Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 8th, 2008
Welcome to an all-new way of presenting even more review titles to you.
From time to time we’re given a kind of disc called a “screener”. It’s sometimes the industry’s way of getting review copies without spending a lot of money. Instead of final product, we get a paper slipcase with just a disc. Even the disc is far from final product, the one you would buy in a store. There are often no extras, and the A/V isn’t necessarily the way it will look on the ultimate release. For years we here at Upcomingdiscs have often avoided reviewing those titles because we can’t really comment on the many factors we like to include in our reviews.
Enter the “No Huddle Review”. In football, no huddle is an offensive strategy used to either save time or keep the defense from being able to substitute players. The team skips the traditional huddle gathering to plot out the play. Instead the quarterback will call out the play as the men line up, or even speak directly with key players as they get into position. Just time for the bare essentials. No time for fluff. The same applies to these new No Huddle reviews. They will be short capsule style reviews concentrating on mostly just the film itself. No A/V, bonus feature ratings at all. Just enough to tell you what we think of the film and offer an overall recommendation
Our first No Huddle Review is on the recent release of Horton Hears A Who by MGM.
If you’re like me, you remember the Dr. Seuss specials from the 1960’s. At this time of the year, The Grinch comes first to mind. In that wonderful span of cartoon specials was the story of the elephant Horton, who hears voices coming from a speck he carries around on a flower. The story revolves around Horton’s attempts to protect the very tiny town of
Enter the CH animated version by duo directors Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino.The animation itself is only fair when compared to the superior projects that were released this same year. There are moments where the animation appears broken up as if the rendering software couldn’t handle it all at speed. The main story remains, but unfortunately all of the Dr. Seuss charm is gone. There are too many moments of slapstick and silliness that the source material suffers needlessly. Charles Osgood narrates the piece with absolutely no feeling. He treats the trademark Dr. Seuss style of rythme with little or no respect. The choices of Jim Carrey and Steve Carell as Horton and the Mayor respectively merely reinforce the slapstick approach to a very different kind of material. There is even a Pokemon fantasy segment that serves to sever the film’s ties with the source material completely. Even the use of Carol Burnett as the voice of the doubting Thomas kangaroo can’t save this total mutilation of a beloved story. Skip this modern 90 minute retread and take another look at the Chuck Jones original. A remake is a remake “no matter how small”.