Film: Paranorman

The cast/crew bit: directed & written by Chris Butler, starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi & Anna Kendrick

The ten-word synopsis: Kid who sees dead people called upon to stop zombies.

Brave may not be a misfire on Pixars’ behalf, but it’s far from their best work. The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists is a fine animated comedy, but nowhere near as funny as Aardmans’ two previous features. And the less said about any of the nonsense Dreamworks have put out this year, the better. Yet, suddenly, it feels like none of this matters, as Laika, makers of 2009s’ creepy kids film Coraline, have outdone not just themselves but anybody involved in an animated feature for the past three years. Paranorman is not just the best animated film of the year, it’s the best since Up redefined 3D animation genre. It’s reminiscent of Pixar at their best, with the added edge that being a horror film lends it. Simply put, Paranorman is a really, really good film. Continue reading

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Film: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

The cast/crew bit: directed by David Bowers, starring Zachary Gordon, Steve Zahn and Robert Capron

The 10-word synopsis: Boy finds himself in constantly awkward situations over summer holidays.

HEY! YOU! Do you like WINCING? How do you feel about watching behind your hand as somebody does something so stupid you can’t help but CRINGE? Do you revel in seeing people do exactly the wrong thing, time after time, causing you to CREASE YOURSELF? Well if all this sounds like your idea of fun, you’ll love the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies! Continue reading

Film: Ice Age 4: Continental Drift

The cast/crew bit: directed by Steve Martino, starring Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Legizaumo

The ten-word synopsis: It’s an Ice Age film. No more words are needed.

The word ‘film’ up there in the title is perhaps pushing it a bit. Ice Age 4: Continental Drift is less of a ‘film’ and more of an economic machine. Ice Age films make lots of money. The first one took 6 times what it cost to make. The second made a similar figure. From a business point of view, Ice Age 4 makes sense. Continue reading

TV: Maid Marian and Her Merry Men – Series One

The cast/crew bit: written & directed by plus starring Tony Robinson, also starring Kate Lonrgan and Wayne Morris

The ten-word synopsis: An alternative take on Robin Hood, where Marians’ in control.

You know your scripts an absolute winner when you can make a program that remains funny despite a distinct inability to act from your lead actress. Maid Marian and her Merry Men is possibly the funniest childrens TV show ever made, but it’s no thanks to Marian herself, Kate Lonergan. Originally broadcast in 1989, the program is the brain child of Blackadders’ Tony Robinson, with Richard Curtis also involved less prolifically Continue reading