Tuesday, June 19, 2007

SURF'S UP ~ at least things are starting to look up.

Sorry I haven't been here in a while. Anyway, here's a new review.

I have just seen Surf's Up twice, and I have to say, it is a huge step forward. That's not to say its a great movie, which it is not, but just a huge improvement. For Sony Animation, it is a tremendous improvement in story and design over their last project, Open Season (which I shall say no more about).

This project was ten times more interesting to me than Happy Feet. The characters are well designed and very expressive (my two biggest compliments). The characters and their relationships are given plenty of depth, as well. And in terms of writing, it appears that someone's trying to be original. It seems now we have animation meeting the world of the "mockumentary." This world is currently ruled by the work of Christopher Guest and his troupe (movies such as Best In Show and A Mighty Wind). Yet the cornerstone of the mockumentary genre remains 1984's This Is Spinal Tap. Check these movies out if you haven't. Funny Stuff there.

As for the celebrity voices, some ups and downs.

Jeff Bridges manages to pull it off here with his character (pictured above). His voice has plenty of personality to go around. Plus, I've always enjoyed voices like his, similar to John DiMaggio's Bender voice on Futurama. The rest do an okay job, I guess.

The character above turned out to be one of my favorites in the whole movie. His name is Mikey (voiced by comedian Mario Cantone), and he has some of the best lines in the movie. Particularly one about migraine medicine.

All in all. Something worth checking out. Pretty enjoyable. Not the best though. Still too many cultural references in the way, and a couple of the characters aren't fully developed. But still worthwhile.