Text Reviews Theatrical Review

Theatrical Review: Shrek The Third

In the land of Far, Far Away, Charming’s revenge over defeat from Shrek is brewing and he plans to take over the land with the help of the greatest villains of fairy tales. For Shrek though, life is getting more difficult, he and Princess Fiona have more responsibilites to the kingdom, and after Fiona’s father meets his end, Shrek is left with the decision to either become the new king of the land or go on a quest to seek out another heir, a young boy named Arthur Pendragon… and to complicate matters further, Fiona is pregnant. Shrek makes his choice, yearning for the simpler life that he had, he, Donkey and Puss-In-Boots begin their quest to find the boy… but will they make it before Charming overruns the kingdom?

Well, more than likely, you automatically know the answer to that one…

Shrek The Third is the latest in the series from DreamWorks and PDI, and while everything in this film is technically up to a whole new level- it feels to me like they’ve gone back to this mine maybe one time too many. Now the thing is, I really enjoyed watching this, but it’s not so much for the movie itself, that reason I’ll get to before too much longer. I think that there might be only so far that this concept can go, that is at least with holding everyone’s attention- I think small children will totally love this, but the older you get, the less charm that it might have, simply because the jokes for the most part are all of the same note.

Now it does have it’s moments (for me the best being the moment that the Gingerbread Man’s life flashes before his eyes before he’s about to meet his fate- that’s truly the funniest thing in the film), but most of the film seems like they’re trying to go a little too dark in it’s attempt to stay fresh with an older audience and it’s something that just doesn’t work that well on the whole.

There’s no fault with any of the voice work- and everyone’s back in tow- Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas and Cameron Diaz (as well as an assortment of other famous names) all do fine work with what they have- it’s just that what they have maybe should’ve never been committed, at least with the attempt of trying to appeal to all.

But yet I still enjoyed this and you ask why? Well, here in St. Louis, one of the theatre chains has started to go digital and Shrek was the movie shown in digital projection here and it was the first time that I got to experience that. If you see movies as often as I do, then you know that most theatres really feature underlit projection, and more than often you really don’t get to see the movie how it should be intended until you get to see it at home. For the first time, I saw a movie that looks terrific in a theatre and probably as good as if not better than it will in home. This was like watching HDTV on a really huge level and the level of detail, the color, just the sheer solidity of the blacks was truly amazing. So this is a mixed bag, as a story it’s underwhelming unless you’re a really young child, but on a technical level it was a total blast because the animation seen in superior projection was just about as good as it gets.

For your kids, if you have kids, it’s probably totally worth seeing, but for all others, I’d only suggest it if it’s your first experience with digital projection…

By Darren Goodhart

Darren Goodhart is a 44-year old St. Louis-based Graphic Designer and Illustrator (and former comic book artist) who's been seeing movies all his life, but on an almost weekly basis in theatres for the last 20 years and owns nearly 1,000 DVDs for his home theatre. He's learned a lot about film over the 20 year period, and has taken his appreciation beyond the mainstream. His favorite types of film are mostly genre entertainment, but he also enjoys a wide range of drama, action and cult-y stuff from around the world, and is currently re-discovering a love affair with lower budget exploitation and genre films from the 70s and early 80s. He doesn't try to just dismiss any film, but if there's a bias against one, he'll certainly tell you that in the space of his reviews.

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