Film Friday #111

Hugo

After the death of his father, orphan Hugo (Asa Butterfield) lives in a train station in Paris, winding the clocks and trying to fix the automaton that his father was working on. When the local watchmaker (Ben Kingsley) catches him stealing parts, he turns to his granddaughter, Isabelle (Chloe Moretz)to get him out of trouble. The two become fast friends and soon discover that not only is  Isabelle’s grandfather hiding something but his secret might just be connected to the automaton. This is a charming kids film with enough humour and action to keep you entertained for the two hour running time. A nice weekend afternoon film. 3/5

Hugo was starting to think better of his extreme clock winding plans

Hugo was starting to think better of his extreme clock winding plans

It’s a Wonderful Life

In this festive classic, ambitious George Bailey (James Stewart) gives up his dreams of college and traveling in order to keep the family buildings and loan business on the go after the death of his father. Despite several opportunities to break away through his life, George does his duty and soon becomes a pillar of the community, happily married to his high school sweetheart, Mary (Donna Reed). When someone else’s mistake lands George in a situation he feels he can’t escape from, he contemplates suicide, leading to the intervention of an angel (Henry Travers) who shows him what would have happened if he had never been born. George’s character is a genuinely loveable everyman and the resolution of this little fable is so touching you’d be a stone not to be moved. Absolutely brilliant! 5/5

George couldn't help but think that something was holding him back

George couldn’t help but think that something was holding him back

Heathers

In this bonkers 80’s teen black comedy Winona Ryder plays Veronica, a member of a group of popular girls all named Heather.  When Veronica meets rebel, JD (Christian Slater), she comes to the realisation that she’s actually not that keen on the “Heathers”, leading to the accidental (on Veronica’s part) poisoning of the lead Heather (Kim Walker). Veronica and JD pass off Heather Chandler’s death as a suicide and with her out of the way, Veronica thinks things will change but it’s not long before Heather Duke (Shannon Doherty) takes her place. What follows is a series of murders with JD spurring Veronica on until she starts to wonder if things have gone too far. 3/5

Shoulder pads...

Shoulder pads… making the 80’s 3ft wider than any other decade

Fright Night

This is the original version of the recent remake, starring William Ragsdale as Charlie Brewster and Chris Sarandon as Jerry Dandridge. Charlie is convinced his new neighbour, Jerry is a vampire and calls on TV horror film announcer, Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowell) to help him, his girlfriend (Amanda Bearse) and geeky friend (Stephen Jeffries) get to the bottom of things. This follows much the pattern of the remake although I don’t remember the modern Dandridge having what is apparently a live in gay lover. Like the remake it rather drags on but has to be commended on the quality of the gory, special effects with regards their era. 2/5

Jane couldn't help but hide her enthusiasm at the sight of the Xmas pigs in blankets

Jane couldn’t help but hide her enthusiasm at the sight of the Xmas pigs in blankets

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