Lights, camera, action!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
Directed by: Nick Park and Steve Box
Starring: (voices of) Peter Sallis, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham-Carter

You know, I had forgotten just how funny and lovable Wallace and Gromit are. I've seen all their short films, a long time ago, and when this feature length one came out I was mildly interested but not chomping at the bit, if you see what I mean. But I rented it the other day and it all came flooding back how quirkily (is that a word?) charming it is.

Anyway, the film is an extremely good family film - which, by my definition, means it is clean and sweet enough for children to love with good jokes for adults to enjoy as well. So this one fits the bill. In the film, inventor Wallace and his silent but oh-so-lovable sidekick dog Gromit have established a pest control business, rididng the local residents of unwanted vermin that may ruin their precious vegetables. Everyone is hoping to win at the vegetable competition so protecting their cabbages, marrows, turnips, etc. is a pretty important job. Of course Wallace goes a bit over the top (as usual) and tries to brainwash the bunnies they catch not to want to eat vegetables, but of course the whole thing backfires and we are left with an unravelling mystery and overall mess, and good old Gromit has to save the day.

The animation is, of course, brilliant. The process of stop-motion animation, though time-consuming, does produce very specific, very expressive characters, and allows the film to have a more realistic 3D look. Most brilliant of all is Gromit, who, although never says anything and doesn't actually have any mouth at all (how does he eat, poor thing?) conveys every single expression and emotion with utmost clarity. In this film I also particularly liked all the little rabbits, who are just adorable.

It is very funny and there are plenty of subtle references and jokes hidden in the dialogue and story (in one of the photos on the wall we can see Gromit graduating from 'Dogwarts' school), although not so many as in something like Shrek, for example.

Overall, I don't have any criticisms of the film, but it isn't absolutely brilliant either. A nice film for children and adults alike, and well-deserved of its recognition.



Wallace: Oh Gromit! I don't want to be a rabbit!
Hutch the Rabbit: Aww. The bounce has gone from his bungee.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Chasing Liberty

Chasing Liberty (2004)
Director: Andy Cadiff
Starring: Mandy Moore, Matthew Goode, Mark Harmon

OK. This looked to me like a pretty run-of-the-mill, teen comedy with basically exactly the same plot as First Daughter (duaghter of the President wants to experience 'real life' so she goes out into the big, wide world looking for adventure and falls in love with a guy who turns out to be a Secret Service agent helping to protect her. Seriously. That is the plot of BOTH MOVIES.) Anyway, I had already seen First Daughter and to be honest, it wasn't at all memorable. I can hardly remember anything in it. Basically, it was pretty crap. But anyway, on to Chasing Liberty...

It was a lot better than I expected. First of all, Mandy Moore is a way better actress than Katie Holmes. Second of all, I liked the male lead a lot more. This one is British, and very cute, and had some really funny lines. That was another major advantage to the movie - the writing. While at times it teetered on the downright cliched, at other times it was really fresh and funny. The British guy (played by Matthew Goode) was really sarcastic in a British kind of way and it actually made me wonder if the movie had been written by an English person.

The plot was pretty formulaic and predictable, but had another big difference to First Daughter: it was almost all set in Europe - Venice, Berlin, Prague, Austria, etc. This meant that there were beautiful shots of these places and of course, being in cities like Venice made it all the more romantic.

The supporting cast were very good and I especially liked the subplot of the two Secret Service agents following the couple around Europe, and the romance between them.

Overall, it is a fresh, funny, romantic comedy that I would recommend - yes, there is some Hollywood fluff and a few cliches, but the scenery, the dialogue and the performances make up for that. It is an enjoyable film; not one-of-the-films-everyone-should-see-before-they-die type of movie, but enjoyable just the same.

(By the way, I'm too indecisive with the giving movies numbers of stars, so I'll be giving movies grades.)


Anna: Dad! You ruined my date! Now I'll die before I ever get to third base... I mean second base.

Monday, June 05, 2006


Hello, and welcome to my movie blog!

I have decided that, instead of cluttering up my other blog (Inklings, see link at the side) with all my movie news and reviews (wow, that rhymes), I shall plonk them all here! So keep checking back and I'll post something as solon as I can (actually, as soon as I see another movie).

Talliestar xxx