November 10, 2009 | Category: Uncategorized

Film Fight: October 2009

A film fight that’s up within a few weeks of it’s due date? I must be getting caught up. Anyway, October was an obscenely strong month. Let’s get on with it.

Zombieland is exactly my kind of film. Zombies, gore, action and comedy all packaged together neatly into 90 or so minutes. The whole thing is set at just the right level: over-the-top but with characters we can all get behind. While the story itself is pretty forgettable, it’s really not that important to enjoying the movie. The performances throughout are great, with Woody Harrelson in perhaps his finest role. The Bill Murray section is absolute genius and I implore you to see this film for that if nothing else. Very good stuff. (See my Zombieland Twitter review).

To call a Pixar movie sweet, touching, funny, cute and fantastically put together seems redundant; that’s exactly what the studio manage to do with just about everything they’ve done. Up is no exception. The unexpected star is an old man desperate to live out his (and his wife’s) lifetime dream of exploring. It’s beautiful and sad, with some of their best characters yet. Dug, and his squirrely obsession, is easily up there with the Toy Story crew and Wall-E. This is one of their best. A must-see. (See my Up Twitter review).

A romantic comedy has to be something special for it to win me over. Sam Mendes has managed that with his incredibly sweet latest film, Away We Go. It manages to find a careful balance between the mushier parts and the more sombre parts, by injecting the whole thing with a remarkably grown-up sense of humour; the featured couple are having fun with each other, not for you, and the film works far better that way. John Krasinski is the surpise of this film, managing to get far enough away from Jim from The Office to sell it. It’s not without its flaws (a little schmaltzy in places, and could do with being a little shorter), but still a solid film. (See my Away We Go Twitter review).

Finally, Fantastic Mr. Fox sees the unlikely coming together of a classic Roald Dahl novel and all the odd fun that entails, with a Wes Anderson movie, with his full suite of quirks, awkward timing, and time-tested cast (Schwartzman, Wilson etc).  The result? One of the best films of the year. It barely misses a beat, with George Clooney playing Mr Fox as smoothly as you might expect, an all-star voice cast backing him up, and Anderson reworking all of the lines to perfection. The visuals are gorgeous oranges and browns, the characters distinctive without being weird. It has a decent line in grown-up humour that will go over the heads of most kids. I don’t have a bad thing to say about this film. Absolutely fantastic, as the name suggests. (See my Fantastic Mr. Fox Twitter review).

The winner? Any of these films could win in other months but Fantastic Mr. Fox is just that little bit better.