All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Thursday, June 20th, 2024

See both as a favour to the kids and then go see The Trotsky

I know that part of the role of a film reviewer is to keep the readership current and I try to embrace my responsibility to the group at large but… It’s tough.
There’s a great little movie out right now called The Trotsky starring the next John Cusack Jay Bechalar. The film is fresh and curious and everything Hollywood summer releases miss.
However, I’m going to take one for the team and review Shrek Forever After.
It’s #4 in  a series. Get it. Now in the past I have been critical of companies for trotting out releases for the sake of making money but who am I kidding? I put the whore in entrepre-whore. My motto is if they’ll pay I’ll play it. So I have no issue with Dreamworks cashing in large.
I did have an issue with #3 which was dull and uninspired and clearly needed new writers.
This year’s model is a little bit better. No where near as good as the original which was not quite up to its sequel, which I thought was brilliant.
Our story so far. Shrek is having his 7-year-itch which is probably caused by some level of chafing or things not best served by rolling in mud. Being an ogre has its limitations.
He’s feeling claustrophobic and pent up and wonders what it might be like if his life was different. Like Megan Fox, who has been gracious enough to share with the world how tough it is being rich, beautiful and popular, Shrek is feeling the pressure of fame. Tired of signing autographs and being a superstar to his kids, he makes a deal with the very short, very effete devil, in this case played by the charmingly evil Rumplestitlskin. Every hero needs a good villain and I like this dude.
He’s smarmy and excessively self-congratulatory and has the modesty of the evil stepmother in Sleeping Beauty.
You may remember this film the first time it was released and called It’s A Wonderful Life. Shrek is no Jimmy Stewart and no one’s getting their wings for this film but it is cute.
It is important to remember that this is an animated film and geared mostly at an audience that thinks Miley Cyrus is a good singer.
There’s lots… hmmm let me rethink not Ok not lots… but some funny moments and being allowed to put the cast in a  parallell universe does give the writers a bit of stretch to have fun with the socially-challenged inhabitants of Shrek’s swamp but there isn’t the fun or charm of the first two instalments and that’s really the main thing.
They set the bar too high. There was some laugh out loud moments in both of them and there isn’t any of that here.
It’s cute, charming and of course, the obligatory uplifting.
It’s also 3D which is pointless. As you know, I’m not a fan anyway but the point is it’s pointless here. Some swinging about on vines and jousting. Ya, that’s fresh.
The action should never be the main point to a story and neither should the technology. Character development is paramount. We know these guys too well. It’s like going to a family reunion and none of the dysfunctional relatives show up. There’s familairity and everyone gets along but someone needs to outside the pale.
In other blockbuster news, Marmaduke is tame and pedestrian and relies almost exclusively on fart jokes to pull its humour off. I thought the idea that Marmaduke is self-actualized was interesting but then I thought it might just be me projecting.
Talking dogs and cats is high-end comedy for sure but only if they’re saying something funny.
I booked this movie on the strength of a very funny preview and boy was I wrong. Then again, just like Shrek what do we really expect from a movie about a slightly civilized swamp thing or a grace challenged Great Dane?
If the kids laugh and it gets them out of the house for a couple of hours it’s all good in the Disney hood.
I don’t expect grown up movies to be anything other than entertaining so why should the younger set be any different?
Marmaduke at its best has some  funny dog and cat stuff with a nice mix of good old fashioned family values thrown in for the sake of tedium. At its worst it’s like every episode of the old TV series Bewitched.
Shrek Forever After is better and the more watchable of the two especially if you’re an adult. They say it’s the last in the series. Uh huh, and I’m a gymnast. See both as a favour to the kids and then go see The Trotsky as a favour to you. As always, other opinions are welcome but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul

Filed Under: Paul Peterson


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