Sometimes animated films are good, other times they aren’t, and there is Chuck Jones!
A trio of films this week, still not a lot of time for movies, but I’m trying to fit them in when I can,
Pandorum (2009, Christian Alvart, Germany/United Kingdom) **
You know the guy who tells stories where he’s constantly tripping over himself and making not a lick of sense? That guy is Pandorum, a few great ideas wrapped around a package of convoluted baloney. Seeing Cung Le in a film was pretty nifty, and just like in real life he did get his ass kicked in the end. All joking aside, Pandorum has a story that is hard to follow and direction that doesn’t make up for the hard to follow story. There’s a reason Pandorum came and went, easily forgettable, no wonder it has Paul W.S. Anderson’s name attached to the production.
Gnomeo & Juliet (2011, Kelly Asbury, United Kingdom/United States Of America) **
Like all the worst I’ve come to expect from the Shrek franchise, only maybe slightly worse. Gnomeo & Juliet looks okay, I guess, but that’s about it. The story is well, it’s well known, but it’s never a story I’ve cared a whole lot for the couple of times I’ve been exposed to it. Gnomeo & Juliet wants to be so adult, complete with references to American Beauty and Dolly Parton, but it’s infantile to the point where I don’t know what audience it’s supposed to be appealing to. Bad movie, bad idea for a movie, and thanks Gnomeo & Juliet for ruining Elton John for me for a while.
Duck! Rabbit, Duck! (1953, Chuck Jones, United States Of America) ****
The last of Chuck Jones hunting season trilogy, Duck! Rabbit, Duck! is a prime example of the great character that is Daffy Duck. The short film centers around Daffy and his ability to be a physically funny character as well as a mentally funny character. The physical violence perpetrated against Daffy is hilarious, but at the same time Daffy’s reactions as everything goes wrong around him are just as funny, if not funnier. The usual trappings from Mr. Jones are present in Duck! Rabbit, Duck!– subtle social commentary, wonderful animation, bountiful humor, and great characters. But, I spent all of my time with Duck! Rabbit, Duck! focusing on Daffy Duck and realizing how he just may be one of the greatest characters in the history of cinema, who is never recognized as such.
Easy enough this week, two movies I watched were mediocre and one was freaking great. In what has become a growing trend, Chuck Jones reigns supreme as Duck! Rabbit, Duck! takes home movie of the week honors. Until next week, watch more movies!