Things I’ve watched this week

On Tuesday I went along to the screening of 101 Dalmatians (1961, dir. Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reitherman) at the BFI on Southbank as part of their year long Disney Animated 50 season. I haven’t seen this film since I was very young and watching it again at 29 gave me a different appreciation for the animation, music, voice talent and everything else that goes with it. Even from the opening credit sequence it’s a great celebration of classic animation from the opening names appearing around a smattering of spots onto the music credits with notes also made out of spots to the demonstration of the several stages of animation as part of the animators & directors credits.

But overall it’s just a fantastic example of how you don’t need silly pop culture references or stunt casting or 3D to make a classic animated film. Just talented animators, a great script and nice, tight direction.

I followed that up the same night with Moon, Duncan Jones debut feature which has been gathering dust on my shelf for several months now. Thoroughly enjoyed Jones’ quiet, slow but always gripping story and Sam Rockwell was great as always in the almost solo role. It’s obviously lovingly influenced by the classics(particularly the character of HAL) and is a great tale on just what it really means to exist. I would really recommend it.

Then finally on Saturday I got round to watching Greg Motolla’s Superbad follow up Adventureland with Jesse Eisenberg, Martin Starr et al. Considering some of the cast, director and his previous film I was expecting more of an edgy comedy similar to one from the Judd Apatow house but what I got had more emphasis on drama and was all the better for it, wearing it’s huge heart very much on it’s sleeve. When it was revealed early on that Eisenberg’s character was a virgin I groaned, thinking this would just be about him getting his end away but Motolla nicely played that down so it was a very small part of the story. And the addition of Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig is always a bonus. Great film.