Category Archives: Movies

Animated Goodness.

Why is it, that many of the animated movies that have been created over the past century till now, have the ability to draw the attention of so many in ways that many movies can not? Perhaps it is the meld of childish and mature messages, the colour and movement of pixel and paint that creates emotion and excitement and the drawn line that illuminates fantasy and reality to a willing family audience? in it all we forget our day and reflect on what is nice, good, bad, fun, fantastic or real?  Perhaps animated movies reveal more heart, ingenuity, talent and art then other forms of entertainment? What ever the reasons; here are some of my favourites!

STARWARS – Holiday Special.

* There are plenty more, but who wants to scroll down all day long?



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To Polanski or not to Gibson this is the question?

Reading through the various sub-headlines today I noticed the emblazoned words of “DiCaprio pulls out of Gibson film” boldly in front of me, oh how the lines in Tinseltown are forming. It seems hollywood is taking a stand against Mel, either they are excommunicating him or getting ready to hang, draw and quarter him, all because he’s having a terrible private life, a painful but public one at that, clearly the man is losing control and has been doing so for a while, perhaps some crazy religious midlife crisis of something, but hey who doesn’t have one of those? However the TV and newspaper reports make it echo louder huh? Originally this situation was not in the public ear, but solely on a well recorded answering machine complements of ex-russian singer come what ever Oksana Grigorieva, of which some how made it mysteriously into the public arena? Sure previously Mel had got a tad drunk and made a few anti-Semitic remarks and acted inappropriately, which caught the ire of many a Jewish person and rightly so, we don’t want to tolerate any of that anywhere right? But who hasn’t done and said things we regret or are ashamed about in some way? However here we are with Mel’s latest tirade, all of the insane publicity about it,the salivating over it, which is perverse in its self, …but…. things had moved on and so had Mel it seemed? Moving on ment divorce, shack’n up with a new woman and getting her pregnant, not necessarily in that order however? Though this is his life, your allowed to make mistakes, errors in judgement, be wrong and not get stoned for it, you will pay a personal toll, but let he who has not sinned cast the first stone?

But, something ain’t right in Hollywood, and I hear you say  “tell me something I don’t know?”…… and I would agree with you, look at the littered lives that hollywood has ended on a needle or through alcohol, depression, excess, decadence, violence and suicide? This truly isn’t anything new, but the Mel Bashing surely is, anyone listening to those tapes can discern they are a not so cleverly constructed and albeit an insincere creation, whilst Mel’s tirade is factual and reflects the frustration of a mortally wounded person on the edge, Oksana’s innocence in all of this remains questionable? But I don’t want to discuss that exactly!

Moving on……………..

As Leonardo DiCaprio tries to save the world and signs petition’s to help protect beautiful feathered birds, of which I think is wonderful 🙂 and all, he not so long ago was racing against Johnny Depp and George Clooney for the coveted part of Frank Sinatra in a new movie, being made by the hollywood heavy weight Scorsese. What’s the problem with this picture …. well, Scorsese is a strong supporter of Roman Polanski you know that fellow who has been fearful to step on American soil since the seventies for taking advantage of a thirteen year old girl?  This doesn’t seem to conflict with anything here for Leo but does it? And well it’s about Sinatra isn’t it, the main man, the crooning king, what actor wouldn’t want to huh? Despite his connections to organised crime ? …….. anyway, it seems every where poor Leo turns there’s evil a foot and many a reason to not to take part in a movie? Better he stay home, drink champagne and sleep with super models, but no dam it, he’s a working man… however unlike all that have come before Mr Gibson is treated differently, he’s crossed the line apparently, supposedly having done unspeakable wrongs where a righteous stand must be taken by young courageous Leo!

What a joke………….. but in the mean time if you like Roman Polanski and think all is good in the world you too can add your name to the list of growing celebrity supporters below……..

Woody Allen
Wes Anderson
Darren Aronofsky
Jonatham Demme
Stephen Frears
David Lynch
Martin Scorsese

full list here and an interesting article here.

But for me……. the Viking movie that Gibson plans to make would no doubt be brilliant. Based on Mel’s previous movies “Passion of the Christ” and “Apocalypto” the Viking movie would be outstanding!  Gibson’s production and attention to detail must be applauded, I’m interested in his art, let the courts work things out for Oksana as it has in the past?

And maybe Hollywood is a bit nervous as well, that Australian’s, European’s, Asian’s and any number of foreign countries can create movies that would lead a charge away from the morass and control of mediocrity that is Hollwood!

and anyway………………………………………….. who needs Decaprio?

C’mon Mel bring on the VIKINGS!

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Brendan and the Secret of Kells

Brendan and the secret of Kells

With the evolution of animated movies over the pass decade being largely in the vein of pixar and the like , “Brendan and the Secret of Kells” seems to humbly swim against the tide of popular anime trends and technology? I hope this proves successful and that the public is able to be more open to what i am believing to be an animated diamond in the rough?

The news is that this fantasy ride into the creation of the book of Kells has been nominated for an oscar in the category of animated film feature, up against many of the recent animated movies of 2009 like UP! and Fabtastic Mr Fox.

Tom Moore the animator and director of Brendan and the secret of Kells must be biting his nails or ignoring the hoopla, though for now here’s his blog!   The Blog of Kells. & Here 🙂

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There has been some renewed cinematic interest in movies about Norsemen over the years,mixed representations of Vikings from science fiction tales like Outlander to the entertaining but questionable Pathfinder, whilst i try not to be some type of critic, and rarely adhere to the words of any critics for that matter, preferring to judge movies by actually seeing them. However, we have come along way since Tony Curtis and Kurt Douglas swashbuckled their way through the 1958 movie “The Vikings”, the latest entry on the viking movie ladder to my mind “Valhalla Rising” may indeed turn out to be the best of them all?
Valhalla Rising - French Poster
For a full review of the movie click HERE!

I for one can not wait for its release.

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Lust for life.

In 1955/56 Actor Kirk Douglas portrayed the artist Vincent Van Gogh in the film “Lust For Life”, a movie based on Irving Stone’s biography of the same name, largely formed from the letters mailed between Vincent and his Brother Theo. Shot on location in Arles, France, co-starring Anthony Quinn in what he said was one of his most favourite characters and roles to play, Quinn himself an artist , though unfulfilled till later in life would of possibly played the role for free if needed. I have always liked Vincents work, i studied him open mindedly in university and gave talks on him in class, his life, drawings and paintings, a life that is not so straight forward, though intense, passionate and largely misunderstood!

Kirk Douglas’ portrayal as Vincent is memorable and the whole movies attention to detail is perfect, most definitely a favourite film of mine. “Lust for life” has been expressed by some as “evocative” and “uncompromising” perhaps qualities that Vincent himself ultimately in death possessed?

Kirk Douglas on location in Arles France during the shooting of the film.

I simply fall in love every time i watch a movie from the 1950’s filled with its Eastman colour, hues and tones that so aptly capture that period of such cinematic work. everything was low tech and hands on compared to the studios of today, though everything was used to the enth degree.

I can’t help but feel sadness and kinship with Vincent, obstacles that others set in his life, from failure as a minister in churchianity (yes the difference between true christianity and church based institutions.) as an art dealer, artist and lover. Vincent was misunderstood and awkward in some social settings it would seem, as opposed to the buffed out chest bellows and life style of his one time friend Paul Gauguin, as Gauguin would say “he (Vincent) a sensitive and i am savage!”

Quinn as Gauguin and Kirk having a drink & talking art.

Sadly, Vincent Van Gogh only ever sold one painting in his life time, that being “Red Vineyard at Arles.” It was not until his death that Van Goghs popularity and collectability would flourish and grow, his fame in the 20th century would know no bounds it would seem. Though in his life he was largely an oddity or unnoticed?

Red Vineyard at Arles. c.1888

Today Vincent’s painting  the “Portrait of Dr Gachet” commands a price of  in excess of $130 million, the one time owner Ryoei Saito, who is now deceased once said of the painting that it was his wish to be buried with the painting, though retracted such a statement from the outcries it recieved, Vincent is surely the man indeed, up there with Michangelo in our collective minds, ironically igored in life, but reverred and celebrated in death, what a stuffed up and deluded world indeed!

Don’t worry Vincent God still loves ya!

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I have always liked Rob Machado’s surfing and find him to be an interesting character in the world of surfing. Whilst i think most surfing magazines and the pro circuit with it’s associated industries amounts to nothing more then porn and that this movie would of taken some $$$, that Rob himself is largely sponsored by HURLEY which is basically NIKE in disguise, that any informed person couldn’t swallow this whole drop out of society, pseudo “morning of the earth” renaissance thing for absolute gospel, but what the heck……. it looks good and i need the escapism, ride on Rob, Johnny Cash walked the line, perhaps you are walking the fence brother and this movie deals with that, no judgement from me…….. but thanks for the free ride.

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Ascenseur pour l’échafaud.

I have a CD that i have played consistently for many years, it has not been far from my ears often, it is an incredible recording, a soundtrack to a french film called “Ascenseur pour l’échafaud” released in 1958 and to my thinking one of Miles Davis greatest albums. After it France would become a special place to Miles, just as this record is a special part of my music collection, though i want it on vinyl most of all!

Ascenseur pour l'échafaud

Many a night i have drifted off listening to it and many an afternoon sipping a cool drink as the sunsets, it is quite honestly one of the most striking musical pieces that has continually touched me and moved me, it is deep, soulful and quite frankly beautiful, the music sets the scene of each frame with in the movie, a film which is a classic in its self, an ambience that fails to be recreated in many of the movies and soundtracks of today.

“Ascenseur pour l’échafaud” translated in to english means “Elevator to the scaffold” , if you haven’t heard or seen it do so.

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