16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 26 October 2009
I was a little sceptical when I first heard of this film - specifically the casting of an american in the lead role. However it is a beautiful, richly shot and well acted version that should appeal to children of all ages. There is much humour but equally a very real sense of underlying threat in many scenes - as in some of the ones with the lost boys.
Jason Isaacs should be singled out for his impressive performances as both Mr Darling and Captain Hook.
The special effects are very well realised and you really can believe that never land truly exists. My young daughter loves this film and when you consider that the previous mainstream version of this classic story was the abomination 'Hook' - then this really is in a different league.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
As my title states, I think this is a brilliant film; but this release is let down by the lack of extras. The DVD release contained Deleted Scenes, an Alternate Ending, Featurettes and Trailers. Why Universal didn't see fit to transfer those extras onto this Blu-ray release is beyond me.
Anyone looking at this review is probably considering upgrading from their DVD to BD, so should you? For me the answer is a resounding YES! The picture and sound quality on this blu-ray are impeccable; and this will definitely be a film I will dig out to show friends just how good blu-ray can be. Colours are stunning and the pictures is crystal clear. Sometimes, due to the hyper-real look of the film, it almost looks 3D.
The only sound option is a 5.1 DTS HD-Master track with optional English subtitles. This is an excellent audio track which really utilises all the speakers and has a rich, cinema sound to it.
Because I love the film so much I really wanted to give this release 5 stars, but in good conscience couldn't do that; so I have removed 1 star for the lack of extras. But, if like me, this is one of your favourite films then upgrade and keep your DVD just for the extras to watch the extras.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 22 January 2006
How this film got overlooked when released in cinemas is unbelievable, when this film is utterly enchanting, I'll never know, but I think it will become a loved classic in years to come.
The story doesn't really need repeating as it's so well known; Peter whisks away Wendy, Michael and John to Neverland where all the adventure takes place.
Personally, I've always found Peter Pan to be a rather irritating character but the casting in this film is spot on.
The film rests on the performance of Pan and Jeremy Sumpter is perfect. He has the scruffed up looks of a fallen angel and is charming without being smarmy and smug. He is alarmingly seductive when whispering into Wendy's ear to fly away to Never Neverland and not 'worry about grown up things again'.
He plays every facet of Pan's character of being boyish, flirtatious, selfish, heroic, stubborn, vulnerable and scared stiff of growing up. The only criticism is that he can't convincingly play the panpipes but thankfully that's just one scene.
Jeremy has great on-screen chemistry with Rachel Hurd-Wood (Wendy) which is important as a romance unfolds at the centre of the story. Wendy is the more mature character who is torn between living happily in Neverland and never growing up. Rachel is feisty and strong and she never hits a false note in her acting which is amazing, considering it is her acting debut.
The adventures of the children make for compelling viewing as the scenery and special effects are actually magical (take note Harry Potter) and enchanting. Watching the children fly for the first time is breathtaking and wholly believable. The attention to detail is first class. You may not have even noticed a human face shining on Pan and the children as they reach Never Neverland. Seeing a ship sail through the clouds and Wendy and Peter dancing amongst the trees are all images that will stay in the memory.
The music score is utterly gorgeous and fits the film nicely.
There's plenty of action, adventure, funny moments, sadness but ultimately it's the romance which takes centre stage. This may be too 'soppy' for some viewers (I think boys might be put off by it) but it still holds up as a fantastic, entertaining piece.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2006
On viewing this film for the first time, I was absolutely adamant that it would be childish, facetious, sappy, and even (dare I say it) beneath me intellectually. However, I am delighted to admit that I was as bewitched by it as the toddler in the row in front of me. I was fascinated to observe a film simply driping in irony and depth, as opposed to the shallow, tedious disney rip-off I had none too eagerly anticipated.
How does Peter Pan pull of such a difficult task so easily? How is it innocent, yet provocative, romantic, yet not sappy, naive, yet not condescending?
I believe that the answer lies in the beautiful, subtle irony positively oozing from it.
For example, the double casting of Jason Isaacs as both Mr. Darling and Captain Hook. Simply a coincidence? I think not. This is doubtless a reflection of Wendy's feelings towards her father, her perception of him as a villian attempting to take away her childhood, as is illustrated in his endless pursuit of Peter, the very embodiment of all that is young and free.
Also, as an older viewer I was surpised at the underlying sensual emotions charging through several scenes in this film, that all the children in the cinema seemed oblivious to. Peter and Wemdy's woodland dance (whcih, by the way, was absolutely STUNNING) was a brilliant study of the emotional battle facing pubescent youths everywhere as they struggle to come to terms with their new-found sexual feelings. This point is further explored as Peter then shies away, looking for reassurance from Wendy that 'It's only make-believe, isn't it?'
Indeed, what is Neverland itself but a metaphor for the strugle that faces us all at some point when one is faced with the daunting prospcet of growing up, yet desperately wants to cling to ones childhood. Everyone at some time wishes that they could just escape somewhere and never grow up. This film expresses that better than any biology class (and I should know, I'm 13.)
In this day and age, everyone seems to want to grow up too quickly. Well I challenge any teenager to watch this film and see if it doesn't make you pine for your innocent childhood years. And if you believe ourself to be above it, like I myself did at one time, watch it anyway and you might just be surprised.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2011
Like most Norwegian grown-ups, my relationship with «Peter Pan» largely stems from the Walt Disney movie released in 1953. I never read or saw the play, so I never knew there was more to the story than a charming boy defeating a mean pirate.
Then I saw P. J. Hogan's 2003 release, and became so blown away that I for a moment considered sueing Disney for theft. Yes, theft! Hogan presents a story so full of emotions, with so many intertwined stories and deeper meanings that I felt that James Matthew Barries original script must have been thoroughly abused for half a century, and the general public had been cheated out of a complete appreciation for the genius of «Peter Pan».
The first clue that this film had something else to offer lay three minutes into the film, in the subtle hinting to an increased sexual awareness that was offered through the curiosity about the «secret kiss» that Wendy knows her mother can never give her, and then gets told she herself has developed. The filmmaker's fidelity to the original script elegantly display that her father is not turning her out of the nursery just because of convention, but because Wendy really is crossing a treshhold that will leave innocence behind very soon.
I am now reading through the original play, and find that this version is very close to the words of J. M. Barrie, and captures the wide-eyed gleam of the author much better than the Disney version. The characters' depths are finely portrayed, and they come across as much more believeable than the one-dimensional cartoons in the other movie. Peter Pan, though still undeniably a boy, is clearly very attractive to any young girl as a prospective partner. Kind, strong, swift and very much in control, but still vulnerable and damaged by his concealed longing for parents. Wendy is not just sweet, but a lively and mischievous girl with a voracious appetite for life and the love she expects will find her soon. And Captain Hook! Really, Disney should be prosecuted for character assasination! P. J. Hogan's Hook, portrayed aptly by Mr. Darling, a.k.a. Jason Isaacs, is truly terrifying, as Hook should be. But he is also hurt, scared, lonely, and starting to lose hope of ever being able to dominate his young enemy. Like everyone else in Neverland (with the distinct exemption of Tinkerbell), he admires Wendy and wishes to be close to her, and is flattered that she apparently holds him in high esteem.
Tinkerbell is worth a chapter on her own, with all her physical comedy and strong emotions. My five year-old prefers the sweetness of the Disney Tink, but all the older people that have watched this movie with me prefers the vivacious, charming, not just pretty but downright mean Tinkerbell played by the French actress Ludivine Sagnier. She is thoroughly convincing as a tiny spirit with a huge will.
The flying scenes in this movie are amazingly well made, it is hard to tell that the characters are not flying for real. The costumes are nice and work especially well when Wendy's two young brothers are captured and dangle upside-down. Wait and see! But the most striking part of the movie, characters aside, are the stunningly gorgeous sets. The Darling house is beautiful, as are the scenes from London, but they are in no way comparable to the amazing colours of Neverland. Even the route to Neverland, the "second to the right and straight on until dawn", is so out of this world that there can be no doubt there is magic in the air.
Thank you, P. J. Hogan, for reading Barrie's script again, and for sharing your vision with the world! With this movie, magic has been reintroduced into my universe to such a degree that i at times find myself mumbling: "I do, I do, I do believe in fairies!"
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 24 May 2004
When I first heard about this film I thought it would be cheesy and un life like. But when my sister brought home the DVD I fell in love with it. As I'm am currently leaving school the main topic of the film (never wanting to grow up) was instantly appealing. Well I have now learnt almost every line and have seen it 20 times!
Jason Issacs was amazing as Captain Hook (and emotive as Mr Darling). He makes you laugh, scream and cheer and is somehow very sexy! Racheal Hurd-Wood was great as Wendy. Most kids that age are wooden and cheesy yet she was brilliant in every scene. The lost boys were cute (Theodore Chester - Slightly - seems to be a promising young actor). Tinkerbelle was expressive and funny. The rest of the cast were great but for me it was Jeremy Sumpter as Peter Pan the stole it! He just gives off this infectious sense of fun, laughter and happiness. When it came to the sad scenes even my dad was moved by his performance! He seems to love the role and as well as being a good looking guy (if only I was Wendy...)he is very talented in what would be a hard role for most his age!
Pj Hogan did a great job adapting this well loved novel. The effects were good and not to over powering. A great film for all ages!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2007
Thing that has suprised me about the reviews on here is not many people have commented on the soundtrack for this movie. It is trully fantastic.
This movie overal is a very good family movie. Not to violent for the kids and not to sappy for the adults.
I would recomend this movie fully!!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I do not think that most kids can appreciate how great of a movie P.J. Hogan has made with this new version of "Peter Pan." However you really have to be familiar with not only all of the various versions of the story from Disney to Steven Spielberg but also J. M. Barrie's original plays and books to really appreciate everything that is in this movie. Hogan's purpose was to go back to that original material, but it is impossible not to touch upon everything that has come since then. My generation cannot hear the words "I do believe in fairies" without thinking of Mary Martin beckoning out from our television sets beseeching us to clap (or when Smee turns and gives an aside to the viewer).
On the one hand there are the fantastic elements as Peter Pan (Jeremy Sumpter) and the Darling children Wendy (Rachel Hurd-Wood), John (Harry Newell), and Michael (Freddie Popplewell) fly off to Never-Land. But this is a more realistic Never-Land than every before for all the wonderful computer generated images. More importantly, these are more realistic children than ever before. Peter Pan is the boy who will never grow up, but he is also on the cusp of puberty, as is Wendy. Into the Darling household comes Aunt Millicent (Lynn Redgrave), who insists that Wendy is not a girl anymore and while her father should start looking for marital prospects at the bank where he works, the more immediate goal is to move her out of the bedroom she shares with her brothers. When Peter Pan appears on the windowsill and requires his shadow to be sewn back onto this feet, Wendy not only does the sewing but accepts his offer to come to Never-Land because she too desperately wants to avoid growing up.
In this "Peter Pan" a kiss is more than just a thimble. This is not to suggest that there is a sexual element to these children or this film that parents need to worry about, but there is the potential for sexuality in Peter and Wendy. It is around the corner and that is important because there is a price to pay for never growing up, and never before has the tragic flip side of Peter Pan's joyful and magical existence been so obvious in telling this tale. Adults will recognize that period of their life it all it's metaphoric splendor in this film.
We also have the most realistic Captain Hook (Jason Issacs) of our acquaintance as well. Hogan continues the long-standing tradition of having the actor who plays Hook do double duty as Mr. Darling as well, but in this richer vision of the story they are as opposite as night and day. When this Hook crosses swords with Peter we know that they it might look like great fun, but these two are deadly serious about the final, fatal outcome. More importantly, when this Hook blusters and bellows he manages to do it without falling into parody. This is Hook as Barrie intended him to be, larger than life, but still a real figure.
Ultimately the power running throughout this story is the power of the story. The Lost Boys are despearate for a mother and to them Wendy can fulfill the role because she has what they consider to be the single requirement: she can tell stories. But there is another, more important requirement for a mother, and this film remembers that as well in the end when the Darling children return to their mother (Olivia Williams). I especially liked the way the film plays the beginning of the reunion of the scene, a nice underscoring of the idea that you can wish for something so hard that you do not notice when you have it.
This is a stunning visual film, but it is also a film of substance that mines Barrie's idea of the boy who would not grow up for everything it is worth. This "Peter Pan" has a depth greater than every all the other versions we have seen on the silver screen to date. This is a glorious film and even if few will really appreciate it the way it truly deserves, there is still the fact that just coming into contact with it will open the minds of its viewers to the greater realm of meaning and significance. Besides, there is always the possibility that somewhere down the road as they enjoy this beautiful film again and again, that eventually they will appreciate what it is all about.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 May 2004
When it's the last thing left on the rental shelf that looks interesting, you never know what to expect, right? I avoided this at the cinema, but I loved it when I rented it. I was never fond of the whole Peter Pan concept, or the original Disney film, but this was so much more enjoyable than I had expected. Really I only wanted to see if Jason Issacs as Hook was as good in this as he was in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and although he just misses that mark, he gives another equally good performance here. The rest of the cast contributes very well here, particularly Rachel Hurd-Wood as Wendy. What a fantastic performance!
I rarely look at the special features on DVD, so all I cared about was seeing the alternate ending where Peter returns, horrified that Wendy has grown up, got married and had a daughter called Jane. This ending probably would've worked better in the film, because then a sequel based on Disney's 'Return to Neverland' film wouldn't be necessary and wouldn't ruin this great film.
This is one family film that no one in the whole family should miss!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2005
Make no mistake - P.J. Hogan's sublime take on JM Barrie's timeless masterpiece is one of the greatest fantasy movies ever made. Forget the shallow treacle of Disney and Spielberg, this completely magical movie cuts right to the heart of the matter and says more about First Love, the losses (and gains) of growing up and the unconditional love of parents than a host of so-called adult films.
Sumptuous production values, wonderful design and a classic score from James Newton Howard ensure an authentic sense of wonder. The casting is flawless - Jason Issacs a mean and moody Hook, Olivia Williams an irresistibly beautiful Mrs Darling. Best of all are the two luminous performances from Rachel Hurd Wood as Wendy and Jeremy Sumpter as Peter Pan. The chemistry between them is absolutely special and utterly convincing.
Do yourself (and your family) a favour and acquire this uniquely wonderful movie without delay. You won't regret it.