Gone to the picture show

Today after work, I went to the cinema to see T2: Trainspotting. After a 10 hour shift, I am exhaust, and can fall asleep in front of the tv. Especially in the dark. I stayed awake though. Go me!

T2 is the sequel to 1996’s Trainspotting, a film about heroin addicts in Edinburgh. T2 is about the same group of guys, 20 years later. The film looks back fondly on the last movie, and we see how life has played out for Renton, Spud, Sick Boy and Begbie. And, there is a common theme that nobody really moves on that much, despite what we hope for.

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The film is genuinely funny, but is also heartbreaking at times. It is widely known, that although based in Edinburgh, the first movie was most filmed in a Glasgow studio. This is where the larger budget comes into play, so that the film could then be filmed all over Edinburgh. In fact, Edinburgh, the trams, the airport, the castle, and car park (yes, car park), is as important in the film as the main cast.

When a sequel is released, there is always a sense of worry that it will tarnish the legacy of the original. This has definitely not happened in this occasion. In fact, there are a lot of opinions that T2 eclipses the original, much like that other T2 (Terminator 2: Judgement Day– well better than the original). I think felt like the tone was very different in this film, not so much forming around Heroin, but what addiction left behind.

The cinema is expensive these days, £11 a ticket from my local Odeon. So, because of the high cost, you have to make sure that you pick a good movie to see. Personally, i have been waiting for T2 since it was announced Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner and Robert Carlyle were all in. The film is getting released this month worldwide, in fact US release is tomorrow (10th Feb). So if you are pondering a visit to the flicks, T2: Trainspotting should be considered your time.

Top 10 Animated Movies

Because I am a child, and am sitting here watching cartoons right now, gave me a thought for an easy list blog. Needed after the last few days.

10) Disney’s Aladdin- I love music and this film a great soundtrack. It has become a bit of a cliche, but with characters like Iago, the film goes that extra mile. As a kid, this film made me really happy, and to date I still know every word to One Step Ahead. It is one where the straight-to-video sequels (Return of Jafar and Prince of Thieves) are rather fun too.

9)The Care Bear Movie- looking back on it, the animation is shoddy and the audio synching is out, but I still like it. I think it is pure nostalgia that gets this one on the list, as the story was something that resonated with me when I was little. But… I liked animals, and this having the Care Bear Cousins was great for me. The whole idea that the world has stopped caring enough that, the Care Bear’s skyward home of Care-A-Lot is falling apart. So Funshine Bear and Secret Bear set out on a mission. They don’t do kiddy adventure like this anymore. Seriously.

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8)Disney’s Lilo & Stitch- poor Lilo no pals finds a fugitive alien, and keeps him as a pet dog. This is a typical Disney film, in the sense it has fun, with the right amount of tragedy. It also has an Elvis Presley soundtrack, which marks it out as a bit different as a Disney film. Also doing that, is the whole alien and space theme, which hasn’t really taken off in Disney’s animated movies, despite previous attempts. This is another one where the home released sequels are also fun. Check out Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch and Leroy & Stitch.

7)Pokémon: The First Movie- Like most people my age in Scotland, Pokémon was the first anime most of us watched as kids. I always remember the buzz of the movie, as it ran along with the original series. Mewtwo was a pretty exciting concept, a super Pokémon. It is in a near identical tone to the original series. Team Rocket, Pikachu, Ash, Misty and Brock are all there, and it’s fun. As with much of the series, Team Rocket steal large parts of the show, with their one liners and bickering.

6)Daria: Is It College Yet?- I loved Daria, and whilst people may not include a TV movie-episode as a real movie, I do. This serves as the end of the entire series of Daria. Now, as a teenager, I don’t there was any other TV character I could resonate more with, than Daria Morgendorfer. This movie sees Daria and their classmates preparing to leave High School and head to college. This film pretty much nails that ‘end of High School’ feeling. The fear, the worry, and then realising that nothing really changes. The earlier TV movie, Is It Summer Yet, is also available and greatly entertaining.

5)Disney’s The Fox And The Hound- I have mentioned before on here that I wanted a pet fox as a kid. That was the main reason I looked at this film when I was younger. But it is great, if not tinged with sadness. A fox and a hound dog become friends, without realising they are natural enemies. This is one of the Disney films, that starts sad and ends up at an almighty climax. Talking animal movies have always been a weakness, and this is one of the best. Give the home released sequel a miss though, not a great addition at all.

4) Spirited Away- this Studio Ghibli production is just breathtaking. Little Chihiro is transported into the Spirit world, where she works for a witch to try and get home. It is a beautiful looking movie, with a fantastic storyline that sucks you in. Like, this is one of those movies, where people who ‘don’t watch cartoons’ could watch. It started to change how animated films were thought of, and really pushed anime into a bigger limelight in all corners of the world. This is just a great film to watch.

3) South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut- This film is fantastic. It, like many others on this list, runs along side the still running series. It ridicules so much, and it does it flawlessly. It is focused around the release of The Terrance & Phillip movie, and Kyle, Stan, Cartman and Kenny, need to see it. It, of course, has lots of swearing and lots of fantastic songs, especially Satan’s solo effort. It is guilty of sending lots of kids to schools singing ‘Shut your f**king face, Uncle f**ker’, which was hilarious as a 14 year old. But it was a lot of fun. Still is, the series is still running after 20 seasons, and is still as cutting as ever.

2) Disney’ The Lion King- this is going to shock a lot of people who know me, cause I adore the Lion King. It is one movie that I know word for word, and it’s talking animals, again. The songs, by Elton John and Tim Rice were spot on, as were double act, Timon and Pumba. It is one of those movies that simply comes together. This film just captivates me every time i watch it, no matter how often that is. Both sequels: Simba’s Pride and Lion King 1 1/2 are also really great.

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1) Akira- this film is one that captivates people. I remember buying it on DVD, after watching it online a LOT, and my brother coming in and just getting pulled in, even though he had no idea what was happening. It is THAT kind of film. It starts, with a bike crash, and ends up scaring the living crap out of you, or it did me. It is hard to explain why this film is so good, but it is. It has a very harsh look to the animation, which along with the fantastically dark sound track, helps build an atmosphere I have never seen another animated movie do. The pain and suffering that Tetsou goes through can actually become hard to watch, but it helps build this unbelievable tension.

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Have I got it right? When thinking of this list, I assumed it would be a lot more Disney. And when I stared thinking about what an animated film can do… well, Akira had to be number 1. Is there any films any readers would add? Please let me know.

Movie Time: Remembering Sunday

Length: 96 mins

Dirextor: Jeff Bleckner

Starring: Alexis Bledel, Zachary Levi, Merritt Weaver

I was a huge fan of Alexis Bledel in the Gilmore Girls and Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants movies,  so when I saw Remembering Sunday popped up on my Netflix recommended, I decided to watch. It is a made for TV movie, which was shown on the Hallmark Channel in the US, starring Alexis as waitress, Molly, who meets jewellery shop worker Gus, played by Mad Men’s Zachary Levi.

This is very similar to 50 First Dates, in that Gus has had a brain disorder which has left him unable to make new memories. Gus meets Molly, when he is waiting for his friend in a cafe, and he is recording his thoughts on a voice recorder (he transfers these new memories to a computer when he gets home). He is nice to Molly, and as such she falls for him. He tries to hide the fact that every day he wakes up with no memory about what happened the day before, so as they see each other more, Gus records the conversations they share. Gus plans everything to exact detail, to hide his issues from Molly, and gets slightly frazzled. Playing Gus’ sister Lucy, is Merritt Weaver, also known as Zoey from Nurse Jackie . She appears to be Gus’ rock, and does it well, working out a system so that Gus can understand what has happened so that he can survive every day, and relearn what has happened since he became ill. She also warns Molly about understanding that there is no quick fix for Gus’ memory issue, and that she has to accept that he may not be normal. Which is a tough issue that a lot of films and TV shows wouldn’t touch on. It gave a bit of an extra dimension to the story.

Molly dreams of opening a floor shop, but due to cash-flow issues, she finds herself ‘waiting for life to start’, working in the cafe, attending college and renting a room in her friends apartment. She feels that she has had awful luck with men, and has trust issues. And seems to doubt everything that happens, like when Gus forgets one of their dates.

I am not going to post too many spoilers, because that takes away the joy of watching a movie, right? If you thought 50 First Dates was good, this is the same, but more chick-flick slush rather than laugh out loud. It is very sweet, and has moments where it is genuinely touching. But, you can tell this is a made for TV movie, it seems to go a little askew at the start of the second half, as I lost attention, as changes start to happen, as the character’s lives move forward, I didn’t feel involved enough to be part of the journey with them. It was cute, it was watchable, it just lacked the oomph that makes me really care about a movie.

If you are spending a quiet afternoon to yourself, this is a movie for that. It is easy to watch, and is something to kill a few hours. Because the general storyline is very similar to that of 50 First Dates, I found myself missing the laughs, as there wasn’t much to be found here. I wouldn’t pay for the movie to rent, but if you have Netflix, it is worth a look.