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Open Season Review - IMAX 3D

By Anthony Heidenreich

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Open Season plays very much like a Looney Tunes cartoon with Bugs and Daffy trying to escape Elmer Fudd, although it's hard to say if Boog or Elliot is Bugs or Daffy as their roles keep interchanging.  While their nemesis, Shaw is an over-the-top hunter convinced that the animals are involved in a conspiracy to overthrow humans.


Other characters are played by the likes of Jon Favreau, Jane Krakowski and Patrick Warburton in this hilarious cartoon. Sure it's meant for kids, but it has a PG rating for some crude humor.  Just like the old Bugs Bunny bits, there are a lot of visuals that will appeal to the young ones but the joke that goes with it will fly over their heads because it is meant for the parents. This is much better than Barnyard with the humor, the detail of the animation, actually having a plot and not filling the movie with a bunch of songs by the animals. There are songs performed by former Replacements singer Paul Westerberg, but they don't interrupt the flow of the film.


There are some bodily function jokes, which seems to be more and more common these days, but beyond that there isn't much for parents to worry about. The story even has a good message about loyalty and finding out who you are when it comes right down to it. For the most part, you and your kids will probably be laughing through a large portion of the film.


For a special treat, you must see the film at an IMAX 3D.  The oversized IMAX screen allows you to truly appreciate the life-like fire and water scenes.  The 3D portions are worked in wonderfully.  The landscapes seem to go on for miles and the action portions feel like they are coming right at you.  More than once, my 4-year-old clutched my arm in surprise.


Open Season is a fun, quality film.  The high quality animation helps bring to life the fun, lively performances of the voice actors.  The story progresses in a natural way that I found entertaining.  With so many glowing qualities for a children's movie, the true indicator of its quality is my daughter.  Whom sat through spellbound throughout the movie.  And believe me, when she's bored I hear about.

Synopsis
Boog (Martin Lawrence) is living the perfect life. In the tranquil town of Timberline, the genial grizzly bear enjoys all manner of creature comforts, courtesy of his surrogate mother, Beth (Debra Messing), the kindhearted forest ranger who rescued him as a cub.  Boog relishes the perks of fame as the star of Beth's nature shows in the town's amphitheater; and in Beth's converted garage, Boog watches his favorite tv shows, eats eight square meals a day and nestles in a comfy bed each night with his teddy bear, Dinkelman. Yes, Boog seems to have the perfect life ' until Elliot appears.

 
Elliot (Ashton Kutcher) is a scrawny, fast-talking mule deer who arrives in town unconscious, missing an antler and strapped to the hood of a truck belonging to fanatical hunter Shaw (Gary Sinise).  When Elliot awakes, he begs Boog to untie him.   Boog finds Elliot's rapid fire pleas hard to ignore, and he releases the hapless mule deer.  However, as if to prove that no good deed goes unpunished ' Elliot tracks Boog down to his home and lures him out for a crazy night on the town' a bender which results in both of them being relocated to the forest.


Boog awakens in the wilderness, panicked to find himself far from the comforts of home.  When Elliot promises to help Boog find his way back to Timberline in exchange for space in Boog's cushy digs, the bewildered bear with no survival skills has no choice but to agree to the unlikely partnership.  With open season upon them, Boog and Elliot must first work together merely to survive.  The odd couple embarks on a hilarious journey, enlisting the aid of some helping hands' er, paws' along the way as they join forces with the denizens of the forest  to turn the tables on the hunters, and once again make the forest safe for its four-legged inhabitants.


Published on Sep 28, 2006

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