‘Monster’s University’ 2013

‘Monster’s University’ 2013

Director: Dan Scanlon

Stars: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi

‘A Pale-Imitation of A Pixar Classic : A Pastel Plot Without Real Light And Dark’. Last year with the release of the sub-par ‘Brave’ I declared that the golden age of Pixar had ended. ‘Monster’s University’ the prequel to the wildly successful ‘Monster’s Inc’ 2001, solidifies that opinion. This view was most painfully obvious in the unexciting climax. Though the film starts out as a cheerful reminisce in the vibrant Pixar pastel hues, the story-line develops in a flat-line manner without the unexpected, surprising and original plot highs and lows that is the hallmark of every great Pixar film. Uncle Walt famously stated that ‘for every laugh there must be a tear’. The laughs owe much to the former classic and the flat-line plot never reaches giddying highs or lows. Both ‘Brave’ and ‘Monster’s University’ suffer from the same lack of confidence, unwilling to be daring and challenging, instead creating plots that may help children face some life challenges and develop but follow a formulaic safe path. Where in a film about monsters scaring children are the truly scary moments? or the truly sorrowful moments? where is Pixar’s courage? Truly scary is when the Beast first encounters Belle, truly sad is the first 10mins of Up, truly complicated is as the characters of Toy Story hold hands in stoic acceptance of their impending death. All round an enjoyable film but left me yearning for the Pixar golden age.  7/10 B+



2013 Movie Reviews


(Last updated: December 5, 2014)


Gravity **** A+ 10/10
12 Years A Slave **** A+ 10/10
Her **** A+ 10/10
The Great Beauty **** A+ 10/10
Wolf Of Wall Street **** A+ 10/10
Inside Llewyn Davis **** A+ 10/10
Nebraska ***1/2 A 9/10
Dallas Buyers Club ***1/2 A 9/10
The Hunt ***1/2 A 9/10
Before Midnight ***1/2 A 9/10
Philomena ***1/2 A 9/10
Blue Jasmine ***1/2 A 9/10
American Hustle ***1/2 A- 8/10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ***1/2 A- 8/10
Captain Phillips ***1/2 A- 8/10
Saving Mr. Banks ***1/2 A- 8/10
August: Osage County ***1/2 A- 8/10
Behind The Candelabra ***1/2 A- 8/10
To The Wonder ***1/2 A- 8/10
Blackfish ***1/2 A- 8/10
Lee Daniel’s: The Butler ***1/2 A- 8/10
Tim Winton’s The Turning ***1/2 A- 8/10
The Conjuring ***1/2 A- 8/10
Stark Trek Into Darkness ***1/2 A- 8/10
Final Cut: Ladies And Gentlemen *** B+ 7/10
A Place Beyond The Pines *** B+ 7/10
The Book Thief *** B+ 7/10
Kill Your Darlings *** B+ 7/10
Prisoners *** B+ 7/10
Trance *** B+ 7/10
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug *** B+ 7/10
World War Z *** B+ 7/10
C.O.G. *** B+ 7/10
Monster’s University *** B 6/10
Elysium *** B 6/10
Man of Steel *** B 6/10
The Great Gatsby *** B 6/10
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues **1/2 B- 5/10
The Company You Keep **1/2 B- 5/10
The Counselor **1/2 B- 5/10
Only God Forgives **1/2 C+ 4/10
Mood Indigo **1/2 C+ 4/10
Wolverine **1/2 C+ 4/10
Last Vegas ** C 3/10
Class Stars Grade Out/10
Great Movie **** A+ 10/10
Very Good ***1/2 A 9/10
Very Good – Recommended A- 8/10
Recommended *** B+ 7/10
OK – Below Average B 6/10
Below Average **1/2 B- 5/10
Below Average – Bad C+ 4/10
Bad ** C 3/10
Bad – Very Bad C- 2/10
Very Bad *1/2 D 1/10
Appalling * F 0/10


‘The Great Gatsby’ 2013

‘The Great Gatsby’ 2013

Director: Baz Luhrman

Starring: Leonardo Di Caprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire

‘The Great Gatsby’: A return to classic Luhrman style but missing the soul of the novel. Having studied and written on ‘The Great Gatsby’ in my English Literature degree I can say that as an adaptation Baz Luhrman may have missed the point of the Fitzgerald classic, but as a stand alone Luhrman film ‘The Great Gatsby’ is gorgeous, frenetic and truly ‘Luhrmanesque’. Baz is the perfect director to capture the glitz, glamour and spectacle of the novel which he did salubriously but another director was needed to find the film’s soul. Getting Baz to make this film is like getting an alcoholic to make a documentary on alcoholism, you get the glorious highs but the larger truth isn’t fully realised. Of course Luhrman isn’t interested in reality he is interested in creating a Luhrman-style of film making and if anything his film is an audacious, grand, trashy opera, addition to his filmograhpy not as good as ‘Romeo and Juliet’ or ‘Moulin Rouge’ but way better than cringe-spectular ‘Australia’. I loved the costumes, Sydney based locations including Rivendell and Santa Sabina, the soundtrack, and the tempo. Where the film faulters is convincing us of its reality and of Fitzgerald’s truth, particularly about the character of Daisy and the tragedy of an age. He may have read the book but really the book read him. 7/10