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Filmism.net Dispatch July 16, 2014

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If you haven't seen the pictures and trailer for the big screen Paddington, seat yourself down, brace yourself and prepare to have the ghost of your childhood violated here and here.

Why will it be so wrong? To start with, this abomination looks nothing like Paddington (don't get me started on the eyes and the length of the legs). But the real problem with Paddington is that it's a kids' story. Not in the same way the Marvel films are for kids - it's a cute, sweet, slightly twee story about a bear who finds himself at Paddington station after somehow getting there from deepest darkest Peru.

Just like in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and Alice in Wonderland, it was about polite characters doing things in distinctively non Earth-shattering ways. Adventurous but very English, cut from very much the same cloth as Enid Blyton and The Famous Five.

But Hollywood, as we know, understands the sentiment of being polite and not shattering the Earth like CS Lewis and Michael Bond (Paddington's author) understand giant robots from outer space.

A generation of kids bought up on everything from Toy Story to Captain America live in the Lord of the Rings era, where films are about great battles between good and evil. A bear who gets into good natured mischief when an average family adopts him just won't grab audiences today, no matter how young they are.

So they're going to have to do Paddington one of two ways. Maybe it'll be another war parable with the evil tribe of bears he escaped from following him from Peru to attack London in their honey-powered gunships.

Or they'll suck all the idyllic sweetness and innocence out of it like they did with Alvin and The Chipmunks and The Smurfs and we'll be left with a hollow husk of slapstick idiocy that only the tiniest of toddlers will giggle at. For better or worse, we live in an age where we've taught even little kids how to be postmodern and cynical, and I just don't think they'll get Paddington if he's anything like his book form.

I also wanted to send a shout-out to my fellow entertainment journalists and their sub-editors for their sometime turn of phrase when coming up with box office performance metaphors that reference the theme of the movie. You know the kind of thing I mean. ' The Conjuring scares up...', ' Gravity launches into orbit...', ' Godzilla crushes...', 'Fast and the Furious zooms past the competition...', ' Sharknado a washout...' etc.

There's an art to that kind of word artistry, as evidenced by the occasions where it just doesn't work. Case in point? The recent headline 'The Other Woman unseats Captain America: The Winter Soldier with curvy opening.' Yeah, just... no.

At present I have no new reviews to share with you. It's not that I've stopped watching movies, I'm just so far behind in reviewing them I have 27 in my list to write up. As always, watch out for them soon on twitter (@filmism).

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