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April 13, 2021

Two family entertainment blockbusters opening on screens

Megamind (USA 2010)

Director: Gary Trousdale

Cast: Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt

Venues: Movieplex Cinema Plaza, Hollywood Multiplex, The Light Cinema, Cityplex, Cinema City Sun Plaza

Created in the spirit of animated features that should accommodate both kids and parents, “Megamind” starts off from a nice premise: Megamind (Will Ferrell) and Metro Man (Brad Pitt) are shipped off to Earth from dying planets as infants, and both land in Metro City; except Metro Man ends up with rich folks and Megamind finds himself raised by the inmates of a prison. Metro Man is trained into a life of service to humanity (never mind that he would more likely be schooled in insider trading), while Megamind is brought up to revere evil. In other words, one is groomed to be a superhero and the other a super villain. Much predictability follows and a not-very-surprising surprise. It’s all perfectly watchable and mildly entertaining, but not much more. Nice voice work from Ferrell and Pitt, but overall, the film is a bit worse than “Despicable Me” or “The Incredibles.”

The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (USA 2010)

Director: Michael Apted

Cast: Bern Barnes, Liam Neeson, Simon Pegg

Venues: Movieplex Cinema Plaza, Hollywood Multiplex, The Light Cinema, CinemaPRO

Based on the third of C.S. Lewis’s enduring Narnia novels from the 1950s, this third instalment, “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” opens in wartime England, circa 1943.

Young Lucy and Edmund are entertaining their annoying cousin Eustace. Contemplating a painting of the old sailing vessel the Dawn Treader, they find themselves transported to Narnia, where they are plucked from the waves by the crew of the Dawn Treader. Safely aboard alongside humans, animals, mythical beasts and Gary Sweet, Lucy and Edmund feel right at home, but Eustace proves to be a real bother, especially in his dislike of a certain mouse named Reepicheep (with the voice and personality of Simon Pegg).

The team of the Dawn Treader will now have to locate and confront the mist source in order to rescue the victims. These elements are put together in an attractive story, as the author of novels, CS Lewis was quite skilled about storytelling. And so is director Michael Apted. Crucially, he never allows plot or characters to be overshadowed by special effects. “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” may not reinvent the fantasy genre but it is well-done entertainment.

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