Eerie, Indiana is an absurdist fantasy series about a young boy called Marshall Teller (Omri Katz) who moves with his family from New Jersey to the town of Eerie, Indiana (hey, that’s the name of the show!) and discovers that Eerie is – and I quote from the opening titles – the “centre of weirdness for the entire planet”. With his new friend Simon (Justin Shenkarow) he’ll often find himself in many scary situations, from evil body-preserving tupperware to evil scheming poodles. It’s most certainly not a show to take seriously. It was broadcast on NBC in the early nineties but cancelled after only 19 episodes. However, it was shown on Fox Kids in 1997, and this is how I came into contact with it for the first time. It spawned a new, recast series of episodes but as far I know I never watched them.
One of the main points of praise that critics lavish upon animated films is their ability to pepper a children’s story with humour that adults enjoy, without it seeming alienating. Pixar set the bar for this quality and regularly smashed it, from avoiding curses due to the presence of pre-school toys, to just plain making a film about the mid-life crisis of superheroes, or a clownfish’s parental angst. On the other hand you have the likes of Shark Tale, taking a kid’s tale and shoehorning in a bunch of Goodfellas references. And while I still like Shrek, every time they force in another random pop culture reference (The Matrix, fucking Smash Mouth, etc) I do cringe somewhat. But I digress.
It’s a been a particularly stellar year for film in 2012, with a run of surprisingly excellent big-budget blockbusters and a plethora of vivid, original independents to absorb. We at Telstar have had a real variety of favourites, and not all of them are able to be represented here, but this is our aggregated list of the ten best films of the year…
Release Date: 5th December 2012
Director: Martin McDonagh
Starring: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson
Seven Psychopaths is the second film written and directed by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh, the follow-up to the much-lauded In Bruges, also a personal favourite of yours truly. The two films have a lot in common, namely the biting (and frequently coarse) dialogue, the abundance of psychotic individuals, and Colin Farrell proving he’s much better than the crap he’s often seen in. But in terms of the tone and structure of the two films, they differ tremendously: In Bruges was carefully constructed around a select few characters, blending absurd comedy and the darkest drama into a highly emotional climax; Seven Psychopaths is positively breezy in comparison, a near-cartoon reality with a mess of characters who often only last a scene or two before dying in some gruesome fashion.
The Beatles are very important to me. I’ve held them dear for my entire life, will argue at length with anybody who tries to criticise their music wholesale, and have often utilised them for wonderfully vengeful purposes (it’s simple, if you put on bad music in Jim’s Bar, I am going to put on Revolution #9 several times). The music itself aside, their films are wonderfully eclectic, often making little-to-no sense but always vastly entertaining due to the personalities of the Fab Four themselves. A Hard Day’s Night was the most level-headed, a madcap chronicle of the band’s tour; Help saw them facing off against an evil cult; and I have pretty much no real recollection of what Magical Mystery Tour is about, if indeed it’s about anything. Yellow Submarine appealed to me most as a child because it was a cartoon, but that only aids the film as the craziest of all the Beatles films, and one which, when I watched it as an adult for the first time,makes me wonder what kind of mad childhood I must’ve had to have worshipped this…. thing.