Saturday, June 30, 2007

MOVIE REVIEW: Ratatouille

My friend Ori and I caught this one on Friday night. We went to the late show cause like most sensible adults who like watching G rated animated/CGI films we don't want to be disturbed by crying or overly obnoxious babies and kids. Now normally I would wait to watch these kinds of things on DVD but this is Brad Bird's film and even though it's a film about a rat who can cook, it really isn't just for kids. If you know anything about Brad Bird's resume it's that he has been able to make kids films for adults. It's a tough thing to do but he has perfected it. In films like The Iron Giant and The Incredibles, not to mention his solid work for years on the Simpson’s. Ratatouille fits very snuggly into this category.As always Pixar has made another extraordinary film. The images of Paris look as good as the real thing and the mixing and cutting is of course top notch. Now we've gotten that out of the way. How do you make a Rat wanting to cook food interesting and funny? It helps to have good vocal talent. Remy, as voiced by Patton Oswald, is a rat who doesn't enjoy eating garbage. He likes to watch cooking shows and when the owner of the house is napping he likes to cook up a little something. His Father, voiced by Brian Dennehy, and ditzy brother (Peter Sohn) don't approve of Remy's particular tastes but the point becomes moot when the old lady spots them and starts firing the 12 gauge. The rats have to uproot themselves and of course Remy finds himself away from the pack. With a little help from his imaginary idol Gusteau (Brad Garrett), Remy discovers he is in Paris and within crawling distance of his favorite restaurant. If you know anything about restaurants it is inconceivable to accept any kind of rodent in or around the kitchen. These rats of course are cute and cuddly and probably don't have the black plague, so it's somewhat acceptable. Although I did read a funny review of this film where the reviewer thought that the film may have lawsuits brought against them from angry mothers. Why? Because the fear is that the kids may try to find Remy in the garbage behind the house and you know want to pick him up and have him cook something in the house.All that aside the film is well made and the characters are very entertaining. When Remy (Patton Oswalt) gets caught in the kitchen he finds a way to befriend a shy Dishwasher, Linguini (Lou Romano), before he sends Remy to a watery death. They decide to team up with Remy's cooking knowledge and Linguini being--well--human. They start a cooking revolution. Now most of the cooking jokes and jargon will go right over the kid’s heads until the dumb brother comes back in to bring the young ones back into the fold. Peter O'Toole is the voice of the food critic Anton Ego, who brings a clever menace to the role and a very unsuspecting ending involving his character. You also have Janeane Garofalo as Colette the saucy cook who falls for Linguini and the most entertaining role by far was Ian Holm's Skinner who tries to suck dry the Gusteau name brand by making tacky frozen meals. He also is bent on destroying poor Linguini and chopping Remy into little bits. All in all a fun romp with great humor and spectacular imagery.

Grade 4 Buckets

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