Monday, December 27, 2004

Shark Tale (2004)

Creepy how it even LOOKS like Will Smith and De Niro, huh?

Genre: Animation Comedy Family

Starring: Will Smith (Men In Black; Six Degrees Of Separation) , Robert De Niro (Goodfellas; Ronin)

Directed By: Bibo Bergeron (The Road To El Dorado), Vicky Jenson (Home On The Range), Rob Letterman

Overview: A fish wants to make it to the Top of The Reef, while a shark just wants to be accepted.

Acting: These rolls are voice acted, so the actors themselves have either less to do, or more to do, depending on how you look at it. It's quite obvious that these directors had no problem making sure their voice actors knew what they were doing. Big names like Martin Scorsese and Jack Black make the movie very marketable, and the animation quality is top of the line, no question as to the good job making the characters look alive, and well acted / synchronized. Very professionally done. The best characters, visually, were the Rasta Jellyfish, who were drawn to look as though they had big Rastafarai knit hats. Very original and funny.
Rating: 8

Script: Yes of course we have to expect constant punnery so the children can get jokes, but I've seen other Pixar movies that have more mature humour. A Bugs Life and especially Antz have better humour than this, and more laughs throughout. This movie really had no good lines to walk away with, but there really were no major groaners. Decent script, nothing distracting.
Rating: 6

Cinematography:The effects were great and the colour was ultra-rich. They definitely didn't hold back the detail, and everything was clear and pretty. It's easy to shoot a scene when you have total control, where lighting and setting issues are of no concern, where you don't have to worry about getting a crane or a helicopter for that shot. Quite obviously this category should have a high rating.
Rating: 8

Plot: This is where the movie suffered. For the African-American fish to go on and on about the bling that awaits him if only he could make it big and get to the Top of the Reef, even though his daddy lived modestly is not only cliché, but a painful truism of American Society. The fact that he ignores the blatantly obvious love interest makes it even worse. As for the shark, the gay metaphor is so loud that I had to plug my ears with frilled chiffon. The vegetarian shark not accepted by his macho carnivorous daddy... Please. No twists, everything predictable, though the plan that the characters come up with in the middle of the movie so each of them can have what they want was mildly original. Of course you can't run away from your lies, yadda, yadda, tripe followed by unoriginal tripe, happy ending. At least it wasn't way out there on the suspension of disbelief scale.
Rating: 4

Mood: It's hard to say that a Family film stays within the boundaries of it's Genre while still not falling into horrible clichés, because Family films are usually full of clichés on purpose, but I've seen much better and less predictable. The music was appropriate, the musical segments were not too plentiful, and it was ultimately true to what you would expect. Yes you can take your kids to this movie and they won't walk away scarred.
Rating: 7

Uh for as much as the Jamaican thing was cute it's still racist...right Jar Jar?

Overall Rating: 66% (Tell Me Something Else)

Aftertaste: The sharks were great: all mob-bossey and tough. The characters looked a lot like the voice actors, which was neat to watch, but that's nothing original, Hollywood's been doing that since The Little Mermaid. What I had a real problem with though was the sickeningly blatant product placement right there pointed at our children. The way they had Coral-Cola all over the billboards and in your face along with the GUP ads. If I had children I would teach them that Gap employs children like the demographic they entertain. It was the main thing I walked away with, and that definitely left a lingering aftertaste...