Snoopy and Charlie Brown - The Peanuts Movie
Like millions I was hooked on the comic strip Peanuts as a kid. The TV specials were also a small screen delight, but then other things like Garfield and The Simpsons came along and Charlie Brown seemed like a chunk of childhood frozen in time.
I always wondered why nobody had turned Charles Schulz's beloved characters into a big screen offering. And eventually fans got their wish with the mouthful of a title: Snoopy and Charlie Brown - The Peanuts Movie.
The result is patchy, but there's also a lot of love here. Aimed at a young audience, it's a checklist of classic moments from the strips, from Charlie trying to fly a kite to Snoopy's battle with flying ace The Red Baron.
The animation is simple but effective with the flying scenes helping the movie come alive. The problem is there's no real story aside from our hero trying to impress a new girl at school.
It was occasionally touching, especially Charlie and Snoopy's friendship, which was always the backbone of the strips.
The score was sweet, especially that familiar theme from the tv specials, and it didn't outstay its welcome. I wish it had been as good as Paddington but liked the fact it wasn't brought up to date with gags about texting, computers and the Internet.
It seems Charlie Brown and Snoopy will always be that inseparable duo locked in a 1960s bubble of angst and fantasy. Like they should be.
The 'teens have a house party in an impossibly opulent abode' has been done to death over the years. But what happens when those teens grow up?
Can they recapture that magic before kids and responsibilities arrive? That's also been addressed in films such as Bad Neighbours.
Thankfully Sisters, the new movie for old mates Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, is a lot more on the money.
Yes it's patchy and overlong, but when the improv gags work they bring the house down.
It also benefits from a laugh out loud moment involving a musical ornament and a key member of the cast.
I'll not say any more for fear of ruining the moment, but a line in a swimming pool in the last few minutes ranks as the funniest of the year.
Poehler is terrific as the uptight orderly sister whose teenage diary is a cure for insomnia, while Fey has rarely been sexier or funnier as the wild child sibling who is forced to be 'house mom' during the mother of all parties.
Good support comes from John Leguizamo, James Brolin and Dianne Weist.
It's 30 minutes too long and I'm sure a sub plot involving a dog wound up on the cutting room floor, but despite mawkish moments of sentimentality, as counter programmed comedy goes, this should be a fine alternative for those viewers who fancy something other than Jedis and Sith lords this week.Suggest a correction