Swallows and Amazons

2016

Adventure / Drama / Family / War

35
IMDb Rating 6.2 10 1292

Synopsis


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May 27, 2017 at 07:39 PM

Cast

Andrew Scott as Lazlov
Kelly Macdonald as Mrs. Walker
Rafe Spall as Captain Flint
Jessica Hynes as Mrs. Jackson
720p 1080p
706.61 MB
1280*720
English
NR
24 fps
1hr 37 min
P/S 25 / 288
1.47 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
24 fps
1hr 37 min
P/S 27 / 147

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Jordan Hunt 10 / 10

A reminder that a summer spent outdoors is the most memorable of all.

It is this reviewer's humble opinion that British children's literature, with its whimsical nature and picturesque settings, is the best of its kind. It is also this reviewer's opinion that British filmmaking best capitalises on these elements, making for full-length features that are every bit as captivating as their source material.

Set against the backdrop of the 1930s English Lake District (shot on location and realised here in breathtaking aerial views), Swallows and Amazons sees an innocent childhood sailing adventure become embroiled in a sinister conflict of interest between two mysterious parties. Though it preceded Enid Blyton's Famous Five stories it is strikingly similar in tone, and reinforces the notion that childhood detective fiction has been consistently appealing to us from Arthur Ransome's classic novel through to the television adventures of Scooby Doo.

Held up by a veteran supporting cast including Harry Enfield and Kelly McDonald, the young Walker children are all an enthusiastic delight, chiefly responsible for rendering this particular adaptation so cheerily playful for the majority of its running time. Even when the atmosphere shifts and the film must briefly cease to reminisce on the carefree pleasures of our youths, the focus adapts accordingly to challenge the audience's perspective on responsibility; as Rafe Spall's cryptic Jim Turner tells an accountable John Walker, this is not (always) a game.

While the topic of childhood privileges is one which the film has no obligation to comment on directly - the source material predating the advent of smart electronics by a great length of time - there are subtle nods to taking the great outdoors for granted which director Philippa Lowthorpe delivers as contemplative gestures, rather than heavy-handed sermons. Swallows and Amazons is precisely the film that family audiences need in 2016; a reminder that a summer spent outdoors, rather than five inches from a screen, is the most memorable of all.

Reviewed by syntinen 3 / 10

"We love this classic book but don't think it's exciting enough, so...."

...we're adding a whole new plot"

That's always a sign that a production is heading for disaster. If you think the book isn't exciting, don't use it; find some other material. If you think you don't have the ability to convey to an audience what you find exciting about it, find another career.

'Swallows and Amazons' works as a book - and still does, nearly 90 years after it was written - precisely because it is concerned only with the children and their doings. No adult POV is included to give us a perspective on the children's outlook, their emotions and imaginative world; we only see what matters to them and we see it with their eyes. This makes perfect sense to children, and it takes adults back to our own childhood when we too found our own fantasy games far more important and meaningful than anything adults did. I couldn't see how a subplot about 'real' 1930s Soviet spies could possibly be introduced into the plot without making the children's pirate adventures and sea battles seem suddenly trivial and, well, childish.

And sadly, that's exactly what happens. Philippa Lowthorpe works hard to create a sense of danger and excitement in the childhood adventure of unaccompanied sailing, and camping on an island, and very nice too. But the effort is pointless when you throw in real gun-toting nasties kidnapping people and chasing them along trains; that just makes the children's 'pirate wars' fantasy look piffling and tiresome.

A real pity. You wonder why they bothered, and why anybody didn't advise them not to.

Reviewed by Guy Jeffries 6 / 10

Good childhood flick that makes you proud of the British Countryside

British TV movie and mini series director Philippa Lowthorpe, films an adaptation of Arthur Ransome's popular children's book series 'Swallows and Amazons' set on a fictional lake but inspired on the Lake District and the Norfolk Boards. Admittedly, I haven't read the novels so it's hard for me to comment on the adaptation but it's a cute children's adventure with bravery, drama and some sibling rivalry.

We follow a cast of young unknowns, the Walkers, which are similar to the children from Narnia or the Famous Five; typically British for that era going camping, fishing and sailing that brought me back to my childhood of secret base building and wading in the local stream looking for sticklebacks.

The names we should recognise are Kelly Macdonald and Rafe Spall, with an up and coming Andrew Scott. Kelly playing the encouraging, free-spirited mother and Rafe playing a suspicious and mostly obnoxious character who's obviously got something to hide. But the kids steal the show, and rightly so, it's about them after all and they do a grand job especially the emotional and excitable Roger played by Bobby McCulloch. Have to mention Brit comedian Harry Enfield who plays Mr. Jackson which was a surprise to me but a delight in any case.

The scenery is lush and makes you proud of the British countryside which makes me wonder if people from the rest of the world see all this green and think "wow, that looks so beautiful." There's a great score from Ilan Eshkeri, (Stardust, The Young Victoria) that's enchanting and very fitting for the children's adventure adding dramatic effect and suspense.

It feels longer than the 97min running time and wavered slightly in the what felt like the middle of the story. I can imagine there was a lot of ground to cover and possibly a challenge to fit everything into the film, not that any part felt rush. It's well shot with some great camera work and is some light-hearted entertainment for the whole family, however it isn't a grand spectacle but then again I don't think it tries to be.

Running Time: 6 The Cast: 8 Performance: 7 Direction: 8 Story: 7 Script: 7 Creativity: 6 Soundtrack: 8 Job Description: 7 The Extra Bonus Points: 0

64% 6/10

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