A cat belonging to a poor miller's son thinks up a great plan for bringing a title, wealth, and marriage for his owner. He begins to carry it out, using a few birds and rabbits as gifts for...
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Based on the fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm. Hansel and Gretel are abandoned after the famine strike in the village and where Hansel and Gretel are later trapped in the deceptively ... See full summary »
Dame Diana Rigg (TV's "The Avengers"), Billy Barty ("Willow") and Sarah Patterson ("The Company of Wolves") as Snow White star in this feature-length, live-action, musical version of the classic fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm.
A musical version of the classic story about a miller's daughter who recieves help from a mischievous dwarf, then ends up over her head. Now, she and a mute servant girl may be the only ... See full summary »
A cat belonging to a poor miller's son thinks up a great plan for bringing a title, wealth, and marriage for his owner. He begins to carry it out, using a few birds and rabbits as gifts for the king, his own wit, and a pair of boots that make him appear human when he puts them on. However, his owner has no idea that the cat has told everyone that his master is a marquis rather than a miller's son until the king has arrived to meet him. Soon the king's daughter and the miller's son fall in love, and the king wants very much to see the land and the castle belonging to this rich "marquis."Written by
Christopher Walken just about makes this watchable
Although none of the nine Cannon Movie Tale films are flawless, with the flaws varying in number and size, all of them are worth a viewing at least once. And while Puss in Boots is one of their lesser outings (with the weakest being The Emperor's New Clothes, and their best being Hansel and Gretel and Beauty and the Beast), it's not an exception.
The best thing about Puss in Boots is the performance of Christopher Walken as Puss, the singing is not the best but he clearly looks as though he's having a whale of a time here and he is so much fun to watch, performing with sly line delivery, a wonderful twitchiness (which is quite appropriate for a cat), fearless bravado and absolutely no signs of being embarrassed either. Carmela Marner is a charming Princess Vera, and has a truly infectious smile, while Yossi Graber is entertainingly buffoonish as the King without resorting to mugging too much. The dialogue does descend into over-silliness sometimes, but is witty and genuinely hilarious, so it would be a lie if I said that I wasn't entertained. The film is nicely photographed, the sets are nice and rustic if somewhat recycled of other Cannon films and the incidental score has the right amount of energy and whimsy.
Puss in Boots has several major problems though. For one thing, apart from the photography and the sets the low budget does show and it is generally one of Cannon's cheaper looking films. Some parts are dimly or gaudily lit and the costumes are garish and seldom flattering, looking like leftover material, but worst of all were the very cheap and out-of-date-looking (even for a film from the 80s) special effects (the Cannon film that fares the worst in this regard), especially the cat transformation and the under-sized ogre. While the incidental score is good, Puss in Boots does boast one of Cannon's weakest song scores, with only those for The Emperor's New Clothes being worse. The songs here are forgettable at best, some also go on for too long- feeling more like padding than anything else- and some of the lyrics are so dreadfully silly that they're enough to make one cringe, like the rhyming lyrics in the song offering marriage advice.
With the story, the basic details and characters are here but they didn't feel quite enough to sustain a feature length film, padding it out with forgettable and sometimes overlong songs and scenes that got too silly (i.e. the ineptitude of the guards), the silliness while entertaining did get too much at times and undermined the darker moments like the scene with Puss and the ogre. With the rest of the performances, most of the rest of the supporting turns mug pretty embarrassingly, the ogre is more unintentionally comical than sinister (coupled with his underwhelming look, he was one disappointing villain) but worst of all was Jason Connery who spends the entire running time looking hopelessly bland and dim-witted and devoid of any charm, his and Marner's chemistry is dull while his and Walken's only just about passes muster because Walken does such a great job here.
All in all, one of Cannon's weakest films but is still watchable for Walken's performance. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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