Daily Archives: January 7, 2010

Films I Am (And Am Not) Looking Forward To In 2010

So far the films that I have watched this year have all been very old. So far most of the movies have been from the 1950s, while there has also been one film from the 1920s and one from the 1930s. So far I have not watched a modern film, which is something that I plan to rectify soon. Whilst you may think that I am an old fuddy duddy who just likes mouldy old movies. Whilst there may be some truth in that statement I do still like going to the cinema to watch the latest blockbuster. Whilst I don’t plan on seeing Avatar anytime soon, due to my innate hatred of motion capture technology and the uncanny valley syndrome, there are a number of movies that I do want to see.

Films I Want To See

Fantastic Mr. Fox

I am planning to see this at the cinema in the next couple of weeks. I am a fan of stop-motion animation and I have heard that the animation in Wes Anderson’s film is simply amazing. I have heard that many British critics have been critical of Anderson’s Americanization of the film which is of course based on Roald Dahl’s very British novel, but that is not something that would necessarily annoy me.

The Princess & The Frog

I am unashamedly a fan of Disney’s classic animation. I love all the original classics made during Walt’s time from Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs to The Jungle Book. I also have a fondness for the films that came during Disney’s revival period of the late 80s and 90s, from The Little Mermaid to Mulan. I was quite disappointed when Disney ditched their traditional animation stuff in favour of CGI, but am glad they have returned to hand drawn animation. The Princess And The Frog is meant to be a good return and hopefully things can only get better.

Toy Story 3

I hate sequels but love Pixar and I would love to see what Woody and Buzz and the gang have gotten up to since we last saw them. Pixar have not had a dud film yet, so I am really looking forward to this one. The only film that Pixar has made that I believe has not been great has been Cars, although I thought that it was a lot better than many of the critics did.

Robin Hood

Ridely Scott and Russel Crowe gave us the brilliant Gladiator a decade ago and I have high hopes for this film. However I do wonder whether this film is completely necessary. There are several great Hood films that have been made throughout the history of cinema from the 1938 Adventures Of Robin Hood starring another Australian in Errol Flynn and directed by Michael Curtiz, to Disney’s live-action film The Story Of Robin Hood And His Merrie Men from 1952, to Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves starring Kevin Costner. Scott and Crowe have lot to live up to and I really hope they can bring something new to the legend.

The Wolf Man

Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins star in this remake of the Lon Chaney Jr. classic from 1941. It would be great to see the werewolf legend updated for the 21st century as the image of monsters has taken a battering thanks to Twilight. Monsters are simply not meant to sparkle or drive Aston Martins or be vegetarians.

Films That I Would Never Watch Even If I Was Paid To Do So

Sex And The City II

I have never seen the Sex & The City TV show or movie but from what I have read the basic premise is that it revolves around a bunch or horny middle-aged women who just want to get laid and buy expensive clothing and handbags. This is the show that made the horse-faced Sarah Jessica Parker a sex symbol and helped increase consumerism in women ten-fold. Ancient fossil Kim Cattrall will probably appear nude in this and say some curse words, which all of S&TC’s fans will think is cutting edge but in reality is just boring. I still don’t get what all the fuss is about.

Twilight: Eclipse

Another chick flick that I have no desire to ever see. Apparently Stephanie Mayer has made billions of dollars by writing books that completely distort the vampire myth. Instead of being monsters the blood-suckers are now new-age, non-threatening sex symbols for tweens and their mums. They now sparkle in the daylight and are vegetarians and they happily share their curse with those that they love. How sickening.

Films I Am Not So Sure About

Shrek Forever After

Despite what Dreamworks’ many detractors say, the first two Shrek films were very funny animated films. I laugh a lot whenever I see these two films. Sure they are not as polished as Pixar’s masterpieces are, but they are still very funny. Shrek The Third on the other hand was one of the most boring films I have seen. I was really looking forward to seeing it when I went to the cinema but found myself completely bored out of my mind when I finally watched it. (2007 really was a year for crappy, boring sequels)

7 Days Already

It has been a week now since I started this thing and not everything has gone to plan. Of the reviews that I have written so far there are none that I am really very happy with and I think that in the coming days I will be rereading what I have written and thoroughly revising things. I am just not happy with things I have written. I guess that I have been more concerned with watching the movies and writing something, anything, about them before my self-imposed deadline expired that I forgot to check on the quality of what I had written. Hopefully I can remedy that over time.

It’s A Gift

Directed by Norman Z. McLeod
Produced by William LeBaron
Written by Jack Cunningham,
Story Charles Bogle (Fields)
Starring W. C. Fields
Kathleen Howard
Jean Rouverol
Julian Madison
Tammany Young
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date November 17, 1934
Running time 73 min.
It’s A Gift is a really funny W. C. Fields comedy from 1934, and it surprisingly holds up well when viewed with 21st century eyes. It’s A Gift is less well-known than some of Fields’ other films such as The Bank Dick, but there are still a few laughs to be had while watching the film.

In the film Fields plays Harold Bissonette (pronounced Bisonay), a grocery store owner with a nagging wife and two rotten children. After the death of his uncle he decides to sell up his store and more to California to become an orange grower. The plot however is little more than a vehicle for Fields’ gags, many of which he had honed to perfection after years spent on the vaudeville circuit.

I think that the reason why I find the film so humourous is that I can empathise with Fields in some of the situations he finds himself in. Most married men know what it’s like to be nagged by their wife at times, and would find Fields portrayal as a henpecked husband quite amusing. Similarly most of us adults know just how annoying children can be and rather than show them as sweet little angels they are seen here as being the bratty little monsters that some children really are. This is why the gags are so successful for Fields and his henpecked husband character is much funnier to me than the obnoxious, drunken wise ass that he would play in later films. As well as a few good slapstick moments there are some really great one-liners from Fields that had me laughing quite a bit.

It’s A Gift is a part of the W.C. Fields Comedy Collection with The Bank Dick, My Little Chickadee, You Can’t Cheat An Honest Man and International House . This DVD box set is available from Amazon for $46.99. You can purchase it by clicking here…