Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Epic

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action, some scary images and brief rude language
Profanity:Brief language
Nudity/Sex:Kiss
Alcohol/Drugs:None
Violence/Scariness:Fantasy/action/cartoon violence and peril, mostly non-graphic, arrows, swords, poison, sad deaths (one onscreen, discussion of death of parents and death of child)
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters and voices, all combatants white males
Movie Release Date:May 24, 2013
DVD Release Date:August 19, 2013

Epic Movie First look“Epic” means big — usually a big story filled with grand adventures. This is a grand adventure, but the story is very small, or at least its characters are. Like “Honey I Shrunk the Kids,”  “A Bug’s Life,” and “The Ant Bully,” this is a story about the tiny creatures who live in the forest, riding on hummingbirds and swinging swords the size of toothpicks.

They are so little and move so quickly that most humans cannot even see them. But there is a scientist named Bomba (Jason Sukeikis) who knows they are there. He is so obsessed with tracking the little creatures that he lost his wife and daughter. Everyone thinks he is crazy.

As the movie begins, his ex-wife has died and his now teenaged daughter MK (Amanda Seyfried) is arriving. She has had almost no relationship with him and is not sure she wants one now especially when she learns that he still insists that there is a community of tiny beings in the forest. He has rigged up motion-sensitive cameras and he keeps detailed records of his sightings. MK decides to leave, but on her way out she has a close encounter of her own and suddenly finds herself shrunk down to the size of an insect and with the dying queen of the forest (Beyoncé Knowles) giving her custody of a magical bud.  If the bud is not exposed to moonlight at exactly the right once-in-a-century moment, the forest will fall into the hands of the evil Boggens, led by Mandrake (two-time Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz).

In the forest, there is a constant struggle between the forces of life and decay.  The queen is protected by an army of Leafmen, led by Ronin (Colin Farrell).  Ronin is responsible for Nod (Josh Hutcherson), the impetuous and rebellious son of a close friend who died in battle.  Nod quits the Leafmen in frustration, but when everyone is needed to make sure the magical bud gets to bloom in the moonlight, including Ronin, Nod, MK, and an adorable snail and slug duo (Chris O’Dowd and Aziz Ansari, the comic highlight of the film).

The co-producer, co-writer, and production designer is the brilliant writer/illustrator William Joyce, inspired by his book, The Leaf Men.  The visuals are pure magic, from the grand sweep of the forest to the tiniest details of the saddle on a hummingbird.  Every shot is filled with marvelously imaginative ideas, exquisitely rendered.  MK’s absent-minded scientist father has a wonderfully messy office filled with charts and equipment and record books that have a slightly stem-punk, Victorian feel.  Chase scenes through the trees are deliciously vertiginous in 3D.  And the quiet moments are lovely, too, with MK and Nod sharing the experience of losing a parent and learning to appreciate the families they have.

Parents should know that this movie includes a discreet but sad death of the murdered queen and references to divorce and the death of parents.  Mandrake’s son is killed, and characters are in frequent peril.  There are some scary images and characters use brief strong (for PG) language.  There is one sweet kiss.

Family discussion: “Who gives up everything for a world that’s not even theirs?” What does it mean to say “many leaves, one tree?”

If you like this, try: “Robots,” “Ferngully,” and “A Bug’s Life” and the books by William Joyce.



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Stew L

    What a lovely review. We saw it this weekend and found it enchanting in just the right ways.

    Thanks!

    • Nell Minow

      Thanks Mr. Stew! So glad you enjoyed it.

  • Pingback: Epic | Christian Entertainment

Previous Posts

The Best TV for Kids May Be Online
Children have more choices than ever on television, but some of the best viewing for kids is online. Common Sense Media has a great list of family-friendly YouTube stars. I'd add EvanTube to the list. Newsweek calls him The Most Popular Kid You've Never Heard Of, with 272 million views of his engagi

posted 3:59:29pm Sep. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Fifty Years of Fiddler on the Roof
The Yiddish-language stories of Sholem Alechim, collected as Tevye the Dairyman and The Railroad Stories (Library of Yiddish Classics), inspired one of the most successful, influential, and widely performed Broadway musicals of all time, "Fiddler on the Roof," which opened fifty years ago this week.

posted 8:00:47am Sep. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Great Cinematographers on Instagram
Indiewire has a gorgeous array of Instagram feeds from Hollywood cinematographers. Be sure to talke a look so you can follow them.

posted 8:00:27am Sep. 19, 2014 | read full post »

De-fictionalizing Products in Movies and Television: Life Imitating Art
Fast Company has an article about Omni Consumer Products, a "de-fictionalizing" company that looks for products in movies and television that do not really exist and makes them available. As the sole proprietor of Omni Consumer Products, [Pete] Hottelet is constantly scanning the pop culture z

posted 8:00:17am Sep. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Tusk
You can make a good movie about slackers, for example "Slackers," from Richard Linklater and "Clerks" from Kevin Smith. But you can't make a good movie by a slacker, and Smith does not seem wi

posted 5:59:40pm Sep. 18, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.