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The Best???

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The Best??? - 22/10/2007 2:40:43 PM   


Posts: 10
Joined: 31/10/2006
From: Brixton
How can this be the best Pixar movie yet? Empire's reviewers are usually pretty dependable and the 2 star Simpsons review only reinforced that for me. But this seems like a case of someone getting a little over-excited. I found Ratatouile only marginally less irritating than Cars and totally devoid of the warmth, humour and wit of The Incredibles or Toy Story 2. It seems we've found the major pitfall of CGI animation. All the studios have become so obsessed with how the films look that they seem to have forgotten to write a script. There were some nice touches and the odd funny moment but for the most part it was too long, too dull and nowhere near inventive or funny enough to stand alongside the greats of the genre.

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Post #: 91
3 Stars by DVD Release? - 22/10/2007 4:42:57 PM   


Posts: 3
Joined: 1/6/2006
This will be one of those oops shall we admit we got it wrong DVD review moments (Phantom Menace etc). I'll declare an interest, Pixar are a real favourite of ours, but this is dull. We took our 2 children (5 and 4) that love Pixar and they fidgeted. It wasn't even as if the level was pitched at adult references that the kids missed, cos we were bored as well. A real disappointment with a style that was inconsistent in itself.
As for technical excellence of course it looked lovely but Pixar have never relied on the looking good approach to CGI. It's about story and engagment. I knew I was in trouble when I started noticing how beautifully animated the rat fur was....

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Post #: 92
great animation - 22/10/2007 11:34:32 PM   
Ace Rothstein


Posts: 174
Joined: 8/4/2007
I enjoyed this alot. Superior to Cars but I didn't think it was quite as good as the incredibles simply because the incredibles had more relatable characters , was more daring and deeper. Still, this is very well done. Uanlike, say Finding nemo, comedy and humour is not its main concern(but you won't be bereft of that at all). The climax was truly involving and sublime paricularly due to Peter o' Toole's memorable crituc, Anton Ego. Overall, not pixars best film but more well done then the Simpsons movie and Shrek the third put together.

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Post #: 93
no short - 22/10/2007 11:45:49 PM   
Ace Rothstein


Posts: 174
Joined: 8/4/2007
Oh, and by the way did everyone have the that short before the film. Because my Showcase cinema in Dudley certainly didn't. And I never went to get popcorn whilst it was on either. Still, it was a good cinema with massive screen and quality sound. Did this happen to anyone else? Please respond.

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Post #: 94
RE: no short - 24/10/2007 5:36:03 PM   

Posts: 5529
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From: Whalley Range

ORIGINAL: Ace Rothstein

Oh, and by the way did everyone have the that short before the film. Because my Showcase cinema in Dudley certainly didn't. And I never went to get popcorn whilst it was on either. Still, it was a good cinema with massive screen and quality sound. Did this happen to anyone else? Please respond.

Yeah, I've just got back from the showcase in Dudley, and we didn't get any short.

I thought it was a great film. Not Pixar's best (probably better than Cars and the Incredibles, but not a patch on Toy Story, Bug's Life and Monster's Inc.), but certainly a very enjoyable flick. It made me smile that it was more adults laughing than kids, with some slapstick thrown in their for the younger ones. It's over-said, but this one sure does have something for everyone. 4 stars.


Top 100 Moz Songs / Top 100 Films

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Post #: 95
RE: no short - 24/10/2007 10:24:03 PM   

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From: Dublin: Ireland
I thought it was pretty good. Way better than cars but not better than any other Pixar movie.
As someone who dabbles in 3D animation and modeling, I have to say the animation in this movie was just jaw-dropping stuff.


You're killing Independent George!!!!

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Post #: 96
Good , Not Great! - 24/10/2007 10:59:29 PM   


Posts: 3
Joined: 28/2/2006
This was a well made film with further improving animation. There is a real sense that Pixar are getting to grips with animating humans. Unfortunately, these qualities are not enough to truly elevate this film to the pantheon of great animated films and I'm brutally honest, Pixar films. It is better than Cars but given that that was the worst Pixar film that's not saying much. The crucial element missing was humour. This is just not as funny as Toy Story and The Incredibles. This slots in nicely below A Bugs Life and above Cars.

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Post #: 97
A Mixed Bag - 25/10/2007 12:55:45 AM   


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Joined: 18/4/2006
I enjoyed this film in general, but came away a little undecided. Where it works, it really works: the animation (especially Paris by night, and the food) is of course beautiful, and Peter O'Toole's Anton Ego is a fine creation almost up there with Edna Mode. The voices work fine and there were a few scenes that I thought were outstanding, such as the one where all the rats cook in the kitchen, which is a wondrously-animated sequence buzzing with energy and interest. I confess when Ego tries the ratatouille at the end and is transported back to his childhood I became suddenly very tearful, the idea of the monstrous critic regressing to a happy childhood bliss prompted by a favourite dish moving me rather unexpectedly. Indeed the last twenty minutes or so zips by joyously, and seems to live up to the promise of the opening sequence in its charm, invention and subtlety.

Unfortunately the central third, or even second and third quarters, sag heavily. The problem is not much actually happens. Remy gets a job, essentially, in a restaurant and gets to learn how to cook, but there isn't really any plot as such, it's almost just like a live-action indie movie that details the uneventful lives of a quirky bunch of chefs in a restaurant and then remembers that it ought to tack on some sort of finale. The device whereby Remy controls the chef's cooking by tugging his hair kind of works as a bit of slapstick, but it is not really that funny to begin with and is played on much too often. It is also a very odd plot element: you kind of feel that it was an initial rough concept that was never developed and polished, until it just went into the script with the hope that the audience would pretend not to notice or question it. Having Gusteau as Remy's imaginary guide works a little better however, and his repeated assertions that he is just a 'figment of your imagination' are quite amusing. This device, however, would probably go over the heads of many younger kids, and therein lies the problem: crucially, Ratatouille just isn't much fun. It has its moments, but the kids in my screening laughed far more at the alien short beforehand, as did I. Nor are there really many in-jokes for the adults - not like the superhero references to the dangers of capes or of monologuing in The Incredibles - and so what is left is a thin plot stretched too far which seems to want to get by on the sort of offbeat humour and situation that doesn't really work in this sort of animation (or at least hasn't yet).

It is still quite enjoyable, even if you do end up simply admiring the skill with which it is rendered, but it is not Pixar's 'masterpiece'. Better than Cars, yes, marginally, but not as ravishing or touching (or funny) as Finding Nemo, and not as smart and sharp as The Incredibles.  

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Post #: 98
RE: A Mixed Bag - 26/10/2007 8:50:57 AM   

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From: Satan's Trampoline
Whilst it looks stunning, Ratatouille just didn't work for me.

Overlong, and lacking in the warmth and humour you would expect from Pixar.

When the target audience (ie my kids) are bored after 20 minutes, you know its going to be a long 2 hours.

A huge let down - Lifted was far superior.


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Post #: 99
Wonderful stuff! - 26/10/2007 3:17:00 PM   


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Joined: 30/9/2005
An amazing, astonishing film.  Deserves every one of those 5 stars as far as I'm concerned.

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Post #: 100
RE: Wonderful stuff! - 26/10/2007 11:14:23 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf

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An amazing, astonishing film.  Deserves every one of those 5 stars as far as I'm concerned.

Couldn't agree more 


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Much more better!

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Post #: 101
Incredibley... It's not The Incredibles - 27/10/2007 11:34:16 PM   


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From: Somewhere that's neither here nor there
When I hear that Brad Bird is going to make Ratatouille.. I was very excited, jumping with joy actually, kitchens, gourmet food, chefs' politics, alot of adult themes that Bird is well suited to explore, just like he did with The Incredibles.. Unfortunately it didn't work, as I think they tried to pander to kids too much, but they lost both threads, as it is neither hillariously funny, nor knowingly witty, plus it is overlong... Shame really when the animation and the renderring of the charachters and Paris was so wonderful, I actually stopped following the plot, and was just marvelling at the artistry and the level of perfection that Pixar has reached.
It is not a disaster, but it just falls short of a masterpiece.


I reject.. Therefore I exist........
I cut my own hair......
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Post #: 102
RE: Ratatouille - 28/10/2007 5:48:19 PM   


Posts: 30
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Ireland
I didn't enjoy this as much as i was expecting to. It really took a  while to get going and it didn't come across as sharp or engaging as the Incredibles. Now i thought it was just me seeing as i'm not crazy into the animated movies that are out these days but those i went to see it with had the same thoughts as well as a number of my mates. I'm not saying it was crap or anything just was boring at times didn't have very much to offer. There are some genuinely brilliant moments in it, laugh out loud stuff and some of the characters are brilliant although i found these to be the humans rather than any of the rats in it.... which i suppose is hardly a compliment to the Brad Bird. Anyway it's ok to while away some time but i wouldn't be bothered watching it again really. Empire's praise again exceeded what I felt was due.

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Post #: 103
RE: A Mixed Bag - 28/10/2007 5:57:35 PM   
Rumble Jack

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Joined: 29/6/2007

ORIGINAL: Davechoc

It is still quite enjoyable, even if you do end up simply admiring the skill with which it is rendered, but it is not Pixar's 'masterpiece'. Better than Cars, yes, marginally, but not as ravishing or touching (or funny) as Finding Nemo, and not as smart and sharp as The Incredibles.  

I agree. Whereas The Incredibles and Finding Nemo had a complete new world about it; the people, the surroundings and more uniqueness that you could hope for, Ratatouille wasn't different enough. There was nothing so out of the ordinary that we were meant to engage with (the sea, superheros) and things, although very nicely detailed, were far too familar. Characters were very well done though but it's just not the same as expecting the unexpected from Disney.

I don't know if I'm making sense: Ratatouille wasn't as other-worldly as Finding Nemo and The Incredibles.

I give it: 4 out of 5. Sorry :(


Who needs love when you're doing it up the bum?

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Post #: 104
RE: A Mixed Bag - 28/10/2007 9:15:27 PM   

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An absolutely wonderful, beautiful film. It works amazingly well, and it is a return to form after the lifeless Cars. Pixar back on form showing Dreamworks how it should be done.



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Post #: 105
Distinctly Average - 29/10/2007 12:39:06 PM   


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Joined: 26/10/2007
Empire - how on Earth you can give this film 5 stars is uttery beyond me. What were you comparing it to?? It was nothing more than enjoyable at most. Granted, the animation was fantastic but with regard to storyline I felt it was somewhat lacking. Compare this film to the likes of Finding Nemo, or Monsters Inc and it is a very poor relation. How on Earth your reviewer managed to find so many positive things to say about the film is astonishing! Your 5 star rating should be saved for the very best of films, not dished out willy nilly as seems to be happening lately.

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Post #: 106
Stop looking for needles. - 29/10/2007 9:43:34 PM   

Posts: 101
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Malta
i have but one thing to say - if none of you had known just how good this was....all of you would be giving it 5 stars. by the time i watched this i KNEW it was going to be good...and that diluted my sense of awe (not by much). Nemo was (at least to me) a complete surprise. i hadn't watched a film so moving and so wonderfully animated since Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King...Empire gave that 4 the rug was pulled out from beneath me on that one. if anything i think Nemo should be 5 stars and this ----- ALSO 5 stars because it is just as good (less moving granted). The animation is sublime and the story is not as predictable as one might think. as i said the ONLY thing this film has that is running against it is the glow of positive reviews surrounding it. give it a couple of years and then everyone will be saying this was (and it is) Pixar's Masterpiece.

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Post #: 107
RE: Ratatouille - 31/10/2007 2:50:36 PM   

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From: Springfield

For me, Pixar haven't really put a foot wrong since their first feature length animation Toy Story. Their films have exemplified the most consistent performance of any single studio of recent years. There have been but two films where they have stumbled, but not fallen: A Bug's Life, and Cars. I enjoyed them both enormously, but with the calibre of films already produced, expectations were understandably high. Fortunately, after the latest 'stumble' from 'superb' to 'really rather good', Pixar are back in their rightful place, with Brad Bird in prime position. From his work on The Simpsons, to The Iron Giant, to The Incredibles, Brad Bird has been force with whom to be reckoned, stamping his own voice (quite literally with Edna Mode) on films predominantly aimed at children, but with a firm eye on the accompanying adult audience. With Ratatouille, those two cinematic worlds for children and for adults comes together as perfectly as the two distinct flavours Remy combines - and with the fireworks that Remy tastes.

Briefly, the film concerns the trials and tribulations of a young misunderstood rat called Remy who, upon separation from his family, finds himself at the restaurant of his idol Chef Gusteau. There he befriends a 'garbage boy' Linguini, and through a distinctly animatic conceit, together they create some mouthwatering concoctions, all the while watched by the current diminutive Head Chef.

The living beings in the film - be they quadruped or biped - are cartoony in the way all Pixar characters are. Realistic, but not photo-real. The surroundings - cityscapes, rivers, sewers, countryside, kitchens - all are photo-real, and phenomenally so. But we have come to expect this of Pixar, and to dwell on this would be to detract from the true joy of this film which is, as always, the story and the characters. All the main protagonists are fully realised characters, and they breathe life into the CGI that is so often lacking in sub-par films.

Remy's hallucinations allow us neatly to hear what Remy is thinking, and provide the sort of conscience dialogue that goes back to Pinnochio and Jiminy Cricket. The humans cannot understand Remy, but (inexplicably) he can understand us. The one way comprehensions leads to some poignant moments of misunderstanding and frustration as Remy cannot relate to Linguini his feelings or intentions.

The music is, while stereotypically French with the use of the accordion, superb. The song as Remy is first 'fixing' Linguini's disastrously altered soup, and which is reprised at the film's close, is wonderfully heart-aching, and instils just the right emotions. It binds the strands of the story together, until the whole is a sumptuous feast of colour, emotion, and music. If only we could taste the film - and in a way, we can.

Acting: Of course, here this section is more down to the voice talent involved, which is great. Ignoring the US accents of Remy and Linguini, the other actors attempt a Gallic accent which is fine for everyone except maybe the French, who'll have it dubbed into French anyway. 7/10
Script: A really good script, especially when the two main characters can't interact through conversation. The story is warmth, but not without a sense of danger lurking around the corner for the atypical duo. 8/10
Music: As mentioned already, the music is fantastic. The emotions that come together at the close of the film, and what the scene means to those involved is heightened by the music, but never overpowered by it. 9/10
Directing: For a film with such a troubled production, the end result is almost flawless. Pixar may have stumbled from their lofty perch twice, but Brad Bird is on solid ground. 8/10
Success of Intent: For a film aimed at both children and adults, it is only fair to rate this section based on the impression of both parties. I thoroughly enjoyed it, while my son was distracted towards the end. The film is well-paced for adults, but younger children may find it too slow. I'd give success of intent 5/5, where as I'd give it 2/5 on behalf of my son as while he says he enjoyed it, he was clearly distracted. 7/10
Overall: 39/50 or


(A small note about the rating system I use: 'Directing' is technically 'everything you see on the screen' and includes such skills as editing and cinematography. Music is 'everything you hear' and includes any effects as relevant to the film.)


That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.

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A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

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Post #: 108
RE: Overrated - 1/11/2007 11:45:32 AM   


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ORIGINAL: benskelly

This film is a masterpiece.  It just demands a little bit more from the viewer than say "Finding Nemo".  This is NOT just a kids film, and thank god.  People said the same thing about "The Incredibles" - not funny enough.  Brad Bird makes films that are intelligent and much deeper than the usual animated fare.  That's why they bring such joy to thinking people.  It's not joke, joke, joke all the time.  It's a real story, told at a normal pace.  I honestly think people have lost their patience and can't just sit back and let a story unfold.  It needs to bombard them, or it's 'boring'.


It may be animated but it is not a 'kids' film. The laugh out loud moments may be less widespread than in some other Pixar movies, but this is still a masterpiece.

As an aside would you walk out of Pan's Labyrinth or Brokeback mountain complaining the film was not funny enough?

Just because a film is animated doesn't mean it has to be a continuous Gag reel.

This movie has moments of great humour, but that is not all it is about.

< Message edited by JagLover -- 1/11/2007 12:57:07 PM >

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Post #: 109
Perfection - 1/11/2007 3:34:40 PM   

Posts: 20
Joined: 30/10/2005
From: Zoo Station
The best film in years and gets better and better with repeat viewings. Best "acting" in yonks, beautiful shots and dispite whats been posted here, it is very funny! The sad thing come awards season itl be merely written off as a "cartoon", this is Best Film material and hopefully will be rewarded rightfully.

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Post #: 110
RE: no short - 2/11/2007 2:48:18 PM   
dr. salvador

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From: City 17


I thought it was pretty good. Way better than cars but not better than any other Pixar movie.
As someone who dabbles in 3D animation and modeling, I have to say the animation in this movie was just jaw-dropping stuff.

I agree. It has to be one of the best movies (animated or otherwise) that I have seen in a while.


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We came to this country, you made it our home."

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Post #: 111
Loved it! - 3/11/2007 5:17:57 PM   


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Joined: 30/10/2007
This was such a good film! Far exceeded my expectations!

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Post #: 112
RE: Loved it! - 3/11/2007 5:25:19 PM   


Posts: 6522
Joined: 10/4/2007
Very good...lots of fun but quite predictable disney fare... 4/5

(in reply to littlekatydid)
Post #: 113
RE: Loved it! - 3/11/2007 7:56:19 PM   

Posts: 374
Joined: 25/11/2005
Here's my review of Ratatouille, taken from my website, - where this week you can also read my thoughts on Flushed Away, Cars and Toy Story 1 & 2.

(Brad Bird, US, 2007)
In remaking Cyrano de Bergerac as rodent comedy, Pixar reveals the soul of a poet trapped in the body of a computer animated kids flick.

Everybody loved to see an empire, no matter how mighty, get its when Cars pranged the first dent on Pixar’s hitherto unassailable reputation, there was an inevitable element of schadenfreude. There was the feeling – during a year when the market was saturated by all manner of CGI johnny come latelies and half-baked wannabes – that the honeymoon was well and truly over for the whole animation renaissance, and that the critics had their pens sharpened for the slightest fumble from the guys who had blazed this trail. Of course, Pixar isn’t the kind of studio to take this lying down. Whether elements of this real-life struggle fed into the making of the movie, or whether it’s just good timing, there’s the unmistakable hint of a rebuke about Ratatouille.

The message of the film – so overt it’s almost propaganda – is to remind us not to give in to elitism and recognise that great art can come from anywhere. The unmistakable subtext is that this includes “computer-generated kids’ movies.” For the first time Pixar seems intent on blowing its formidable trumpet: anyone can make a CGI animation, but only the best will truly give your palette a taste sensation.

And that’s certainly true of Ratatouille, which goes out of its way to emphasise its refinement: Parisian locations, a story revolving around haute cuisine, and pure filmmaking panache. After creating the sleek pop-art contours of The Incredibles, Brad Bird proves his versatility by opting for rich, burnished textures and graceful choreography of movement, a non-stop ballet of scurrying and chopping. There are sequences here that are just dazzling, propelled by a energetic yet varied score by Michael Giacchino that proves he‘s fast becoming of the best composers around.

Aesthetically, it’s a feast, but there’s richness in substance here, too. The Incredibles' astute satire on nanny-state conformity proved that Bird is probably the most adult animator working in Hollywood’s CGI community, and Ratatouille shows that sensibility in full swing. Only last year Aardman chose the same species and created an entirely different movie in the knockabout farce of Flushed Away, but if that film probably has more belly-laughs, Bird’s has more resonance. He never relies on the intrinsic humour of the film’s premise but consistently uses the situation as the springboard for more wide-ranging targets.

Of course, what we’re seeing is yet another refinement of the morality that the studio has preached since day one: ‘do what you‘re best at.’ The emphasis has long since moved from the slightly uncomfortable fascism with which Buzz Lightyear is disavowed of his astronaut delusions in Toy Story, to a more generous, meritocratic spirit: allowing monsters to become comedians, for example. But Brad Bird’s fairytale about a rat becoming a chef drives a the biggest wedge yet between upbringing and ambition, and becomes a fable of the outsider overcoming prejudice to find his calling.

What’s interesting is that the prejudice comes from both sides. Remy is caught between the snobberies of a high culture that won’t accept him and the inverted snobbery of common folk who want him to stay put. It’s a familiar enough struggle to allow space for subtexts galore, not least in the weird intuition that the outsiders – isolationist, garbage-eating rats in a world of foreigners – might actually be the Americans in this parable, which certainly makes Ratatouille one of the more unusual sources of geo-political comment around.

But the overriding lesson remains the one about Pixar itself. It’s a rare film that seeks both to educate the palettes of a mainstream audience into throwing out frozen ready meals to experiment with new tastes, and to castigate critics who have confused passion for perfection. But in the increasingly overcrowded ghetto of CGI animation, that dual battle is exactly what’s needed. The film reads as a topical update of the great Hollywood satire Sullivan’s Travels, refreshing its message (moviegoers come to the cinema to have fun…) with a new sub-clause (…but that doesn’t mean movies have to be mass-market junk). Happiness needn’t just be a simple pleasure; it can also come from giving in to the joys of an artist like Bird.


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Post #: 114
RE: Loved it! - 6/11/2007 5:50:58 PM   
justified by grace


Posts: 1548
Joined: 4/2/2007
The animation in Ratatouille is stunning.  However, this is almost secondary to the rest of the film.  The sheer strength of the voice-acting, along with great characterisation, allows us to truly emotionally invest in the characters.  This, coupled with Brad Bird's unswerving devotion to telling the best story possible, gives Ratatouille a rare level of emotional depth, rendering it heartfelt and moving.

However, that's not to say that the action is neglected.  Seamlessly integrated into the story, the exhilarating, rat's eye-view setpieces are arguably a match for the jaw-dropping ones in The Incredibles.  Michael Giacchino's score, throughout the whole film but especially during these action sequences, is virtually perfect.  Moreover, the film is also quite funny, with the humour coming naturally as part of the story.   A couple of scenes in particular are hilarious.

A near-perfect film, Ratatouille is warm, funny, and moving, with thrilling setpieces and a fantastic score by Michael Giacchino.


Megamind ****
The King’s Speech ****½
Despicable Me ****½
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole ***½
A Serious Man ****
Lars and the Real Girl ***½
Lourdes **
The Return ***½
Doubt ***½
Star Trek: Nemesis ****

(in reply to SimonK)
Post #: 115
RE: Loved it! - 10/11/2007 6:40:09 PM   
Fluke Skywalker

Posts: 9540
Joined: 23/4/2006
From: the dark side of the sun
Typically top quality Pixar fare but best ever? I think it's down the list personally but that is by no means a negative considering their consistent brilliance. Cars was a bit of a worry (although not as bad as I was expecting) so it's a relief to see them back on form. This movie is funny, exciting and touching - but aren't all of their films?

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Post #: 116
- 11/11/2007 1:17:07 AM   


Posts: 13
Joined: 2/11/2007
Quite a bit overblown and over-rated, but still worth a watch.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 117
- 12/11/2007 1:50:58 PM   

Posts: 749
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Maidstone Toon!
Loved this to bits. Pixar have excelled themslves once more. This film made me want to go back to paris for a few days. The animation is amazing, the storyline is brilliant and it is just what you want for pure good fun entertainment.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 118
RE: - 12/11/2007 7:36:53 PM   


Posts: 151
Joined: 7/10/2005
From: Somewhere that's neither here nor there
Watched it again, liked it more than the first viewing... maybe my expectations weren't that high second time around..


I reject.. Therefore I exist........
I cut my own hair......
Fear does not stop you dying, but it sure does stop you living......

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Post #: 119
Wonderful but not quite Incredible... - 27/11/2007 8:36:58 AM   
The Voice of Fate

Posts: 112
Joined: 11/10/2005
I enjoyed this film a lot. As others have said, you stop marvelling at the animation after about 5 minutes of "Oooh - look at that water!" - and you are left with a very funny film. Exciting, optimistic without being too sacharine and a new story told well. Pixar's greatest moments for me have been Toy Story and, above all, The Incredibles. It's not quite there, but it's only a whisker away.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 120
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