Disney Favourite Friends: Sticker Collection

If you see these packet in shops they’ll only say ‘DISNEY’ on the front but ‘Disney Favourite Friends’ is the official name of this sticker collection featuring a selection of Disney and Disney Pixar characters.

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£0.60 per pack

5 stickers per pack.

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Stickers in the packet I got:

  • 40: Finding Nemo: A full body portrait of Mr Ray the Manta-ray smiling. A stock promotional image of him. The central sticker has no border but as you can see in the photo you can use the boarder if you want to use this sticker in isolation rather than place it in the album.
  • 67: Alladin: Gold foil sticker of Princess Jasmine with Apu and the Genie’s lamp
  • 159: Frozen: The bottom half of a two-part image of Olaf, Sven and Kristoff
  • 175: Frozen: The top half of a two-part image of Anna, Sven and…??? I assume from the slight bits seen of body parts it includes Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff.
  • 180: Frozen: The bottom right corner of a four-part image of Elsa, Olaf and… ??? I’ve no idea who or what is in the rest of the larger image.

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Review:

The stickers are the standard size of 76x55mm. They’ve mostly gone with painted, original, artwork so there’s definitely value in the images themselves for Disney fans and all the printwork is relatively high quality on close inspection.

Apparently there are brand new “scannable stickers” but the packet I bought didn’t have one and there’s special gold, silver and 3D stickers to look out for. The Jasmine sticker above is an example of one of the golden foil stickers.

The price averaging out at £0.12 per sticker I’m not happy with to be honest considering the number of ‘section of a multi-part image’ stickers in the packet. I was fortunate enough with the ones I got that they have enough of a character on them you can just about get away with them being used alone though it’s clear they’re meant to be part of a larger image.

On the backing paper are various characters with Belle and Aurora being the standard image for the landscape stickers while the profile stickers having different characters. The cover of each pack has different characters – I got one with Mickey and Minnie Mouse but there were others with Olaf or other characters.

If you are a big fan of Disney these are definitely worth checking out. If you only like certain series it is very pot luck. The one major downside, aside from the low number of stickers for the price, is that you’ll most likely get parts of various multi-part images and that is very annoying as I’ve found with other series I’ve reviewed in the past.

Made and published in Italy by PANINI S.p.A.

Viale Emilio, Po 380, 41126 Modena

www.paninigroup.com

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Disney PIXAR’s Coco: Sticker Collection

£0.60 per pack

5 stickers per pack.

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Stickers in the packet I got:

  • 78: Miguel screaming (meeting someone in the Land of the Dead?)
  • 104: Sepia photo portrait of a man wearing glasses and a bowler hat. The central oval is the ‘main sticker’ to be put in the sticker album and the rest just framing.
  • 111: Land of the Dead: Reception clerk (skeleton)
  • 116: Land of the Dead: Imelda (skeleton) weilding her heeled boot threateningly.
  • 150: Land of the Dead: Ernsesto de la Cruz (skeleton) holding a glowing frament up to his chest. Again it’s a portrait with the outer part acting as a frame which would complete the image if not used with the sticker album which is a nice consideration.

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Review:

The stickers are a non-standard size (86x49mm while the stard size is 76x55mm) which is interesting as Panini tend to keep to the stadard size for quick turn over of printing whatever is the popular series that year. The series is a mix of artwork, film stills and some promotional images.

Personally I prefer the artwork pieces as they are a bit more appealing to me as someone who grew up with 2D animation as if they’re an insight into what this film would have looked like if done in a more traditional style. The quality of the images is very high with details still being legible on close inspection. However at £0.12 per sticker I feel you are best off maybe investing in other products.

I seem to have been lucky and got a lot of ones which had good, stand alone, images of various characters. They’re good quality but price wise maybe it’s asking a bit too much for so few stickers. The backing of the stickers offers some added value for children to colour them in in whatever colours they like too I suppose. They’re good stickers but there are too few per pack so it’s not worth it unless you absolutely have to have some stickers of the film.

Made and published in Italy by PANINI S.p.A.

Viale Emilio, Po 380, 41126 Modena

www.paninigroup.com

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Disney’s Frozen: Olaf’s Frozen Adventure Collectable Stickers

Printed by Panini.

Price: £0.50 for a packet of 5 stickers.

Stickers in the packet:

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47 – A screen grab of Olaf and three white-haired children looking up an unlit fireplace chimney.

74 – Left half of a two-part image featuring a complete screen grab image of Elsa.

124 – a pair of vector art generic white on matt kharki-gold snowflake images (a two for one ‘sticker’).

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142 – A drawn illustration of Anna featuring glitter covered silhouettes of goats and a glittery border.

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173 – Bottom Left corner of a larger illustration image featuring the lower part of Elsa using her powers.

Review

I usually look for the good in these packets of stickers but this was a rip off. Only 5 stickers per pack is ridiculous for basic stickers no matter how good the quality of the print is (I would expect at least a shiny/hologram sticker included per pack to justify the price). The full body sticker of Anna was nice (maybe this one with a small amount of glitter is the ‘special sticker’ per pack often seen in other ranges?) and I like the illustration style but otherwise the stickers feature screen grabs and the generic snowflakes vector art ‘two for one’ sticker which you could easily get in bulk from other seasonal decorative sticker ranges.

I was either unfortunate with the single packet I got or there is an over reliance on multiple part images in the sticker album thus ensuring you constantly buy more to chase for the missing pieces. Just go get a pack of stickers you can see the contents of if you want something from Frozen. There’s not much to add… the packet was rubbish hence why it took me so long to get around to reviewing it months after I actually bought the pack when everyone has probably already forgotten it existed.

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Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (2017) Collectable Stickers

Price: £0.50 per pack

5 stickers per pack

Made and printed by Panini S.p.A – Modena.

Viale Emilio, Po 380, 41126, Modena.

Made in Italy.

Www.paninigroup.com

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Stickers featured:

#31: The right side of a 2 part image: A white horse, Phillipe, hidden behind some frozen wintertime tree branches as he travels through the forest. Some of the foreground is out of focus.

#33: Whole landscape image: Maurice warms himself before the castle’s fireplace. A small foot stool launches itself at his foot unnoticed.

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#49: The right side of a 2 part image: The cloaked shoulder of Belle and out of focus a candelabra in the background.

#55: Special glitter bordered portrait image: Beast holding an out of focus candle.

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#69: The left side of a two part image: Lumiere and Cogsworth walk across a well lit hallway about to enter another room.

#80: The left side of a two part image: A cooking range. You can see knives floating in the air cutting vegetables and pipe like arms on one side holding a pan up.

#98: The right side of a two part image: Belle rides on Phillipe away from the snow covered castle. In the foreground is some out of focus shrubbery.

#104: Special glitter bordered sticker: Belle looking shocked/concerned while looking to the right as she holds Phillipe by the bridle.

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#163: The left side of a two part image: A crowd of townsfolk hold lit torches.

#167: The right side of a two part image: The towns folk walk in procession, some on horseback, along a country lane (towards the castle).

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Review:

If you have ever read my other reviews of merchandise stickers you know I tend to only buy one pack and end up saying ‘I got a lot of stickers that are only part of an image but you may have better luck than me if you buy a pack’. To counter this I bought two packs this time and… apparently multi-part imagery is the norm not the exception nowadays. Perhaps if I bought even more packs there are stickers which are complete images and I just have bad luck but it seems unlikely.

The stickers are decent quality and the images look nice in person despite how my camera has picked up on the underlying colour printing mesh and my noting how parts are out of focus as these have all clearly been transferred from stills of the film. The ones with a glittery border are nice stand alone images but very few of the others really stand on their own. In particular #49 particularly I feel could have just had the left side of that image as nothing is added to the image here save to add another sticker to the collection’s count needlessly. In fact that is what I am finding a lot with recent sticker collections – if you’re lucky you get the ‘good’ side of the image while the other side is pretty pointless save to add a sliver of a cloak or something else which is unnecessary.

For £0.50 it works out as £0.10 per sticker and I cannot recommend purchasing them at that price even as a treat for your children. They cut cost, as is common nowadays, by making all the packs multi-lingual but still seem to feel £0.50 is an acceptable price point for only 5 stickers per pack.

I assume there are other sticker products available for the film which show exactly what you are getting so if you really need to get stickers of the film look elsewhere as this range is far too hit and miss.

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Disney’s Frozen : Magic of the Northern Lights : Stickers

Made by Panini
Price: £0.50 per pack from Tesco so prices may vary

The artwork seems similar to that of Brittney Lee, who did the illustration work for the book ‘Frozen: A Sister More Like Me’, but this may be the standard for the entire production design.

There are 5 stickers per pack and if I am honest I think I was unlucky and got a poor selection but have to assume there are much nicer ones in the collection overall.
I got the following in the packet I bought:

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7: The right hand side of a, presumably, two part landscape. Mountains in the distance and a barren uneven rock covered landscape in the foreground with a few sparse leafless trees populating it.
62: An oval sticker of Olaf looking happy with an ice palace like staircase behind him. The outer part of the sticker can also be used so you get a more complete image of Olaf if using it alone. (You can just about see the edge of the oval in the photo).

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98: The left side of a, presumably, two part landscape image. Elsa riding on the back of Sven both with determined looks on their faces and a generic snowflake background. (Is it just me or does it look a bit ugly? A much more amateurish generic looking effort than the painted style of the other images).
116: The right side of a, presumably, two part image. A young reindeer, it’s eyes closed and its snout cut off as part of the left side of this image, tied to a green sled with a foot poking in from the left on a snowy landscape. It is probably Kristoff and a young Sven but that is just a guess.

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123: The bottom right corner of a, presumably, four part image. Three young trolls look up in adoration at the back of a man’s legs – probably Kristoff.

Did you notice the trend there? Only one sticker really stood on its own (Olaf obviously) while with the others you can see there might be an interesting image, once completed, but due to the cuts you don’t feel you got something which is satisfying in and of itself (Maybe the mountain landscape might be acceptable in fairness if you trim off the incomplete border frame). As I said maybe I was unlucky and there are plenty of standalone stickers in this series but I get the impression they went overboard with dividing images amongst multiple parts.

The quality of the stickers is good, they’re 22mm by 38mm in size and I am sure children who have the sticker album (sold for £2.99 with a few sticker packets included with it) will be happy to add these to their collection.
However I do hope that the company didn’t go overboard with multiple part imagery in the collection as having only part of a complete image is, from my memories collecting such things when little, immensely frustrating to the point you suspected they don’t include certain stickers in random sticker packs just so you pay the much higher price to directly order the remaining stickers to complete your collection rather than take the increasing risk of duplicates in the randomised sticker packets.

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So my advice… If you intend to collect the album these are okay but I would have preferred a few more stickers in the the pack as only five seems unacceptable for the price unless you were getting a lot of foil, hologram or other high cost to manufacture ‘special’ stickers in the collection thus averaging the manufacture’s cost across the collection.

As you can tell from the images these have all clearly been printed in a centralised location and given multiligual labelling in each box to make manufacturing and international distribution cheaper so I think they could have cut the price down a little more considering everything or provided more stickers. Certainly 5 per pack is the lowest number I have ever encountered!

These are new images so while you won’t be repeating the now ubiquitous imagery of every promotion since the original film’s debut it is hard to say buying just a packet of these will satisfy a fan of the property – especially younger ones expecting clear images of the heroines. It is hard to recommend them but hopefully you have better luck than me in what stickers you get. I think I was extraordinarily lucky during the previous collection of ‘Winter Fever’ I covered in a previous post but this time got a load of duds unless I intended to collect the series further.

Mini Film Reviews May 2015

Byzantium (2012) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantium_%28film%29

An average vampire film, very much in the vein of Interview with a Vampire, starring Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan which many will feel is more concerned at character development at the cost of maintaining dramatic momentum. A very good central cast and scenic cinematography raise it above what it otherwise would be. It is enjoyable for a one time watch but there is nothing to bring you back.

Berberian Sound Studio (2012) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berberian_Sound_Studio

A psychological horror film which experiments with the concept of sound. By being focused more on the audio experience than its visuals you do not get the tired ‘quiet, quiet LOUD!’ experience which has turned many away from the genre of late. Definitely worth experiencing at least once as it is original and suspenseful. Toby Jones as always is an excellent actor. Go watch it!

The Fog (2005) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fog_%282005_film%29

A modern horror remake. John Carpenter’s original came out after his success with Halloween so it was never going to get the credit it deserved but go watch that rather than this even if a lot of its content may seem dated by now. You will, even all these years later, see Tom Welling and think ‘hey it’s that guy from Smallville’. An okay TV movie but really if they could edit it and show it earlier in the day for kids to watch it would get a better audience than it deserves.

The Holy Mountain (1973) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holy_Mountain_%281973_film%29

Alejandro Jodorowsky’s masterpiece of surreal fantasy depicting the occult alchemist journey to enlightenment based on Ascent of Mount Carmel by John of the Cross and Mount Analogue by René Daumal, who was a student of George Gurdjieff. . Visually arresting even if it isn’t your kind of film you will still have a story to tell people of the wonders you have seen. I know much of the imagery used and its context so it is not as ‘surreal’ as some may claim although not having this knowledge in no way will make the film less visually engaging. GO WATCH IT!

The Hangover (2009) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hangover

Good standalone film. Would have been a classic in the style of many late 1970s/early 1980s comedies but unfortunately the modern trend in Hollywood of running concepts into the ground with sequels has diluted its impact. Watch this and don’t both with the sequels unless they are on television and you have nothing else to do.

Elfie Hopkins (2012) film DVD http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elfie_Hopkins

Nancy Drew with swearing and cannibals in a quasi-Welsh town. Some characters have Welsh accents and some don’t. You could argue its set on the border with England but the setting seems too remote. There are some good performances, especially Gwyneth Keyworth, but it ultimately feels like a film that had good potential and not the budget to achieve it. The tone also feels uneven as if it is not sure if it should take itself seriously or not yet wants to emulate the uneasiness David Lynch is famed for using in his works like Blue Velvet or even Twin Peaks. Even worse it leaves a lot of questions unanswered about what happened to some plot points raised as if to suggest they were setting up to make this a series which unfortunately failed with this first effort. The ‘Little Munchkin’ short film, also starring Gwyneth Keyworth, included on the DVD offers a more compact story which I feel the film wanted to recreate but something went wrong along the way sadly.

License To Kill (1989) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Licence_to_Kill

James Bond played by Timothy Dalton. If this film was made today it would fare far better but back in the 80s it was deemed too dark and realistic for a character who was associated with Roger Moore’s dry quips by this point. Not a terrible film, just not as enjoyable as others of the series. The exterior shots of the meditation centre are suitably grandiose and we get a performance from a young Benicio del Toro but otherwise it’s a bit too involved in trying to be serious without any scenes for the audience to take a breather from the events.

Lost In Space (1998) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_in_Space_%28film%29

Underacting and every character has at least one jerkass moment. If you want an example why films of the late 1990s are not liked look no further than this sterling example of the era’s faults. The lurid bleeding colour palette. The disrespect to the source material. The story which assumes there would be sequels (Dr Smith is still infected and eventually going to turn into ‘future’ Smith). The chemistry between the actors is appalling. You ultimately don’t care, or even want harm to befall, the characters. Of course at the end of the film Dr Smith is still infected and likely to turn into a ‘future Smith’ but ultimately as it is never resolved here we can just assume he eventually eat all the others. Just remember that if you ever have to watch this.

Neighbour No.13 / Rinjin 13-go (2005) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Neighbor_No._Thirteen

Japanese Horror. A dark psychological film. Begins with good imagery of a man being tortured in a room in the middle of a grey landscape representing the inner turmoil of the central character but then becomes very mundane and overly serious (as seen in the trailer). At the 1 hour 30 minutes mark a character looks down a toilet at a giant piece of faeces. Also there is some black face at one point. It is a classic example of Japanese story telling where they have a great original idea and then give up on it and make something unremarkable. It is one of my biggest issues with the Japanese entertainment industry – they have no fear in producing original ideas but then seem to fear to truly follow through with distinctive narratives from that point onwards in many cases thus leaving you with stories that often feel drawn out. The Japanese are known for having long lingering shots and letting a story breathe, unlike any break neck paced American works, but sometimes it just feels like its padding the length of a story unnecessarily.

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit:_Stallion_of_the_Cimarron

It would be better without Spirit’s inner monologue. I assume it was a studio decision but the animation could have easily carried the narrative. Well-made but being so centred on horses will limit its appeal. It is the sort of story I imagine being made into an animated film in the 1970s. If anything, on a technical side, it reminds me of the computer game industry where they might make games more as a way to experiment with new systems or technology that is available to them – in this case this film is a ‘tech demo’ of how to successfully animate horses with an eye to using the technique in later works.

Sword Of Sherwood Forest (1960) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_of_Sherwood_Forest

Fun, light hearted, take on the Robin Hood stories by Hammer films. It probably seems quite dated by today’s standards but was a fun romp. If you like a bit of hamm[er]y acting and cheesy story there is nothing wrong with this twist on the classic tale.

The Princess And The Frog (2009) Disney. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Princess_and_the_Frog

Tiana is a complete blow hard. Being the straight man is one thing but she becomes a buzz killer at every point with her overly repeated moral message ‘you have to work hard to get what you want’ though in true Disney fashion she marries the prince in the end and thus gets what she wants via him immediately. Ironically the character of Charlotte, the spoilt friend who gets whatever she wants immediately and acts childishly, delivers a far more sincere message – though she has the opportunity to kiss the prince and achieve her dreams she puts them aside for Tiana as she values her friendship more than being selfish. Ray, the fire bug, is an awkwardly implemented character as he is often presented as the entertainment and gets killed in quite a sudden, extremely violent for a children’s film, manner. It is to empathise to the audience that things have gotten serious and there is no more time for fun but it seemed the sort of thing censors would have had serious concerns about in any other companies output. This was Disney’s last effort to test the viability of traditional 2D animation against the emergence of 3D and it is a tragedy that the quality seen here is going to be a forgotten bygone for many children growing up now. From a technical stand point even Studio Ghibli cannot match the quality of animation seen here. The songs are more jazz based which is something Disney hasn’t done often before but many of these songs are of great quality and it is a shame they haven’t caught on unlike other soundtracks. Actually there is a bit of hypocrisy I notice now seeing the trailer – Tiana crushes the frog Prince Naveen with a book and it is intentional slapstick comedy while Dr Facilier crushing Ray towards the end is presented as serious drama and a sign of his wickedness. This seems to be the point when Disney suddenly realised they needed to revise their classic storytelling tropes and so in Frozen we got sisterly love and rejection of the prince (albeit very poorly implemented as discussed in one of my prior posts).


Comment, Like, Follow me – All are welcome! I haven’t posted for a while admittedly. Part two will come in a couple of days.

Movie Reviews: Short reviews of films that have been on television recently

So over the holiday season I have watched a few films on television. Some of them are well known and some are not. Don’t expect anything in depth as these are purely brief opinion pieces i.e. I have nothing better to post right now.


Up (2009)

Was you favourite part when there is the non-dialogue musical section about Carl and Ellie’s married life together growing old, suffering the news they cannot have children and her passing away? Was it the bit when they reprise the ‘Married Life’ musical piece as Carl opens the adventure book and finds Ellie left him one last message thanking him for all the adventures and telling him to go have a new one?
No?
You are lying!Those parts were far and away in a totally different league to the rest of the film!
To be honest once they realised the ‘married life’ backstory part worked better with no dialogue they should have just accepted they made something far better than the main part of the film and found a way to do the backstory segment a different way and have the ‘married life’ part be its own small feature. You can like Dug as a character but that is as far as I can allow. Ironically they ruined their own film by making a timeless moment with the ‘married life’ segment which leaves the rest of the film pale in comparison.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_%282009_film%29

The Dark (2006)

AKA Sean Bean and his American wife with their daughter go live in rural Wales where ghosts cause them trouble. It would be a good film if it wasn’t for the fact I know about the Welsh mythology they allude to while mixing it with a heretical chapel community who committed a suicide pact together. Annwn isn’t the odd cold, blue, windy place they depict but a sort of Valhalla without the need to go fighting, a world of delights and eternal youth where disease was absent and food was ever-abundant. A film of tepid Welsh caricatures and tepid supernatural thriller. It’s okay to watch if you are unfamiliar with Welsh mythology but otherwise it seems very poorly intended despite being based on a novel… a novel called ‘Sheep’… because… you know… Wales… Sheep… Stereotypes. I have watched it a few times thinking maybe I have missed something as they leave any spoken Welsh untranslated at the start but no… no apparently it’s just not that well thought out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_%28film%29

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011)
Excellent fun adventure film and enjoy it whenever I see it. The motion capture is well done though the faces are in that strange uncanny valley area of features. It amalgamates a few Tintin stories to make its own thing. I would have liked it if they had stayed true to Herge’s original ‘dot eye’ look personally. Andy Serkis as ever proves he is the go to man for ‘ink suit’ acting. I wish they had made a sequel so we could see Professor Calculus. Thompson and Thomson steal every scene they are in due to Pegg and Frost. Admittedly the albums/graphic novels have more space to develop the storylines.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventures_of_Tintin_%28film%29

Hunky Dory (2011/2012)
Set in Swansea. So yes Minnie Driver ‘acting Welsh’ and seeing actors still doing the rounds on Welsh Language television and SkyOne’s Stella is odd. A 1976 comprehensive school does a version of Shakespeare’s Tempest with David Bowie music following the trials and tribulations of all involved. It is a period drama piece and I wasn’t fussed on it. Then again I have a very awkward response to Welsh period drama set in the late twentieth century but it did come across as quite flat despite flashes of potential occasionally. The director also did ‘Patagonia’.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunky_Dory_%28film%29

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (2012)
I had wanted to see this for a while but never got around to it. A very fun anachronistic film I would happily see again. It is a stop motion film done by Aardman animation so you know its good stuff and you won’t catch every bit of humour in a scene the first time you watch it. Queen Victoria steals the film as far as I am concerned although all the characters are well done. Apparently based on the first of a series of books so it would be nice to think one day they will go on and adapt others from the series. I would actually go out of my way to see it again if it comes on television again soon it was that enjoyable.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pirates!_In_an_Adventure_with_Scientists!

The Wolverine (2013)
A film that didn’t need to be made. More to the point it ends with some things unresolved like his adamantium claws being sliced off but I’m guessing by ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ this is never addressed how they became adamantium laced again… They hired a slightly less attractive actress to make the love interest actress look better in comparison. The ‘bow and arrow’ guy I was never clear if he was meant to be Mariko’s dedicated protector or a loyal servant of the family and thus more of an anti-hero. He was eye candy for the ladies so I guess it doesn’t matter. The reveal of who the silver samurai is isn’t a surprise although the de-aging bit was silly. Dr Green is just a very odd ‘obvious villain’ character who is never really given any characterisation beyond ‘obviously evil’. In fact no one gets much to work with in this film in terms of their characters and it shows. I will never willingly watch this film again unless I need to sleep.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wolverine_%28film%29

Puss In Boots (2011)
Puss In Boots stars in a film with humour on the level of Shrek the Third. It’s fun but unfortunately Shrek 2 kind of ruined it for the later films due to its multifaceted cultural references giving adults and children an equally enjoyable film and expecting the later ones to follow suit. Humpty Dumpty I wasn’t too sure about but in the end I think he was a very good character albeit the ‘he was a golden egg/good egg all along’ part was a bit too contrived. There is a lot of Mexican/Spanish style music and it really keeps the film at a strong energetic tempo. Also just after this they showed the short ‘The Three Diablos’ which was okay but should have either been a bit longer or tightened up a bit as it felt a bit ungainly in its story progression.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puss_in_Boots_%282011_film%29

Men In Black III (2012)
As good as the first one if not a little better in some respects depending on what you like. Josh Brolin does a brilliant impression of Tommy Lee Jones playing the younger version of the character. Emma Thompson and Jermaine Clement are both excellent and should have been in the film more. However Griffin, played by Micheal Stuhlbarg, steals every scene he is in. The inclusion of interesting alien characters was what was missing from the second film where they confused ‘weird and a set up for some puns’ with interesting as you actually care what happens to the characters here. I wouldn’t mind seeing this on television again one day.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men_in_Black_3

Nativity! (2009)
As a stand-alone film this would have been a cheap and cheerful bit of fluff quickly forgotten. How it has had sequels I have no idea as there only seemed enough there to just barely make one film let alone more. It was okay to watch once but I will never watch it again even if there is nothing else on.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nativity!_%28film%29

Mary Poppins (1964)
Classic film. Dick Van Dyke and his dodgy cockney accent. Good stuff. Tarnished in my mind by ‘Saving Mr Banks’ and knowing P. L. Travers wasn’t happy with what they did with her character. It is never nice to find the original creator is unhappy with an adaption of their work. Personally I think they should take a view that it is an adaption and doesn’t change their own work but as we all know sometimes, if not more often, it is the adaptions people know and not the original upon which they are based.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Poppins_%28film%29

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
A film for those who would like something like Mary Poppins but don’t want to watch Mary Poppins again i.e. Disney live action mixed with ‘in animation land’ sequences. I never really ‘got’ this one personally. I think because the character basically go running around stealing a king’s pendant and having an element of ‘the protagonists are in the right always’ even when being thieves. Also the setting lends itself to ‘stiff upper lip’ English stereotypes which when the film was made in 1964 must have already seemed a very old fashioned idea already. I think this was one of the films in my childhood that made me always identify with the villain rather than the protagonists. Also the villain is named Astaroth just like the demon which I found surprising in a Disney film considering that in Fantasia they changed the name of the devil/Lucifer in the ‘Night On Bald Mountain’ section to that of the ancient Slavic mythological deity Chernobog… because… you know… Eastern Europe = Communism.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedknobs_and_Broomsticks

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)
DC animation film. It’s basically about Super-girl arriving on earth, being trained by Wonder Woman, kidnapped and brainwashed by Darkseid and then returned home. They obviously didn’t think people would buy it if they admitted that. It’s okay but quite generically comic book story wise. Watch it once if you are interested but there is nothing there to draw you back ever again. A very generic comic book story… in fact shockingly so to the point you could imagine it being a satire. The one good bit is when they think everything is resolved then Darkseid appears out of Ma and Pa Kent’s house and there is a massive battle. In the aftermath Ma and Pa return to find their home decimated and Clark introduces his cousin. I’ve ruined the best bit but to honest it was quite boring even if it was only about an hour long.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman/Batman:_Apocalypse

Megamind (2010)
Dreamworks always tend to be a very hit or miss affair with more ‘fails’ than successes in my mind. Megamind is one of the few I feel actually works as it stays true to its subverting of superhero films although it brings nothing new to the table. There is good interaction between the characters and I feel that they could easily have made some interesting continuations with the story if they had wanted. I always think it is George Clooney and not Brad Pitt doing Metro-Man’s voice. Jonah Hill voices Hal Stewart/Tighten and ironically life imitates art is seems as he has more and more come across like an asshole in recent times with his ‘suck my dick faggot’ comment amongst other things.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megamind

Конец Санкт-Петербурга (Konets Sankt-Peterburga) / The End Of St. Petersburg (1927)
Silent black and White film made to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution. Worth watching, very intense visuals and performances. As a film made during the early Soviet era about a key period in its beginnings it is of course propagandist but you should check it out if you have even a passing interesting in the history or cinema.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_End_of_St._Petersburg

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
AKA the one where Bond marries at the end and she gets gunned down in a drive by shooting by Blofeld and his henchwoman. If nothing else that makes sure I could never think of this as ‘the bad Bond film’ as many insisted it was for years due to George Lazenby being the ‘Milk Tray’ man. The death however is foreshadowed far too heavily by how many times they said the phrase ‘we have all the time in the world’ even to the point of having it as the last line in the film but mostly its reiterated by how often the song reoccurred during the film. There’s a room of women from different nations as Blofeld’s ‘angels of death’. This was the ‘worst’ Bond film apparently for a long time but I actually enjoyed it albeit there are far better ones but if you take this one with a pinch of salt it is really enjoyable and at least breaks the mould of the 007 series up a bit as it’s not as by the book as some others. For me personally Quantum of Solace is the worst one.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Her_Majesty%27s_Secret_Service_%28film%29

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_Jones_and_the_Kingdom_of_the_Crystal_Skull

Basically its a rehash of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The villains who are generic villains but this time Soviet Communists instead of Nazis are after a mythological item… lots of call backs… Cate Blanhett doing a hammy Hollywood Ukranian accent… substitute Nazi occultism for Soviet ESP experimentation… adventures… rocket cart… survive nuclear blast in a fridge… strongman villain with little no dialogue killed in a gruesome way… someone talking in riddles… treacherous colleagues… fantastical resolution EXCEPT THIS TIME IT WAS ALIENS NOT MAGIC! …as M Night Shamalan would say ‘What a twist!’…or to be correct as Ox says in the denoument they are interdimensional beings not ‘alien’ aliens so yet a further twist! ‘knowledge was their treasure’ they conclude in the end… I hope you feel the same way now you’ve read these mini reviews.


So the next two posts will be regarding films I have on DVD. They will hopefully be uploaded later this week… hopefully.
O slavnosti a hostech / A Report on the Party and the Guests / The Party and The Guests. (1966) Czech
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Report_on_the_Party_and_the_Guests

Pociąg / Night Train / Baltic Express (1959) Polish
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Train_%281959_film%29