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12 Movie Moments of 2012: “You’d Love My Boyfriend, He’s a Total Chick Flick Nut” (ParaNorman)

As well as counting down the top twelve films, I’m also going to count down my top twelve movie related “moments” of 2012. The term “moment” is elastic, so expect some crazy nonsense here. And, as usual, I accept that my taste is completely absurd, so I fully expect you to disagree. With that in mind, this is #7

I’m normally hesitant to involve politics in this blog. It is, after all, a blog about popular culture. Indeed, I am the first to complain about obnoxious celebrities standing on their soapbox espousing their political beliefs. It’s not that I disagree with them, or that they aren’t entitled to their opinion, I’m just uncomfortable with the idea that being famous makes you an expert to speak on a particular cause or issue. Still, in the spirit of Christmas, allow me one small digression.

That said, I couldn’t help but smile at the climax to ParaNorman, a solidly entertaining family adventure that took its own message to heart. Embracing the idea that there’s nothing scary about something just because it’s different than you, it earned the wrath of the extreme right because it dared to suggest that one of its character might be in a loving and stable homosexual relationship. It’s great to see a family film actual acknowledge that sort of diversity, particularly in a way that doesn’t sensationalise the matter in hand. It’s a damn funny one-liner to boot, and the fact that it’s willing to call the audience on their assumptions is particularly endearing.

paranorman7

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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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Non-Review Review: Psycho (1960)

Psycho is a masterpiece from Alfred Hitchcock, a uniquely American horror story that redefined and codified the horror genre. Even after one has already seen the film, and knows the twists and the plotting detours that Hitchcock’s adaptation of Robert Bloch’s novel might make, it’s still a powerful and compelling piece of cinema. Hitchcock laid a template here that would inform generations of horror films that followed, with the DNA of Psycho to be found even in the most unlikely of places.

“You can checkout any time you like, but you can never leave…”

Note: Hitchcock famously guarded the ending to this project. “Don’t give away the ending — it’s the only one we have!” he pleaded in advertisements. However, it has been fifty-two years, so I fear that the statute of limitations on potential spoilers has expired. After all, Psycho has been so massively influential it’s hard not to know what happens. If, by some fluke, you know nothing about the film… see it! See it now! We’ll still be here when you get back.

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