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Shrek More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Could have been, but wasn't.

5/10
Author: brawny64 from NJ, USA
10 December 2001

Before getting around to viewing Shrek, I waited until much of the hype and product tie-ins faded. (This took a bit of time. Luckily, I was able to see Final Fantasy and Monsters, Inc.)

On the surface, it seemed to have the potential to stand out in a less-than-exciting year. The films creators assembled a core of quality actors to provide voices, the music sounded familiar, it looked like the animation was top notch, and it even had a catchy name.

I have to say I was mostly disappointed. Mostly.

Shrek attempted to work on many levels at once, but as usually happens with films that try to be all things to all people, it was never able to sustain any momentum. It seemed to randomly appease parts of its target audience. There also were major shifts in plot direction during the course of the film.

The plot was simplistic and predictable, the characters under-developed and disposable, and the music placement questionable at best. It's as if they amassed several of the basic elements that create good films, threw them into a giant pot, and hoped the stew tasted good. I'd hate to think that this much effort was wasted.

This being said, I suppose it was the best animated-parody-comedy-musical-romance-action-fantasy-parable-family movie of the year.

I guess it was unfair to see a Simpsons episode prior to viewing.

I am glad, however, that it was the greatest film many people have ever seen. Quite a Blockbuster moment to be sure.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

An all-around fun movie for everyone.

9/10
Author: The Flickster from TN
17 November 2001

SHREK (2001) Rating: 9/10

This movie has everything. This film's got laughs, it's got action, it's got a cute, original story, it's got nifty characters all around, solid special effects, a rockin' soundtrack...and even romance? Now that's a movie! Seriously, we should all thank the writers, directors and everyone involved who took part in creating this wonderful film (and one William Steig, the man who wrote the book upon which this is all based). I mean, here's a story that takes characters from all of our favorite fairy tale wonderlands, mixes them together in a new and exciting wonderworld and most importantly, makes it all gel...and in a very entertaining manner, I might add!

I love the way the story uses all the classic fairy tale characters to make this modern-day fairy tale. The "beauty and the beast"-like romance between Shrek and Princess Fiona really works, even better than most romance movies I've seen as of late. Oh, and I forget to mention that this movie has laughs galore! I found myself laughing out loud many times, especially at Donkey, the Matrix spoofs, and the little inside jokes that some of the younger viewers might not understand and that would definitely be appreciated by adults.

The four lead voices in this film are perfect for their respective roles. Eddie Murphy and John Lithgow stood out especially to me. Eddie Murphy is hilarious as Donkey. He definitely had the funniest lines in the movie and he easily stole the show. Eddie Murphy, it would seem, is ideal for voice-over work. And John Lithgow is perfect for the role of Lord Farquaad, the stuck-up villain of the film who wants to be king. Lithgow makes him sound evil, but funny at the same time. Mike Myers gave the best voice anyone could have given for the lead character Shrek, and Cameron Diaz can best be described as "cute", which is perfect for her character, Princess Fiona.

Overall, Shrek is a fun, fun, fun movie. It's got everything you could hope for in an animated movie. It's definitely a film for all ages and is certainly worthy of being called a modern animated classic.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

DreamWorks gives Disney the big green middle finger...

10/10
Author: TobyS from Atlanta
30 October 2001

A single word describes Shrek- brilliant. Not in a long time have I enjoyed a movie as much as I enjoyed Shrek. This is a movie that plays on a few different levels, and manages to be entertaining on all of them. Plus, they stick it to Disney something good!

Mike Myers is Shrek, a big green, smelly ogre trying to live a peaceful life in his swamp. He spends his day brushing his teeth with bug goo and bathing in swamp mud. All is well until the vertically challenged Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow in a brilliant performance) banishes all the kingdoms fairytale inhabitants to Shrek's swamp. In an effort to regain his peace and sanity, Shrek, aided by his unwanted sidekick Donkey (Eddie Murphy), make a deal with Farquaad to rescue the Princess Fiona from The Dragon and bring her back so Farquaad can marry her.

It's well known that DreamWorks and Disney have had an ongoing feud for years, and Shrek is the latest and most destructive shot yet. The makers (led by ex-Disney, DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg) hits Disney where it hurts most - animated features. No Disney chestnut is sacred. Various characters pop in and out of the film, and the sight gags playing on Disney's theme parks alone are enough to keep anybody entertained. Without giving anything away, one of the most hysterical gags in the film involve the Princess and a little bird in a very Disney, very Snow White singing sort of way.

The non-stop punches at Disney are one of the levels Shrek succeeds. The other is that it's a pure, heart warming story that anybody of any age can enjoy. Unlike most recent movies (animated or live action), Shrek is story driven. Watching the film you come to care about the characters and get involved in their feelings. I even found myself caring about characters that in any other movie would be pushed into the background soon after their "big scene". I would also like to say that I commend the DreamWorkers for the ending. It was unexpected and appreciated because it shows that beauty has many levels.

In general, Shrek can do no wrong. I usually see at least one thing I would've done differently, but not with this movie. I have racked my brain, and can't come up with a single thing I'd do differently. Shrek is visually stunning, hugely engaging and has a strong heartfelt moral. Good job to DreamWorks and PDI. Good job to everybody involved. Finally, good job to Disney because without you, none of this would've been possible!

My Grade: A+

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

It's a great movie!

9/10
Author: Erry Febrian Pratama (damai_dan_cinta@peacemail.net) from Bandung, Indonesia
23 October 2001

I really love this movie..I think Shrek is the best animated movie in 2001. Yes, maybe Final Fantasy is better in animation, but Shrek offers more than just beautiful and realistic animation. The characters are just fictious anyway, so they don't have to gesture like real human being..

Shrek offers us mostly fun, 'cos the story is really enjoyable. Okay,it's some kind of predictable, but it doesn't reduce the fun-thing. There are so many funny times like when the king had to choose one of 3 princess (we're not expecting that the mirror will be like a quiz host,are we?),then when Princess Fiona sang so the bluebird exploded, and I like the actions in the "Colosseum". Hey,it's so much like WWF Smackdown actions! Shrek acts like he's The Rock...it's fun and amuses us,right?

Lastly, Shrek also contains some morality messages which are not given by other animated movies,such as Final Fantasy.

Yeah,it's the best fairy tales ever told !

Go on Pixar..create another excellent movie!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Call me an Ogre

5/10
Author: marvin42 from Baltimore, MD
9 July 2001

I am not sure I understand why this movie was so well received by critics. It is an ok movie, but there is not an original idea or even a coherent story. It relies almost entirely on references to other stories, movies and even companies (Disney), and the animation, while technically impressive,

lacked any "magic" or true beauty.

Also I was turned off by its blunt attempts at appealing to both kids and adults (with a sledgehammer approach) and the way overblown music.

So call me an Ogre, but please don't make me watch this again...

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Bridges the generation gap effortlessly

9/10
Author: huggybear-2 from Birmingham, England
9 July 2001

There are many films indeed that promise to provide amusement for all the family - they usually end up totally boring the parents and failing to interest the children. As an (im)mature 30 year-old, I found Shrek to be both riotously funny and a great story too. Judging by the reaction of the children in the audience, they loved it too.

How was this achieved? Well, the gags are a mixture of cartoon slapstick, film references and the fine interplay with Eddie Murphy and Mike Myers (and, later, Cameron Diaz). Disney takes a (deserved) hammering throughout - but I wouldn't want to spoil any of the jokes by revealing them here. John Lithgow is also great as the prince who wants to create the perfect kingdom. The mixture of material means there is plenty to amuse everyone and, unlike the recent Disney output, the plot is very strong too - entertainment with a message, what more could anyone want?!

The one minor blemish is Myers' Scottish accent as the eponymous ogre - offputting for a British audience perhaps, more than in America. Overall though, a triumph.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

What a BAD film!!!

4/10
Author: mrincodi from Bogotá
6 July 2001

I can't believe this movie is at the top 100 movies of history list!

How can something so full of silly, predictible, brain-dead gags, be there? As someone told, the story doesn't make sense. The humor is nasty and cruel (what about the beginning? Yuck! And the cookie man without legs! Oh!) "Shrek" also kicks the butt of _all_ the stories, but not because it is good, but because the characters of these stories appear fooled in a way that really hurts to those of us that love fairy tales.

I do not recommend it. If you're definitely going to watch it, do your kids a favor: don't bring them to this movie if they're younger than 13! Even for me (25) it was.... oh, God! Rent Toy Story 1 or 2, Majo no Takkyubin (Kiki's Delivery Service) or Beauty and the Beast instead. Those are animated pieces of art!

Ah, and of course "Shrek" is going to win an Oscar! This has been really a "cruel summer".

Don't watch this movie if you want to keep a clean soul and a clean mind, or unless you watch the animation (although Toy Story's is much better).

Don't watch it! It's very bad, nasty and stupid!!! It should be at the worst animated movies, instead of Warner Bros. version of "the King and I".

Don't watch it, please! You'll feel that you've lost the treasure of innocence!

My rating: 4/10, and only because i really like animation!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Not as good as everyone says

3/10
Author: whatson
4 July 2001

Shrek is full of too many tired jokes that have been featured in just about every Mike Myers movie. In fairness there were one or two new jokes in this movie but they weren't that funny.

I was looking forward to the "great advances" in animation that this movie had made. To be honest I've seen better overall animation in a PC Video game. The 3D-ish characters were well done but they overlayed on painfully obvious 2D backgrounds that resembled paintings rather than animation. This is almost comparable to what Walt Disney did in the 40's its just that he didn't use the computer to create everything. Toy Story was a much better animation advance than Shrek as everything in it was an integrated design.

If you like bodily function jokes or Mike Myers a lot (or you're under the age of 12) Shrek would be a great movie for you. Otherwise, stay away from this one.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Just another lunch box shifter

3/10
Author: Duncan Drury from London, UK
2 July 2001

I went to the cinema gorged on the hype for this movie. What I found was that I knew every joke already, and that they weren't really funny.

What really got me was the animation of people. It was so bad that I would rather watch stick men. Computer animation just doesn't hack it when you are looking at something as familiar as a human face. This is something they knew when they made Toy Story, and got round in a very clever way. Shrek could have got round it by using caricatures for ALL the human characters.

Anyway, that aside, I found the film boring, and noted that the small children in the audience at one point started shouting across the cinema to each other, suggesting to me that they were bored too.

I shouldn't have gone to see this film. If you like cinema, and are concerned with decent storylines that are engaging and intelligent, then don't go and see this film without some form of inebriation to soothe you!

It really is, like Antz, substandard to Disney, no matter how many anti-Disney wise-cracks there are in there. The story is more simple than needs be, and has no message worth 90 minutes or whatever (seemed like 30 mins to me - small blessing). Also, I wonder if Mike Myers dare set foot in Scotland after another exploitative attempt at an accent. Mike Myers, you are no Mel Gibson - no one will thank you for this. Why are you bothering.

Ooh, yes, and the "hip" soundtrack just didn't hang. What were all those bands thinking. Ah yes, royalties!

Don't listen to the hype, and don't believe the self-referential "hipness". Shrek is just another lunch-box shifter.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Good, but disappointing and overrated

Author: Sunil Patel (poltrcow@umich.edu) from Ann Arbor, Michigan
6 June 2001

*Shrek* had a high bar to reach. Stellar reviews, good word-of-mouth, and my own anticipation since seeing the first trailer all led to a high degree of wanting it to be really, really *Memento*-good. While I've got *Memento* on my tongue, I can segue by saying that that movie lived up to the hype, while *Shrek* didn't quite make it all the way.

I was very, very worried at the beginning. During the opening credits, they employ more gross humor than I've seen in some entire movies. Burping, farting, bug-eating, implied excrement, whatever they could think of. I was afraid. Where was the wit? The clever fracturing of fairy tales?

The clever fracturing of fairy tales, I discovered, was not as prominent as I had thought and wished. Save for a few scenes at the beginning and the end, and one or the two in the middle, there isn't really that much of it. And most of what there was, I'd already seen in the trailers. The Gingerbread Man, however, should get his own movie. And I really love the Merry Men scene. I expected more of that kind of fun, but there wasn't.

Where does the other humor come from? References to the butt, farting, jokes about how "short" [cough, cough] Lord Farquaad is, some nice Disneyland bits...and the fact that Eddie Murphy is speaking. He talks. A lot. But I like Eddie Murphy. The way he speaks, it's as if he believes that everything that comes out of his mouth is comic gold. Some of it's pretty funny. Some of it's just odd, but it's said amusingly. Some of it's just...hm, okay, he said what was in the script. But there are other really good elements of humor that I won't mention here because one good element of humor is the element of surprise.

Mike Myers is excellent as well. I could hardly tell it was him. He uses a Canadian/Scottish hybrid accent that works very well. I read an article about how he actually begged to re-record his lines in this new accent because he didn't think he'd captured his character right the first time. It set the movie back three months and increased the budget by $4 million. Katzenberg thought it was worth it, and I think so too. Chris Farley was actually slated to play Shrek, and had actually recorded some lines before he died, but hearing Mike Myers' portrayal of him, I can't imagine Chris Farley doing it. I don't think he could have given him the genuine emotion that Shrek has now.

Cameron Diaz. Hm. For the first fifteen minutes Princess Fiona talked, all I could see was Cameron Diaz speaking her lines in the recording room. I couldn't see the *character* saying the lines for some reason. I guess her voice was right for the character, but it took a while to get used to it.

John Lithgow's great, but that goes without saying.

The animation, as expected, is spectacular. It's just so amazing to see these 3-d characters walk around in their 3-d environment.

So, overall...I think the movie could have been a *lot* better. Oh, I forgot to mention the music. I didn't recognize more than half the songs, but I suppose many of you will. Geez, sheesh, I sound like I hated the movie. I really didn't. My problem is I came in with really high expectations that weren't met. There's a lot of great stuff, and it's a very enjoyable movie (Enjoyability is always a plus for me). It does get my blessing and recommendation, but I just warn that you don't get caught up in all the hype. One review I just read ended with, "but it's no *Toy Story 2*." It isn't, but I think it could have been.

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