Tag Archives: Monsters Inc

Film Friday #208

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

Following the events of the Quarterquell, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) finds herself living underground in District 13 where President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), supported by Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) are keen for her to be the face of their rebellion. Tortured by nightmares and unsure of what has happened to Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Katniss is reluctant. But after a broadcast in which Peeta is being used as President Snow’s (Donald Sutherland) mouthpiece and a visit to the now destroyed District 12, she feels compelled to play her part in bringing the districts together against the Capitol if only to save Peeta. Almost immediately it becomes apparent that Coin will use and manipulate Katniss in whatever way is necessary to achieve her goals and that the differences between the leaders of the Capitol and the leaders of the rebellion are not as great as they want their followers to believe. I went into Mockingjay with very low expectations after reading a lot of lacklustre reviews and I have to admit I was quite pleasantly surprised. Is it an overlong, obvious money grab? Absolutely. Is it boring? Well that depends on what draws your interest to The Hunger Games in the first place. If you’re all about the action then you might be bored. If you’re more interested in the political machinations and the idea of media manipulation of the news and the willingness of leaders to do whatever it takes in the pursuit of power, you’re a lot less likely to be bored. For me it has always been the latter. I can however understand how this step change from the first two films, especially after the political elements were downplayed compared to the novel, might have surprised some of the audience. As always Lawrence gives an outstanding performance, embodying the emotionally battered Katniss and she is ably supported by Moore, Hoffman, Liam Hemsworth as the ever faithful Gale and Sam Clafin as Finnick. Elizabeth Banks is also a bit of a scene stealer providing comic relief as Effie. Subdued compared to the first two but still well worth a watch. 3.5/5

Katniss was more than ready to shoot the shit out of President Snow

Katniss was more than ready to shoot the shit out of President Snow

What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

This mockumentary looks at the lives of four vampires who share a flat in Wellington in the lead up to the annual Unholy Masquerade. Viago (Taika Waititi) is an eighteenth century dandy who is always telling everyone off for not washing the dishes, Vladislav (Jermaine Clement) grew up in the Middle Ages had has some interesting ideas about women and torture, Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) is only 183 years old and tends to be a bit wild and Petyr (Ben Fransham), who is over 8,000 years old isn’t very good at using his words and is best left out of the flat meetings. When Deacon’s familiar, Jackie (Jackie van Beek) invites her ex-boyfriend, Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer) round to the vamps’ house for dinner, Petyr turns him and suddenly the four have a new friend for the first time in years. As Nick wrestles with what his new life is going to be like, the other four are dragged kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century whether they like it or not. This quirky Kiwi comedy is the perfect antidote to the kind of Twilight-esque vampires we’ve been dealing with onscreen and its look into the practicalities of daily vampire life is absolutely hilarious. Waititi is brilliant as the dorky Viago as is Clement as the worryingly pervy, Vladislav but more often than not it’s Stuart Rutherford as Nick’s best friend, Stu who steals the scene despite the fact that he barely says anything. If you like your comedy a bit off the wall I would highly recommend taking a peek into the shadows, you won’t be disappointed. 4/5

Deacon;s erotic dance made Edward Cullen look like an amateur

Deacon’s erotic dance made Edward Cullen look like an amateur

The Drop (2014)

Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) tends the bar at Cousin Marv’s, which was once owned by his cousin Marv (James Gandolfini) but is now owned by a Chechen gang who took over Marv’s patch. On occasion Cousin Marv’s acts as a “drop bar” where all the money from all the dodgy dealings in Brooklyn is held over night. Bob is a man of few words who keeps to himself, adamant that he wants to live a good quiet life away from what seems like a somewhat shady past. But when Cousin Marv’s is robbed and Bob finds an abused puppy in a trashcan a series of events unfolds that could shatter his peace permanently.  I definitely found the premise of The Drop intriguing and I really enjoyed its slow burn. Once again Tom Hardy makes his character utterly believable and compelling and his relationship not only with the puppy but with the woman whose trashcan he finds it in (Noomi Rapace) are really touching. Gandolfini is also excellent in his final role playing a man tortured by his losing what gave him his identity and desperate to regain his pride. All of this said, if you’re going to go for a slow burn you’ve got to have a good payoff and for me The Drop ended with a whimper rather than a bang and at the end although I enjoyed it I kind of wondered what the whole point actually was. Throughout the film it seemed like there was going to be some kind of message or conclusion and then there just kind of wasn’t… A good watch but it feels like there could have been so much more. 3/5

Warning: This film will make you want a puppy

Warning: This film will make you want a puppy (and Tom Hardy)

Monsters, Inc. (2001)

James P. “Sulley” Sullivan (John Goodman) and Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) are two monsters working as a scaring team for Monsters, Inc generating power for the city of Monstropolis by collecting the screams of terrified children. The irony is that the monsters are just as a frightened of the children, believing them to be toxic, so when Sulley accidentally lets a human child into Monstropolis his life is turned upside down. Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m not a great fan of Disney or Pixar but Monsters. Inc is one of my very few total exceptions. The premise of going behind the scenes of the almost universal childhood fear of “monsters under the bed/in the closet” is genius and even just seeing all the different kinds of monsters going about their daily business makes this worth watching. The relationship between lifelong friends Sulley and Mike is great fun and both characters are hilarious.  it also helps that “Boo”, as Sulley nicknames the little invader, is absolutely adorable and her barely comprehensible prattle is so sweet. An absolute classic that stands the test of time. 5/5


Boo’s new “kitty” was a going to give the mailman a run for his money

My top 10 movies for kids

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am not a great one for kids’ movies. I don’t like the cheesy happy endings, the lousy way the female characters are dealt with (for the most part) or the heavy handed morals and I particularly don’t like Disney… however… I do have exceptions, and these are them. (Please note for this blog I am focusing on films predominantly made for preteen audiences, which is why things like Harry Potter haven’t been included.)

alice-with-caterpillar-2Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Starring (voices): Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn, Richard Haydn
Why?: It’s like one giant acid trip, which really captures the essence of the novel (let’s just pretend it wasn’t written by a a dodgy older man for the underage object of his affection).
Best character: The Cheshire Cat
“Cheshire Cat: If I were looking for a white rabbit, I’d ask the Mad Hatter
Alice: The Mad Hatter? Oh, no no no…
Cheshire Cat: Or, you could ask the March Hare, in that direction.
Alice: Oh, thank you. I think I’ll see him…
Cheshire Cat: Of course, he’s mad, too.
Alice: But I don’t want to go among mad people.
Cheshire Cat: Oh, you can’t help that. Most everyone’s mad here.
[laughs maniacally; starts to disappear]
Cheshire Cat: You may have noticed that I’m not all there myself.”

snowflakeThe Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Starring (voices): Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara
Why?: Because it’s really creepy and dark and kids love dark, creepy stuff. They’re macabre little buggers.
Best characters: Lock, Shock and Barrel
“Santa: [from in the bag] Me on vacation? On Christmas Eve?
Barrel: Where are we taking him?
Shock: Where?
Lock: [removes his mask] to Oogie Boogie, of course. There’s no where in the whole world more comfortable than *that*. And Jack *said* to make him comfortable, didn’t he?
Barrel, Shock: Yes, he did.
Santa: Haven’t you heard of peace on earth, and goodwill towards men?
Barrel: NO!”

my-neighbor-totoro1My Neighbour Tortoro (1998)
Starring (voices): Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Toshiyuki Amagasa
Why?: Because it brings the imaginary friends so common to small children to life.
Best character: Catbus!
“Mei Kusakabe: To-to-ro? You’re Totoro!… I bet you’re Totoro…

Matilda-matilda-4452227-640-480Matilda (1996)
Starring: Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Mara Wilson, Embeth Davidz
Why?: it’s a great intepretation of a great story, plus it glorifies reading which is always a good thing.
Best character: Mrs Trunchbull
“Harry Wormwood: A book? What do you want a book for?
Matilda: To read.
Harry Wormwood: To read? Why would you want to read when you got the television set sitting right in front of you? There’s nothing you can get from a book that you can’t get from a television faster.

How to Train Your Dragon movie imageHow To Train Your Dragon (2010)
Starring (voices): Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Why?: Because it’s really funny and it has a lot of heart
Best character: Snotlout
“Snotlout: Watch out babe, I’ll take care of this.
[Throws weapon at Deadly Nadder but misses; Astrid glares at him]
Snotlout: The *sun* was in my eyes, Astrid! What do you want me to do, block out the sun? I can do that, but I don’t have the time right now!

Horton-hears-a-who-pics-horton-hears-a-who-19717311-1109-529Horton Hears a Who (2008)
Starring (voices): Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett
Why?: Because music saves the day and because Jim Carrey is perfect as the utterly silly Horton
Best character: Katie
“Katie: In my world everyone is a pony, and they all eat rainbows, and poop butterflies.”

despicable_me_1Despicable Me (2010)
Starring (voices): Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand
Why?: Every little detail is just perfect. I have seen it countless times and it still cracks me up.
Best character: Agnes
“Agnes: [singing] Unicorns, I love them. Unicorns, I love them. Uni uni unicorns, I love them. Uni unicorns, I could pet one if they were really real. And they are! So I bought one so I could pet it. Now it loves me, now I love it. La lala la la…

despicable-me-2-paradiseDespicable Me 2 (2013)
Starring (voices): Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt
Why?: As funny, if not more funny, than the first one. Also more Minions and god knows I love Minions!
“Best character: Minions
Silas: I am the league’s director, Silas Ramsbottom.
Minion: [giggles] Bottom.
Silas: Hilarious”

booMonsters Inc (2001)
Starring (voices): Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Mary Gibbs
Why?: The idea of seeing behind the scenes of the “monsters” under children’s beds is genius.
Best character: Boo
“Sulley: Mike, this isn’t Boo’s door.

Mike: Boo? What’s Boo?
Sulley: That’s… what I decided to call her. Is there a problem?
Mike: Sulley, you’re not supposed to name it. Once you name it, you start getting attached to it. Now put that thing back where it came from or so help me…
[Mike pauses, realizing that they suddenly have the attention of the entire scare floor]
Mike: Oh, hey. We’re rehearsing a – a scene for the upcoming company play called uh, Put That Thing Back Where It Came From Or So Help Me. It’s a musical.
Mike: Put that thing back where it came from or so help me… so help me, so help me and cut. We’re still working on it, it’s a work in progress but, hey, we need ushers.”

673952-finding_nemo1Finding Nemo (2003)
Starring (voices): Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould
Why?: It’s like an aquarium come to life… and I love an aquarium.
Best character: Dory
“Dory: [about the humpback whale] Maybe he only speaks whale.
[slowly and deeply, imitating the whale]
Dory: Mooo… Weeee neeeed…
Marlin: Dory?
Dory: …tooo fiiind hiiis sooon.
Marlin: What are you doing? Are you sure you speak whale?
Dory: Caaaan yoooou giive uuuus direeeeectioooons?
Marlin: Dory! Heaven knows what you’re saying! See, he’s swimming away.
Dory: Cooome baaaaack.
Marlin: He’s not coming back. You offended him.
Dory: Maybe a different dialect. Mmmmoooooowaaaaah…

My top 10 movie bromances

While one of the main themes of most films is romantic relationships, we wouldn’t have some awesome classics without the magic of lifelong friendships. This week I am looking at my favourite bromances… those friendships that are maybe just  leetle bit too close for comfort.

Bromance Definition (Urban Dictionary)

1. A non-sexual relationship between two men that are unusually close. -verb -mans-ing
1. The act of wooing a fellow male friend for the purpose of becoming closer.
2. Going to unusual lengths in an attempt to become closer with another male friend.
wedding-crashers-poster__spanJohn Beckwith and Jeremy Grey
Played by: Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughan
Film: Wedding Crashers (2005)
Such is the chemistry between Wilson and Vaughan that they’ve played best friends in several films but somehow this kooky comedy that features them using the weddings of strangers to pull women has something special.
“John Beckwith: Hey, listen. What angle are you going to play here?
Jeremy Grey: I am going to go with the balloon animal display. For the kids. And then when she comes close to check it out, guess who is the broken man, haunted past? How about you?
John Beckwith: I am going to go dance with the little flower girl. Oh, and I might be a charter member of Oprah’s book club.
Jeremy Grey: It’s all deadly.”
waynes-world-3Wayne and Garth
Played by: Mike Meyers and Garth Algar
Films: Wayne’s World I (1992) and Wayne’s World 2 (1993)
Anyone who grew up in the 90’s will remember this uber-geeky duo, lost in their own world of in-jokes while trying to make a success of their late night cable show and put on the gig of a life time.
“Garth: Uhm, Wayne? What do you do if every time you see this one incredible woman, you think you’re gonna hurl?
Campbell: I say hurl. If you blow chunks and she comes back, she’s yours. But if you spew and she bolts, then it was never meant to be.”
trekStar_Trek_Kirk_And_Spock_freecomputerdesktopwallpaper_pKirk and Spock
Played by: Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto & William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy
Films: Star Trek The Motion Picture (1979), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Star Trek III: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1984), Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989), Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), Star Trek (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
Whether you’re and old school fan a new school fan or both, you can’t deny that wile these these two interstellar explorers are very different, each provides the perfect foil for the other.
“Spock: This is the new brig, Captain. It is escape-proof.
Kirk: How do you know?
Spock: The designers tested it using the most intelligent and resourceful person they could find. He failed to escape.
Kirk: This person didn’t by any chance have pointed ears and an unerring capacity for getting his shipmates into trouble, did he?
Spock: He did have pointed ears.
sod-duoShaun and Ed
Played by: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost
Film: Shaun of The Dead (2004)
Part of the joy of watching these two man-children take on a village full of zombies is knowing that they’re best friends in real life.
“Shaun: [about Ed] He’s not my boyfriend!
Ed: [handing beer to Shaun] It might be a bit warm, the cooler’s off.
Shaun: Thanks, babe.
sherlock-holmes-movieHolmes and Watson
Played by: Robert Downey Jnr and Jude Law
Films:  Sherlock Holmes (2009), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
While Holmes is obviously the investigative genius in this paring, he would be nowhere without Watson’s common sense and endless capacity for forgiveness. This is of course the only role that Law has ever managed to be sexy in.
Watson: Oh, how I’ve missed you, Holmes.
Holmes: Have you? Why? I’ve barely noticed your absence.
scream-jay-silent-bobJay and Silent Bob
Played by: Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith
FIlms: Clerks (1994), Clerks II (2006), Mallrats (1995), Chasing Amy (1997), Dogma (1999), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
A perment fixture in almost all of Kevin Smith’s films, one barely ever says a word and the other never shuts up and somehow you can’t imagine them ever being apart.
“Jay: Oh, Hi, I’m Jay and this is my hetero-life-mate, Silent Bob. “
monsters-incMike and Sulley
Voiced by: Billy Crystal and John Goodman
Films: Monsters Inc (2001), Monsters University (2013)
Having now seen how these two first became friends, it makes their perfectly balanced partnership seem even more special.
“Mike: I’m telling you, Big Daddy. You’re gonna be seeing this face on TV more often.
Sulley: Yeah, like on “Monstropolis’ Most Wanted”?
Mike: Ha, ha, ha. You’ve been jealous of my good looks since the fourth grade, pal.”
item0.rendition.slideshowWideHorizontal.pulp-fiction-ss01Vincent Vega and Jules Winnifield
Played by: John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson
Film: Pulp Fiction (1994)
Facing several situations of potential ruin these two mob hit men stick together through thick and thin.
“Jules: Oh, man, I will never forgive your ass for this shit. This is some fucked-up repugnant shit.
Vincent: Jules, did you ever hear the philosophy that once a man admits that he’s wrong that he is immediately forgiven for all wrongdoings? Have you ever heard that?
Jules: Get the fuck out my face with that shit! The motherfucker that said that shit never had to pick up itty-bitty pieces of skull on account of your dumb ass.
Vincent: I got a threshold, Jules. I got a threshold for the abuse that I will take. Now, right now, I’m a fuckin’ race car, right, and you got me the red. And I’m just sayin’, I’m just sayin’ that it’s fuckin’ dangerous to have a race car in the fuckin’ red. That’s all. I could blow.
Jules: Oh! Oh! You ready to blow?
Vincent: Yeah, I’m ready to blow.
Jules: Well, I’m a mushroom-cloud-layin’ motherfucker, motherfucker! Every time my fingers touch brain, I’m Superfly T.N.T., I’m the Guns of the Navarone! IN FACT, WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOIN’ IN THE BACK? YOU’RE THE MOTHERFUCKER WHO SHOULD BE ON BRAIN DETAIL! We’re fuckin’ switchin’! I’m washin’ the windows, and you’re pickin’ up this n*****’s skull!”
Dogma-Matt-and-Ben-1024x527Loki and Bartleby
Played by: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
Film: Dogma (1999)
These two angels trapped on earth have amazing banter… and also psychopathic tendencies.
“Loki: Well, it’s a lot more compact than the flaming sword, but it’s not nearly as impressive. Just doesn’t have that Wrath-of-the-Almighty edge to it. I mean, come on, how am I supposed to strike fear into the hearts of the wicked with this thing? Look at this…
Bartleby: Well, then, you know, don’t use a gun. Just lay the place to waste, like.
Loki: Easy for you to say. You get off light in razing. You got to stand there and read at Sodom and Gomorrah, I had to do all the work.
Bartleby: What work did you do? You lit a few fires.
Loki: I rained down sulphur, man, there’s a subtle difference.
Bartleby: Oh, yeah, I’m sure.
Loki: Hey, you know, fuck you, man. Any moron with a pack of matches can set a fire. Raining down sulphur is like an endurance trial man. Mass genocide is the most exhausting activity one can engage in, next to soccer.
3194469-5518169473-bill-Bill and Ted
Played by: Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves
Films: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
Slacker stoners, Bill and Ted are quite obviously complete morons but somehow when put together they become a force to be reckoned with managing to outsmart several historical figures, evil forces from the future and of course… death.
“Bill: Ted.
Ted: Yeah?
Bill: If I die, you can have my Megadeth collection.
Ted: But, dude, we’re already .
Bill: Oh. Well then they’re yours, dude.