Gather round, one and all. The spirit of the season is upon us, and cinemas will be filled with festive treats and reissues of The Muppet Christmas Carol, It’s A Wonderful Life and, if you’ve been really good this year, Die Hard. But as well as that, there’s a host of fresh Christmas goodies, all wrapped and waiting, plus at least one other seasonal treat getting a fresh airing.
So here for your seasonal entertainment are my selection of trailers for this month, each one accompanied by a Christmas ditty or piece of prose of some sort which I’ve
shamefully ripped off reworded slightly in honour of the film in question. A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone.
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse This close to midnight, the Mogwai was waking But no food for him, no chance Bill be taking When down in the lounge there arose such a clatter He sprang from his bed to see what was the matter Away to the kitchen he flew like a flash To grab him a knife, some Gremlins to slash
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
O little town of Hobbiton How still we see thee lie Above thy deep and pipe-fuelled sleep A fire-breath’d dragon files Yet in the dark caves shineth The elven “sword” called Sting The hopes and fears of Gandalf’s peers Rest not yet on a ring
Oh, the weather outside is frightful But the photo’s so delightful And since we’ve no place to go Let it snow, it must snow, oh please snow! It’s showing large signs of thawing And the world is still ignoring Al Gore would have liked this show Let it snow, it must snow, oh please snow!
Life Of Pi
On the twelfth day of Christmas, all known Gods gave to me Twelve zoo crates moving Eleven Coldplay pop tunes Ten whales a leaping Nine ladies dancing Eight fish a catching Seven hours of swimming Six meercats playing Five shots of bling Four attempts at filming Three dimensions Two blokes just chatting And a tiger who wants me for tea
Christmas time, mistletoe and wine Children singing truly phat rhymes With logs on the fire, Anna K in the nip This gaggle of girls will try hard to be hip
At Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid At Christmas time, we banish light and we let in shade And in the world of bad guys, Werner Herzog’s just a joy Can Jack Reacher save the world, at Christmas time? But say a prayer, pray for the other ones At Christmas time, they’ve no chance when Tom’s having fun There’s a world outside your window And it’s a world of dreaded fear Well tonight thank God it’s them, instead of you
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?The story of Snow’s a familiar fable
But this year new versions have come to the table.
One from a man who made J-Lo’s The Cell
(A film which was totally cinema hell),
And one for whom this would be his debut movie,
Which of the two Snows would be the most groovy?
The trailers suggested that Tarsem was barking,
But both had ambition, and neither just larking.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who is the weirdest of them all?
Surely it’s Tarsem, last seen with Immortals,
Visuals cracking, but his scripts are poor tools
For rich storytelling, and always a let down
Most thought he’d struggle to take the Snow White crown.
So what could he conjure with Roberts and Hammer,
Could he mix darkness with plenty of glamour?
Sadly his film is a mixture of tones
Where most of the humour will prompt only groans.
Julia Roberts has most of the fun here,
She’s enjoying herself being evil, it’s quite clear.
Less certain’s the rest, Arnie Hammer’s too dry,
And Nathan Lane’s hamming might just make you cry.
No one thought Phil Collins’ daughter’d be highbrow,
But sorely distracting is her giant eyebrow.
The one saving grace, apart from the sights
Are the dwarves, those short guys are pretty all right.
They and the Queen really capture the mood
Of theatrics, but sadly the rest ain’t much good.
It’s all quite forgettable, just a bit boring
I wouldn’t blame your kids if they started snoring.
Once more poor old Tarsem’s let down by the writer,
If only the plotting had been a lot tighter.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who is the dullest of them all?
Could it be Twilight, the family Cullen,
Both Edward and Bella, perpetually sullen?
Well Eddie’s been off with that Cronenberg geezer,
And Bella’s now Snow White; it’s not hard to please her
For she’s got a role as a more modern Snow,
But does just a mud bath allow her to grow?
This Snow has to face a more miserable lot,
Her Dad’s dead, the kingdom’s going to pot,
Charlize Theron is the Queen – what a witch!
Less campy than Roberts, and more of a bitch.
There’s hints though she might be just misunderstood,
But mainly she’s wicked, and up to no good.
To off her stepdaughter she calls in Chris Hemsworth,
But will he? It could be much more than his job’s worth.
This Snow puts much more of grim into Grimm,
But falls down on such a peculiar whim!
Rather than men who’re smaller in stature,
This Snow has full sized dwarves comin’ straight at ya!
(But I don’t mean literally, for it’s not greedy
This movie felt no need to sell out to 3D.)
Familiar faces are shrunk down to size,
But they don’t quite look right, bamboozling your eyes.
Apparently real dwarves are no more in vogue,
For this version their dwarves have gone a bit rogue.
So “tall” men, from Nick Frost to Ian McShane
Are playing the dwarves, but I tell you it’s plain
That these guys are imposters, it’s eerie and weird,
Like British thesp bobble-heads, not to be feared.
But somehow the fake dwarves are still much the best part,
For this Snow is already lacking a real heart.
She’s easily better than Phil Collins’ sprog,
But Kirsten’s charisma still matches a log.
She tries to inspire, to fight and to rule
But she’s got the depth of a paddling pool.
Hemsworth’s no better, and only the “midgets”
Will keep your attention and save you the fidgets.
In terms of the parts that deserve the least credit,
Whoever filmed fight scenes knows not how to edit.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?
In terms of the Snow Whites, it’s probably Kristen,
Even though not gold, she still has more glisten
Than Lily and her mob, and slightly more fair
In tone and intention, but it’s tough to care
About either of these films; instead of a winner,
I’d like to declare both Snow Whites a dog’s dinner.
Why see it at the cinema: Both have impressive visuals, and SWatH would actually win out on the battle scenes if you could make out what was going on in them.
The Scores: Mirror Mirror: The Untold Adventures Of Snow White 4/10
Snow White And The Huntsman 5/10
Trailers time again. We’re now in the peak of the summer season, but apart from one week when Harry Potter and the Whatever Thingy will be on in every screen in your local multiplex, there seems to be a lot on offer and most of it should stand at least a chance of nabbing one of the smaller screens in your art house or larger multiplex. I’ve left out Harry Potter, as it’s another one of those that you’ll not even be worried about seeing the trailer if you’re a fan, and you’ll not want to see the trailer if you’re not, even though it is an extremely well put together promo and bodes well for the end of the franchise.
I’ve also left out The Tree Of Life. The trailer did leave me slightly cold, but not anywhere near as cold as I felt when I watched the only previous Malick film I’ve seen in a cinema, The Thin Red Line, and even with an intermission I can’t remember the last time a film tested my patience quite as much. I hope that my tastes have matured somewhat in the thirteen years since that came out, but I’ll hopefully find out this week one way or the other.