Friday, September 29, 2006


RIP Steve, Published Journalist

The one exciting event in my life over the last couple of weeks was my gaining of a job. That job was writing occasional film reviews for the Manchester student newspaper, Student Direct.

I was fairly pleased with myself. It's not every day you get to see your writings in print. I was duly dispatched to watch 'Hoodwinked', and my humble effort appeared in print this week.

Then, owing to some form of student politicking I won't even pretend to understand, it was all over. The newspaper no longer has a film section. My career as a published film reviewer lasted precisely one review.

Since it was my one and only contribution in print, and all my future efforts are sure to be relegated to this blog too, you may as well have it for completion's sake:

'A Short Review Of 'Hoodwinked''

'‘Hoodwinked’ is an animated re-imagining of the Little Red Riding Hood tale, positing that received wisdom has it all wrong, and giving the four principle characters – Red, Granny, Wolf and the Woodsman – the chance to tell their own version of the story.'

'Ever since ‘Shrek’, children’s films have had to contain jokes for adults and children alike, but ‘Hoodwinked’ is positively schizophrenic in providing half a film for each. The target audience are children young enough to find a world in which actions are motivated by sweets plausible, but such an audience is unlikely to garner any amusement from lengthy parodies of ‘The Matrix’ and ‘xXx’. Still, so many jokes are rattled off that for every miss (Granny doing extreme sports) there’s a hit (a country-singing goat, for instance).'

'It was made on a very low budget, only a tenth of that of ‘Chicken Little’, and unfortunately it shows in the animation, which is only competent. Red, in particular, looks more like a very cute garden gnome than a human child. Equally, the voice cast is starless, relying on character actors such as Glenn Close and Anne Hathaway as well as voiceover specialists like Patrick Warburton, whose deadpan interpretation of Wolf as a sarcastic investigative journalist is the comedic highlight.'

'While its air of smart cynicism hiding a warm heart isn’t inappropriate for the material, its best jokes induce more wry smiles than belly laughs, and it offers nothing unique in this very competitive genre, ultimately rendering it good fun but instantly forgettable.'

The word 'hoodwinked' is a rather apposite summation of how I feel about my erstwhile career.

fucking hell. bastards! what, Manc students don't want/need film reviews? i don't get it and i don't wanna.


ps, i dig your review BTW even though it's a film that has totally no appeal for me apart from being intrigued by the Wolf/investigative journalist.
Glenn Close is a star !
Pearls before swine Steve, pearls before swine..................

As Rimone says, what publication worth it's salt doesnt have a film review section?
That's a bit odd, though i am happy to see all that arse-licking the editor did some good ;-) ha ha!

only joking!! The review was good! their loss i say!

and remember you can still tell prospective employers you were a film reviewer for the paper... your not exactly lying. Just big it up a bit! And of course play down and neglect to mention other extra-curricular 'exploits'!! he he!
There is, of course, an explanation, but I can't really go into it.

Let's just let it suffice to say I find those who find the interminable conflict in the Middle East more exciting than what's on at the cinema baffling, and I'm right. As usual.
Still, that Jonathan Ross is getting a bit wearisome so you could step up...
Old Wossy is getting a bit wearing, isn't he? He swings from great to daft and back again so many times in a series it's hard to know where you stand.

Although I do know that if 'Serenity' ws the best film of 2005, I'm an exploding toad.
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