlfriend watched this with her neice the other night, I was a little wary of Empires review though, I just couldn't see how a shift in tone could affect a film as much as had been described.  I now agree with Empires review 100%!!!

This is, for me at least, one of the oddest kiddie films I've ever seen.  For the first two thirds, I really enjoyed it.  The comment describing this as Moulin Rouge meets March Of The Penguins summed up what I was thinking.  I thought the animation was great, and that continues throughout.  The sea lion chase had the lil' un terrified, but in that good kiddie movie way, and when it ended and the penguins taunt the sea lion she was giggling away.  That to me is the mark of a great kids flick. 

I was happliy thinking 'so far so good!'. 

Of course, all good kids films tend to have some sort of moral or message and Happy Feet was no different.  For the first part of the movie, its the usual 'be yourself' type message.  Executed pretty well I thought. However, the second moral, the environmental message, is just so poorly handled and executed that it confused and baffled all 3 of us.  Now, my problem isn't that the movie gets dark.  It's that the shift in tone is so uneven, and the message were supposed to get from this shift in plot and tone is lost and muddled.  

When our little penguin hero is taken to the zoo I was truly baffled.  The narrator begins to tell us that Mumbles is starting to loose his mind.  The other penguins are mindless drones (with a nice 2001 gag).  Mumbles starts hallucinating and he is having what appears to be a very shitty time!  He then dances.  Humans see him and love it! Yay! So, they send him home, with a big tracking device so they can follow, all the penguins dance and humans realise the error of there ways.  Okay, all that seems pretty straight forward, however, our neice asked us a question and it dawned on me and my girlfriend that yes, it was a little odd.  Our neice asked if zoos are bad.  Now, my girlfriends immediate reaction was 'yes'.  Going by the film it certainly seems to be that way... penguins go fucking bat shit crazy in zoos.  But then I thought, but do the humans release the penguins?? No.  The message the filmakers are trying to get across is about the environment, about preserving what is out there and not fishing and stuff.  I thought the filmakers we're implying that zoos were a great place for us to observe the wonders of nature, so we could see how amazing animals could really be.  Fuck knows.  It's all very confusing and rather muddles in my opinion.  It isn't handled well at all and the last half hour ruined what had gone before.  The lil'un was confused as hell and that to me is damning of the shift in plot and tone.  I do think it's very unexpected of an animated film about singing penguins, especially when its called Happy Feet.  I mean, it's got happy in the title!

Oh, it also contains the immortal line "I can't live in a world without penguins!" Genuis


"I've got an idea for a special infiltration technique. It involves draining a man of his blood and replacing it with Tizer."

(in reply to john davidson)
Post #: 58
- 26/1/2007 2:01:56 PM   


Posts: 21
Joined: 22/1/2007
A very good film.The animation was excellent and I was also impressed by the music and dance routines.I did not find any parts of the film disturbing, and films for children always have disturbing momments when you look at say, Snow White and Pinoccio or a more recent view like The Lion King.I also found the film very entertaining and would rate it four stars.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 59
- 26/1/2007 2:02:04 PM   


Posts: 21
Joined: 22/1/2007
A very good film.The animation was excellent and I was also impressed by the music and dance routines.I did not find any parts of the film disturbing, and films for children always have disturbing momments when you look at say, Snow White and Pinoccio or a more recent view like The Lion King.I also found the film very entertaining and would rate it four stars.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 60
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