Directed by Andrew Stanton.
Written by Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson and David Reynolds.
Starring the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen Degeneres and
Release Year: 2003
Review Date: 6/13/03
My friend Laurel dropped me a line earlier
in the week--
“Have you seen ‘Finding Nemo’ yet? I can’t
find anyone to see it with me!”
I was having a problem getting psyched up to
see the new Pixar/Disney film, but having someone push me to see it
got me over the top. I just wasn’t as excited to see “Finding Nemo”
as I have been in the recent past, with
“Monsters, Inc.” and
Story 2” being much more intriguing to me than a bunch of fish hangin’ out. But, then I got to the theater and gave it a
roll...and, “Finding Nemo” is a solid entry that will assuredly
contend for the Best Animated Film Oscar next spring. (Can’t wait
for the Academy to eliminate this category--so friggin’ ridiculous.
Academy, just admit that you wanted to give
“Shrek” an Oscar for
ANYTHING and then let it go away!!)
A clown fish named Marlin (voice of Albert
Brooks) loses all of his 400 kids and his wife in a fish accident at
the start of the film...except for one lucky child that escaped
unharmed and unhatched named Nemo (Alexander Gould). Raising his
son with all the love of two parents, Marlin takes Nemo off to
school one day only to lose him to a fishing expedition from Sydney,
and spends the rest of the film trying to find his only love. With
the help of an eerily-“Memento”-like sidekick (Ellen Degeneres),
Marlin goes on an incredible underwater adventure full of fish,
fish, and even more friggin’ fish.
Like all of the Pixar productions, adults
can easily enjoy the banter going on between Marlin and his many new
friends just as much as the kids. The film is just beautiful to
look at, and I didn’t even see the film on a digital projector.
Definitely a film to be enjoyed on the big screen, but if you have a
$7000 plasma TV at home (all one of you...J, you lucky dog) you can
probably wait until the DVD comes out around Thanksgiving. The
voice work is quite good, there are lots of great laughs (I lost it
during the sequence when the fish tank crew “initiates” Nemo into
their clan, with the starfish screaming out “There must be another
way! He’s just so YOUNG!!”) and the main action sequences are
The film runs WAY too long, though, and when
I walk into a cartoon feature film I expect it to take 90 minutes or
less, no exceptions. At 100 minutes, that extra ten minutes felt
looooooong and it doesn’t help that your scenery doesn’t really
change all that much; the fish may be well animated but looking at
the water for that long got to me after a while. The other
distraction--and, it became major at times--was the reliance of the
script on the short-term-memory character, Dory, to provide laughs
when things get slow. The fact that she remembers nothing was quite
funny at first, and whenever she got Nemo’s name wrong. But, by the
time she was playing the game with Marlin where she made him guess
who is “orange, small, white stripes” for the fourth time, I was as
annoyed as Marlin was.
But, like I said, strong stuff. Not nearly
the echelon of “Toy Story 2” (slightly better than the first one),
but Pixar has another winner in “Finding Nemo.” This summer has
really provided some good mainstream films so far this year--oh,
wait, we’ve got “Dumb and Dumberer” AND
“Hollywood Homicide” this
weekend! Smell that? Is that a Hard Vice around the corner??
Rating: $9.50 Show
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard