Posts Tagged ‘flushed away’

#33 – Top Money Makers of the Decade – Ratatouille

December 19, 2009

 

We have taken the list of the Top Money Makers of the Decade and we are doing the “Question Entertainment Lightning Round”
I hope you like it. Let us know your thoughts.

See them all at

 http://www.youtube.com/user/1ThessFIVE21and22#p/c/A4E6B15329949FF4

What Is It?

This is the second collaboration between Pixar and writer/director Brian Byrd. Their first outing, The Incredibles, lived up to it’s name. Now Ratatouille… um… does not easily lend itself to pithy comments.

It is the story of a rat (Patton Oswalt)who wants to be a gourmet cook, a boy (Lou Romano) who does not know how to cook, nor does he know that he is the heir to a restaurant dynasty, and finally the evil, short chef (Ian Holm)who wants to simply cash in on his late mentor’s reputation.

How Was It?

This was not the achievement that the Incredibles was, but it is much better than Byrd’s early film, The Iron Giant. The movie is altogether fun to watch with enjoyable characters, whimsical story twists, and great visuals. I especially liked Anton Ego’s (Peter O’Toole) house. To complement his corps like presents, his hall is coffin shaped and you can see the smile of a skull in his old typewriter. I also appreciate the fact that they have someone who they say is a great writer, and instead of just leaving it at that and showing people’s reaction to his writing, we actually hear his entire article. It is at the climax of the film, making it even more daring a move.

Is It Good For Kids?

There is no cussing (other than the line “welcome to hell” referring to work), violence in minimal and slapstick and no one is shown inappropriately. The rats occasionally “Steal” food, but every time the action is condemned in explicit terms with negative consequences following directly. There is also an Aladdin style racism, where they are in a foreign country, all the evil characters and comic relief people have thick accents and the two hero’s have the American TV “No-accent”

You can get a complete break down of what is on the screen at Screenit.com

What About Spiritual Issues?

Stealing is show throughout the film but, as I said, always with a verbal rebuke and eventually with negative consequences. This movie is very careful to explain itself at many points. Similarly, Remy the Rat (Patton Oswalt) talks with Gusteau (Brad Garrett) a dead chef. Gusteau has lots of lines pointing out that he is not a ghost but only imagined by Remy. He even goes so far to state that Gusteau only knows what Remy already knows himself, because Remy is making him up. I appreciated the distinction, because it is one distinction people often do not understand.

Gusteau is not the only brush with death we have. When we meet Linguini for the first time, his mother has just died. When explaining this, he tells the kitchen staff that she “believed in Heaven” so she is all set, as far as an afterlife is concerned. This line caught me off guard. On one hand, it was great to see the concept of heaven and that death is not to be looked at as an ending but a new beginning. Still the idea simply believing in the concept of heaven will ensure you go there is a frighteningly simplistic one. Jesus said, in John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Also look at James 2:19.

There is also an odd undercurrent of sexual immorality. Linguini’s mother had been the girlfriend of Gusteau when they were both alive. Linguini and Gusteau did not know it, but Gusteau was Linguini’s father. This concept is tossed around in those terms throughout the film, without moral comment. This is stands out, considering they go out of their way to explain other actions as being wrong.

What Is Your Recommendation?

It’s a fun and well made film, which is the norm for Pixar. Still, there are pitfalls within the plot. If you are going to enjoy this cinematic dish with your family, you will want to talk about ghosts, Heaven, true salvation, stealing, and “love”.

I would instead look to any other Pixar film free of fishy-automotives or the other CG rodent themed  film “Flushed Away

Flushed Away

Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

October 23, 2008

What Is It?

Leaving Chicken Run and several TV ads (I like the one with the sheep), Nick Park returns to the characters that that won him critical acclaim and Academy Awards, namely the cheese addict inventor whose intelligence is overshadowed by his dog (not that he is a total idiot, it’s just that the dog is that smart). Their Clay-mation adventures are everything we love about cartoon humor as well as fun genre parody. They have done sci-fi, mystery, and action/adventure; now they move to the big screen with classic horror.

There is a terrible monster lurking in the town. Wallace and Gromit, now humane pest control, must protect the prize vegetables of the town from the Were-Rabbit!

How Was It?

It was not the gem that each of the shorts are. Still I find that, in retrospect, I thought there were a lot of funny and creative things. Maybe it just doesn’t slap you in the face the way we Americans are used to. I very much liked the fact that it was based on 1940’s and 50’s horror films and started with the idea that monsters are created when God and nature are rejected. Still it was never truly frightening, but more “referenced” fear if you will.

Is It Good For Children?

There is nothing explicitly frightening or inappropriate. Though the symbolism is still there, it is more parodied than veiled. We see mutilated vegetables, dripping with exposed innards and we hear about them being molested. You can check Screenit.com for a breakdown of everything on the screen.

What About Spiritual Issues?

The idea that the rejection of God could result in the genesis of monster is a fascinating one that I am always excited to see explored. The town seems to revolve around the church. The vicar is shown as focusing too much on his own vegetable garden, but then sees this “sin” as linked to the appearance of the monster. He is also the expert we go to if we need to stop a monster. He has a case filled with all kinds of “monster stoppers”. There is also a fun scene where a bunny seems to go to heaven. (Though that is not the case)

Any other issues?

OK, this may not be a big issue, but the “bad” guy is a hunter. It is repeated adnauseum that Wallis’ pest control is better because it is “humane”. No one is ever seen, nor talks about eating anything besides vegetables and cheese. It would not surprise me if Nick Park was a vegan. It’s not bad to be a vegan, but the Bible did tell us we were allowed to eat meat…

What Is Your Recommendation?

This movie is well done. It’s not a laugh riot, but it’s good. The “don’t hurt animals no matter what” thing was annoying. I still would be willing to see it again, maybe now that it has come out on DVD… and enjoy a nice burger while I wach.