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Disney 50

Posted by: Matthew Turner 26/11/2010 @ 12:17
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 441
Films seen this week: An Ordinary Execution, Leap Year, Cell 211, London Boulevard, Waiting for Superman, Blue Valentine (again), Burlesque, Freakonomics, The Fighter

The Disney 50
To celebrate the release of their 50th animated feature film (Tangled, due January 28th), Disney have teamed up with the BFI to screen their entire back catalogue, every weekend throughout 2011. This is wonderful news, not least because the House of Mouse are notoriously cagey about putting their films on DVD, often only giving them limited releases and then withdrawing them just as slow-off-the-mark people like me have finally decided to buy them.

I'm particularly excited to see some of Disney's earlier, more obscure films, such as The Three Caballeros and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad, but I'm also pleased that I'll finally get to see the ones I've somehow missed in recent years, such as The Little Mermaid (as a 39 year old man with only nephews it's impossible to rent or buy The Little Mermaid without feeling like a bit of a wrongmo), Hercules and the one I'm most excited about, The Great Mouse Detective.

I won't be watching the Disney version of Winnie the Pooh though, oh no. There is only One True Pooh as far as I'm concerned and it depresses me to see how ubiquitous the bastardised Disney version has become. My favourite Disney movie will always be The Jungle Book, so I'm looking forward to revisiting that on the big screen too, along with some of the other classics, particularly Dumbo, Pinocchio and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. So, basically, hurrah for Disney, hurrah for the BFI and roll on January. In the meantime, here's a YouTube video to serve as a taster of the Disney 50:

Films I Am Dying To See: Source Code
I'd been aware of the buzz surrounding Moon director Duncan Jones's next project but I'd held off on the actual plot details until this week. I'm glad I did, because the newly-released trailer is very exciting indeed. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a man who wakes up to find himself in someone else's body on a train, with a woman (Michelle Monaghan) calling him by someone else's name. When the train explodes eight minutes later, he discovers that he's inside something called the Source Code (essentially the Quantum Leap accelerator) and that he's been sent into the body by military honcho Vera Farmiga and scientist Jeffrey Wright in order to discover who blew up the train. The catch is, he only has eight minutes each time he (ahem) leaps. And then of course, he decides he wants to try and save the girl ...

This looks like an intriguing mash-up of Quantum Leap, Groundhog Day and a 24-style high-octane thriller with some interesting time-travel movie stuff about Free Will vs Destiny (i.e. not being able to change time) thrown in for good measure. All that and a train too – it basically sounds like my perfect film. There's no UK release date for it yet, but it has officially leapt right to the top of my Must See list and I can't wait to see it. I'm also very excited for Duncan Jones (note that nobody is jokingly calling him Zowie Bowie anymore), as he seems to be making a career out of intelligent sci-fi movies and I'm desperate to see what he comes up with next.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
A fairly underwhelming batch of new releases this week. I can't quite work up enough enthusiasm for Unstoppable or The American or The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest to put them into the top ten and Machete was a massive disappointment. There are still two new entries though: Mexican sadomasochistic relationship drama Leap Year (not to be confused with the Amy Adams non-com) and French drama An Ordinary Execution.

Mary and Max seems to have disappeared from cinemas this week, so look out for the DVD in the very near future. Similarly, Mexican cannibal drama We Are What We Are seems to have vanished already, so look out for second run screenings. No new interviews this week but you can still read our exclusive one-on-one with Dream Home star Josie Ho here, our interview with Burke & Hare star Simon Pegg and our press conference write-up with Due Date stars Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis.

1. The Social Network
2. The Kids Are All Right
3. Another Year
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part I
5. Dream Home
6. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
7. Leap Year
8. My Afternoons With Margueritte
9. Chico & Rita
10. An Ordinary Execution

DVD Of The Week: Heartbreaker (out now, RRP £19.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is Heartbreaker, a delightful French romcom (or Fromcom) directed by Pascal Chaumeil. Romain Duris stars as Alex, a professional heartbreaker who finds himself falling for his latest victim when he's employed to split up wealthy Juliette (Vanessa
) and her British fiancé (Andrew Lincoln). Duris is effortlessly sexy as the charming, ever-optimistic Alex, to the point where you half wonder why Lincoln's character doesn't fall for him as well. He also has strong chemistry with Paradis and an infectiously funny comic rapport with Julie Ferrier and Francois Damiens (playing his accomplices).

The script is excellent, combining well written, likeable characters with witty dialogue, several brilliantly funny moments, some hilarious running gags and a number of wonderfully romantic scenes (the Dirty Dancing sequences are worth the price of the DVD alone). It's also brilliantly edited and has a superb soundtrack. The decent extras package includes: 3 minutes of out-takes; 7 minutes of deleted scenes; a 30 minute Making Of; the trailer; short interviews with Romain Duris and Vanessa Paradis; and four very short featurettes, including one on the dance scene. Shame there's no commentary or blooper reel though.


by  nosda  12/02/2011 @ 14:17
Uggh the "Disney Vault" is such a money spinner. I used to work in Zavvi (RIP) and the amount of times someone would ask in vain for The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast was rediculous, while we'd be overstocked with such classics as 101 Dalmatians 2 or Atlantis 2. Interesting to see that they left their dreadful sequels out of the 50 count...
The Great Mouse Detective is fantastic! It's a shame it doesn't get more recognition.
by  Matthew Turner  13/02/2011 @ 16:13
I don't think they're counting direct-to-DVD sequels as (ahem) "canon". The 50 is theatrical releases only, I think. You're talking about things like Aladdin 2, right?

I can't *wait* to see The Great Mouse Detective. Very excited.
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