Review

Harry gives PUSS IN BOOTS a bowl of nice warm milk!

Published at: Oct. 5, 2011, 7:24 p.m. CST by headgeek

Is it the awesome bloodthirsty kitty that the PUSS IN BOOTS story is just screaming for?   You know, the film filled with sexually suggestive & explicit kitty story that...  well it really can never be, because for it to be that badass, it'd have to be about a dog.    BUT...  if you have to have a film about a lovable pussy walking about in a pair of boots and a cape...  you can't really do better than this.    

I've liked Antonio Banderas' PUSS IN BOOTS character from the SHREK films since he was introduced...  though I didn't like much more than that.  That's mainly because I was tired of the schtich from Myers & Murphy - and Banderas seemed to actually have a sparkle in that kitty character.

In PUSS IN BOOTS - Banderas really gets to strut and own the film the way that most of us, that would still love that Robert Rodriguez/Antonio Banderas ZORRO film that I'm still bitter about losing to Martin Campbell... It is time I move on.   I can let go.  But seriously, Antonio really does a great job of getting his soul, charm and flair into this Puss.  I really can't imagine not enjoying it.   I mean, you have Salma Hayek playing Kitty Softpaws (but is really playing a feline version of Selena Kyle) as Puss' romantic interest.   You have Zach Galifianakis as a really kind of freaky creepy version of Humpty Dumpty - who is all Fred C. Dobbs after magic beans so he can get the Goose that lays the golden EGGS...  something, that if Humpty Dumpty was a fairy tale baddie - I absolutely believe in that being his master evil plan.   BUT - then you have the incestuously ambiguous JACK & JILL played perfectly by Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris.   

 

I mean, if you look at that paragraph and your eyes glaze over...   fine.   Perhaps this isn't for you, but the fact that the film has a very latin flavored dynamic score and sound, with ZERO POP MUSIC LAMENESS... and that Shrek and that universe doesn't intrude here...   well that delighted me.   This is a bit of an orgin adventure for Puss...  and I found myself watching the film thinking...  about the next film that sucks PUSS IN BOOTS out of the Shrek universe altogether and placing him firmly in a more realistic human world where Puss makes his real legend known.    

This is a great first solo adventure for Puss, but the story engine of the film really belongs to Zach's Humpty, can you believe they didn't do a "HUMPTY DANCE" sequence?  SO HAPPY!  

OH - almost forgot to mention this.   The 3D on PUSS IN BOOTS is easily one of my favorite films to hit the format.   The character works to really take advantage of all the kinds of shots that Hitchcock mined for DIAL M FOR MURDER...   the character is always low angled or perched before something in the distance.   When his sword comes into play, it is fantastic in moody slow moments.   3D isn't something a lot of critics single out and praise, but when it works like this...  There's just an extra 25% of awe dancing out there in front of my nose - and I love the effect.   

The only real complaint that I have with the film is something that sort of gets leveled at the Dreamworks Animation CG world is that the Background Characters are just boring terrible designs lacking of any real worth.   When they get tapped to come forward, they're embarrassingly plain.   I'm just enough of an animation geek, that in all animated films - I tend to check those characters out - often times they're filling out the frames of an animated film, but in a PIXAR animated film, I never see just a wasted character.  In this - the populaces just can't compare to the main 5 characters in this film.   It is a nitpick, but one that I hope they address in future films.   

The main thing is this film is one helluva fun family adventure.   It's got some nice quirks and odd turns that you will have you on board for the whole thing.   It isn't quite the awesome flick that KUNG FU PANDA was...  but it's pretty close to KUNG FU PANDA 2, which I liked quite a bit.

One of the secrets of this character that the filmmakers haven't yet realized is this...  The more intense the fighting scenes can get with Puss in Boots - the more powerful this character can be.   Fighting in a maelstrom kitty fur drenched, but smiling and fighting...  Puss could very well be Errol Flynn for an entire generation of kids raised by parents who have no idea who that is.   Sniffle.   But the more dramatic they go with this series, the better it will get.   PUSS is an action god waiting to really explode.  

I really can't believe I typed that.  But I sincerely believe that this cat pulling Flynn, Power, Fat, style action - with Banderas' accent and that lovable kitty face?  Absolutely.   I doubt we'll see that.   But I definitely liked this one enough to want to see them do not just another, but one that redefines the character in a very aggressive and action way.   But I could very well be crazy.  But I remember once, Gene Siskel got a little goofy on a goose.   We film writers are allowed.  

Readers Talkback

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  • Oct. 5, 2011, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Is that real tit milk, Eddie?

    by Loosejerk

    who cares!

  • Those types of Dreamworks animated films (as opposed to, say, "How to Train Your Dragon") take reasonable stories, and then do something that seem completely embarrassing to all filmmakers involved. The second trailer for this film made it seem like an actual movie with actual jokes and an actual score. <p>So...which is it?

  • Oct. 5, 2011, 7:28 p.m. CST

    i took my then gf and her kid to see the 4th shrek

    by mick vance

    the stupid kid was so engrossed in the movie the whole time she didn't notice me making out with her mom. i miss feeling up that old bitches saggy boobs. i shouldn't have let that one get away. she was DTF...

  • Oct. 5, 2011, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Steve Jobs is gone

    by Terrence

    I think he deserves at least a mention, regardless of him not technically being in the industry, but a lot of his shit assisted with it.

  • Oct. 5, 2011, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Another lame review...

    by Doug Phillips

    for a shitty movie none of us will go see. So what do you say Harry, double feature this with Footloose?

  • Oct. 5, 2011, 7:55 p.m. CST

    This line alone from the trailers makes me hate this movie

    by BlaGyver

    I hate cats!

  • Oct. 5, 2011, 8:04 p.m. CST

    by Walts_Turning_InTheGrave

    You may not go see it but don't pretend to be speaking for everyone, dimwit!

  • Oct. 5, 2011, 8:05 p.m. CST

    HUMPTY DANCE Sequence

    by The Dreaded Rear Admiral

    You just KNOW one of the producers is slapping himself upside the head for NOT adding the HUMPTY DANCE to this. Try not to give them any ideas, you big, red, lovable lug!

  • Oct. 5, 2011, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but Harry also liked The Phantom Menace

    by fastcars

    Could it be that this is "Jar Jar good"?

  • Oct. 5, 2011, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Can I have some of what you've been taking?

    by ATARI

  • Oct. 5, 2011, 9:40 p.m. CST

    The Martin Campbell Zorro was MAGNIFICENT

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    I like Robert Rodriguez, but I doubt he could have made a better Zorro movie. And even in the lamer, later Shrek sequels, Puss was always good for a few laughs, so I may give this one a chance.

  • Oct. 5, 2011, 9:49 p.m. CST

    Sounds like they took one of the best bits

    by jackofhearts29

    from the Shrek series and squeezed it for all it was worth... but at least they have a chance to make something humorous out of it. I'll try to see it on a plane sometime.

  • Oct. 5, 2011, 10:51 p.m. CST

    Guillermo del Toro

    by frankenberry

    Surprised Harry didn't mention his involvement.

  • Oct. 5, 2011, 11:54 p.m. CST

    This review summarized in 100 words or less:

    by cinemixtape.com

    The 3D is pretty cool because 3D is pretty cool. It's like Kung Fu Panda 2, which also was pretty cool. Quirky family fun, but with Billy Bob Thornton/Amy Sedaris incest! Too bad this is the end of Errol Flynn style films as we know it, except it's about a cat. I love swords in my face in 3D! Also, I'm a film writer. Thank God there isn't any pop music in this movie. I hate pop music in movies unless they're directed by my friend Craig Brewer. Sniffle. The end.

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 4:47 a.m. CST

    That review is genuinely painful to read on just so many levels

    by melonman

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 5:25 a.m. CST

    I mean, if you look at that paragraph and your eyes glaze over...

    by Monkey Butler

    Big guy, I know you really don't care about how your reviews read, but surely even you know that our collective eyes glazing over isn't because the film sounded uninteresting. Reading over what you write at least once before publishing it wouldn't hurt.

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 5:47 a.m. CST

    Jesus, that hurt my eyes

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    I will watch this anyway, with this retarded collection of words influencing it. If I could trust a Harry review (after putting it through a real English translation matrix), then I would be pleased it was positive. But I can't, so I won't.

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 6:21 a.m. CST

    I know this is stupid since it's just a shit kids film but...

    by JonJonB9

    After reading this review is have almost ZERO idea of what the film is about, what works in it and what doesn't and (somewhat vitally) whether it's worth seeing. Welcome to a Harry Knowles film review, ladies and gentlemen.

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 6:44 a.m. CST

    I guess a weak spin-off deserves a half-assed review eh?

    by WINONA_RYDERS_PUSSY_JUICE

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 7:03 a.m. CST

    Just got off the phone with Brian Cox...

    by spyro

    He said that is the worst review ever. It literally makes no sense whatsoever. It's just a jumble of words.

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 7:13 a.m. CST

    A family movie with incest undertones?

    by Monolith_Jones

    This is a good thing?

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 7:20 a.m. CST

    `Incestuously ambiguous`?

    by flax

    Don't you mean `ambiguously incestuous`?

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 7:40 a.m. CST

    walts_turning_inthegrave

    by Doug Phillips

    Sorry, I forgot that twats like you still go to movies like this...ENJOY!

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 7:45 a.m. CST

    Harry - Martin Cambell is MUCH better than Rodriguez!!

    by Richie

    Mask of Zorro is a great film made with real artistry from the whole production team. Rodriguez isn't capable of orchestrating something that good. He'll always be hamstrung by his desire to do every job on the film. Goldeneye and Casino Royale perfectly demonstrate what an awesome film maker Cambell can be when given the right project.

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 7:51 a.m. CST

    I second that Campbell is 100 times the director Robert 'lava girl'Rodriguez

    by harryknowlesnothingaboutfilm

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 7:57 a.m. CST

    "A family movie with incest undertones? This is a good thing?"

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Um, kinda like Star Wars...?

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 9:45 a.m. CST

    No Starwars is a war movie for children.

    by UltraTron

    And Darth Vader is for fathers to put the kids to bed early with- if you don't go to bed now- Darth Vader will murder you in cold blood with a lightsaber youngling.

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Harry Loves Paramount

    by Richard Wold

    Has Harry ever reviewed a Paramount picture poorly? He's obviously on their payroll, let's go through the list of all the Paramount Films that Harry has reviewed positively that are Paramount films: Puss in Boots Footloose Captain America Transformers: Dark of the Moon Super 8 Cowboys and Aliens (Internationally Distributed by Paramount, so I'm reaching here) Thor True Grit Megamind How to Train Your Dragaon Lovely Bones Shutter Island GI Joe Negatively reviewed Paramount Films: The Last Airbender (Didn't find it compelling) Transformers 2 Granted, some of these are gimmes, but come on, Lovely Bones? GI Joe? Footloose? Just admit you're on their payroll so we know that you have a vested interest in their films doing well. Everyone has to make a living, so I get it, but at least be honest.

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 11:06 a.m. CST

    PUSS'N'BOOTS BUT NO DRIVE REVIEW, HARRY?!

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    And still no DVD column this week. Your sleeping brohemeth.

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Was Brian Cox's character any different from his character in Alien??

    by Marlboroliteman

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 11:43 a.m. CST

    The Cox in Boots joke was good, but...

    by MCVamp

    What of PUSS IN COX?

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Lovely Bones had some things to recommend it

    by krabklaw

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 11:59 a.m. CST

    So now this site considers this crap 'cool' RIP AICrapN

    by Arkhaminmate001

    Who needs news on TDKR, Promethous, Tinker Taylor, etc; when we've got puss in boots!!!!!!

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 12:14 p.m. CST

    "Cool" is subjective.

    by MCVamp

    Some people think a modern CGI family film is "Cool." Some people think grainy old French cinema is "Cool." Some peopel think giant robots bashing each in between poorly-written human melodrama is "Cool." Some people think lots and lots of practical effects and fake blood are "Cool." "Some people think one or some or all of the following are "Cool": Star Trek, Star Wars, Matrix, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Pixar, Tarantino, Spielberg, Scorsese, Fincher, Nolan--or they might think one or some or all of those things suck. C'mon now. If it was "Ain't It arkhaminmate001 News," I'd agree with you. AICN tries to be all things to all people...maybe that's a bit wide of the site's original intent, but...it is what it is. The funny thing is you act surprised. AICN has covered a TON of kiddie flicks over the years.

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 1:19 p.m. CST

    AICN has reviewed all the Shrek movies

    by rev_skarekroe

    It's not like this is a sudden development. Besides, the films arkhaminmate001 mentioned aren't out yet. Should Harry be making up reviews of films he's never seen for you?

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 3:21 p.m. CST

    So does it fucking have pop music bullshit or not?!

    by Lenny Nero

    Dammit!

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Put the Adam Ant song in the movie somewhere..

    by Lao_Che_Air_Freight

    Now there's an awesome song/video... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6zstmlOjLs

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Buy some Charmin Harry....

    by coconutgroves

    You need to wipe your mouth with it, because utter shit just came out of it.

  • Oct. 6, 2011, 7:58 p.m. CST

    Know what happens when you give cat milk?

    by Rufus

    It gets diarrhea and shits all over your house.

  • Oct. 7, 2011, 1:13 a.m. CST

    DONT EVEN REVIEW THIS GARBAGE... FUCK THIS MOVIE!!!

    by ass clown

    I WONT SEE IT OR GIVE IT A CHANCE. FUCK THESE DAMN ANIMATED MOVIES. QUIT WASTING YOUR TIME WATCHING MOVIES GEARED TOWARD 5 YEAR OLDS AND FOCUS ON THE MOVIES THAT MATTER. PUSS IN BOOTS, REAL STEEL, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3.... THESE AREN'T EVEN WORTH $1 REDBOX RENTALS. ALL OF THESE MOVIES WILL BE FORGOTTEN AFTER THOUGHTS IN ABOUT 4 MONTHS SO LETS JUST JUMP THE GUN AND FORGET THEY EXIST A LITTLE EARLY.

  • He had her legs pinned back with her ankles by his ears, and he was like, "Ooooheeey oh mama....ungh ungh ungh..." and she was like "oh oh oh" and he was like "mmmmm...mmmm...mmmmmm" and she was like "ohhh...ohhhhh....huh...what the hell? Who's that in the corner?" and he was like "huh..what? Goddammit, Bobo!!! Get the hell out of my room!!!". <p> Then I ran for my life!

  • Oct. 7, 2011, 1:30 a.m. CST

    I'm kind of confused what else should they review?

    by Andrew Coleman

    Nothing else is really coming out right now. Real Steel? The Thing prequel/remake or whatever it is. I mean why not review these movies if they are coming out?

  • Oct. 7, 2011, 7:46 a.m. CST

    CHOPPED!

    by mdk

    Kudos, sir.

  • Oct. 7, 2011, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Harry, you review this, but never bothered to review Drive? One of the best films of the year?

    by riggs_and_murtaghs_love_child

  • Oct. 7, 2011, 12:54 p.m. CST

    That's just a fail, sorry.

    by riggs_and_murtaghs_love_child

  • Oct. 9, 2011, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Harry's writing is amazeballs

    by Autodidact

    If you're amazed by someone hitting about an eleventh grade writing level and then never progressing over 15 years while earning a living mainly from being a writer (or as a result of things you have written).

  • Oct. 9, 2011, 8:26 a.m. CST

    No offense Harry

    by Autodidact

    Seriously, though. Sentences end in a period.

  • Oct. 9, 2011, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Goldeneye my Favourite Bond

    by Autodidact

    Martin Campbell is a very solid storyteller... anything he made after Zorro only emphasizes that. I like how his signature gag is to have a stack of cylyindrical objects become dangerously unbound. I can't think of the last time Rodriguez blew me away with something. I guess it was the first half of From Dusk Til Dawn. Come to think of it I'm pretty sure Tarantino directed the first half, or something? So I guess the last time Rodriguez really impressed me was with Desperado. Once Upon a Time in Mexico was intensely disappointing to me. I really thought it was going to be the most kick-ass movie of all time. Turned out to be quite discombobulated and completely uninvolving. Sin City was an interesting experiment, probably the best thing he's done.

  • Oct. 9, 2011, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Sweet Jesus...

    by lick_my_rebel_dick

    It's like Harry wrote it in Chinese and then had Google auto-translate it onto English.

  • Oct. 9, 2011, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Martin Campbell

    by lick_my_rebel_dick

    I refuse to believe he directed Green Lantern and was instead a victim of identity theft.

  • Attempting to read and understand it is a surreal experience. Like knowing the meaning of life is written in tiny print on a used bubble gum wrapper, and spending the rest of your life picking the hardened gum off without tearing the paper. Yep, meaning of life and puss in boots. That review has finally sent me insane. Thanks big guy!

  • Oct. 10, 2011, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Okay, I've figured it out - this is Harry's review translated

    by melonman

    There's lights on a screen y'know… you sit in a dark room and there's, like, other people around you, and you're all, y'know, okay I'm eating my chicken and my ribs and my popcorn and corndogs, and then BAM, out of nowhere, lights come on the screen… it's like Vin Diesel just bitchslapped you full on, it's that intense… sigh… just imagine if there was a world where no one knew who Vin Diesel was. So the lights are going, and people are screaming and stuff… I've spilt some barbecue sauce into my coke from laughing so much, because everyone else is laughing at the lights… which are so many colours and moving, like that bit in CE3K where Dreyfuss is on that road… and it's starting to get real intense, like these lights are the best lights I've ever seen… they're making the lights from the last film I saw look like black and white lights. And the sounds… wow, the sounds that go with the lights… making my stomach go all funny, but it's not the chicken or the ribs… like when Vin Diesel was rubbing my stomach… imagine a world where Vin Diesel was in Puss in Boots 2. Damn I'd see that movie. Those are the lights, y'know… It's great being a film writer.

  • Oct. 10, 2011, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Robert Rodriguez is like a Mexican Michael Bay

    by kidicarus

    Man doesn't know subtlety. This was illustrated for me recently watching Machete. I want to root for the guy because he's a Texican, but damn, the guy needs to temper down his overgiddiness for taking whatever's running through his brain at any given moment and trying to put it on-screen.

  • Oct. 11, 2011, 1:37 a.m. CST

    Melonman...that was funny

    by Bobo_Vision

    I loled.

  • Oct. 12, 2011, 11:07 a.m. CST

    FYI: YOU do NOT give cats milk...

    by ZodNotGod

    It gives them the Hershey squirts. Not sure where this lame cliche started, but it needs to go away.

  • Oct. 12, 2011, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Harry's review of Blade 2. Scariest thing-ever.

    by ZodNotGod

  • Oct. 12, 2011, 11:10 a.m. CST

    RE: Yeah, but Harry also liked The Phantom Menace

    by ZodNotGod

    MOST people did, screw off.

  • Oct. 12, 2011, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Why would anyone who isn't gay, retarded or a hack watch this?

    by ZodNotGod

  • Oct. 12, 2011, 11:22 a.m. CST

    by ZodNotGod

    I really can't believe I typed that. But I sincerely believe that this cat pulling Flynn, Power, Fat, style action - with Banderas' accent and that lovable kitty face? Absolutely. I doubt we'll see that. But I definitely liked this one enough to want to see them do not just another, but one that redefines the character in a very aggressive and action way. But I could very well be crazy. But I remember once, Gene Siskel got a little goofy on a goose. We film writers are allowed. HUH? WTF??? does this even mean? Siskel is rolling in his grave as you typed that...!

  • Oct. 12, 2011, 4:35 p.m. CST

    WTF. I watched 'Mars Needs Mom's and that sure sucked.

    by SmokingRobot

    So maybe I'll watch this on blu ray someday. I like cats.

  • Oct. 17, 2011, 12:59 p.m. CST

    He liked Ants Better Than A Bug's Life...

    by kilerb

    So that right there tells you folks. Hahahah... I can't even watch Ants. Biggest POS ever made. So for all those that hate his reviews, while you have merit behind your complaints, it might just be time to stop reading them. I love how he compares himself to successful film writers btw. Hahahah... Talk about apples and oranges :)

  • Oct. 18, 2011, 6:51 a.m. CST

    Why so bitter?

    by thomskis

    Come on folks. It's Harry. You either find this ramshackle, bizarro style endearingly entertaining or take an unlikely anatomical excursion. Why hate?

  • ghj

  • dfg

  • Oct. 23, 2011, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Salma Hayek.....

    by Kevin Muniz

    Again????? I am so tired of her and Penelope Cruz.

  • Nov. 28, 2011, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Harry on cover of Variety

    by CharlesG

    I just noticed that the cover of Daily Variety last Monday (Nov 21) was a full-page For Your Consideration ad for Puss in Boots, with a lengthy quote from Harry taking about 1/8th of the page. Congrats on this proof of Harry's reputation as a major influence on the film industry!

  • Though the song, "Americano," is about Gaga's love for a Mexican immigrant woman, who she regrets not being able to marry (except on the West Coast), it has a "Spanish" feel to it, so I'm assuming that's why they used it. The lyrics aren't emphasized anyway, so it's not terribly distracting. The film itself (I recently took my two young sons to see it, at a "dollar" theater) isn't great, but it isn't bad. There are quite a few chuckles and two or three laugh out loud moments for adults. My sons (11 and 5) enjoyed it immensely. As noted, there is nothing to "tie it in" with Shrek, and that's a plus. The story is formulaic, and it's pretty easy to see what's coming, as Dreamworks still hasn't quite caught up to Pixar in making something that can be equally enjoyable for children AND adults, but they've certainly come a long way in tryin'. One thing I found a little odd is that Puss isn't quite as unique as we've been led to believe. Salma Southpaws is basically a female copy of Puss, with very similar skill(s). Let's face it, though Catwoman has quite often been portrayed as being Batman's equal, Batman could easily kick her ass if he wanted to. Puss' "Catwoman," Southpaws, is very much his equal. So much for uniqueness. I had no idea who played Humpty Dumpty until the credits rolled. Zach Gilfanuppagus? Could've been anyone, really. Same with Jack and Jill. Speaking of Jack and Jill ... well, their characters (brother and sister ... but very close) were pretty much meaningless. I won't elaborate, but suffice to say that if they had been left out of the story they wouldn't have been missed at all. Puss in Boots is probably on the level of Shrek 2 (Shrek, the original, was better than both) and much better than Shrek's 3 and 4. It should, because of the aforementioned lack of pop culture references, outlast them all. Good dvd/blu-ray film or dollar movie.

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