Sunday, May 21, 2006
It looks just like an airplane... without wings!
We were set to watch Over the Hedge at the newly opened Mall of Asia you won't believe how much they were able to fill up the place with people parking was a problem even in the huge parking lot. You'd be hardput to movie around with a ratio of four people per square foot in that place (some local noontime show had set up stage in the entertainment area earlier today, we think it's a huge, huge mistake driving away the "A" crowd from the mall with their actions when that was clearly what their main target market is. Or was). So we drove over to Powerplant Mall. I was actually there earlier having bought a couple of books in Fully Booked and having a late lunch afterwards. We got seats at the last full show only because we missed the schedule by a few minutes and they weren't selling any more tickets to that schedule.
The movie was way better than we expected, and our expectations were pretty high judging from the lone trailer they showed which pretty much rocked. It took a lot of liberties compared with Michael Fry and T. Lewis' comic strip which only had Verne (Garry Shandling), RJ (Bruce Willis), and Hammy (Steve Carell) as the only characters in the strip who annoy a family of environmentalists who ironically want the animals to live like their normal selves far from the urban living they've now been accustomed to, the movie's pretty wacky and compared to the humor of the which is pretty much laid back as the animals mostly make a comment ala Pogo. The way the guys of DreamWorks went about constructing the story and establishing the characters was absolutely fantastic. I don't know about the majority of the other moviegoers in the theater but me and the others in my group were laughing real hard in almost every scene in the movie. The other difference between this one and the comic strip is that not one of the animal characters wax philosophical about the state humans are faring but rather they jump in enthusiastically once they got the hang of how things work (i.e. once they survived their first outing they became bolder and bolder in stealing things).
This still isn't near anything like what the geniuses at Pixar does, and as of this time nobody can top the way they seamlessly infuse a lot of heart and soul into their works but DreamWorks is the clear choice for being a second placer. Not a real close second but they're beating their own path and it would be amost perfect if they only drop off a few annoying baggages off their back (the way they banner the actors they got to voice the characters, like we're gonna remember their names once the movie gets underway and Shark Tale, 'nuff said). This is something I'd like to watch again if time permits.
* Check out also the review in Hollywood Jesus for more insightful reactions to this great movie.