1 - Poor
2 - Passable
3 - Good. Rent it.
4 - Full Price
5 - Must See!
Well now, I trust everybody got fat, jolly, and had a good time over the Christmas holiday? I trust you are all looking forward to a great new year; it can't be worse than 2012, surely?! Anyhow, I write this new entry on my brand spanking new laptop, and so far it is very nice, although I must say I'm not keen on the Windows 8 start screen. Anyone know how I can convert it so that the laptop starts up with the classic Vista or 7 feel, do feel free to let me know. Anyhow, as you might expect, aside from visiting friends, entertaining family, giving and receiving gifts and eating and drinking a lot, some of the holiday was spent on the sofa, and once in the cinema, in front of Christmas movies. Here is a rundown of films seen this week, which I have not yet mentioned on this blog.
RISE OF THE GUARDIANS
Chris Pine lends a good vocal to Jack Frost, who for a long, long time, has been unseen by children and whilst having a great deal of fun, remains at a loss as to his purpose. It is when an evil spirit named Pitch Black threatens to wipe out all hope and belief in the Guardians, North, Pitch, Sandy, Tooth and Bunny (no prizes for guessing who is who) that Jack is summoned to help fight for the wonder and joy of children's belief.
Still at cinemas.
3.5 / 5
Catch it if you like: Seasonal animated features
Yes it is a Christmas movie, and yes it is a classic. In fact, do I need to talk about it? John McClaine kick ass, rocking the vest look, in the best of the lot; it is the only Die Hard with pretty much zero flaws. A fast paced riot of a movie, full of witty dialogue, great characters, and lashings of humour and excitement. If you haven't watched it at Christmas time, shame on you!
Pick it up as part of the box set now.
Catch it if you like: Good action films!
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
If the plot seems familiar even though you have not seen It's A Wonderful Life, it is probably because you saw the idea loosely re-worked in the Nicolas Cage film The Family Man. For all its up to date technique, its colour, modern setting, etc, this version could not capture what made the original. So, what did make the original? What may surprise people is how Capra clearly believed in the notion that you have to suffer the low to get the high. The second act of the movie gets really quite dark, with Bailey seeing what the world would be like without his birth, coming to understand just how important a person is to everybody else's existence, and bringing him to a full appreciation of his worth as a husband, father and friend. The finale is obviously that classic scene that we all know, even if we do not realise it, with his daughter's famous, "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings", and despite how much you might think the whole thing sounds cheesy, silly, saccharine and sentimental, the power of the film is to bring a genuine tear of pure enjoyment to your eye regardless; for a while you are full of the joy of life and completely happy, no matter what.
Pick it up in stores or online.
Catch it if you like: Good seasonal movies, as it may well be the best of the lot.
Buy it anywhere.
Catch if if you like: To feel good.
THE POLAR EXPRESS
Buy it anywhere.
Catch it if you like: Seasonal movies.