Jan 9, 2008

[Movies] Open Season

Open SeasonI'm generally pretty big on animated features - call me a sucker at heart, but I suppose the kid in me can't help but jump up and down, hold it's breath and generally throw a tantrum in my head until I go see the cartoon in question. In recent years, filmmakers have been working to make animated features enjoyable on multiple levels - not just for kids, much to our relief and ultimately joy.

Open Season was another attempt at tapping this market, but it just didn't do so well. There are many possible reasons for this and it's hard to pinpoint something precisely. I'll certainly try, though.

Open Season is the story of Boog the bear (Matthew Lawrence), who had been tamed by a forest ranger named Beth (Debra Messing) many years ago. Now he's the main attraction of a local nature show and his life is pretty good until Elliot (Ashton Kutcher) enters his life. This one-horned deer manages to get Boog sent into the wild and here his zany adventures begin.

The movie was fairly funny, but hardly break out laughing funny or even funny enough to make me guffah in a theater. It was just a mild funny that elicits chuckles here and there. I dunno, but that's how it struck me - or perhaps didn't strike me. The plot thickens!

By the middle of the movie, there are just too many characters that you don't really know who to focus on. Any number of them had the potential for pretty good comedy but they were hardly utilized to their maximum potential, not even the primary characters. When off-camera you tend to just forget about many of them, which is bad if you really want this movie to hit it big and possibly lead to merchandising in the future. No, the Schwartz was not with this movie.

Moral of the story? Don't expect just any CGI-animated feature to hit it big as long as you hire physical comedy actors that people normally find funny, but only if they don't utilize higher brain functions. Admittedly, it took me a while to actually finish this movie. The first time around, I fell asleep in the middle of it.

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