Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mini Movie Reviews: Bulk Hit No 35

Holy scary stories, Batman.  Coraline is disturbing.  This is not to say I didn't enjoy it.  As some of you may know, I have an odd penchant for Tim Burton films.  This isn't a Tim Burton film.  But it is a Neil Gaiman baby -- Gaiman being one of Burton's co-conspirators in producing The Nightmare Before Christmas (which I do not like so much as The Corpse Bride, fyi).  Coraline is Alice-of-Looking-Glass'-fame's dark sister.  Poorly marketed for what it is, this film was unfortunately met with much criticism -- which they had to wear, I think, for presenting a girl-titled feature that might be mistaken as a children's movie to the untrained eye.  The PG rating doesn't help.  This is an M, in my book.  I would not share this with my children until they were teenagers...if ever.  It's creepy.  I mean, seriously creepy.  Not drunk elephants creepy, more like a Japanese horror story in stop motion.  I do not lie.  But the stop motion is breathtaking, the symbolism is intense, and the script and voices are flawless.  A great Gaiman.
Sense and Sensibility (2008, TV Mini-series)
Yes, watching three different Emma's wasn't enough, I needed more, MORE Austen adaptations, stat. This BBC Mini-series had me squeezing my sister's knee with delight.  I think it is more subtle than the 1995 film (Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet instead of that pair, up yonder).  Devoured in one evening. -- oh the romance!  Sense and Sensibility is also funny, is it not?  I think so.  Very.
How to Train Your Dragon
Oh the rave reviews I've heard from many about this movie -- it seemed to be the hottest adult pick of the animated film offerings since Kung Fu Panda.  I can see why.  It's a great fairy tale.  I think it does for dragon tales what Tangled did for Rapunzel, including modernising the humour, executing the animation beautifully, and appealing to a wide range of ages (but like Tangled, it has some scary parts, and I would think it is better suited to older children).
Gentleman Broncos
Ew.  So disappointing.  Why did I even leave it on?  Blah.  What were the Hess's thinking?!  You know in Nacho Libre, when the scary teenage girl from the buffet table scurries through scary-teenager-girl-sized mouse holes in her house?  When you went, "What just happened?  This film has gone from absurd humour to crazy."  And then by the time the corn incident happens you are wishing you were re-watching Napolean?  But you forgive it all, because lines featuring "stretchy pants" and toast are kinda funny?  Yeah...Gentleman Broncos is all mouseholes and corn.  You know the awkward sideline Uncle Rico runs?  With flyers offering enhancements?  Apparently it's a fetish.  Such a shame, because I thought the premise of a home-schooled aspiring science fiction author having his work stolen by a has-been sounded Dynamite.  Let's be clear: it's not. Pun intended.

North & South (2004, TV Mini-series)
Yeah, I was running out of Austen adaptations.  This filled the gap, for sure.  I had been meaning to see this for a while based on the cover alone, although I had heard nothing.  And apparently it was a dark horse when it hit TV screens too -- the BBC had no idea how well it was going to do.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  First episode: I worried it was going to be too Dickens-like.  Second episode: I knew I was going to watch all of it.  Part 3: Ohmagosh. Part 4: See "Part 3."
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