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"Ice Age"

Directed by Carlos Saldanha and Chris Wedge.
Written by Michael Berg, Michael J. Wilson and Peter Ackerman.
Starring the voices of Ray Romano, John Leguizamo and Denis Leary.
Release Year:  2002 
Review Date:  3/21/02 


I went to see "Ice Age" because I refuse to miss movies that make $44 million in their first weekend.

And, I LIKE watching piece-of-shit non-Disney cartoon fare!

Seriously, this movie is bad.  Let me lay this out to you quickly:

1. Shorter than "Passenger 57"

For my money, the shortest film in the history of time is this Wesley Snipes thriller, which clocks in around 78 minutes but somehow, when it is shown on network TV every year, seems to actually get *shorter* because so much is taken out for ratings purposes.  But, "Ice Age" times out to about 70 minutes.  I went to a 5:20 show, and at 6:50, I was walking out of the theater.  Remember, the movie always starts a minute or two later than the time it is supposed to, then you have to add a mountain of trailers and commercials.  Hell, were it not for a new four-minute "Star Wars, Episode II" preview (which admittedly, made "Ice Age" better even if it shouldn't have), I would have been out of the theater in 85 minutes, with tax and tip included.  Short is not good unless it is called "miniskirt."

2.  Plot rip-off

Large, seemingly boring straight man befriends small, annoying sidekick and goes on a quest to find redemption.  Sure, this is lots of Hollywood productions, but it is THE SAME FUCKING PLOT AS "SHREK" AND "MONSTERS, INC." which came out just last year.  The difference here is that they couldn't afford top-notch talent for "Ice Age" so they nabbed TV folly in Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, and Denis Leary.  Eddie Murphy, this is not.

3.  No fun for the adults

Hey, everyone knows that the best cartoon fare these days (and of the last ten years, that can essentially be summed up as "Toy Story" and its sequel) has lots for both kids AND adults to enjoy.  "Ice Age" has a couple of funny scenes, mostly due to its sideplot involving a strange-looking creature that is constantly chasing an acorn.  But, beyond that, there is nothing.  It doesn't help that the writers decided on a mammoth and a sloth to play the two main characters...could you think of anything more boring?  And, no double entendres, no political references, no wit.  A comedic adventure that isn't funny or worthy of the trip.  Bad, period.

4.  Badly-drawn humans

I am amazed time and again about how incredible animals, aliens and robots are drawn for the screen these days.  Really, truly incredible...and, "Ice Age" shines in this area, with its stunning animation of sabretooth tigers and, well, sabretooth tigers.  But, why can't we draw human faces any better?  This is the 405th movie out of 406 animated films (save for the shitty "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within") that draws humans like someone is constantly inflating their body parts.  Why do children always have faces that look like hot-air balloons?  Why can't adults run more realistically?  Humans kissing on-screen never seems to look quite right.

5.  No random shots of Voltron

Simply put, Bellview awards rating points based solely on the number of times there are Voltron references in a film.  Voltron is the best cartoon ever, point-blank.  Come on, say it with me...lines like

"...and I'll form--THE HEAD!" or


are etched in your memory.  If a film just slipped a blazing sword reference into their dialogue, Earth would be a much better place.  As it is, maybe we're just stuck in the "Ice Age."  (This marks the first time in Bellview history that an intentional pun has been used.)

Rating:  Rental


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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 "Office Space"). 

"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, 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 half stars." 

"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 Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09