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Cut the pretentious crud. This film is obviously intended to entertain
a younger audience, and it does a good job at doing that, while
somewhat tactfully putting in some jokes for the parents. No, it's not
spectacular. If you watch this movie expecting something "Grade A",
you're not going to get much out of it.
The plot: generic, predictable. But obviously so, considering it's called "Gnomeo and Juliet".
The cast is an oddball compilation of respectable actors, with the exception of the obscure addition of Ozzy. But what is really keeping this movie going is the cuteness of it. That is the selling point, and what makes it most appealing. If you go into this movie expecting something more, you will be left disappointed. So I suggested you loosen up, look for a laugh, and you'll enjoy it more. It's not a bad film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I took my twins (age 5) to see this today and they were THRILLED to
bits!! I disagree with the reviewer that says it's a "girls'" movie! My
Hot Wheels/Bionicle loving sons, loved it and they didn't think it was
girly one bit and neither did I!
I also did not think it was a Toy Story rip off as there have been a ton of movies featuring toys that come alive long before Toy Story anyway. Yes, garden gnomes and decorations come to life but that's were the similarity between the two ends.
I did not go in expecting to see a cartoon version of Romeo and Juliet so I was not disappointed one bit and thankfully, this story does not share the tragic end of the original tale. I did like the characters quite a bit, I LOVED how the gnomes were fragile, I loved the clay clinging sounds they made, how realistic the textures were.. it did not feel like a "dime a dozen" animation at all!! It was bright, it had a solid plot, and it was going somewhere (unlike let's say, Alpha and Omega or Happy Feet).
My boys were begging as soon as the titles rolled to watch it again so we just might be returning to the movie theater with some friends this weekend. I wouldn't mind seeing it myself and I was glad we did go see it because after I read the previous review, I had my doubts if it was going to be any good but it was!!! My boys "got it" much better than say, Shrek... so it will appeal to a younger crowd as well in my opinion...
Okay, so I bought myself a pack of 10 movie-tickets from Hoyts and thought "what the heck" lets see a movie with the family. So, we went for Gnomeo and Juliet and we really, really enjoyed it. Yes, the movie is predictable from start to finish, but I say: "So what!" It's supposed to be a family/kids movie and we all know that this movie is not going to end like the real Romeo and Juliet. The characters are funny, the voices are great, the flamingo(s) even better. The Terrafirmanator is cool - I would like to order three and have them delivered within the next 5 minutes. Mixing in the music of good old Sir Elton John makes the movie even better - it becomes so English! Mmmm... the end-scene did remind me of Shrek a lot (just a lot softer, which makes sense them being a bunch of garden gnomes - they are quite fragile), but it's still very, very positive. Yeah, I believe Gnomeo and Juliet is a must see for the family - you won't regret it. Oh, please observe the sound when the gnomes happen to touch each other - I think the sound artists have done a fantastic job!
In the beautiful British town of Stratford-Upon-Avon there's a street
where the owners of two neighbouring houses have no idea of the rich
lives being led in their backyards. In these backyards there are two
groups of garden gnomes - one garden is ruled by the blue hatted
variety, the other is ruled by the red hatted variety. An age old feud
- of which the reason has long since been forgotten - is keeping them
apart, but unexpected events might just be enough to get them back
Loosely based on the Shakespearean tragedy Romeo And Juliet this animation film keeps the middle line between tragicomedy and romance. Like many animation films being made these last years it combines fun things for kids with fun things for adults - without hurting either group (the innuendo that is fun for adults is not seen by kids whose innocence protects them from it, the deviation from the original tales to make it fun for kids is not so warped that it makes it unrecognisable for them parents).
The animation is great - the gnomes and the gardens are just lovely to watch. The setting with gnomes is flawless - the sounds, the implications of being a garden gnome - it works out really well.
If there would be one bit of negativity for this film it is that its trailer is a bit too biased towards an audience that wants to see romance instead of a bit of light comedy.
8 out of 10 midsummer night's dreams
Gnomeo and Juliet is the latest re-imagining of Shakespeare's tragedy,
Romeo and Juliet . I will admit that I didn't go into this film with
high hopes, but while its not an instant classic, I was pleasantly
Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean...
The film begins with an amusing homage to these lines, before we really get into it. The garden gnomes of two neighbouring backyards, the Red Gnomes and the Blue Gnomes, have an ongoing rivalry as to who's garden is best. They constantly try to sabotage each other and dislike each other immensely. After a lawnmower race in which Tybalt the Red gnome (voice of Jason Statham) beats the Blue gnome Gnomeo (voice of James McAvoy), Gnomeo and sidekick Benny decide to sneak in by night and vandalise the Red's garden. Meanwhile Juliet (Emily Blunt), protected and thought too fragile by her father Lord Redbrick, is desperate to prove she is otherwise. Gnomeo and Juliet meet, and the rest is history as they say.
Of course, the film can't follow the original play exactly - this is a kids movie! It's not a tragedy, it's a comedy. This is where I expected to be let down - I honestly didn't think I would find it funny, but I'm glad to say for the most part, I found this film charming and funny. It could have been funnier, but the younger audience will love it, which is the important thing I suppose.
Shakespeare fans will have fun spotting the little references to the Bard's works (including a cleverly worked in quote from Macbeth of all plays). I did. For instance, the owner of the Blue Gnomes is Miss Montague (Romeo's family in the play), while the owner of the Red's is Mr. Capulet (Juliet's last name). The owners themselves hate each other. Spotting the celebrity voices is fun too. Michael Caine is Lord Redbrick, Maggie Smith is Lady Bluebury (I didn't notice this) - I particularly enjoyed Patrick Stewarts brief appearance as a statue of Shakespeare, with whom Gnomeo has a brief conversation. Shakespeare was a smug guy. The voices were all well cast, and the animation is of a good quality.
Complimented with a fun Elton John soundtrack (he was an executive producer, go figure), this film is enjoyable, and a good one for the kiddilinks.
My teenage daughter and I have just returned from seeing this film and we both enjoyed it very much. In my opinion, the film was not just aimed at children; I remember all the Elton John songs from the original!(and no, I'm NOT a die-hard fan!) The Elton John songs were used very appropriately. I particularly liked the song "Saturday night's the night for fighting" used for the drag race! It was fun to pick out the Shakespeare references; the removal firm was Rosancranz and Guildenstern, for instance. In other cases there were misquotes; for instance "a rose by any other name" - "a weed by any other name" A good bit of fun!
When I first saw trailers for "Gnomeo & Juliet", I groaned at the
thought: Romeo and Juliet as told by garden gnomes? Really? Aside from
the obvious absurdity of the concept, I wondered exactly how faithfully
they'd stick to the story. The ending of Shakespeare's original story
would prove awfully dark for the young audiences that would be
naturally drawn to this.
So, with these reservations in mind I saw the film last night with my 7 and 10 year old daughters, and found myself enjoying the movie much more than I expected to. Is the concept absurd? Sure, but the writers made plenty of clever use of that absurdity, with some great sight gags and setups.
I won't go into detail on the issue of the original's dark ending, but the writers here found a sly way to acknowledge that original ending without having to actually incorporate it in this loose remake.
Elton John is credited as an Exec Producer (and his partner David Furnish has a Producer credit as well). The movie makes liberal use of EJ's music, generally to good effect.
And my daughters both loved it. Great family fare.
No other writer lends himself to so many different film interpretations
as William Shakespeare, whose plays have spawned musicals (West Side
Story), teen comedies (10 Things I Hate About You), even cartoons
(though not credited as such, Hamlet is an obvious source of
inspiration for The Lion King). The latter genre is used again for a
peculiar take on Romeo and Juliet, put together with CGI under Disney's
The film takes place in the present day, where Montague and Capulet no longer are two warring families, but simply two next-door neighbors who just don't get along. This animosity is also found in their adjacent gardens, where the gnomes, much like the toys in Toy Story, come to life when no one's watching. The blue gnomes, led by Lady Blueberry (Maggie Smith), belong to Mrs. Montague, while Lord Redbrick (Michael Caine) and his red acolytes belong to Mr. Capulet. Their mission is to find new ways to make the enemy garden look bad, and it all goes well - so to speak - until a full-scale war erupts, and star-crossed lovers Gnomeo (James McAvoy) and Juliet (Emily Blunt) find themselves caught in the middle...
The material is an unusual choice for Disney, which traditionally favors straightforward adaptations of popular stories (albeit with necessary alterations) over postmodern riffs that combine tribute and spoof. This take on Shakespeare's tragedy would probably be better suited for a Dreamworks treatment, as they make no mystery of having older audiences in mind. Disney, on the other hand, is torn between pandering to younger viewers and giving Bard aficionados the fun yet intelligent picture they crave and deserve. Sure, there are in-jokes galore (the house numbers 2B and Not 2B are the standout), but the third act is particularly underwhelming, with too much screen-time for the mandatory talking animal sidekick (an annoying flamingo, voiced by Disney mainstay Jim Cummings) and a climax that has inevitably been altered - presumably - to keep the kids from crying.
When it works, however, Gnomeo & Juliet is an absolute joy: the opening send-up of the play's prologue set the tone quite nicely, Elton John's contribution to the soundtrack is faultless, and the voice cast is a hoot. Aside from the filmmakers having the nerve of putting Jason Statham and Ozzy Osbourne in the same film as Smith and Caine (surely a once in a lifetime kind of thing), the idea of incorporating Shakespeare himself as a character (voiced by Patrick Stewart) and having him criticize the film's plot detours is the self-mocking stroke of genius there should be more of throughout the movie.
All in all, this is a nice little film that is worth watching for entertainment value. It suffers from some lazy writing and questionable gags (shouldn't the Terrafirminator be voiced by Arnold Schwarzenegger instead of Hulk Hogan?), but it contains enough Shakespearean wit and invention to make for a fun 82 minutes.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First of let me just say that this is a kid's movie and its only
purpose is to entertain children. So if you're an adult trying to find
a reason to pick it apart, you need a new hobby! I'm someone who enjoys
seeing animated children's films because they're fun and refreshing. I
don't worry about holes in the story, the score, the acting, the
cinematography because at the end of the day if my nieces and nephews
are entertained then the movie did it's job.
This is a fun flick and has a very interesting take on Romeo and Juliet. I especially loved the scene towards the end where the main character Gnomeo was chatting it up with a William Shakespeare statue. The beginning was funny as the random Gnome tried to explain the plot. I enjoyed it.
The lite-version for kids, part of the fun here is the identification
of the actual Romeo and Juliet references from names used right down to
the incidents based upon William Shakespeare's most romantic tragedy,
because it is quite ingenious of the entire team of scriptwriters (the
many cooks here not spoiling the broth, thankfully) to have taken key
elements and painting quite a different, uplifting film if you will,
since this is after all something for the young ones to appreciate.
Taking place between garden gnomes of adjacent gardens of bickering neighbours, the Reds (Capulets) and the Blues (Montagues) have this long standing feud that will make the romance of their children Gnomeo (voiced by James McAvoy) and Juliet (Emily Blunt) quite impossible, if not for the lovers to meet in secret. Expect plenty of comedy scattered throughout, which surprisingly is more adult, so accompanying the minors will not make this one boring affair. The A-list voices will also be top draw, although animation may look a little stiff since it's modelled to perfection the porcelain clay that the gnomes are possibly made out of.
Elton John's music got touted out loud through the film's marketing machinery, but frankly they don't really stand out unlike a musical since they were mostly used in the background, nor were inventively utilized such as those in the mold of Across the Universe which had plenty of The Beatles' tunes gelled together seamlessly into the narrative.
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