Alan Hansen’s Birthday Reviews

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I is now 2! Is almost potty trained an' everyfink.

Astonishingly, against all the odds and defying all expectations, The Movie Evangelist turned two yesterday. Yes, you’ve been reading my ramblings, my rantings and my awful addiction to alliteration for two whole years now, and as with any exercise it’s good to get a progress report. Somehow it didn’t feel that anyone in the world of film was sufficiently impartial to be able to give an honest appraisal, so I thought I’d ask someone who was more of an idol from my childhood to cast an opinion on what I’ve been up to this year.

Sadly, most of my childhood idols were both unavailable and fictional characters, and much as I’d have liked Chorlton (from Chorlton and the Wheelies) or KITT (from Knight Rider, obvs) to pass judgement on the current state of my blogging, I felt it was better to have someone real to give a view on my personal witterings. As a Liverpool FC fan, the footballer I admired most was Ian Rush, and had I actually been any good at sport of any kind I would’ve loved to follow in his footsteps. But in terms of critical analysis, the benchmark these days is Alan Hansen, doyen of the Match Of The Day commentary team and bringing the same kind of no-nonsense approach to analysis as he did to central defence for Partick Thistle, Liverpool and Scotland for nearly twenty years. So Alan has had his image stolen by me and used without his permission so I hope he doesn’t sue me kindly given his forthright opinions on some of the highlights and lowlights of the past year of The Movie Evangelist.

BlogalongaMuppets The highlight of the past year was my shameless rip-off of BlogalongaBond, where I cajoled and inspired four other valiant and faithful bloggers to watch all seven of the theatrically released Muppet films. As far as I am aware, no one watched any Muppet Babies. Probably for the best.

Alan Hansen says: Poor, poor effort from the big man. He’s played a flat back five but there’s an obvious flaw in his defence, that most of them didn’t actually like half of the Muppet films. Not only that, but he’s got way behind on BlogalongaBond in the process, he’s not managed to get involved in BlogalongaPotter and his plans for BlogalongaTrek later in the year looked doomed to failure. You can’t win anything with Muppets.

Festival coverage I’ve managed to put myself about a bit in the past year, with a trip to London for the Sci-Fi London film festival last May to see Super, racking up twenty seven films at the Cambridge Film Festival last year and an extended weekend at Empire Presents: BIG SCREEN at the O2 in August.

Alan Hansen says: Shocking, absolutely shocking. He’s ended up with a serious neck injury at BIG SCREEN and he’s over-extended himself in Cambridge, not getting reviews up for half his films. Not only that, but he’s missed out the London Film Festival completely, and you’ve got to be up there playing the big boys if you expect to be top of the table at the end of the season. He’s going to have to have a better passing game if he’s going to make it work.

Wreckers Before The Movie Evangelist came to be there was a film made in the village where I live, which turned out to have Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy in it. Fancy that.

Alan Hansen says: Frankly diabolical, he’s living and breathing films yet he’s played up and let Cumberbatch beat the offside trap, not even realising he was in the film until after it had finished filming. He’s tried to make a recovery with a review and an article about the film, but then he’s actually grabbed an interview with the director and it’s taken four months to get the interview written down. He’s got to step up his game the next time he’s given that kind of opportunity.

Review Of The Year As well as a regular supply of reviews, Christmas and the New Year saw a selection of top lists of 2011, including Scenes, Performances and even Gingers, and the traditional (two years is a tradition, right?) Top 40 of the year.

Alan Hansen says: Unbelievable, he’s pulled out the big guns in an effort to cover up the fact that he’s already seen 40 films this year and he’s only managed to review 14 of them. He’s also popped up at an Ultra Culture Cinema event and his review was very niche. I don’t think anyone enjoyed it, apart from the people who read it. I’ve seen non-league teams in their pyjamas who’ve put in more effort.

General posts And in addition to all of the above, I’ve done everything from write some spectacularly awful poetry to trying to encourage other people to watching 100 films in the cinema in a year.

Alan Hansen says: Outstanding, frankly inspirational. Reminded me of the great Liverpool sides of the Seventies, but I’m not talking about the big ginger one here, rather Martin Chorley. Martin’s stepped up and accepted the challenge to see 100 films this year, and he’s even put in some graphs. If the Movie Evangelist is going to be thought of alongside the great Brazilians of years gone by, he could learn a thing or two from Martin.

Well, thanks for that Alan, I can only hope that the third year of The Movie Evangelist lives up to your high expectations. Sick as a parrot.

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