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Ultimate school holidays movie guide

Ultimate school holidays movie guide
24 Sep
12:13

KEEPING the kids entertained for two weeks sound like a whole lot of fun, right?

These movies will help.

Leigh Paatsch names the best films to watch these September school holidays.

MORE REVIEWS

BEST SCHOOL HOLS MOVIES TO STREAM

LADIES IN BLACK REVIEW

JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN (PG, 99 MIN)

Who? Rowan Atkinson, Olga Kurylenko, Emma Thompson

What? Family spy comedy. After a cyber-attack reveals the identity of all of the active undercover agents in Britain, Johnny English is forced to come out of retirement to find the mastermind hacker.

Olga Kurylenko as Ophelia and Rowan Atkinson as Johnny English.

Olga Kurylenko as Ophelia and Rowan Atkinson as Johnny English.

Well … ? The Johnny English movies have never been associated with quality. Nevertheless, this third try is a clear step up from previous outings. The focus is far more kid-friendly than before, with a welcome emphasis on the clever, crowd-pleasing physical slapstick skills of Atkinson. It ain’t no Paddington, but it’ll do.

Which age group?

under 5yo ***1/2

5yo – 8yo ***

9yo – 12yo ***

13yo+ **

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS (PG, 97 MIN)

Who? Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro

What? Magic paranormal fantasy. A young orphan named Lewis Barnavelt aids his magical uncle in locating a clock with the power to bring about the end of the world.

Jack Black, Owen Vaccaro and Cate Blanchett in The House With A Clock in Its Walls.

Jack Black, Owen Vaccaro and Cate Blanchett in The House With A Clock in Its Walls.

Well … ? This one is a bit of a mixed bag, playing up its numerous parallels to a Harry Potter-style magic cavalcade before turning into a light ghost story of sorts in the second half.

Black and Blanchett are excellent in their roles.

However, some scary sequences may be too much for youngsters under 7 years of age.

Which age group?

under 5yo **

5yo – 8yo ***

9yo – 12yo ***1/2

13yo+ ***

*** TOP PICK – PRIMARY SCHOOLERS ***

TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES (PG, 84 MIN)

Who? Voices of Scott Menville, Will Arnett, Kristen Bell

What? Animated comedy adventure. A villain’s maniacal plan for world domination side-tracks five teenage superheroes who dream of Hollywood stardom.

Fast paced and very funny. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.

Fast paced and very funny. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.

Well … ? A fast-paced and very funny feature-film upgrade of the Teen Titans TV show, this is the definite surprise packet of the school holiday line-up. It doesn’t really matter if your kids don’t really know the original program. Same goes for adults, who will find this very easy to endure compared to most cartoon fare.

Which age group?

under 5yo ***

5yo – 8yo ***1/2

9yo – 12yo ****

13yo+ ****

SMALLFOOT (G, 95 MIN)

Who? Voices of Channing Tatum, Zendaya, James Corden.

What? Animated comedy adventure. A yeti named Migo must prove a human known only as “Small Foot” is real, enlisting the help of the S.E.S – Smallfoot Evidentiary Society.

Smallfoot best serves pre-schoolers and primary schoolers.

Smallfoot best serves pre-schoolers and primary schoolers.

Well … ? After getting off to a mildly impressive start, the quality tapers down to the average and does not budge for the rest of the movie. Pre-schoolers and primary schoolers will be best served here by an easy-to-follow story and stacks of Ice Age-style antics.

Which age group?

under 5yo ***

5yo – 8yo **1/2

9yo – 12yo **1/2

13yo+ *1/2

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (G, 104 min)

Who? Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael

What? Part-animated fantasy. A working-class family man, Christopher Robin, encounters his childhood friend Winnie-the-Pooh, who helps him to rediscover the joys of life.

Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin, with his longtime friend Winnie-the-Pooh.

Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin, with his longtime friend Winnie-the-Pooh.

Well … ? Takes a while to warm up, but once it does, viewers of all ages will be enchanted by what they encounter. The movie comes alive whenever the live-action cast are interacting with the ever-playful (and beautifully animated) residents of the Hundred Acre Wood.

Which age group?

under 5yo ***

5yo – 8yo ***1/2

9yo – 12yo ***1/2

13yo+ ***

*** TOP PICK – HIGH SCHOOLERS ***

LADIES IN BLACK (PG, 106 MIN)

Who? Angourie Rice, Julia Ormond, Rachael Taylor

What? Period comedy-drama. A suburban schoolgirl takes a summer job at a large department store, where a group of saleswomen open her eyes to a world beyond her sheltered existence.

Ladies in Black is a winner for high schoolers.

Ladies in Black is a winner for high schoolers.

Well … ? This lovely Australian movie has been marketed to mature-age viewers. However, as the PG rating signifies, this is not to say there is not plenty on offer for young female viewers to enjoy here. The vintage fashions, admirable characters and a little light history about the good old days all do the trick in fine style.

Which age group?

under 5yo *

5yo – 8yo **1/2

9yo – 12yo ***1/2

13yo+ ****

ALPHA (PG, 95 MIN)

OPENS THURS SEP 27

Who? Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson

What? Prehistoric action adventure. Many thousands of years ago, a young man separated from his tribe befriends a lost wolf, forging a bond that would change humanity.

Keda, played by Kodi Smit-McPhee, with Alpha.

Keda, played by Kodi Smit-McPhee, with Alpha.

Well … ? Yet to be previewed to media. Going on the strength of the trailer and preview clips already in circulation, this appears to be very much a “boys’ own adventure” affair set at the dawn of civilisation. Late primary schoolers and early teens are the most likely to appreciate what is on offer.

Which age group?

under 5yo *1/2

5yo – 8yo **1/2

9yo – 12yo ***

13yo+ ***

DEADLY DINOSAURS (PG, 90 MIN)

Who? Steve Backshall

What? Documentary. English naturalist Steve Backshall uses modern technology to test the incredible abilities and design flaws of various dinosaurs throughout history.

Steve Backshall.

Steve Backshall.

Well … ? Best known for his work for BBC TV – from which this lively and informative doco feature has been compiled – Backshall finds many eye-opening angles on the dinosaur world through his unconventional presentation style. Fans of the recent Jurassic World movies will be gripping the edge of their seats throughout.

Which age group?

under 5yo ***

5yo – 8yo ***1/2

9yo – 12yo ***1/2

13yo+ ***

MORE REVIEWS AND MOVIE NEWS BY LEIGH PAATSCH

Source: https://www.thechronicle.com.au/news/leigh-paatsch-ultimate-september-school-holidays-m/3528593/

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