Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Little Red book for children?

As a bona fide movie geek I read the website Aintitcoolnews.com regularly to keep up on the movie news of the day. Actually I read it to keep up on the movie news of tomorrow as they usually have reviews and screening reports far in advance of other movie review sites in addition to the latest geek movie rumors. They are also a bunch of flaming liberals, shocking aint it? Movie guys who are liberals?

Anyway, in general the movies over the last 4 or 5 years, with some very big exceptions, have been very disapointing. No small thanks to all the libs in Hollywood who would rather push their socialist message than tell a good story, or entertain. And the latest all-star voiced digitally animated film appears to take this to a new level or so says Massawyrm(warning language):
After a devastating attack by “The Destroyer” (a little boy named Lucas) that floods and collapses their mound, destroys their egg chamber and kills untold scores of ants (they brush over this aspect very quickly), the film’s religious figure (a wizard as to avoid any direct correlation) Zoc (Nicholas Cage) concocts a plan to sneak into enemy territory, shrink “The Destroyer” and bring him back for trial. When he does, the ant masses are howling for blood. They want to tear the Destroyer apart. They cry out to eat him alive. But the wise and benevolent Queen Ant has different ideas. You see, The Destroyer is at war with the ants simply because he does not understand them.

Her idea? Sentence l’il Osama to live and work with the ants so he can. Because once they understand one another, there will be no reason to fight. While there, Lucas learns the value of hard work for the mound and how every Ant has his or her place in society. They each have their own specific jobs that they’re born into to do, and it’s important that each ant does its part so they can all enjoy the fruits of the harvest.

Yes, yes. I know. Ants are natures Communists. And I can imagine that it might be hard to tell a story about them without such an overt theme. Except that, well, they did it in ‘Ants’. But this isn’t just an “our culture, their culture” thing. Because as overt as it appears earlier in the film, the point gets hammered home towards the end. As Lucas and Zoc sit atop a rock and stare at the human city, Zoc asks ‘Is that your hive?’ ‘Yeah, I guess it’s like a hive.’ When Zoc asks about how it works, Lucas replies ‘I guess it’s every man for himself.’ This leads to a Zoc monologue about how that just doesn’t make any sense. Everyone has their place and don’t the humans realize that if they all work together and share in the fruits of their labor that they all can benefit?
Start 'em young right? That's the Communist way. And even if this isn't a strictly communist message it's still teaching kids that all problems can be solved by making sure nobody's feelings are hurt. I have 9 brothers and sisters, let me tell you feelings will get hurt, and to pretend that they won't or shouldn't is a disservice to children. As is telling them that they should just be happy and work for the collective.

But we are moving towards this mentality with our children. When was the last time you went to a t-ball game or a kids league baseball game? Everybody hits, it doesn't matter how many outs you get, you will always get to hit. That way feelings won't get hurt, they don't even announce the winner sometimes, everyone had a "good game". Now I'm all for sportsmanship, but not to the point where it devalues accomplishment.

Not to worry though, according to Boxofficemojo.com hardly anyone went to see the movie anyway:
Few picked on The Ant Bully, which posted the weakest start ever for a high profile computer-animated feature.
I sure wasn't going to plop down 8 bucks for this. However my man James Lileks did and well....he was not impressed:
The script. I swear, nearly every computer animated movie is funded by Pixar, just to remind you how good they are. Even “A Bug’s Life,” which ranks low on the general Pixar-love scale (I like it more than “Nemo,” frankly – you can’t beat that troupe of misbegotten circus insects) had an amusing script. “Ant Bully’ ladles out one thin cliché after the other; every line of dialogue is witless, strained, leaden, derivative,  or annoying. It’s one of those movies where everything everyone says could be replaced with “I’m shouting out Expository Dialogue!” and every scene would have had the same impact.
Sounds like loads of fun eh?

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