VIFF ‘11: Lo-Fi Puppets And A Big, Hilarious Heart; ‘Kooky’ Is Destined To Be A Family Cult Classic > The Playlist
Wow, I really like the look and sound of this one. Please, god, let it get a decent release out here!!!!!!!!!!Quote:
While, yes, “Kooky” is a family film, there’s no better descriptor for it than this simple, direct and vulgar statement: it’s ****ing awesome! We could end this review right there and feel real good about it…so what about the film, directed by Czech-born writer/director Jan Sverák (the Oscar nominated “Kolya”), has us all in a tizzy? It’s a film after our ‘80s nostalgia-drenched childhood heart, and it’s won it completely. “Kooky,” with its you-can-actually-touch-them puppets and clever, lo-fi character and world creation, manages to successfully straddle that fine line of reminding us of films we love from the past (“The Dark Crystal,” “The NeverEnding Story,” “Labyrinth,” “Return to Oz”) while also being something completely new and fresh. It easily places amongst some of the best family films of recent memory (Pixar not included) that also share a hand-made quality to them and a palpable sense of peril (“Where the Wild Things Are,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “Coraline”).
There’s so much worth gushing about over “Kooky.” It’s so damn charming and hilarious and whimsical and messy. Part of that charm is that it’s by no means perfect; we’d even go so far as saying it’s a little rough at times. Any film that decides to use the oft-dreaded dubbing in place of subtitles is ripe for ridicule, but here it at least seems to be a deliberate artistic choice by the filmmakers and ends up adding to the humor in ways that would be completely lost if the film were subtitled. Better to experience the lovely visuals and breathtaking, visceral chases through a fantasy land that is all too real and tangible. The crisp, beautiful cinematography by Mark Bliss and Vladimír Smutný (he’s something of a regular collaborator with Sverák, having shot several of his other films), is at odds with the cheapie puppet aesthetics (and we mean that as a compliment), wonderfully countering the rough/raw/artificial/man-made feel of the characters with a smooth, sun-rain-and-snow-drenched natural background filled with natural lens flares.
But the biggest compliment we can give to this fantastic and fantastical film is that, like the best family or kids’ movies, it’s better served being labeled for what it really is. “Kooky” is just a great, magical film. Period. End of story. [A-]
TAILCHASER'S SONG Gets Its Animation Partner, Plus Exclusive Concept Art!
Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news.
Earlier this year we reported at AICN that Paul Alvarado-Dykstra and Samantha Inoue-Harte, and their production company Animetropolis would be starting work on an animated film adaptation of Tad Williams' TAILCHASER'S SONG. The book is a fantasy with cats as the characters, a bit like WATERSHIP DOWN but a bit more epic in scale. Now comes word that they have partnered with International Digital Artists for co-production and as lead animators for the project. You may know IDA from CAT **** ONE, the action-packed animated series about a hostage rescue team made up of fluffy bunny rabbits. IDA is the first Japanese studio ever nominated for a VES (Visual Effects Society) Award for animation for CAT **** ONE. Here's a trailer (it starts after about a minute):
I love the animation, and I think IDA is suited to bring Tad Williams' book to the screen. If you haven't read TAILCHASER'S SONG, I recommend it - it's a terrific read, and for those of us who are cat lovers, it just confirms how awesome cats are.
Read this, and as a lifelong fan of WATERSHIP DOWN(possibly the greatest book ever written...yes I am talking to you The Bible...), it is a great book and should make a tremendous movie.
Ugh! I don't know if I have watched this, but I don't think so. Popeye and Bluto fighting is the whole point, lol!
I remember this episode where Popeye and Bluto went to visit Olive and she told them to wait while she finished the dishes. But before that, she went back out to the living room to give serve them lemonade, and they were already starting to fight. So she told them that she wanted them to start laughing so that she'll hear them from the kitchen and know that they weren't fighting. But when she went back in, they continued laughing and started beating the **** of each other, lol.
Now that's classic children's entertainment. mhihi: