Sunday, March 09, 2008

REVIEW: Bee Movie

Bee Movie

Year: 2007
Director: Steve Hickner & Simon J. Smith
Starring: Jerry Seinfeld, Renée Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, Patrick Warburton, John Goodman
Distributor: DreamWorks SKG
MPAA: Rated PG

Bee Movie was Jerry Seinfeld's long in development project that he was trying to release. Its been in development for awhile until finally releasing in 2007. I'm not sure if the movie was always intended to be an animated film, but I don't see it working at all as a live action movie. The film grossed an estimated $285 million worldwide on a $150 million budget, which wasn't a huge success like Shrek or Toy Story, but it did manage to pass its budget. Being a huge Seinfeld fan and owning all the DVDs of the popular sitcom, it was only natural that I go see this film. Besides, I also loved animated movies so it only made sense to watch Bee Movie. The only problem was that I was busy watching American Gangster at the time so I couldn't watch Bee Movie. It was only until the DVD came out that I decided to give Bee Movie a shot.

Plot Outline:
Barry B. Benson (Jerry Seinfeld) is a bee who is living in the typical bee world where you live, you work and you die. He's getting sick of it too, he wants something different, so he goes out into the human world. He meets a nice lady named Venessa (Renée Zellweger) and decides to break the Bee law and talk to her, they develop a friendship. He discovers in the human world that they sell honey and he's working his butt off for it, so he decides to go ahead and sue the human race for all the honey they have. But he realizes soon that bee's mean more than just making honey.

Bee Movie is kind of a mixed bag. For a movie that's been in development for a long time, the story just doesn't work well. While the movie might look like another animated film for kids, the plot seems more suitable for older teens. The whole movie is about Barry suing the honey makers around the world for stealing honey and as a story, this isn't a very good one. I don't think children are going to like an animated movie like this to have a story that's more geared towards adults. Their are also some plot holes that becomes obvious as the movie goes on such as Barry talking to humans when its against the bee code. With this all said, Bee Movie still has some moments of enjoyment. I particularly loved the bee hive and how every bee was working in this bee world. The characters of Bee Movie are also not something I would have expected. I enjoyed the character of Barry Benson seeing as how he was the more energetic one. The story also consists of jokes that are typical of Seinfeld to include, but these jokes are rarely funny. It feels like the writers tried too hard to incorporate these jokes into the movie and some just don't work.

The cast of Bee Movie is pretty good. Jerry Seinfeld plays as Barry B. Benson and being the main character of the film, it was pretty important for him to sound good. Luckily he voices Barry very good for the most part, but he seems to outshine the rest of the cast. Since hes the only one that seems the most energetic and excited to play as Benson, the rest of the cast doesn't seem like their trying. Renée Zellweger plays as Vanessa Bloome and shes pretty good, but gets out shined by Seinfeld. We also have Matthew Broderick playing as Adam Flayman and since Broderick already did some voice work in the past with Lion King, he does a pretty good job here. Patrick Warburton plays as Ken and hes probably the second one in the film that looks excited to play his part even though he mostly talks loud through out the film. I kind of enjoyed the cast of Bee Movie. Sure not everyone is talented in their role, they were still decent none the less.

The special effects for Bee Movie are simply outstanding. Being an animated title and a recent release, its no surprise that Bee Movie looks great. Detail is very good with alot of scenes looking wonderful such as the early scenes of the bee hive or the detailed streets of New York. Theirs also some fluid-ness to Bee Movie and a good example of this would be Benson's hair which really stand outs as being very fluid. While the facial animations look good, they don't really come close to some of Pixar's work such as the recent hit Ratatouille. Even with that in mind, Bee Movie looks really great with colors really popping off the screen with yellows and blacks looking very solid. This is easily up their with some of the best animated films even though the facial animations aren't the best. I cant imagine how well this movie would look on high definition.

The music of Bee Movie is pretty good. Composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams who also composed such hits as Hotel Rwanda and Over the Hedge, the music for Bee Movie sounds pretty good for the most part. Bee Movie has a score that seems pretty right for this movie, but its not used effectively until the credits. We do get some areas of music that are heard in the movie and they should good for whats their, but Bee Movie doesn't offer alot of music in the sound department. Here we have a good score that is barely used alot. What Bee Movie doesn't deliver in the score, it makes up for it in its bass. The movie is full of bass work and it sounds very nice and loud. Dialogue is also very crisp and clear considering this is film that heavily relies on its voices. I'm happy to say, I was pleased with Bee Movie's soundtrack even though it wasn't used enough.

Bee Movie was a movie that had alot of potential to be really good, but somewhere down the lines, it just couldn't deliver. The story isn't imaginative or creative, but its decent none the less. The cast is good for the most part even though Seinfeld really stands out above the rest. The visual effects for the film are simply outstanding and a joy to glare at. The music is pretty good and delivers alot of bass, but is hardly used enough to make it memorable. I felt that Bee Movie wasn't as good as a film as some of the other animated titles out their, but its certainly something I found some enjoyment out of. Sure the story sucks and goes nowhere, but Bee Movie still has moments that are fun to watch even though the story is going to bug you.

Grade: C

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