Monday, November 13, 2006
"Happy Feet" -- Everybody Dance Now
I am officially excited about the animated movie "Happy Feet." Sure, we're all sick of the glut of toons and penguins in particular. But both Variety and Hollywood Reporter have just reviewed the film and they're very enthusiastic. This tale of a penguin who can't sing -- a virtual requiremnet in the world of the film -- but sure can dance has one thing going for it. It's original. That's no surprise since it was directed by George Miller, a doctor who abruptly changed careers at the age of 35 years old and has consistently delivered some of the most distinctive films around. He's directed "Mad Max" (1979) -- a movie that is greatly improved if you see the proper version and not the poorly dubbed and reedited one that originally premiered in the US; "The Road Warrior" (1981), a brilliant action masterpiece; "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome" (1985), which Roger Ebert LOVES and I like more than most people; "The Witches Of Eastwick" (1987), his one misfire because he tried to go Hollywood or did a project that wasn't close to his heart I think; "Lorenzo's Oil" (1992), a medical tale that is utterly gripping; "Babe" (1995), which he cowrote and produced but basically oversaw in a dominating George Lucas-like manner and which is of course a pure delight; "Babe: Pig In The City" (1998), the darker and underappreciated sequel; and now "Happy Feet." Mad Max, a medical miracle, the gallant pig Babe and now an animated film -- Miller is definitely an original.