Hot Apollo

Toronto's Shiniest Rock-and-Roll Band

Sole Troll


The back log of interesting movies for me evaporated in this fallow part of the season, which prompted me to see "Trolls" on its opening weekend instead of waiting. I wondered if this would result in a rare packed theatre for me, but it turned out to be entirely empty. But earlier in the day, I heard someone whistle "In the Hall of the Mountain King", which appeared in the movie. Maybe he saw an earlier showing?

It also had that Gorillaz song in it, which seemed fitting in a way, for the movie's colour palette looked quite compatible with that of the band and Jamie Hewlett's general aesthetic. That's part of what made it feel like a superior manifestation of the Smurfs franchise. Not the recent movies. No universe switching. Just fantastical villages with odd humanoids of varying heights. But all of the Smurfs had the same colour scheme. The trolls have more freedom to differ. That also helped to elevate the night elves of "Warcraft" over the Drow of "Dungeons & Dragons" in my reckoning. Neon hair and a breadth of skin tones instead of homogenous monochrome.

"Trolls" also featured Zooey Deschanel in a role that has to be the most significant deviation from her standard eccentric archetype by a gargantuan margin. For one thing, in a film dominated by adorable little creatures that are somewhat akin to actual pixies, this girl, who's done more than anyone in modern cinema to codify the term "manic pixie dream girl", isn't even voicing one. She's playing one of the big grey giants. Those are probably closer to classical folkloric trolls in the minds of many, but that's a species that varies more than most across mythical systems. Beyond that, she's more of a dour duckling type in this. Maybe Zooey had to be different here because Anna Kendrick's the lead. Otherwise there might have been redundancy.

Also. "Strange Magic". It felt like that, but I didn't get to see that in theatres. It had one of the shortest runs I've noticed for a movie of any reasonable stature. It seemed to disappear within a fortnight. Maybe there were some lingering afternoon showings, but I can't be holding with any of those, and I'm not even sure that they happened. But come on! George Lucas! "A Midsummer Night's Dream"! With pop music! Why? Why did it disappear so fast?

This one was brighter, though. Judging by the void in which I was seated, that might not be enough to help it avoid a similar fate, but I liked it. I never really liked the actual dolls, but that might have had more to do with the materials employed in their construction. The aesthetic's not a bad one.



Bonus Question!

Which Gorillaz song?

There are many good ones, but when it's "that one", it should be pretty clear.


Copyright © 2011, Jaymes Buckman and David Aaron Cohen. All rights reserved. In a good way.