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RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 19/1/2012 11:40:25 AM   
Pigeon Army


Posts: 14612
Joined: 29/1/2006
From: Pixar HQ, George Lucas' Office.
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

I think it's dreadful although, sadly, I seem to be in a minority on here. 


Aren't you the one who thinks it's racist? I think you are.

EDIT: It is weird that I, the one member of this forum who is guaranteed most likely to make a massive song and dance over perceived racism in films, am holding this above you as a point of mockery. But here we are.

< Message edited by Pigeon Army -- 19/1/2012 11:42:52 AM >


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rinc
She's supposed to be 13! I'd want her to be very attractive though


quote:

ORIGINAL: MonsterCat
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army
Stop being mean to Deviation

No.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 31
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 19/1/2012 11:46:44 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54670
Joined: 1/10/2005
I do also think it's well dodgy. But also felt - and it may simply be it suffers from being the first time I noticed it - but after Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast it felt like a forced bit of formula. Or just that they were enjoyable enough that I didn't mind and Lion King left me absolutely cold. And I love Nathan lane.

< Message edited by elab49 -- 19/1/2012 11:48:00 AM >


_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Pigeon Army)
Post #: 32
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 19/1/2012 11:52:50 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 78105
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

I do also think it's well dodgy. But also felt - and it may simply be it suffers from being the first time I noticed it - but after Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast it felt like a forced bit of formula. Or just that they were enjoyable enough that I didn't mind and Lion King left me absolutely cold. And I love Nathan lane.





_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 33
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 19/1/2012 11:53:45 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54670
Joined: 1/10/2005
I meant generally! Yet Lion King - absolutely nothing but annoyance.

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 34
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 19/1/2012 12:00:44 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 78105
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Did you not like his rendition of The Lion Sleeps Tonight?


_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 35
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 19/1/2012 12:03:30 PM   
swordsandsandals


Posts: 12571
Joined: 6/1/2006
From: A magical forest
There's no point in arguing with her... she's a lost cause.

Gimli I think the next film you watch should be The Lion King. Set the record straight.

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rawlinson

Swords is right about everything.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Hood_Man

Swords smells like bum.



(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 36
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 19/1/2012 12:05:46 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54670
Joined: 1/10/2005
I really can't stand it Gimli, and that terrible song was a cliche waiting to happen. The high note was impressive, though.

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to swordsandsandals)
Post #: 37
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 24/1/2012 1:38:40 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54670
Joined: 1/10/2005


I got this for £2 in Fopp

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 38
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 24/1/2012 2:36:35 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 78105
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
I WANT ONE!!!!!!!

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 39
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 24/1/2012 2:42:34 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54670
Joined: 1/10/2005
I could check later in the week if you'd really like?

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 40
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 24/1/2012 2:43:46 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 78105
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
That's very kind, but I've just bought one off Amazon

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 41
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 24/1/2012 2:56:56 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54670
Joined: 1/10/2005
You impulse buyer you!

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 42
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 24/1/2012 2:57:33 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 78105
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
I just had to have it and couldn't wait

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 43
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 24/1/2012 3:56:45 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
When are you actually going to do reviews?  Tangled doesn't count.

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 44
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 25/1/2012 3:07:18 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 78105
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
If I have the time to watch it, there should be a Ghibli film in here by the weekend. No promises!


_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 45
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 24/4/2012 8:59:16 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 78105
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
OK, so I haven't kept as up to date with this as I'd like, mainly because I'm utterly useless and can't write for toffee. The initial post has a list of those films that I should have reviewed/commented on/blurbed about but have failed to do so. Still, I aim to be better and if I couldn't do at least something about this upcoming film then I think it'd probably be time to hang up my keyboard.



2. The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists


There’s a well-known saying that proclaims that the only good modern comedy films are animated. Actually it’s not that well known at all because I just typed it now for the first time. It’s not even true, but it’s certainly not far from the truth and, with their 5th feature film, Aardman once again produce a comedy that most of their live-action rivals can only aspire to.
It’s been 7 long years since their last foray into stop motion in the cinema and whilst we’ve had a few TV shows, some animated features and a 4th Wallace and Gromit short in the meantime, it’s great to see Aardman’s plasticine inventiveness back on the big screen. Saying that, the pause button will be essential when it comes to spotting all the gags. In terms of jokes it must be the Airplane of animated films, except this one’s actually funny. Even with the astonishing end credits that shows every poster, notice and sign from within the film, there’s wealth of lexicological puns that will only be picked up on multiple viewings (I one owned a t-shirt with the “Have You Seen This Chicken“ poster, I now want one with “12 doubloons and a free pen”)

But beyond the wordplay there’s stack of humour, much of the blink and you’ll miss it kind, and a list of all the chucklesome titbits could take all day. Particular highlights include the fish in the hat, the Elephant Man, Black Bellamy’s Whale, the Ghost Ship, the sign holder at the start and the fate of Queen Victoria. Brilliant lines too (I have never, ever laughed so much at the cinema than at the Captain’s “Poindexter” line. Why it tickled me so, I cannot say, but I just found it hilarious). The film also contains what must be the best ever use of a map to highlight the heroes voyage. These animated segments, couple with the massively effective use of CGI help to give this film a scale that other Aardman films lack. But it’s still their traditional animation style that impresses the most, whether it is used on the characters, in London, on Blood Island or the Pirate ship itself. The sets are vast yet intricately impressive, the characters beautifully animated.

Has Hugh Grant ever been better? I’m one of the apparent few who like the man in any and all films but he’s superb in this, a perfect fit for the bumbling Pirate Captain, but he’s equalled by almost everyone else, with only Lenny Henry and Salma Hayek in their briefest of screen time not making an impression. Maybe animating David Tennant is the only way for him not to be annoying. It’s just a shame that the like of Brendan Gleason and Brian Blessed are given relatively little to do, but they do that little so very well. If (and please let it be so) there’s a sequel, seeing the Pirate crew have larger roles would be most welcome. It’s unlikely that any character from this film will endear themselves to the public as much as either Wallace or Gromit, but that’s more to do with the sheer masterpiece creations from Nick Park than any fault with this film. The ever-so-slightly supercilious Polly deserves to be remembered as one of the great cartoon characters, and Mr. Bobo generate more laughs than any modern comic actor could do in about a dozen films.

So overall, bloody brilliant. It might be the best Pirate film ever made. And if there’s a funnier chase sequence this year than the bathtub ride, I’ll eat my hat. Complete with Blue Peter Badge.

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 46
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 24/4/2012 9:09:33 AM   
MovieAddict247


Posts: 3751
Joined: 5/6/2009
Lovely review, Gimli.

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Post #: 47
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 24/4/2012 9:44:04 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54670
Joined: 1/10/2005
Ditto. I think your Blue Peter badge is safe, too.

I think that even funnier than Blessed himself was his appearance on the entry form in the 'aaaarrrr' scale.


_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to MovieAddict247)
Post #: 48
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 24/4/2012 9:56:21 AM   
Harry Tuttle


Posts: 8004
Joined: 12/11/2005
From: Sometime in the future.

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

Ditto. I think your Blue Peter badge is safe, too.

I think that even funnier than Blessed himself was his appearance on the entry form in the 'aaaarrrr' scale.



Yeah that was great . That was one of my favourite gags in it.

I can't wait to watch it again, my first viewing was pretty much ruined.

_____________________________

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Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!

Blood Island. So called because it's the exact shape of some blood

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 49
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 5/8/2012 1:51:13 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 78105
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Still falling way behind in any and all attempts to keep this thread up to date. Still...





The feline of the title is Dino, a streetwise cat who divides his time between loving owner Zoe; a girl struck mute after the murder of her police officer father, and Nico, a kind-hearted jewellery thief who spends his nights slinking around the rooftops of Paris. When Zoe overhears a criminal plot masterminded by Victor Costa, her father's murderer, it's up to Dino and Nico to try and save the day.

It's a fairly slight story and, even for an animated film, a slight running time, barely making it past an hour. But there isn't a second wasted in that hour, and it choogles along in such a fashion that it certainly doesn't drag. True, the villain of the piece lacks any real sense of menace and his henchman are buffoons of the highest order, and the romance that developed right near the end of the film seems tacked on, but there's a cram and warmth to the story and characters that''s hard to dislike

It might lack the spit and polish of the big animations to come from America, but the visual style of the film is no less of a treat and it looks stunningly gorgeous. Night-time, rooftop escapades give plenty of scope to use the Parisian skyline as a wonderful backdrop to the action and one scene in particular bring back memories of Remy's first view of the city in Ratatouille. There's a simplicity to the animation but it's both graceful and inventive. One especially good scenes takes place indoors during a powercut, and the the characters become white outlines against black.

I'm glad this was Oscar nominated, it must surely have given the film more exposure (and it possibly deserved a win too). It doesn't reach the heights of the best animated French film to have the honour of an Academy nomination, but it's certainly a film I look forward to seeing again in the future.

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to Harry Tuttle)
Post #: 50
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 29/9/2012 6:18:00 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 78105
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo



As much as I like Cars 2 it was something of a blip in the Pixar filmography. It broke their run of ***** films that began 16 years and 12 films earlier and was the first Pixar film in 4 years that I wouldn't have named as film of the year. Still, you can't be the best at everything all the time but I was looking towards Brave to get them back on track.

Saying that, I did have my doubts about Brave. Despite very much looking forward to see what they'd do with their first fairy tale (it seems like eons ago when it was first announced as The Bear and The Bow) pre-release excitement was fairly low. The marketing wasn't all that great and the trailers left a great deal to be desired - most of the shots within reminded me of either LOTR and How To Train Your Dragon. It had the impression of being a very un-Pixary film. Luckily I was wrong to be worried. It might not be Pixar's greatest achievement but it's still a great achievement.

As we've come to expect the animation looks gorgeous Pixar. Some of the scenery and distance shots are just stunning. I know that just about any graphically minded bod with a PC can come up with nice images these days, but Pixar always seem to be ahead of their rivals in these stakes.

Patrick Doyle makes his Pixar debut with Brave and perhaps more than anything this was what got me excited for the film. He gave us two great scores last year with Thor and Apes, and I was in interested to see how his music for Pixar would fit alongside Randy Newmaan, Thomas Newman and Michale Giachino. I'm happy to say that he was a fine choice. Listening to it now and it works well away from the film too, certainly in the top 5 Pixar scores.

Top notch vocals. Billy Connolly was superb (never a sentence I thought I'd write!) and was responsible for a good deal of humour (the full version of the song about how he lost his leg is a treat) Great work from Kelly MacDonald and Emma Thompson too, really helped to bring heart to that mother/daughter relationship and it's that aspect of the film that bring the emotion. It's a more affecting familial storyline than any other Pixar film I can think, bettering The Incredibles and and topping Marlin and Nemo.

In all honesty I can't think of much wrong with it. There's certainly nothing I didn't like, I think it's main problem is that it never quite reaches the dizzying heights of greatness that we know Pixar can deliver. Seems a bit harsh to criticise a film for simply not being as good as others but if I had to find a fault, it'd be that. It was very, very enjoyable and the more I think back on it the more Iike it. I think on a rewatch it'll get top marks but for now - 4/5* 

< Message edited by Gimli The Dwarf -- 18/2/2013 6:25:12 AM >


_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 51
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 29/9/2012 9:01:35 AM   
siegfried


Posts: 13582
Joined: 16/12/2007
From: Long ago and far away
Haven't seen Brave yet, but I'm so happy to see Une Vie De Chat included. I adored it, and can't wait until I can get my own copy.

_____________________________

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(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 52
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 7/10/2012 10:49:35 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 78105
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo


It’s rare that a genuinely ground-breaking film comes along and, come the mid-nineties, it had been a while since a true first had been seen. Here though, was a first, something unique. A computer animated feature film. And even after 17 years, with the technology progressing in leaps and bounds, awe-inspiring graphics commonplace and a new CGI film every week, it looks remarkable. Sure, the humans and the environments aren’t so impressive nowadays, but the main focus, the toys, is still excellent. Maybe it’s the plasticy nature of such things that makes the easier to render, but the likes of Buzz Lightyear and, in particular, Rex, still stand out as being amongst the most visually realistic of beings in Pixar’s canon. Back on the big screen in 1995, I can only imagine what it must have been like to witness this. Seeing the 3D version back in 2009 was impressive, but I’d dearly love to see it properly in the cinema.

However, it’s not just the visuals that impress. As so many similar films have shown since, great graphics count for nought without a great script and, I’m going out on a limb here, Toy Story has what is possibly the finest script in moviedom. Not as meaningful, deep or thought-provoking as others, but within the confines of the film and what the film intends to achieve, it’s nigh on perfect. It crackles with a wonderful energy, not a singling line going awry. It’s flawless and, just as importantly, terrifically funny, with each character beautifully crafted. Woody, the self-appointed leader; Buzz, absolute delusion which gives way to poignant awareness; Sarge, the epitome of military precision, the cynical and sardonic Potato Head, the wisecracking Hamm, Slinky Dog, ever so slightly a bit of a suck up, the brainwashed aliens and my favourite, Rex, the wonderfully insecure Tyrannosaur.

The one-liners come thick and fast and never fail to raise, at the very least, a smile. The heartfelt moments never veer towards cheesy sentiment and work perfectly. Buzz’s realisation that he is, in fact a toy, is a thousand times more emotional than anything Toy Story 2 managed to achieve with that horrendous song by Jessie - still the worst moment in any Pixar film -, and whilst Toy Story 3 had grown men the world over weeping into their popcorn (as well they should. Only the Scroogiest of Scrooges could fail to be moved by the impending furnace or when Andy gives his toys away) such moments often failed to overshadow the film’s lighter touches and it became a very different beast to the first film. But in the original the heart and humour is very brilliantly balanced, rattling along at a fantastic pace. The script was nominated for an Oscar but was beaten by The Usual Suspects. A fine film and a fine script, but lacking the charm, wit and inventiveness on display here.

The vocal casting is perfect. It seems almost impossible to imagine that neither Tim Allen nor Tom Hanks were the first choices for the roles. I’d rather not imagine what it would have been like had Bill Murray or Jim Carrey been included. Beyond the two stars though, a whole host a talent helps bring to life the supporting characters and its here where the casting truly excels. Wallace Shawn, Jim Varney, Don Rickles, John Ratzenburger, R. Lee Ermy. All spot on.

Combine, the looks, vocals and script and you have a film which delights on multiple levels for every single second of the running time. It’s never dull to watch as, even outside the overall look of the film, it’s peppered with wonderful sight gags, some of which I’m still discovering after countless viewings (I’m particularly fond of the toy snake that coils itself around Woody when the toys think he’s deliberately thrown Buzz out of the window and Mr. Spell’s “What?!?!” when Woody announces the party). Line after line after line produce a smile, a chuckle, a guffaw, even a tear, especially when coupled with the wonderful delivery. “To infinity and beyond” has rightly become a pop culture staple - not in the AFIs top 100 quotes though. Idiots! - It’s the sly asides and throwaway lines that win the most “Laser envy” is a winner, I love Rex's “I’m from Mattel” speech and I’ve lost count of the number of times my sister and I have, complete with hushed voices of awe, performed “The claw is our master, he chooses who will go and who will stay” and “I have been chosen. Farewell my friends, I go on to a better place” (Why, I have no idea, sometimes it just seems appropriate to do so!!) The first 15 minutes of Toy Story has more laughs than any full live-action film in the last 20 years, and you’d have to go back to the 30s to find a non-animation that is consistently funny.

What else. Ah, the music! Good ol’ Randy Newman. He gives us a really fantastic score, completely suiting the mood of the film. Dark when needed, notably brash and heroic at others, all the while in tune with the film. Rightfully Oscar-nominated, wrongly disregarded. His best work in the film though is with his songs. “Strange Things”, “I Will Go Sailing No More” and “You’ve Got A Friend In Me”. Oscar glory came close for the latter song, but to no avail, though I reckon “I Will Go Sailing No More” is probably the best of the three. It also comes at an emotional highlight of the film. Maybe it’s just my post-LOTR days that make it so, but I can't help but shed a tear when Buzz realises he can’t fly. It’s a terrifically beautiful and sad sequence.

To date, this is the only Pixar film that I first saw out of the cinema. But still, when I saw it I fell in love with it. I was in my teens at the time, this was not the kind of film I was meant to love but love it I did. Indeed, I was amazed then and I am now at people who just don’t like this film. Almost 16 years and some two dozen viewings later I watched again for the Hall of Fame and I swear I’ve never loved it quite so much. I smiled and I laughed and I cried though every single second, my face was aching at the end. It’s genuine masterpiece. It’s that rare beast, a family film for all the family. It’s pure perfection, and that happens all too rarely. A film to be treasured.


_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to siegfried)
Post #: 53
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 7/10/2012 2:40:52 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4037
Joined: 19/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf




As much as I like Cars 2 it was something of a blip in the Pixar filmography. It broke their run of ***** films that began 16 years and 12 films earlier and was the first Pixar film in 4 years that I wouldn't have named as film of the year. Still, you can't be the best at everything all the time but I was looking towards Brave to get them back on track.

Saying that, I did have my doubts about Brave. Despite very much looking forward to see what they'd do with their first fairy tale (it seems like eons ago when it was first announced as The Bear and The Bow) pre-release excitement was fairly low. The marketing wasn't all that great and the trailers left a great deal to be desired - most of the shots within reminded me of either LOTR and How To Train Your Dragon. It had the impression of being a very un-Pixary film. Luckily I was wrong to be worried. It might not be Pixar's greatest achievement but it's still a great achievement.

As we've come to expect the animation looks gorgeous Pixar. Some of the scenery and distance shots are just stunning. I know that just about any graphically minded bod with a PC can come up with nice images these days, but Pixar always seem to be ahead of their rivals in these stakes.

Patrick Doyle makes his Pixar debut with Brave and perhaps more than anything this was what got me excited for the film. He gave us two great scores last year with Thor and Apes, and I was in interested to see how his music for Pixar would fit alongside Randy Newmaan, Thomas Newman and Michale Giachino. I'm happy to say that he was a fine choice. Listening to it now and it works well away from the film too, certainly in the top 5 Pixar scores.

Top notch vocals. Billy Connolly was superb (never a sentence I thought I'd write!) and was responsible for a good deal of humour (the full version of the song about how he lost his leg is a treat) Great work from Kelly MacDonald and Emma Thompson too, really helped to bring heart to that mother/daughter relationship and it's that aspect of the film that bring the emotion. It's a more affecting familial storyline than any other Pixar film I can think, bettering The Incredibles and and topping Marlin and Nemo.

In all honesty I can't think of much wrong with it. There's certainly nothing I didn't like, I think it's main problem is that it never quite reaches the dizzying heights of greatness that we know Pixar can deliver. Seems a bit harsh to criticise a film for simply not being as good as others but if I had to find a fault, it'd be that. It was very, very enjoyable and the more I think back on it the more Iike it. I think on a rewatch it'll get top marks but for now - 4/5* 


It looked and sounded great, but overall I thought Brave was a mess and a copy of two many films esp. Brother Bear, sorry.

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 54
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 7/10/2012 2:41:41 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4037
Joined: 19/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf



It’s rare that a genuinely ground-breaking film comes along and, come the mid-nineties, it had been a while since a true first had been seen. Here though, was a first, something unique. A computer animated feature film. And even after 17 years, with the technology progressing in leaps and bounds, awe-inspiring graphics commonplace and a new CGI film every week, it looks remarkable. Sure, the humans and the environments aren’t so impressive nowadays, but the main focus, the toys, is still excellent. Maybe it’s the plasticy nature of such things that makes the easier to render, but the likes of Buzz Lightyear and, in particular, Rex, still stand out as being amongst the most visually realistic of beings in Pixar’s canon. Back on the big screen in 1995, I can only imagine what it must have been like to witness this. Seeing the 3D version back in 2009 was impressive, but I’d dearly love to see it properly in the cinema.

However, it’s not just the visuals that impress. As so many similar films have shown since, great graphics count for nought without a great script and, I’m going out on a limb here, Toy Story has what is possibly the finest script in moviedom. Not as meaningful, deep or thought-provoking as others, but within the confines of the film and what the film intends to achieve, it’s nigh on perfect. It crackles with a wonderful energy, not a singling line going awry. It’s flawless and, just as importantly, terrifically funny, with each character beautifully crafted. Woody, the self-appointed leader; Buzz, absolute delusion which gives way to poignant awareness; Sarge, the epitome of military precision, the cynical and sardonic Potato Head, the wisecracking Hamm, Slinky Dog, ever so slightly a bit of a suck up, the brainwashed aliens and my favourite, Rex, the wonderfully insecure Tyrannosaur.

The one-liners come thick and fast and never fail to raise, at the very least, a smile. The heartfelt moments never veer towards cheesy sentiment and work perfectly. Buzz’s realisation that he is, in fact a toy, is a thousand times more emotional than anything Toy Story 2 managed to achieve with that horrendous song by Jessie - still the worst moment in any Pixar film -, and whilst Toy Story 3 had grown men the world over weeping into their popcorn (as well they should. Only the Scroogiest of Scrooges could fail to be moved by the impending furnace or when Andy gives his toys away) such moments often failed to overshadow the film’s lighter touches and it became a very different beast to the first film. But in the original the heart and humour is very brilliantly balanced, rattling along at a fantastic pace. The script was nominated for an Oscar but was beaten by The Usual Suspects. A fine film and a fine script, but lacking the charm, wit and inventiveness on display here.

The vocal casting is perfect. It seems almost impossible to imagine that neither Tim Allen nor Tom Hanks were the first choices for the roles. I’d rather not imagine what it would have been like had Bill Murray or Jim Carrey been included. Beyond the two stars though, a whole host a talent helps bring to life the supporting characters and its here where the casting truly excels. Wallace Shawn, Jim Varney, Don Rickles, John Ratzenburger, R. Lee Ermy. All spot on.

Combine, the looks, vocals and script and you have a film which delights on multiple levels for every single second of the running time. It’s never dull to watch as, even outside the overall look of the film, it’s peppered with wonderful sight gags, some of which I’m still discovering after countless viewings (I’m particularly fond of the toy snake that coils itself around Woody when the toys think he’s deliberately thrown Buzz out of the window and Mr. Spell’s “What?!?!” when Woody announces the party). Line after line after line produce a smile, a chuckle, a guffaw, even a tear, especially when coupled with the wonderful delivery. “To infinity and beyond” has rightly become a pop culture staple - not in the AFIs top 100 quotes though. Idiots! - It’s the sly asides and throwaway lines that win the most “Laser envy” is a winner, I love Rex's “I’m from Mattel” speech and I’ve lost count of the number of times my sister and I have, complete with hushed voices of awe, performed “The claw is our master, he chooses who will go and who will stay” and “I have been chosen. Farewell my friends, I go on to a better place” (Why, I have no idea, sometimes it just seems appropriate to do so!!) The first 15 minutes of Toy Story has more laughs than any full live-action film in the last 20 years, and you’d have to go back to the 30s to find a non-animation that is consistently funny.

What else. Ah, the music! Good ol’ Randy Newman. He gives us a really fantastic score, completely suiting the mood of the film. Dark when needed, notably brash and heroic at others, all the while in tune with the film. Rightfully Oscar-nominated, wrongly disregarded. His best work in the film though is with his songs. “Strange Things”, “I Will Go Sailing No More” and “You’ve Got A Friend In Me”. Oscar glory came close for the latter song, but to no avail, though I reckon “I Will Go Sailing No More” is probably the best of the three. It also comes at an emotional highlight of the film. Maybe it’s just my post-LOTR days that make it so, but I can't help but shed a tear when Buzz realises he can’t fly. It’s a terrifically beautiful and sad sequence.

To date, this is the only Pixar film that I first saw out of the cinema. But still, when I saw it I fell in love with it. I was in my teens at the time, this was not the kind of film I was meant to love but love it I did. Indeed, I was amazed then and I am now at people who just don’t like this film. Almost 16 years and some two dozen viewings later I watched again for the Hall of Fame and I swear I’ve never loved it quite so much. I smiled and I laughed and I cried though every single second, my face was aching at the end. It’s genuine masterpiece. It’s that rare beast, a family film for all the family. It’s pure perfection, and that happens all too rarely. A film to be treasured.



Great review, your enthusiasm shows for this great film!

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 55
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 18/2/2013 6:24:32 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 78105
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Fear(s) of the Dark (2007)




As far an animated films go, I think it's safe to say that Fear(s) Of The Dark has less mass appeal than the latest offerings from the likes of Disney or Dreamworks. French, subtitled, black and white, it's an anthology horror comprised of 6 different stories each directed by a comic artist or graphic designer. Toy Story is ain't. I hadn't even heard of this film until two weeks ago, but it's more than worth anybody's time.

The first full segment we see is a gorgeous CGI tale in which a man, ill in bed, reminisces about his childhood and the time he captured an odd mantis-like insect only for it to escape. In college some years later he meets a girl but their affectionate romance grows gradually more sinister. To say any more would give away far too much but in terms of outright creepiness, this story is the best in the film.

Next up is an anime-style tale of a Japanese schoolgirl. Bullied by her classmates, she also has to contend with a sadistic doctor intent on making her sleep until she reaches the conclusion of a recurring nightmare. To be honest I have bugger all idea what was going on here, but I liked it.

Third is a beautiful charcoal animation in which a young boy tells of the time his uncle and his best friend disappeared from their rural town. It's the least involving of the main tales but looks sublime.

The final full story is the winner for me. It shows us a man who takes refuge in a remote house during a blizzard. I really don't want to say any more about the story, but the animation here is just terrific, The use of just black and white to create space and depth, light and shadow is phenomenal, and it's a greatly unsettling sequence.

Bridging these complete segments are two other storylines. One is of a 17th century nobleman terrorising the countryside with his ravenous dogs, He unleashes them on a small, boy, a group of workmen, a female dancer and, finally, himself. The scratchy pencil animation suits this often horrific tale perfectly.

Lastly, geometric shapes transform and bounce around the screen as the female voiceover describes her fears. Fear of being bourgeois, fear of being nice, fear of death, etc. It's the weakest by far and the fact that, as one of the segments that's interspersed throughout the film, it appears about 6 times does it no favours whatsoever. The animation's actually quite transfixing, but the narration is tedious and I wish they'd done away with and given us another proper little animation.

Still, one blip out of six isn't bad and the other five sequences are all, in their own way, quite exceptional. It might be short on actual scares but it's heavy on atmosphere and the animation is nothing short of brilliant and mesmerising. Go and watch it!

< Message edited by Gimli The Dwarf -- 18/2/2013 6:29:16 AM >


_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 56
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 18/2/2013 8:08:02 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf

To be honest I have bugger all idea what was going on here, but I liked it.



That's my approach to so many of my favourite films.

Great review.

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 57
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 18/2/2013 10:43:24 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 78105
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson


quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf

To be honest I have bugger all idea what was going on here, but I liked it.



That's my approach to so many of my favourite films.




I would have thought porn films were quite easy to follow

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 58
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 18/2/2013 11:31:00 AM   
MovieAddict247


Posts: 3751
Joined: 5/6/2009

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf


quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson


quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf

To be honest I have bugger all idea what was going on here, but I liked it.



That's my approach to so many of my favourite films.




I would have thought porn films were quite easy to follow





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VOTE NOW for your favourite vocalist - Empire's Favourite Voices

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 59
RE: Gimli's Animation thread - 18/2/2013 12:02:06 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
Why do I have this reputation? Oh yeah.

(in reply to MovieAddict247)
Post #: 60
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