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Reckless Guardians: The Rise and Fall of Cinematic Responsibility…

I actually quite enjoyed The Rise of the Guardians. It is probably the most visually assured animation from Dreamworks to date, the cast are all having a great time and the plot is simple but effective. However, I just didn’t wind up feeling an emotional connection to the central character, Jack Frost. Jack is an embodiment of an abstract concept – a “guardian” appointed by “the Man in the Moon” (or “Manny” to his friends). The bulk of Rise of the Guardians is about Jack learning to embrace his new position and everything that comes with it – to swallow his insecurity and to accept that he has been chosen to do a kick-ass job.

Still, it remains quite difficult to connect with Jack Frost, and I wonder if it’s the same problem that made Pixar’s much-maligned Cars 2 so difficult to swallow. Rather than learning to temper his unreliable inconsistency, the movie asks an irresponsible character to effectively embrace the flaw completely.

Note: This article contains a few spoilers for Rise of the Guardians.

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Matthew Broderick’s Day Off…

Part of me would love to watch the Super Bowl. Not for the American football, of course – I could make less sense of that than I can of soccer. For the advertisements. With a huge audience and incredibly expensive airtime, those investing in advertising spots tend to bring their “a-game.” This year, for instance, we have the below clip, which sees Matthew Broderick effectively re-living his most iconic role, skipping work. Of course, the Honda CR-V isn’t nearly as cool as Cameron’s father’s convertible, but we’ll chalk that up to suspension of disbelief, right?

I love the way that they actually use Yell-O’s Oh Yeah.

And it’s worth remembering last year’s stand-out spot, the famous Darth Vader commercial, which is only now airing in Irish cinemas. Yes, it’s taken us a year to receive the cast-offs of last year’s football.

Non-Review Review: The Lion King

You said you’d always be there for me! … But you’re not.

– Simba rages at the heavens

The Lion King is my favourite Disney film. I don’t know if I could argue that it’s objectively the best or anything like that, as I imagine that there are a lot of external factors that contribute to making a person’s favourite Disney films – most of which are matters of timing, with the film appearing at “just the right time”, to borrow a cliché. I was seven years old when the film was first released, but I don’t believe that I saw it in the cinema (hence my trip to the cinema to see it on re-release), so perhaps I was eight or nine when I first caught Disney’s adaptation of Hamlet. It’s a dodgy proposition revisiting something you loved as a child, as there’s a risk that the finished product won’t quite live up to your memories of it – perhaps because you say it differently through younger eyes, or because time has marched on, or because you’ve become too cynical. So, I was taking a considerable risk as the theatre went dark, wondering if perhaps I had made a mistake.

I hadn’t. Sometimes some things areas good as you remember them.

"The fault, dear Simba, lies not in our stars... but in ourselves..."

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