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PCR #398 (Vol. 8, No. 45) This edition is for the week of November 5--11, 2007.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Bee Movie"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

"Bee Movie"  by Mike Smith
Halloween 2007 Wrap-Up, Screamfest '07 on Demand  by Andy Lalino
The Giant Spider Restoration  by ED Tucker
The Greatest Mom In The World....Thanks To Friends....Halloween  by Matt Drinnenberg
Garth .... Strike One .... Down By The Lazy River .... Passing On .... .... .... .... .... Whatever Happened To--? Chapter 32: Next Week: Sean Connery  by Mike Smith
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Starring: The voices of: Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Renee Zelweger and Matthew Broderick
Directed by: Steve Hickner and Simon J. Smith
Rated: PG
Running Time: 1 hour 30 mins

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a decade since “Seinfeld” went off the air. Part of that disbelief has to do with the show being syndicated, showing up on my cable service many times a day. The other part is that the humor Seinfeld was best known for, basically, in a word, “nothing,” is really the everyday world we all live in and observe. Seinfeld has taken the “nothing” seen in the everyday world of a local bee colony and turned it into a “something” known as “Bee Movie.”

After a rigorous and speedy education, Barry B. Benson (Seinfeld) and his fellow bee Adam (Broderick) are about to graduate to worker status in their colony. The choices are many and Barry dreams about all of the different things he wants to do. Unfortunately, Barry discovers that each worker gets to pick one job and must work at that job for the rest of his life. Not your usual conformist (while the other bees wear “black and yellow” outfits, Barry likes to be different and wears “yellow and black”), Barry decides to try out as a pollen jock, hoping this job will allow him to leave the colony and see the outside world he wonders so much about. While on the outside Barry breaks the number one bee rule by talking to a human, albeit an attractive florist named Vanessa (Zellweger). Tagging along on a trip to the market, Barry is shocked to see the hundreds of jars of honey on the shelves. He and his fellow bees are not aware of the honey farms that churn out the sweet nectar for our enjoyment. Outraged by this, Barry enlists Vanessa’s help in righting this wrong. And the adventure begins.

Cleverly acted and beautifully rendered, “Bee Movie” is another animated triumph from the studio that brought us “Shrek.” Each character is given its own personality, drawn mainly on the actor giving voice to them. Seinfeld does a fine job and his comic timing is, of course, impeccable. He is joined in the outside world by a streetwise mosquito named Mooseblood (Rock), who he meets while stuck to the windshield of a moving car. This scene, as well as one of Barry stuck on a tennis ball in the middle of a match, is one of the animated highlights of the film. Rock is just as sharp as Seinfeld, and their scenes together are a rare chance to see two comic geniuses match wits, even as insects. The rest of the voice cast is just as good. In an odd choice of casting, Barry has a couple of Oscar winning parents; director Barry Levinson (“Rainman”) and Kathy Bates (“Misery”). Larry King, Ray Liotta, Oprah Winfrey and Rip Torn also lend their voices to the mix. If there is a disappointment among the cast, it is Patrick Warburton, who plays Vanessa’s friend, Ken. Apparently it was decided that Ken would shout all of his lines, which was not only annoying but, as my seatmate noted at the screening, brought to mind the always yelling“Family Guy” character Joe Swanson (who Warburton also voices). Warburton played Puddy on “Seinfeld,” so maybe Jerry was hoping to surround himself with some familiar faces (Michael Richards also appears).

Shouting Ken aside, the film is a visual treat with enough laughs to satisfy all ages. On a scale of zero to four stars I give “Bee Movie”

This week's movie review of "Bee Movie" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2007, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.