Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. I grew up with the '70s animated CHARLOTTE'S WEB and have such an amazing soft spot for it, I can't even tell ya'. I get warm fuzzies when I think about that movie or hear one of its songs. As a result I'm not totally onboard with this live-action flick, but I'm willing to give it a shot. The below reviewer, Fargo Fellini, really took to it. Enjoy the review!!!
Hey Harry & Crew - The last time I wrote in was back in the spring reporting on the Antonio Bandaras abortion of a movie "Take the Lead," but this time I can give you something a little more positive. Tonight producer Jordan Kerner came to the North Carolina School of the Arts and unveiled his latest picture, the re-make adaptation of "Charlotte's Web." To say that I was a bit skeptical going in would be an under statement. I grew up on the book and the 1973 film, and the idea of a re-make featuring the voices of Cedric the Entertainer and Andre 3000 didn't exactly bode well with me. How wrong I was... As I learned tonight E.B. White wrote the book to be a metaphor for the creation of the United Nations, and thus the story was really a parable on race relations. These themes of compassion, friendship, and loyalty really shine through in Gary Winwick's masterful telling of this classic tale. A room full of cynical film students is hardly the target audience for a film like "Charlotte's Web" but dare I say by the end of the screening I saw more than a few people in tears. The performances amongst the humans were ho-hum, Dakota Fanning was excellent, but praising Fanning at this point is akin to praising Meryl Streep... you KNOW she's good. But this film is about the animals, and each of the actors bring their best to the table. Two particular stand outs were Thomas Hayden Church and (yes) Andre "3000" Benjamin as two crows, who are attempting to get corn throughout the film and keep getting scared off by the scare crow. Danny Elfman's score is among his best work in the past decade. Echo's of his Edward Scissorhand's choral score can be heard throughout, and if I were Paramount I would be seriously pushing this film for the Best Original Score award. Beautiful cinematography abounds, and Gary Winick has really come a long was as a filmmaker. He's an interesting one to watch. I give him particular credit for not making the movie overly sentimental. The film has a lot of sentiment, but is not by anymeans sentimental. His knows when to push emotion, and when to hold back. I have no doubt that this film will be a massive success when it's released on December 15th. For as much as I love the 1973 animated version, this version is much more faithful to E.B. White's novel, and doesn't feel as though it was made strictly for kids. This is a film that will appeal to just about anyone (as demonstrated by a room full of crying college kids). Until Next Time, -- Fargo Fellini