Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and haven’t been missing my posts too much, I thought I’d give you some brief and actual blog length reviews rather than my usual essays (sorry to disappoint you, then again you may be sick of them). Lets begin with Christmas Eve viewings!
So, Christmas Eve, watch something Christmassy right? Well, no. I caught the last 10 minutes of Jingle all the Way on Channel 4 +1 if that counts, having missed the infamous ‘Put that cookie down’ line but seeing the Turbo-Man action, which is the best bit, par the Santa fight. But no, I decided to watch the original 1982 Tron and this years Up in the Air, which I recorded with my new Sky + HD box, I thank you.
Tron, of course, has seen a sequel emerge this month in the form of Tron Legacy, which I am hoping to see when I return to Guernsey. So, how has the original aged? Could be better is the answer. But it’s not totally dated, some scenes still looking fairly impressive with their bright neon lights that have given obvious influence to its sequel. The effects are the most dated thing, some scenes show how the film could be seen as groundbreaking for CGI, Flynn taking over a Recognizer my personal favourite. But there are elements which ruin the experience, the costumes particularly are very tacky. But there is no denying the imagination in its concept, computer representing their creators in a digital universe which see’s Jeff Bridges’ Kevin Flynn zapped into when he tries hacking into the main computer program. Bridges gives a very spirited performance and a lot of Tron does impress, but it’s not hard to see why it was a flop, as it is very ahead of its time. And due to the limited effects I don’t think it’ll truly find a place for itself, which is what the sequel will hopefully do for it in today’s world. All in all a solid 3/5- Amazing imagination on show, but limited effects and dramatically restricted story diminish the overall effect.
If you can get through Up in the Air and not want to give George Clooney a hug at the end of it then you’re a harder hearted person than me. Although it deals with middle-aged relationships there is still something for everyone to take from it, as any relationship is the same at any age when you look at it. It is a near flawless film, with sharp direction from Juno’s Jason Reitman, and excellent performances, particularly from its main leads Clooney, Vera Farminga and the unbelievably sweet Anna Kendrick who looks like she’s going to have a lucrative career outside of the Twilight franchise. It is a very charming film that was actually quite perfect for watching on Christmas Eve. Easily 5/5.
Rounded off the evening by watching a bit of The Holiday, sister’s choice not mine. It’s feel good enough, not entirely believable with the likes of Jack Black getting with Kate Winslet, but there’s not a lot wrong with it, save it’s 2 hour plus runtime.
Only watched one film on Christmas Day (I know right!) but we were doing other stuff, family things that kinda stuff. Tried watching Doctor Who, may have fell asleep, watched Eastenders for another cheery Christmas from British TV soap, no one died this year so I guess that’s a plus. After a competitive game of the Logo Board Game, in which I took on the role of Quiz Master, we all sat down to watch the family film of the year, Toy Story 3. There’s not a lot else I can say to praise this movie that hasn’t already been said, but it was great to see how the parents reacted, showing the wide age ranging appeal the movie has, as they both were worried on the Incineration scene (how can you not be!) I then went to bed watching a bit of the classic Mel Brooks’ comedy Young Frankenstein. I fell asleep, but that’s due to no fault of the film, just over indulgence of food.
Once again the Sky HD box came into great effect on Boxing Day, with me being able to finally catch what people call the definite Christmas movie It’s A Wonderful Life on Sky Anytime. And it certainly proves they don’t make them like they used to. James Stewart is the perfect leading man, as we follow the life of George Bailey a man who just can’t seem to escape his small home town due to his own kind-natured spirit. When it looks like his business is beyond saving, George contemplates suicide but is given the chance to see what the world would be like if he never existed. It is effortlessly charming, and despite having black home servants and other certain elements of the 1947 period, it hasn’t dated that much at all. Its script is genuinely witty and funny and the acting is perfection, James Stewart carrying the film on his hugely likeable shoulders. A true enduring classic, 5/5.
The quality of films dipped further in the day as me and the old man had to give in to the female demands of ‘We want to watch something we want to watch for a change’, which resulted in watching, dare I say it, Sex and the City 2. I can feel my own credibility dropping as I type. Especially considering I didn’t think it an utter disaster. Its full of cringey moments, gay wedding being the biggest with a cameo from Liza Minnelli. But it has its funny moments, mostly from the entertaining Kim Catrall. The main problem with it is that it doesn’t know what it wants to be, a drama or a romp, failing to mix the two together carried by the rather flat one-dimensional performance of Sarah Jessica Parker. I guess it keeps fans happy, but this film gets my first 2/5.
Me and my Dad won out in the evening though as we got to watch the Top Gear Christmas special, as you do, and then putting on the testosterone fuelled action-packed epic which is The Expendables! My mum and sister certainly enjoyed this more than me and Dad endured… I mean enjoyed Sex and the City. Just as good second time round this movie with plenty of fun action with Stallone and the gang; check out the full review here!; https://andygaudion93.wordpress.com/2010/09/26/review-the-expendables-lets-see-action/ (This film didn’t feature in my Top 10 films of the year which is why I think it deserves a link to the review)
Monday Bank Holiday
Had a very lazy day here, as we just watched two two hour plus movies in the afternoon, no complaints from me. The first of these was Inception, in which I got the Collectors edition Briefcase, with a spinning top so I can tell whether everything is all a dream or not! I’m that cool! There are new things I keep noticing in this film each time I watch it that makes me think twice about what the ending might mean, which makes this a very re-watchable film and adds to how good it is.
The second film of the day was the Disney animated experimental classic Fantasia. Bit of a nostalgia trip this one for me, my sister got me the Blu-Ray/ DVD combo, having tired out the old VHS. My personal favourite segments are the Dinosaur bit, I can’t really remember the music piece, Rite of Spring or something, Mickey Mouses’ Sorcerers’ Apprentice is iconic of course and Night on Bold Mountain with the scary Satan and demon figures (was scary as a kid still scary now!). It was fun to go back and appreciate it more as an older viewer, and it truly is a highlight of Disney’s history, with stunning animation which opened up many doors for the studio allowing them to make the classics that they went on to produce.
The evening’s film was also a good action movie with The A-Team. We all had fun with this one, which is all the film’s good for really. I still wish it had featured the theme tune more but it is just some silly action fun. Hey, why don’t you check out the full review here; https://andygaudion93.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/review-the-a-team-i-love-it-when-a-plan-comes-together-just-about/
Not a lot of film watching on this day, getting up at one o’clock in the afternoon didn’t help. But this day was for more TV on DVD, with a whole run through of The Inbetweeners Series 3 and the first few episodes of the war epic The Pacific. Both complete opposites but were my two highlights of television this year, The Inbetweeners maintaining its trademark awkward comedy and The Pacific punching its own weight from below the Band of Brothers shadow, more than establishing itself as its own show with engaging character stories and gripping action. I then watched Toy Story and The Expendables again with some mates after a strenuous game of Cranium!
Well that was my weekend, perfect Christmas for me! Hope you all had a great time whatever you did and see you in New Year!