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You Killed My Mother (2017)
At the very end of the movie, it just fades to black without any epilogue or revealing the fate of the main character. Why the sudden ending?
The movie itself is good afternoon watching for when there isn't anything else to watch, and I did find the storyline kind of interesting if a bit farfetched: a girl's mother needs a liver transplant, but as she is an alcoholic, she doesn't qualify. As a result of her death, the girl goes berserk and kills several people who she thinks might have had a hand in her mother's death.
While the main protagonist (antagonist?) has obviously done something very evil, it would've been nice if the movie at least closed with her rotting in prison, or something.
Rolie Polie Olie (1998)
Adventures in a round world
As a little girl, Rolie Polie Olie was one of my favourite morning cartoons. Me and my littler sister would watch it on Channel 5 (UK) every morning before we set off for school, and we always loved to rock out to the bouncy theme tune every time it came on.
Olie and his family of roundheads (literally) live in a land of oddly-shaped objects and characters. Every day, he sets out to explore the circular world with his littler sister Zowie (pronounced 'Zoe', not pronounced to rhyme with 'Howie') and his loyal pet dog Spot (there's a rather yucky but funny reason why he was named that, although I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen the show.) His friend is named Billy, who is a blockhead (also literally) and has a pet cat made of squares.
The show definitely seems to have that 1950s/60s vibe to it, as made evident by the furniture and background music. Maybe that's why we loved it so much as kids - it was a little like the Jetsons, but upgraded to CGI animation technology and made a little bit simpler for its target audience of young children.
The episode that stick out in my memory the most had to be the one where Zowie accidentally flushed some toys down the toilet and ended up flooding the whole house. Now that's what I call unforgettable.
Rolie Polie Olie is a great cartoon for smaller kids (between 5 to 7 years old), as it was for me when I was tinier and a little more innocent.
Inside Out (2015)
Cute and emotional (no pun intended!)
Since the beginning, I've been a huge fan of Pixar movies, starting with Toy Story and its three sequels (although funnily enough, I saw Toy Story 2 first, then Toy Story 1 and finally Toy Story 3). Their cute 3D animation style and heartwarming stories always keep me eagerly waiting for the next production, and so I'm always keeping close watch for whatever they'll delight me and my family with next. So when I heard that Pixar was coming up with "Inside Out", it surprised me greatly, because this wasn't like anything Pixar had done before.
Riley Henderson is a hockey-crazy 11-year-old girl who one day moves from her childhood Minnesota home to far-off San Francisco, California to start a new life. Her emotions - Anger, Sadness, Disgust, Joy and Fear - try as hard as they can to keep her in order while she deals with the uncertainties that growing up and moving to a new home throws into her path. But one day, the worst happens as Joy and Sadness are accidentally sucked out of Headquarters into the Long-Term Memory bank. With only Anger, Disgust and Fear at the helms, the once-cheerful Riley becomes moody, irritable and lonely, even fighting with her parents and having no friends at her new school to talk to and play with. Joy and Sadness must embark on the long journey back up to Headquarters, along with an unexpected partner in Riley's childhood imaginary friend Bing-Bong, to help get Riley back to her former happy self while also realizing that life isn't always as full of joy as we want it to.
As with any Pixar film, Inside Out manages to pack both some funny moments - the "Triple-Dent Gum" advertisement that keeps playing and annoying people, for example - and some sad moments, where a certain somebody "fades away" into the oblivion of the Memory Dump. (You've been warned, the tears will come up...) The emotions are cute and colourful, with Joy radiating an ever-bright sunshiny glow.
Since seeing Inside Out, I've been using it as a framework to explain my own emotions using just those five characters from the film. I always like to imagine I have my own "control centre", "Headquarters", memory banks and orbs and "Personality Islands" just like Riley and everybody else does!
There should be a sequel that focuses on how Riley's emotions deal with her hitting her teens and the extreme ups-and-downs that come with adolescence, because the ending left a huge hook for this. Get on to it, Pixar - you know you can do this!
As Joy would say: "I love it!!"
Theodore Tugboat (1993)
Good, clean fun for kids (and adults) with boats
Theodore Tugboat is essentially Thomas the Tank Engine on water, replacing the trains with boats. Nowadays it seems kids are watching stronger stuff than they used to in the past, and I feel kind of sad because of that - they're ruining their innocent minds and imaginations.
Theodore Tugboat is not like most modern kids' shows, however. Through storytelling by the late, great Denny Doherty (of The Mamas & The Papas fame), the titular tugboat and his friends in the Big Harbour learn some important life lessons and valuable skills such as teamwork, making friends and being good to each other. Kids will love to watch Theodore's wonderful adventures in the water, as will some adults who may remember listening to The Mamas & The Papas back in the day.
The show may now just be classic Canadian children's TV (it stopped at season 5, and there was never a sixth season), but Theodore lives on in his home of Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada (where the show was filmed), where people of all ages ride him across the harbour every day - a tribute to his lasting legacy on the last two or so generations.
A Christmas Carol (2000)
Dark Christmas entertainment
A modern take on Charles Dickens' Christmas classic, where Scrooge is a loan shark squeezing money out of people, rather like the original Scrooge. It's a lot darker than some other adaptations of A Christmas Carol I've seen - especially the scene where Scrooge meets the Ghost of Christmas Future and sees his own grave! That scene actually almost drove me to tears and I screamed at him to wake up, it was only a dream! However, it does end well for Scrooge and his family and friends, as in every other version of this classic festive tale.
Definitely worth watching if you want something that's a little more different from your usual cheery, merry Christmas movie fare.