Film Review: Monsters University

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY

A prequel to Monsters Inc., Monsters University will certainly appeal to fans of the original.

Long before they were an unbeatable duo, Mike and Sully were students at Monsters University. Mike Wazowski dreams of being a top scarer, while Sully believes it is in his genes. However, the mismatched pair must work together if they are to succeed at university…

It was certainly a good idea to go back to the beginning of Mike and Sully’s friendship for this film, rather than produce a run-of-the-mill sequel. The narrative of Monsters University works well. Although the journey of Mike and Sully’s friendship pans out in the expected manner, the final outcome of the film is more of a surprise. It is interesting that writers Dan Scanlon, Daniel Gerson and Robert L. Baird chose a somewhat unconventional ending, but it offers a good message.

Monsters University really is Mike’s story. Whereas there was more of a parity between the two protagonists in the original, Monsters University  concentrates on Mike for the most part. This is not a bad thing; as an underdog, Mike is easy to identify with. There are some nice scenes with Mike that makes the character even more endearing.

There is humour in Monsters University. Nonetheless, an increase in jokes would have made the film more enjoyable. Young viewers may find one or two moments a little frightening. The theme of college being a time when individuals discover who they are is persistent. Younger viewers may find the scenes concentrating on this fail to capture their attention.

Billy Crystal and John Goodman reprise their voice roles well. They are ably joined by Helen Mirren. The standard of animation is great, as one would expect from Disney Pixar.

Monsters University should prove an entertaining animated feature for adults and older children, but it will be fans of the original who find the film most endearing.

5 Reasons Why The Princess Bride is Excellent

The Princess Bride

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of The Princess Bride, the film is being released on a new special edition Blu-Ray from Monday 25th March 2013. Here are five reasons why you should watch or revisit the 1987 fantasy classic…

1. The Princess Bride Bucked the Critical Trend

Unlike most fairy tale films released in the 1980s, The Princess Bride actually received mostly positive reviews. Critics such as Vanessa Miles (Films and Filming, 402, March 1988) praised the fact that the film made fun of the clichés present in other films of the genre released in the same period.

2. The Princess Bride is Endlessly Quotable

As well as the infamous “as you wish”, The Princess Bride‘s script is overflowing with memorable lines and phrases. Among the most famous ones are “inconceivable” and “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die”, although there are plenty more.

3. The Princess Bride Subverts and Reinforces Fairy Tale Tropes

The Princess Bride play on the conventions of fairy tale films. However, it also reinforces them; with Rob Reiner’s film fitting both fantasy and comedy modes. The latter is particularly evident through the character of Buttercup; a damsel in distress typical of this brand of fantasy.

4. The Princess Bride is Teeming with 80s Stars

The Princess Bride stars Fred Savage, one of the child stars of the 1980s. The film also features a host of other actors irrevocably associated with the most esteemed of decades; Chris Sarandon, Billy Crystal, Robin Wright. And, of course, André the Giant.

5. Columbo is in The Princess Bride

There really isn’t a greater reason than this.

The Princess Bride 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-Ray features new featurettes, audio commentaries, as well as the original comprehensive documentary ‘As You Wish: The Story of The Princess Bride’. It is available from 25th March 2013.

The Muppets New Trailer

Alas hopes of the Muppets hosting the Oscars has been dashed now that Billy Crystal has been confirmed as next year’s host. Nevertheless, this week has brought us another fun trailer for The Muppets. I must doth my proverbial cap to Disney; they have done a fantastic job promoting the movie thus far. The various trailers and clips have certainly got me eagerly anticipating the new film. This new trailer is Bollywood themed, and is a bit of a dance extravaganza. Fingers crossed we’ll get a few more of these spoof trailer before The Muppets‘ release on 10th February 2011.