Joined: 17 Jun 2010
|Posted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:46 pm Post subject: The Boxtrolls (and other stuff)
|Went and saw The Boxtrolls tonight! I was entertained, it's an amusing film. Definitely aimed at kids, but older viewers won't be bored. However, try and pick a showtime that's unlikely to have little kids there, 'cause they'll squeal. Laika, the animation studio, has a dark and slightly grotesque edge to their stop-motion work (think Coraline).
The setting is a 19th-century town that has a strange passion for cheese. In the caverns beneath the streets live a group of little trolls who clothe themselves in cardboard boxes. At night they scour the streets for anything not nailed down (and if it is, they remove the nails), which they use for their own purposes - they're master tinkerers. At some point they also came into posession of a young baby, whom they've raised as one of their own.
The antagonist in the film is a bad guy named Mr. Snatcher, who is obsessed with climbing into the top rank of the city's social elite. To achieve this, he makes a deal with the Lord of the city to exterminate every single boxtroll. Ten years pass - the boxtrolls' numbers are now very small, and they're scared. The baby is now a 10-year-old boy, who makes an odd friendship with the Lord's daughter, and they need to somehow convince the city elders of their plight, while Mr. Snatcher's plans are about to come to fruition.
Lots of neat little touches in this film! Some of the adult's faces are kind of ugly, but the animation is top-notch. All the characters have really great facial mannerisms! Good story pacing, plus some little silly things thrown in - like how two of the bad guy's three henchmen get rather philosophically obsessed as to whether they're the good guys or not. And the Lord's daughter has an unusually strong fascination with tales of the macabre. Plus there's a very unexpected case of cross-dressing.
Anyway, I don't want to spoil anything, but yep, I liked it. You don't need to stay to the end of the credits, but stay a little ways into them, for an extra scene.
In terms of upcoming animated films, solid release dates for 2015 are a bit sparse at the moment. In a few weeks, just in time for Halloween (or, more likely, to coincide with Day of the Dead in Mexico), there's The Book of Life. Reminds me of the LucasArts computer game Grim Fandango.
Though personally I'm more interested in seeing Song of the Sea, based on the Irish legends of Selkies, by the same animation studio that did The Secret of Kells.
On the extreme artsy-fartsy front, there's The Congress, by the same director who did Waltz with Bashir. Of course, there's also extreme "WTF?!" territory - how about the East Indian film "I" (yep, just the letter I), by the same director who did Endhiran. ... I dunno, I have a sneaking suspicion that we just saw all the good bits.
And finally, in other news, Polo Park Mall has an entire new second-floor hallway, which includes a Di$ney store.