Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Kaena: The Prophecy (2003)

Don't call her "Cans-in-ya", she really doesn't like it (but it's true!)

Genre: Animation Action Adventure Family Fantasy Sci-Fi (France, Canada)

Starring: Kirsten Dunst (Marie Antoinette; Spider-Man), Angelica Huston (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou; Daddy Daycare)

Directed By: Chris Delaporte, Pascal Pinon

Overview: In a primitive land, Kaena explores the borders of her dying village, only to find mysteries beyond her comprehension, all of which may explain the reason for the waning fate of her people.

Acting: The voice acting, I must say, more than any other category was excellent. The English actors, especially Keith David (Requiem For A Dream) and Richard Harris really made the movie 100% better. The thing about animation is that you want a bit of the gravel-voice hard edge. Just a touch of extra drama without stepping over the line makes for a tremendous difference.
Rating: 9

Cinematography: The very first French CGI movie ever made. Was it obvious? Maybe a little. The rendering of the faces was a little amateurish, there were some scenes that had not enough light in them, some parts seen from a bad perspective, and some that were choppy, like they didn't have time to render a smooth shot, and if it was meant as a special effect, it failed big time. Besides scrutinizing little things like this, some pretty impressive stuff. Great world.
Rating: 8

Script: There's a worm, a really intelligent worm who speaks all these languages, and all he does is nag. It's like a smart Jar-Jar Binks (not C-3P0). He was annoying. They should not have gone on with that joke for so long. As for the 'Angry Gods' and the priest and that whole dynamic, man was that ever well done. The way this unfolds is means for kids to get, but not young kids, so it's pretty intelligent at times.
Rating: 7

Plot: I would have preferred a story that was more about the Gods than the villagers. That whole side of things seemed so much more interesting, like a little culture lesson about an old race of Sap People! The story was decent, with all the dots on the 'I's and the dashes on the 'T's, but didn't impress like it could have.
Rating: 6

Mood: Kaena herself seemed more like a computer-geek's wet dream than an actual character, ultra-endowed as she was (and more than any other female villager). That was one thing that pulled me away from this mystical world and drew me into the room where the fat nerds were working on this production with their bag of donuts. Otherwise, the universe itself is pretty immersive, really cool creatures.
Rating: 8

In this scene, this guy goes blind from the glare off her boobs.

Overall Rating: 76% (I Predict That You MIGHT Like It)

Aftertaste: There was just something missing. I guess I'll never be able to put my finger on it, but the whole 'Chosen One' thing just didn't seem to have been built up enough. This is one of those things you watch on a lazy Sunday and don't worry about too much about it after. You feel good that you're watching something innovative and interesting, but you know the effort or budget just wasn't all there like it could have been. Fit for the "Seen it" pile.