HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Adventures of Rufus: The Fantastic Pet Feline groovy
Year: 2020
Director: Ryan Bellgardt
Stars: Kyler Charles Beck, Cory Phillips, Leah N.H. Philpott, Madelyn Kientz, Ryan Bellgardt, Topher Owen, Nicholas Simon, Linda Eicher, Ben Hall, Evan Assante, Madilyn Kellam, Christy Tate
Genre: Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Scott (Kyler Charles Beck) and Emily (Madelyn Kientz) are staying at his grandmother's house when fate brings them suddenly face to face with Rufus (voiced by Ryan Bellgardt), a magical cat-like creature. Rufus needs the kids' help. Firstly to help his best friend, the wizard Abbott (Cory Phillips), escape from another dimension. Then, with the aid of an ancient spell book, gather special ingredients to create the magic dust needed to save their world. However Abbott's nemesis, the evil Lilith (Leah N.H. Philpott) is also after the spell book which she believes can grant her the power to turn anything she wants into gold.

These days a low-to-mid-budget indie family movie has to hitch itself to a bigger brand name blockbuster in order to snag even a modest audience. Oklahoma-based visual effects artist-turned-writer-director Ryan Bellgardt has done this multiple times with films like The Jurassic Games (2018) (The Hunger Games meets Jurassic Park, get it?) and The Adventures of Jurassic Pet: Chapter 1 (2019). With Adventures of Rufus: The Fantastic Pet, Bellgardt, who in addition to animating also voices the titular furry hero, appears to be riding the coattails of J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016). Yet the film's convoluted (and frankly unnecessary) setup explicitly evokes The Princess Bride (1987) with a kindly old man (Ben Hall) recounting Scott and Emily's adventures alongside Rufus to his grandchildren Peter (Evan Assante) and Sarah (Madilyn Kellam). As in the Rob Reiner-directed classic the initially skeptical kids repeatedly interrupt the story with wiseass asides. However, grandpa keeps interrupting the story too to deliver some pretty cryptic moral messages.

While the bulk of the film takes its cue from the wizard world of Rowling, in brighter moments Adventures of Rufus evokes the classic children's literature of E. Nesbit with a mysterious magical animal, secret doorways to other worlds and kids vs. crooks antics. Indeed the film has a certain cosy magical quality reminiscent of vintage teatime serials on the BBC. Bellgardt fashions a polished production that often looks slicker than the budget suggests. What the visual effects lack in technical polish (although Rufus' climactic battle with a fearsome dragon is pretty impressive) they make up in ambition and imagination. Rufus himself sports a cartoonish design that, while not especially lifelike, exudes an amiable swashbuckling personality. Sort of like Harrison Ford in feline form. Not that this explains why a talking animal in clothes wanders around New York drawing only mild bemusement and the odd raised eyebrow. Well, it is New York...

If the messages inherent in Bellgardt and Chris Hoyt's sequel-baiting screenplay are simplistic and delivered unsubtly the film does to its credit craft a solid character arc for heroine Emily. She starts out simply making goo-goo eyes at Scott but gradually blossoms into a confident, capable heroine. In fact young leads Kyler Charles Beck and Madelyn Kientz are both quite winning in contrast to the Disney Channel sitcom level performances served up by their bug-eyed grownup co-stars. And Scott and Emily's awkward adolescent romance ends up proving quite sweet.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 603 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: