I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Thin Men, Robot Men, Car Men, Boogeymen

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.

From Bruce Willis and Madeleine Stowe to William Powell and Myrna Loy: in this week’s Six Damn Fine Degrees, Alan takes us back to the diminishing returns of Thin Man sequels – while providing us with two potential Thin Man drinking games, only one of which should lead straight to alcohol poisoning.

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Criterion Corner: WALL-E (#1161)

For a while, I’d catch all new Pixar releases at the cinema. I missed out on Toy Story, their first feature film, when it originally came out, but I remember enjoying A Bug’s Life and Toy Story 2, and I loved The Incredibles when it came out (though I have to confess that I never enjoyed Finding Nemo as much as most people did). At the time these were something we’d not seen before, not in this quality. Obviously Pixar’s artistry was amazing, in a genre that, when the first few Pixar films were released, was still fairly new – and with each film, the company would introduce new innovations. The fur in Monsters, Inc. (apparently there were over two million hairs on Sulley that needed to be animated), water and the way it was lit in Finding Nemo, the way musculature behaved on human beings in The Incredibles: Pixar were technological innovators as much as they were artists, but above all, they were storytellers. Their movies were technological marvels from the first, but most people aren’t wowed by textures or shaders alone: if these aren’t used to tell interesting, engaging stories, the films that use them won’t be remembered. I mean, how many people still talk about Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within?

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They create worlds: Grow Home

One of the things that video games can do magnificently is create worlds. These posts are an occasional exploration of games that I love because of where they take me.

The little robot’s steps are clumsy, awkward, as if both the use of his legs and the concept of gravity were new to him. B.U.D. is miles away from the usual video game robots – they’re often metallic warriors and/or cannon fodder – and closer to the likes of WALL-E, if Pixar’s garbage collector was a toddler. And like his precursor, B.U.D. is given a momentous ecological task: he must grow the so-called Star Plant on a faraway planet, and in doing so he has to scale the plant to a height of 2 kilometres – which would be difficult enough for the likes of Mission Impossible’s Ethan Hunt, let alone someone who is barely able to walk in a straight line.

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