Just forget the words and sing along

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Back from the city with stories!

Sadly, no episode of The Targ this week, firstly because I was subbing on the morning show for Thursday and Friday, getting me all announcered-out. Secondly because I only just got back from the city where I had my 30th birthday bash.

As I mentioned, I went out to see Transformers. Ye gods, now I know what they mean when they describe a film as being a thrill ride. I came out of Transformers with the same feeling I get when I step off a roller coaster. the last part of the film just doesn't stop with all the Autobots beating the crap out of Decepticons...

Some of the dialogue was kind of cheezy, we really didn't get to know the Transformers as characters, and I felt that the ending was kind of abrupt. But other than that, holy crap, was it good.

And lots of geek-out moments for me...the best one being our all-too-brief flashback to the war-torn Cybertron. The use of the original transformation sound effect...Megatron actually using the term "fleshings"...Optimus being sure to use his old catch phrase of "Roll out!"

Absolutely fantastic.

I spent the night in the city, and then, rather than come home right away, I saw Ratatouille. I know, I know...I can hear you rolling your eyes and dismissing it as another talking animal film. But it's from Brad "The Iron Giant" Bird.

You know why I like Brad Bird? You know why I like his films? He's one of the few filmmakers whose films actually move me. All his films have had an emotional effect on me in one way or another. And Ratatouille is no exception.

Yeah, the story is a little cliched, but dude, I was feeling for the characters. And, not only that, it's funny. Not because of pop culture references, like all talking animated films, but because the characters' quirks work well together. The comedy organically grows from the characters.

And...and...in all of Brad Bird's films, there's always one scene in the first act that makes me go, "Whoa. That's different...how'd they let him sneak that in?" In The Iron Giant, it's when Dean stood up to unzip his fly and let the out the squirrel in his pants. In The Incredibles, it's when you realized that the man who didn't want to be saved and sued Mr. Incredible was actually attempting suicide.

In Ratatouille, Remy the rat is scurrying through an apartment building, and we get to see little glimpses of the people in this building through the cracks in the walls. We see this one...a crime of passion is taking place. A woman has a gun trained on her boyfriend. Remy continues on, and we hear a gunshot. There's a flash of panic on Remy's face. He scurries back to peer through that crack again. We see the man and woman. The shot missed. The gun is discarded, and the crime of passion turns into plain ol' passion and the two start making out. Remy rolls his eyes and continues on his way.

That's just a throwaway gag that lasts five seconds, but it's stuff like that that makes Brad Bird's films stand out for me.

I hate to say it, but I think I enjoyed Ratatouille more.

I'll have full reviews up on the website in the next day or so.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about the coolest present I got.

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