Tag Archives: Up

Three-Word Review of ‘The Secret of Kells’

Brightest illumination ever.

The Secret of Kells

Captions don’t count: If you value things of beauty, see this movie. My kids enjoyed it, but were a bit confused -- for starters, we had to explain monks and illuminated manuscripts and why Vikings were jerks. Also, the movie departs from a traditional kid-story arc: The final act isn’t about defeating bad guys, but surviving them. While the story ends on an uplifting moment where light is brought into a dark world, it still felt like a downbeat ending to the kids because the good guys don’t sit back and high five at the end. “Did we win?” “I guess…” But no matter; it will grow on them as they mature, because this beautiful work stays with you. The signature art style is built on simplified lines that belie the complexity of illumination, suggestions of which accent the backgrounds and details in surprising ways that delight the eye. Yes, I said “delight the eye.” This movie brings out my inner New Yorker critic. And it would in anybody who has a soul, too. I only regret that “Kells” had to compete against “Up” for Best Animated Film. It really could use a wider audience. See it, see it, see it.

 

BONUS SCREEN GRAB: The Abbot’s bedroom, bedecked in his obsessive blueprints and calculations of a wall he’s building around the abbey. Look. Look!

The Secret of Kells

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Three-word review of “Up”

Pixar’s perfect picture.

Captions don't count: Seriously staggering. The best movies, as always, are more than one kind. Action, comedy, drama, romance, tragedy, documentary, mockumentary, snuff — whatever genres you combine, the sum of their parts exceeds the whole shootin' match when artfully combined, and man ... MAN, does Pixar know how to do this in spades. This movie ranks up there with "Ratatouille" as a story so inventive and original and *true* that I can't believe Hollywood made it at all. Only if we see it by the millions will we ensure that more movies like this get made. (Plus, I submit that the early sequence showing the courtship of Carl and Ellie is the best romance Tinsel Town has *ever* conceived.) Up with "Up!"

Captions don't count: Seriously staggering. The best movies, as always, are more than one kind. Action, comedy, drama, romance, tragedy, documentary, mockumentary, snuff — whatever genres you combine, the sum of their parts can exceed the whole when artfully combined, and man ... MAN, does Pixar know how to do this in spades. This movie ranks up there with "Ratatouille" as a story so inventive and original and *true* that I can't believe Hollywood made it at all. Only if we see it by the millions will we ensure that more movies like this get made. (Plus, I submit that the early sequence showing the courtship of Carl and Ellie is the best romance Tinsel Town has *ever* conceived.) Up with "Up!"

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