1. From Russia with Love (C)
2. Delicatessen (A)
3. Goldfinger (B)
4. Coraline (A)
5. Toy Story 3 (A+)
6. Over the Hedge (B)
I've been on a huge Neil Gaiman kick for months having read Neverwhere and American Gods last year and currently reading Fragile Things. I've been meaning to watch Coraline since it came out but I never got the chance until now.
The film is a beautiful and imaginative story which in part reminded me of Gaiman's MirrorMask (female protagonist has mommy issues and flees into an amazing alternate world that eventually turns ugly when she's forced to deal with said issues), which is fine because I loved that film, too. Coraline is certainly different enough and has it's own take on the scenario with castful of typically Gaiman bizarre characters. Oddly, I think Coraline's father is my favorite because of how quiet and subtle his love for Coraline and just weird he is. On top of all Gaiman's character idiosyncrasies, Henry Selick excels once again with his stop-motion animation. In fact, I didn't know he was the director going into the film, but a few minutes into the film, I thought "This has to be Henry Selick."
Toy Story 3
After watching Coraline
, which I consider one of the best non-Pixar animated films, I began to think about Pixar's best and decided that I needed to watch Toy Story 3
again for the first time since it was in theaters.
It's rare for a sequel to be better than the original and it's even more rare for a second
sequel to be better than both, but Toy Story 3
manages to do just that. The film doesn't pull any punches in the swan song where Andy's toys finally face the moment they've feared: Andy has grown up, so what does that mean for them? Several options lay before them: the attic, the dumpster, daycare, and for Woody, going to college with Andy. The toys all fret about their future and I'll admit the first time I watched this film, I actually believed all of the toys were going to be incinerated at the town dump. How about that for pulling on the old heartstrings? I thought that would be the emotional high, but of course I was wrong. Seeing Andy playing with his old toys one last time with their new caretaker, Bonnie, was the pitch perfect ending for an incredible trilogy and gave the toys an option that had not foreseen: a whole new owner who will love and cherish them just as much as Andy did.
Over the Hedge
I don't have much to say about this one. I only bothered checking it out because I've found myself enjoying the comic strip, although mostly for Hammy's crazy antics and weird babbling. Which, of course, was my main motivation for watching the movie. Steve Carell played a wonderful spastic character with just a bit of emotional depth although his voice wasn't quite the one I had in my head and I've already reverted back to "my voice" for Hammy when reading the strip.