ONWARD (2020)

Somewhere around the middle of the Pixars — not as stellar as COCO or even the underrated RATATOUILLE, but comes back in the third act with an unexpected final stretch that puts it above, say, the similarly medium MONSTERS UNIVERSITY or BRAVE.

Feels like a lot of time was spent worldbuilding but then it sort of half-asses doing anything really creative or interesting with the pretense. Whereas something like WALL-E feels rich and vibrant with barely a line of dialogue to drive it, there’s a missed mark in an inconsistency to the logic of the world of ONWARD that feels flat and unremarkable despite its gorgeous design.

Not bad, just suffers from the absurdly high expectations that Pixar fare tends to generate.

CASTLEVANIA s03

Still the best videogame adaptation of any sort, and this latest season sees gory, bloody action tempered by an expansion of the cast, new mysteries and a deeper exploration of personalities following the climax of season two.

Perhaps slower and more contemplative than the preceding seasons, there’s a lot of work being put into building out the world and the lore towards… well, it’s not entirely clear yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing where it’s going.

If you’ve been enjoying this so far you should find plenty to like here. It’s great. Absolutely not for kids.

Recommended.

THOM’S TEENIES TV TOP 10

One of the things I struggled with most when compiling my top film picks for 2010-2019 was that the decade saw such a dramatic shift to a gilded era of television, much of which matched and even surpassed their cinematic bretheren.

There’s so much that is now possible in the episodic format that was unthinkable even a decade ago, and truly these last ten years represent a new high water mark.

As such, I’ve given my favourites their own list, in no particular order, here:

Continue reading “THOM’S TEENIES TV TOP 10”

TUCA & BERTIE s01 (2019)

Basically what would happen if you gave BROAD CITY a bunch of mushrooms and speed and then cast it with animated birds.

A rare thing to have a show about modern friendship told in such an irreverent, hallucinatory way that also highlights what’s possible with an animated medium when you skew hard for an adult audience.

It’s disappointing then that T&B didn’t get renewed and will remain a single season gem so full of energy and promise.

It’s fun and weird and really good and you should watch it.

TOY STORY 4 (2019)

The only place really left to go after the crescendo of TS3 was out into the wild, into the larger world, and in doing so opening up some bizarre questions about the nature of living toys and their identities.

Sure, it’s a fun and beautifully realized film but Pixar has once again instilled that wonder with mature questions that would sail over children’s heads and send their parents into existential crises.

Surprising that they managed to make such a compelling case in the fourth film, and with it create some of my now favourite characters from the whole franchise. Pixar really are the best of the best.

Not as emotionally heavy as #3, nonetheless highly recommended.

DISENCHANTMENT s02 (2019)

EDIT: I had originally labelled the show as Disenchanted, which is something that I’ve noticed a whole lot of people have also done. Whether that’s a reflection on the title or our collective brain-fart, I dunno. But…

A step up from the first season, but still kinda middling.

Feels more like late-game Simpsons than any of the really good Groening stuff, and has a tendency to explain or vocalise a joke rather than trust in itself or let it play as a visual gag.

You could skip it.