I vividly remember writing my first review of The Lego Movie back in 2015. It was because I was writing it with a pen and paper. I was on a train going to and from a course at work but, because they’re always held in the middle of nowhere, it meant a 3-hour round trip. So, I decided to try to get my thoughts in order after recently re-watching this film. It was a second watch because I, stupidly, hadn’t been mad keen the first time. I enjoyed it but everyone was raving about it. So I figured I might be missing something. And I’ve never been more happy that I did. I bloody loved it second time round. It was fun and the twist was brilliant. The animation was, obviously, stunning and the voice performances were perfect. I became a firm fan of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and the pair have only continued to do wonderful wonderful work. I’m sorry I ever doubted them.
It took me two viewings before I really came on board with The Lego Movie. The first time, I just didn’t get what the fuss was all about but, thanks to a chance special offer DVD, I gave it another chance. And I loved it. I couldn’t get the song out of my head and it finally made sense. Everything about that film was awesome. As is everything that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have come up with since. The Lego Batman movie proved to be a huge success and a lot of fun. Then, as you may well remember, Into The Spider-Verse proved to be my favourite film of last year. I mean it was basically perfect. I still can’t get over it. And, considering how many disappointments there were at this year’s Oscars, it was well deserving of its win. It seems as though Lord and Miller are definitely set to be quite the duo and, especially when it comes to animated features, they are a pretty safe bet. So, I was pretty excited by the release of a follow-up to The Lego Movie. Obviously, sequels to great movies aren’t necessarily great themselves and, if I’m honest, I wasn’t entirely sure how the second film would work. But I was looking forward to getting the gang back together to find out. And who knows. Everything was probably going to be awesome anyway.
We’re already on our second Thursday of the month and, in keeping with my nostalgic film, I’m rewatching the second film that I reviewed on this blog. It was nearly a month after I posted the first one so, it’s safe to say, I had a pretty relaxed start to this whole thing. I’m so invested in my schedule these days that it’s hard to cope with the fact that I used to just post whenever I had something to write about. It could be weeks or months between writing. I’m not saying that these days I write to gain any kind of response but, back then, I definitely wasn’t writing with the belief that anyone was going to read it. To be honest, I probably only went through with it because I didn’t believe anyone was going to read it. I’d have been mortified to think anyone I knew would see what I was doing. I’m still a little mortified that so many people in my life know about this now but I my love for doing this outweighs all of my natural instincts to hide away. I wish I had more confidence. The kind of confidence it takes for a fox to steal food and drink from under the noses of three angry farmers. Oh, look at that. Brought right back round to topic in hand. It’s almost like I’ve done this blogging malarky before.
Today is January 8th, which means we’re already over a week into the new year. But, as we all know, January is the longest month of the year and those 8 days have felt like twice that. Christmas is a but a distant memory: a brighter time without work or responsibilities. So, obviously, the thing everyone wants is to read my review of a Christmas film. Yes, I should have posted this sooner but I was already behind with Into the Spider-Verse. Let’s not worry about it too much. The twelves days of Christmas may be over but who really worries about that kind of thing anyway? Bad luck? I can’t get a job I want, my health is all over the place, I’m currently single: I think I’m pretty good on bad luck right now. How much worse can it really get? So, I’m just going to do this. Regardless of how appropriate it is. After all, I only watched this for this bloody blog… and, to a lesser extent, Cumberbatch. At this point, the obsession is so strong I’d watch him in any old shit.
As I was reminded today, there are only 19 more sleeps until Christmas. This means that Christmas shopping is in full swing. I like to think I’m doing well with the amount of gifts I’ve already bought but, when I really think about it, I still have loads to buy. And I’m starting to get desperate for ideas. When I read something on Twitter about the 30th anniversary box set of My Neighbour Totoro I decided it was the perfect present for a friend… until I saw the price and almost died. I mean, I love her but no. Sorry. On the plus side, it reminded me that I’ve been putting off doing a TBT post about this film. I don’t know why it took me so long as I really love this film. In terms of Studio Ghibli films, it is one of the all time classics and Totoro has become a massive part of Japanese pop culture. By this point, he’s essentially the Japanese Winnie the Pooh, right? If I was going to be sharing my 30th birthday year with anyone then I’m really glad it’s Totoro.
I know that I liked The Incredibles but I really don’t think I have that same sense of nostalgia that a lot of people I know have for it. I was 16 when it came out so I was probably trying to appear too cool to give a shit about Pixar films. I definitely wasn’t but I was going through a phase. So, as good as I think the film is, it was never one of my favourites. I certainly wasn’t as emotionally invested in the sequel as I had been for Toy Story 3 or Finding Dory. Which is weird considering how much I adore superhero films in general. But, I have to admit, that every time someone was getting super excited about the new release I quite often had to fake enough enthusiasm to keep myself on par with theirs. I was excited but this wasn’t the film of my youth. Maybe I’m just spending too much time with younger people? Maybe I should have re-watched the original more recently? Who knows. I was excited enough to watch the damn thing. Plus, I’m always down to watch a Pixar film.
Apparently, I need to make more friends who are willing to watch Wes Anderson films. I adore all of his films but find it very difficult to find people who aren’t put off by his quirkiness. That’s why it’s taken me so bloody long to finally get round to watching his second animated feature. If you’ve been around for a while you’ll know that I really love Fantastic Mr Fox and the adorable stop-motion animation. So I was really excited about seeing this. I just couldn’t find anyone else who was as excited. I’ve always found it hard to get the people in my life to appreciate Anderson in the same way that I have. And I understand why. He’s not for everyone. I can see that. His first few movies could, conceivably, taken place in the real world but, as his career moved on, Anderson has slowly started to move further into his own realms. The kind of fantasy worlds that exist in and of themselves without need for further explanation. I’ve read someone describe them as being like video game universes and I think that’s a perfect description. You don’t need to know anymore about them than what you see and you’re always instantly engrossed. Yet even my oldest friends find his whimsical worlds to be a bit tedious after a while. Personally, I’d love to live in an Anderson world.
Within my TBT film jar there are a couple of films that I’ve been desperate to watch again. Films that I’ve loved for years but, for one reason or another, I just haven’t seen for a while. This is one of those films. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to definitively answer the question “what is your favourite movie?” because it changes on an almost daily basis. They are so many films out there that it’s impossible to pick just one. It all comes down to mood, time of the day, time of the year, what I’m wearing, who I’m with… you know how it is. Still, if, at gunpoint, I was forced to make a list of my top 10 films I would, after a long time thinking about it, be able to make a list of films I love in no particular order. If that horrific situation (and I’m referring to the list making not the gun by the way) ever did arise then I’m pretty sure that this film would definitely be part of it. It’s one of those films that manages to bridge the gap between silly, nostalgic film and genuinely well-made film. The kind of film you love to watch and aren’t embarrassed to love. You know, like I am with Space Jam. Although, that film has been criminally under-looked critically.
One of the greatest things about this project is that I get to revist films I haven’t seen for ages. Of course, there is always the problem that, now I’m a 30-year-old, I will watch them again and realise how bad they are now. 80s movies aren’t all timeless classics unfortunately. Today’s film is one that I can’t say has stayed with me for my entire life but I certainly have memories of it. I have always thought of it fondly but not enough to sit and watch it again. It’s also entirely possible that I’m actually remembering watching on its many sequels instead. I’ve never had the greatest memory for stuff like this so I could even be thinking of Jurassic Park for all I know. Anything with a dinosaur in it. Hell, I watched The Good Dinosaur a few years ago, maybe I was just confusing it with that. Still, I love dinosaurs and I’ve always, sort of, credited this series of films. Dinosaurs are cool but adorable talking dinosaurs are way cooler.
You find me writing this Sunday Rundown in an unusually good mood today. Even though it’s already after 11pm and I’m only just starting to write this. But I’ve always enjoyed the pressure of a deadline drama. The reason I’m so positive today? I’ve spent a lovely chunk of it eating amazing food and spending time with wonderful people. As I’ve made abundantly clear on this blog already, I’m turning 30 in just over a week. As part of the ongoing celebrations some of my work-friends and I went to a Michelin star restaurant for lunch today. It was so wonderful that I don’t even care how unproductive I’ve been. Head to my Instagram for some sensational (even if I do say so myself) example of food porn. Maybe this whole “turning 30” thing won’t be that bad after all?