I caught Shrek again at the weekend, and I’m surprised how well it still holds up. Of course, part of my concern was that the sequels might have somehow retroactively impacted on my opinion of the original film, but I’m always a little hesitant to return to films I greatly enjoyed when I was younger – afraid that they might have been superseded by movies I’ve seen in the years since, or perhaps victim to slightly changing tastes. To be honest, it help up very well, and I was genuinely reminded of why I enjoyed it so much over a decade ago.
I do quite like Monsters vs. Aliens, even if it feels like it’s trying to do too many vastly different things are once. It’s too goofy and silly to be a genuinely emotional morality tale about appreciating those different than us, while also being too sentimental to work as a sort of a goofy hokey monster mash nostalgia trip. One gets the sense that it could have been a much better film had it opted for one approach rather than the other, instead of trying to straddle the middle ground between them. It’s a shame, because it has some genuinely impressive sequences and warm sense of respect and good humour for all those classic creature features, but it just ends up feeling too much like a standard cookie-cutter modern animated film.
Filed under: Non-Review Reviews | Tagged: Amazing Colossal Man, animation, arts, dr. strangelove, dreamworks, films, hugh laurie, Monsters Vs Aliens, Movies, non-review review, paul rudd, Reese Witherspoon, review, Seth Rogen | Leave a Comment »
Last year, around this time, I was discussing how great it was to be a nerd or a geek. Hell, Comic Con in San Diego seemed like an obligatory stop-off point for the major studios promoting their latest blockbusters to an overly geeky crowd, debuting the trailer for Tron: Legacy or announcing the cast of The Avengers, not to mention footage and panels based around any number of big-screen blockbusters designed to cater towards the geeks and nerds in the movie-going audience. So it feels like a rather dramatic shift that very few of the major movie studios appear to be planning much for the iconic (or, at least, briefly iconic) Hall H in San Diego this year.
Does this mean that the era of the geek is over?
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: appeal, audience, box office, Christopher Nolan, comic con, comiccon, dreamworks, fans, geeks, hollywood, jon favreau, nerds, New York Times, San Diego, San Diego Comic-Con International, scott pilgrim vs. the world, tron: legacy, universal studios, weinstein company | 52 Comments »
How To Train Your Dragon is, at its core, the story of a boy and his dog. Except his dog happens to be a dragon. It is a well-cast, well-made and well-written little film that actually manages to have a lot more emotional depth than the majority of Dreamworks films, even if it doesn’t quite approach the wonderful sophistication that Pixar manage to produce about once a year. It’s big, it’s bold and it’s fun – a wonderfully crafted piece of family entertainment.
Filed under: Non-Review Reviews | Tagged: animation, art, cgi, david tennant, Dragon, dragons, dreamworks, film, films, gerard butler, How to Train Your Dragon, Jay Baruchel, Movies, non-review review, review, toothless, Viking, Vikings | Leave a Comment »
I think the original Kung-Fu Panda might be my favourite Dreamworks animated film. A lot of people go on and on and on about how that particular studio’s animation can be measured against that of their competitor Pixar, with arguments about intellectual and emotional maturity and sincerity. Some argue that the reason Pixar dominates their field is because they don’t treat animation as something just for children. Others suggest that they have a mathematical formula devised to break human hearts. Personally, the feeling I always got from Pixar films that I only fleetingly sensed in the work of Dreamworks, was that those creators were essentially making their dream movie – each and every Pixar film seems lovingly crafted according to a creative vision not based around the “rules” of the industry, but around good ideas and the kinds of stories those people like to tell (and like to hear). I think that is why the original Kung-Fu Panda worked so well, and also why Kung-Fu Panda 2 does such a great job as a follow-up.
Filed under: Non-Review Reviews | Tagged: animation, cgi, computer generated, dreamworks, film, gary oldman, jack black, jack block, James Hong, Jean-Claude Van Damme, kung-fu, kung-fu panda, kung-fu panda 2, martial arts, Movie, non-review review, panda, pixar, po, Po (Kung Fu Panda), review | 4 Comments »
This is a question which has bothered me for quite a while now, because it seems like there should be an obvious answer, but I can’t really make a lot of decisions fit based on that. The deciding factor, one would assume, in any industry as to whether a product gets a continuation, a re-release, or a spin-off, would be that of box office. You imagine that the studio executives include an option for sequels in the contracts of any actors they want to stick around, and then wait for the box office totals to come in before they finally decide if they want to make the investment. However, this doesn’t always seem to be the case.
This is one of my entries on the latest cross-blogging event, tracking down some of the most overrated movies of all time. It’s being run by Mike over at You Talking to Me. I can’t spoil the list by giving you any of the other titles, but I did take a quick look at Spider-Man‘s legacy earlier in the week.
I love Toy Story. I love Toy Story II even more. I am anticipating Toy Story III with baited breath. I adore Pixar. The only two films they’ve produced that fall short of excellence (in my opinion) are Cars and A Bug’s Life and both are still above average as films go. So it may seem odd to critique the legacy of perhaps the first great computer animated film – but this is a strange world we live in. Think about it, though. Pixar have essentially killed conventional animated films – at least in this part of the world.
There’s nothing like a nice relaxing movie that you can cuddle up on the couch and just enjoy. Another testament to what was a fantastic summer last year, Kung Fu Panda may not have been the best animated film of the year – that honour goes to Wall-E – but it was still a fun, enjoyable and lively romp which should leave you smiling for most of the runtime.
Filed under: Non-Review Reviews | Tagged: angelina jolie, animated, animation, cgi, dreamworks, dustin hoffman, films, ian mcshane, jack black, kung-fu, kung-fu panda, Movies, non-review review, panda, po, review | 1 Comment »