#27 / 365 – ‘Tangled’ – 100 mins
Cinema Challenge #10 / 115
After being kidnapped by an old woman (Donna Murphy) the magically long-haired Rapunzel (Mandy Moore, ‘A Walk to Remember’) has spent her entire life in a tower, but now that rogue Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi, ‘Chuck’) has stumbled upon her, she is about to discover the world for the first time, and who she really is.
For their 50th animated feature and the second most expensive film ever made at $260m, Disney as chosen to stick to their magical fairy-tale formula in an effort to emulate the likes of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Aladdin’ and try step out from under the perfect shadow of Pixar. Straight up the CGI animation used is just utterly gorgeous and I just don’t mean Rapunzel’s magical hair, everything just positively glimmers and glitters throughout and whilst the 3D is sparingly used, it comes into good effect for once in an enchanting and mesmerizing scene when the night sky fills with floating lanterns.
Then there are the characters where all of them are completely loveable, an innocent but feisty Rapunzel, the swashbuckling but clueless Flynn Rider, but the stand-out character for me is the films villain, Rapunzel’s mother Gothel which is perfectly voiced by Donna Murphy, whilst she’s doesn’t have quite the pure evilness or wickedness of the Evil Queen in Snow White or many other Disney villains, she is still believable with a touch of admiration. On top of that, Tangled brings in a collection of great supporting characters that can’t help but impress, the Royal horse Maximus and Pascal, the chameleon and what’s great about these animals is they don’t talk which is a refreshing change and all the humour comes from their facial emotions.
In true Disney fashion there are some great songs “When Will my Life Begin?”,“Mother Knows Best” and score to be heard, composed by Alan Menken (‘Enchanted’) to which I am not ashamed to say I tapped my foot too on a regular basis.
Tangled is a big healthy dose of “happily ever after”, in which the modern script is slick and quick and is a true testament to old school Disney magic, where even the most hard-hearted person would struggle not to be charmed by this tale.
#28 / 365 – ‘The Mechanic’ – 93 mins
Cinema Challenge #11 / 115
Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) is a ‘mechanic’ – an elite assassin with a strict code and unique talent for cleanly eliminating targets. It’s a job that requires professional perfection and total detachment, and Bishop is the best in the business. But when his mentor and close friend Harry (Donald Sutherland) is murdered, Bishop is anything but detached and soon takes Harry’s wayward son Steve (Ben Foster) under his wing to learn the business and take revenge on the people, Dean (Tony Goldwyn) who murdered his father.
The Mechanic is Director Simon West (‘Con Air’, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’) remake of Michael Winner’s 1972 vehicle (which I haven’t seen) of the same name, starring Charles Bronson.
From a brilliant opening sequence, in which you could be forgiven into thinking you’d had just sat down to the beginning of a Bond movie. After that though it struggles to get into second gear, the action scenes are good if a little choppy along with a couple of good, if predictable plot twists. Statham is his usual broody self, Ben Foster (‘3:10 to Yuma’) has some good one-liners to play with and the two of them together make a great, grumpy, mumbling team.
This is your Saturday night leave your brain at home, does what is says on the tin, big dollop of gun-porn, where it seems the now seasoned actioner of Jason Statham can’t save this from being anything but average.