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on 3 December 2013
Epic is a colourful and fun adventure film. It wears its heart on its sleeve and doesn't pretend to be anything else. It won't set the world alight but it will keep families entertained over its slim running time.

The story is a classic good versus evil set up with this particular battle set in a miniature world deep within the forest. The leafmen are in constant battle with their enemies and when they manage to eliminate their queen their world is nearly lost. Cue a clueless normal human girl being shrunk to their size to help save their kingdom.

The set up is wonderful and the little details are a marvel. Everything in this forest looks normal but if you look a little deeper you will see a hive of activity. Plants have tiny faces, birds have tiny saddles to carry their passengers. It is a richly detailed world bought to stunning life through computer animation.

It is a shame the story is so standard. It could have done with a bit more punch, but all in all the characters are good fun with real hissable baddies and good old fashioned heroes. The action is well paced and frequent so there is never a dull moment and it does leaving you thinking that a sequel would be welcome.

A good fun film that doesn't quite meet its epic ambitions but certainly entertains all the same.
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on 26 December 2013
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on 8 October 2013
This was recommended to me by my sister, who had watched the movie on the big screen. We decided to share the cost of the blu-ray and it was well worth it. Warning Spoilers - An estranged girl spends time with her scientist father who is convinced there is a microscopically hidden world and he's set up motion cameras to prove it. This world is protected by leafmen, and ruled by a queen of nature, whilst the main villain of the piece is the fantastically dark Mandrake, leader of a species who can rot anything they touch. Soon, the scientist's daughter discovers that not only is her father's theory of a hidden world correct, but also finds herself in a desperate race against time to save it. It is an engrossing story with a very decent soundtrack. Highly recommended.
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on 27 January 2014
This movie has got to be one of the best movies I have ever seen!
I don't think there was anything I did not like about it.
The voice acting was amazing, especially Beyonce as Queen Tara. You really connect with this character as soon as you see/hear her. I think I literally went through every human emotion whilst on this epic journey.
I recommend this for people of all ages from baby (the stunning colours will appeal) up to any age.
Would make a great family movie on a drizzly afternoon.
Ignore any negative review and see for yourself the magic that is this movie. And if you do join us in the world of epic, stay for the credits song Beyonce- rise up, which really goes well with the movie and makes you think about your own life.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 January 2015
Epic is your above average kids film, and I must admit am a big fan of 3D cartoons, but sadly the 3D was pointless, I mean a film about bugs, birds, plus tiny people, it would be a no brainer, don't get me wrong the 3D depth is wonderful but nothing pops out of your screen, which just annoys me that you have to spend more money for nothing. If I was you and you love this film then just watch the 2D version.
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This review is based on going to see "Epic" in the cinema with my family.

"Epic" is a beautifully crafted animated family film based on William Joyce's book "The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs (Harper Trophy Books). It is rather like a better execution of the same basic idea as "Arthur and the Invisibles [DVD]" except that in this case the whole film is animated where "Arthur and the invisibles" had the human-size portions played by real actors and the miniature sections animated. The film has a star studded cast providing the voices for figures who are beautifully drawn.

Not everyone will like this: some people will find the story a little twee, others may find it a bit too similar to "Arthur and the Invisibles," but my family really enjoyed it.

The heroine and central character, Mary Katherine (who prefers to be known as MK) is voiced by actress Amanda Seyfried and the queen of the forest, Queen Tara, is voiced by Beyonce Knowles. Both are particularly well voiced and drawn. Christian Kaplan who did the casting for this film obviously picked the cast for their voices rather than just their celebrity value, and they more than justify the choice.

MK is a teenage girl whose mother has recently died. At the start of the film she arrives at the semi-derelict house, on the edge of a forest, where her father, mad scientist Professor Bomba (Jason Sudeikis) lives and studies the fauna of the forest. Bomba had wrecked both his career and his marriage through his obsessive attempts to prove that an "advanced civilisation" of tiny people exists in the forest.

It probably won't be a spoiler to anyone thinking of going to see this film - certainly not to anyone who has seen the trailer - that Bomba's apparently preposterous theory, which no other human takes seriously, is in fact correct. Nor that his daughter finds herself magically shrunk to the same size as the tiny denizens of the forest - and caught up in the constant war between two factions of forest creatures.

Although some of the less intelligent promotional material for this film presents that conflict as a battle between good and evil - and I have seen it wrongly suggested that the battle in the forest might also affect our world as well - the actual film is a lot more nuanced than this. One side, led by Queen Tara (Beyonce Knowles) and her "leaf men" soldiers, represents growth, the other led by Mandrake (Christoph Waltz) and his "boggan" troops represent decay. Children or anyone else who wants to take a simple moral from the film will see Queen Tara's side as representing good while Mandrake is evil, but adults will realise that the life of the forest would actually depend on a balance between the two.

Indeed, one of the best things about the film is that the "bad guy," Mandrake, is not cartoonishly or two-dimensionally evil. Like the most dangerous villains in the real world or the best literature Mandrake is all the more formidable as an opponent because he has characteristics which in a "good guy" would be recognised as virtues. Instead of going down the all-too-familiar route of presenting the villain as being pathetic, cowardly, and full of hatred even to those closest to him, the film gives Mandrake a lot of the best lines, shows both him and his son and general Dagda (Blake Anderson) leading from the front at various stages of the film, and doesn't show them constantly plotting to betray each other.

Other strong and well voiced characters which enrich the film include Ronin (Colin Farrell) the general of the Leaf men, Nod (Josh Hutcherson), an independent-minded young leaf man whose dead father had been Ronin's friend, a pair of sometimes charming and sometimes aggravating molluscs, Mub the slug (Aziz Ansari) and Grub the snail (Chris O'Dowd), and a glow-worm impresario called Nim Galuu (Steven Tyler) who is also the keeper of the magic scrolls which record everything which goes on in the forest. The film also features the voice of the rapper Armando Perez, better known by his stage name Pitbull, as a frog mafia boss.

Every time one goes to see a new animated film it seems the depiction of the characters, scenery and events could not get any more beautifully done, and usually when you get to the next one you realise you were wrong. This film is yet another visual feast. The plotting is also reasonably tight, keeping your attention, there are plenty of simple jokes for the kids and more sophisticated ones for the adults. It had me laughing at the jokes quite a few times.

I would consider it a very good film for children up to the age of about thirteen - my eleven-year-old daughter certainly loved it - and which adults can enjoy with their kids.
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The film expresses the balance between life and death/decay as a battle between miniature creatures and beings not unlike ourselves. The theme is that man must help forests or Eco-systems to live or else they will die. The story is aimed at younger children with a simple formulaic plot.

Mary Katherine comes home to visit her father who is considered unbalanced because he believes in said creatures. This is a special time that only happens once in a 100 years, when the queen of life gets to choose her heir...and then you guessed it. This was a puffs moment for me, but not as bad as when Aerith Gainsborough passed into the light. From here you can write the rest.

Mildly entertaining for adults.
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on 18 January 2014
EPIC 3D [2013] [Deluxe Limited Edition] [3D Blu-ray + 2D Blu-ray + Digital HD] [US Import] From the Makers of Ice Age! Extraordinary! A Magical and Wondrous Movie for Everyone!

From the creators of 'Ice Age' comes the year's funniest, most exhilarating animated adventure! Transported to a magical world, a teenager [Amanda Seyfried] is recruited by a nature spirit, Queen Tara [Beyoncé Knowles], to help the "Leafmen" save their forest from evil warriors. The whole family will love this fast-paced thrill-ride, with its astonishing animation and an all-star voice cast that includes the voices of Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz, Aziz Ansari, Chris O'Dowd, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler, and Beyoncé Knowles. Danny Elfman composed the original music for the film, which was released on 28th May, 2013 by Sony Classics. Beyoncé performed and co-wrote with Sia the original song, entitled "Rise Up."

FILM FACT: Annie Awards 2014 Nominations: Animated Effects in an Animated Production for Alen Lai, David Quirus, Diego Garzon Sanchez and Ilan Gabai. Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production for Thom Roberts. Directing in an Animated Feature Production for Chris Wedge. Music in an Animated Feature Production for Danny Elfman. Production Design in an Animated Feature Production for Michael Knapp, Greg Couch and William Joyce. Casting Society of America Awards 2013 Nominations: Outstanding Achievement in Casting for Animation Feature for Christian Kaplan. Motion Picture Sound Editors 2014 Won: Best Sound Editing in an Animated Feature Film for Randy Thom and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle. Producers Guild of America Award 2014 Nominated: Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Picture for Jerry Davis and Lori Forte.

Voice Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz, Aziz Ansari, Chris O'Dowd, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler, Beyoncé Knowles, Blake Anderson, Allison Bills, Jim Conroy, John DiMaggio, Troy Evans, James Fricchioni, Judah Friedlander, Helen Hong, Kelly Keaton, Emma Kenney, Kyle Kinane, Anthony Lumia, Todd Cummings, Malikha Mallette, Joe Massingill, Edie Mirman, Rosa Salazar, Allison Webber and Thomas F. Wilson

Director: Chris Wedge

Producers: Jerry Davis and Lori Forte

Screenplay: Daniel Shere, James V. Hart, William Joyce, Matt Ember and Tom J. Astle

Composer: Danny Elfman

Cinematography: Renato Falcão

Video Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Audio: English: 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital, French: 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese: 5.1 Dolby Digital, Croatian: 5.1 Dolby Digital, Czech: 5.1 Dolby Digital, Slovak: 5.1 Dolby Digital and Slovenian: 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Croatian, Czech, Slovak and Slovenian

Running Time: 103 minutes

Region: Region A/1

Number of discs: 3

Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment / Blue Sky Studios

Andrew's Blu-ray Review: Am I the only one that's sad about DreamWorks leaving Paramount behind as a distributing partner and making the transition over to Fox? Fox hasn't had a very good track record with animation, so this move really had me worried, that is until now. 'EPIC' isn't on par with PIXAR or DreamWorks type of quality, but it's a step in the right direction and a much stronger effort than other Fox-distributed films.

Mary Katherine [Amanda Seyfried], known as M.K., who is named after William Joyce's deceased daughter, is in a hard period in her life. The animation film opens shortly after her mother's funeral. Not quite old enough to be on her own, she is moving in with her father [Jason Sudeikis], who she hasn't seen in years. M.K.'s parents divorced long ago, a major source of the marital problems being her dad's obsession with his scientific work. Sadly, nothing has changed. He still places 100 percent of his efforts in proving that tiny people exist within the forest. He believes that these small people, known as "Leafmen" who serve as the guardians of nature. Of course, we quickly learn that he's correct, that the "Leafmen" are in a constant battle against equally tiny bad guys called "Boggins" who promote rot and decay.

Shortly after M.K. arrives at her father's home, the lore of the forest is explained to us. You see, forests have always thrived because a powerful fairy queen [Beyoncé] carries "the spirit of the forest." Every so many years, she passes that spirit along to another being. The day that M.K. arrives just-so-happens to be the day that the queen is going to pass along the spirit. As the "Leafmen" assist the queen, the Boggin army attacks and thwarts their plans, trying to steal the spirit of life and corrupting it with rot. As M.K. wanders through the forest, she stumbles upon the queen and gets pulled into their worldand shrunken down and everything. With the help of the head of the Leafmen [Colin Farrell] and a cute young "Leafmen" soldier [Josh Hutcherson], M.K. must restore a healthy balance to the forest and put a stop to the "Boggins" decay before it can destroy the entire forest.

There are plenty of wordy serious moments, but they're intermingled with good fun. Just to keep the kids entertained, there are even silly childish moments, especially those with the slug and snail [Aziz Ansari and Chris O'Dowd]. A good amount of comedy is infused for the parental audiences. Here's to hoping that this upward trend of light-heartedness and humour continues and that DreamWorks has a positive influence on Fox. By the way, as a sort of protest, I here and now declare that I hate and detest Chris O'Dowd, as I think he is the most worst, horrible and stupid actor to ever be on this planet and I wish he was banished forever.

Although the script is a bit hit and miss, at least the voice cast carries the film right along. The surprise performance comes from Josh Hutcherson, who is rather boring in his live-action film roles, but his vocal performance in 'Epic' is easily the best thing that he's done so far. Seyfried, Beyoncé, Aziz Ansari and Chris O'Dowd are solid. Colin Farrell is very good. And a few other surprise performances come from Steven Tyler and Christoph Waltz. Of course Christoph Waltz's unmistakable voice is lent to the villainous head "Boggin." 2013 was loaded with lots of animated family films, but none of them have been amazing, but to me 'EPIC' is one of the year's better 3D animation film.

Blu-ray Video Quality – 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has given us the 3D Blu-ray in a three-disc and five-format release. Fox has given 'EPIC' an absolutely flawless 3D 1080p awesome encoded image in a equally awesome 2.40:1 aspect ratio. Animation is always the best format for 3D Blu-rays and 'EPIC' is no exception and looks even more stunning, than when I saw this 3D release in the cinema. 'EPIC' doesn't use gimmicky 3D of forcing images off the screen, which is rare for a 3D animation film. Instead, it pushes the world of the film deep beyond the face of the television, as if the borders of the screen are the framing of a window. The world created is visually appealing, appearing like the images of fantasies in the mind of a child. Taking place in large settings, there are layers upon layers of material that extend the picture far into the background. From dust particles floating through the foreground to the blowing trees of the background, the distance between the two is an infinite playing field for the action of the film. There is never a lack of depth. The filmmakers ensured that objects are constantly placed in all areas of this setting. While some films make you forget that you are watching a 3D film, but with 'EPIC,' the amazing environments are subconscious realistic. I appreciate the amount of detail that 'EPIC' was given. The lighting of the forest gives the picture a warm and glowing softness that carries a stark contrast with the lifeless world of the "Boggins." No matter which of the two settings we're in, fine details are visible. Be it hairs on a bee's body, leafy patterns, rough bark or oily bird feathers, textures and fine features can always be seen. The animation film is so strong that it leaves no room for banding or aliasing. Colours are so vibrant that when we see the grey result of the "Boggins" decay, the gravity of their rot carries a strong emphasis. Black levels are deep and rich without removing the fantastic fine details. After watching the film twice, once in 3D and once in 2D, I cannot find a single fault with the impressive picture quality.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – I love that more and more studios are starting to go with 7.1 audio. Fox has given 'EPIC' an awesome 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio treatments. Just as much love was put into the audio mix as the video quality. From the very opening scene, the amazing dynamics of the audio mix become evident. Set mostly in forests, environmental sounds of cicadas, birds and bugs are layered throughout the channels. The sounds of a breeze blowing through leaves of a tree create an imaging effect that allows you to follow the direction of the wind. Other sounds, such as soaring arrows or passing bats and birds, also show off the strength of imaging. All speakers are constantly lit up with these great examples of environmental effects mixing. The vocal tracks are absolutely clean and clear. Large crowd scenes offer background banter that emits from all channels. Music also plays perfectly. Be it Steven Tyler's in-movie song, Beyoncé Knowles's closing credits track or Danny Elfman's score, the music is a great-sounding spacer-filler.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras: Please note that all Special Features are contained on the 2D Blu-ray disc, but aside from the "Sneak Peeks" they are all HD exclusives.

Special Feature: Birds, Bugs and Slugs: Forest Explorer [2013] [1080p] [2.40:1] [5:21] Serving as a miniature nature documentary, this feature briefly teaches children about some of the real life creatures and plants featured in 'EPIC.'

Special Feature: Rot Rocks [2013] [1080p] [2.40:1] [3:18] The villainous threat in 'EPIC' is decay, but this documentary explains how the act of rotting is a beneficial part of nature.

Special Feature: Bugs of Camouflage [2013] [1080p] [2.40:1] [3:44] Take a look at some of nature's very best bugs at blending in and surviving.

Special Feature: The 'EPIC' Life at 2 Inches [2013] [1080p] [2.40:1] [3:42] Here is a special feature made for adults! This brief video scientifically explains how the human body would function at a height of two inches. Who knows how factual this information is, but it's definitely interesting.

Special Feature: Mysteries of Moonhaven Revealed [2013] [1080p] [2.40:1] [24:39] Broken into seven chapters and viewable as a "play all" feature. This feature dives into the making of the film. While the documentary supported the film's content, this one breaks down the film and how it came to be especially the characters, the story, the animation, etc.

Theatrical Trailer [2013] [1080p] [2.40:1] [2:12] Like the film, this film trailer is very well crafted.

Sneak Peeks [1080p] [10:55] To watch all of the trailers, they are only available via the 2D Blu-ray disc, plus as well as a commercial for Team Energy Star and the trailers for 'Turbo,' 'Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness' and 'Dragons: Riders of Berk.'

Finally, because the trailers for 'EPIC' made it out to be a mish-mash of other family films, I literally expected nothing from it when I popped in the Blu-ray disc. Much to my surprise, I found it to be quite enjoyable and much better than the most of this summer's other family films and enjoyed it from beginning to end. The story of 'EPIC' isn't the most unique, but it also isn't without its creative charm. The 3D Blu-ray set includes every possible digital format of the film [3D Blu-ray, 2D Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy and Ultraviolet] and it also comes with extracurricular family entertainment. A packet containing two sets of easy-to-grow seeds is included, but I have no idea why they included this, as to me it was a wasted addition, but I suppose if you have a garden, then you will think it a good bonus. The flawless audio and video qualities of the 3D Blu-ray are just another reason this set is a worthy purchase. Most of the special features are directed towards mainly children, but there's a decent 25-minute making-of for the adults also. So all in all this is an amazing Blu-ray packaged and had a totally entertaining awesome experience and again the 3D was also totally awesome and made you feel you was in the actual forest and I am so proud it has been added to my 3D Blu-ray Collection. Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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on 24 August 2013
I went to see this as I am a fan of Josh Hutcherson and he voices one of the main characters, I didn't expect too much though to be honest and after a great summer of Animated films this was low on my list. How wrong I was, we ended up going back to see it again but in 3D the second time as it was visually stunning even in 2D.
The plot follows two main characters, first we meet a seventeen year old girl called Mary Katherine (M.K) who is going to stay with her crazy scientist dad who she hasn't seen in a while. He is always out in the forest searching for evidence of tiny people who live in the trees, this frustrates M.K who just thinks he's nuts. After a disagreement M.K has had enough and decides to leave but something happens which changes her perspective on everything.
We are also introduced to a tiny soldier called Nod who is kind of rebellious and wants to leave his life as a leafman behind, his job as a leafman soldier was to protect the forest from the evil boggans who plot to destroy the forest. It is when the worlds of M.K and Nod collide that the story really gets going.
I just loved the characters and visuals of this film, it held it's own against a tidal wave of big movies which followed and I can't wait to watch it again on Blu-ray.
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on 21 May 2014
Epic tells the story of a young girl M. K. forced to live with her estranged father after the death of her mother. Upon arriving at her father's house at the edge of the forest M. K. is met by her crackpot father who is convinced that there is a miniature civilisation existing beneath our noses. M K struggles to form a bond with her father who is obsessed with proving his theory and his neglect leads to her vowing to leave and start a new life on her own. However, events conspire to leave M. K. magically miniaturised by the dying Queen of the secret forest civilisation. She is then faced with coming with the responsibility of saving a world filled with leafmen, talking snails and plants that come to life from the evil Mandrake who wants all life in the forest to rot and decay. The movie feels like a cross between Honey I shrunk the Kids and Ferngully but there are moments of invention and originality. Comedy is provided a near blind three legged dog and a snail/slug double act and the grand action scenes make use of the immersive 3D animation. I could have done with a more fleshed out back-story for the bad guy and the ending won’t surprise anyone but overall it’s a very enjoyable film if maybe a little dark for young children.
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