Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Jason watches "The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep" and "Enchanted"

Why do I always feel a little creepy going to a kid's movie alone? Don't answer that. Anyway, these were both highly regarded critically, so I thought I'd check them out, see what I'm missing.

"Water Horse" is actually pretty good. Of course, as a kids movie there's not a lot of surprises, but it's a well told story with a surprisingly mature fell (like it's not just pandering to kids) and a WWII backdrop. Plus the special effects on the monster is pretty darn good. No complaints, and praise for telling a story for kids without treating the entire audience like babies.

"Enchanted" was far and away more annoying. I wanted to see it for two reasons. First, to catch a rare glimpse of old-fashioned 2-d hand-drawn animation. And second for Amy Adams, who impressed me in an under-appreciated role in "Charlie Wilson's War". As for the first part, those who miss the old Disney classics, go ahead and skip this. The animation scenes deeply disappointed me, playing so broad and saccharine that it would be parody if there were actually any jokes. That's a lot of the problem with the movie, it just doesn't know whether or not it wants to parody the true love fairy tale idealism that it genuinely and sincerely adheres to. Once princess-to-be-Giselle is banished to a world where happily ever after never happens--New York--things start to take off, and Amy Adams does a great job. And I give her high praise for playing it sincerely, if not seriously. Anyone can get a laugh out of mocking true love, she gets laughs by championing true love. In New York, it moves up from being a grating failure to being about 70% enjoyable. Personally, I think if they'd spent more effort making the animated scenes as truly beautiful and heartfelt as the Disney classics, the whole thing would've been much better. And again, Amy Adams is an actress to keep an eye on.

In other news, tomorrow begins the Berlin and Beyond festival. A week of German films ought to cleanse my palate of this sugary taste.

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