Aladdin (Ron Clements & John Musker, 1992)
Utterly timeless and enthralling Disney animation about the poor but rich-hearted "street rat" Aladdin who has to steal foodbits in order to survive, and fall in love with Jasmine, the princess. When he's manipulated by evil advisor Jafar into going into a cave and get trapped there, he finds unexpected salvation in a magic lamp, in it containing a genie that can grant him three wishes.
Pick a frame, any frame from this film, and chances are, it's utterly gorgeous. Painted with rich, saturated desert coloured hues and voiced by a talented cast (especially Robin Williams as the genie, wherein he gets to play to his strengths and has an unashamed blast with his role), as well as some lovely musical numbers, Aladdin brought back lovely memories of my childhood and how I'd watch this film over and over again. A dream.
Twilight (Catherine Hardwicke, 2008)
When I was shopping in London with Anahit last Saturday, every time we came across one of those advertising moving-board things, the DVD for Twilight came up. Such a thing actually achieved its aim, for it made me wanna give Hardwicke's movie adaptation of Stephanie Meyer's novel a re-appraisal. So I did, although thankfully the advertisement hadn't brainwashed me into thinking I was watching a good film. Re-viewing it, this time with the brother, just accentuated many of the unintentionally parts I'd spotted in the first film; whether it be Robert Pattinson's drug-addict-like performance, to the less-than-overwhelming CGI effects (and overusage of such). Kristen Stewart actually gives an alright performance, albeit one that is a little heavy on the long pauses, but Pattinson is just so awful. The source material was horribly fanfic-ish, and Hardwicke's direction is not much different; both Meyer and Hardwicke both clearly wanna bung Edward Cullen and be Bella. Thus, Twilight results in being wish-fulfilment on the part of the writer and director more than anything. A load of bungdung.
Wedding Crashers (David Dobkin, 2005)
Forgettable but enjoyable romantic comedy starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn as a pair of womanizers who like to crash weddings and then bung the women they meet from them. Wilson and Vaughn have great chemistry, as do Wilson and Rachel McAdams, who plays a woman who makes Wilson want to get to know her, and not just like, her boobs. Her gorgeous smile and pretty face made me root for her throughout. Isla Fisher is also great fun as the clingy girl who lost her bunginity to Vaughn, and hence becomes crazily attached to him. Aside from the actors (Christopher Walken, as the dad of McAdams and Fisher, is also great), the film is pretty run-of-the-mill stuff, lacking in proper plot and geniune larf-out-loud humour, but, as they go, it wasn't too bad.
Låt den rätte komma in / Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
Kåre Hedebrant plays Oskar, a 12-year-old who's being bullied at school and is somewhat alienated from both his separated parents, who crosses paths with Lina Leandersson outside on the snowy jungle gym, and forms a slow and unsteady friendship with her, oblivious to the fact that she's a vampire.
Curious film, this. It was appropriately stagey and cinematic in equal measure, with austere backdrops and art direction and overwrought music, and the performances were on the whole strong, particularly Leandersson, who made a mesmerizing vampire with her large eyes and constant stare. But it suffered from not knowing what it wanted to be, whether that be a Swedish Dogme-style film about growing up and finding yourself, or an ouright slasher pic. The violence, when it came, were appropriately scary and shocking, but there was something not quite right about the way they were filmed, such that I wanted to larf. All in all, the positives outweigh the negatives of this film, but I was definitely left wanting.
Camp Rock (Matthew Diamond, 2008)