No storm can stop this week’s blog.  I drove through torrential rain tonight out to Indooroopilly to see an advance screening of the new Scott Hicks film, The Boys Are Back (out Nov 12).  You could hear the thunder during the movie and the lights even flickered briefly during one moment – must have been a power surge.


Killed By Hype


I am officially “over” the Twilight movie series.  I actually liked the first film.  It was a nice surprise – something a little different and it was great to see it do so well at the box-office.


However, since that time, I haven’t been able to get away from all the hype and over publicity for this next film (which I’m yet to see).  It may be a good film but I’m sick of hearing about it.


Tickets have been on sale for weeks and there are special midnight screenings when it comes out on November 19.  Radio stations have been taking it up – giving away tickets to premieres and talking about any gossip they can in relation to stars Robert Pattinson (who has zero credits to his name outside of the Twilight saga) and Kirsten Stewart.  Let’s not forget about the trashy magazines either.  Every time I’m queuing up in a supermarket, I see their two faces looking back at me with some crazy, sensationalistic headline.


I’ve learned from experience that the more you hype up a film, the more likely it is to disappoint.  I’m sure that just all the Twilight devotees will love it anyway – no matter how good or bad it is.  Other more discerning moviegoers may not feel as passionate.  It’s kind of like the Harry Potter series.


This won’t mean anything to the big studios that will be rolling in money when New Moon is released.  This film is going to make sooooooo much money that it’s not funny.  I wish I owned a share in it.  I should have written that vampire script after all.


Let me finish my rant by saying that I’m more looking forward to the Coen Brothers film which is being released on that same day (A Serious Man) as opposed to New Moon.


Matt’s Best Of The Decade – Animated Films


Last week, I started my look at the best films of the decade.  This week’s focus is on another area of cinema which has grown exponentially over the last decade – animation.


Back in the mid 1990s, it was Disney who dominated the animation game.  They’d release one big blockbuster every year.  Things changed in 1995 with the arrival of Toy Story – the first computer-generated full length film ever made.  You can forget how quickly times have changed.  Animation is everywhere today.


In 2001, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences introduced a new category at the Oscars – best animated feature.  It’s a category which has been very competitive since its inception.  Shrek took the honours in 2001 and WALL-E won last year.


It wasn’t easy coming up with my two top animated films for the decade and the two that I’ve decided on may catch people off guard – because they’re both in a foreign language.  They are…


Spirited Away (released in 2002) – full review is here.


Persepolis (released in 2008) – full review is here.


What’s also a little strange about my two choices is that they’re both simple, hand-drawn animation.  It’s cool seeing a computer animated film which is rich in detail (like anything coming out of Pixar lately) but it’s the story which is important above all things.


Spirited Away is from acclaimed Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki and won the Oscar in 2002 for best animated film.  It’s pretty “out there” but that’s what I loved about it.  Miyazaki has such a vivid imagination, a creativity which cannot be matched.  It has a permanent space in my DVD collection and I never get tired of seeing it.  A beautiful tale.


Persepolis blew me away at last year’s Brisbane International Film Festival.  It’s actually a rarity too in that it’s black and white animation.  It’s a darker story (not necessarily suited for young children) and left me feeling uneasy at times.  It proved that you don’t need to have real actors to convey raw emotions.


I have plenty of honourable mentions this week and they include Chicken Run, Shrek, The Incredibles, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit, Ratatouille, Kung Fun Panda, WALL-E, Cars, Up and Coraline.


You can bet there’ll be a lot more animation in the years to come – especially of the 3D variety.


Next week, I’ll look at my favourite thrillers of the decade.