Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Epic (2013) **½

PG, 102 min.
Director: Chris Wedge
Writers: James V. Hart, William Joyce (also book “The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs”), Dan Shere, Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember, Chris Wedge
Voices: Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz, Aziz Ansari, Chris O’Dowd, Beyoncé Knowles, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler

“Epic” was a great film for the kids. For me, it felt like something I’d seen a hundred times before. There was no spark to it. Nothing that called out, “I’ve got something new to say, and a new way to say it.” With the amount of movies I see, I hardly expect to see something new in everything, but there’s usually something that feels fresh about a movie worth seeing. This one didn’t really seem to have that.

I liked that the heroine wore clothes that a person of her age would. If that’s the best thing you can say about a movie, how much can what you have to say be worth saying. I’ll give it a try anyway. Oh, and the movie is fairly beautiful to look at. Um… but where was I? Yes.

Just so you have an idea of what I’m talking about, I should at least let you know what it’s about. Well, it’s a family-oriented CGI animated movie. It follows a girl who has come to live with her reclusive father, who ruined his career and marriage with his theories that the woods were actually filled with little people who helped keep the ecosystem going through a balance between good and evil. Guess what? He was right, and somehow his daughter, our heroine, gets sucked into the world of these little forest people who exist in a slightly faster plane of existence than humans.

There is a war going on between the forces of good and those of evil. The evil ones hope to capitalize on a changing of the guard as the good forest people’s queen is about to pass the mantle to the next generation. If the baddies (I honestly can’t remember what name they’ve been given) can steal the bud of the new queen and have her bloom in darkness, they will take over and the ecosystem will die.

I also liked how the baddies arrows would cause galls to appear on the branches and leaves they hit. For someone who tries to control pest on trees for a living, this is a far more interesting explanation than the real one.

Um… Everything pretty much goes according to formula. If you don’t know the formulas as well as I do, I suppose it will be somewhat exciting and adventurous. For me, however… meh.

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