Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Journal: Postman Pat

"You'd think a postman would be better at sorting things," our hero says, and that could also be applied to the filmmakers, who botch what could have been a childish delight.

June 25, 2014

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1403358-Postman_Pat_Md.jpg
Postman Pat (Stephen Mangan), the friendliest mail deliverer ever, brings nothing but smiling cheer as he goes about his rounds in the village of Greendale, accompanied by his resourceful cat, Jess. His loving wife dreams of an Italian holiday, so Pat tries to raise the funds by entering the TV reality talent show “You're the One,” presided over by snarky Simon Cowbell (Robin Atkin Downes). However, his soulless enemy of a boss, Carbuncle (Peter Woodward), conspires against him with a dastardly plot involving evil robot versions of Pat and Jess, who take the real ones' place, confusing his wife and friends, while a “Doctor Who”-like army of other Pat-like robots presides over his mail rounds.

A longtime British preschool children's TV favorite transitions to the screen in this tragically un-magical computer-animated feature, which divests the original concept of its quaint stop-motion appeal, among other charms. The script is a chaotic morass of mixed intentions, often forsaking what would really appeal to a young child in favor of cynical attempts to keep their parents awake. Mike Disa directs with a heavy hand from the opening sequence that has Pat and Jess performing utterly unbelievable high-flying stunts in the course of their mail work. The whole reality talent show gambit should be retired already (How many Simon Cowell parodies can there be?), and all those Pat-bots who turn into a menacing army, not to mention that mechanical cat with the laser-shooting eyes, will instill terror more than delight in very young audiences, provided they're not bored to death.

Disconcertingly, Mangan's voice as Pat is replaced when singing by that of Ronan Keating—an entirely unconvincing fit—and the song he sings, the favorite of wifey, is a bathetic power anthem. When he unsurprisingly hits the big time, a lavish production number with scores of chorus girls has somewhat more, if mechanical, hip-hop-flavored, auto-tuned appeal. Pat does let success go to his head, as his wife furrows her plasticine-looking brow, but is made to come to his senses and bleats out lines like "If people aren't there to share your success, then maybe you're not that successful," as his TV audience wipes away tears. (Didn't we hear something like that in Diana Ross' Mahogany, and did we need to hear it again?)

Click here for cast & crew information.


Film Journal: Postman Pat

"You'd think a postman would be better at sorting things," our hero says, and that could also be applied to the filmmakers, who botch what could have been a childish delight.

June 25, 2014

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1403358-Postman_Pat_Md.jpg

Postman Pat (Stephen Mangan), the friendliest mail deliverer ever, brings nothing but smiling cheer as he goes about his rounds in the village of Greendale, accompanied by his resourceful cat, Jess. His loving wife dreams of an Italian holiday, so Pat tries to raise the funds by entering the TV reality talent show “You're the One,” presided over by snarky Simon Cowbell (Robin Atkin Downes). However, his soulless enemy of a boss, Carbuncle (Peter Woodward), conspires against him with a dastardly plot involving evil robot versions of Pat and Jess, who take the real ones' place, confusing his wife and friends, while a “Doctor Who”-like army of other Pat-like robots presides over his mail rounds.

A longtime British preschool children's TV favorite transitions to the screen in this tragically un-magical computer-animated feature, which divests the original concept of its quaint stop-motion appeal, among other charms. The script is a chaotic morass of mixed intentions, often forsaking what would really appeal to a young child in favor of cynical attempts to keep their parents awake. Mike Disa directs with a heavy hand from the opening sequence that has Pat and Jess performing utterly unbelievable high-flying stunts in the course of their mail work. The whole reality talent show gambit should be retired already (How many Simon Cowell parodies can there be?), and all those Pat-bots who turn into a menacing army, not to mention that mechanical cat with the laser-shooting eyes, will instill terror more than delight in very young audiences, provided they're not bored to death.

Disconcertingly, Mangan's voice as Pat is replaced when singing by that of Ronan Keating—an entirely unconvincing fit—and the song he sings, the favorite of wifey, is a bathetic power anthem. When he unsurprisingly hits the big time, a lavish production number with scores of chorus girls has somewhat more, if mechanical, hip-hop-flavored, auto-tuned appeal. Pat does let success go to his head, as his wife furrows her plasticine-looking brow, but is made to come to his senses and bleats out lines like "If people aren't there to share your success, then maybe you're not that successful," as his TV audience wipes away tears. (Didn't we hear something like that in Diana Ross' Mahogany, and did we need to hear it again?)

Click here for cast & crew information.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

K2: Siren of the Himalayas
Film Review: K2: Siren of the Himalayas

Mountaineering documentary follows an expedition to K2 in the Himalayas. More »

The Possession of Michael King
Film Review: The Possession of Michael King

All unhappy families may be unhappy in their own way, but movies about possession/exorcism tend to a numbing sameness. That said, The Possession of Michael King, yet another "found footage" frightener, whips up some creepy moments and features a strong performance by Shane Johnson as the atheist who makes the mistake of daring the Devil to prove he's not just another bogeyman. More »

Kink
Film Review: Kink

James Franco and regular collaborator Christina Voros teach you everything you always wanted to know about fetish porn (but were afraid to ask). More »

14 Blades
Film Review: 14 Blades

Uneven martial-arts tale benefits from its flashy retro style. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Film Review: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Neither significantly better nor worse than its predecessor, the belated Sin City sequel is more of a repeat, rather than a continuation, of the original. More »

If I Stay
Film Review: If I Stay

Delivers as promised. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here