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Capone Reviews BEE MOVIE And Likes It! Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That...

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. ... I guess I’m just surprised. I thought the trailers were pretty bad. I guess I sort of wrote this off, but it sounds like Capone really dug it. Which means I’m going to have to give it a chance. But... more than RATATOUILLE? Really? Bold words, my friend. Bold words.
Hey all. Capone in Chicago here. Alright, I'm just going to say this out load, and you can all pounce on me like an angry swarm of…well, whatever. I liked Bee Movie even more than RATATOUILLE, the film I thought was going to be the gold standard for animated films in 2007. I'm in no way knocking the Pixar masterpiece; in truth, that film had a more interesting story and stunning animation. But, dammit, BEE MOVIE entertained the hell out of me and made me laugh throughout. It just never stops being hilarious. Sure there are 101 dopey bee puns and jokes, but there are also some seriously funny set pieces and visual gags that are as inventive as they are side-splitting. My guess that if you've heard anything about the plot of BEE MOVIE, you probably think this is about a bee named Barry (Jerry Seinfeld, who co-wrote the screenplay) who longs for more than a lifetime of repetitive work in his hive community. He meets a human woman named Vanessa (Renee Zellweger, giving as expressive a performance as I've ever seen her give in a film set in the real world), who teaches Barry about the world outside the worker bee environment. When Barry discovers that humans "steal" honey from his people and sell it for consumption without paying the bees for their trouble, he sues the human race and forces food companies (represented by a rotund Southern attorney, voiced by John Goodman) to stop making products out of honey. That's about as much as I knew about this movie going in. But the winding screenplay goes on from there to show us the consequences of a world in which bees don't feel the need to make honey anymore, and Barry is forced to undo much of what he's done. Casting famous names in animated features can sometimes have disastrous results, but here it works beautifully. Matthew Broderick as Barry's best friend Adam; Kathy Bates and Barry Levinson as Barry's parents; the incomparable Rip Torn as the commander of a pollen-collecting squadron of bees, who are the only ones in the hive who regularly leave it; Chris Rock as a mosquito named Mooseblood; and Patrick Warburton as Vanessa's boyfriend Ken, who gets jealous of the relationship between Barry and his woman. Warburton's performance made me laugh harder than anything about this movie. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Ray Liotta playing himself in the film's most inspired running gag. Co-directors Steve Hickner and Simon J. Smith do a fantastic job of keeping things moving. But more importantly, they (along with Seinfeld and his writers) do a creative job bringing to life the world the bees inhabit, and showing us what the human world would look like to creatures as tiny and isolated as they are. The animation style isn't meant to look realistic, and that's fine by me. There's a surreal quality to everything, especially the hive's honey production line, the looks of which kind of blew my mind. I never grew tired of watching this movie, and I often found myself marveling at the intricately realized backgrounds and other things going on around the main action. I'll admit, there was a small part of me that wanted to believe there was one realm of entertainment that maybe Jerry Seinfeld wasn't able to conquer, and maybe there is. But he's got the animated movie world sewn up. BEE MOVIE is solid entertainment that in no way panders to the kiddies, but is still loads of fun for all ages. All the film's over promotion may have already made you predisposed to hate it. You can try and resist, but this is just one of those films that's going to win you over. Capone

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