I get bored with the argument that Hollywood has run out of original ideas. It’s an argument made by people who only give a shit about blockbuster films. Yes, we see a lot of sequels, reboots, and remakes these days but that’s not to say there aren’t original films. Independent cinema and world cinema are full of interesting and unique ideas that most supposed film lovers wouldn’t know about. Okay, there’s an argument to be made for the accessibility of these films. One that I understand the pain of. I live in the North of England and we don’t tend to get a lot of smaller films here. I mean we’ve only really just got access to National Theatre Live on a large scale. But that’s not something to go into now. So, yes, I don’t agree that filmmakers are running out of ideas. However, sometimes a film comes along where you have to think this must have been scraping the bottom of the barrel of film ideas. That they were literally out of all other ideas. The Emoji Movie was one of those films.
It’s been 24 years since the first Toy Story film hit cinema screens. I’m not sure if we saw it in a cinema but we definitely had a copy of it on VHS. My sisters and I all loved it. We must have seen the second film in the cinema because we didn’t own a copy of that. And Toy Story 3 came out when I was at university. It was a house outing because all of us had fond memories of the series. Fond memories that were completely manipulated by the story of aging and leaving your childhood behind. That’s exactly what a 22-year-old needed. It’s been 9 years since Pixar left us utterly broken at the scene where Andy waves goodbye to his childhood toys and gives them to the next generation. It was the perfect end to the series. Or so we thought. There wasn’t any need for it but, god, we were excited to see the gang again. There’s something about the combination of Tom Hanks’ voice and Pixar’s unbeatable animation that just makes you feel at home.
As I mentioned on Tuesday, I was obsessed with Pokémon. I loved everything about it. And the first Pokémon movie was something that people my age will remember as having one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the history of cinema. I lived with a guy at university that definitely described it as the saddest films ever made but he also really loved the Hannah Montana movie. So, I’m not sure we can trust his opinion too much. I never quite went that far but it certainly stayed with you. And this year, Pokémon: The First Movie is celebrating its 21st birthday. Yep, the first ever animated Pokémon movie is finally becoming an adult. So, I decided it was definitely worth giving it a rewatch. Especially considering I’ve been pretty Pokémon obsessed since I watched Detective Pikachu. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve nearly bought a Nintendo Switch just to play Let’s Go Pikachu! At least the film would only distract me for a little over an hour. Continue reading “TBT – Pokémon: The First Movie (1998)”
As I said in my review of Tim Burton’s Dumbo on Tuesday, I mentioned that it’s been a while since I last watched the animated version. It was definitely when I was a child because I didn’t feel weird about the crows. Something I didn’t bring up in my review. Not because I don’t think it’s problematic: I do. But because I didn’t see what more I could say on the issue that hasn’t already been said. Yes, there is a Jim Crow reference in the middle of the film. Yes, it’s clearly bad. But it happened over 40 years before I was born. Of course, it’s going to make me uncomfortable. We should just be grateful that there was no attempt to make that scene fit into the live action remake. There was already a lot about Tim Burton’s film that stressed me out without coming face-to-face with his interpretation of Disney’s racist past.
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.