Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bolt 3D, Dante's Inferno and other such things (a.k.a.: Before I head back to the Calla...)

BOLT 3D is the new computer animated 3D flick from Disney that is NOT Pixar (like Meet the Robinsons.) If you're going to see it, and I recommend it as it's cute) see it in 3D. Yes, you pay a little more for the glasses, but if you're going to see it anyway, why not go for the full monty?

Anyway, the flick is about a cute little puppy named Bolt who is a teevee SuperDog. When he mistakes the other humans around his mistress, Penny, for villains who are kidnapping her, he breaks free from his tricked out trailer to rescue her, only to end up on the other side of the country and have to fight his way back to Hollywood and her loving arms. Along the way he takes a scrawny alley cat prisoner (her name is Mittens) and meets a brave, slightly wonky hamster named Rhino. And, of course, there are lessons learned.

Of course, Rhino is my favourite character. He's designed to be the favourite (kind of like Steve Carell's Hammy was designed to be the favourite out of the Over the Hedge gang) and it works. He's fully awesome! Most of his best quotes are in the trailers, though. I wish they'd leave the plucky sidekick's awesomeness out of the trailers. Seriously.

Anyway, it's a kids flick so I can't gripe about how it's predictable and all that junk. It does what it sets out to do and does it well in marvellously done 3D. It's so wonderful to see GOOD 3D after the eye-strain inducing horrors of Fly Me to the Moon and this is some of the best so far.

Overall: I recommend it!


Dante's Inferno is a 2D paper cut out puppet performed modern updating of the classic first book of the Divine Comedy. They filmmakers managed to cram nearly all twenty some cantos into barely an hour and twenty minutes...but not without some problems.

Look, I dislike Bush and his cronies as much as the next liberal nut-job or wide awake American, but the political commentary in this film actually felt forced and like, "Yeah, these idiots are in power...see? SEE?! Aren't they stupid?! Let's laugh at their future in hell!" Well, Bush wasn't in there, but Rice and Cheney were. So, to be honest, that was lame and brought down the piece as a whole. They were doing a really good job of putting more contemporary figures into Dante's Aligheri's version of Hell although I don't know why they put Pope John Paul II into the Inferno as a scooter-riding lost soul looking for the gate to Heaven. He seemed like a really great guy, a great leader for his religion. He and I wouldn't agree on a few things, sure, but that doesn't mean that I didn't respect his work. Anyway, didn't get that one...

The main voices: Dermott Mulroney as Dante and James Cromwell as Virgil, were excellent. The background voices were good.

The puppets were well made and well performed.

On the whole, the adaptation was pretty good. Would have liked less ham-fisted political commentary, but I don't wish I had that hour and twenty minutes back so that must say a little something, right?


For the past week or two, I've been listening to the album Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever by Explosions in the Sky. I'd never heard of them before Stephen Fry (I less-than-three him) mentioned them in a recent Tweet, but then I checked them out (I do that sort of thing) and man...the album is intense. Strangely, it makes me think of Roland and his quest for the Dark Tower. If I were to make a Gunslinger movie, I would try to get Explosions in the Sky to do the score and take some of the tracks from Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die... as well. I have to say that if anyone should make the Gunslinger books into a series of movies, it should be Frank Darabont. The Mist was a damn fine movie. Just, please Teevee Gods...not Mick Garris. 

Also, if anyone has a hundred grand they want to give me free and clear specifically to get this, I'd appreciate it... ;D

Anyway, after a full day of trying to figure out a certain effect and working on computer stuff, I'm going to go read Wolves of the Calla for a little bit. An actual book, made out of actual paper...archaic, but preferable to me. :D

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