This weekend there were three films screening at the Starz Film Center we wanted to catch, and one wide release we’d been meaning to see. Sadly, only the film I had seen before was really worth the trouble.
Hot Tub Time Machine
About as mediocre as you’d expect, Hot Tub Time Machine relies too much on low brow humor and shouting, leaving the genuinely funny moments few and far between. I think a dose of Better Off Dead is required to get the bad taste out of my mouth.
The Secret of Kells
I was really torn here. On the one hand you have a gorgeously animated and scored film, but on the other you have a completely uninteresting story. Makes it hard to care about anything.
Night of the Comet
I think this is a fun ’80s zombie romp. My husband thought otherwise. Boo.
Walt & El Grupo
Yet another potentially awesome film that ended up being totally boring. I’m fascinated by both golden age Disney and World War II, but the film has too many family members I don’t care about reading letters. Meh. Of course, now I’m all the more excited for Waking Sleeping Beauty this coming weekend.
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Directed by Clyde Geronimi
For breakfast: Bacon Waffles
Sleeping Beauty has long been one of my favorite Disney animations, it comes in second only to Beauty and the Beast but holds the top spot as far as their “classic” animation goes. It’s just a beautifully crafted fairy tale with brilliant atmosphere, delightful music, and a pretty badass villain. And yes I will totally admit that Prince Phillip was one of my first crushes. Hawt.
Despite removing all evidence of the time it was made, this Blu-ray presentation was impressive. I grew up watching this film on a VHS tape that was worn out from so many spins in the VCR, so when I could actually see backgrounds and all of the intricate detail that went into the environment it was like seeing it for the first time. I had the biggest grin on my face as they escape from “The Forbidden Mountain” all the way through the end of the film. I love it!
Here’s most of that ending for your viewing pleasure.
This has always been my favorite animated classic from Disney. The story, music, and artistry are all brilliant and I’m thrilled to see this in HD. I just wish the studios didn’t feel the need to remove every bit of grain, thus removing any indication of the time period in which it was made. Sleeping Beauty looks good, but it doesn’t look like a film made in 1959. Films are a testament to the time they were made and that needs to be embraced rather than discarded. They just don’t get it.
Directed by Andrew Stanton
For breakfast: Pete’s Kitchen
I wasn’t as enamored with this as everyone else when I first saw it in the theater. I thought it was a cute and touching film that was beautifully animated and a great first half. The heavy handedness that follows is frustrating because everything leading up to that point is pitch perfect. WALL·E has the charm and quirk of Chaplin and Stanton gives his vision of the future a nice touch of classic Hollywood. Unfortunately this all starts to get lost in the message they feel the need to pound into the viewer.
I feel pretty much the same after watching it again. However, this time I was able to ignore those problems and see some of the subtleties that are in there. It also helps that it looks stunning on what is one of the best Blu-ray presentations I’ve seen. The animation is so detailed and emotional that it really brings the environment and characters (the robots anyway) to life. It’s still in my top 10 of the year, but I don’t think certain things will ever stop bugging me.