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"March of the Penguins"

Directed by Luc Jacquet.
Written by Luc Jacquet.  Narration written by Jordan Roberts.
Narrated by Morgan Freeman.
Release Year:  2005
Review Date:  9/6/2005


A movie about fucking PENGUINS?

I think that if your movie has been in multiplexes nationwide for three months, something has gotta be good about a movie full of fuckin' penguins.  Yes, friends--"March of the Penguins" is that movie!

Actually, I shouldn't make fun.  Narrated by your friend and mine, Morgan Freeman, this film is essentially an 80-minute documentary on just how tough it is to be a freakin' penguin, and I have to admit, it worked for me!  We get to watch penguins walk, waddle, chest-surf, and give birth as writer/director Luc Jacquet (sounds...Korean) and his crack filmmaking team give us moments from the penguin lifecycle in their natural environment of...well, Antarctica.

You can't really explain why when you are watching it, but "March of the Penguins" is actually very watchable entertainment.  From watching some penguins trying to outrun underwater predators, to seeing a thousand penguins endure -100 temperatures by huddling in a large circle, to watching two penguins mate and give birth to a child that the MAN has to take paternity leave on for three months while Mommy's out searching for food, I was intrigued to learn how penguins mate, reproduce and commute from one place to another...all things that I was quite confident didn't register at all on the "who gives a shit"-o-meter before entering the theater.

What can I really say about a flick full of freakin' penguins?  I guess the best thing I should say is that it does not disappoint and that I'll never head down to the South Pole to talk smack with baby penguins ever again.

Probably never again.  Probably.

Rating:  $9.50 Show


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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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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