Posts Tagged ‘Peter O’Toole’

#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

Advertisements

One Night With The King

June 16, 2009

What Is It?

Based on the Tommy Tenney , Mark Andrew Olsen novel Hadassah, “One Night With The King”, it is an expansion of the Biblical story of  Esther. The plot is the one you know, with the addition of a political plan to stop Greece and gain vengeance for the Kings murdered father.

How Was It?

It starts off shaky, gets good then drags on it’s way to a satisfying ending. This is an accomplishment considering the screen writer (Stephan Blinn) and the director (Michael O. Sajbel) are separately responsible for some of the absolute worst Christian films ever. The feel of the movie seems a bit like someone jumped a camel from “the Ten Commandments” grabbed “Belle” away from “…the Beast” and dropped her in Middle Earth, where she was to reenact Bible stories, accompanied by a king who shares a make up artist with Captian Jack Sparrow.

LOTR fans will recognize John Rhys-Davies or Gimli, narrating as Mordecai . Furthermore, you will also spot obvious knods to Gandalf’s helpful moth, the flame lit fortress in Mordor, the forging of the Orc’s swords, Saruman’s speeches to the armies, Aragon’s dramatic entrance through the giant doors of Helms Deep, the black riders and even theOne Ring, itself, revealing it’s message by fire.

Though there is lots that we have all seen before, they are emulating some of the best film has to offer and do it with decent actors, solid photography and a very large budget. Little touches like having Haman’s symbol look surprisingly like a swastika, and the evil advisors fearing the Greeks because the will bring democracy (more the American version than the Greek) border between cute and silly but don’t detract from the story. There are a couple holes left unresolved like a “Three’s Company” style misunderstanding and Esther’s questions about Queen Vashti that are never answered. Despite these down falls, it is a very watchable movie.

Is It Good For Kids?

There are some parts that are a bit scary and dark and Queen Vashti shows some cleavage at one point. Other than that, there is some bloodless action to keep the boys interested and some “princess movie” elements for the girls.

You can check Screenit.com for a complete breakdown of the elements presented.

What About Spiritual Issues?

For the most part all the Bible story is here. It’s just “more flushed out.” They incorporate elements from other parts of the Bible as well as retelling of some of the actual stories themselves. There is even the utterance of a Messianic Prophecy.

The only change I found distracting was the kings selection process for a new queen. First the other girls were all so dreadfully silly, that there was no real competition. Second he avoided having his “one night” with any other girl and then asked Esther to be his queen before their evening really started. I found this nod to the American romantic sensibilities more out of place and silly than the democracy comments.

Despite there additions and rewrites, there is nothing that changes the ultimate message of the book and it certainly lines up with the message of the Bible.

What Is Your Recommendation?

It’s a movie you may enjoy. It’s well worth watching, especially if you have friends who are interested in the film.

I always find it fun (especially with kids) to read the Bible story first, talk about what happened, and then watch the movie and compare them.

“One Night with the King” offers plenty to entertain as well as inspire thought.

Still, for my money, I much prefer the 1999 TV movie Esther (now on DVD) that, though not quite as grand, captures the beauty of the story much better while keeping a stricter focus on the original text and giving us a smoother story

One Night With the King DVD

Hadassah

The Bible – Esther