Posted tagged ‘Disney’

Princess and the Revolt

February 13, 2010

Howdy folks. How you all doing? Its 2010, if you hadn’t noticed yet. It looks like its going to be a good year for movies, well better than last years. Really looking forward to: Inception, Kick-Ass and Toy Story 3. Check out the latest Toy Story trailer here

Any who. I’ve been to see some movies lately. Since you are such a clever bunch I bet you can guess which ones from the title of this post. Got it yet? Good. Then read on.

Youth In Revolt. Indie comedy staring Michael Cera. Now that could be any Michael Cera film, I’ll narrow it down. Its the one that is out in cinemas now and has Cera trying something a little new.

Sure he still plays the socially awkward dweeb who constantly talks into his own shows but now he has developed a persona to win the affections of an equally maladjusted young lady. Enter Françoise.

Françoise is really the star of Youth in Revolt. He has some great dialogue which made me uncomfortable to be watching this movie with my sister. He is a rude mother flipper. He also blows up stuff, always a plus.

Our hero is after Sheenie, a cute girl who lives with her Christian fanatic parents and drug peddling brother. She wants a little danger in her life. Did I mention she is called Sheenie? I have a good friend called Sheenie and I got excited every time her name was mentioned. Got to appreciate the little things.

About that. They tell you to appreciate the little things and then in the same breath utter “simple things…” under their breath. Its quite a complicated breathing regime, alright? Only “simple minds” can rattle off clichés as sage wisdom. Douche bags.

So I saw the film in old faithful Luton. Security has got slack. Managed to smuggle in three bags of quasi-nutritious candy. Peanut M&Ms, Maltesers and Minstrels. A mighty menage a trois of magnificently moreish morsels. Mmmm.

I ate so much candy that my stomach hurt before the trailers even started. Had to take the sweets away from then on. Luckily I had a super refreshing beverage on hand. An experimental mix of Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and Fanta. I will continue to test varying ratios of each to find the world’s best soft drink.

Dr Pepper holds the title at present.

Youth In Revolt was more like Juno than Superbad (as it was claimed in the promotional material). The film was full of witty ‘movie’ dialogue which is too slick to be found in real life. That just makes it more fun.

My advice is to rent this movie on dvd, laugh a bit and have plenty of candy on hand to get your sugar rush on. Its keeping its head above water.


Kirby boxing can only mean one thing, bonus second review!
Youth in the frog

Doesn’t that just make you feel dirty?

Princess and the Frog requires no candy. It is a celluloid sugar rush. Every frame is smothered in the stuff. Its a new and improved recipe, dredged up from the 1990s. It is still delicious and now less likely to lead to unrealistic ambitions about life and racism.

It still have people getting married after knowing each other for 24 hours. Somethings never change.

Prince Naveen is a funny character. I don’t think Disney have had such an interesting Prince character since Aladdin. Shadow Man is a scary villain, with a groovy dance number. Tiana is as pure as the sun glistening on virgin snow in a West Virginian Amish town.

When I went to see the movie I was the only adult there without a child. My good friend Jo keeps insisting she is six but her birth certificate keeps telling me otherwise. There were two immaculately dressed Chinese men there without children but they didn’t look happy. I theorised they were animation students doing research on what Disney had up their sleevse.

The songs in P+F are cute but not life changing. They don’t have quite the same hook as Menkin’s did back in the Disney revival days of Hercules, Lion King and Aladdin.

Disney has moved into the 21st century. And the recession. You must now work for your dreams to come true. Wishing doesn’t cut it any more. Princess and the Frog is sitting on a lily pad covered in mucus.

Good to be back.


Up – Thanks to Total Film (and my sister)

September 17, 2009

Last week I was lucky enough to attend an advance preview of the new Pixar film Up. Even better was the fact that it was playing at the British Film Institute. Better still, it was free. The cherry on top of all this magnificence was that it was in 3D. I’ve got to thank my sister for winning the tickets in a Total Film competition. Well done to Total Film for being a quality film publication. *cheesy thumbs up*


So. I arrive at the BFI (British Film Institute) at noon to collect my tickets. The woman behind the counter is very confused. I explain, slowly, how I won the tickets in a competition. She is more confused. She asks if I have a reference number. I apologise that I don’t have one, and produce the email I was sent from Total Film. This was a mistake. Upon seeing the email her entire sense of the world disintegrates. Desperate to get rid of me she sends me to another desk. They have no idea what I am talking about and direct me to the box office (where I just came from). After this poor girl asks three of her colleagues for help, they collectively decide the best thing for me to do is come back later. I return at seventeen-hundred hours and a Pixar employee hands me a shiny pair of tickets. They can do anything.

On the way to the cinema screen we (my friend Tori and I) see two BFI staff trying to cram about a thousand balloons into a lift that is only made for a very petite person. Tried to get a picture but it came out very blurred. They must have been wearing portable shame-cloaking devices. I’d love one of those.

The 3D glasses were delivered in mighty chests that I thought would contain the director and producer. I was disappointed to see them containing the sensible and necessary glasses. But there was more to the glasses than met the eye. They were part of the Decepticon army. Front and centre on the Disney glasses was the Decepticon logo. Why was it there? My theory is that its an infra-red splodge to track audience eye movements.

The other strange feature of the glasses was a small circular disc on one of the legs. Clearly there to read your thoughts. Put that in tandem with tracking your eye movements and you have some powerful market research on your hands. A lot of people complained that their glasses didn’t work. I don’t know how they could not work but some people managed it. One child protested the whole way film that it had yet to go 3D. Despite these issues, Tor and I agreed these were the most comfortable glasses yet. Tor wears glasses herself and said she almost for the other pair was there. Isn’t that nice?

3d glasses

480 words in, time to talk about the movie. Before that, let’s talk about the story. The most important part of any film is that it has a good story (take note Michael Bay). Up had one of the most compelling stories I’ve seen. On paper you could see a lot of stock elements. Grumpy old man paired with irritatingly happy youngster. Comedy. Throw in some animal sidekicks for comic relief and action elements. Let it simmer gently for 90 minutes. You get so much more than that, and a lot of that is down to Ellie.

Ellie is Carl’s wife. They meet as children and discover they are both fuelled by the spirit of adventure. I really don’t want to spoil it but Pixar uses a montage even better than the one in Wall-E to show their relationship develop. For the whole sequence they barely speak, another tool learnt from Wall-E. And yet we are left with a character who the whole audience had limitless affection for. You see emo-kids covered in Nightmare Before Christmas badges now, in five years they will be wearing Ellie badges.

ellie badge

Onto the bad guy. And what a bad guy. I thought Colonel Hans Landa (Christopher Waltz) would easily walk away with bad guy of the year but Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer) really throws down the gauntlet. It’s a good olde fashioned Chris-Off. Waltz plays the scheming and ruthless Jew Hunter. Plummer shoots a nine year old boy with an elephant gun. Several times. In a kid’s film. And Russell (the little child) is cute. He loves exploring, chocolate and Kevin. You can’t shoot a child that innocent. The point is that Charles Muntz is a scary character that really adds jeopardy to the story.

Dug does not. Dug is a talking dog. Comic relief is rarely done as well as it is here. He is voiced by writer Bob Peterson, he also voices the bad dog: Alpha. Watch the clip below.

Up takes a lot of influence from the Arthur Conan Doyle novel: The Lost World. Or so IMDB tells me. I haven’t read The Lost World. What I have done is seen the Looney Tunes. As much as the Lost World may have impacted the story of ancient life still existing in South America, just as apparent are the sight gags from Looney Tunes. When you first meet Kevin the bird she does an amazing impression of Road Runner. Some dogs chasing Kevin even fall of a cliff in a typical Wile E. Coyote way. If Charles Muntz wasn’t so evil he would look like Elmer Fudd chasing Bugs Bunny with a rifle. These didn’t feel like a cheap rip-off, but more of a homage to days of yore.

Afterwards there was a Q&A with the director, Pete Docter, and producer, Jonas Rivera. Except Pete Docter had completely lost his voice. He drew pictures instead. Being a world class animator this wasn’t really a problem. Sadly dear readers I wasn’t able to ask them a question. But I did learn that: Docter sees a lot of himself in Carl and the desire to float away, that Docter’s daughter voices young Ellie on the instruction of Edward Asner, and that Up was almost about the fountain of youth.


As I mentioned earlier I went to see this film with Tor. She just graduated from the University of East London. As she is as unemployed as I am currently we are going to get together and do some joint film reviews. She will give you the girly side, whilst I’ll give you that tough guy perspective you all depend on me for. Here is the nutty part, they will be video reviews. Now I’m not great at editing, yet, but these should be a lot of fun. Watch out!


Up – Advanced review coming soon

September 8, 2009

Check this out. I’m going to an advanced preview of Up on Friday at the amazingly cool BFI Southbank. Not only that, I’ll be attending a Q & A with the director, Pete Docter, and producer, Jonas Rivera. Pete Docter previously directed Monsters Inc. and was a writer on everything Toy Story.

I’ll be bringing you a review of the film (and any Pixar gossip I can grab) a whole month before the film is out at cinemas. I hope I can do this more for you in the future.

If you have any questions you’d like me to ask just write them as a comment below. Check back here on Saturday to get all the news.

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Disney buys Marvel

September 1, 2009

I am a massive geek. I play computer games, watch a lot of movies and more than anything, I love comic books. I have a very tiny collection of comics but I watch over my favourite heroes from my mighty office chair through the great viewing glass offered to me by the internet.

I was very surprised when I read the headline saying that Disney had bought Marvel. Even more surprised when I saw it was for $4 billion. Way to go Spidey!

Seeing as how Disney wanted to branch out to the young male audience, the decision was  a no brainer. What was odd was that Marvel was willing to sell. For years they have been clawing back control of their intellectual property from film studios who haven’t treated them with the respect they deserve.

From what I’ve read it sounds like Disney is happy to take a back seat approach to Marvel. They seem to be trying to copy the business model between that of DC and Warner Bros. Marvel has done extremely well in the last decade so here is hoping that Disney will adopt a “if it ain’t broke” attitude.

Mixing Disney and Marvel will provide some interesting outcomes. I’d love to go on an Avengers ride by the time the film comes out. Having Sora meet Spidey in Kingdom Hearts is also setting my geek heart a flutter. Not really looking forward to seeing Mickey Mouse in his own Iron Man armour, that is not quite as cool.

If this means that comics will now be circulated in a wider area, I’ll be very happy. It wouldn’t be hard to get a comic stand in every Disney store all over the world. Sweet.


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