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Non-Review Review: ParaNorman

This movie was seen as part of Movie Fest, which was as much of a joy this year as it was last year. If not moreso.

ParaNorman is a charming little film, even if it’s not quite as good as Laika’s other recent stop-motion effort, Coraline. ParaNorman is a charming homage to a variety of classic horror films, clearly crafted with a great deal of affection and love by directors Chris Butler and Sam Fell. It suffers a bit from being a little bit too earnest in attempting to convey its heartfelt moral message, but it is still entertainingly well put-together, drawing solid voice work from a diverse cast and making the most of its horror movie premise.

Nothing out of the Norman here…

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ParaNorman Trailer

Universal just sent on the trailer for ParaNorman, and it’s well worth a look. I’ve been a fan of stop-motion for quite a while, with Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists being one of my favourite films of the year so far. However, the trailer evokes the wonderful work of director Henry Selick, who directed both The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline, both superb pieces of work. The film is directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell. While Fell has a history working as a director of family films, Butler served as artistic director on both Coraline and Corpse Bride, and wrote the script here. The cast is phenomenal, featuring John Goodman, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. I am looking forward to this. Between this, Frankenweenie and Pirates!, it looks like a great year to be a stop motion fan.

Anyway, give the trailer a look below.

Batman: Danny Elfman Film Music at the National Concert Hall (Review)

This event was held as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2012.

One of the best aspects of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival is the way that it extends beyond the cinema, into a wider appreciation of film and cinema all around Dublin. From the Jameson Cult Film Club screening of Reservoir Dogs through to the Dublin Film Critics’ Circle awards and even the Untitled screenwriting competition, the eleven-day celebration of cinema seems to encompass all the city and all walks of life. The wonderful folks at the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the National Concert Hall have a long history of getting into the spirit of the festival, offering high-profile tributes to cinema. Last year, for example, they held a screening of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse with a live orchestral accompaniment. This year, they took the penultimate evening of the festival to host a tribute to Danny Elfman, undoubtedly one of the most iconic and influential composers working today. And it was an absolutely brilliant evening.

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The Art of Compromise: Picking the Family Christmas Movie…

Christmas is a fun time in my household. We pack in the entire extended family for a day of fun and celebration, a nice dinner, some drinks. They stay over for a night or two and we do all the usual family activities. Christmas night, we watch a movie. St. Stephen’s night, we play a game of Texas Hold ‘Em Poker. As you can imagine, finding a movie that thirteen-odd people will sit down and enjoy in a crowded sitting room by the fire, glasses of wine and popcorn handy, is no mean feat. And, I admit with some measure of pride, the task is assigned to me: I’m the one asked to come up with a suitable movie for the Christmas evening. And, as much as it’s a fun task, it’s also a daunting one.

Ghosts of Christmas past...

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Non-Review Review: 9

9 looks absolutely lovely, with a heavily stylised computer-generated style that seems intended to evoke the macabre stop-motion style of films like The Nightmare Before Christmas or Corpse Bride, along with more traditional and conventional animation. However, as magical as the production on the animated feature might be, the movie – somewhat ironically given the way things work out – lacks soul.

A rag-tag bunch...

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