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A good movie

Posted : 4 months ago on 19 October 2017 08:13

I already saw this movie but since it was a while back and since I had it on DVD, I thought I might as well check it out again. In fact, I saw the damned thing in the movie theater when it was released and, back then, it was a big event. Indeed, it was DreamWorks first CGI animated feature so the expectations were pretty high. Eventually, it didn't get much love but I always had a weak spot for this flick. For some reasons, 'A Bug's Life' which was released during the same period of time turned out to be  more popular but it is in my opinion one of Pixar's weakest movies and, in my opinion, this movie was slightly better. Of course, 20 years later, the animation feels rather outdated but it still looks pretty good. Above all, it was a masterstroke to have a neurotic ant voiced by Woody Allen and, if they would have kept this grown-up tone and tried for example to make a Woody Allen comedy in this insect world, it would have been really awesome. Unfortunately, they went for a generic story about an average ant trying to save its colony which was much safer but also rather boring. Anyway, in spite of its flaws, it was a decent watch and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 



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Review of Antz

Posted : 5 years, 8 months ago on 26 June 2012 11:46

For the first 10 minutes, Antz made me smile, sometimes laugh, and for the most part, was quite enjoyable. My doubts towards the usually mediocre Dreamworks had faded; but only for a little bit. The quality dropped just a wee bit after the first 10 minutes, but I was still enjoying myself. The film holds up for another 20 minutes, and then it's rarely amusing again.

The main character, Z, is tired of having decisions made for him. He doesn't want to be a worker, and he's sick of being forced to things he doesn't want to do. Through a crazy chain of events, Z becomes a war hero, is accused for kidnapping Princess Bala, and ultimately, begins his journey to Insectopia, where he can make his own decisions, and live in paradise.

After the first 30 minutes, Antz decides to movie the story in a completely different direction and what could've been an entertaining film turned into another mediocre Dreamworks entry.

Part of the reason Antz was such a disappointment were the characters. They're simply unlikeable. At the minimum Dreamworks managed to at least develop personalities for the characters (though there are several exceptions) but none of them are very likeable. Bala is a brat, Z is a bumbling idiot, and General Mandible; the film's villain, is often confusing.

Mandible has no motive for his villainy, and is ultimately forgettable for his lack of personality or originality.

Antz is the second CGI movie ever made, so I might have forgiven Dreamworks for the ugly animation. However, the first CGI film (Toy Story) had considerably better looking animation, so Antz really has no excuse.

The character designs are atrocious. You can't tell the difference between a female ant or a male ant until they talk! The design of the ants face and head look like a bad version of E.T. right down to the skin tone. It's just downright awful.

And the voice acting is also rather disappointing. The voices lack energy and a vast majority of the lines sound flat. With so many big names, I had expected more. Perhaps that's why I was so disappointed.

The score however (composed by Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell) was incredible (especially during the beginning where there are a lot of jazzy songs). The music is perhaps the only thing that tops it's competitor film, A Bug's Life. However, there's an incredibly silly lyrical song that's played during the credits that has nothing to do with the movie and it's just awful. I don't know what Dreamworks was thinking by adding this song into the credits.

The thing that surprised me the most about Antz, though, was how non-family friendly the film was. Some scenes take place in an ant bar, some language that shouldn't be allowed in a children's film, and a LOT of violence. I scarcely ever see films with such a high body count. Hundreds if not thousands of ants are killed during a war, one of which was decapitated. One bug ends up falling to his doom and we see the impact. For a teens on up film, this may not be a big deal, but for a movie for kids, this is unacceptable.

While Antz does have some brief moments of inspiration, it ends up being another mediocre film from Dreamworks. With bad animation, bad story, bad voice acting, and a lot of slow parts, Antz is a relatively pointless affair. Antz has some redeeming qualities, but ultimately, the best thing about Antz, is that it reminds us how good A Bug's Life is.


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Antz

Posted : 6 years, 2 months ago on 19 December 2011 03:47

Loosely based on the novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, the setting for the story is an ant colony in Central Park in New York City, under the chronological timespan of 4 days. The protagonist (Woody Allen) is Z-4195, or "Z" for short, a neurotic and individualistic worker ant living in a wholly conformist society who longs for the opportunity to truly express himself. His friends include fellow worker Azteca (Jennifer Lopez) and a soldier ant, Weaver (Sylvester Stallone). Z meets Princess Bala (Sharon Stone) at a bar where she goes to escape from her suffocating royal life and falls in love with her.

In order to see Bala again, Z exchanges places with Weaver and joins the army. He marches with the ranks, befriending Barbatus (Danny Glover), another soldier, in the process. He doesn't realize that the army's leader and Bala's fiance, the corrupt General Mandible (Gene Hackman), is secretly sending all the soldiers loyal to the Queen to die so he can begin to build a colony filled with powerful ants. At the base of a tree near nightfall, Z realizes he's actually marching into battle, and all of the soldiers except for Z are killed by the acid-shooting termites. Following the battle, all Z can find of Barbatus is his head. Before he dies, Barbatus tells Z to think for himself rather than follow orders all his life. Z returns home and is hailed as a war hero, congratulated personally by the secretly irate General Mandible, and is brought before the Queen. There he meets Princess Bala, who eventually recognizes him as a worker. When Z finds that he has been cornered in a lie, he panics and takes Princess Bala hostage. They escape the colony and hide, and Z decides to search for the legendary Insectopia. Bala reluctantly decides to go with him after she narrowly escapes from a hungry praying mantis.

Word of the incident quickly spreads through the colony, whereupon Z's act of individuality sparks a revolution in the workers. As a result, productivity grinds to a halt. Seeing an opportunity to gain control, General Mandible begins to publicly portray Z as a villain who cares only about himself. Mandible then promotes the glory of conformity and promises them a better life, which he claims to be the reward of completing a "Mega Tunnel" planned by himself. Mandible learns Z is looking for Insectopia after interrogating Weaver. Knowing full well of the place's existence, Mandible sends his aide, Colonel Cutter (Christopher Walken), to its location to retrieve the Princess and kill Z. Cutter, however, slowly begins to have second thoughts about Mandible's plans and agenda and develops sympathy for the worker ants.

Z and Bala, after a misdirection and a brief separation, finally find Insectopia, which consists of a human wastebin overfilled with decaying food (a treat for insects of all kinds). Here, Bala begins to reciprocate Z's feelings. However, during a break, Cutter arrives and takes Bala back to the colony. Z finds them gone and makes his way back to the colony to rescue Bala, aided by a wasp named Chip (Dan Aykroyd), whom he met earlier and has made himself drunk grieving over the loss of his swatted wife, Muffy (Jane Curtin). Z arrives at the colony, where he finds that Bala has been held captive in General Mandible's office. After rescuing her, he learns that General Mandible's "Mega Tunnel" leads straight to a body of water (the puddle next to Insectopia), which Mandible will use to drown the queen and the workers who have gathered at the opening ceremony. Bala goes to warn the workers and her mother at the ceremony, while Z goes to the tunnel exit to stop the workers from digging any further. He fails, however, and the water leaks in. Z and Bala unify the workers into a single working unit and build a towering ladder of ants towards the surface as the water continues to rise.

Meanwhile, General Mandible and his soldiers are gathered at the surface, where he explains to them his vision of a new colony with none of the "worker filth". He is interrupted, however, when the workers successfully claw their way to the surface and break through. Mandible tries to kill Z but is stopped by Cutter, who finally rebels against Mandible and instead tries to help Z and the worker ants out of the hole "for the good of the colony." Mandible then snaps, yelling that he is the colony, and charges toward Cutter, who is, however, pushed away by Z at the last moment. Mandible inadvertently takes Z with him back down into the flooded colony, and gets killed when he lands upon a root while Z falls into the water. Cutter, taking charge, orders the other soldier ants to help the workers and the queen onto the surface while he himself rescue Z. Although it seems that Z has drowned, Bala successfully resuscitates him. Z is lauded for his heroism and marries Bala. Together they rebuild the colony with Cutter as their General, transforming the colony from a conformist military state into a community that values each and every one of its members.


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