Thursday, November 1, 2007

B is for Movie Reviewed by BZ.

I received tickets for a pre-screening of the new DreamWorks cartoon, Bee Movie, which was being shown at the Drexel theater on campus. I had no particular interest in seeing this movie but a free night out is a free night out. So last night I found myself on line to watch this Bee Movie. When it came time to let us in, the theater manager opened the barrier and waved me through and pointed me to a nearby theater entrance. I walked through the barrier and headed into a movie theater and sat down. Not bothering to look up at the sign at the entrance, I did not realize that I had not entered the theater for the Bee Movie but the theater right next to it. A few minutes later the previews started to role. At this point I began to think that something was strange. Why were they showing a bunch of previews for what were clearly adult, art house films before a kids movie? Then the movie started and I got my answer. I was not in the theater for Bee Movie but the theater for Lars and the Real Girl.
A moral quandary here. Lars and the Real Girl was a movie that I actually wanted to see. It stars Ryan Gosling, who as far as I am concerned is the greatest young actor there is. If you have not heard of Ryan Gosling, watch the Believer. He gives new meaning to an off the derech Yeshiva bochur. The character he plays, Danny Balint, is a drop out Orthodox kid who becomes a neo-Nazi. To the best of my knowledge, Gosling is not Jewish nor does he have any background with Orthodox Judaism. Which makes the performance he pulls all the more impressive. This is one of the few films that I have seen that understands Judaism and what makes it tick. Gosling also stars in the Notebook, which has to rank as one of the greatest Romantic films ever made. I love the two main characters. I happen to love them a lot more when they are both dressed, but that is a separate issue.
What is to stop me, now that I am inside, from just sitting back and watching this movie? No one would have to know and no one is actually being hurt. If the case was that I had bought a movie ticket for one movie and went and watched another movie instead would there be any issue at all? It is not like I had purposely gone into another theater; I accidently wondered in. This should be chalked up as one of those many marvelous mishaps you get into when you have a brain that is high on Asperger Syndrome. I walked out of the theater and went and watched Bee Movie.
Bee Movie, in the spirit of Antz, is about a bee named Berry, voiced by Jerry Seinfeld, who is frustrated with the bureaucratic life of the hive and wonders forth into the wide world. Along the way he befriends a florist and learns all the usual good liberal lessons that one would expect from a cartoon; be yourself, be tolerant of others and help take care of the environment.
I happen not to be a fan of Jerry Seinfeld. I am one of the few Jews I know who was never into the show Seinfeld. In general I am not much into Jewish humor. I am much more of a British humor person. This film is very much a Jerry Seinfeld film. If you like his humor you will like this film if you do not then you won’t.
I found the film frustrating because it had potential at points. In the second half of the film Berry discovers that human beings are taking honey from bees and using it for their own benefit. He therefore sues the major manufacturers of honey and Ray Liotta in court. If only the people making this film had understood what makes a scenario like this funny. What we have here is a minority group claiming nonexistent rights and creating frivolous law suits. The problem with the film is that, for some strange reason, it seems to side with the bees. Berry becomes the valiant lawyer standing up for the rights of all bees against the corporations and their villainous lawyer who looks like a short, fat and ugly version of William Jennings Bryan. The lawyer, befitting his role as a good conservative villain (those are supposed to be one and the same thing right) makes snide remarks about Berry and his florist friend and implies that there is something unnatural about their relationship. So we even have our sop to the gay rights movement. We know we are in trouble when writers can write jokes and not realize that the joke is on them.
I have no problem watching liberal propaganda as long as it is done well. Mom why did you not raise me with just a few less morals?

1 comment:

Tobie said...

Sometimes I worry that Dreamworks/Pixar are just going to run out of new and entertaining animals. I mean, we've had ants, fish, rats, and bees recently, while old Disney movies took care of lions and deer. Plus the dinosaur thing has been done to death.

Do you think maybe...g-d forbid...they might have to go back to making movies about people?