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While on holidays I managed to see this movie and I was pleasantly surprised. I have never liked Breslin but she is at her best in this movie and Jodie Foster will always be the magnificent Jodie Foster. Gerard Butler was also very funny and had me cracking up which is something a family movie has not made me do in a while. The story is good and witty and the movie is very family friendly. I think older teens would be bored because although I enjoyed it the story was a bit predictable at times. Overall I was very happy with the movie and would recommend it first and foremost as a family movies. Kids will love it and adults will be thoughtful enough to enjoy it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I went and saw this movie at the world premiere. I will start out by
saying this... It is a very good for the whole family to enjoy.
Storyline: A girl and her father are on a remote island. They are the only ones who live their. The father is a research scientist who is interested in microscopic creatures. Nim, the daughter, is very much in touch with nature and enjoys reading the tales of Alex Rover, an adventurer. The author, Alexandra Rover, is agoraphobic and hasn't left her apartment in a very long time. Dad goes to sea, storm makes him stranded. Nim is stuck alone on the island and is contacted by Alexandra Rover, and calls for her help. Well, you will have to watch the rest to find out...
Pros: A great family movie. It has the perfect recipe of drama, comedy, suspense and a touch of romance. The acting is great. The scenery is beautiful. The special effects are magnificent. The story of a father and daughter living on a remote island is very creative and lends itself to a really great story, which is what this movie is.
Cons: Being a family movie, it is predictable. There are also plot elements which go no-where. One being there is a huge talk about Nim's mother at the beginning, but then it really doesn't go anywhere after that.
Summary: If you have kids, of any age, this is a good movie to go and see with them. If you don't have kids, but are looking for something different from the usual movies, this is still one to consider. All in all, a good story, well told and with great characters.
Nim (Abigail Breslin) and her marine biologist father (Gerard Butler) live on an island in the South Pacific. Dad's main area of study is microorganisms so this is a perfect venue for his work, in addition to being a kingdom where only the two of them rule. As Nim's mother died in an accident on the waters, it is also a good place for them to shut out the rest of the world and heal their spirits. Nim's only close friends are her beloved animals, a seal, a seabird, and a lizard. One day, father wants to make a boat trek nearby to look for a new protozoa and, for once, Nim convinces him to let her remain alone on the island. It turns out to be a bad decision, as father gets caught in a storm and can not return home at the appointed time. Nim appeals to an adventure writer named Alex Rover to come to the island and help look for her father (the island does have computer technology!) But, unknown to Nim, Alex is really Alexandra (Jodie Foster) and she is a shy agoraphobic who resides in San Francisco. Nevertheless, due to the gravity of the situation, Alex boards a plane and begins a journey to the island. Will she get there in time to save Nim and her father from destruction? On paper, this is a certain winner, for the basic premise of the movie is quite good and the undiscovered island setting is the stuff of dreams. Throw in the great threesome of Foster, Breslin, and Butler, and one could hardly ask for more, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case and it is difficult to say why, for the principal actors are quite good and the scenery is lovely. Also, there is some sly humor, as in the scene where a hula dancer is stopped in mid-wave to escape an exploding volcano! Perhaps, it is the story's inconsistencies and the slap-dash direction that are at fault, for the scenes seem put together in a mozaic that doesn't quite fit. Then, too, Butler takes on two roles, one as the father and one as the fictional alter-ego, Alex Rover, of Foster's books, with mixed results. To sum it up, the movie probably tries to do "too many things" and ends up lacking a real focus. However, it is absolutely an acceptable film for families, with enough adventure to please most age groups and a setting that is exotic and lovely beyond belief. Anyone searching for something new in the "child-friendly" category would find this one a good watch, but not a great one, alas.
Nim's Island manages to never to go over the top and combines a nice comedy drama genre for the big screen. This movie has elements from The Last Action Hero (1993), Jumping Jack Flash (1986), and The Whalerider (2002), all fascinating looks at either imaginary or fantastical friends or exotic islands and a young woman's connection with marine life. What this movie is able to avoid is Home Alone (1990) dumb slapstick comedy. The script was very sensitive and careful with physical comedy and Jodie Foster's performance was dead on without becoming sloppy at all. Unfortunately, several of the plot points became close to cheesy, the volcano scenes had too much in the way of coincidental events, and the father's exploits teetered on unbelievable. Overall, though Nim's Island handled its material well, usually stayed within the bounds of acceptability in order to provide an entertaining, fun performance by Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin. Seven out of Ten Stars.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
'Nim's Island' is one of those films that had the potential to be a great adventure flick but, sadly, misses the mark. The screenplay is inconsistent and the script loses focus. Most of the characters aren't well developed, some are unnecessary and would have been better left out. While there are many plot holes, there are some unnecessary (and irritating, especially the sequences with the caricature bad guy visitors in the island) subplots. The entire film revolves around Nim being stranded on the island all by herself as her father is lost somewhere at sea and a 'borderline' agoraphobic Alexandra travelling to the island to rescue her. The climax is very disappointing. When one sees Nim and Alexandra meet for the first time, something big is expected but nothing like that happens. I would have much preferred that the film focus on Nim and Alexandra's adventure in the island and their attempt to rescue Jack but there's nothing like that. Moreover, the look of the film isn't that appealing. There are some nice glimpses of the island but the CGI is poor and use of green screen copy pasting is too obvious (due to poor lighting). I liked the animal characters but only the adorable sea lion looked realistic. Abigail Breslin and Gerard Butler are okay but they are mostly let down by the shoddy screenplay. However, Jodie Foster was amusing to watch. It's great to see her in a comedic performance and she carries off the eccentric Alex's 'borderline' agoraphobia and determination to save Nim with comic flair. It is her scenes that save 'Nim's Island' from being a total disaster. The film ends on a note that there might be a sequel. If there is, well I hope it has much more to offer.
After watching NIM'S ISLAND, it occurred to me that Wendy Orr's
children's novel would have worked much better as a Walt Disney
animated feature than as a live action film with CGI effects. Animation
would have provided the missing ingredient here--namely, good
old-fashioned charm...and magic. The design work for the main titles
led me to believe this would be an enchanting film. It wasn't.
However, with a lack of good films for children to see, I wouldn't discourage younger patrons from seeing the film. It's entertaining enough for impressionable minds to appreciate--if they can understand that the Alex Roper character is really a figment of Abigail's and Jody's imagination.
ABIGAIL BRESLIN is fine as the lonely island girl who has to fantasize about her pulp action hero and GERARD BUTLER is perfectly cast as her father (Jack) who goes missing for most of the story but is reunited with her--predictably--at the end after a savage storm. But I can't say I enjoyed watching JODIE FOSTER play a clumsy agoraphobic authoress in a series of scenes that had me wondering who else might have been better in that role. I came up with a younger Angela Lansbury, who knew how to do this sort of physical clumsiness with such skill and still remain charming. With Foster, the charm is gone and all you you get is a mannered amount of nerdy nervousness.
Lest anyone adult should fall asleep during the proceedings, not to worry. Patrick Doyle's bombastic background score, incredibly busy even during the frenzied height of the storm scenes, is enough to make anyone pop open their eyes to see what's happening.
What should have been wistful, magical, even a bit romantic, comes across as kind of brass, corny and utterly predictable nonsense with lots of credibility issues. Foster's character is among the most unbelievable characters ever created, even for a children's story.
Summing up: Has its moments and it's not all bad, but too bad Butler couldn't have had more footage. His scenes as the imaginary adventurer provide the best and most humorous moments in the whole film.
Silly? Yes. Predictable? Yes. For Kids? Yes. Entertaining? Yes.....even
for adults, IF you don't take anything seriously and expect something a
little dumb but charming.nonetheless. Picture yourself as a kid
watching a movie and you'll enjoy it a lot more, because it's
definitely a children's film. It also has an involving story. Once it
starts you have to stick around and see how it winds up. With some
movies, I could care less but this one, I cared.
For those who have kids age 5-12, this is highly recommended. For adults, well, it's not bad. If you're looking for "clean" entertainment, you found it. It's not goody-goody, either, and it's not always a smart family movie (a father leaving his kid all alone for several days?) but it's a nice movie, has funny animal characters, a lead kid who is not a brat, nice island scenery, one big-name actress (Jodie Foster) and is a diversion for an hour-and-a-half.
The little dragon "Fred" is the best of the non-humans. I don't know if that's the real noise that lizard makes, but it's fun to hear. Seals are always entertaining, too. The one in this film is very talented.
As for the humans, Abigail Breslin as "Nim Rusoe" is a cute, likable kid. Gerard Butler plays both male leads and does them well enough that you forget he's doing two characters. Seeing Foster do slapstick while being a female "Mr. Monk" was a little odd but, I'm not going to knock her for trying.
As another reviewer said here, put yourself in a little kid's shoes and enjoy the film.
Nim's Island is a tale about a young girl named Nim (imagine that) who
lives with her single father on a remote island in the middle of the
South Pacific. Because she has no friends or neighbors, she spends her
time playing with animals and indulging in the fantastic fantasies of
her Alex Rover adventure novels. The stories of the Alex Rover novels
are assumedly based on the adventures of the author, Alexandra Rover.
The reality is that Alexandra is an introvert hermit who spends her
days writing her stories in her San Francisco apartment and talking
aloud to the imaginary Alex Rover character. Alexandra and Nim come
into contact through email and Nim reveals that her father, who is a
scientist, is lost at sea. After much debating, Alexandra gets up
enough courage to finally leave her apartment and travel to visit Nim.
Once on the island, the girls quickly develop a special bond. With the
help of the imaginary story hero Alex Rover, they step into a world of
fun and adventure where the line separating fantasy and real life
vanishes and dreams become realities (I know that last line was really
corny, but whatever).
The predominant aspect that enticed me to see the film was the awesome cast. You have academy award winner Jodie Foster as Alexandra Rover, Abegail Breslinwho you may remember from Little Miss Sunshineplaying Nim, and the star of 300, Gerard Butler playing dual roles as the father and as the imaginary Alex Rover. And yes, ladies, he does have his shirt off in this film.
Despite the big names, the cast seemed to lack the necessary chemistry. I thought Butler did an awesome job with both of his roles, but his relationship with his daughter is far from believable. And Jodie Foster, who happens to be one of my favorite actresses, just seems really out of place in this film. Kind of like Subway's Jared eating at Quiznos. Breslin was fine as Nim, but she spends half the movie talking to lizards and a giant seal. That might seem cute to some viewers, but in my opinion she probably needs a psychiatrist, or possibly an exorcist. I would also like to add that someone needs to teach that girl proper running form. Many scenes feature Nim running through the woods or down the beach and every time I watched her run I just started to laugh. With her arms flailing about she looked like Pinocchio running around high on amphetamines or something.
I did really enjoy all the fantasy elements of the film, but I think a movie that mixes fantasy with reality works best when the fantasy aspects provide a sharp contrast to reality. In Nim's Island, the normal lives they live are unrealistic which causes the fantasy elements to lose their effect. I mean, who in the right mind moves to a remote island with a ten year old? And how in the world did they get wireless internet service? I can't even get service in my own basement, and they have perfect connection on an island in the middle of no where.
Maybe my expectations are too high. Maybe I am too old to appreciate a children's film. Nim's Island is, after all, a kid's movie in the purest sense. There are plenty of corny jokes, cute animals, and moments that will probably touch your soul, unless of course you are Satan. I had high hopes for this film because I honestly enjoy quite a few kids' movies. Who here doesn't like Hook? Or The Sandlot? Or Angels in the Outfield? Nim's Island, unfortunately, did not measure up. Sure I laughed a few times and smiled innocently at some of the scenes, but about half way through the movie I well to be perfectly honest, I fell sound asleep. I think I dreamt about unicorns, but I don't really remember.
I have read many comments about predictability, blah, blah, blah! I
found this film refreshingly entertaining for all ages. There was
something for everyone. Being a female around the same age, I can
relate to Jodie Foster since I practically grew up with her!! And I do
feel it was great seeing her in a lighter movie than she's been making
Abigail Breslin was cute as always. She definitely can hold her own, but then she always has.
Gerard Butler - well I can never say enough about him. That's why I put great movie in more ways than one. To see him in two roles was just great. My daughter who is 15 got me into him from "Phantom" to "Dear Frankie" to "300" (and I hate war movies usually) to "Tomb Raider" to "P.S. I Love You" and now this movie. We went with 4 of her friends, and after wards we had a discussion on which "Gerard" we liked better. The vote was four for the swash-buckling Alex Rover (myself included) to two for the more clean-cut Jack! We all agreed that we loved this movie.
It was a cute movie. But, there were some parts that were 'too cute' to enjoy. Some of the animals used...though they were real, looked fake, cheesy, and unrealistic..like the bird.The seal was probably the most realistic acting animal and did a nice job. The lizards used in the film looked real but the the 'voices' they were given were way too cheesy and was the one thing that made them seem fake...although they got a giggle from the kids in the audience. Foster did a great job of portraying a character with agoraphobia, she hit it right on. The rest of the actors did quite well also, Breslin has proved herself to be a known name in the future. I definitely recommend this for the kids.
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