All I wanted to do today was watch some X-Files, season 2. It’s cold and cloudy here. I just felt like putting on some flannel pants, popping my toesies in a soft pair of slippers, and curling up on the sofa for some unexplained cases and conspiracy theories. Is that so wrong? Apparently it was. I am nowhere close to finishing the second season (if I started it when I woke up today and watched episodes back to back until I went to sleep, I still wouldn’t have the season finished), and I know I had to knock something off of my queue today. Naturally, the runner-up was Bolt. You know what I always say (or always, starting right now), “If you can’t watch conspiracy shows, a talking dog is the next best thing.” I am sure that adage is one for the ages.
Bolt is basically The Man Who Knew Too Little meets Lassie with a pinch of Milo and Otis. Thankfully, there is no song and dance number or I would also point out that it added a dash of Alvin and the Chipmunks the Squeakquel to spice things up– mostly because I like the word “squeakquel.” “It is a good word and bears repeating,” as Adam says in The Adventures of Mark Twain. Crap, that was a tangent. I guess I have to right my course in the next paragraph. Hold on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Bolt is about a dog who is an actor in Hollywood. Only, unlike most canine stars working today, the cast and crew keep him in the dark about the show. You see, in order to get the “real” emotions from the pup, he is led to believe that what happens onscreen is actually real (I guess you could add a quarter cup of The Truman Show to the recipe above). Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) believes he has super powers; and that all cats are evil with dreams of taking over the world (the canine may have a point…). After a shoot one day, Bolt is accidentally shipped across the country to New York City (New York City?? Oh, come on! You have to know I am referencing Pace commercials now. Have I hit a new low?). With the help of Mittens, a cat he took hostage, and Rhino, a hamster in a ball; the three journey across the country to Los Angeles to find Penny, his owner and star of Bolt’s show. As with anything supposedly worth doing, it is not easy.
I have a soft spot in my heart for animals– I always have. I couldn’t finish Marley and Me, I didn’t watch Old Yeller, and I cried for weeks after reading Where the Red Fern Grows (I won’t even bring up what happened when I saw Lady and the Tramp in the theaters…). Needless to say, I have to choose my films starring animals very carefully. Usually this means the films are aimed at children and involve fart jokes of various styles. Bolt, however, seemed to be better than most talking animal pictures because I think it could be watched by both adults and kids. Thankfully, there was no horrible death scene (I think spoiler alert is unnecessary here as it is a Disney film) at the end, so at least I wasn’t sobbing uncontrollably thirty minutes later. I will admit, though, that I did snuggle with my pup for a solid hour after watching it. Sorry, but the dog went across country to meet his person– that shows some dedication. Cats don’t do that type of thing. My cats barely get up when I give them a treat– they expect me to come to them. Cats.
For the most part, I enjoyed this film. If I am being totally honest, however, I have to admit that I almost stopped watching it after the first ten minutes (no, this does not mean I am going to give Seven Pounds another chance. End of discussion). This first scene was pretty brutal for me to sit through– it was a ten minute long chase scene, but it had have been one of the more boring chases I have ever seen (or scene for you punsters). But once Bolt is shipped to New York City (New York City???) and he starts to make his way back to LA, things pick up. I like journey films, and this was pretty good. I appreciate that there was no “villain,” no one out to get Bolt; it was just about the adventure.
And while I enjoyed it for the most part, I didn’t feel the timeless quality I feel when I watch many of the Pixar films. Finding Nemo or Toy Story I could watch today and still have relatively the same experience I had when they first came out. Bolt, however, seemed to be a little more dated. Some of the humor I am not sure will translate fifteen years from now, and there just seemed to be something missing. It sounds corny, but I missed some of that movie magic. That je ne sais quoi, if you will.
Overall, I would say Bolt is likeable enough. While the characters are cute, I didn’t feel a strong connection to any of the supporting characters. It seems like a solid film– I just wanted it to be better than average. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Have an awesome weekend and take care!
Netflix Queue: 466
Watch Instantly Queue: 202
(Yay! I was able to take this film off both of my queues! Hooray! Huzzah!)