04 June 2007

Ink Blots LXVII - Open Season

This month features films with large bearlike creatures... like bears, or other large beings. Up first, Open Season.

Open Season was Sony Pictures Animation's foray into the CG animated world hitting in a year jam packed with animal themed animated films. The film had a reported budget of $85 million and earned $84.3 million at the box office, so it really was not much of a financial success.

Ashton Kutcher does a good job as the voice of a wussy one-antlered deer, and Martin Lawrence voices the tamed bear Boog. The two meet up... conflict occurs... the two team up to take back the wilderness... hilarity ensues.

As for its artistic impact, Open Season was able to take the now common "fart joke" to a new level with a gag featuring on-screen defecation. Way to go guys! Having said that, I actually liked this movie better than I expected I would. It has a lot of funny (less crass) moments including the trashing of a 7-11 style convenience mart, rampant abuse of rabbits, and an ever growing assemby of quirky woodland creatures. I am not sure if the anti-hunting message will convince any young hunters to turn in their rifles, but overall, the film does deliver some laughs.

As for the animation, the animals all look pretty good being slightly caricatured, but the humans look rather freakish. I do not expect great things from Sony in the future, they look to be following the trends as their next film, Surf's Up seeks to cash in on the currently hip Penguin market. For a first effort and some good humor, Open Season dodges a bullet and escapes with a B.

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