News, Reviews, Features, Trailers & Rants...
Posted by Ali Gray
at 07:00 on 13 Apr 2017
I often look back at old articles on this site, and sometimes I don't recognise the man who ran it. Updates of such ferocious frequency! Four, sometimes five reviews a week! Regular features! Good ones! Critical assessments of films that weren't necessarily within my own sphere of interest! Who was this guy? (Spoiler: it was me). What happened to him? (Spoiler: he had kids).
In these politically fraught times, there has been a natural proclivity in the film press industry to relate even the most escapist of blockbuster cinema to current affairs. Reviews have been quick to call out, for example, that Fantastic Beasts
promoted an immigrant-friendly multi-cultural society, that Kong: Skull Island
championed the right to defend your home from foreign invaders and that The Purge
is so real it doesn't even work as a joke any more. And yet sometimes it's just impossible to separate a film from its overtly political subtext. And that's what we have here: a movie so bound by a post-Trump, post-Brexit, post-truth
agenda, it simply cannot be reviewed outside of a topical lens. And, of course, those that remember Peppa Pig: The Golden Boots know that this isn't even her first cinema experience, so it's all FAKE NEWS anyway...
Posted by Ali Gray
at 00:15 on 01 Apr 2016
How many movies make up a renaissance? Without getting too hung up on terminology, I'm interested how we categorise, rank and file nascent movies - the age of this, the era of that etc. When does a hot streak cool into something of more substance? I only ask because Zootropolis is the latest in an increasingly long line of movies from Walt Disney Animation Studios that can rightfully call itself a classic. If you start with 2010's Tangled (and discount the still rather delightful 2011 Winnie The Pooh kiddy pic), that streak also includes Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen and Big Hero 6, all movies with iconic characters, impressively progressive agendas, humour and heart. Shouldn't we be talking about this decade's body of Disney in more grandiose terms? Zootropolis represents the apex of Disney's sparkling Digital Age; a blissfully beautiful, adventurous and charismatic movie that's typical of the studio of late.
And he made cartoons or something too. Sayonara, Hayao Miyazaki.
They left New York. They went to Madagascar. Then they ended up somewhere else in Africa. Now they're in Europe, trying to get back home to New York. It's the Circle of Life. No, hang on, that's ... anyway, here's a pleasant surprise: this animated threequel from DreamWorks is a whole heap of fun. What's more, it represents a film's most effective use of the song 'I Like To Move It' by Reel 2 Reel (feat. The Mad Stuntman) since it was first popularised in the work of Truffaut.
Like any right-thinking adult, I make it my business to scare a child at least once a week. Otherwise there's a risk they could grow up soft, I always think, what with their Bebos and their Sylvanian Families. Happily, I can now take the day off every once in a while, because stop-motion animation ParaNorman should put the frighteners on them. Might even make them laugh a bit too, but then you can do that just by tickling them.
"He's the boss, he's a pip, he's the championship, he's the most tip top, Top Cat!"
Posted by Rob
at 19:30 on 03 Jun 2012
When I was young that catchy tune used to fill me with joy. Top Cat was, by a country mile, my favourite Hanna-Barbera creation. Now, thanks to this slap-dash, Flash-animated big screen 3D mutation from Mexico, Don Gato y su Pandilla (as it is in Spanish) leaves yet another childhood memory is in tatters.
Posted by Luke
at 17:42 on 13 Apr 2011
You all remember The Land Before Time, right? The 1988 Stephen Spielberg/George Lucas-produced, Don Bluth-directed cartoon about talking dinosaurs learning important life lessons, that incited millions of kids to nag their parents into a weekly Pizza Hut pilgrimage just so they could ram their tiny hands inside the ill-fitting plastic puppets... right?
Posted by Matt
at 23:01 on 02 Nov 2009
We are told that 9 is brought to us by the visionary directors Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov, which immediately conjures up images of gothic fairytale whimsy and flashy action. Although containing elements of both, this film is actually more like an epic adventure - and it's just a little too ambitious.
Posted by Ali
at 16:07 on 16 Oct 2009
Have Pixar outgrown the animation industry? You could certainly argue they have. Typically the domain of sassy talking animals and cutesy characters, it's a playground which Pixar seem to have grown bored with.