Kevin is Home Alone again – this time in an 8-bit video game!

Kevin in the 8-bit! Ho ho ho (image via YouTube (c) Cinefix)

 

No one really wants to spend Christmas alone – then again for some people with off-the-charts dysfunctional families, it’s an appealing prospect – but if you have to, and robbers or other n’er-do-wells come a-calling with less than festive intentions, then you should tackle your solo decking of halls and roasting of chestnuts just like Home Alone‘s Kevin McAllister.

Left alone by his large, extended, noisy and chaotic family, Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), first celebrates then grows a little uneasy at his power – he thinks his wish the night before for everyone to disappear is responsible for the empty house – and his lack of companions, especially when his next door neighbour “Old Man” Marley (Roberts Blossom) looks to be living up his reputation as a murderer.

Of course, Marley is really a sweet old man, and just as Kevin starts to realise how wrong he was about his neighbour, thieves in the form of Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern), try to steal all his family’s worldly goods.

“Try” being the operative word since as well know, they don’t succeed, thanks to Kevin’s tenacity and ingenuity, and a growing realisation that being alone might seem like fun, but it’s way better to be loved and surrounded by those you love and who love you.

 

It’s a great story and now it comes in 8-bit form, courtesy of Cinefix, who have proven rather adept at turning all kinds of pop culture icons into fun 8-bit video homages.
In the case of Home Alone, it feels like you’re part of Kevin’s heroic battle against the Wet Bandits, with every paint can, spider and tar trap rendered in wonderful 8-bit colour, complete with classic video game effects.
The really fun part is you get to be home alone without being alone at all, a pretty good outcome since as Kevin discovers, and many of us will attest, it might look appealing to be all by yourself but the novelty quickly wears off, especially at Christmas and other major holidays of the year, and in the end, all you really want to do is have everyone close by, sharing it all with you.
Preferably with the Wet Bandits suitably chastised and safely in custody.
(source: Mashable)

Movie review: Just to be Sure (Ôtez-moi d’un Doute)

(image courtesy IMP Awards)

 

It goes without saying, but this being a review it shall be said anyway, that identity is core to who we are as people.

Take it away, or even one or some of its constituent building blocks that have been assembled over a lifetime and  you can be handed, quite unwillingly, an existential crisis of Freudian proportions.

While things don’t get that dire in Just to be Sure (Ôtez-moi d’un Doute), which premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes this year, they come pretty close with forty-something Erwan (Damiens) discovering, on the cusp of his own daughter Juliette (Alice de Lencquesaing) giving birth, that his fisherman dad (Guy Marchand) is not his biological father.

Unsettling in a multitude of ways but more so given that Erwan is about to become a grandfather, raising understandable questions about who he will be once this major life change takes place.

Complicating things still further is that Juliette is not inclined in the slightest to find out the identity of her child’s father, her pregnancy the result of a one night stand at a party; or perhaps she does know and simply doesn’t want him to be a part of the child-rearing.

Either way, the stage is set quite beautifully by writer-director Carine Tardieu (The Dandelions) for a battle of wills between equally strong-willed father and daughter, both of whom have quite set ideas on what should happen next.

Or at least Erwan, a bomb disposal expert who returned home to France and a business recovering leftover World War Two munitions from Normandy soil to raise his daughter when his wife died of lung cancer, thought he did.

But the news from doctor about his muddled paternity casts everything into a new light including a budding romance with Anna (Cecile de France), a doctor, who may or may not be his sister, given she is the daughter of Joseph (Andre Wilms), a kindly old man who a private detective (Brigitte Rouan) has said is his real biological dad.

 

(image courtesy Cultural Services of the French Embassy)

 

Got all that?

Well, you might but poor old Erwan struggles balance to balance everything, torn between loyalty and love for the dad who raised him, curiosity and growing affection for the man who helped bring him into this world, increasing attraction for Anna and the travails of being there for his obstinate daughter.

It’s a quite a farcical cocktail, and while Tardieu doesn’t ramp things up to full manic absurdity, a blessing given the underlying seriousness of the subject material, she does have some fun with the complicated nature of the familial connections.

There is one scene in particular when beautifully illustrates her nuanced, altogether balanced approach to the story.

After a slightly rocky start to their first date, when Erwan knows she could be his sister but fiercely independent Anna remains blissfully unaware, they end up on the beach when Erwan humourously, thanks to the aid of a blown up condom, demonstrates how to defuse a bomb.

It’s a delightful moment of bonding for the two that comes a-cropper when Erwan, his possibility sibling relationship with Anna looming over his budding romance, can’t handle the idea of kissing his new love, quite understandably, and storms off, rather awkwardly it must be said.

Its emblematic of Tardieu’s approach that this scene is neither played for outright laughs or fraught drama, falling somewhere perfectly in the middle, very much mirroring the way life events resist easy categorisation or clean cut emotional divisions.

You suspect, of course, that true love will run its course, and Joseph may not be the father and Anna the sister but any actual evidence is left very late and judiciously into the final act, leaving plenty of time for audience hope to spring eternal  and the characters to stew in their ever-escalating existential stew.

 

(image courtesy Luna Palace Films)

 

While neither dramatically in your face or laugh-out-loud hilarious, despite a trailer than suggests more of the latter than the former, Just to be Sure (Ôtez-moi d’un Doute) is a delight, a deftly-executed romp, and at times that is exactly what it is through the minefield of personal and familial identity.

In so doing it raises some salient questions – what is better? Being raised by biological or adoptive parents? Is there really a difference? And if you discover as late in Erwan does that the two factors are at play, which becomes the ascendant relationship? Is there even one?

In all honesty, the film doesn’t settle on an answer although it becomes readily apparent that, like most things in life, there’s no real straightforward answer.

Just to be Sure (Ôtez-moi d’un Doute) never tries to come up with any obvious outcomes, letting the characters fumbling but well-intentioned and earnest attempts to figure out how to navigate the new familial lay of the land, do all the talking.

It’s clear that a great deal of thought has gone into this wholly enjoyable film and that Tardieu has realised early on that, like all good comedies, there must be a lot of substance to given the entire undertaking some emotional resonance.

A blisteringly intense examination of family relations, love and identity this is not; instead Just to be Sure (Ôtez-moi d’un Doute) is a lighthearted but meaningful and poignant look at the way everything we know can change in an instant and how dealing with all the upheaval can alter the trajectory of our lives in ways that initially are wholly dislocating but which ultimately can be a blessing in disguise.

 

Weekend movie poster art: Star Wars The Last Jedi

(image courtesy IMP Awards)

 

SNAPSHOT
Rey took her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and will continue her epic journey with Finn, Poe, and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the continuing Star Wars saga. The Last Jedi is written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman and executive produced by J.J. Abrams, Jason McGatlin, and Tom Karnowski. (source: Coming Soon)

Unless you have been living in a wooden hut on the far side of the moon of Endor, you would be aware the latest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, is mere weeks from serving up another riveting adventure on its many fans.

While details remain very closely-guarded to the point where likely more is known about the North Korean nuclear program than the film that will give us an extended look at Luke Skywalker who, no surprise if you’ve been paying attention (even the director Rian Johnson confirmed it) is the titular Jedi of the film.

Now you may not think the hype could reach any more of a fever pitch level but Disney have managed to ratchet things up just a little further by releasing a series of pop icon posters, featuring some of the highly-recognisable characters and objects from the franchise including the Millennium Falcon and C-3PO, BB-8 and R2-D2, and new characters such as the Porgs and The Caretakers.

They’re bright, they’re colourful and you can read all about them at IGN.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi releases 14 December in Australian and 15 December USA.

 

(image courtesy IMP Awards)

 

(image courtesy IMP Awards)

 

(image courtesy IMP Awards)

 

(image courtesy IMP Awards)

 

(image courtesy IMP Awards)

 

(image courtesy IMP Awards)

 

(image courtesy IMP Awards)

 

(image courtesy IMP Awards)

On 2nd day of Christmas … I reviewed A Bad Mom’s Christmas

(image courtesy IMP Awards)

 

Hollywood, generally speaking, does not have an expansive palette when it comes to films with a festive flavour.

Movies are either unbearably sentimental, laden with so much holiday sugar that sugar canes look on in envy, or so brusquely raunchy that even the merest whiff of chestnuts roasting and visions of sugar plums dancing fall, unrecognised and unloved, beneath a stampede of crass humour.

That’s not to say that either type of film isn’t worth your time – the Hallmark Channel, for instance, is counting on viewers lapping up their offering of 33 new films this year  – but the narrative notes are limited and not always as diversely festive as Santa ordered.

Bad Moms Christmas, the themed sequel to 2016’s comedy hit Bad Moms, manages, against all expectations given the one note raunchiness of its trailers, to deftly sit between these two extremes, giving us all the warm-and-fuzzy accoutrements of the season while throwing in some raunch and a good deal more emotional resonance than any of the promotion implied.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that it’s subtle in any way.

No, this is cinema with a great big well-telegraphed narrative mallet always at the ready, characters so broadly sketched they could teeter into the tropes abyss and no one would notice, and sentiment laid on so thick reindeer would slip and slide in disarray if they attempted to land a sleigh upon it.

Nuanced it is not; but for all the standard trappings of the season that it hugs close to itself like a stocking full of unopened presents, Bad Mom’s Christmas is surprisingly affecting.

 

(image courtesy IMP Awards)

 

It manages this most unexpected of feats by wisely bringing in Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon and Cheryl Hines as the mothers of the three protagonists who collectively make up the trio of less than ideal maternal figures.

That’s not to say that Mila Kunis (Amy), who effectively anchors the film, acting as its narrative voice, Kristen Bell (Kiki) and Kathryn Hahn (Carla) fall down on the job at all; they are as entertaining as ever, every bit as simultaneously enamoured and repulsed by motherhood as they were in Bad Moms.

In fact, it’s their comedic chops, particularly Hahn who is damn near brilliant as the daughter of still-partying, irresponsible rock chick Isis (Sarandon) that give the film much of its jaded, tired of the season but wanting to give their families a special holiday, vibe.

But when all is said and done, and the camel has trampled all over the Christmas tree (yes that actually sort of happens), it’s the three elder mothers who give the film that extra zing.

Baranaski is in the MVP in this regard, bringing her trademark brittle iciness to her role as Ruth, Amy’s über-perfectionistic mother who manages, in her first five minutes in her daughter’s home, to insult her choice of decorations, hairstyle and food preparation.

It’s all effortlessly delivered, with Baranski investing just the right amount of hilarious tartness into each line to make you laugh even as you cringe at the offhandedly cruel way she’s treating her only child.

So comprehensive is Ruth, who’s determined her grandchildren Dylan (Emjay Anthony) and Jane (Oona Laurence) will have the best, most perfect Christmas in the wake of their parents’ recent divorce, annihilation of her daughter that you wonder how it is that Amy hasn’t already stabbed her to death in her sleep after a drug-laced eggnog or two.

It’s all a set-up for the central battle in the film – between the bad moms who simply want a trimmed-down, chilled Christmas with Chinese takeaway on the big night and wound-down family time on the day, and the expectation that mothers don’t enjoy Christmas and must always suffer for the happiness of others.

None of this conflict is delivered with even a skerrick of delicacy but then this is a big ballsy, give Santa a lap chance while smashed off your face film so you’re hardly going to get Oscar-level obliqueness here.

 

(image courtesy IMP Awards)

 

Somehow for all its hamfistness, both narratively and character-wise – Sarandon is an archetypal woman-child mess while Hines’ Sandy is way too involved in her daughter’s life, right down to watching her initiate sex with her husband Kent (Lye Brocato) – and the rather obvious conflicts that arise, Bad Moms Christmas ends up having a bigger-than-expected heart.

And not, in that gushy Hallmark Channel kind of way.

True it edges close at times such as the near-to-climactic scene where Amy and Ruth have a relationship-redefining heart-to-heart in midnight mass, or Isis’s miraculous appearance at Christmas lunch, but the descent into overwhelming levels of saccharinenss is averted by deft use of over the top silliness.

Take Carla meeting and falling in love with beyond hunky male exotic dancer Ty Swindle (Justin Hartley) in the last couple of days leading up to Christmas; it’s ridiculously corny in one sense, but manages to also be sweetly affecting against all odds thanks to the film’s wholehearted embrace of the wackiness of it all.

Kunis and Baranski also make a great double act, one a beleagured daughter, the other an imperious mum, who battle mightily, upping the levels of tinsel-trimmed festive brinkmanship ’til you wonder if anyone will emerge alive before ending up as the mother-daughter act Amy, and secretly Ruth, always wanted.

Sure A Bad Mom’s Christmas is cliched, trope-heavy (though visually that works a treat with lush decorations all around) and sentimental but it’s also damn funny, unexpectedly emotionally resonant in way that often lifts itself above treacly sentiment to be bearable and even, at times, affecting, and raunchily hilarious, proof that you can have your warm-and-fuzzy Christmas and still be a little naught and counter-traditional too.

 

(image courtesy IMP Awards)

 

On 1st day of Christmas … I decorated my tree with 5 new pop culture ornaments

 

When you’re a pop culture tragic such as myself – “Hi, my name is Andrew and I’m a pop culture addict”, it tends to infiltrate every part of your life.

Your T-shirts display your favourite characters. Your book shelves are lined with books on your favourite TV shows and movies, with Pop Funko ornaments, collector cards and figurines filling any leftover available space.

And come Christmas, your tree is filled with nothing but pop culture ornaments.

Many, many, pop culture ornaments.

In fact, baubles, lights and tinsels aside, they’re the only type of ornaments that go onto my Christmas tree, save for a few treasured keepsakes such as the ornaments I bought back in 1992 when I started decorating a tree for the first time as an adult.

As a pop culture addict of course, and a ceaseless consumer of new things, I feel compelled and take great delight in adding new ornaments every year. You’d think I’d pick a few choice pieces, and goodness knows my boyfriend probably wishes I would, but every year, and this year is no exception, I ended up with a lot of new ornaments.

Picking five was challenging but I managed it with the following characters carrying all kinds of meaning for me and having some pretty ornaments to get me and them into the festive spirit.

 

RATATOUILLE

 

 

Apart from the Cars series which did absolutely nothing for me – to be fair actual cars do nothing for me so it stands to reason that their animated cousins would fare just as poorly – I am an avid Pixar fan. Picking a favourite is damn near impossible since all their films are so beautifully made but Ratatouille, the delightfully sweet, emotionally-resonant tale of a Parisian rat who dreams of a career as one of France’s famous gourmand chefs, would have to rank well into the top 10. So adding the central character Ratatouille to my tree’s ornament is an absolute no-brainer. Now if only he could whip up some fruit mince pieces and a delicious roast turkey dinner …

 

 


WILLY WONKA

 

 

It’s true that Willy Wonka, one of Roald Dahl’s darker, more capricious characters, can be a little unsettling. The owner of the magical chocolate factory featured in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and its sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, and of course, the wondrously technicolour film starring Gene Wilder (the Johnny Depp version not so much), Willy Wonka is a man of oddness and weirdness but also great integrity and honesty and you can’t help but like him for being true to himself. One other reason I added him to the tree this year is that Wilder and my father were the same age when they died last year and I distinctly remember watching the film with my beautiful dad. So a lot of nostalgia at play but also love of a beautifully-crafted, one-of-a-kind personality.

 

 

STAR WARS STORMTROOPER

 

 

When I first saw Star Wars back in 1977 – 40 years ago can you believe it?! – I was very much on the side of Luke, Leia, Han and the rest of the gang. Unlike many fans who found Darth Vader, the stormtroopers and the Emperor a little bit naughty and kinda sexy, I was no fan of the Dark Side nor its servants which possibly accounts for why stormtroopers have taken so long to make it onto my tree (that and Hallmark didn’t make one until this year). But a few years back when Hallmark created a talking Darth Vader, wearing a Santa hat and carrying a pressie, I knew I had to tilt Christmas a little to the other side of the force. Not too much mind but hey can you resist a stormtrooper carrying a giant candy cane? Ha! See … think of all the sugar and not so much the evil clone heart.

 

 

STRANGER THINGS

 

 

As a pop culture addict who did my growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, my love for Stranger Things, which draws on all kinds of TV shows and movies from that period, knows no bounds. Sure there’s a horror element but it’s so well wrapped into a story of a bunch of young kids brave enough to try and save the world, with real heart and the ability to be its own thing even with all those influences, that I can’t help but love it. The good news this year’s second season matched the boldness and thrills of the first, save for the loss of the novelty factor, and so it makes sense that they’d join the tree this year. Let’s hope the demogorgon doesn’t come along with …

 

 

GOOFY (AS JACOB MARLEY)

 

 

Oddly enough, it wasn’t until this year that I finally got around to reading Charles Dickens’ famous novel A Christmas Carol from start to finish (the review appears later on in the month in the 12 Days of Christmas series). So widespread as a festive touchstone is the book however that I feel like I have an intimate knowledge of its characters, its narrative and its message, having enjoyed it in a great many and highly imaginative forms … and yes, the purists may blanch but one of my favourite iterations of this timeless morality tale is one produced by Disney which, appropriately enough, features Scrooge McDuck as the protagonist. Quite happily, it also has Goofy in it as Marley, Scrooge’s partner who ushers in his night of redemptive contemplation, and given how Goofy is my favourite Disney character period (yeah, sorry, Mickey), adding an ornament in where he’s dressed as Marley makes perfect sense. Quite how I missed in 2011 when it first came out I don’t know but glad it’s finally found its sage home with me and my tree.

 

Fun festive animation: Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ ever closer to Santa

(image (c) Rollin’ Wild)

 

It’s a question worth pondering, perhaps over a glass of eggnog or while chowing down on some chestnuts, fresh from roasting on an open fire:

“If all animals became round overnight, would their daily life still run that smoothly?”

And the answer is … not so well and damn it would be hilarious to watch.

So funny in fact that what started out as four clips created in 2012 at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg film school in Germany by Kyra Buschor and Constantin Paeplow have grown into all kinds of laugh out loud clips, known as Rollin’ Wild that include these quite festive ones below.

Clips in which Santa’s spherical reindeers get into all kinds of guffawing trouble trying to stay on the roof or as angelic sheep is less than impressed with his circular role in a nativity play.

The good news is you can watch these mirth-full clips all year around at Rollin’ Wild‘s YouTube channel where animals find that being round is thigh-slappingly funny.

Well we do, ho ho ho! Them? Not so much …

 

 

Tick tock! How time travel is represented in fiction

(image via IMP Awards)

 

SNAPSHOT
For ages I’ve been thinking about doing a video analyzing time travel in fiction and doing a comparison of different fictional time travels – some do use wormholes, some relativistic/faster than light travel with time dilation, some closed timelike curves, some have essentially “magic” or no consistent rules that make any sense, or TARDIS’s, or whatever. (synopsis via Laughing Squid)

Even if you are able to keep with the most complex and twisty-turny of storylines – in my case that is thanks to a lifetime of reading anything and everything (within limits, of course) – time travel narratives can often leave your brain feeling like someone threw it in a blender and made merry with pretty much all the settings. AT ONCE.

Even so, while we all keep happily trooping off to movies (and TV shows and video games) with time travel woven deep into their storytelling DNA such as Looper, Back to the Future and Groundhog Day to mention a few, wouldn’t it be good if someone, anyone (see not fussy) would step up and simply explain how it all works in terms we can understand?

Yes it would, which it is an answer to prayer that Henry Reich, the host of MinutePhysics, has put together this handy video, complete with really nifty whiteboard illustrations – the better to help you learn with my dear! – and explains how it all works.

Even better he discusses the ethical questions all this chronological jumping throws up and trust us, you won’t be able to stop watching and you may think twice about jumping in the TARDIS should Doctor Who come a-calling!

 

Movie review: Wonder

(image via IMP Awards)

 

Hollywood has a long and enduring love affair with social outliers.

In countless films it has celebrated them as the outsiders, the others, who stand outside the banality and sameness of mainstream society and whether by design or unwanted but seized-upon circumstance, boldly forge their own path.

The thing with these films, many of which are very good, is that they tend to be heavy on the inspirationally-uplifting moments and light on the crushing, soul-destroying realities of the situation which the remarkable protagonist can eitehr surmount or by crushed by.

Life, of course, is quite so cut and dry, and while Wonder, based on the moving 2012 novel of the same name by R. J. Palacio, doesn’t depart radically from this well-honoured approach to outlier films, it does inject some much-needed reality into this commonly-portrayed scenario.

And reality, hard, cruel, rejection-filled reality is something that August “Auggie” Pullman (Jacob Tremblay) knows far too much about for a kid of just 10.

Born with a facial deformity that compromises everything from breathing to sight and hearing, Auggie has been the recipient of 27 operations to help function as close to normal as possible.

A bright, tenacious kid for the most part, Auggie is, he admits in the opening voiceover, is almost like any other kid his age – he likes playing games on his X-Box, going to the park, and kidding around with his dad and he really loves Star Wars but, and this is a kicker of a “but”, he doesn’t look like any other 10-year-old.

So different does he look in fact that everyone stares at him, well nigh relentlessly and so when the time comes for him to end homeschooling by mum Isabel (Julia Roberts) who wants to return to her tertiary studies, Auggie is plunged into the harsh realities of school life for the first time where his only recourse at first is to imagine himself as an all-conquering celebrity astronaut adored by all rather than the object of unhidden sidelong glances and murmured gossiping.

 

(image via IMP Awards)

 

Wonder doesn’t that everything is going to be wonderful.

In fact, it takes Auggie quite some time, and quite a number of fraught, tear-stained conversations with his mum, dad Nate (Owen Wilson) and even sister Via (Izabela Vidović) to come to grips with a world where he is more of a curiosity than an actual friend to anyone.

The bullying against him, led by cherubic handsome Julian (Bryan Gheisar), is sustained and cruel but ameliorated somewhat over time by friendships with some of the more courageous, less peer pressure-affected kids at the school such as eventual best friend Jack Will (Noah Jupe) and plucky Summer (Millie Davis) and eventually some of his former combatants.

What sets Wonder apart is that it doesn’t wholly focus on the way Auggie is set apart from the world.

Sure, he can’t change how he looks and the road for him in a society obsessed with conformity and unnerved by deviations is a difficult one but as the beautifully nuanced script by director Stephen Chbosky, Jack Thorne and Steve Conrad carefully examines, outliers comes in all sizes, shapes and forms and none of are immune from feeling as if we don’t fit in.

To that end, Wonder splits its narrative partially among four character viewpoints, giving us the world as seen by Auggie (primarily), sister Via who struggles with all kinds of loss and dislocation when best friend Miranda (Danielle Rose Russell) unaccountably shuts her out, Jack and Miranda whose act of social isolation is fuelled by hidden pain.

Using the hashtag #choosekind, Wonder doesn’t pretend that the solution to any of these life issues is foolproof and simple; in fact, it’s content to let its characters sit and stew in them for a while before things take a turn for the considerably better.

What is does do is encourage audiences, through the noble precepts of Auggie’s 5th grade teacher Mr Brown (Davide Diggs), to put themselves in the place of others, to consider what they might be dealing with and to choose to favour the fact that they need kindness and inclusion more than opprobrium and exclusion.

It may sound facile and a tad simplistic but it takes on way more substance than you might expect, bolstering Wonder from being some kind of one-note feel good effort into something far more complex and real.

 

(image via IMP Awards)

 

Sure it has the requisite happy ever ending where adversity is conquered by neat and virtuously uplifting resolutions but is that such a bad thing?

After all, we’re constantly bombarded by the idea that changing anything, while admirable, is futile so when a film comes along that tells it like it is, that admits life can be tough, very tough, but that maybe it can get better, we should celebrate it, especially when it somehow manages to dodge the treacly sugar highs of most feel good films.

Auggie is, after all, informed by far more pain and rejection, even with a solidly loving family behind him than most, and you could well understand if eh simply throws in the towel.

But he doesn’t, despite quite a few setbacks and the fact that he eventually gets somewhere wholly and permanently good should be a clarion call for perseverance, not schmaltz-averse dismissal.

Via and the others all get happy endings of a sort – after joining a theatre group Via gets a lovely supportive boyfriend in Justin (Nadji Jeter) and a sense that she too can shine after living, reasonably amenably but not without some resentment, in Auggie’s considerable shadow – but Wonder balances this out with a the grim reality that life can be nasty and things don’t always set themselves right, eventually or at all.

Having said that, Wonder is a substantial, real, honest and exquisitely-lovely film about accepting yourself, no matter what others think, and accepting others without qualification that leaves you feeling like anything is possible, no matter how big the challenges your life may contain, and given life’s messy contrariness at the best of times, that’s something we all need to be reminded of no matter who we are.

 

“Here’s Johnny!” Watch iconic movie lines get animatedly reimagined

Run Forest run! (image via YouTube (c) Nick Murray Willis)

 

I love people with the capacity to take near-omnipresent things like iconic movie lines, which are bandied around like confetti at an environmentally-unfriendly weddings and make them into something wholly different, and most importantly, fun.

Brighton, UK animator Nick Murray Willis has taken quotes from the likes of Lord of the Rings, Forest Gump, Taken, The Shining and Gladiator and lots more – including Jaws where the need for a bigger boat gets mischievously reinterpreted – and give them a delightfully silly though very clever twist.

It puts a smile on your face and make you think about how much particular lines depend on context to make sense and how if you’ve never seen these lines – I’ve never seen The Shining for instance – they can mean a whole other thing in isolation.

You can thank Nick for going and animating that whole other thing in ways that will put an appreciative, deeply-amused grin on your face.

(source: Laughing Squid)

 

Zoinks! It’s Scooby-Doo and Batman: The Brave and the Bold

(image via YouTube (c) Warner Bros)

 

I’ll confess – I’ve always found Batman way too dour for my superhero tastes (which are, at best, limited anyway).

I much prefer superheroes like Deadpool, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor in Ragnarok mode and even Iron Man.

But Batman? A little too dark and weighed down by his past, I’m afraid.

Unless of course, he teams up with Scooby Doo and the gang and then I embrace with him all the fervour in the world since who can stay gravely poker-faced around Scooby, Shaggy and all those Scooby snacks?

No one that is! It’s exciting see this team-up, based on an animated series, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which ran from 2008-2011, since it nicely slots into the tongue-in check feel of the show, one that echoed the deliciously camp, cartoony feel of Batman (1966-1968) and even LEGO: Batman.

 

 

Throw in the inspired lunacy of Scooby Doo and you have a match made in animated heaven.

As We’ve Got This Covered reports, there will be lot of familiar villainous faces to go with our superhero friends:

“In addition to classic DC villains like Joker, Catwoman, Riddler, Penguin, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, the movie will also feature several friendly faces, including the likes of Aquaman, Plastic Man, The Question and Martian Manhunter. The crew will also have to contend with Scooby-Doo troublemakers like Ghost Clown, Spooky Space Kook, and Miner 49er.”

All the heroes and villains we love so much from both universes will go into super mystery-solving, villainy-busting mode come 9 January 2018 when the film is released via DVD and digital channels.