Thursday, 18 February 2010


Ponyo is the latest Hayao Miyazaki film from Studio Ghibli (Miyazaki writing, directing and animating which is always good news). The plot, simply put, is a little magical fish attempting to escape her father, become human and hang out, on land, with a young boy named Sosuke.

Visually, Ponyo is right up there with Miyazaki's most recent efforts (Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle), but Ponyo has it's own aesthetic identity, with brighter colours and some beautifully simplistic characters, that really sets it apart. Despite some of the simplicity there are some incredibly detailed underwater scenes that kick the shit out of any western animation you're ever likely to see.

It's incredibly imaginative and almost every shot is perfect and gorgeous in every way. The characters are sweet and funny, there are many parts where you will chuckle and laugh quite a bit. It has a much lighter tone than Spirited Away (the film that all Miyazaki films are now compared to as it is generally regarded as the best), but don't think that this makes it "Miyazaki light" or "Diet Ghibli" or whatever the narrowminded critics are calling it. What makes this film officially my favourite Studio Ghibli picture is that it caters to no one yet should satisfy everyone and is just so perfect.

But if you don't like simple storytelling, loveable characters, good humour, amazing visuals, epic and detailed underwater sequences, fish, waves that can be tickled, mad ocean wizards possibly voiced by Liam Neeson, surreal and magical movie-making and my favourite film of 2010 so far and one of my top ten films ever then... you know... fuck you.

Sunday, 7 February 2010


Okay, so Taylor Lautner is going to be playing Stretch Armstrong in the new film.

And it's going to be in 3D. And, more than likely, god awful. Why is Hollywood spluffing its pants over boardgames/toys and 3D so much right now?


Almost gave this prestigious reward to "Multiple Sarcasms", but that title is faintly clever.
This subject will no doubt be revisited.

Friday, 5 February 2010


I don't think Guy Ritchie really thought it through when he decided to call his second feature-length film "Snatch" as it can then be referred to as I did in the title and it sounds a bit rude. Then again I don't think Guy Ritchie thought anything through concerned with Snatch. I got some odd looks from my peers when I loudly exclaimed that Snatch was a big pile of shit and I suppose that is a little harsh and if I wasn't so ready to slate it I might have enjoyed a small part of Snatch.

Actually, that's not true, I did enjoy a little bit at the beginning (and most of the parts with Brad, my god) I enjoyed it before the story kicked in. I'm not going to talk too much about Guy Ritchie's generally irritating directing style of "woosh, zoom in there BAM! Gun shot noise! Freeze frame with that guy's name! POOSH!" like a fairly rich young chav has just gone to film school and seen an old Edgar Wright flick and thought, "that camera work is a bit still". It's the writing that kills the film, all these twists and all these characters you don't give a shit about. Their dialogue, Jason Statham's forced and cringey attempts at humour saying "zee Germans" three times to the sound of crickets chirping in sensible cinemas everywhere. I sort of liked the one guy who fed people to pigs, but only because I'd heard him dubbed over Darth Vader on YouTube before I'd seen the film.

This review is somewhat demeaning. Ritchie did manage to cobble together a film using all the deleted scenes of "Lock, Stock" and for that I am a little impressed. There was a moment during one of the boxing scenes that I was half-enjoying because the Pitt was in it when I thought "this is a bit like Raging Bull... that's a really good film, I wish I was watching Raging Bull right now... I've got to get that on Blu-Ray" so I will, and you should too.