?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile My Website Previous Previous Next Next
Mark Atwood
fallenpegasus
fallenpegasus
Movie Review: Shrek II
Today is opening day for Shrek II. The only local midnight first showing was at the Oak Tree, so last night, there I was.

First, the trailers. Not too many.

  • The Notebook. Some Nicholas Sparks tearjerker romance. I guess it's the sort of thing you'd like if that was the sort of thing you liked. Not going.
  • The Terminal. Hanks and Spielberg do a Hanks and Spielberg treatment loosely based on the story of Merhan Karimi Nasseri. I do hope that they at least had the decency to pay him a cut. Might see, if the buzz is good.
  • Shark Tale. The "Antz" to "Finding Nemo", Hollywood ripping off a successful movie with a pale clone. Remember the paired set of volcano movies, the paired set of asteroid movies, the paired set of CGI insect movies (and I shudder to think of all the "events in the life of Christ" movies that got greenlighted this year...). The CGI tech looks at least 5 years old, and the plot and characters are the type that if this was a live action, I would not be interested, so, I'm still not interested. How can Dreamworks turn out great stuff like Shrek, and turn out shit like this? Not going, unless it gets really good buzz.
  • Garfield Hasn't been funny for 20 years, and live action movies of comic strip and cheap animation funny animals hasn't been funny since
[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<a http://imdb.com/title/tt0096438/>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

Today is opening day for <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0298148/combined">Shrek II</a>. The only local midnight first showing was at the Oak Tree, so last night, there I was.

First, the trailers. Not too many.

<ul><li><a href="http://imdb.com/title/tt0332280/">The Notebook</a>. Some Nicholas Sparks tearjerker romance. I guess it's the sort of thing you'd like if that was the sort of thing you liked. Not going.</li><li><a href="http://imdb.com/title/tt0362227/">The Terminal</a>. Hanks and Spielberg do a Hanks and Spielberg treatment loosely based on the story of <a href="http://www.snopes.com/travel/airline/airport.htm">Merhan Karimi Nasseri</a>. I do hope that they at least had the decency to pay him a cut. Might see, if the buzz is good.</li><li><a href="http://imdb.com/title/tt0307453/">Shark Tale</a>. The "Antz" to "Finding Nemo", Hollywood ripping off a successful movie with a pale clone. Remember the paired set of volcano movies, the paired set of asteroid movies, the paired set of CGI insect movies (and I shudder to think of all the "events in the life of Christ" movies that got greenlighted this year...). The CGI tech looks at least 5 years old, and the plot and characters are the type that if this was a live action, I would not be interested, so, I'm still not interested. How can Dreamworks turn out great stuff like Shrek, and turn out shit like this? Not going, unless it gets really good buzz.</li><li><a href="http://imdb.com/title/tt0356634/">Garfield</a> Hasn't been funny for 20 years, and live action movies of comic strip and cheap animation funny animals hasn't been funny since <a http://imdb.com/title/tt0096438/>Roger Rabbit</a></li><li><a href="http://imdb.com/title/tt0368975/">Sleepover</a>. Some cookie-cutter teenage girls competeing with the popular clique sneak out. Hijinks ensue. I don't think so.</li><li><a href="http://imdb.com/title/tt0316654/">Spider-Man II</a>. I am so there. `Nuff Said.</li><li><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0317705/combined">The Incredibles</a>. Pixar's next offering, and it looks to be up to their usual high standards. Again, I am so, so there.</li></ul>

And the main feature.

It is really really good. Not quite as impactful as the first movie, but still good in it's own right. It's not just a warmed over retelling of the first.

The King and Queen were real people, both together and apart. Apparently their voice work got recorded together, and so Cleese and Andrews played off each other superbly. I begin to think the Cleese is better cast as a voice actor now, his real face and his set of expressions is so well known, that they get in the way, and he ends up always playing himself. In this case, he was able to play someone else.

Puss In Boots. He's such a cat! Obviously the right people at the studio have cats, and studied them very carefully. Antonio Banderas obviously had a ball. <i>ph3r me, if you dare!</i>

Fairy Godmother, and Charming. Again, real characters well drawn. Even Charming, who was played as shallow mamas-boy fop, was *well drawn* as a shallow mamas-boy fop.

Something similar the last movie, there really were no "bad guys", per se. Dragon, and the Merry Men, and even Farquad, were not simple "bad guys", just that their goals opposed those of the protagonist, and were maybe a little bit to fixed on their own roles. Likewise here.

The technology. The CGI has improved. There is a lot more "face time", and even background characters and crowd members have working non-stiff faces, and there are a lot more human faces with a lot more human emotional projection from main characters. Skin looks and moves and is lit a whole lot better. The backgrounds and scenery are much more sophisticated as well. Instead of landscapes and static structures of the first, the Kingdom of Far Far Away is a moving, dynamic, bustling *city*.

The music. Not quite so many pop music lifts as the last, but the ones they do, work ever so well. "Holding Out For A Hero" as a C-minor lounge solo act just *works*, so wonderfully well.

There are, of course, movie references everywhere, with some really funny savage swipes at <a title="Disney">the Mouse</a>. The combined reference to "Blazing Saddles" and "The Iron Giant" had me rolling in my seat.

<a href="http://www.shrek2.com/tickets.html">Go see it.</a>
1 comment or Leave a comment
Comments
seattlejo From: seattlejo Date: May 19th, 2004 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

I can't wait to see.

I've been listening to the soundtrack all week and am enamored by Frou-Frou's take on "Holding out for a Hero"
Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas doing Lavida Loca is interesting too.

1 comment or Leave a comment