The Stainless Steel Rat (stainsteelrat) wrote,
The Stainless Steel Rat

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Watched Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Based on a children's book, it tells the story of nerdy inventor Flint Lockwood who lives on the island of Swallow Falls. Lockwood hasn't had much luck, and all his inventions go wrong. His latest invention goes the same way, when he creates a machine that is capable of turning water into food. He connects the machine up to the island's power station, after a failed first attempt to get it working, and the machine goes haywire and fires up into the sky. Before long it starts to pull in clouds, and food starts falling to the ground to the amazement of the island's populace, and Flint's love interest, a weather girl. And so the story unfolds. There's not an awful lot to say about Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. It's a fun family film, with what I feel is an above average edge in terms of the writing and some striking animation. I suspect it's one of those films where kids will prefer it more to the adults. Ultimately I came away though fairly non-plussed, but I'm not really the target audience. 3/5 (Average)

Watched Up. The latest from Pixar, which centres around the character of Carl Fredricksen. In the first few minutes of the film we see Carl grow up from a boy to an old man, and it's as an old man that he spends the rest of the film. Carl has various troubles. All the land around him is being developed, but he refuses to sell up. His beloved wife and childhood sweetheart has recently died, and their joint childhood dream of visiting Paradise Falls (somewhere in South America) together seems to have died with her. In the midst of this arrives plucky Wilderness Explorer (read: boy scout), Russell, who is determined to get his "helping the elderly" badge, by assisting the cantankerous Carl. Carl has other plans though when he is arrested, after attacking a construction worker, and is told he has to move to a retirement home. And so the story unfolds. You would have to have been living under a rock to not hear all the praise about Up, and I'm glad to say that for me it lived up to it. In a similar vein to Wall-E, it takes two unlikely (and non-Hollywood) characters and forces them together on a bizarre, chaotic, mad and lovely adventure. Somewhat in the style of Roald Dahl, it doesn't pull all the life punches, despite being a U certificate. Likely to be a classic for years to come, and recommended for all but the most cold-hearted. 5/5 (Excellent)

Watched Zombieland. The films centres around Columbus, a rather gangly nerdy looking university student who finds himself in a world taken over by zombies. Columbus has managed to survive via a number of rules, which he relates some of narrator-style at the beginning of the story. After losing his car he ends up with Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), who is the complete opposite of Columbus in the sense of being a butch gun toting twinky-obsessed semi-maniac. They both agree to travel together to a mutually convenient point, and so the story unfolds. Zombieland may on the face of it sound dark, but it has its tongue firmly in its cheek for most if not all of the time. The obvious comparison is Shaun of the Dead, but Zombieland is far more of a road movie, without the British humour. The first third of the film with Columbus, up to where he meets Tallahassee, is interesting. Then the middle third of the film is a bit slow, when they get repeatedly conned out of their cars by two sisters (one of them being the gorgeous Emma Stone). The final third of the film heats up again, with the inevitable action finale. Several people walked out of the cinema while I was watching, although I suspect that was more due to the gore (who goes to watch a film called Zombieland not expecting gore?!) although it isn't that gory or violent. Now by all accounts I should have loved Zombieland: it has zombies, it has gore, it has black comedy. But for some reason the film never really struck gold for me though, much like Shaun the Dead didn't strike gold for me (despite loving Spaced). I found Zombieland an interesting watch (and I was just about sustained during the middle third) but I'm not sure I would go out of my way to watch it again. I'm struggling to put my figure on what the problem was I had with it. Perhaps a lack of sharp direction, a lack of pace, a bit of an all-over-the-place plot, not very likeable characters, and a lack of knowing exactly what it was trying to be. There's also a strange sequence with Bill Murray which felt way out of place for me. Inevitably for fans of dark comedy horror. 3/5 (Average)
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