It’s hard to understate just how popular The Nutcracker ballet actually is. It’s one of the most reproduced ballets you could imagine, representing almost half of what American ballet companies make every year. The score is iconic and has transcended beyond anything that Tchaikovsky could’ve imagined. The show, the music, the story of The Nutcracker is legendary and has lived on for well over a century… which means it’s copyright ran out so Disney can come in, claim it, kill it, pillage the corpse for anything it chooses and leave it as hollow, lifeless and empty as a Tin Soldier.
Released: 26 December Seen: 16th December (Advanced Screening)
Six Years ago, Disney unleashed Wreck-It Ralph onto screens and it was a huge hit. Everyone was floored by how bold it was, a raucous combination of video game characters that we hadn’t seen together before, telling a tale of a video game villain and a video game glitch who we would come to love. It was a monster hit for the company who had only just bought Star Wars that same year. It’s weird to remember that but when the first Wreck-It Ralph came out it was days after Disney bought out Star Wars, cementing their ownership of everyone’s childhoods. In the last year Disney did something similar by buying Fox Entertainment and it raised two big questions
Is anyone going to put a check on this obvious corporate monopoly that’s effectively trying to buy all entertainment as we know it?
…so, when are Storm Troopers going to turn up in a Disney movie and have fights with a Disney princess?
I might not be able to answer the first one, but we now have an answer to the second one.
Released: 13th December Seen: 2nd December (Advanced Screening)
This year has been particularly good for superhero movies, possibly the best that we’ve had since Marvel decided they wanted to take over the cinematic landscape. From truly important cultural milestones like Black Panther, to displays of just what the genre is capable of like The Avengers, to silly little parody films that I still can’t even begin to get enough of like Teen Titan’s Go To The Movies, it’s safe to say this year has been an absolute boon time for the Superhero movie… and now we get to throw Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse into that pantheon of truly great superhero movies.
The month of December’s a fabulous thing There’s joy in the air and carols to sing The lights are hung high upon every roof thatch And stores sell their toys in many a batch And down in the cinema, some of the time Sits a pretentious reviewer, thinking in rhyme (Yes, we’re doing this. What did you expect? To give up on this gimmick, that would be neglect)
For most of my life, I’ve been a huge fan of the Harry Potter franchise. I got the first two books from my grandmother for Christmas long ago, just before the third one came out in 1999 (FEEL OLD YET!?) and since then I was that person who had to get the new one on the day it went on sale. I was such a fan that I preordered a copy of the final book and still was in line outside the store before 6am on the day that it went out (Because Australia didn’t do a midnight release) just so that I could get my hands on it. I devoured the last book in 2 days. Every movie I went to see with another one of my grandparent’s, the same one who I mentioned taking to see Christopher Robin a while ago, and we always would go on opening day to see it with a packed theatre and enjoy the absolute glee that came with seeing these books that we loved being brought to life. I was there watching as these major elements of my childhood became reality but when they announced they were doing Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, I wasn’t interested. By the time that movie came out I was in my late 20s and was cynical about so much, I believed it to be nothing but a cheap cash grab created by Warner Brothers because they were desperate to have a steady income since their superhero movies kept turning out to be giant steaming piles of excrement littering the cinematic pavement. Since I knew I would be reviewing the sequel today, last night I decided to finally watch the original Fantastic Beasts movie and I found it to be genuinely delightful. Sure, I was right about it being a cash grab designed to rake in obscene amounts of money from a reputable brand name but at least it tried to be entertaining. It had a charm to it, a warmth that emanated throughout the film that was infectious. It was basically Pokemon but with wizards in it and I was excited to see where they were going to take this story, maybe it was going to be more than just a cheap excuse to slip a hand into my wallet and extract a few bucks.