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Bee Movie (DVD, 2008, Full Frame)
(18 Epinions reviews)
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Jerry Seinfeld Spreads His Wings in Bee Movie
Jan 29, 2012
Review by Erin McCarty
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:great cast, fun spoofs
Cons:heavy-handed, a lot of the humor falls flat
The Bottom Line: "He happens to be the nicest bee I've met in a long time!" "Long time? What are you talking about? Are there other bugs in you life?"
I am not especially fond of bees. While I am not allergic, I was stung several times as a youngster, and I did not like it. In fact, I developed such a strong aversion to bees that for a time, I was half-afraid to step out the front door in the summer. I suppose that may be one reason I never got around to seeing Bee Movie, the 2007 computer-animated comedy featuring the voice talents of Jerry Seinfeld and Renee Zellweger, but I did finally catch it this week. While it had its entertaining moments, generally I dont think I was missing too much.
Recommend this product?
Seinfeld, who co-wrote the movie, stars as Barry B. Benson, a young bee about to settle into the job that will be his for the rest of his life. Barry doesnt much like this idea, so he flees the restrictive hive and immerses himself in the frightening whirlwind that is the world of humans. While on his excursion, he befriends sweet-natured florist Vanessa Bloome (Zellweger) after she rescues him from her aggressive husband Ken (the always-funny Patrick Warburton).
This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as familiar names go; the voice cast is loaded with A-listers, including Matthew Broderick, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates and Oprah Winfrey. Some, including Sting, Ray Liotta and Larry King, play versions of themselves, and these spoofs are among the movies funnier moments. In fact, generally speaking, the scenes that made me laugh most involved either celebrities lampooning themselves or tributes to famous moments in classic films. My favorite: Barry getting the third degree from his parents as he lounges in the pool a la The Graduate.
The story reminded me a bit of The Giver and other such tales where one member of a seemingly perfect society starts to wonder if conformity is really the best option. The movie whacks the message about the value of individuality and bee-ing yourself over the audiences head in much the same way that Ken keeps trying to whap Barry with a magazine. Its heavy-handed, and the constant barrage of adding bee to the beginning of words gets a little old. Some good puns can be found, but most of them dont deliver much of a punch.
The sweetest element of the movie (aside from the honey that is such an important part of the plot) is the friendship that develops between Barry and Vanessa, both oddballs who are tired of feeling disenfranchised. Their partnership leads the tale to its exciting climax, which pays homage to the wackiness that is Airplane!. Its all pretty absurd, even more so because you sort of get the sense sometimes that the writers and directors are taking the movie more seriously than they should. Still, its rather fun to see the world from a bees-eye view, if only for an hour and a half.
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