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couple of quickies

Posted by martinteller on December 20, 2014

Madagascar didn’t annoy me as much as Shrek.  The characters aren’t too irritating, there’s some pretty decent gags, and I really enjoyed the penguins.  Nothing about the movie made me hate watching it.  But, as you can probably tell, I wasn’t all that fond of it either.  The DreamWorks over-reliance on pop culture references and familiar songs is tiresome, blatant and uneffective grabs for the adult audience’s approval.  Okay, the Cast Away gag was good enough for a chuckle, but the rest of them left me cold.  Also, it seems like the studio would rather use familiar voices than talented voice actors… the leads are all okay but they’re not really bringing anything to the table as far as voice work.  Lastly, the film’s themes are muddled.  It raises the issue of Alex being a predator without resolving it in any meaningful way (good thing fish don’t have cute personalities!) and it’s hard to tell if the movie is pro- or anti-zoo.  Rating: Fair (61)

After my third viewing of Play Time, I said “the movie grows on me more and more each time I see it”.  And yet on my fourth viewing I was rather disappointed.  While I still think it’s the most brilliant (and obviously, ambitious) film of Tati’s career, the novelty of it appears to have worn off.  Perhaps now that I’ve discovered all the film’s gags (I think), the space between them feels so much wider.  I used to think the first half was the superior portion of the film, but I’ve completely flipped on that.  The building chaos of the nightclub is now more satisfying to me than the deadpan — and sometimes tedious — observations of the preceding hour.  I’m shaking this movie out of my top 100, and in fact I’d even call Mon Oncle my favorite Tati now.  Rating: Very Good (86)

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