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

Calvary
Film Review: Calvary

An invidious, enervating piece of work blessedly relieved by Brendan Gleeson’s empathetic portrayal of a worldly priest confronting the sins of the world. More »

Rich Hill
Film Review: Rich Hill

This study of teens trying to make it in a very depressed and depressing heartland would have benefited from more hard info and less pictorial meandering. More »

Child of God
Film Review: Child of God

Depravity abounds in this James Franco-directed adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel, which despite a committed performance by Scott Haze proves a one-note endurance test. More »

Cabin Fever: Patient Zero
Film Review: Cabin Fever: Patient Zero

A return to the stripped–down ferocity of Eli Roth's no-frills 2002 shocker, Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (which the title suggests is a prequel, though it doesn't really feel like one) lacks originality but delivers the body-horror goods far better than genre minimalist Ti West's Cabin Fever 2: Spring Break (2009), a broadly campy spin on ’70s high-school horror clichés. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Get On Up
Film Review: Get On Up

Chadwick Boseman is sensational in this multi-faceted portrait of troubled, pioneering soul-music giant James Brown. More »

Guardians of the Galaxy review
Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

With Marvel’s backing, cult filmmaker James Gunn blasts off for the stars and takes audiences along for a wild, funny ride. 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