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Andy Norton

5189

Recs

65

Followers

12

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Hello Ninja
2019 . Animation, Action & Adventure

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Hello Ninja follows some kids in a family that imagine themselves as ninjas to solve everyday problems with their anthropomorphic powers. This show is well written and executed well for its 3D CG animation aesthetics, but it's formulaic approach may wane for parents having to binge-watch this show with their kids.
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The China Plate
1931 . Animation

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Whilst the dated depictions of such caricatures is now viewed as rightfully offensive, for those curious in watching an early Silly Symphony might enjoy the rubber-hose aesthetics and the studio's distinct musicality.
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Exhale
2021 . Drama

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Exhale is a very striking piece dealing with the theme of race and the struggles people encountered at all stages in life, from school to the workplace. Keep an eye out for its writer/director Adekemi Rouloga and a stellar cast. They're all worth your attention after watching Exhale.
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Monty Python and the Holy Grail in LEGO
2001 . Comedy, Animation, Music

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In wake of the passing of the founder of Spite Your Face Productions, Tony Mines, it is worth revisiting Mines' work of using Lego characters to recreate famous films. This stills holds as one of their stronger pieces for it's faithful recreation of the famous Knights of the Round Table sequence from that cult classic comedy. The combination of stop-motion and CG mouth animation may seem primitive to those use to those polished Lego Movies from the 2010s, that lays the DIY charm that Mines brought to this period of fan films. Monty Python and the Holy Grail in Lego is a fun homage to that famous film, but also as a landmark for Mines' Spite Your Productions, bringing their fun and passion to their Lego films during this period.
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Bosko and Honey
1932 . Animation, Comedy

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There's a reason why Bosko isn't an established character in the Looney Tunes canon, and this Public Domain variation of Bosko's Dizzy Date leaves not much to the imagination. Some quirky visuals here and there but that's about it.
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To Kill a Mockingbird
2014 . Harper Lee

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Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird still has the poignance, even in today's troubled climate, to reflect on the themes injustice and racial predijudice. The fact that Lee's uses a the Finch's children for these rather sensitive areas is its stroke of genius as it makes some of the sombre events in the book have the refreshing innocence that childhood brings that is lost in adulthood. To Kill A Mockingbird remains a monumental novel of such stature and cultural importance. So whether you studied it, or are reading for it as pleasure, then you will find it not just an excellent novel set in the American South during the 1930s, but a novel that will remain with you no matter how long the last time you have read. There are reasons why this is ranked as one of best American novels ever written, so you need to make up your mind on a quintessential piece of text.
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Happy Landing
1949 . Animation

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This is pretty straightforward and watchable TerryToon featuring Heckle And Jeckle, with solid visual gags and quirky character animation that gives its studio such a cult following. If you like this approach to Golden Age cartooning, then you will enjoy Happy Landing.
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Catch as Cats Can
1947 . Animation

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Very different from the usual Sylvester and Tweety fodder you would expect, but that's what makes this solo outing from this popular Looney Tunes character so interesting and dynamic. The gags are well orchestrated, and the distinctive caricatures of Sinatra and Bing Crosby do not outshine their welcome and are pivotal to the narrative. Well worth seeing, even if you're not the biggest of some of Sylvester's more popular pairings.
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Mission: Joy (Finding Happiness in Troubled Times)
2022 . Documentary

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'Mission: Joy' isn't anything technically groundbreaking, with the usual documentary mix of talking heads, archive footage and photos, and even the odd rotoscoped animation sequence for the bits they don't have footage for. In saying that, its charm comes from the personalities of Desmond Tutu and The Dalai Lama, as well as its approach to answering its titular quest of finding happiness in troubled times, particularly in what they witnessed throughout their lives. There is some balance in these theological juggernauts coming together (not for the first time, mind you!) in the form of family members and experts explaining their approach to this broad topic. Whilst it feels uneven in places, the flow of this documentary is relatively straightforward to watch in its eighty-minute timespan. 'Mission: Joy -Finding Happiness in Troubled Times' performs a balancing act between profiling The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, the interview conducted to question that very title, and other things from other people. Whilst it's not the most groundbreaking documentary in recent years, it's a well-made effort that is worth watching, whether you know these two or not.
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Sanju
2018 . Drama, Comedy, Biography

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This biopic has a spot-on casting in telling the rise and fall of Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt and the relationship he had with his father throughout their respective careers. The tippy drug sequences make a good structure for their distinctive musical numbers, making Sanju approachable for those not familiar with this type of cinematic storytelling. Whilst you may leave with your own view about the media's representation of Dutt during their career, Sanju is a solid biopic.
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The Thursday Murder Club
2020 . Richard Osman

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Richard Osman's passion for all things criminal and crime-related comes to life in the first of their Thursday Murder Club series. This novel follows a group of retirees that set up the titular group actually have a real-life case to solve, rather than something from their own archives. With the involvement with the local detectives and their local expertise about the local community, they aim to solve the case... or do them. Written with the wit and humour you would expect from the personality known for his many TV quiz shows, including House of Games and Pointless, Osman writes with clarity and detail about each character, giving you enough information to get to know them. Whilst things get complicated when it breaks into groups of people, it can be challenging to work out who is who. However, in saying this, when revelations start occurring near the end of the novel, there is undoubtedly reasonable closure with the main story objectives. The Thursday Murder Club is a solid murder mystery with three-dimensional characters, which is best read in chunks rather than by chapter-to-chapter. An entertaining read that should encourage others to check other novels from Richard Osman- that is just as well as there is a second book already in the shops.
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The Marathon
1988 . Animation, Comedy

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The Marathon is a rather unique piece from the Soviet animation scene. Made in response when Disney brought Mickey Mouse to The Soviet Union, sixty years since Steamboat Willie was released, this short received great praise from the Disney executives at the time. Whilst you can interpret as someone enjoying Mickey since childhood, as the child dances alongside that character whilst it ages, you can also interpret this as the timely appeal of Mickey, or how an obsession brings people to destruction as we see the child aged into his sixties. However you view this film, the character animation is incredibly smooth and fluid, and has universal appeal with virtually no dialogue. An unique oddity that is worth having a look.
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High Score
2020 . Documentary, History

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Whilst this series jump about with the chronology of such video game milestones, High Score is a truly entertaining series for anyone with an interest about video games. The talking heads are fascinating accounts in their process on making their games. Regardless of what genres of games you enjoy playing, you're bound to learn a few or two about other games you maybe not aware of. Diehard gamers may want something more substantial in terms of history and depth, High Score is a well made series that is both educating and entertaining, something most documentaries should be able to do with ease.
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Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed
2021 . Documentary

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For fans of this popular TV artist may find this both fascinating and equally harrowing as it deals with the rise and rise of The Joy of Painting, and its shady business practice that makes it a challenge for those working for them after Bob's passing, and for its surviving family members. Worth a watch for those interested in not just all things Bob Ross, but also celebrity-endorsed businesses.
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Marmaduke
2022 . Animation, Family, Comedy

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Let's be honest, there are probably better dog-centric films even on Netflix (we can hope!) In saying that, Marmaduke does its best with its visual humour, and theme of being true to yourself, but you might probably end up laughing at this for all the wrong reasons because of its cheap animation aesthetics, and its animated family movie cliches including flatulence and rapping. Probably best watching this if you are desperate to watch something on Netflix.

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