Thomas the Tank Engine 70th Anniversary Special

It’s no secret; I like trains.

And a lot of that I owe to a little, blue tank engine with six small wheels, a short stumpy funnel, a short stumpy boiler and a short stumpy dome. 70 years to this day, the Reverend Wilbert Awdry published the first of his Railway Series which told the stories and adventures of the Island of Sodor; a place where the railway is still the perfect way to travel. But the greatest thing about The Railway Series and its resulting ‘Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends’ television show isn’t that it has survived for so long; it’s that it is still some of the greatest children’s literature ever written.

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The origins of Thomas the Tank Engine are just as compelling as the stories themselves. Awdry was faced with having to entertain his young son, Christopher, who was taken ill and so, being the doting father he was, Awdry recited a poem about engines getting stuck in tunnels due to rain for his sick boy. This then evolved into longer stories about different engines. After being persuaded, Awdry finally published ‘The Three Railway Engines’ in 1945; a book of his first four short stories, citing influence from watching steam locomotives hard at work and the stories he told his son. Thus, Henry, Edward and Gordon were cemented in the creation of the tip of the iceberg. What’s good about this is that they all had their own personalities. Gordon was the fastest engine on the island and so he pulled the express. This made him proud but boastful and oftentimes, he could not see his faults because of that. Henry was more bashful but learned to overcome his dread. Edward was sometimes over-looked because he was older but when he does get the opportunity, he is shown as being vastly wiser and he works incredibly hard. These are evident in real life steam engines; each have a different personality and each has a learning curve to adapt to. Add in the values and traditions of friendship and hard work and learning from their own mistakes that you find in all the best children’s books and colourful and detailed pictures for each page and Awdry was on to a winner. But what about Thomas himself?

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Like A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, Thomas was originally a toy – owned by Christopher -and was given his own book the year following the release of the ‘Three Railway Engines.’ It mainly focused on the little blue engine and his short adventures that included not trusting trucks, being too impatient with a train full of passengers and inadvertently leaving them behind and remembering never to get on Gordon’s bad side. Sir Topham Hatt, – The Fat Controller, known as the Fat Director at that time – puts Thomas in his place by making him shunt trucks in the goods yard but when a new engine – James – has a serious accident, Thomas’s mentality changes and realises that he has the opportunity to put things right earning him is own branch line as well as two smart new coaches called Annie and Clarabel in the process. And thus, the next book focuses on James; which begat stories of Thomas on his own branchline; which begat the introduction of Percy; which begat the turmoil faced by Henry; followed by Toby the Tram engine; followed by Gordon; Edward and so on. The last book written by Reverend Awdry was published in 1972 and now The Railway Series had expanded to include mountain engines; tramways; welsh inspired narrow gauge engines; famous visitors and miniature engines. The books also had an amazing vocabulary, sticking with a more mature and in depth style that remained informative but also readable to a six year old without it being daunting. Yes, there were big words but being a curious child, you learn what it means and then that word is forever emblazoned in your head ready for next time. I wouldn’t expect books nowadays to use the words ‘Resource and Sagacity’ but the nature of how Gordon and James describe Oliver paints the picture perfectly without having to go into too much detail.

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Another great thing about the stories is that they gave an insight to the troubles faced by railways at the time so you’ve got visiting diesels claiming ownership of the railway because the mainland is going through dieselisation (where steam engines were being phased out); engines running away from being turned into scrap; and all manner of breakdowns and accidents. But it also showed us how great and diverse the railways could be. With engines becoming famous on the mainland, overcoming the road network and the devious double-decker buses; and people understanding the value of steam locomotion. As the stories went on, the characters developed more and built on their personalities more and more until each character had their own fundamental trait. Percy and Thomas would often play tricks on each other but still remain good friends; Edward had a methodical outlook; James was always adamant that Gordon was inferior yet Toby proving otherwise; and Henry had overcome his fear of the Flying Kipper (I swear, that train of fish wagons was cursed). I absolutely loved the illustrations, particularly the more recent ones. They showed some incredible details that added depth and certainly more scale than previously. The illustration of Henry below is one of my personal favourites.

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The books stayed popular and in 1984, with Britt Allcroft at the wheel, ‘Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends’ made it to the small screen. Narrated by Ringo Starr, the TV adaptation followed the stories of the books. Starr narrated with air of dryness to his delivery, giving the engines a somewhat sarcastic tone and quick wit. This was matched by series three when Michael Angelis took over narration, adding a bit more humour that didn’t stop at the slapstick. He also added in the personalities of the engines. I still find the retorts to be sharp and witty. The production was good too, favouring an actual model layout with all the engines reproduced in bright colours with moving eyes over animation. As the series went on, stories were being made especially for the show. This came with a bit of controversy from Awdry and retaliation from Allcroft. Awdry wanted a more realistic portrayal that was represented in his books but Allcroft had creative freedom and from a children’s TV producer perspective, creating something that appealed to the audience would be more captivating.

Railway Ringo

As the TV show went on, original stories not related to the books where being made but they still held some regard to how a steam railway ran and operated. But after the turn of the millennium when production could be made cheaper with the inclusion of CGI, I felt that some of the stories lost their touch. It may sound ridiculous but for a children’s TV show, it became too childish. Kat and I firmly believe that shows such as the Herbs, the Clangers, Camberwick Green, Bagpuss and Thomas retained their charm by talking to its audience regardless of their age just like the books did. It might not be complex but you can understand if you were three or ten or fifteen years old. Thomas has now fallen into a strange rut where it has become alienated from that audience it used to have. It still focuses on railways and morals and life lessons but there’s now more engines than ever, the narration is dumbed down and that shine has been lost. Maybe I’ve just grown up and the zeitgeist has taken its seat but I’m not ending on a bad note, I refuse to!

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The books, however, continued to be made through the 80’s and 90’s right up to the very last one being published in 2007. These were written by Christopher Awdry. Yep, he had gone from being told the stories to writing his own again citing inspiration from actual stories from railways. Christopher published a further sixteen books bringing the grand total to forty-two and laying the series to rest. But even though I’m twenty-three, there’s still a part of me that firmly believes that Thomas, Gordon, Henry, Percy, James and company are still hard at work keeping troublesome trucks in check and taking holiday makers to the sandy beaches on the entirely fictional Island of Sodor. This is what all good children’s books should do; they should make you believe that no matter what, there is a world out there where anything is possible. And I say that because re-reading my Railway Series Collection every now and then, I don’t feel nostalgic or the like, I feel like it is still happening. Thomas the Tank Engine has now reached millions of people the via books, TV show, toys, Hornby models, clothing, video games, feature films – that starred Alec Baldwin and Peter Fonda, no doubt – real life, full scale versions; absolutely anything imaginable. Negativity aside, I am still glad that Thomas and his friends still continue their adventures to this day, 70 years on. 70 years of pulling coaches, shunting trucks, crashes, breakdowns, elephant encounters, getting stuck in snow, struggling up Gordon’s hill, teasing and playing tricks, making friends but fundamentally, working hard and being a really useful engine. It’s clear that this train is still up to steam and isn’t stopping anytime soon.

me

Jimmi

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There’s Something About Mary (1998) – 52 in 52: Film 3

“IT MAY NOT BE A TYPICAL ROMCOM…”

POSTO

A couple of days ago, it was of course St. Valentine’s Day and what better way to celebrate it than to watch a romantic comedy. But we didn’t want to watch any old soppy, sugary-sweet romcom. We decided to give The Farrelly Brother’s There’s Something About Mary the Reviewinators treatment.

Ben Stiller starts the story as Ted, a typical high-school nerd with shaggy hair and a mouth full of braces; an air of awkwardness tends to follow him around. The beautiful Mary, played by Cameron Diaz, holds his affections and as the two start to connect, he is outwardly surprised when she asks him to the upcoming prom after she reveals she has currently split from her sportier boyfriend. Excited, he rocks up in his brown suit ready for a night he will never forget. After a faux pas with Mary’s special needs brother and a painful zipper accident that involves Mary’s step-father, mother, a police officer, a fireman and a resulting trip to the emergency room, Ted is left still pining after what could have been… Thirteen years on. Under advice from his best friend Dom (played by Chris Elliot), he hires a sleazy detective to track down Mary after she moved from Rhode Island to Miami to become an orthopaedic surgeon. Sleazy detective Patrick (Matt Dillon) uses his sly skills to find her and soon realises that he would be better off with Mary rather than the loner Ted. Patrick soon starts spinning lies and makes for Miami to beat Ted at his own game using the information he gathered whilst stalking her. After realising he has been left for a schmuck, the awkward Rhode Islander drives to Miami to confront Patrick and win Mary back. Cue another awkward encounter with the police and a bail out from Dom, the two of them head off to Miami to continue Ted’s mission. Ted finds out the hard way that he isn’t the only one fighting for Mary’s affections. Not only is he fighting off Patrick but also four other guys and so must work out a way to overcome them and be the better man even if he may be vastly outnumbered by the competition.

There’s Something About Mary isn’t the usual bawdy, teen movie that where rife in the era. There are the sweet sentiments to it but the cringe-worthy comedic aspects make it a fun film to watch” says Jimmi, “especially with the famous ‘hair gel’ fiasco; we can’t not mention that” Kat adds. You can’t help but laugh at poor Ted’s expense when he picks up a questionable hitchhiker and has to explain to the police why he did it. Or even a speed-infused dog that Patrick tries to desperately resuscitate by any means necessary. Hilarity will always ensue. “I thought it was a bit over the top sometimes but that was to be expected with a film of this nature” Kat mentions. Each character may have their reasons to batter ten shades out of each other but Mary always tries to be all things to all people. Stiller and Diaz have a great chemistry; Ben Stiller’s usual awkward and shy self is the ying to Diaz’s confident, smart but outgoing yang. Add that to Dillon’s portrayal of the greasy Patrick; Lee Evan’s elasticity of the dubious British architect, Tucker; Dom’s true identity and Mary’s disabled brother Warren (W. Earl Brown) serving as almost a catalyst between the different character types, you’ve got a very odd set of people that play the best to their jokes extremely well.

It’s easy to see why this film has been described as a ‘sleeper hit’ but despite being almost seventeen years old now, the sentiment and the laughs are still there. There may be elements that are in your face and some that you have to watch through your fingers – not as much as, say, the ‘American Pie’ series – but when it wants to be sweet and charming, it doesn’t distract it from being a good romcom. It may not be a typical romcom that follows the same soppy structure that some others do where they become too dramatic and you can feel your heart become a dead weight; and there are times where it could have slipped into either category so keeping it balanced kept the hilarity up. Admittedly there are the slow build up’s to pivotal moments but when it does eventually reach them; it gets incredibly wacky and left us crying with laughter. It may come across as slightly run of the mill with little sense of urgency but it ticks all the correct boxes; it’s fairly satisfying. We’re just confused as to how it managed to slip under the radar on us for so long…

Words by Jimmi and Kat

How to Train Your Dragon (2010) – 52 in 52: Film 2

“I’LL ADMIT, THE STORY IS GOOD. HOWEVER…”

POSTO

Dragons have always been a main staple of everything fantasy because of their immense ferocity. Every major medium has its own portrayal of a mythical fire-breathing reptilian. Smaug in the Hobbit is arguably the richest fictional character ever. George R.R Martin has his dragons in the literary mammoth that is Game of Thrones. The titular Spyro battled his way through enemies on the original PlayStation… Erm Dragonforce are a band that makes music. Everywhere you look, dragons tend to be popular so it was no surprise that Dreamworks – possibly riding on the success of the first two Shrek films (the latter two less so, but that’s another discussion) – created an animated family film based around the trials and tribulations of the dangerous creatures based on the original book by Cressida Cowell.

Director’s Chris Sanders and Dean DeBois have both worked with Disney to help create some of their classic films such as The Lion King, Mulan, Aladin and, my personal favourite, Lilo and Stitch, so to see them come together again for Dreamworks, I was interested to see how they would do with a clean slate to start from with this 2010 offering.

Hiccup narrates the tale set in the Viking populated village of Berk that is constantly attacked by dragons that take their sheep and destroy their buildings. Hiccup, voiced by Jay Baruchel, is portrayed as the outcast of the society that doesn’t live up to his father’s (voiced by Gerard Butler) battle-hungry persona. Hiccup is young, weedy and clumsy; a trail of destruction normally follows the kid and as such, he has a rocky relationship with his dad and he feels that they are worlds apart and that they don’t have much in common. That is until Hiccup secretly shoots down the infamous Night Fury – a stealthy and agile and somewhat rare dragon – during a night time attack on the village. To prove his mettle, Hiccup contemplates killing the Night Fury to prove to his father and the village once and for all, he can be accepted as a dragon-murdering machine like the rest of them. After all, he has got the life of one of the lesser known species in his hands. He fails and lets the Night Fury go but after he finds the dragon trapped and crippled, he starts to form a bond and names the dragon Toothless and starts to learn that the fire-breather is not as violent as first understood. Hiccup builds a relationship and then a controllable replacement tailpiece that allows him to fly Toothless. The lessons he takes away from his bond with the dragon, he then applies to his battle skills in dragon training with his fellow young vikings, much to their disappointment as this once weedy, outcast is outdoing them in every single way.

I’ll admit the story is good. However, it isn’t amazing and I couldn’t really watch it without seeing shades of Lilo and Stitch in there; outcast terror that only one character bonds with that everyone else is trying to rid only to be captured by the baddie when an ultimately stronger force comes along to end it all, so the baddies and the goodies become acquainted, settle differences and save the day. A lot of stories may do that but Sander’s and DeBois’ Disney film did it before and also did it a lot better. I also found Hiccup, no matter how good I thought Baruchel portrayed him, to be bit one dimensional – ironic, for film that was released in the age of ‘3D everything to within an inch of its life’ cinematography. Hiccup isn’t boring but he also isn’t very enlightening as a hero. I didn’t walk away feeling that I want to be that type of hero in my own dragon-based adventure, whether I was a child or not. I didn’t connect. I also felt the lack of interplay between Toothless and Hiccup to be a bit whimsical; almost as if Hiccup doesn’t really understand how much of a big ordeal shooting down a Night Fury is. Toothless has all the charisma and charm in this relationship and is the true star of the film.

Apart from that, the films technicalities are perfect! There are some stunning backdrops and the flying sequence have depth. You can see it was made for 3D and I don’t feel that any of the drops, swoops and high-speed turns lost any of their magic on a 2D screen. It’s a bright and colourful film even in night scenes and the effects of blazing fires are quite remarkable. I also enjoyed America Ferrara’s acting on the cold and fierce but likeable Astrid as she comes to terms with Hiccup and his skills. Butler’s voicing of Hiccup’s Father Stoik was perfect. So perfect in fact, I fully expected ‘This is Sparta!’ to be ruptured out of his vocal chords more than once during the film. The music is also grand and captures the same atmosphere that from the off, I would expect an epic adventure film to have.

Maybe this is all oversight though. I mean, How To Train Your Dragon was, and has been very successful. I am disappointed that Sander’s and DeBois’ could have done a lot better and I feel that Dreamworks will always be second best to Disney/Pixar’s efforts (although they can still hold their own when it comes just Disney and their own computer graphics animation films. Tangled, I’m looking at you). I just feel there where missed opportunities and arcs that could have been better developed. The things that How To Train Your Dragon does well, it does really well but the things that it does badly, bring that level of polish down and gives it an overall mediocrity. It’s still funny, it’s still beautiful and clean and it is still also rather fresh which for an almost 5 year animated film is no small feat. Who knows? Maybe all of this will be change my opinion if the follow up doesn’t suffer from a bad case of ‘Sequel Syndrome.’

Kat says: “I have read the book How to Train Your Dragon and although the plot differs from the film I did enjoy it. I can see why they didn’t follow the same story as the book but I actually prefer book over the film. I do, however, like Toothless from the film”

Words by Jimmi and Kat

Maleficent (2014) – 52 in 52: Film 1

DISNEY GOT DARK”

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Alas, a new challenge is upon us, and what a great way to start than with a unique twist on one of Disney’s classic and best known fairy tales. In a world where 2014 was a-wash with Frozen, Maleficent cuts through the songs, talking snowmen and over-night relationships with betrayal, tense battles and an irreversible curse; Disney got dark!

Directed by Robert Stromberg Maleficent portrays the other side of the Sleeping Beauty story but this time from the perspective of the villain. Or should we say “villain” as this retelling puts a different spin on how Maleficent became to seek out vengeance.

Jimmi says: “I have never really taken much interest in anything with Angelina Jolie in, not that I fault her as an actress or anything, but they just never really struck me as ‘must-watch’ (maybe that will change over the next fifty weeks or so?). That was until I watched this and I must say she put on a very good and very striking performance as the malevolent fairy. Jolie makes Maleficent and depicts her as powerful yet graceful, like she is always a force not to be reckoned with and is always in control of the situation no matter how sinister it may be.”

Kat says: “From the point of view of having watched the original Sleeping Beauty as a child, it was thought-provoking to see Maleficent as more than a one dimensional villain that she was portrayed as initially. I like the fact that she was showed as a human character with emotions, feelings and motives rather than someone who was outright evil for no discernible reason, something that Sleeping Beauty never really touched on; she was bad and that was that. This film shed light on this misunderstood character and created a more mature narrative.”

From the beginning, it was clear that the character set up in Sleeping Beauty was of course, very wrongly portrayed. As a child, Maleficent was a kind, sellfless and sensitive fairy, protecting the Moors and all of its amazing creatures. After meeting a human boy, Stefan, the two grow close and start to fall in love. As they grow apart and grow older, we learn that a powerful king wants to claim the Moors as his own. This doesn’t sit very well with Maleficent who summons vast tree-creatures of the forest in their droves and fights back taking out the King’s army and wounding him in the process. No small task but it showed us how much the Moors mean to Maleficent and the lengths she will go to. As the King lies on his deathbed he states he needs an heir for the throne and his daughter; the man who overcomes Maleficent will inherit the throne and his daughter’s hand. Stefen steps forward as he knows he had a bond with a younger Maleficent and uses this to deceive her for his own personal gain, claiming the throne. Seeing Disney use such underhand tactics gives the film darker edge. Disney has always done death and characters being killed off but what they did in Maleficent isn’t really the norm. Jimmi says “the emotion Jolie puts into her character once she knows she has been deceived was rather unsettling for me to watch and would perhaps go over some children’s heads. It’s interesting to see it be done but at the same time, very irregular.” The motive of how she became evil is suddenly apparent and the rest of the story plays out with that in mind hence why she curses Princess Aurora with an unbreakable spell, the same spell that was cast in the original film, word-for-word, something that Jolie insisted on during the production. “At first, Aurora is the chance for revenge and so Maleficent makes sure nothing gets in the way until her sixteenth birthday when the curse comes into effect. However, when the two start to bond, I sense that Maleficent sees that innocence in Aurora that was once in Stefen and as she watches over her, she grows to love her” Kat adds. The rest of the story shows how Maleficent battles not only with the true enemy, but also her regrets.

This is all set on a backdrop of amazing set pieces. In one scene the colourful, neon Moor creatures evoke a similar sense of awe that was found in the alien rainforests of Avatar and having the palette  change when things do inevitably get dark, it sets the right sinister tone making this film get the right balance between good and evil. Sam Riley is great as Maleficent’s human-formed raven Diaval and the dialogue between the two is a sharp contrast to the slapstic and comedic three pixies Knotgrass, Flittle and Thistlewit (played by Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville and Juno Temple respectively). Sharlto Copley as King Stefen is also remarkable at out-villaining the villain too and Elle Fanning’s Aurora recaptures the carefree sweetness of the typical Disney princess.

Rather than seeing the villain as just a villain and a means for the protagonist to finally defeat, seeing this sort of twist is unusual of Disney to do but something that we would like to see them do more often. Normally the villains have a better tale to tell than the hero and learning about how they came to be is bound to be very interesting. Maleficent proves that this type of storytelling can be crafted extremely well.

Words by Jimmi and Kat

Introducing 52 in 52 2: The feature film sequel!

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Over the last year Kat embarked on a literary challenge to see if she could read 52 books in 52 days; essentially one book per week; and to kick off 2015 with something new and fresh, we are pleased to say we are going to continue tradition. This time, however, 52 feature length movies will be in the spotlight but rather than having Kat just do all the hard work, I am also taking part in the challenge as well. Again, like last year, we will have a few rules, as followed:

  • The films have to be at least one hour long – Some early or specialist feature films are therefore not permitted
  • At least one of us cannot have seen the film before – This is so one of us watches the film as new experience but the other is not allowed to spoil any of the plot.
  • The one who hasn’t seen it previously will have to write the majority of the review – The other will be contributing however
  • Mediums allowed – DVD’s, Blu-Rays, Online Streaming services (i.e Netflix), Network broadcasts and of course, the actual cinema
  • Sequels are permitted – However, only if they are a new cinematic or home entertainment release during 2015 or the preceding film has been watched first. Prequels are also allowed regardless if the original film has been watched or not

Like the book challenge, it’ll give us both an opportunity to watch some great films that we have always wanted to watch but never really got round to do so. Some films will be watched at around about the same time they become relevant, so we could watch a romantic comedy on Valentine’s Day or a Christmas film during December.

So which films are we going to watch? Here is an extensive collection of the films that have been shortlisted for our challenge. You may notice that collectively there are more than 52 films on our watch-list. This is so if we can’t come by a copy of one thing, we will still have a back-up to watch.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – Science Fiction; directed by Stanley Kubrick

2012 (2009) – Disaster; directed by Roland Emmerich

50/50 (2011) – Comedy Drama; directed by Jonathan Levine

A Christmas Carol (2009) – Christmas; directed by Robert Zemeckis

A Long Way Down (2014) – Black Comedy; directed by Pascal Chaumeil

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) – Comedy; directed by Tom Shadyac

Airplane! (1980) – Comedy; direct by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker

Around the World in 80 Days (2004) – Comedy Adventure; directed by Frank Coraci

Beetlejuice (1988) – Comedy; directed by Tim Burton

Dirty Dancing (1987) – Romantic Drama; directed by Emile Ardolino

Divergent (2014) – Science Fiction Action; directed by Neil Burger

Donnie Darko (2001) – Supernatural Drama; directed by Richard Kelly

Enchanted (2007) – Fantasy; directed by Kevin Lima

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) – Comedy Drama; directed by Michael Gondry

Godzilla (2014) – Science Fiction; directed by Gareth Edwards

Goodfellas (1990)  – Crime Drama; directed by Martin Scorsese

Grave of the Fireflies (1988) – Animated Drama; directed by Isao Takahata

Groundhog Day (1993) – Comedy; directed by Harold Ramis

How to Train your Dragon (2010) – Animated Comedy; directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois

I Am Number Four (2011) – Science Fiction; directed by D.J. Caruso

Indian Jones and the Curse of the Crystal Skull (2008) – Adventure; directed by Steven Spielburg

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) – Adventure; directed by Steven Spielburg

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) – Adventure; directed by Steven Spielburg

Jaws (1975) – Horror; directed by Steven Speilberg

Jingle All The Way (1996) – Christmas; directed by Brain Levant

Kindergarten Cop (1990) – Comedy; directed by Ivan Reitman

Maleficant (2014) – Fantasy; directed by Robert Stromberg

Monsters University (2013) – Animated Comedy; directed by Dan Scanlon

Need for Speed (2014) – Action; directed by Scott Waugh

Never Been Kissed (1999) – Romantic Comedy; directed by Raja Gosnell

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) – Fantasy; directed by Guillermo del Toro

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) – Comedy; directed by John Hughes

Pulp Fiction (1994) – Black Comedy; directed by Quentin Tarantino

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – Adventure; directed by Steven Spielburg

Ratatouille (2007) – Animated Comedy; directed by Brad Bird

Sharknado (2013) – Disaster; Anthony C. Ferrante

The Blues Brothers (1980) – Musical; directed by John Landis

The Breakfast Club (1985) – Comedy Drama; directed by John Hughes

The Godfather (1972) – Crime Drama; directed by Francis Ford Coppola

The Hangover (2009) – Comedy; directed by Todd Phillips

The Hunger Games (2012) – Science Fiction; directed by Gary Ross

The Karate Kid (2010) – Martial Arts; directed by Harry Zwart

The Miracle on 34th Street (1947) – Christmas; directed by George Seaton

The Wind Rises (2013) – Animated drama; directed by Hayao Miyazaki

There’s Something About Mary (1998) – Comedy; directed by Peter Farrelly and Robert Farrelly

Top Secret! (1984) – Comedy; directed by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker

Wayne’s World (1992) – Comedy; directed by Penelope Spheeris

When Harry Met Sally… (1989) – Romantic Comedy; directed by Rob Reiner

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988) – Comedy; directed by Robert Zemeckis

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) – Action; directed by Bryan Singer


Not contempt with enough films to watch at home, here is a list of the films we could potentially see that are being released whilst we do our challenge. These include films that will be shown in cinemas during the 2015 period:

Fifty Shades of Grey (releases February 2015) – Drama; directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson

Avengers: Age of Ultron (releases May 2015) – Action; directed by Joss Whedon

Jurassic World (releases June 2015) – Science Fiction; directed by Colin Trevorrow

Furious 7 (releases April 2015) – Action; directed by James Wan

Minions (release June 2015) – Animated Comedy; directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda

Spectre (release TBC but possible October or November 2015) – Action; directed by Sam Mendes

Fantastic Four (releases August 2015) – Action; directed by Josh Tank

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (releases February 2015) – Animated Comedy; directed by Paul Tibbitt

The Little Prince (releases October 2015) – Animated Fantasy; directed by Mark Osborne

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (releases December 2015) – Science Fiction; directed by J. J. Abrams

As you can fully see, there is a diverse range of films; from cult classics to big blockbusters as well as some highly anticipated titles such as Star Wars and James Bond’s new outing. There’s some that I haven’t seen and others that Kat hasn’t seen whilst the rest neither of us have seen. This challenge not only gives us the chance to put across double-perspective accounts from both of us but also gives us the chance to say why we thought it deserved a place on the list whilst the other gives their verdict, for the better or possibly worse. And because of the social nature of watching a film, we can include guests to give an even more in-depth discussion.

As always, if you think we’ve missed out a critical film that we must see, send us a tweet @Reviewinators; send a comment on Facebook or comment on this post below. Don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll be updated on the new articles as and when they come out. You know it makes sense!

Jimmi