100 Word Review – Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

The Monty Python (Life of Brian, Meaning of Life) guys are on a quest.

Follow King Arthur (Graham Chapman), Lancelot The Brave (John Cleese), Sir Galahad the Pure (Michael Palin) and Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-As-Sir Lancelot (Eric Idle) along with a host of other characters (Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam) as they seek the Holy Grail.

Complete with witches, shrubberies, unladen swallows, a killer bunny and a castle of French men, this film is everything you would expect from the Monty Python crew. Gilliam’s animation are wonderful as always, as are the random jokes. Endlessly quotable, historically inaccurate and thoroughly British.

100 Word Review – Porco Rosso (1992)

In classic Hayao Miyazaki (Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke) style, this Japanese anime perfectly captures the spirit of adventure and freedom that permeates throughout it.

Set in the skies above a 1930s Italian coast, a WWI veteran pilot makes a living in his sea plane as a bounty hunter, taking down air pirates. His name is Marco Rosso and he was cursed to look like a pig.

Definitely family friendly, but with hidden depths that might have made me cry. There’s humour, there’s romance, there’s a sense of history and the dubbed version even has the voice of Michael Keaton.

100 Word Review – Stardust (2007)

Adapted from Neil Gaiman’s (Coraline, Mirrormask) brilliant novel, prepare for a fabulous flight of fantasy.

Determined to prove his love by returning with a fallen star, Tristan (Charlie Cox) sets out into the land beyond the wall, unaware of the witches, kings and pirates waiting for him on the other side.

Dream-team Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, Kingsman) wrote and directed this seriously star-studded film. Clare Danes, Ian McKellen, Mark Strong, Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro co-star to name just the best known. It’s fun, mostly family friendly, funny and completely fantastic in every sense of the word.

100 Word Review – Toy Story (1995)

I love this film and honestly don’t quite understand anyone who doesn’t.

Woody (Tom Hanks) is a much-loved cowboy toy, whose world is shifted by the arrival of a Buzz (Tim Allen), the latest cool space ranger toy.

Directed by John Lassater (A Bugs Life, Cars)  and with the likes of Pete Docter (Up, Inside Out) and Joss Whedon (Avengers: Age of Ultron, In Your Eyes) writing the script, there is no doubt that Pixar was always on to a winner. Funny, sweet and exciting, it was nominated for three Oscars, and currently sits at #96 on IMDb’s top 250 films list.

100 Word Review – Manborg (2011)

Possibly the greatest and most ridiculous film ever made, Manborg is a must-see for any fans of 1980s action Sci Fi.

Set in the future, Nazi vampires rise from Hell and take over the earth. One man is bought back from the dead by a mad scientist, who gives him some robotic modifications. He is no longer a man. He is Manborg.

Created by Canadian cult movie masters Astron-6 (Father’s Day, The Editor) and in the same vein as Kung Fury. Made on $1000 budget, it seeps with the passion of it’s creators. This film is barmy from beginning to end.

100 Word Review – Kung Fury (2015)

In 1985, a cop (David Sandberg) masters the most difficult kung fu ever and becomes Kung Fury.

I don’t even know where to begin. This film is 30minutes of glorious insanity. Prepare yourselves for appearances from Adolf Hitler, Thor, Barbarianna (she’s a Viking who rides a dinosaur and carries a machine gun, obviously) and the magnificent Tricerecop, to name but a few.

Definitely on a par with the work of Astron-6 (Manborg, Father’s Day), it is a homage to those straight-to-VHS gems of 1980s action.

Currently on Netflix and YouTube, it’s a funny, action-packed ridiculous rollercoaster of nonsense you must watch!

100 Word Review – Coraline (2009)

Disappointed and frustrated by her life, Coraline (voiced by Dakota Fanning) discovers an alternate reality in which everything is the same but better. What dark secrets could such a place be hiding?

Based on a novel by the always remarkable Neil Gaiman (Stardust, Mirrormask) and adapted and directed by Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach), this is a beautiful family animation with a dark and twisted underbelly only found in the best children’s stories.

Nominated for an Oscar and with some recognisable voices (listen out for French and Saunders) this film is quite simply brilliant.

100 Word Review – The Goonies (1985)

Hey you guys! 

I watched this for the first time last night and was blown away!

Set in a time before parents worried about their children disappearing on bikes into the sunset, a groups of kids (Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman, Jeff Cohen, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton and Jonathan Ke Quan) seek a pirates treasure while being pursued by escaped criminals.

Screenplay by Chris Columbus (Gremlins), directed by Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon) with Steven Spielberg responsible for the story, it’s everything you’d hope for from an 80’s family action adventure film.

You’ll laugh, jump and quote it for days!

100 Word Review – O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

Joel and Ethan Coen, the Coen Brothers (Big Lebowski, The Hudsucker Proxy), do it again.

Set in 1930s American Deep South, three escaped convicts (George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson) attempt to avoid the authorities, tangling with a range of weird and wonderful characters, on their quest for hidden treasure.

Loosely based on Homer’s Odyssey and co-starring John Goodman and Holly Hunter, this film manages to be simultaneously charming, familiar and epic.

Nominated for Oscars in Screenplay and Cinematography, it is absolutely full of laughs, a soundtrack that will get your toes tapping and, above everything else, heart.

100 Word Review – Last Action Hero (1993)

Arnie’s back.

Danny (Austin O’Brien) is a young boy with a big imagination, obsessed with his favourite action hero Jack Slater (Arnold Schwarzenegger). When he is given a ticket to the latest Slater flick he jumps at the chance, little suspecting that he might become part of the action…

Co-staring the magnetic Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister from Game of Thrones), this is lighter and more comedic than a lot of Arnie’s ouevre, but doesn’t quite fit in to his family-friendly-range (see Junior or Twins). It’s a joy to watch, full of the ridiculous one-liners and explosions we’ve come to expect.