Leave it to the Soviets to come up with a completely dry and completely hilarious version of a classically lovable character!
Only two movies this week, life is very hectic right now,
Vinni-Pukh (Winnie Pooh, 1969, Fyodor Khitruk, Soviet Union) ****
I have a soft spot for the character of Winnie the Pooh, and yet outside of last year’s Winnie The Pooh from Disney I’ve never been blown away by the character in animated form. Turns out that what was missing the entire time was a version of the lovable bear from the Soviet Union. This version of the classic A.A. Milne character is very Russian and I mean that in the best possible way. The way in which Pooh approaches the world around him and interacts with his surrounding is dry and comedic in a way that is the best of Russian comedy. The animation itself is minimalist, but that only helps to add to the charm of this short film. Vinni-Pukh may not be the most well known classic version of the Pooh character, but it’s easily outdoes The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh in every way imaginable.
As Good As It Gets (1997, James L. Brooks, United States Of America) ***
A nice, charming tale that suffers from being a tad too cute. As Good As It Gets is a vehicle for various actors to strut their stuff, and for the most part they strut their stuff very well. All the key players deliver fine performances, it’s only the yearning directorial choices of James L. Brooks that get in the way. The characters were likable enough, the script was well put together, and yet Mr. Brooks went for the sentimental route too often for my tastes. Still a very good movie, and it is funny and charming, but it could have been better in the hands of a better director.
There’s not much competition for movie of the week honors this week. Two movies went into the cage and in a drubbing Vinni-Pukh emerged as the movie of the week. Until next week, watch more movies!