Just in time for alphamonkey’s spawn comes a new release of the animated cult film, The Last Unicorn. It’s no The Secret of NIMH in my book, but this 1982 film holds a special place in the heart of countless inner-childes. Also: two of the best overlooked films of 2006.
The Last Unicorn: I couldn’t explain why, but for some odd reason The Last Unicorn has a cult following. It’s down-right mainstream in Germany, where it’s a Christmas tradition. I’m an animation enthusiast, but even I can’t find the broad appeal behind this one. Some of the imagery is different, and who couldn’t love good ol’ Schmendrick the Magician; but the story is too basic and the artwork is often bland. Oh well, at least it will always have its wicked America soundtrack. There’s not much to this 25th Anniversary Edition, but it may be worth mentioning that this is the first time the film has been available in its original wi format since 1982, when it was originally seen in theaters.
Running with Scissors: Based off of the memoirs of Augusten Burroughs and directed by Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy, Running With Scissors wasn’t quite a crowd-pleaser when it came out last October. Partially because it was marketed as a comedy and partially because you couldn’t tell if it was a comedy for a good portion of its running time, Scissors is a dramady heavily leaning towards drama, a story about how fucked up growing up can be and, although it was notably more fucked up for Mr. Burroughs, it brings out the eccentricities in any teenager’s life. The film hosts surprisingly few missteps considering this is Murphy’s first film, and makes me excited to see where this promising film maker will go next. I could try to further convince of you of how unfair this film’s reception was, but why bother when Thundarr has already written a positive review for it?
The Science of Sleep: If you caught my Top 10 list of 2006, then you would have caught that the number five spot was occupied by Michel Gondry‘s Sleep. An imaginative tour-de-force, the film illustrates the ambiguity of dreaming and its reflection on real life with skill worthy of an Oscar nom for directing (come on Academy, was there really anything that required this much talent in Letters From Iwo Jima?) Gondry mixes gorgeous imagery with a purposely blurred narrative that makes the film into one big dream itself. But I’ll quit whoring myself out to Gondry so that I might spend some time sucking up to Gael García Bernal, who plays a love-struck young man who doesn’t know how to approach the girl. His performance is a perfectly balanced blend of sweet, confused with a light dash of disturbing, making the film relatable to any guy who’s fallen for a pretty girl before. There’s a lot more praise I could give for this film but, again, I find my job simplified by Thundarr’s approving review.
Also out today, and worth checking out, are Clint Eastwood’s Flags of Our Fathers (read the review), what Thundarr thinks is the best Superman film of last year in Hollywoodland (read the review). Romantics may or may not want to check out Maggie Gyllenhaal in Trust the Man based off Thundarr’s mixed review, and if you are desperate for more animated fun you can always try Open Season (read that review). Now get! You’ve got DVD’s to watch!!