Corny jokes are all that I’m left with, along with growing paranoia.
Just over a week ago, I was trawling (geddit?) through our Netflix queue looking for something to watch, promptly found “Trollhunter” sitting two thirds of the way down, and jumped over to Nekoneko to re-read her review.
By the way, if you’re interested in watching “Trollhunter” I recommend you read her write up. Because you see, I did not finish it. And I wanted to review it. By Grabthar’s hammer, this was not to be…
“The adventures of Tintin” (107 minutes, USA, 2011 – rated PG)
Perhaps the most difficult thing in adapting material like Hergé’s comic books has to do with tone and pitch. To say the themes and characters are dated or fixed in time might be unkind, but it’s safe to say Tintin is steeped in tradition. And in some instances, some would even say good riddance.
Tintin’s adventures spanned about 40 years from the 1930’s until the 1970’s, a period which started between world wars, through European decolonization, the nuclear age, race to space and the cold war, with a hero combining Baden-Powell’s Boy Scouts’ ideals with the romantic depiction of thejournalist as defender of the Fourth Estate.
Thirty years before the excellent comedy “Bottle Shock” came out, this little known gem drew its inspiration from the troubled French wine industry. Question is: was it a diamond in the rough or straight up zirconium?
Marking a return to the Midnight Movie Madness review format is this bit of a curio from 1970s France, written and directed by Jean Rollin. I found this looking through Z-movie listings (I mean Zombies), although “grapes of death” isn’t exactly about zombies created by bad wine made worse by overused pesticides, it could have been called “les dégueulasses“, as country folk develop extremely bad acne, smearing it everywhere from car windows to… Well, anywhere.
“We are what we are” is largely about what it takes to keep a family together and that thing here isn’t love. “We are what we are” is a Mexican film written and directed by Jorge Michel Grau whose career so far shows promise, mostly documentaries centered on culture, the arts and education.
It helps to know this as this work of fiction has strong sociological themes, rather specific to Hispanic culture, Mexican in particular.
Funny story. Two Irish guys, both named William, go to Edinburgh circa 1827 and… Well, “Burke and Hare” tells of William Burke (Simon Pegg) and William Hare (Andy Serkis), scraping by in a city experiencing a sort of Renaissance in scientific studies, particularly medicine. As it happens, two rival surgeons, Doctors Robert Knox (Tom Wilkinson) and Alexander Monro (Tim Curry), are in stiff competition for fresh human meat to dissect.
This definitely has Guillermo DelToro’s fingerprints over it, but despite the occasional clever touch, this adaptation of a 1973 teleplay falls way short from the original.
In this version, the medicated offspring (Bailee Madison) of a divorced yuppie couple is sent to live with her father (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend (Katie Holmes). Daddy and the girlfriend are renovating the auld mansion of Emerson Blackwood who disappeared mysteriously shortly after his young son about a century ago.
This isn’t any kind of top 10 list, or “best of” by any means: the following clips are posted in no particular order, either.
Some are amusing, some evocative, maybe sad, but they have all stuck somewhere in my mind.
And this sample isn’t exhaustive: I left out Henry Mancini, Roque Banos and Bruno Coulais to name just a few.
“The illusionist” – (2010, UK/France, 80 minutes – rated PG)
Note: this review contains spoilers.
Adapted from an original script written by Jacques Tati in 1956, “the illusionist” retains all the charms from Sylvain Chomet’s previous animated film “the triplettes of Belleville”.
Watch the trailer here:
“The illusionist” is a very different kind of film though, partly because it is semi-autobiographical, but mainly perhaps because of the controversy as to which of Tati’s daughters the script was dedicated. Tati had a daughter out of wedlock during WWII with an Austrian dancer named Herta Schiel. Pressured by his sister, Tati abandoned mother and child, and went on to start a family with Micheline Winter, with whom he had a second daughter, Sophie, and a son named Pierre.
Each side lays claim to Tati’s original intent. Did he write out of sorrow and guilt for abandoning Helga Marie, or regret at having missed much of Sophie’s childhood while on the road?