Film Review: 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.

Stuff To Look At

Plenty of audio-visual treats for your senses this week, with Iron Man 3, Spring Breakers, The Conjuring and more…

Iron Man 3

Cue the dramatic music! It’s all going down in the new Iron Man 3 trailer. Tony Stark faces a new and dangerous enemy! Pepper Potts is in danger! There is an army of Iron Men! Iron Man 3 is out in UK cinemas on 25th April 2013.

Spring Breakers

I can’t wait for Spring Breakers! James Franco as a gangster; what more do you want? Also starring a host of teen stars, Spring Breakers is directed by Harmony Korine. The film is released in the UK on 5th April 2013.

The Conjuring

Based on a true story, apparently, The Conjuring is the new horror from James Wan, director of Saw and Insidious. It is not clear what is in the house, but why is it clapping?! The Conjuring is released in UK cinemas on 19th July 2013.

Monsters University

Monsters University

Look at this wonderful poster! It is so colourful and fun. I am not sure what that orange pig-type creature is at the front, but I like it. Monsters University, the prequel to Monsters Inc., opens in UK cinemas on 12th July 2013.


Dwayne Johnson stars in action thriller Snitch. The plot seems a bit implausible, but apparently the film was inspired by true events. Snitch is due for release in April 2013.

Stuff To Look At

A feast of trailers and images. A feast for the eyes, I say. Whether it is horror, Disney animation, or crime thriller, there is something here for everyone…

Monsters University

I want to go to Monsters University! Human universities are so boring in comparison. A prequel to Monsters Inc., Monsters University tells the story of how Sully and Mike met as students. The film will be released in UK cinemas on 12th July 2013.

Oz The Great and Powerful

Oz The Great and PowerfulLook at this monkey! Surely he is reason alone for seeing Oz The Great and Powerful? Given that the film is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, it seems unlikely that hot slice Toto will appear. Not to fear, we have Finley in his little uniform to beguile us. Oz The Great and Powerful is released on 8th March 2013.

Identity Thief

Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy star in Identify Thief. When Sandy tracks down Diana, the woman who has stolen his identity, hijinks ensue when he tries to bring her to justice. Identity Thief is out in UK cinemas on 22nd March 2013.

Olympus Has Fallen

Well this all looks rather tense. Training Day director Antoine Fuqua brings together Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart and Angela Bassett in action thriller Olympus Has Fallen. The film hits UK screens on 19th April 2013.


A TV spot for Mama was on the other night when a friend (who shall remain nameless) could not bear to watch it. Guillermo del Toro is the executive producer of supernatural horror Mama, which stars Jessica Chastain. Mama is released on 22nd February 2013.

Side Effects

Steven Soderbergh reunites with Jude Law and Channing Tatum for thriller Side Effects. Also staring Rooney Mara and Catherine Zeta-Jones, the film is about a depressed patient who is prescribed the latest medication by her psychiatrist. Side Effects is out on 8th March 2013.

The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger

Here be the latest poster for The Lone Ranger. I am not quite sure why Johnny Depp has a bird on his head; I am hoping that this will be explained in the film. The Lone Ranger will hit UK cinemas on 9th August 2013.

Evil Dead

When I first saw a trailer for Evil Dead, initially I didn’t realise it was a remake of the 1981 film. Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell act as producers for this new version, so at least it gets their seal of approval. The trailer above is rather graphic, so brace yourself if you are squeamish. Evil Dead is released on 19th April 2013.

Jack the Giant Slayer

Jack the Giant Slayer

This is the latest poster for Warner Brothers’ Jack the Giant Slayer. Jack and the Beanstalk is not one of those fairy tales that has had a plethora of film adaptations, so it will be interesting to see what is done with it. Released in 3D, Jack the Giant Slayer hits UK screens on 22nd March 2013.

Dark Skies

Another horror! When the Sandman is mentioned, it is unlikely that things are going to go well. Dark Skies is giving me shades of The Birds. However, the trailer indicates more supernatural activity than this. Dark Skies is released in the UK on 5th April 2013.

The Paperboy

Having already been released in America, a certain scene in The Paperboy has been discussed a lot. I won’t spoil it, for those of you who don’t know what I am talking about. Nicole Kidman heads a stellar cast in thriller The Paperboy. The film hits UK screens on 15th March 2013.

The Heat

Sandra Bullock plays a FBI agent and Melissa McCarthy a Boston cop. This old couple comedy comes from Paul Feig, director of Bridesmaids. The Heat is released in UK cinemas on 5th April 2013.

Film Review: Monsters Inc.


Prior to the release of prequel Monsters University later this year, Monsters Inc. gets a 3D re-release. The film is a great example of the imagination of the Disney Pixar company.

In Monstropolis, monsters generate power by scaring children at night, despite their fear of being contaminated by young humans. Sulley is top scarer at Monsters Inc, to the dissatisfaction of some of his colleagues. When a child sneaks into Monstropolis, Sulley and his best friend Mike find their lives disrupted…

A large part of Monsters Inc.‘s appeal is its inventive premise. The idea that they bogeymen of children’s nightmares are not mere fiction but driven by their corporation for gain is great. Monsters Inc. is much like any sizeable workplace, albeit with an unusual line of business.

At the heart of Monsters Inc. are two well-crafted protagonists. Sulley and Mike are three dimensional enough for the audience to care about their fates. Boo, meanwhile, brings the cute factor. Like many other Disney Pixar films, Monsters Inc. is appealing to both children and adults. There is plenty of humour to amuse both of these audiences. Likewise, the narrative straightforward enough for young children to follow, yet will also engage older viewers.

The 3D in this cinematic re-release adds a layer of depth without being intrusive.3D presentations of Pixar films seem to have worked well thus far. The animation is crisp, and does not seem to have aged at all despite being over ten years old.

The Monsters Inc. re-release gives the chance for a new audience to see it on the big screen and allows existing fans to view it in an extra dimension.

Monsters Inc 3D is released in cinemas from 18th January 2013.

Stuff To Look At

Some delights for the eyeballs with Frankenweenie, Monsters University, The Expendables 2 and Pitch Perfect.


With these images, you are really spoiling us, Disney. Not content with releasing the first image of Angelina Jolie as Maleficent at the beginning of the week, Disney have also furnished us with new images from Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie. Obviously, I am choosing to share the image of Sparky, the hot piece dog at the centre of the film. Frankenweenie is due for release on 17th October 2012.

Monsters University

I have a terrible confession to make. I have never actually seen Monsters Inc. I know, shoot me down. Many centuries ago, in my brief stint as a ‘Cast Member’ for The Disney Store, we used to sell all kinds of Sully-emblazoned merchandise. Thus, I am aware of the characters and the general happenings of the film, even though I have never watched Monsters Inc. The follow up, prequel Monsters University, is due for release next summer so I have plenty of time to see the original.

The Expendables 2

Of the films out this summer, The Expendables 2 is one I am really looking forward to. With the inclusion of Jason Statham, Jet Li and others, The Expendables 2 is not really an eighties action star reunion. Nevertheless, the film does feature Norris, Stallone, Lundgren, Schwarzenegger and Willis. Not exactly a bad cast. The Expendables 2 is out in cinemas on 16th August and I cannot wait.

Pitch Perfect

What’s this? Another Glee-inspired film about a singing competition? Yes and no. Like Joyful Noise, it is unlikely that the success of Glee did not impact Pitch Perfect being green lit. However, the film seems to have more of an attitude than the television show, so hopefully amusement will trump saccharine sentiment. Pitch Perfect is out in UK cinemas on 19th October 2012.