Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from July, 2015

A Secret Worth Learning

Seeing as I loved Song of the Sea so much, I was very excited to check out the earlier debut film from the same studio and director Tomm Moore, The Secret of Kells. The film was made in 2009 and like its follow-up borrows heavily in style and theme from Irish folklore and mythology, in this case centring on the creation of the Book of Kells somewhere around the 8th century. I had the chance to see the Book on a visit to Trinity College, Dublin and it really is a stunning work of art and literature.                 The plot revolves around a boy Brendan, who lives in the Monastery of Kells, and is a scripting apprentice to Brother Aidan who’s working on an already famously illuminating text called the Book of Iona. Though he’s constantly monitored by his strict and somewhat paranoid uncle the monastery’s Abbot Cellach, Brendan ventures into the woods beyond their land for a berries to use for ink, and while there meets a fairy of the forest called Aisling. But there is …

Ant-Man: No Small Success

               Ant-Man is the second and final Marvel movie of the year. There was some controversy and worry surrounding the film due to the last minute replacement of its original director Edgar Wright with Peyton Reed. The idea of Wright bringing his eccentric and enticing style to a Marvel film had us all excited and when Reed took over, many lost interest. But we didn’t need to worry as the film was in pretty safe hands after all.                 Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is a struggling ex-con having been imprisoned for a major heist he pulled. He’s a good guy but just misguided and his skill for breaking into extremely secure places catches the attention of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) who recruits him to be the next Ant-Man (he having been the first) using a suit that can shrink him down to the size of ant, with the power to control ants, and superhuman strength. Pym wants Lang to steal back the technology for the suit which was recreated and adjusted for weaponized use by his forme…

Gandalf v. Dumbledore Trailer!

After Comic-Con everyone seems to be talking about the Batman v. Superman trailer. And while it’s a fine trailer and certainly offers a lot to talk about, I can’t believe nobody’s bringing up the other great clash of magic partially-insane heroes, and that trailer which was also released. I am of course talking about Gandalf v. Dumbledore!                 It’s the match we’ve all been waiting for! The two most powerful wizards in novels turned films are going to go up against each other and finally…finally we have a trailer! It started on such a strong note: a shot of Dumbledore’s wand in a glass case followed by one of Gandalf’s staff hitting the ground in that famed Balrog battle. Then we get the voiceover narration from Jeremy Irons explaining the set-up. Dumbledore having nothing to do after bringing Harry back to life rather than sit around that train station, went exploring. Eventually he reached a body of water where he came into contact with the ship that left the …

Back to the Feature: All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

“And our bodies are earth. And our thoughts are clay. And we sleep and eat with death.”                 A Variety article characterized Lewis Milestone’s All Quiet on the Western Front as a film that should be mass-produced and reprinted in every language until the concept of war ceased to exist in the world. Which is a pretty big declaration for a film made prior to most of the past century’s most terrible wars. But at the same time, the explicitness of its anti-war message and effectiveness at conveying that message make it even more relevant today because of those many terrible wars that have illustrated how important this film is.                 The film based on Erich Maria Remarque’s novel is about a bunch of eager young men in Germany at the outset of the First World War. They enlist in the prospect of glory and heroism only to be exposed to the reality and terrors of the war. Primarily the story follows Paul Baumer (Lew Ayres) and his personal experiences and tribulations as he…