• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit

TITLE: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit

YEAR: 2005

GENRE: Animation and Family

When I talk with fans at various conventions around the Midwest there are two areas of the world most mentioned as delivering some great animated products. The first one would be the United States, the home of Pixar, Disney, Dreamworks, and other Hollywood studios, and the other would be Japan, with its non-stop slew of anime. One country that has had a limited amount of animated products would be Great Britain, but their one stop-motion studio Aardman Animation believes in quality, not quantity. Their most renowned characters would be two-time Academy Award wining Wallace and Gromit, who have several fantastic short films starring the funny duo. Dreamworks made a decision to distribute a full-length animated Wallace and Gromit film to the masses, and the ending result is one of the most enjoyable and entertaining G-rated films of all time. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit is an immensely entertaining family film with wonderful characters and numerous laughs for both the kids and adults alike.

Wallace (voiced by Peter Sallas) is an entrepreneurial simpleton who, along with his smart as a whip dog Gromit, starts a humane animal removal company called Anti-Pesto. They have a vast array of clients in their area due to the annual vegetable competition, and their job is simple enough: capture all the wild rabbits and house them in cages in the basement of their home. Business is booming, including winning the contract of Lady Tottington (Helena Bonham Carter), one of the leaders of the competition. Running a humane animal control company has its drawbacks, in this case having one’s home overrun with rabbits and the constant feeding of the little guys. Problems arise when the village’s vegetables mysteriously disappear in the middle of the night. Reverend Clement Hedges (Nicholas Smith) claims it is the legend of the were-rabbit, a giant rabbit monster, and the town’s people discover that his theory is indeed true. Local gun nut Victor Quartermaine (Ralph Fiennes) wants to resolve the issue in a violent way, but Lady Tottington looks for a more non-violent solution. The problem is deeper than the people suspect, as one of their own may be the vegetable destroying monster.

This film is utterly fantastic in many ways. The best aspect is the humor which is unique in the fact that it works on a variety of levels. On the child’s level there are a great amount of funny scenes and the rabbits are adorable especially when they beat their chests and howl at the moon in unison. The adult humor is the best part as there are literally dozens of small in-jokes smattered throughout the detailed sets including an especially funny scene where Wallace holds up a box to cover his nudity with a sticker on the package that says “warning: contains nuts”. There are some genuinely exciting chase scenes that are comical in nature: one especially funny scene is when Gromit and a competing dog fight over a small plane the is hilarious when the flying implement stalls out, and another scene when the town’s people get agitated and a vendor at the vegetable competition changes his wares from gardening tools to rioting implements by a simple flip of a sign is comical. There are literally fifty or so belly laughs throughout the movie and it requires multiple viewings to catch all the in-jokes throughout the sets and backgrounds. It is also amazing that the film makers are able to do nudity in just about all their G-rated projects: in this hysterical case, Quartermaine loses his pants while spinning on a weather vane displaying his backside while Reverend Hedges points and yells “Beware, the moon!” In addition, this film is also touching with a horde of adorable rabbits making funny faces and howling and crying together in select scenes. There is also a wonderful message throughout the film about compassion toward animals and that nature should not be destroyed when it becomes inconvenient.

Aardman Animation is currently working on a new Wallace and Gromit project that should see the light of day in 2013, and personally I will be at a theater opening night in great anticipation. Aardman takes great care in their films and are tremendously detail-oriented in their projects, and the end results are almost universally outstanding. While waiting, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit is an ideal family film that can also be enjoyed just as much with pre-schoolers as with a bunch of drinking buddies. The humor of this film reaches a wide and diverse audience, and there is no better compliment that can be given when a bunch of adults can watch a family film such as this and roll on the floor in riotous laughter. Animation fans should consider Wallace and Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit as a must purchase.

* * * * *

–Mark

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: