Seven Days a Cinephile | A Poem

SEVEN DAYS A CINEPHILE

I’m seven days cinephile,

I watch films every day.

On Mondays I choose fantasies,

The work-day get-away.

 

On Tuesday I watch horror films,

Which never leave me scared.

I’ve seen so many jump-scare flicks,

I think I’m too prepared.

 

Wednesday’s animation day,

Bursts of creative glee,

And if I see the two-fifteen,

I see them youngster-free!

 

Thursday is the arthouse pick,

A higher brow endeavour.

God only knows what it’s about,

But gosh it does look clever.

 

Fridays are for blockbusters,

A more expensive ticket!

So when they say ‘It’s in 3D’,

I tell them where to stick it.

 

Saturday’s my favourite day,

I catch the the indie stuff.

All crafted on a budget,

By the frugalist film buff.

 

Last are Senior Sundays,

For shows they serve with tea.

Attendees call films pictures,

Ah, c’est la vie for me!

Every Pixar Film Ranked (by YOU!)

We asked you which is the greatest Pixar film?
The votes are in, the people have spoken!
Here is the ultimate Pixar ranking, as decided by YOU!

17. Cars 2 (John Lasseter, Brad Lewis, 2011)

Cars 2 (John Lasseter, Brad Lewis, 2011)

Not all that surprising that the first Cars sequel is doing the lap of shame.

16. Brave (Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell, 2012)

Brave (Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell, 2012)

Pixar went very Disney with their first fairytale. A decent film, this far down the ranking…there’s no sign of a reprise.

15. Finding Dory (Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane, 2016)

Finding Dory (Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane, 2016)

They just kept swimming with this would-be franchise.

14. A Bug’s Life (John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, 1998)

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Sweet and entertaining, maybe Pixar’s sophomore outing sits just on the wrong side of forgettable in their back catalogue.

13. The Good Dinosaur (Peter Sohn, 2015)

The Good Dinosaur (Peter Sohn, 2015)

All style and no substance makes Pixar a dull film…

12. Monsters University (Dan Scanlon, 2013)

Monsters University (Dan Scanlon, 2013)

A welcome return for the lovable monsters, if not one all that inspired.

11. Cars (John Lasseter, Joe Ranft, 2006)

Cars (John Lasseter, Joe Ranft, 2006)

A fun feature for younger viewers. Doesn’t justify its sequels but does offer a jolly ride.

10. WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)

WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)

Both out-of-this-world and down-to-earth, WALL-E is spectacular.

9. Ratatouille (Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava, 2007)

ratatouille_movie_stills-1680x1050Ratatouille (Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava, 2007)

Is it just me that remembers the ad campaign (‘It’s pronounced…) more than the film? Still, well worthy of a top ten spot.

8. Inside Out (Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen, 2015)

Inside Out (Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen, 2015)

A triumph that conducts your emotions like a philharmonic orchestra.

7. Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010)

Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010)

It’s the lowest Toy Story on the list but, make no mistake, this third outing concluded a magnificent trilogy with real panache.

6. Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, 2003)

Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, 2003)

Pixar’s first winner of the Best Animated Feature Award at the Oscars, first of many!

5. Monsters Inc. (Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich, David Silverman, 2001)

Monsters Inc. (Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich, David Silverman, 2001)

Incredible by virtue of its sheer creative innovation, not to mention of course the stunning animation of Sully’s fur!

4. Toy Story 2 (John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, Ash Brannon, 1999)

Toy Story 2 (John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, Ash Brannon, 1999)

Jessie and Bullseye proved to by perfect – and devastating (‘When Somebody Loved Me’ – additions.

3. Up (Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, 2009)

Up (Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, 2009)

Those infamous first five minutes earn this one a top three spot.

2. The Incredibles (Brad Bird, 2004)

The Incredibles (Brad Bird, 2004)

One of the best superhero films of all time! Avengers eat your heart out!

1. Toy Story (John Lasseter, 1995)

Toy Story (John Lasseter, 1995)

Well, of course.

How would you rank Pixar’s films? Comment your list below!

2017 in Film | Summer Report

Some of Film Twitter’s finest bloggers give their verdict on 2017 so far as we enter the mid point of the year.

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Franchise Report

 

So, there you have it! A generally positive half term report, with plenty of opportunities for improvement in the rest of the year. If Baby Driver, The Big Sick and Dunkirk are anything to go by in the first month of the second half, we’re in for a treat.

Overall Grade: B+

Pirates of the Caribbean | Disney’s Treasure IMAX

In a year in which The Emoji Movie is an apparently acceptable entity, and in which The Lego Batman Movie can deliver an exuberant – and surprisingly layered – hit, the former controversy of a blockbuster having been spawned from a theme park ride seems but a drop in the industrial ocean. Yet, when Captain Jack Sparrow, played by then cult-curiosity Johnny Depp, sailed into Port Royal, Jamaica, aboard his sinking ship – to the strum of Hans Zimmer’s self-plagiarised Gladiator score – he brought with him the origins of a three billion dollar franchise. The Curse of the Black Pearl was not only far from the flop predicted by forecasters, but was met with a degree of critical acclaim.

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Now That’s What I Call…Awesome! | The Ultimate Film Soundtrack

As Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits the big screen, hitting the charts – in all likelihood – will be the selection of seventies and eighties nostalgia tunes that make up the film’s Awesome Mixtape Vol. 2 soundtrack album. Vol. 1‘s set list was a joy back in 2014 and with the newbie boasting ELO, Fleetwood Mac and Cat Stevens, once again James Gunn has assembled a crowd-pleasing musical delight.

I love a good soundtrack me. When music is deployed well in film it has the ability to transform a good scene into a great one, a classic even. Indeed, many ionic scenes and sequences pepper the lineage of film history due to their accompanying number; as such, I couldn’t help but wonder what the ultimate film soundtrack would be? The list I’ve assembled, a hand-picked collection of my favourite music usage in cinema, is by no means definitive and I welcome your comments and suggestions, but this is an album that I would very much like to own…

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In Plain Sight: The Funny Thing about Cameos

A cameo is the term given to describe an item of jewellery, typically oval in shape, which is engraved with a profiled portrait. Dating as far back as antiquity, cameos have been a common feature of the art world throughout history; Elizabeth I is known to have given courtiers cameos baring her own personage as a means of reminding the recipient of where their true loyalties lie. In the context of a film blog, however, a cameo is the small appearance of a well known actor within a film. For example, the word ‘however’ made a cameo in the previous sentence. It would seem that binge-watching Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events has left me somewhat obsessed by definitions. For which I apologise.

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Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

2016, sorry to break this to you pal but you’ve not been the best year. Politics, international relations, conflicts and all those celebrity deaths? You’ve got to admit that you’ve dropped the ball a bit.

On the other hand…I suppose you have given us a pretty solid year on the film front. I mean: The Revenant, Spotlight and Room all in one month?! We were spoilt! You’ve been pretty on form with the animations this year: Finding Dory, Moana, Kubo and the Two Strings, Zootropolis – perhaps best not to mention Sausage Party. Your blockbusters were a bit more hit and miss: Captain America was a corker and The Jungle Book was stunning – bravo. Then you gave us Suicide Squad. Seriously 2016? D- for that one, must try harder.

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Top Ten Films to Watch at Christmas

Christmas films are overrated. There: I said it. Christmas films are underrated. I said that too. I’m not deliberately trying to be awkward – that comes naturally to a film critic I suspect – as both statements can, and do, coexist truthfully.

To call something a ‘Christmas film’ is to categorise it instantly, broadly placing it within a box holding our set opinions. I call Christmas films overrated because mainstream audiences, and I’m generalising wildly here, do seem to experience a fuzz of warm nostalgia when it comes to remembering – or perhaps miss-remembering – festive fare. Take Home Alone (Chris Columbus, 1990 – don’t string me up yet!), it’s a good, typically solid film from Columbus and a surprisingly violent one too for what it’s worth. Released at any other time of the year, I’d wager it’d be fondly remembered but never hailed as anything more than it is. Perhaps in the vein of Stuart Little (Rob Minkoff, 1999) or Spy Kids (Robert Rodriguez, 2001) say. However, Home Alone is a ‘Christmas film’ and, as such, considered by many to be a classic. By this default it is allowed to be unrealistic, that’s fine; it can get away with an over-sugared conclusion and it’s overlooked that, as a story, the film’s almost entirely screen-deep. Christmas is the time of year when audiences want to forget the real world (frankly, after 2016 we deserve a break) and need to believe in a message of hope. Is being rewarded for surviving another year, however, quite the same thing as watching a brilliant film?

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