Mighty unusual film, this. Yes, there is a degree of goat-staring, but that is not the entire plot.
A dark comedy, based around true events (Americans are weeeeeird), we follow the story of the PSYOP movement. Some of it is frighteningly believable (and historically ineffective in terms of interrogation methods) such as the brainwashing techniques (Barney the Dinosaur, anyone?), but some of it, I find hard to swallow (I’m not into the whole “psychic” thing. Although I know people who are, so I will not pass judgement).
However, believable or not, this film is very fast-paced, pretty whacky (Clooney seems to be doing a lot of whacky at the moment) and very entertaining.
Drugs! Goats! Moustache! And dancing. Lots of dancing.
Get with it.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I was determined to get in to central London on Sunday, in order to experience Chinese New Year 2011, London style.
You will also be aware that I was sadly disappointed.
Whilst there was food in abundance, lion dances parading from shop to shop, and lanterns laced above our heads, Chinatown was rammed with people (prams = BAD IDEA, people), so good luck actually seeing over heads.
Oh, and to the chap behind me who shoved me in the back whilst we were all trying to get out of New Loon Moon – Yes, you were pushing me, no, pushing didn’t help, and no, threats don’t work on me either. Yes, you were right to feel embarrassed and shut up after I pulled you up on that one. Weren’t expecting that from a girl half your size, were you? Jerk.
I know what you’re thinking, because I thought it too at first: Why can’t people just put their rubbish in the bin?!! Well, maybe it’s because…
My other major irritation with Chinese New Year in London is that there was advertising EVERYWHERE. The paper lanterns were sponsored by Lebara mobile, children carried red balloons festooned with Lyca Mobile logos, and lo and behold – Kung Fu Panda 2 fortune cookies. It all just felt a bit tacky and was, in my honest opinion, a massive anticlimax. On the upside, I managed to get three buffet box take-aways for £9. With that in hand, I bustled through the insanely large crowds (well, that’s what you get when you have a completely free event) and retreated to home.
What about you? Maybe you aren’t as jaded about your Chinatown Chinese New Year experience as I was. Maybe you are 6’5” and therefore actually managed to see a lion dance. Maybe you were one of the many pushchair-users that rammed me in the ankles – we need to talk.
I love DreamWorks films. Big time. The Road to El Dorado is one of my favourite films of all time. But Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas is one I haven’t seen quite so many times. In fact, before today, I had only seen it once, in 2003, when it came out in the cinema.
So I was overjoyed when I had the opportunity to watch it at my leisure in my own home. DreamWorks films have a dry sense of humour that sets them above Disney in my eyes. Plus, they have adopted a particular, angular drawing style which I get on quite well.
I have no idea how true this incarnation is to the original Sinbad tale. Probably not at all. But you know what? I don’t really care. It is an exciting, cartoon romp, which is good fun for kids and adults alike. There are sexy sirens, an exciting chase scene with the Roc (not the wrestler), an unlikely and begrudging love interest, a moral tale, a charming crew on the ship, a delightfully comic dog, and of course, a token “strong but gentle” muscley, shirtless black guy. Oh, yes.
Nothing earth-shattering, and I still prefer Road to El Dorado, but still a welcome, enjoyable distraction.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this. I basically grew up on Roald Dahl and was therefore dreading an awful Americanised film adaptation. And while it’s true that this film strays from the original story, it builds on, rather than discards, its roots.
It’s a fast-paced, and at times incredibly weird film: the stop animation is very rough around the edges, but that in itself adds to the charm. Thankfully, the story still revolves around Mr Fox’s big heist on Boggis, Bunce and Bean (one fat, one short, one lean, respectively), and this acts as an anchor to my childhood in an otherwise manic film. And for the amusement of the adults in the audience, the scriptwriters have replaced every available opportunity for a swear word with just the word “cuss”, e.g. “What the cuss are you talking about?”, “If you’re gonna cuss with somebody, you’re not gonna cuss with me, you little cuss!”, etc.
It’s not perfect (my own bug bears lie with the question of where the film is actually set – why do the animals have American accents whilst the farmers are British? It looks to be set in England… so where the hell is the opossum from?) – but it is funny, and cute, and has morals, and, given that you don’t take it TOO seriously, it is a really good film.