OK, this is my first attempt at a movie review.
Now it won’t be like other movie reviews because:
- I’m not going to give you a summary of the plot. I’m too lazy. And you can find that anywhere. Check your local paper.
- I’m also too lazy to look up all the names and stuff of the people who worked on it. And honestly…do you really care?
- I won’t be getting all animator-snobbish about the whole thing. (Or I’ll try not to.)
- I won’t be using words like ‘protagonist’. Ugh.
- I’m mostly going to focus on the story. And the problems therein.
And just for kicks I’m going to address the movie as a person. So when I say “Igor” I mean ‘Igor-The Movie’, not the character. It’ll be fun. Really.
OK? Let’s roll.
Alright Igor. I love to give the little guy a chance.
I don’t think Pixar is God. I love ’em but I give props where props are due. I really liked Dreamworks’ Kung Fu Panda.
So frankly, I don’t care who made you. Just tell me a good story. It’s nice if you look really good while you do it, but I understand you may not have ‘the BIG budget’ of the other guys. That’s OK. You can still entertain me.
And my 9 year-old companion.
I’ll give you the good news first. You looked pretty good. You had some great character designs (even though Tim Burton may have grounds to sue). I had some genuine laughs. Overall you did a pretty damn fine job in the artistic and chuckles department.
But here’s where you went wrong.
First off, you started the movie with a voice-over and lots of “ya need to know this and ya need to know that before we can start the real story”.
Hate to tell you, but that’s usually a bad sign.
I’m still trying to recover from seeing trailers for ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua’ and ‘High School Musical 3’ and you expect me to listen to you? And remember it??
No, no, no. You gotta ease into the story a little. Create the mood. Romance me a little before you start blathering on and on.
As much as you might hate those Disney musical numbers from the good old days, they did serve a purpose. They tell all that ‘need to know’ information in a fun and entertaining way. Even if you have to endure Phil Collins during it. At least I can take it all in and remember it better.
So can my little companion.
Remember her? My 9 year-old companion?
You know…your ‘target audience’?
Why do you ignore her so?
You know what happens when you make all the jokes verbal? All that witty dialogue that isn’t supported by great visuals and funny action?
Yeah. That was the sound of all the best funny bits flying right over her cute little head.
None of your fast, witty quips were understood by a 9 year-old. Let me guess, your writer must have come from the world of sitcoms right? That’s the impression I got.
No kids in the audience laughed during the whole movie.
Oh that? That was the sound of some major story points shooting right past her.
Why? Because you kept telling us stuff but you didn’t show us stuff.
And who thought it was a good idea to animate a talk show sequence for goodness sakes?
A friggin’ talk show?!
Oh, I know. You used that invisible interviewer guy, right? He was *so* funny because he wasn’t wearing pants, right?
Yeah, I got it. The twenty-somethings in the back row got it too.
But you know what a kid sees when you have an invisible guy not wearing any pants?
A TALKING SHIRT.
And there’s not much ‘funny’ about a talking shirt.
OK, OK. You did try to explain one of your most important story points with a visual.
That really important one that explains why your leading lady now acts the way she does? And what was that visual you used?
Oh right. A little video footage of James Lipton.
JAMES bloody LIPTON??
Half the people I know don’t know who the heck James Lipton is. You expect a 9 year-old to? (And if you, dear reader don’t know who he is either, I’m not going to tell you just to illustrate my point. Frustrating, huh?)
So my little friend just had to accept the fact that one of your main characters was now acting the way she was. With pretty much no explanation that she could understand.
It’s true. I asked her.
It’s like you’re a big bully holding her at bay by the forehead and won’t let her see the whole story.
Why would you do that?
There’s also a major story point that is very relevant in the big climax of the movie. How do you let us know about it? With one line of dialogue about an hour earlier.
Do you think she remembered that?
Heck, *I* barely remembered that. I shouldn’t have to remember a line of dialogue that explains something huge. I should have been shown it. Then I would have.
Lazy, lazy storytelling my man.
Now I hate to compare, but you did wrong everything that Pixar’s ‘Wall-E’ did right. Much less bla bla bla and the visuals told the story. Beautifully, I might add.
And I gotta ask…were you slapping your forehead saying “D’oh!” when you saw that ‘Wall-E’ named their leading lady the same as yours? Oh dear. Total fluke, I know.
Did you suck? No. You didn’t.
Did you tell your visual story in the best possible way? No. You didn’t.
Thanks for listening Igor. I appreciate it.
So readers, should you see it?
Here is the storyboard blog’s tri-perspective recommendation:
For animation types: Sure, give a look. Don’t expect greatness but it has some interesting design work, decent animation and you’ll probably get a few good laughs out of it. It’s not ‘horrible’. You can respect all the work the artists put into it.
For the kiddies: If they are the polite sort, they’ll probably sit through it. But don’t expect them to laugh much…if at all. I suspect younger ones would get quite bored and restless with all the gabbing this movie does. Oddly enough, it’s not all that kid-friendly.
For ‘regular’ adults: If you bring the kiddies, will you want to gouge your eyes out? Not at all. You’ll probably enjoy it more than your kids. If adults were really their target audience (doesn’t look like it), then they should have stepped up the story a lot more. The ending was way too predictable.
First movie review is now complete. Hope it didn’t stink.
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