Angry Birds Movie
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The Angry Birds Movie

Once upon a time, dear reader, screenplays for movies were based on literary classics or Broadway play. Many of the scripts originally written for films were done so by office highly regarded in the world. In recent years I have noticed a dramatic paradigm shift for source materials used by popular movies resources that are traditionally held much lower regard. At this point I will have to make an exception for those scripts derived from comic books as they not only bring it billions of dollars in revenue but there has been a continuing upward trend in the quality of the associated acting, directing production of these films. What really concerns me is that Hollywood is now turning to such sources as children’s board games such as ‘Battleship’ leaving me with great trepidation that ‘Hungry Hippos’ successfully pitched to executives some major studio. The latest that found in this lamentable trend is to dip down to gain applications, on phones the course of the term ‘smart phones ‘into serious doubt. Film under consideration is ‘Angry Birds Movie’ which is of course based on the videogame of the same name. That application is so widespread is frequently placed on new phones and tablets as a standard application. For the sake of full disclosure, the app has appeared on several of my devices and in each instance I’ve deleted them without opening. I’ve never been a fan of this type of game multitudes of levels based on successfully shooting objects at various targets. When a copy of the film appeared within the screen as I receive a regular basis I dutifully braced myself as I placed in my Blu-ray player and put on my 3-D glasses. Apparently, the application is designed to fill extraordinary amounts of empty time during the day. I just noticed from the millions of people found themselves in the series of games based on annoyed avians as they battle their porcine antagonists. The big selling point of the film, as it were, is that fans will "finally discover why the birds are so angry at the pigs", a disclosure that would require a significant concern for the details of the game.

Bird Island is the home of a group of flightless birds who care for and deliver hatchlings from there to their customers. One of the birds, Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis), has a problem with keeping his anger in check, which was largely tolerated until a temper tantrum resulted in a premature hatching the client egg Red is sentenced to mandatory anger management. Resentful, Red refuses to interact with his classmates on any level, not even, wishing to learn their names; Chuck (voiced by Josh Gad), Bomb (Danny McBride, and Terence (Sean Penn). She Red’s disinterest extended to their instructor, Matilda (Maya Rudolph). One day the delivery arrived at the island’s dock that was most unusual. The group of green pigs who introduced themselves as explorers will come with peaceful intentions. Among the gifts they offer the birds were advanced technologies such as slingshots and helium balloons. Most of the inhabitants readily accepted the benign appearance of the pigs in this society, but Red is not only prone to fits of anger, but he harbored a very suspicious nature. He decides that they have to find The Mighty Eagle (voiced by Peter Dinklage), and exceptionally large bald eagle was believed to be the protector of the island, the only bird who is capable of flight, but unfortunately has not been seen in a very long time. If ever there was a time for the protector to return it was now. Red has noted that the steady stream of new green pig arrivals has overwhelmed the island.

When Red in his two associates finally locates the Mighty Eagle their hopes are dashed to the ground; he is in semiretirement and allowed himself to become substantially overweight and self-absorbed. Red picks up the Eagles binoculars and notices that all of the islands birds are attending a wild party thrown by the pigs. None of them realized that this was just a distraction on the part of the green pigs to keep the islands true inhabitants busy as they stole the eggs. The pics have also been busy planting explosive devices all around the island to prevent any retaliation. Red is pushed too far in his anger quickly increases to epic proportions that infect the other birds. Constructing a boat to sail to Piggy Island with they discover that the pics are entrenched in a bald city, suspecting the eggs are kept in a large central tower. The only way they have to attack is to use the slingshot technology recently given to them and propel themselves at the pigs.

In this respect, the film does deliver as promised, and origin story for the game. Granted, it is rather simplistic, but it must be kept in mind that it pertains to a videogame small enough to readily fit on the space requirements of a cell phone. I suppose that if you are an avid fan of the game. You might have wondered how these birds were able to construct slingshots or, for that matter, what inside them such an angry state of mind in the first place. The animation was not done by one of the top theatrical companies such as Pixar/Disney or DreamWorks, but rather Rovio Animation, a division of Rovio Entertainment Ltd. Between several of the other divisions they are responsible for a number of cartoons, short animations and some two dozen different variations of Angry Birds. I most assuredly hope that that does not mean there will be an endless stream of sequels expanding into a full-blown franchise spawned from this initial film. There is a very real possibility of this considering the budget with some $73 million in the theatrical domestic gross was over $107 million. It is absolutely frightening is the fact that in its initial weekend box office. It bumped and anticipated juggernaut of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ‘Captain America: Civil War’, two second-place on the all-important box office chart.

For those who thought that the ‘Hobby Trilogy’ was the epitome of stretching material to a customer thin layer, you may have to lose that title to this movie. At least it was an actual book, albeit a very short one, that was used as a source material for the Hobbit movies. There is also a wealth of other aspects of the story from all the material in the franchise. In the case of ‘The Angry Bird Movie’, it had to be based entirely on a game that can be played with one hand and an exceptionally scant amount of intellectual resources. I’m sure that some people point out that it requires a degree of mastery as it sharpens your hand eye coordination, and while that might be true for the videogame there is absolutely nothing actively necessary to sit in the dark with 3-D glasses on and basically watch a video game play itself. For fans of the app they may find the 3-D effects amusing, but for anyone who is used to incredibly high bar set by Pixar, they will be disappointed. Animated films made by the above-mentioned top two contenders for the best animated Academy award each year there is more to just fancy 3-D effects and intricately crafted animation. Those studios are expert at infusing personality into the characters and placing them in the story that is actually worth having to devote your attention to watch. In what amounts to an unnecessary amount of high technology, the top-of-the-line release contains 4K UHD, 3-D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and a code to unlock an ultraviolet streaming version of the 2-D movie. There are separate Blu-ray only and DVD only releases but if you want the film in either 4K UHD or 3-D Blu-ray you have to buy the combo pack, no separate additions are provided for those enhanced technical specifications. Considering the hardware required for 4K UHD and 3-D Blu-ray are mutually exclusive. It is highly unlikely anyone purchasing the combo packs but have a need for all the discs included. I can almost understand watching in 3-D since it does add intangible to the video but for the incredible resolution provided by 4K UHD. I just cannot fathom the need for such minute detail on an animated movie such as this.

Posted 08/11/2016

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