Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Byron Howard, Chris Williams, 2008 (7.8*)
Another enjoyable Pixar-Disney animated film, with some incredibly realistic graphics, at least the landscape portions (the humans look a little stiff and plastic). Bolt is a small Swiss shepherd who is rescued from an animal shelter in the beginning, when he is being appropriately cute with a rubber carrot toy. His person, as he calls her, is a little girl named Penny.

The story inexplicably then skips forward five years, at a point when Bolt and Penny are the stars of a kids tv show, in which Bolt rescues Penny from various perilous situation, most involving a green-eyed man (voiced by veteran actor Malcolm MacDowell).

The only problem with Bolt is that in order to make the show work, he has been fooled into thinking that Penny is really in danger, he has no idea that it's all a TV show, and everything is make believe. Mistaking Penny to be really in danger while he's trapped in his studio trailer, he manages to escape and immediately gets packed up and shipped away.

He runs into an alley cat named Mittens (Susie Essman, perhaps the weakest cast member - I'd have rather heard a pro comedienne like Joan Cusask in this role), and a hilarious hamster in a running ball, named Rhino.

Perhaps the lead roles could have been better cast. John Travolta is just ok as Bolt, he was actually funnier in real action comedies like Get Shorty. Miley Cyrus was just ok as Penny, no doubt selected for her young fan base.

Filmed just after The Incredibles, this has a lot of similar action, but the screenplay isn't quite as good, but it was certainly more entertaining to me than Up, which was Pixar's worst film to date to me, losing their best character in the first 10 minutes, and sticking us with two unlikeable characters for the rest of the film.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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