Sunday, February 10, 2013

Oscar Nominated Animated Short Films, 2012

Movie Review: Head Over Heels

Director: Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly

Reviewed: 3 February 2013

jamesintexas rating--****

I flat-out loved this film.  With its impressive visual claymation (or "Wallace & Gromit"type style), "Head Over Hells" seems like a companion piece to the film "Up" in its depiction of an older couple and a home.  Its conceit is to show a house divided in two with shared appliances and furniture, with the husband on the ceiling upside down and the wife on the ground right-side up.  One keeps turning their framed wedding picture a different direction.  Wordless and beautiful, "Head Over Hells" captured my eye and my heart more than any film up for the Oscar for Animated Short Films this year.  I am rooting for it to win the Oscar.

Movie Review: Fresh Guacamole

Director: Pes

Reviewed: 10 February 2013

jamesintexas rating--****

In only two minutes, "Fresh Guacamole" delivers a rousing, spirited film embracing wordplay, visual substitutions, and provoking laughter.  Its beauty is in its simplicity, the converting of objects into one another, and on that level, "Fresh Guacamole" embodies the magic of cinema.  Pes uses color, sound, and imagery to dazzle.  It is a perfect film.  I could see it winning on its sheer commitment to fun.

Movie Review: Adam and Dog

Director: Minkyu Lee

Reviewed: 10 February 2013

jamesintexas rating: ***1/2

A film that resembles a water color painting and offers a version of the Adam and Eve story but this time with a dog!  Lee's version of Eden is one of great, epic forests and colors that shift and shimmer.  A wordless film with Adam's spiky hair, a dog's curious face and ears, blades of grass, and the sounds of nature echoing.  There had to be a first dog, and this one is curious and bounding through the world.  I was transported to this world, and I loved the aesthetic choices and feel of the film.

Movie Review: Paperman

Director: John Kahrs

Reviewed: 10 February 2013

jamesintexas rating: ***

In a very skillfully drawn story, "Paperman" captures the era of the big city in the 1960's, with its long, lean skyscrapers and windy corridors, where an office drone crossed by love on the morning's train spies the woman he loves in a neighboring office building.  Buried in paperwork at his desk and desperate to meet her, a fleet of paper airplanes aim for the window across the way.  The musicality and the storytelling build predictably and in a lovely manner.  "Paperman" evokes old-school Disney drawings, the lanky angular bodies of the Darlings in "101 Dalmatians."  It features the familiar dreamy eyes of Disney characters, and it wears its heart openly on its sleeve.  

Movie Review: Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare"

Director: David Silverman

Reviewed 10 February 2013

jamesintexas rating-***

"The Simpsons" is a landmark achievement in television, and the transfer to film is not a natural one, though if anyone can do it, I believe Maggie Simpson can.  Maggie is dropped off at day care and encounters the terror of other children, tracking, and recently born butterflies gruesomely dispatched by a toothy toddler.  Maggie fights, silently, to save her butterfly, and many comic visual moments ensue.  It feels slight and familiar, though the story is well-told.

No comments:

Post a Comment