Wednesday, November 26, 2014



From IMDB:


Super spy teams aren't born...they're hatched. Discover the secrets of the greatest and most hilarious covert birds in the global espionage biz: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. These elitists of the elite are joining forces with a chic undercover organization, The North Wind. Led by handsome and husky Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but know). Together, they must stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine, from destroying the world as we know it. Written by DreamWorks Animation

Ratings: 7.6/10 from 731 users   Metascore: 41/100
Reviews: 2 user | 20 critic | 4 from

From Rotten Tomatoes

TOMATOMETER 69% | Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 13 | Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 4

AUDIENCE SCORE 95% want to see
Average Rating: 4.2/5 | User Ratings: 36,511

Opens worldwide November 26, 2014 (already opened in China 2 weeks ago...)

They made those Cheezy Dibbles look so good I started wondering how good they were. ©20th Century Fox

This will be a two part review. This is the first part: The Movie. (WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!! YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.)

Right, so this is the feature length movie featuring those characters that almost stole the show when we first saw them in the 2005 animation Madagascar, them and the lemurs that is. This time around Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private are the center of attention with those other Madagascar characters almost nowhere to be seen, except for shadows that look like them. And the lemurs right at the very end. 

So what are the penguins up to in this 92 minute long extended version of their very successful TV series that aired on Nickelodeon between 2009 and 2012? Well, pretty much the same. Even though the TV series doesn't actually take place in the actual timeline of the Madagascar films or even this one, the penguins are basically doing what they're famous for. So basically think of the penguins doing what the Simpsons did when they finally did a movie after twenty plus years of being on air, except of course these guys haven't been on air as long.

In the wild no one would be smiling here. ©20th Century Fox
Well in this extended version of their TV series you do get a glimpse of where they came from and how they came to be the crackpot team of do-gooders and occasional crime fighters and it's a pretty good one too. And after that you fast forward to awhile later when they escape from the traveling zoo/circus (yeah somehow the whole cast of Madagascar now finds themselves working in this traveling zoo/circus) to get a birthday present for the Private. The birthday present happens to be in Fort Knox, you know the famous place with all of America's gold in it. Anyway, the gold is not his birthday present. 

What is his birthday present? Well, I'm not going to tell you that. I am going to tell you that while getting his birthday present they find themselves caught up in the middle of a strange heist and eventually end up in the belly of a submarine owned by this films villain, Dr Octavius Brine. Who is he? I actually don't know but he is a very large octopus that also likes to dress up like a human, who is apparently a very famous scientist. Well, not only do they meet him but apparently this octopus that likes to play human was also a fixture from their past except that they don't remember him. Mr Octopus is mad at the penguins because they replaced him as the darling of the zoo visitors when they showed up at his zoo. And then wherever he got transferred to so did the penguins eventually which pushed him further and further away from the attentions of the zoo visitors, and that mad him very, very angry. So Mr Octopus now wants revenge, revenge not only on our tuxedo-ed fab four but on all penguin kind. So they take on themselves to stop him. But they're not alone in trying to stop him. 

There are others. 

An octopus who collects snow globes. Yeah, definitely a villain. ©20th Century Fox
Those others just happens to be a well-funded, well-equipped organization called the North Wind. Sounds cool, right? Well, they are cool. They're basically the James Bonds meets G.I. Joe of the animal world but membership is exclusive to animals from the North only. So yeah, they're an all white outfit. And the penguins are black and white. Read into that however you want. The thing is even though they look cool and have the cool gadgets, they're not as good as they think they are. The penguins do a better job than they do and they don't know what they're doing most of the time especially since they make it up as they go along. 

So now you know who the villain is and what he's up to. You also know that there's another team trying to take down the bad guy. And that's pretty much all the characters that are important, there are four on each of the good guy teams and each has a leader and three other members who each have a special skill and a personality quirk. Except for one. The Private. And this is the main core, the moral of the story, the thing that you should be walking away from this movie with. 

 The expression all my school teachers had when I gave them an excuse. ©20th Century Fox
You see throughout the movie, except for at the very end of course, our naive and innocent Private finds himself being the cute one of the team. He can't figure out what he brings to the team, how he contributes. And when he asks or when the others speak of him all they ever say is that he's the cute one. Basically this story is about how if you feel like you're not important in a group or a team, you really shouldn't feel that way, that somehow, someway, some time in the future your moment to shine will come and you will prove yourself just as important as anyone else. Of course in this movie they prove that point in the most ridiculous way possible. 

When big red eyes are looking at you, you basically want to act like it isn't there. Unless you're a penguin. ©20th Century Fox

Did I enjoy it? Did I like it?

Did I? Well, actually I did. This is a simple and fun movie. The penguins are silly as always and their antics and puns are fun. The North Wind team are pretty cool too and Cumberbatch as the voice of their leader was perfect. He was good as Smaug and he's good here too. His voice just brings so much character to his character. The other one that was fun to watch from the North Wind team is the character voiced by Ken Jeong, go watch this movie and you'll know what I mean.

Is this better than Big Hero 6 which I saw a couple of weeks ago and gave pretty high marks for? Well, no. It's like apples and oranges. They're both good but I'm sure you've got a favorite among the two. Me, I think Big Hero 6 is still better than this one. This is good but at times it gets a little too wordy it seems, that at times there's just too much talking. The humour too can get a little too punny, yes I said punny. The dialogue is sprinkled throughout with word play using famous names. Kids won't get this, adults that watch a lot of movies and remember actor names will. But I'm not saying this movie is more targeted to adults. There's enough for both audiences. The visual gags and the characters will get the kids rapt and laughing with glee and the adults will get the extra icing on top but even with all that this movie still doesn't get me feeling and loving this movie the way I did with Big Hero 6. Damn it, now I'm sounding like I'm a big fan of Big Hero 6. Well, compared to this I am. 

Looks like there's a big snowball with angry eyes up there. Look nonchalant everyone. ©20th Century Fox

What I'm saying I guess is that the Penguins are a fun watch but it's too heavy on the visual gags and the puns. You basically miss out on whatever the moral of the story is. And when they do get to it it's done in a silly way which makes me wonder why bother at all with the lesson anyway? Why not just go all out and have fun with it. That ending that they have seemed like an after thought now that I think about it. It was fun but pointless. So I guess the way to watch this movie, the way to enjoy this movie is really to not think at all. Be like a kid, and just go with the flow of the visual gags, the puns, the goofball nature of the Penguins and have fun. 

The one time a polka band made me laugh. I think they're a polka band. ©20th Century Fox
All in all I give this movie a silly 3 out of 5 stars. Take your kids or take the kid in you out this week to watch this when it opens.It's irreverent humour, the fast pace of the visual gags and action scenes will keep your eyes glued to the screen and giggling. And then if you still want to have fun and you haven't seen Big Hero 6 go watch that too.

The second part of the review: My thoughts on GSC's D-BOX seats.

What is D-Box? Well, let's have the makers of D-BOX describe what it is.

How it works

Our technology is leading edge, yet simple. After sound and image, D-BOX is the natural evolution of cinema. Much like a movie soundtrack, motion effects or MFX are created frame-by-frame by our Motion Designers in our California Studio creating the unique patented D-BOX Motion Code.
The signal is then sent to our actuators that act like little robots under your seat. Unlike theme park rides, D-BOX is smooth and blends perfectly with the sound and image to make your cinematic experience complete. Its motion is multilevel; it can whisk you as if you were speeding in a car chase or wipe you off gently as if you were by the ocean side.
The result is an unmatched immersive experience: you will feel as if you are part of the onscreen action.
We also supply our motion system to renowned integrators in various sectors: racing and flight simulators, home theatre seating manufacturers, arcades, casinos, industrial, governmental, institutional, museums, etc. The possibilities are endless... (From
So basically it's a chair with little motors, little things that move your chair while you watch a movie, and the movement is somehow synchronized to what's happening on screen. If you been to a theme park and gone to one of those motion rides that make you feel like you're actually moving when you're not than this is the same except instead of you sharing it with a bunch of other people in the ride you get your own individual one. 

This is the first time I've tried D-BOX at GSC, I've always been curious of course and well my curiosity is satisfied. It's interesting. The motion is very smooth and when it syncs to the scene on the big screen it can give you a sense of moving with what you see in front of you. But the novelty wears off pretty quickly though. And sometimes I found myself wondering how this shuddering, juddering and moving about makes me enjoy this or that particular scene more than I would without it. It's fun and pretty cool during scenes that involve movements like driving or sliding and when there are explosions it does add something more than just what you see and hear but other than those scenes I found it a little odd for some reason. Maybe it's just me. I've been on those motion rides at theme parks and this just felt like those except it lasts for more than 10-15 minutes and like I said after awhile the novelty wears off somewhat. Does it enhance the movie experience? Yeah, it does but not for every single scene in the movie. 

My opinion? Pick an action movie something along the lines of Fast and Furious or one with lots of flying, I think D-BOX would be really cool for those movies but for others maybe not so much. Should you try it if you've never tried it? Definitely, this could be the future of movies. I can imagine putting this together with IMAX 3D on something like Gravity or Interstellar and it would blow your mind I think. 

So there you go, my thoughts on the D-BOX at GSC. Go try it if you haven't it's pretty cool. And you can only get it at GSC. Oh yeah, another thing that comes with D-BOXis that they've got the DOLBY ATMOS Multidimensional Sound System setup in there too and that does make the difference when combined with D-Box. And one final thing I noticed in the D-Box cinema is that the screen is beautiful. It's bright, crisp and sharp, really a pleasure to watch. 

Find out more about GSC's D-Box experience by visiting their D-Box site at,, GSC D-Box is currently only available at GSC theaters in 1 Utama and Pavilion, KL. There aren't a lot of D-BOX seats, I saw only three rows of them while at GSC 1 Utama so it's pretty exclusive when you think about it, which also makes it cool. I guess. 




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