I have an avatar already, but it’s on my Wii, and it doesn’t look all that fantastic!
Stop motion animation for the win,
Furry Vengeance (2010, Roger Kumble, United Arab Emirates/United States Of America) *
Man, Brendan Fraser sure got fat, didn’t he? And yeah, that’s about all I have to say about this one, it has moments where it is cute, but like usual Ken Jeong kills the movie every time he is on screen, and everything is so over the top that it’s not really funny. But hey, Kaiti loved it, and that’s all that really matters.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009, Wes Anderson, United States Of America) ***
I liked this, but it always felt off to me. The animation never completely gelled for me, and I couldn’t help but find the story terribly slight, which wouldn’t have mattered if the characters had ever truly grabbed me. I felt numerous times that the film was trying for a Wes Anderson feel instead of taking a deep breath and just being a Wes Anderson film, if that makes any sense. I laughed a lot at certain parts, I appreciate the craft on display, but I was left cold by a lot of the picture.
Marley & Me (2008, David Frankel, United States Of America) ***
There is no hiding the fact that this is an overly manipulative film, just as there is no hiding that after about five minutes you know every single stop the story plans on making. But, it’s still a good film, it shouldn’t work as much as it does, but the people behind Marley & Me craft a simple tale and allow the audience to enjoy spending time with these characters. Of course, as a dog, or pet owner, the final moments hit me hard, and they were very realistic, amazingly that was one of the few times when the movie didn’t try to be overly manipulative and I liked that. Not a movie that will set the world on fire, but still a good movie.
Avatar (2009, James Cameron, United Kingdom/United States Of America) ****
It’s a spectacle, but it’s a glorious spectacle. Yes, all of the criticisms people wrote about do apply, but they don’t really matter. The dialogue is very tough guyish, but I don’t mind tough guy talk when it’s done right. The story is familiar, and it’s obvious where it is going, but the journey is worth it, and that’s all that really matters. Of course the film looks amazing, and Avatar once again proves why James Cameron is the greatest action director the industry has ever seen, but amazing really doesn’t do this film justice. From beginning to end every minute is like an explosion of awesome for the eyes, and it never gets old. It’s not the best film of all time, or even the best film of 2009, but Avatar is a great film, one that deserves any and all praise heaped upon it, and the bashing truly becomes laughable when you allow the film to wash over you.
The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit (2005, Steve Box & Nick Park, United Kingdom/United States Of America) ***1/2
Wildly imaginative, and while it did make me laugh out loud a few times, it was more of a consistent funny. I don’t know, it’s tough to put my finger on what appealed to me about this so much, but it left me with a big smile on my face and that is a great thing. Gromit is of course the standout, but from top to bottom this is a film with interesting characters used in interesting ways. So yeah, great film that I am glad I finally got to see from beginning to end.
A week with some interesting, and great films. But, there can only be one, and that one is Avatar as it takes home retro movie of the week honors. I’ll be back next week with five more retro capsule reviews!