Bonham Carter and Burton both received the BFI's highest accolade, the BFI Fellowship, at a ceremony in London in recognition of their contributions to the film industry.
The British actress was delighted to be honoured at the same time as Burton, insisting, "It's good because there's no jealousy at home. It's very handy and very thoughtful for them to give us both one at the same time."
Accepting her prize from theatre director Sir Trevor Nunn, the Alice In Wonderland star thanked her parents, who were both in the audience.
She said, "I never thought I was particularly good at this. I've certainly had my bad reviews over the years, but I kept going. My dad's motto is KBO which stands for 'Keep b**gering on', so I will, dad."
Other big winners at the 56th BFI London Film Festival 2012 Awards included Marion Cotillard's drama Rust and Bone, which was named best film.
Kids' movies may be the most difficult cinematic mountains to climb. The filmmakers must cater to two perspectives at constant odds with one another: young ones who find amusement in simplistic stories and broadly painted humor and their parents who need enough of a grounded hook emotional core and clever jokes to keep them from nodding off. Not an easy task.
To see this winning combination pulled off by a 3-D animation/live-action hybrid adaptation of a rather irritatingly sweet cartoon from the '80s…well it's both a shocking and welcome surprise. The Smurfs transcends recent property-grabs like Garfield Alvin and the Chipmunks and Marmaduke by embracing the cartooniness relishing in the fact that it can get away with anything with the help of adorable little blue people.
Smurfs takes the model employed by 2007's Enchanted kicking things off in the colorful fantasy world of Smurf Village and quickly bringing its cheery clueless characters to the terrifying metropolis of New York. After Clumsy Smurf accidentally leads the Smurf-obsessive Gargamel (Hank Azaria) to the hidden mushroom haven of his brethren the bumbling black sheep of the Smurf family finds himself and a few clan members Papa Brainy Grumpy Gutsy Smurfette at the wrong end of a Blue Moon-induced worm hole. The group (along with Gargamel and his cat) find themselves face-planted in NYC's Central Park where they meet Patrick Winslow (Neil Patrick Harris) yes man to the cosmetic titan Odile. This sets the race in motion—the Smurfs enlisting the help of Patrick to find a way back home Patrick seeking the perfect ad campaign for Odile's new make-up line and Gargamel questing hungrily for a few drops of Smurf essence.
If Smurfs was simply a barrage of fart jokes and pop culture references the movie wouldn't click but by giving each of his characters something to do (seems obvious no?) director Raja Gosnell injects the film with a helpful dose of heart. Along with Clumsy's quest to be more than his name insists Harris' Patrick also has his own problems to overcome. Namely preparing to be a Papa Smurf to the kid he's about to have with his wife Grace (Glee's Jayma Mays). Harris and Mays take their roles here seriously going all out when they need to chase the adventurous Smurfs around town in one slapsticky sequence after another but they put just as much into their smaller scenes. One moment where Papa Smurf sits Patrick down for a "Dad talk" even has weight—a near impossible task for a "kids" movie.
But let's not get too sappy: the movie is funny plain and simple. Azaria makes a living bringing cartoon characters to life—he's a reason why The Simpsons has been on for more than 20 years—and his goofy Gargamel antics are inspired. A recurring gag where the evil wizard continually steps through ventilation steam grates probably read fine on paper but Azaria knows how to play big and doesn't allow any moment of physical comedy to lazily fall through the cracks. On the flip side Harris nails the straight man role and acknowledges that hanging out with Smurfs is just as bizarre as you'd imagine. Think The Brady Bunch Movie for the world of animation.
With solid kids' flicks becoming a rare occurrence Smurfs is a breath of fresh air a film that believes in its own simple message while simultaneously being self-aware of its cartoonish heritage. The movie's a smurfy good time but it takes a particularly smurfy Smurf to let go of cynical baggage and smurf it.
“I don’t know if I can do this much longer ” groans an exhausted Milla Jovovich shortly after dispatching a horde of corporate paramilitary goons in the explode-tastic introductory sequence of Resident Evil: Afterlife. I feel her pain. But Jovovich in her fourth turn as Alice the genetically enhanced zombie-slaughtering heroine of the video game-inspired series isn’t the only one looking a bit tired. The entire film suffers from a severe case of franchise fatigue the hallmarks of which no amount of “big guns beautiful women [and] dogs with heads that explode ” as producer Jeremy Bolt so artfully boasts in the film’s official press notes can possibly hide.
This latest edition finds Alice stripped of her superpowers by her arch-nemesis the blond Matrix reject Albert Wesker (a cringe-worthy Shawn Roberts) whose evil Umbrella Corporation created the virus that inadvertently turned most of the planet’s population into flesh-devouring zombies. Though she can no longer pull off fancy tricks like triggering spontaneous earthquakes she’s still able to withstand powerful blasts without shielding and fire handguns the size of her head without any visible recoil. Both traits come in handy when she's charged with leading a small ethnically diverse group of human survivors through an army of undead many of whom are armed with face-sucking tentacles in lieu of tongues to a refugee camp located on a ship anchored off the coast of Los Angeles.
For all of its recycled plot elements predictable twists and cliched dialogue Resident Evil: Afterlife does feature one genuinely interesting new wrinkle (and no it's not the aforementioned dogs with heads that explode though they are quite nice): It’s the first film of the franchise to be shot and edited entirely in 3D — the real non-Clash of the Titans variety. Who knows perhaps writer-director (and Jovovich hubby) Paul W.S. Anderson returning to the helm after ceding directing duties on the prior two Resident Evil films was simply too drained from the work of adding an additional dimension to all of the film's flying limbs and bursts of blood to devote much creative energy to anything else. More likely there was never any creative energy there in the first place.
And still Anderson sees fit to end the film with a transparent pitch for yet another sequel. Might I suggest Resident Evil: Straight to Video?
If you thought the Viking Age was uninteresting in that old history textbook Pathfinder does it one better by actually upping the boring ante. In fact even ye Old World buffs out there will be disoriented. It’s set “600 years before Columbus ” when “people had to guard America’s shores from marauders.” One of those most noble guardsmen was Ghost (Karl Urban). Native Americans happened upon him as a young orphan boy and decided to raise him as one of their own--even though he was never truly accepted due to his unknown ancestry. Fifteen years pass and Ghost once a frail child has blossomed into a beast-sized man capable of warding off almost anyone. His size and skill set come in handy when Norse invaders look to raise hell in his village. Armed with horses swords and thorny helmets they kill and maim everyone in sight and mostly get away with it. That is until they mess with the object of Ghost’s affection Starfire (Moon Bloodgood) thereby seriously messing with Ghost. You don’t put Ghost in a corner! Beefcake actors are apparently a dime a dozen these days and Pathfinder lead Urban does nothing to separate himself from the supporting actors of his own movie let alone from the aforementioned Hollywood stereotype. Looking like a runway model on steroids the Lord of the Rings and Bourne Ultimatum star only stands out aesthetically here and is in danger of being pigeonholed and typecast for a long time to come. Unless he can somehow show a different side Urban will wind up on a long list with the likes of wrestlers-turned-actors who can’t act. Thing is in Pathfinder he can’t even manage the uber-virility his character is meant to project. Bloodgood (Eight Below) meanwhile owner of the best non-porn name in showbiz holds her own and softens things up in a movie otherwise completely dominated by males. And finally there's veteran Native American actor Russell Means (Natural Born Killers) who as the Pathfinder himself at least lends some desperately needed credibility. Looking up a director’s name and past work isn’t a fair way to pre-judge his or her movie but it may sometimes hint at what you’re in for. Take Pathfinder for example: Director Marcus Nispel's past work includes Texas Chainsaw Massacre and music videos. Massacre was terrible and music videos are stylized; thus we arrive upon Pathfinder which is terrible and stylized. When parents complain about violence in the movies this should be their focal point. Nispel like other offenders is unable to ever refrain and beheadings and such in all their slow-motion glory resemble fun video games. Not that his lack of morality makes Pathfinder the crap it is however. That blame rests on his apparent decision that such violence is all moviegoers want to see. And it is perhaps the sheer lack of a story that accentuates how mediocre the violent scenes really are--scenes that are meant to leave us agape in amazement as if we’ve never seen a loose eyeball on the screen before. On a (lone) positive note though the set design seems up-to-snuff.
With so many good composers and musicians around, it's hard to imagine the special, demented skills that produce bad soundtracks.
Still, they do happen. As a public service, we've managed to identify the 1999 releases that don't seem to have much artistic integrity, much less redeeming value for discriminating ears. Our underachievers are:
7. "More Music from Austin Powers" -- OK, so maybe some of the stuff on this second soundtrack from the highly successful Mike Myers comedy is actually listenable. But we reject the need to create an entire CD just to present a dance mix of Madonna's "Beautiful Stranger."
6. "Swing" -- This soundtrack proves that Lisa Stansfield does not sing jazz well. While we're sure she's a very nice person, we suggest that Stansfield stick to her own style and leave the swing for those who can.
5. "Any Given Sunday" -- If you thought the brilliant "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" soundtrack was vulgar, wait until you hear the language on this CD! The loud, bombastic music never justifies the inclusion of such profanity. Go purchase the "Universal Soldier: The Return" songtrack if you want an excellent heavy metal compilation.
4. "Fight Club" -- Listening to this soundtrack is like listening to a bad video game. When I want to hear anything this repetitive and annoying, I'll go buy a copy of "Carmageddon" or "Descent" and vent all my frustrations on the pixilated punks trying to kill me before the music does.
3. "The Wood" -- Would what? Rot our brains? Only half of the music on this soundtrack actually appeared in the film, and the stuff that made the cut isn't very good. While artists such as Luther Vandross, R. Kelly and Whodini do their best with contributions, their cuts alone can't save this sad CD.
2. "Deep Blue Sea" -- Possibly one of the worst collections of bad rap music on the market. The only crime greater than the noise that emanates from this vitriolic aberrant is that the selections don't even appear in the movie for more than five or 10 seconds, if at all. Even the magnificent suite from Trevor Rabin's score can't salvage this abomination. Go buy the complete "Deep Blue Sea" score on Varèse Sarabande and forget this Warner Bros. concoction.
1. "Pokémon: The First Movie" -- Are children and parents supposed to believe that Britney Spears hangs with violent mutant mini-monsters? This is probably the most air-headed soundtrack of the decade. But after some reflection, combining brainless bubble gum pop with Pokémon almost seems appropriate.
But wait ... there's (unfortunately) more -- so stinky it's beyond a mere No. 1 designation, so offensive it's the year's finest (worst?) example of mindless marketing gone bad:
"Josh's Blair Witch Mix"
For those of you who think Josh -- one of the film's clueless campers -- really made this recording before being killed by the Blair Witch, GET A CLUE.
The very idea of a "Blair Witch" soundtrack is an oxymoron (probably because only a moron would buy it.) If you are still sentient after listening to this CD, you may remember that there was NO MUSIC in this summer's most disturbing movie.
None. Zilch. Zero.
The fact that a soundtrack even exists for "The Blair Witch Project" shows you to what extent record labels will go for your money.
Let the buyer beware. And let him keep earplugs handy, too.