Thursday, February 10, 2011

MOVIE REVIEW: "Gnomeo and Juliet" in 3D (+ a freebie)

Guest blogger Liz Parker is back from seeing an advance screening of "Gnomeo and Juliet" in 3D. My son and I were at the same screening and we enjoyed the movie. I thought it was great having a kids movie with an Elton John soundtrack. And Liz? Well, let's read what Liz thinks...

"Gnomeo, Gnomeo, wherefore art thou Gnomeo?" is not exactly what William Shakespeare wrote in his classic play "Romeo and Juliet," but in "Gnomeo and Juliet," the play is adapted by using garden gnomes as the main characters. What might have been a fun and unique movie, however, turns out to only be lackluster, and the funniest parts are given away in the trailer.

Gnomeo (voiced by James McAvoy, "The Last Station") is a Blue, and knows never to interact with the Reds, his enemies. When he meets Juliet (voiced by Emily Blunt, "Gulliver's Travels"), however, he can't help but fall in love with her. These two gnomes know that their love can never exist in the "real world," but they try to make a go of it regardless. Lord Redbrick (voiced by Michael Caine, "Inception"), Juliet's father, keeps a close eye on her, but she is still able to escape and meet Gnomeo in secret. When one of the Blues "kills" Tybalt (voiced by Jason Statham, "The Mechanic") by smashing him, however, all hell breaks loose, and a full-blown war between the Reds and Blues ensues. Gnomeo and Juliet must then choose if they want to fight against each other, or try to stop the war altogether.

This film wasn't as funny as I was expecting. My favorite characters ended up being the few non-gnomes that were in the film - Nanette (voiced by Ashley Jensen, TV's "Accidentally on Purpose"), a garden frog who is Juliet's best friend; Bill Shakespeare (voiced by Patrick Stewart, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"), in bust form, who has a heart-to-heart with Gnomeo one day; and these little rabbits that were actually kind of evil, who are constantly by Lady Bluebury's (Gnomeo's mother's) side (voiced by Maggie Smith, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"). The gnomes were cute, and there are a ton of A-listers who voice them (I still haven't mentioned Ozzy Osbourne, Dolly Parton, and others), but the story just didn't hold up.

Maybe see this movie. Definitely skip the 3D; for most of the film, I forgot I was even wearing 3D glasses. "Gnomeo and Juliet" is that rare children's movie that contains a ton of references that only adults will get, but not enough laughs to keep the adults or children entertained throughout. Other than "Yogi Bear," however, this is one of the only children's films that will be in theaters next week, and so if you must drag your children to a movie, and they are easily entertained, they may like "Gnomeo and Juliet." This reviewer, however, was not impressed, although she is definitely going to hide her lawnmower, as apparently garden gnomes like to race them in their spare time.

"Gnomeo and Juliet" will be in theaters on February 11th.

FREEBIE: One of the best parts of "Gnomeo and Juliet" is the Elton John soundtrack.  For a limited time, get the Elton John single "Tiny Dancer" for FREE at iTunes.

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Liz Parker is a 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan. She currently works as an Assistant Medical Editor for a pathology website. Visit her at her movie blog Yes/No Films
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