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 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 don’t know who is in charge of creating the trailers for Joe Cornish’s films but he needs to have a quiet word. The first time I saw the Attack the Block trailer I absolutely hated it but, as a long-time lover of Adam and Joe, I wanted to give it a chance. The film was certainly better than the trailer made it seem. It was a fun play with a much seen genre and Cornish really made the most out of his younger cast. It was the film that introduced us to the great John Boyega and gave us yet more evidence that Jodie Whittaker was a force to be reckoned with. And look where they both are now. An ex-Stormtrooper and Dr Who respectively. Cornish has a talent of gathering a great cast and making things work despite appearances. So, when I first saw and hated the trailer for his second film, I couldn’t help but cringe at The Kid Who Would Be King. It just looked like a boring children’s blockbuster that made obvious jokes and wasn’t very exciting. But I had hope. And, let’s face it, it had to be better than some of the adaptations of the Arthurian legend, right? I mean there have been some stinkers.
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.
I sometimes forget that Robert Rodriguez directed the Spy Kids series. I mean the guy directed Sin City and the Mexico Trilogy so I tend to overlook the fact that his first major Hollywood film was a children’s film about kids who become spies. Although, it’s probably because I never saw it. It came out when I was 13 so I definitely thought I was too cool to see it. I definitely wasn’t too cool to see it but that I was even more of an idiot then than I am now. After finally posting my review of Alita this week (I watched it at the start of the month), I was in need of a TBT post and it seemed like the ideal time to finally watch a film I’ve ignored for so long. How bad could it be?
Now, we already know that Netflix have added some pretty questionable Christmas films this year but I actually had some hope for this one. It’s Kurt Russell for fuck’s sake. Kurt Russell playing Santa. I love Kurt Russell. I love Santa. It’s a dream combination. Then I saw the trailer and it looked like a Frankenstein’s monster made up from the tired narratives of old Christmas films. So my excitement started wavering a bit and I put it to the bottom of my pile. Then I watched The Princess Switch and decided it couldn’t be as bad as that. And, there have been loads of people at work raving about it. Once again, I swayed due to popular opinion and decided to watch it this week. Well, that and the fact that the only one I really have left t watch is the stupid magical advent calendar one and that looks even shitter than A Christmas Prince 2. And, if nothing else, Kurt Russell was sure to be perfect as Santa, right?
I’ve been banging on about October and Halloween for ages now and I do apologise. But I’m getting into the spirit quite a lot this year. I’ve loved creating seasonal photos on Instagram and I’ve been using my TBT posts to watch some appropriately scary films. Well, not that scary. I’m not exactly a lover of horror films in general. It’s not the gore or the violence that get me. It’s the suspense. I’m one of those people who can’t stand being scared. I have no chill so I can’t cope with anything too shocking. Anything that relies on jump scares could, probably kill me. So I have to be careful at this time of year when it comes to my film viewing. I’m just lucky that children are catered for at this time of year. So, instead of watching the countless Netflix films about haunted houses, I decided to watch the sequel to a film I reviewed years ago. 3 years ago to be precise. It’s been so long since the first Goosebumps film came out so I tried to refresh my memory by reading my review. I discovered 2 things: number 1, it wasn’t a very good one and number 2, I made no real discoveries about the film itself. I kind of liked it but kind of didn’t. So not very helpful. It certainly didn’t get me more excited for the sequel.
There’s something quite scary about nostalgia. When you revisit something that you loved as a child there is always the danger it won’t be the same. Which is why I’ve tended to avoid most of the reboots of my most loved childhood TV and films. It’s the reason I only got round to watching the two new Paddington films recently instead of when the first one came out. I just didn’t think it would the same. I didn’t think there was any chance that the CGI bear would give me the same feelings as the cartoon one did in my youth. As we now know, I loved both of the films and feel like an idiot for not believing that I would. So, when Christopher Robin was announced I treated it with less suspicion. I knew that it was possible to make a really good live action version of one of my childhood favourite animated classics. Plus, you know, Ewan McGregor’s face is always a reason to get excited. Continue reading
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.