2019 Film Reviews – 64: Toy Story 4 [dir. Josh Cooley; 2019]

The teams behind the Toy Story films have always displayed a commendable talent for telling relatively simple, focussed stories with terrific attention to detail, neat characterisation and an insistence on intelligent, convincing plotting. However, I’d argue that this precision-led approach has resulted in sequels that have been satisfying, but haven’t quite managed to linger in one’s memory. Toy Story 4 is very much in this … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 64: Toy Story 4 [dir. Josh Cooley; 2019]

2019 Film Reviews – 52: Persepolis [dir. Vincent Paronnaud & Marjane Satrapi; 2007]

Using high-contrast, non-photo-real, black-and-white animation to tell the story of a young woman growing up in Iran during and after the Islamic Revolution may not seem like an obvious artistic choice to make, and yet it works. Beautifully. With charm, wit and a commendable refusal to allow even the most horrific events to be presented sentimentally, Paronnaud and Satrapi’s episodic tale (based on the latter’s … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 52: Persepolis [dir. Vincent Paronnaud & Marjane Satrapi; 2007]

2019 Film Reviews – 8: Tehran Taboo [dir. Ali Soozandeh; 2018]

When an Iranian movie starts with a prostitute performing oral sex on a man who’s driving his car in the middle of a busy street while her son is quietly perched on the back seat, you know you’re not in subtle Kiarostami territory any more. But that’s the very tone Soozandeh strikes at the beginning of Tehran Taboo, a rotoscope animated film which sees us … Continue reading 2019 Film Reviews – 8: Tehran Taboo [dir. Ali Soozandeh; 2018]

Film Review: How To Train Your Dragon [dir. Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders; 2010]

Watching How To Train Your Dragon reminded me of how much there is to enjoy about Hugo. Yes, this story of a skinny (which is Hollywood-ese for ‘unmanly’, ‘geeky’, ‘socially outcast’) young Viking who realises there’s more to be gained from trying to befriend rather than kill the dragons with which his fellow villagers insist on going into battle has its fair share of enjoyable moments. … Continue reading Film Review: How To Train Your Dragon [dir. Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders; 2010]

Film Review: The Incredibles [dir. Brad Bird; 2004]

A couple of years ago, when Sight & Sound were compiling their list of the most important films of the last decade, I was pleased to see that one of the few computer animated movies they’d considered for inclusion was The Incredibles. Its original release wasn’t met by the ecstatic plaudits which were heaped upon Wall-E, Up and Toy Story 3, but I’ve always considered it … Continue reading Film Review: The Incredibles [dir. Brad Bird; 2004]