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  1. #1

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    DreamWorks' "Puss in Boots"

    I went 3 pages in and didn't see a thread for this movie, so here goes . Here's my review of "Puss in Boots" in a local paper. I'm Brent, my co-reviewer (who is also my mother) is Roberta.

    Santa Maria Sun | Film


    O
    ne year after the Shrek saga had its self-proclaimed “final chapter,” DreamWorks Animation presents this spin-off starring the green ogre’s pal, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas). The film tells of Puss’ origins as an outlaw hero in Spain. His childhood friend Humpty Alexander Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) wants the cat’s help in a plot to claim the goose that lays golden eggs from a giant’s castle in the sky. Puss needs the gold to help clear his name, so he agrees, even though he doesn’t trust Humpty or their feline femme fatale accomplice, Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek).

    Brent: This is an interesting chapter in the Disney/DreamWorks rivalry. The Shrek franchise has its own Pinocchio, Snow White, Three Little Pigs, etc., but Disney’s versions are still the ones that first come to mind when those characters are mentioned. However, if Disney ever wants to do an adaptation of Puss in Boots, they would have to overcome DreamWorks’ iconic interpretation of the title character. Antonio Banderas and Puss are the perfect marriage of voice actor and animated character.

    Roberta: Really, the whole movie was perfectly cast. The animation was good. It was a fun film. It was also sad and emotional, what with a flashback to an orphanage. Puss was so adorable when he was little. If they sell any kind of toy like that, you’ve got to buy it for me!

    Brent: Here you go (hands her a McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy of Baby Puss).

    Roberta: Oh, thank you! It’s so cute!

    Brent: The story bears little resemblance to the original tale by Perrault, in which a clever cat helps his penniless human master win a princess, slaying an ogre in the process. Instead, we get a swashbuckling action-adventure movie in a fairytale mash-up universe.

    Roberta: I was always a fan of the old Zorro TV series, and I saw the 1998 Zorro movie with Banderas, and that was great, too. It’s interesting hearing him in this, kind of playing off of that role. Puss in Boots has a lot of attitude, especially in a bar scene when he’s got to prove himself.

    Brent: Puss in Boots is probably a more solid movie than the one that introduced the character, Shrek 2. But I came away from the latter saying, “Wow, Puss is awesome!” Here was this dashing and dangerous assassin in the body of a cute little kitty cat—it was unexpected and hilarious. Now, we all know what Puss looks like and what he does, so it’s not quite the same. Also, some characters shine brighter than he does in supporting roles. Puss is a fine hero here, but I had more fun with him when he wasn’t the one who had to carry the story. I felt the same way about Jack Sparrow in the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean movie.Puss gets pretty serious in this, which is kind of funny because his seriousness was part of the joke in the Shrek films, but here he gets seriously serious. I don’t want DreamWorks to go back to their gags-are-everything days of Shark Tale and Shrek the Third, and there are still laughs here, but they could have come a bit closer to a happy medium.Like Jack Sparrow, Puss gains a “met his match” love interest. Her name is Kitty Softpaws, and she uses her extra soft paws to steal without detection. She’s a streetwise, slender black cat with white markings who tries to hide the fact that
    Spoiler
    she’s been declawed, though it’s implied by her name,
    and she reluctantly develops affection for the main character. I think someone at DreamWorks remembers Mittens from Disney’s
    Bolt.


    (visual comparison not included in the newspaper review).

    Roberta: Not only did the characters in this movie steal, DreamWorks stole the character! But Disney similarities aside, I really liked Salma Hayek’s voice; she gave a lot to the character. She and Puss were complementary. When they were dancing, it was way better to me than Footloose. Puss’ old friend Humpty Dumpty really had a lot of spunk. He was a handful. He’s an egg, so the animators didn’t have much to work with, but they were able to do a lot with his skinny little arms and legs and expressive eyes.

    Brent: He’s probably the most memorable part of the movie. There’s something unsettling about seeing a human face on an egg, which fits with his character. Galifianakis knows how to play the odd man out (see The Hangover) and here he’s the lone egg in a world of humans and talking animals. He and Puss have a complicated history, and that’s what drives the story. Also going after the goose that laid the golden egg are the Bonnie and Clyde of nursery rhymedom, Jack and Jill.

    Roberta: Jack and Jill were scary and funny—they were big and rough instead of cute little kids from the rhyme. We went to see the movie in 3-D. It was fun, but since it’s so expensive, I’d recommend seeing it in 2-D.

    Brent: The Hollywood 3-D craze reminds me of another fairy tale about a goose who lays golden eggs—the one where the farmer gets greedy and kills it. 3-D is just an extra effect. It should only cost, like, a dollar extra. It’s only worth it if the experience feels like a movie and a half (since that’s practically how much they charge) and I don’t think that’s the case here.


    Speaking of DreamWorks Animation, here's my video comedy review of their 2002 film, "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron".

    1/2 Review of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (Horse Movie) - YouTube
    Last edited by animagusurreal; 11-03-2011 at 06:56 AM.
    "Happy Working Song" parody for DCA remodel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-TYESfNTP8&feature=plcp

    Retro Rant Review of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II" (comedy review of direct-to-video
    Disney sequel):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../1/q1j7FU8QXu0
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../0/sasNTMDRBLU

    Retro Rant Review of "Home on the Range" (comedy review of Disney movie):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7mC-...feature=relmfu
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoUie...feature=relmfu
    Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3Vea...feature=relmfu


    Visit my site: http://www.vividgroovy.com



    Pratfall the albatross superheroine visits the Carthay Circle Theatre.

  2. #2

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    Re: DreamWorks' "Puss in Boots"

    Yup, I didn't care to see the movie in 3D. And based on the 2D showing, I don't think any scene would have added much.

    I loved this movie despite the slightly adult jokes here and there, but that's expected of a Shrek spin-off. I'm not even a fan of Shrek after the 2nd movie, but this movie was excellent.

    To pinpoint one major plus for this movie, I always have a problem with the action in Shrek movies. Too jerky similar to Madagascar. It's like they don't understand that you have to slow things down a little bit and have to have some good choreography in there. Watch any Jackie Chan or Van Damme movie. They're moving at a much slower speed than in a similar situation in real life as that helps us, the viewer see it. Puss In Boots got this right. Good action choreography and good fight choreo too.

    Puss has always been a charming character to me. And the story flowed pretty well. Jack & Jill were pretty creepy, but were also convincing villains. Not the kind that are annoying that you want them to go away, but the kind that you love to hate.

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