To celebrate the Norwegian release of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie (2012), I thought it would be nice to take a look at one of my favourite Tim Burton films: the animated short Vincent from 1982. It’s oh so charming, funny and sweet, and the best part is I can link to the whole film here!
Don’t you just love it?
Yes, I love Gibli! I mean, who doesn’t? They’re the best!
And their 2008 animated film Ponyo on the Cliff, is no exception.
It is kind of a twisted take on The Little Mermaid: Brunhilde is the fishy daughter of a wizard and the goddess of the ocean. Her father is working on a concoction that will bring the ocean back to its glory days, when dinosaurs walked the earth and swam the sea. His reason for doing this is that the humans are a selfish, polluting lot of idiots (so there is a nice moral there), and well, who can argue? However, Brunhilde is the adventures type and she soon escapes and travels to the surface where she meets a boy, Sosuke.
Sosuke saves Brunhilde from a glass jar she is stuck in and keeps her in a bucket (believing she is a normal gold fish) ,and names her Ponyo (which, honestly, is a much better name than Brunhilde). Ponyo is soon brought back to the ocean by her father, but she is determined to become a human and live together with Sosuke. In a daring escape, she spills all of the magical concoction into the ocean, thus disrupting the balance of the universe and dooming all humans to extinction.
But who cares when you can have legs and eat ham with your new best friend?
A storm approaches. Will the world be saved? And will Sosuke pass the final test?
This is one of those Gibli films where you feel like you just enter in the middle of a story and get to tag along for a bit. Many questions are left unanswered (most of them regarding the wizard), but what the film lacks in story-building, it more than makes up for in charm. Ponyo is the cutest little freak to ever have come out of the ocean!
So yes, I highly recommend this film. And all other Gibli films.
Moonrise Kingdom (2012), written and directed by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, is one of the best movies of the year, if you ask me. And you should ask me. Cause I’m kind of a genius. Self-declared, but nonetheless.
It’s a cute, weird and funny story about a 12ish year old girl who runs away from with a 12 year old boy who has escaped some sort of boy scout camp. (And can you blame him? You lost me at beige uniforms).
Of course the entire community, plus the boy scouts, go out searching for them. Awesomeness ensues.
Among the cast are the brilliant young actors Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman, you also meet Vili Flik hotties such as Tilda Swinton and Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand and Bruce Willis.
This is most def a must see movie.
When I first saw it I wanted to run away from home. Then I realized I was a grown up and lived alone, so the entire point of running away from home would be, well, pointless. Growing up sucks in so many ways.
Oh, and did I mention it is set in the 1960s? Gorgeous clothes and furniture and stuff. Two words: Orange piano. Best idea ever.
Still not convinced? Check out the trailer and be amazed.
It’s autumn and thus time for horror! I know Halloween was a while ago, but in my opinion, you can watch horror films all year round. Although they are naturally more effective during the dark months of autumn. And what better film to watch than Cabin in the Woods (2011).
Written by the legendary Joss Whedon (yes, I am a Buffy-fan) and Drew Goddard, and directed by the latter, Cabin in the Woods is one of the most interesting, surprising and intriguing horror films in the past few years. I cannot actually tell you much about it without spoiling it, but suffice to say, it takes all the American horror film clichés and plays with them in a very interesting way. With great writers and a great director, this works very well for the film, and made it an instant favourite for me. Scary, hilarious and extremely good entertainment!
If you are only watching one movie this year, then The Artist (2011) should probably be it.
The story is about silent movie star George Valentin who fails to make the transition from “silents” to “talkies”, and falls into oblivion and despair. However, Peppy Miller, a young starlet, is willing to do whatever it takes to save him. Will she succeed?
The Artist is a black and white silent movie about the film industry in the 1920s. It stars Jean Dujardin as a very convincing Valentin, and Bérénice Bejo as the peppy Peppy (see what they did there?). It is extremely skillfully made and actually won five Oscars, all of them truly deserved. And I know what you’re thinking: Black and white? Silent movie? How dull! But believe me, it is anything but!
So go and see it!
Curtis, a young husband and father, is troubled by a series of apocalyptic visions and dreams in which his friends are trying to harm him and his daughter. Fearing for the safety of himself and his family, he decides to build a storm shelter in the garden. But are the visions real? Or has he simply inherited his mother’s schizophrenia?
Take Shelter (2011) is directed by Jeff Nichols and stars Michael Shannon as Curtis, and Jessica Chastain as Samantha, his wife. The film is quiet, at times slow, and leaves you wondering throughout just where the story is going. Shannon does a great job at portraying the quiet and troubled Curtis, and his almost intense features add to the weirdness of it all. This is a good film, and probably the most low-key apocalypse movies made so far. It is very much recommended!
In the mood for some lighthearted learning this Friday afternoon? If you are, then let me recommend the documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (2011), directed by Morgan Spurlock, the man behind Supersize me (2004).
The concept: to make a film about product placement in films. The twist: to have that film completely sponsored by products, that is, to include as much product placement as possible. The goal: to make us as viewers aware of the amount of product placement in films.
The documentary is entertaining, easy-going and light-hearted. No shocking revelations are made, but you don’t always need the shock effect. Sometimes it’s just nice to watch something fun (and you do get to learn about products such as Head’n’Mane).
So if you would like to see a documentary, but can’t face the really heavy stuff, this is the thing for you.