Archive for June 20th, 2010

By Marc Bauer

     I was seventeen years old when the first Toy Story movie came out, (the same age Andy is in the latest installment). I went to a high school for Science and Technology, so the fact that this film was computer generated was something uniquely interesting. I went for the novelty of the film, not thinking anything much of it at the time. I walked out with many new friends; Woody, Buzz, Hamm, Slinky, Rex, Bo Peep and so many more. Toy Story quickly became a favorite film of mine, becoming the first film I saw more than three times in the theatre; a distinction that few films have received.

I was twenty-one when Toy Story 2 came out, and I was amongst the first in line to see the sequel. The first film was so groundbreaking, breathtaking and heartwarming; I couldn’t imagine what they could even do to top the first film. I sat in an afternoon showing, in a theatre filled with children; some younger, some older, but many the same age as I was. We all sat in this room, strangers united by a common theme; childhood nostalgia.

Now I am 32, but I still carry the war wounds of youth. My bedroom has toys from Where the Wild Things Are, Sesame Street and The Muppets on shelves on the wall. My childhood home still has the old games and toys in the closets, and try as I might; I just can’t part with the rag doll that I received the day my parents brought me home from the hospital. (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(New Zealand/USA 2001/2002 208m) DVD1/2

Middle Earth magic

p  Peter Jackson, Barrie M.Osborne, Tim Sanders, Frances Walsh  d  Peter Jackson  w  Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Frances Walsh  novel  J.R.R.Tolkien  ph  Andrew Lesnie  ed  John Gilbert  m  Howard Shore  art  Grant Major  cos  Richard Taylor, Ngila Dickson  spc  Stephen Ingham, Jim Rygiel, Richard Taylor, Randall William Cook, Mark Stetson  fight ch  Bob Anderson

Elijah Wood (Frodo Baggins), Ian McKellen (Gandalf the Grey), Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn/Strider), Sean Bean (Boromir), John Rhys Davies (Gimli), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee), Billy Boyd (Peregrin/Pippin), Orlando Bloom (Legolas Greenleaf), Christopher Lee (Saruman), Hugo Weaving (Elrond), Liv Tyler (Arwen), Dominic Monaghan (Merry), Ian Holm (Bilbo Baggins), Andy Serkis (Voice of Smeagol/Gollum), Alan Howard (voice of the Ring), Craig Parker (Haldir),

When Peter Jackson announced to the world after finishing The Frighteners that his next project would be to film J.R.R.Tolkien’s legendary cult three-part novel, there were many raised eyebrows and as much dread resulting as excitement.  Not only could it not be filmed, in fans’ opinion, but then not well enough to please them.  I was certainly nervous about the enterprise but felt all along that Jackson could be an inspired choice and knew his idea of filming in his native New Zealand could yield some spectacular visual payback.  Though most people knew him for worthless junk horror like Braindead and Meet the Feebles, he was also responsible for the excellent Heavenly Creatures, which not only made a star of Kate Winslet but which crucially included the creation of a whole new fantasy world, which not only looked stunning, but which showed first-hand his ability to delve into pure fantasy.  But Borovnia was hardly Middle Earth; could he pull it off?  Oh, yes.  Not only did he produce a classic for fans to be proud of, but new-found fans in the Multiplexes who wouldn’t read a book to save their lives.  The first in the trilogy of films didn’t only get proclaimed an instant masterpiece (especially in the extended version), but redefined fantasy cinema for ever. (more…)

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