Thursday, July 05, 2007

I Smell A Ratatouille - Ratatouille, Je T'aime - Movie Review

Directed and Written by Brad Bird

First of all, can Pixar ever go wrong? I mean REALLY wrong? Cars wasn't their best feature but it still exceeded most other movies in quality. The opening short before Ratatouille, Lifted was simple but totally hilarious and imaginative. A new twist on close encounters, that's for sure. Now, Brad Bird, director of The Iron Giant and The Incredibles is back with Ratatouille, about a rat that can cook, and made another wonderous movie that is nearly perfect.

Where do I even start? The plot is simple and basically predictable, yet Bird takes the adventures of Remy (Oswald Patton) the rat with a taste for high cuisine and weaves it through a high adventure, romance, comedy, family drama and physical hi-jinks into a downright delicious looking fable in Remy's quest to rise above it all and use his talents to full use. Along the way, he uses human Linguini (Lou Romano), a garbage boy, and plays him like a puppet (literally) as they aid each other around the kitchen at Gusteau's, a once glorious restaurant now fallen into the hands of an evil chef Skinner (Ian Holm) and under critical eye by harsh food critic Anton Ego (Peter O'Toole).

And I'll get this out of the way now. I said earlier that the film was nearly perfect. It isn't perfect because of mostly the way Skinner falls so stereotypically into the villain role and is drawn simply in 2D, unlike the other characters which bounce off the screen. A few clunky moments with Remy and his father that halt the pace of the film down but again, I'm getting into minute details.

And oh what details. Visually, the movie is simply gorgeous. From the beautiful landscapes of Paris that would have simply felt at home in Paris Je T'aime as another great homage to the city of lights, to the copper pots with scratches, to the bread with the air bubbles making it look crispy on the outside and spongy on the inside. I can simply go on but I won't only because you simply must see it on the big screen for yourself (and oh yes, you need a really big screen to see the details they put into this).

The play between Linguini and Remy is hilarious, and the comedy is universal. It works now. It worked centuries ago and it will work centuries from now (unlike some cough... Shrek funny bits). Anton Ego's final critique of Remy's dish, and his reaction is priceless. Watching Remy in his joy of cooking, hard at work in the kitchen, is simply irresistable.

Yes. Watching a rat cook is a LOT of fun. Of course it helps that Remy washes his hands before he does. Takes a little of the eww factor out.

Ratatouille = A or 9.5/10

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