Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bee Movie! I miss Seinfeld. Out today - Paramount (*******7/10)

I have heard many people complaining about Bee Movie. How it was too adult for kids and too kiddy for adults and so forth. But I disagree. Bee Movie is a Seinfeld movie. Jerry Seinfeld was having dinner with Steven Spielberg, and he said "wouldn't it be funny if someone made a movie called Bee Movie, and it was all about bees?" And there you have it. Seinfeld is about the only guy in Hollywood not named Spielberg who has that kind of clout. Hey, wouldn't it be neat - and it's done. And I'm glad it was done. This movie is good. It's funny, it's smart, and kids will like it whether they understand it or not. I watched it today with the two kids. One is thirteen and one is eight, and both had a lot of fun watching it. In fact, the 13-year-old is watching it again, a couple of hours later, with his mom upstairs right now.

The fact is, it is not too adult for kids. For four-year-olds, maybe. But even if you're eight, you will get it. My younger step-son pestered me with questions through the entire movie. What's a writ? What's litigation? What's a class action? And you know, although he did not understand those terms while watching the movie, he does now. And that's a good thing. The premise of the story is that bees can talk. They have always been able to talk, but they are prohibited from talking to human beings because it's a bee rule never to do so. But when Barry B. Benson (I think that's his name) decides he does not want to work for the honey plant for the rest of his life, and talks to a human being, it sets off a chain of events that leads to him suing humankind over honey. There are some hilarious laugh-out-loud moments in the film. The Larry King piece is hilarious, the Winne the Pooh bit as well, and the scene where he first talks to the woman is one of the funniest I've seen in an animated movie.

The real stroke of awesomeness in Bee Movie is this - it is, actually, a B-Movie. It has all the earmarks of a B-Movie. The big dramatic but obvious finish, the campy dialogue, and Ray Liotta. Casting Ray Liotta as himself in this movie was a stroke of genius. The ultimate B-Movie actor in a B-Movie called Bee Movie. Get it? If only Bruce Campbell had showed up as well. Some serious voice talent does appear, however. Sting plays himself, as does Larry King. Oprah plays a judge, and John Goodman, Chris Rock, Renee Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, Rip Torn and Kathy Bates all make appearances. Of course, however, the real star is Jerry Seinfeld, who does the voice of Barry. It gives the whole movie this absurdist feel, as though you're watching a Seinfeld episode re-enacted by bees. Even Michael Richards appears, to give more Seinfeld flavour to the experience. And this movie also has the best use of the Beatles' song Here Comes The Sun that you are likely to hear in a film. It's done by Sheryl Crow, and it doesn't quite compare to some other covers. (I personally love the version done by Alison Moorer, as well as a reggae classic cover by Peter Tosh.) But it fits so well with this movie. This is a great movie. It comes out today courtesy of Paramount.

1 comment:

  1. I saw the Bee Movie with my wife in the theatre with our one year old. I liked it. My wife liked it. Our one year old didn't really get it, though. That's ok, though...she didn't get Fantastic Four 2, Rise of the Silver Surfer, when she was six months old. I didn't, either...