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Showing posts from February, 2016

Oscar Reactions

How about those Oscars? The highs, the lows, the bear from The Revenant showing up. Let's recap:

Disney Sundays: Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Sleeping Beauty is the third Disney Princess movie. And that’s sort of what it’s known for, being the third one; that it’s not as good or well-known as Snow White or Cinderella, but it exists. In many ways this is true, it’s not as good as its predecessors, but there are certainly some very good aspects to it that deserve to be remembered and addressed.
          In a medieval kingdom in the 14th century, King Stefan and Queen Leah are finally able to have a child. On the day of christening for the child Aurora, the whole kingdom turns up to celebrate and she’s even betrothed in marriage to Philip, son of King Hubert, as a political alliance. But the party is interrupted when the sorceress Maleficent shows up uninvited and plants a curse on the young Aurora that on her sixteenth birthday she will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die. Three fairies Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather who had earlier bestowed gifts upon the child set a spell in place to ensure that i…

Here it is!: The Top Ten Films of 2015

It’s almost Oscar time! 2015 was quite a year for film regardless of how you feel the Academy represented that. And though they’re not all nominated, these are the films I think ought to be. These are my ten best films of 2015! 10.Kingsman: The Secret Service was the first good movie of the year. It’s smart, stylish, funny, and absolutely exciting. Based on the graphic novel by Mark Millar and David Gibbons, the film centres on Eggsy played by Taron Egerton, an average young Londoner and something of a vagrant who is inducted into the Kingsmen, an elite and classy order of highly trained  secret agent gentlemen. The movie pays plenty of tribute to the classic Bond films, from the charm and dedication of Colin Firth’s performance to Samuel L. Jackson’s over-the-top villain, and the most of Mark Hamill we saw last year. But director Matthew Vaughn enriches it with quick and energetic action that’s incredible to watch, and a sense of humour that pokes fun at spy films while ma…

NBC Pays Tribute to the Great James Burrows (Not just a Friends Reunion!)

In the past week a number of internet media outlets were going crazy about the Friends reunion that happened last night on NBC. All these headlines of “Friends Reunion on TV this Sunday!” or “Why isn’t Chandler attending the Friends Reunion?” were floating about and it pissed me off. Not because I particularly dislike Friends (it was an okay show) or have anything against the cast reuniting, but because no one gave a damn about the reason for the reunion. Everyone was so focussed on seeing Jennifer Aniston, Matt Le Blanc, and co. together again that nobody seemed interested in the fact that the reunion was only one of a number of TV cast get-togethers to celebrate the legacy of arguably the greatest sitcom director, James Burrows.
          In my opinion James Burrows’ career is much more worthy of focus than six people from a 90’s show being in the same room together. This is a man whose career has spanned decades and multiple TV shows since the 1970s. In fact across more …

Disney Sundays: Lady and the Tramp (1955)

You can’t get much cuter than a love story about two dogs, and I think Disney realized how profitable that could be when they made Lady and the Tramp, which is that classic story about a high class beauty and a low class guy coming together and falling in love. But done with dogs. Despite having one of Disney’s iconic scenes, this isn’t a film that a lot of people think about. And there are reasons for this, but also reasons it should be remembered.
          Lady is a cocker spaniel given as a Christmas gift by a well-off young man to his wife. She enjoys her life with the couple in their nice house, pampered and privileged occasionally interacting with other neighbourhood dogs Jock and Trusty. But she soon learns that her owners are about to have a baby and spurned on by the warnings of a street dog called the Tramp, worries that it’ll push her out of their lives. After the baby is born she is put in the care of Aunt Sarah a cat person which naturally leads to her ending …

Are You Watching Deadpool or is Deadpool Watching You?

In 2009, comic book fans were excited for the appearance of Marvel favourite Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. They even got massive Deadpool fan Ryan Reynolds to play the character. Then they saw the movie and quickly wanted a refund; among other reasons for the fact that they got everything about Deadpool wrong. And maybe no one was more upset than Ryan Reynolds himself.
          The fact that 20th Century Fox gave Reynolds another chance to play this character was more than generous. As was the decision to completely reboot the idea of Deadpool for his own feature. And with Reynolds getting more creative control of the character, as well as the film being granted an R rating to better reflect the tone of the comic, and an amazingly impressive marketing campaign including online holiday videos, a cancer PSA, and even a TV spot for The Bachelor, the hype for this film was growing. And now finally Deadpool has arrived, but is it good?
          Wade Wilson is a Canadia…

When Good Films Aren't Great: The Curse of Hail Caesar!

We tend to expect greatness from directors with a certain degree of prestige. To the point that when they don’t deliver greatness we can be as disappointed as if we’d seen a bad film. Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon and Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo for example are decent films, but they feel very underwhelming when compared to masterpieces like 2001 or Spirited Away. And this is pretty much the case for the Coen Brothers’ latest film, Hail Caesar! Set in 1950’s Hollywood the film follows a fictionalized version of Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), a production head and “fixer” for Capitol Pictures. The studio’s biggest project, a Biblical epic called Hail Caesar! is threatened when its star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) is kidnapped by a mysterious organization known as “The Future”, and Mannix has to find him while preventing the kidnapping from getting out. At the same time he has to contend with a hapless rising Western star Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich) being forced by the studio into a Br…

Why Realism makes the Before Trilogy one of the Finest Romances

Romance movies are something of a fantasy. When done right, they can be entertaining, charming, and moving with characters and relationships you can invest in. But whether they’re old classics like Gone With the Wind or It Happened One Night, rom-com date movies like When Harry Met Sally or anything with Julia Roberts, or even modern romantic dramas like Titanic or The Notebook, they’re definitely still fantasies. Even the supposed king of all romances, Romeo & Juliet which isn’t even a good love story, is a very romanticized tragedy. As much as they may be the clich├ęd go-to genre for comfort after a break-up, it’s a bad idea to look at them as instructional videos for a relationship. It’s a genre that’s produced both great and terrible movies, but by and large lacks a realistic touch.           And it’s for this reason that I’m a big fan of Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy. Well, they’re not really Linklater’s; the films are written by Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, s…

Disney Sundays: Peter Pan (1953)

There’s something wonderfully innocent and magical to the story of Peter Pan. It’s probably the first great childrens’ fantasy, the first celebration and acknowledgement of the power of imagination; certainly the first many of us were exposed to. J.M. Barrie’s play delighted in all that kind of whimsy, and thus seemed made for an adaptation by Disney. Of all the Disney movies my family didn’t own, Peter Pan is the one I wound up seeing the most. It had a compelling world, enjoyable characters, pirates, fairies, flight, action, adventure, everything kids want in a magical story. A fantasy about never growing up, what kid wouldn’t like that? But it turns out, this is a film that’s a lot more grown-up than you’d think. While their parents are out for the evening, three children Wendy, John, and Michael Darling are visited by Peter Pan the magical boy who never grows up, in search of his shadow. He finds it in their nursery, and after learning that Wendy is to move out of the nursery as…

The Worst Best Picture Winners

Thought I’d try something new here. I know the sound quality isn't so great and I'd like to be able to fix it in the future. But for what it is, I hope you enjoy!:
We all know the great Best Picture Winners in Oscars past, but what about the not-so-great? Here are in my opinion, the worst winners of the most coveted award in cinema. What do you think are the worst?

Disney Sundays: Alice in Wonderland (1951)

“Most everyone is mad here.”               Alice in Wonderland is easily Disney’s most eccentric film. Walt Disney had been inspired by Lewis Carroll and his books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass from a young age. There are no rules in Wonderland, making the plot pretty much just a series of weird shit happenings in a bizarre world. That’s somewhat its charm if you can get past all the madness. It’s structured very sequentially, oddity after oddity, and viewers have to expect that if they’re to derive enjoyment out of it. Some may accept the lunacy, others may feel alienated by it.               The story for what there is of one, follows a girl called Alice. She’s unconcerned with her older sister’s history lesson and is revealed to have an active imagination. When she spots a white rabbit in human clothes rushing in a frenzy at being late, she follows it all the way down a rabbit hole where she finds herself in a mysterious and surreal worl…

The Legend of the Dragon Warrior Concludes

A series with a name like Kung Fu Panda really shouldn’t be a success. But the hard effort DreamWorks put in to enrich the world, story, and characters made it one of the best animated film series of the past decade! Each film is great on its own, but they’ve built on one another and on the character of Po. Kung Fu Panda 3 concludes his story and does so in the best way possible. Kai (J.K. Simmons) a great warrior, has left the spirit world with the goal of attaining the chi of all the world’s kung fu masters and specifically, he’s coming for the Dragon Warrior a.k.a Po (Jack Black) protector of the Valley of Peace, who’s just been appointed by Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) to be the new teacher of the Furious Five. At the same time, Po’s long-lost father Li (Bryan Cranston) arrives having been sent to seek out his son. Upon discovering that Kai can only be defeated by a master of chi and that pandas were once such ancient masters, Po returns with Li to a secret panda village to mast…