Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Robot Ninjas vs Dragon Zombies: Season One, Episode 5: "Ratatouille"

The best movie about a cooking rat since Ratatoing!

Please Don't Kiss the Chef

      Yes, Pixar isn't exactly similar to the bad b-movies the last few episodes have been about, but the point of this show is to look at films that have a weird premise and/or title and... well this is about a rat in Paris who becomes a chef. I mean, that's weird even for an animated film! Directed and written by Brad Bird (The Iron Giant) Ratatouille follows Remy (Patton Oswald, Burn Notice) who discovers he has a strong sense of taste for, you know, a rat and after he gets separated from his brother, Emile (Peter Sohn, The Incredibles) and his father (Brian Dennehy, First Blood), finds himself in the Paris kitchen for the late chef Gusteau (Brad Garrett, 'Til Death). There, he teams up with talentless garbage boy Linguini (Lou Romano, Cars) in order to become a great chef. But first, he must thwart the new head chef Skinner (Ian Holm, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), deal with Linguini's love for fellow chef Colette (Janeane Garofalo, 24) and impress restaurant critic Anton Ego (Peter O'Toole, Lawrence of Arabia).

Somebody's been hitting the "special sauce:.
5-Star Restaurant

      Ratatouille continued Pixar's good film legacy. Released in 2007, it was Pixar's 8th animated feature film and did win Best Animated Picture at the Oscars and at the Annie Awards. It's currently the 222nd film on IMDB's Top 250 list with a rating of 8 out of 10. Which might not seem like a lot, but on IMDB, it is. Trust me. People seem to love this film. Personally I don't remember it that fondly. The first time I saw it was at my very first advanced screening, about 2 weeks before the movie came out. The next time I rented it on DVD and liked it less. Though that might have been because Pixar's normally insanely pack DVDs finally started to become lackluster when it came to special features. I mean, 2 short films, a ten-minute featurette and deleted scenes. Come on 2007 Pixar, how is that supposed to occupy a 11 year old?

One Mean Meal

      For whatever problems I had with Ratatouille when I saw it back when I was a kid, they seemed to have been completely erased from my memory. Ratatouille is an excellent, excellent film. Once again director Brad Bird has been able to create a great story with very fun, interesting characters. Even the villains in this film a slightly likable and the main characters are all characters you'd be willing to watch in one or two more movies. The animation is Pixar, so over course it looks great. The night time views of Paris are so spectacular that it even causes a few holes in the movie. I mean, how can Linguini possibly complain that it apartment is small and crappy when he has that great a view of Paris at night? The humor is there and it's funny, naturally. That said though, the story could have been worked on a little better and probably would have benefited from another rewrite and not all the characters get enough screentime. However, the film ends with probably one of the best movie speeches ever. Seriously, Ego's speech about critics at the end is especially hard-hitting for me (For hopefully obvious reasons) and is worth the price of admission alone. 

Cheese and crackers!
The Verdict

      Ratatouille is the normal RNVDZ film. Then again, it's not really a normal film period. Another slam dunk for Pixar, director Brad Bird has created another great film with immensely likable characters, Pixar delivers on some strong animation and humor and the final speech is one of my all time favorites. Sure the story can be a bit inconsistent and some characters deserve to be fleshed out more, but those are only minor complaints. Ratatouille is often one of the most forgotten about Pixar films and that's too bad because it really is one of Pixar's best. This is a dish best served for everyone. Ratatouille gets 6 stars out of 6.

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