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.
I have to be honest and start this post by saying that I never had any intention of watching this film. It looked so bad and, as a fan of the book, thought it was a terrible legacy for Beatrix Potter’s famous rabbit. That was until I heard the story of James Corden’s dad email to Mark Kermode about the critics review. In it, Kermode described Corden’s performance as “appallingly irritating” which prompted the actor’s dad to write into his show to disagree with him. Replying that, as a parent, it was only the prerogative of himself or his wife to describe their son as such. In the email he also complained about the feedback Kermode gave The Greatest Showman but for different reasons. It wasn’t quite as epic as finding out that James Corden and Hugh Jackman are related. Although, it was a truly brilliant thing that I’m very glad happened. But the whole affair has got me thinking about the film more and, helped along by my recent obsession with Domhnall Gleeson’s face, I decided I had to see for myself who was right? Malcolm Corden or Mark Kermode. Let’s find out.
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.
I never saw Oliver and Company when I was a kid but I remember seeing the trailer for it whenever we watched a Disney film on VHS. Every time I saw it I wanted to watch it but it never happened. Probably because I’d get too distracted by whatever Disney film I was going to watch. It always looked really fun and, as someone who loved dogs, I was obviously into the idea of Oliver Twist being remade with animals. I mean if The Lion King has taught us anything it’s that taking a piece of great literature and retelling it with animals is a great strategy for storytelling. I mean who’d even heard of Hamlet before Disney introduced us to Simba, right? Plus, there is a whole host of Disney films that prove that dogs and/or cats having adventures together is an instant winner. I’m not a big fan of Dickens anyway so I couldn’t imagine how it could get any worse by involving household pets.