Last summer, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures made an impressive debut in the very crowded animated film genre with Despicable Me, grossing over $500 million worldwide.
Their follow-up comes out this weekend with the animated-live action hybrid Hop.
The movie is the story of E.B., a teenage rabbit who is about to take over the position of the Easter Bunny from his father. However, he wishes to pursue his dream of becoming a drummer and leaves his home on Easter Island on the eve of taking over his father’s mantle.
E.B. arrives in Hollywood only to be hit by Fred O’Hare, an out of work slacker who E.B. manipulates into taking care of him while feigning an injury due to the accident. As Fred struggles with the world’s worst house guest, they are forced to work together as they have to save Easter from an evil Easter Chick named Carlos who wants to be in charge instead of the rabbits.
Russell Brand (Get Him to the Greek and next week’s Arthur) is the voice of E.B. and leads the rest of an impressive cast that includes James Marsden (Enchanted), Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory), Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live), Chelsea Handler, Gary Cole, David Hasselhoff and Mel Brooks in live roles, and the voices of Hugh Laurie, Laurie Metcalf and Hank Azaria.
Director Tim Hill is no stranger to the combination of live-action and CGI as he was at the helm of Alvin and the Chipmunks.
While I do not believe it will be a hit on the scale of Despicable Me, it will provide nice family entertainment leading up to Easter.
Rated General with a warning of violence.
If cute little fuzzy bunnies are not your cup of tea, then the sci-fi thriller Source Code shows much promise.
Jake Gyllenhaal stars as decorated airman Captain Colter Stevens who wakes up in the body of an unknown man. He discovers that he is in an assignment unlike any he’s ever known, on a mission to find the bomber of a commuter train.
The “Source Code” program enables him to cross over into another man’s identity in the last eight seconds of his life. With a second, much larger target, threatening to kill millions, he must re-live the train incident over and over again, gathering clues each time, until he can solve the mystery of who is behind the bombs and prevent the next attack.
Source Code also stars Michelle Monaghan (Made of Honor, Eagle Eye), Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), Jeffrey Wright (Casino Royale) and Canadian actor-comedian Russell Peters and has a rating of PG for coarse language and violence.
Source Code is directed by Duncan Jones, whose father is David Bowie. However, Jones is not simply riding on his father’s famous coattails having directed the well received independent feature Moon last year. Early word is that Jones throws enough camera twists and humorous elements to keep the eight minutes fresh each time it is relived, making Source Code a suspenseful and original film.
Rick Davis is the manager of the Capitol Theatre in West Kelowna.