Month: October 2012

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The Unshaved Mouse’s Presidential Endorsement

My Friends.

The Unshaved Mouse has always striven to remain above the petty bickering of partisan politics (particularly that of countries in which he does not actually live). However, on the eve of a presidential election of such historic importance, and with the nation presented with such a stark choice I feel I must speak out. As a popular blogger with a readership of literally several people, I feel it is my duty to bestow my endorsement on the man that America needs to lead it through these difficult times.

And so it is, having carefully and diligently considered his options, that the Unshaved Mouse bestows his endorsement on President Barack Obama.

Some have been dissatisfied with Mr Obama’s first term.  To those people I say “I understand.” Has he done everything in his first term that he promised he would? No. Do I agree with every decision he has made during his first term? No. Is he perfect?

Yes. Yes he is.

I mean, look at this guy. Look at that smile. Look at those eyes, radiating pure benevolence. He’s perfect. And he knows you’re not. But he still loves you. When you consider this, the fact that he is perfect in every conceivable way, then suddenly the choice becomes clear.

I mean…what else is there to say? The smile, the singing voice, the beautiful family…My God, I hope Michelle realises how lucky she is to have his arms around her every night because I’m ready and waiting to step in if she’s not giving him what he needs, no, what he deserves. Yeah, you’d turn for him too, don’t pretend that you wouldn’t.

I mean…damn. That is a man in his FORTIES.

Look, I’ve got nothing against the other guy…whatshisname…Governor Metro Man.

I’m sure he’s a great guy. I don’t know, I haven’t really paid attention to him (why would I?). But I’m sure he’s a decent human being who supports civil rights for all Americans, an intelligent man with a keen grasp of foreign affairs, a man of integrity and conviction who stands by his most deeply held beliefs whatever they may be (and I’m sure he knows). A man whose party supports easy access to contraception (because ha ha, it is twenty fucking twelve after all!). I’d even go so far as to say his tax plan is sound, reasonable, fair and, most importantly, available and out in the open for everyone to see. I’m sure that is all true.

But if you asked one of his supporters “Is he perfect?” I bet you anything they would say “No.”

And I’m sorry, that’s just not good enough.

Honestly, this picture makes me feel warm. Like, there’s warmth radiating from the picture.

God bless you all, and God bless the United States of America.

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Disney Reviews with the Unshaved Horse #12: Cinderella

DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material. There is an audio version of this review HERE

***

Around two years ago I read an interview with the head of Dreamworks, Jeffrey Katzenburg, where he outlined the studio’s plans for the next ten years or so. It was essentially this:

Two more Madagascar films. (the first of these has since come out)

Two more (at least) How to Train Your Dragons.

Five more Kung Fu Panda Movies.

The movie industry is, to put it mildly, in a state of panic. Its market share is shrinking in the face of competition from digital entertainment and television and it’s increasingly looking like it doesn’t really know what people want anymore. Adding to their problems, the only genres of movie that consistently generate buffo box office, (animated movies, superhero films, sci-fi/fantasy) are also damn expensive to make. Which is why, when one of those movies does well at the box office, it gets a sequel almost without exception.

Movie people are not bad people. They just want what we want: certainty. They just want to be sure that if they invest millions of dollars into a movie that they’re not going to be living out of a cardboard box by the time the box office receipts are tallied up. In the movie business, a willingness to take risks and be original, to gamble several fortunes of investors’ money on something that you have no way of knowing will be a success, to risk your reputation and your finances for a dream requires nothing less than balls of steel.

You rang?

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Disney Reviews by the Unshaved Mouse #11: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material.

There is an audio version of this review HERE

***

And so it is that the Unshaved Mouse comes to the last of the package films. 

Really internet? You couldn’t find me a picture of a happier mouse? This is not doing my joy justice.

Okay, that’s not exactly fair. Believe it or not, I don’t hate the Never Heard of ‘Ems. In fact, I really enjoyed most of them. It was just a nightmare to review these things.

Yes. Nightmare is the correct word.

Anyway, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad. This is pretty much identical in nature to Fun and Fancy Free, two ideas for full length animated movies that ended up being condensed and released as a single feature. This would close out the forties for Disney, a decade marked by incredible achievements (Bambi, Pinocchio, Fantasia) and a desperate and sometimes ugly struggle to keep the studio from going under (pretty much everything else). The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad begins with the opening credits…and…is he there?…could it be?…YES!

THOR PUTNAM!

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And Now for Something Completely Different…

Hi All,

Firstly, everyone relax. The Melody Time review is just down and to your left, hope you enjoy it.

You may have noticed that at the end of each review I mention that I’m a playwright. Now, that’s actually not just one of the many, many lies I tell you to make myself seem like a bigshot.

Yes, the yacht is only a three hundred footer, not four hundred. Forgive me.

I bring this up because I’ve been asked to contribute a blog post about playwriting to the Abbey Theatre’s website. It’s a little less acid-trippy than my usual stuff here but, ah sure, give it a go.

http://www.abbeytheatre.ie/behind-the-scenes/backstage-blogs/new-playwrights-programme/npp-graduates-blog/

Melodyposter

Disney Reviews with the Unshaved Mouse #10: Melody Time

DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images used below are property of the Walt Disney Corporation unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material.

You can listen to an audio version of this review HERE

***

Goddamit, No! No, I have had enough. I cannot do another one of these package films. You can’t make me. You want to know about Melody Time? Wikipedia this mother. See that description? “Mildly successful”. I ask you, has anyone ever wanted to read a review of a movie that was “mildly” anything? No! You either want to see me praise a classic to the heavens or grind some misbegotten abomination into the dirt. No one reads three star reviews. No one wants to hear about movies that are “fine”. You want my review of Melody Time? It’s Make Mine Music but not as good. There. Read the Make Mine Music review and induce a mild sense of disappointment. See you next week.

Ugh.

Alright fine. I’m doing this. But you owe me, people. For starters, get me a sandwich.

Lettuce? What am I, on a diet?

Okay, okay Melody Time. Melody Time. What can I saw about Melody Time? Specifically, what can I say about Melody Time that I have not already said about the other Never Heard of ‘Ems? I could literally describe the circumstances of its creation and its basic structure and you would not be able to tell whether I was talking about Make Mine Music or this film. Except, this was made in 1948 and most of the good ideas had already gone into Make Mine Music. You see, that’s the problem. You’ll recall I actually quite liked Make Mine Music, but this is just more of the same and it’s pretty forgettable all in all. But, screw it. Let’s get on with it.

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Disney Reviews by the Unshaved Mouse #9: Fun and Fancy Free

DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images used below are property of the Walt Disney Corporation unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material.

There is an audio version of this review HERE.

***

By 1947 the war was over and the Disney studio was beginning the slow and often painful process of reconstruction. The animators were back from the front, and the US military had ended their four-year long virtual occupation of the studio. But it would be another three years before the they were ready to get back to “real” Disney movies, big full-length animated features. In the meantime, they soldiered on with “package” films, what I like to call the “Never Heard Of ‘Ems” as they tend to be the most obscure movies in the whole canon. Fun and Fancy Free is in many ways even scrappier and more thrown together than Make Mine Music or the two Caballeros movies. Whereas they were at least unified by subject (music and Latin America, respectively) Fun and Fancy Free is essentially the studio saying “Yeah. Here’s two short movies we didn’t have the time or money to make into full features. You don’t like it? Sorry. We were a little busy fighting for your freedom.”

And now everything I draw looks like dead Germans.

Cost saving was the driving force of this movie, and the next two that followed. Simply put, the market had not yet recovered to the point that Disney could spend the kind of money a new Bambi or Pinocchio would require. Europe, the movie industry’s second most important market, was no longer at war. But it was still in a very bad way.

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