On the weekend I took my youngling to see Bolt and I have to say that it was a truly cute and wholesome movie, with a minimal amount of adult humor but a few really good laughs. It was refreshing, kind of made me feel like it was in the good old days of family values. These days, not so PG cheekiness seems to be the norm, even in movies marketed as kid flicks. Bolt was a movie reminiscent of Homeward Bound and The Truman Show, except in this instance Truman happens to be a dog. Rhino, our little hamster friend who reminded me of the hilarious Jack Black, is the comedic relief in the movie. The hyper optimistic and undaunted hamster balances out Bolt’s serious, single minded determination and the disposition of Mittens the cat, who is firmly grounded in the disappointment of harsh reality. John Travolta as the voice of Bolt was a stroke of brilliance, making the pooch instantly likeable and giving believability to our hero dog that he can accomplish exactly what he sets out to do. JT’s voice also allows this little dog to have shoulders big enough to carry the movie. Penny is Bolt’s “person” and her role demonstrates the beautifully complex simplicity of the bond between human and pet…love. The character of Bolt really was a little bit of lightning and epitomized the meaning of loyalty. The character of Mittens, who by the way never intended to go on a road trip, really asks that we examine the serious meaning of our commitment to the animals we bring home with us as pets. Have we ever thought about what it is like for the animals abandoned by thoughtless owners who view pets as expendable and temporary? I also found myself thinking about Hollywood and the power and influence it has on our minds, our views and pop culture. In a way, Bolt is an examination of life imitating art, and the realities we choose to believe that are woven by the Hollywood machine, where image is everything and everything is for sale. The unscrupulous agent in the movie, who bore an uncanny physical resemblance to Dr. Niles Crane from Frasier, is hilarious yet sobering at the same time. He managed to identify a way to capitalize on every event, no catastrophe was too big because the show had to go on and every moment was a way to project image. And in real life, there is a spin to everything in Hollywood and the show must and does go on, and even the lead role actor is dispensable. Despite the gravitas of my musings, we left the theater happy to have spent our Sunday afternoon together doing one of our favorite pastimes. Although I do have to say the price charged for a ticket to see this movie in 3D was astronomical considering we would have been happy to see it with regular vision. There really wasn’t a huge 3D impression like you’d get at the IMAX watching dinosaurs jump out and scare the living daylights out of you. We did, however, get to keep the 3D glasses which is cool. I laugh every time my cutelet puts them on, and we’ll be able to use them when Ice Age 3 comes out in July, and we know there’ll be some mammoth dinosaur action in that movie.
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