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Saturday, November 26, 2011
This Puss has no boots!
Why is Puss in boot is the worse picaresque story in history? There's nothing original about it, starting from the posters. I have nothing against the art, the look and the animation: stunning as usual. Even so I did not enjoy the movie one bit.
For once none of the gags were so funny to make me even smile... I was left staring the screen with an impassible facial expression all the time =__= like this. At first I thought: why not go with the traditional story (finally put a bit of romance that does not involve the main couple or the main character, go Figaro on it using the figure of the clever servant as traditionally established but revised it - beside the clever servants are still the funniest figures around, call them sidekicks but the steal the show). Why go with Jack and Jill and humpt dumpty to do the Italian job?
Because the literally needed the rotten egg (^^" I know) and the Italian Job (without going to the core of the genre I have to say).
But whyyyy??? Puss belongs to the picaresque genre and this thing didn't even smell like one!
For once Puss was OOC. Puss was introduced originally as an assassin an ogre slayer, he is a con artist, he is a picaresque figure. So here he starts as a that and right away we are told that he truly is a hero who was turned into a con artist by a rotten egge, his brother humpty dumpty - ute play on words, quite clever I admit - after they establish this he turns into friggin Zorro! Goes 100% pure good hero and... huh? Wait, usually if you are good and the rotten egg is removed from your life you go straight... so why were you a con artist, a liar and a thief all along if you wanted to redeem yourself your entire life?
Banderas plays it a bit undertone and at times he pushes the character to the point of ridiculous so Humpty Dumpty steals the scene... that's what secondary characters do... and Puss goes flat!
So the paso doble scene with miss Kitty is nicely animated (but long) and quite frankly the dangerous lady still does not hold a candel to Cel from Roat to Eldorado (a movie with lots more potential if it weren't so forced to go supernatural and commercial - plus elton john was gghhhh! Don't let me go there!). This Kitty here I couldn't care less for. Maybe because her sad past is not shown to us, she tells us, in a scene made of talking head that felt too long for the brain to stay there.
I would to say that you don't have to necessarily go to Jesse's song extent to show me what she felt. But one or two images might have helped my empathy level rise. Just show me one powerful image! Besides you took so much effort to have Puss go flashback, why not work on perspective and have the same story told from different angles? Why not introduce her already in the past a put a long story between them?
What the hello why not put more emotion into this???
As I said the animation is gorgeous, so are the background and the modeling, lighting. You wouldn't expect anything less from PDI. But this movie was just a generic filler and did not feel like a story that could flow and stand on its own.
I like the cute attempt of role reversing on the maternity instinct for Jack and Jill. It became a bit overplayed in the end and completely lost its charm.
Plus this mania of introducing gigantenormous characters at the end of the movie, overpowering everything! Why? It was a big problem in Rango and this one is twice the weight because the story has no back bone! In the end if you don't play well with proportions the huge character makes the movie feel like a toy and you are pushed out of the story, back into your seat thinking about: Oooh, legooo, I wanna play with lego noooow! It's the godzilla effect in the carboard Tokyo!
Unfortunately the movie was very predictable, all cartoons are, but one can predict the ending... not all the following scenes on after the other and even the next second with preciseness. Predicting the next scene makes the movie bland. So Puss' flashback not only makes you realize what will happen at the end of the flashback but it also tells you when and where the twist will happen and how. There are no loose end to the flashbacks that makes you doubt about Humpty.
So throughout the movie you keep on thinking: naaay, he is a rotten egg... this and this will happen, then this and this... and the movie ends. So whent he twist shows up with the typical flashed flashed images from a different perspective, you go: I knew it, expected, predictable... I figure that out at minute 12! I did not feel smart about it, I felt cheated! So... the last minute redemption is demeaned by this. It feels that it happens because it has to... was it felt? Maybe, but meh... at this point who cares?-------- Usually I do love simple, linear stories for children... I like to watch those 0-3 years old linear kids show with fairy tale in it of how I lost my toy and there I found it! No conflict, a bit of emotion, lots of poetry! I love it.
If you are writing linear, simple story... keep the sex out of it though. Do not mistake falling in love with being in lust. Focus on the romance and remove the sensual tension, it is not needed! It makes the female character look cheap, your daughter will think it's alright to do things that give you white hair! A few things... I found a bit out of place for a cute kiddy story.
As a picaresque story it fails because it need a bit more of the hustling combines with bad luck, if you want to make a caper movie do not use The Italian Job it's not a good example. Go to the origin of the genre (like Tarantino did) go to Big deal on Madonna street and once again you are missing quite a lot of the Murphy's law here. Probably the only reason that did not happen is because memory is short and stops at The Italian Job not knowing where it comes from. To me Italian Job is already the water at the end of the pot. As we say in Italy when more guests arrive: add water to the soup. The last guest will get mostly water and very little soup.
I don't very much like being treated as the last guest if I know what the soup was like in the beginning. I yawned, with tears, four times during the movie.
PDI filler might bring money but don't do well for your good name: go back to Po and Megamind! Give us the charm and the emotion. I don't look forward to see movies slowly turn more and more into Uncanny Valley.