Years ago, a newspaper cartoonist named Berkeley Breathed entertained me with Bloom County, featuring characters like Opus the Penguin, Bill the Cat and Milquetoast the Cockroach. Since then, he has gone on to write five children’s books, including one called Mars Needs Moms.
This caught the attention of Disney and producer Robert Zemeckis (The Polar Express) and they have now adapted it into a motion-captured 3D animated film.
It’s the adventure of a lifetime for nine-year-old Milo who must rescue his mom from Martians who have kidnapped her and other earth mothers to help them raise their young. He stows away on a spaceship and with the help of an earth man, a Martian girl and a bionic cat, he takes on the aliens who stole his mother.
Mars Needs Moms features the voices of Seth Green, Joan Cusack, Dan Fogler, James Earl Jones, Breckin Meyer and Billy Dee Williams and is rated general with a warning of violence.
In Battle: Los Angeles, aliens are looking for much more than our mothers. It is inspired by the so-called The Battle of Los Angeles, a falsely suspected air raid of Los Angeles that took place during the Second World War.
In the film, the unidentified aircraft were actually alien UFOs scouting the earth in preparation for an eventual attack, but their existence was covered up by the government. In 2011, the sightings become a terrifying reality as Earth is attacked by unknown forces. As people everywhere watch the world’s great cities fall, Los Angeles becomes the last stand for mankind.
Aaron Eckhart stars as a Marine Staff Sergeant who must lead his new platoon into a fight with an enemy unlike anything they have encountered before.
Also starring Michelle Rodriguez and Bridget Moynahan, it is rated 14A with a warning of frequent violence.
Leonardo DiCaprio serves as producer on a reimagining of a classic tale that traditionally was told to children. The filmmakers have very loosely based this tale on both Charles Perrault’s Little Red Riding Hood and the Brothers Grimm’s Redcap and turned it into a fantasy-thriller set in medieval times about a young woman about to elope with her lover in order to avoid an arranged marriage. However their plans are dashed when a mysterious wolf that has terrorized their village kills the young woman’s sister. Simply titled Red Riding Hood, Amanda Seyfried plays the young woman who seems to have a unique connection to the beast which is both a blessing and a curse.
Catherine Hardwick (Twilight, Lords of Dogtown) directs and Gary Oldman, Virginia Madsen, Lukas Haas and Julie Christie round out the cast. It is rated PG with a warning of violence.
Film Festival Roundup: The Travelling World Community Film Festival is on this weekend at UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College (www.worldfilmfestkelowna.net).
The Kelowna Film Society presents the Oscar-nominated animated film The Illusionist next Wednesday at the Orchard Plaza 5 (www.kelownafilm.com).
Nicole Kidman was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Rabbit Hole, next Thursday at the Capitol Theatre (www.westkelownamovies.com).
Rick Davis is the manager of the Capitol Theatre in West Kelowna.