Category Archives: Favourites Friday

Favourites Friday – Blade Runner

Blade Runner (1982)

Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Daryl Hannah

From the opening sequence revealing a futuristic Los Angeles, the film pulls you in as you follow the murky and mysterious world of Rick Deckard. Throughout the film, running parallel to eachother, you feel drawn to Deckard yet know nothing about him. In my eyes, Blade Runner is a masterpiece and has transcended from its cult status to an all-time classic.

Stylish and visually stunningfast-paced and immersive — enduring

Sums it up pretty well I reckon.

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Favourites Friday – Toy Story

I must admit, I am being a bit cheeky with this Favourites Friday. I saw Toy Story 3 last week and as the Toy Story films are a favourite of mine (and it is Friday) I thought I’d have Favourites Friday all about the Toy Story series.

Toy Story series (1995, 1999, 2010)

Directors: John Lasseter (1, 2), Lee Unkrich (2, 3) and Ash Brannon (2)
Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen

I must admit, I have only recently watched Toy Story and Toy Story 2. I never saw the films at the cinema and I have never rented or bought the films – until recently. In the run up to Toy Story 3 I decided to buy the first two films and finally see what everyone else has been talking about for the last 10 years. 10 years, now that has come quickly! Toy Story was released in 1995 and Toy Story 2 in 1999.

A film like Toy Story won’t date the same way other films will. As it is animated and was the first Disney-Pixar release and the first feature film to be made entirely with CGI, the Toy Story series will always hold a special significance in the cinematic world.

One of the reasons why I like Toy Story so much is because it isn’t tied to just one age group. A five-year-old, a 35-year-old or a 65-year-old can get the same amount of enjoyment but for very different reasons. It is about toys but Toy Story is about the secret life of toys and what happens whenever the child or adult turns their back. It’s something a lot of people have thought about; how magical and fascinating would it be if your childhood teddy starts speaking and fondly recalls what you were like when you were a baby? I know I’ve thought about it.

More than anything, Toy Story is a story about friendship. To be honest, it deals with some big stuff. From what jealousy feels like to what losing somebody is like, Toy Story gets pretty deep. Through Pixar Disney has evolved into a different kind of storytelling. To me, classic Disney will also be the animated films of Cinderella and Dumbo. Modern Disney is Disney-Pixar and the CGI-created tales of Up and The Incredibles.

Toy Story is an inspiring and uplifting series and I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed each of the films. I must admit though, I hope there isn’t a fourth offering. Toy Story 3 reached a logical and lovely conclusion and was a great end to a much-loved series.

Favourites Friday – Kill Bill

Kill Bill (2003, 2004)
(For the purpose of this post, I’m going to refer
to both parts as just ‘Kill Bill’.)

Directors: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Uma Thurman, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine

While I wouldn’t say that it makes my top 5 films of all time, it is probably in the top 10 or so and Kill Bill is still a big favourite of mine. For a start, Uma Thurman is just so damn cool. Seriously, she’s wearing a yellow jumpsuit and some how doesn’t look stupid. She’s sassy and feisty and, keeping with the yellow theme, she’s a bit like Pikachu — pretty to look at but can pack one hell of a punch.

Apart from ass-kicking Uma, my favourite part of the film is the way it has been shot. In Kill Bill, Quentin has produced a feast for the eyes. Scenes are shot in normal colour, black and white, and cel-shaded animation. Quentin has created homages to other film genres including the Italian spaghetti westerns and the Hong Kong martial arts films. Watching the film the other night, my boyfriend did say one or two times: “Do you know why it’s been shot like that? Because it is a blah blah like blah blah”. I readily admit that I’m not an expert when it comes to film genres but I can appreciate that it is an excellent film put together by a real film buff and martial arts fan.

That’s another thing I like about the film — sure it’s gory and bloodthirsty but it’s a great revenge story. The Bride is the epitome of a woman scorned and her journey both pre and post-murder attempt are intriguing. In fact, each member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad has a great story to tell. From the Queen of the Toyko Underworld to a bouncer living in a trailer, these characters have lived interesting lives.

The final thing I love most about the film is the music. There are at least three melodies that I will just start whistling to myself and I can instantly remember the scene in which it is sung (or indeed whistled). Sign of a good film that, the music enhances the story and the acting.

Favourites Friday – The Last Unicorn

I thought I’d introduce a regular feature into my blog and so, every now and again, I’m going to explain why I love a particular film. Call it  ‘Favourites Friday’ if you will. First up is a film I have loved for a long, long time…

The Last Unicorn (1982)

Directors: Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr.
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Alan Arkin

Released in 1982, it was based on the novel by Peter S. Beagle, who also wrote the screenplay. It features the vocal talents of Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Christopher Lee and Tammy Grimes. Angela Lansbury makes an appearance as, looking back now, quite a scary individual.

I’ve always loved horses and anything mythological so maybe it was pretty obvious that I’d like The Last Unicorn. I love the graphics, the characters and I especially love the music. The film’s music was composed and arranged by Jimmy Webb, though the songs were performed by America. The lyrics fit perfectly within the film and, apart from the title song, the song ‘Walkin Man’s Road’ evokes strong memories for me. The music can be described as ‘fantasy-folk’.

While for some people Jeff Bridges will always be remembered as the man from Tron or, more recently, Crazy Heart, Jeff will always be Prince Lir to me — his soothing, charming voice being one of my favourite parts of the film.

The Last Unicorn has been described as “an unusual children’s film” and I agree. The film, through mystical and fantastical characters, deals with very moving subject matter. This creature is the last of her kind and she is very lonely. She wants to find the others and her journey leads her to experiences and emotions she would never have been able to have before.

Whenever I decide to watch The Last Unicorn, I dig it out from my ever-growing tower of DVDs and I am always touched by the ending. Call me sentimental but my heart smiles and, especially for an animated children’s film, I struggle to think of a film which is as touching, tender and beautiful as The Last Unicorn.