Movie Reviews: Ratatouille and Transformers
I actually saw two movies this weekend - completely not normal for me, but I was pleasantly surprised by both and had a great time (despite the obscene ticket prices). In my review below, I will try not to include any spoilers since I recommend both movies.
Ratatouille was an exceptionally cute movie - I would expect no less from Pixar. The short beforehand was funny and cute (about a young alien new to "stealing" humans from their bed; like a new driver), and the movie was quite well done!
About Ratatouille... The idea of rats doing anything was difficult for me - especially because they CGI'd them SO ACCURATELY (red eyes and pink tail included), it was kinda gross. The movie had physical humor, which didn't crack me up, but it cracked my friend up hysterically. It also had non-physical humor which kept my funny bone tickled for the most part as well.
The movie had an entertaining plot, and interesting relationships that arose throughout. I liked the interaction between the characters, which seemed realistic (again, except for the rat part - but they deal with that quite well in the movie), as well as WITHIN the characters (our main rat hero talks to an imaginary character).
Further, the animation was so amazing - it gets better each time, but the moods, personalities, and expressions they captured was priceless. The employees at Pixar are real artists!
My favorite part of the whole movie is near the end (which I will not spoil), but I loved how the flashback worked so well, and the face of the antagonist (there are several) reflected his feelings - one could even empathize with him!
My only exception with the movie is that it seemed too long. There was even one point where I, along with my friends, believed it was over, only to have it continue on for another 15-20 minutes or so.
All in all, I give Ratatouille 3.5 stars out of 5 and recommend seeing it!
I was extremely nervous about seeing this movie since I grew up with the Hasbro cartoon series and had many of the toys, and so many of my childhood cartoons and favorites have been butchered by film-makers who think they can improve it by straying from the original plotlines and characters.
That's why I was wonderfully surprised by this movie. I knew the movie was supposed to be long (2.5 hours), but unlike Ratatouille, I never checked my watch to see when it would end. Transformers established wonderful characters with a history (literally) and stuck to everything I remembered. Not only that, but I laughed from beginning to end - great screen writing!!!
Optimus Prime, Ratchet, Bumblebee, Jazz, Starscream, Megatron... - they were all there and with the appropriate personalities (e.g. Megatron always disappointed in Starscream). And while I can't be sure, Optimus Prime's voice sounded exactly like I remembered (it might have even been the same actor). They did change Bumblebee from a VW Volkswagen to a 2009 Chevy Camaro, but as it was explained to me - they were trying to stick to the principle that Bumblebee was supposed to be a desirable car for this generation (as the VW was for us, allegedly). I ended up okay with it - especially as it seemed so right for the movie. And it's a hot car as well.
I loved how they involved the US Military in the plot of the film, and the action and chase scenes were no less than amazing! Further, the fine details (damage to the environment as the transformers are big and heavy) were quite impressive, from crushed grass to falling cement. One of my personal things I liked about the film was that I knew where certain scenes were filmed - in the middle, it's on Ventura Blvd, just down the street from where I visit LA, and the last huge battle scene of the film was shot in our very own Detroit. The whole audience started clapping when they saw the sign for Fort St.
In the end, of course, good vanquishes evil, and everyone cheers. Not much death or gore thrown around, but I was grateful for that - Transformers was always careful with that. I walked out of this movie feeling great, hyped up, and wanting to see it again. I laughed the entire time, felt patriotic (from the red-white-blue of Optimus Prime to ideals of freedom to the role of our military) and kick-ass! I would watch that movie again and again (and if I'm correct, they left it open for a sequel, which I happily anticipate)!
That's why Transformers deserves 4.5 stars out of 5! Well done, lots of humor, true to the story and characters, and well-written! I could give it so much more, but I'll stop here and let you fill in the rest.