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  • Okay, so you're telling me that my garden gnomes have not only come to life, but they've also started making out with each other?! This is crazy! This isMovie Night”!

  • *theme song plays*

  • Hello, and welcome toMovie Night.” I'm your host, once again battling a cold, but having finally gotten that haircut I was talking about. I'm Jonathan Paula.

  • Tonight, we'll be reviewing just one film but it's a brand-new release that came out nationwide yesterday, February 11th. It's the animated film, "Gnomeo and Juliet."

  • As you'd expect, the title of this movie conveys almost the entire plot in three words.

  • This 84-minute family film that is also presented in disappointing 3D opens with a brief introduction explaining that "Gnomeo and Juliet"...

  • is yet another contemporary adaptation of the Shakespearean classic, this time with a garden-gnome twist.

  • Similar to the devices employed in other animated classics, like "Toy Story"...

  • these lovable gnomes and other garden ornaments only come to life when their human owners are away.

  • But, as with the source material, the two neighboring groups of gnomes are at war with each other.

  • The gnomes race on lawnmowers in a nearby alley, for sport and spectacle, with the alpha male of the "Reds"...

  • Tybalt, voiced hilariously by action star Jason Statham, going up against our protagonist, Gnomeo, a member of the "Blues," voiced by James McAvoy.

  • Of course, you know the rest of the story: Gnomeo meets Juliet, voiced by Emily Blunt, a beautiful member of the "Reds"...

  • on neutral territory, wearing neutral colors, and they quickly fall in love, just moments before they realize each others' true allegiances.

  • It's a delightfully cute and reasonably faithful re-telling of the 16th-Century play, all reenacted by your typical cast of animated characters and goofy stereotypes.

  • There are plenty of sight gags, witty references to other Shakespearean works, and lots of exciting action scenes...

  • that take on an entirely new perspective when viewed from a gnome's point of view.

  • When Gnomeo's trusted ally, Benny, has to call in some reinforcements against the Reds, he heads inside his owner's house to buy a super-beefed-up lawnmower online...

  • and his attempts to navigate the computer's touch pad by dancing on it is a great use of the environment, leading to some good laughs.

  • At the center of this simplified story is your basic star-crossed-lover’s romance that unfortunately doesn't get much time to really develop.

  • But in a short, basic kids' movie, it is certainly acceptable. The supporting cast is littered with familiar voices, like Michael Caine...

  • Maggie Smith, Ozzy Osbourne, Hulk Hogan, and Patrick Stewart, all of whom bring a little bit of personality to their short and, unfortunately, one-dimensional roles.

  • My strongest complaint about this film unfortunately requires spoiling the ending, which I realize is an ironic thing to announce...

  • when we're discussing perhaps the most popular story ever written. But therein lies the issue I have.

  • "Gnomeo and Juliet" diverges from the classic tragedy, having both of the title characters survive to a happy ending.

  • Granted, in a family-friendly film, having a one-foot-tall gnome commit suicide might be a bit dark...

  • but it's that classically tragic ending that makes the Shakespearean story so timeless and memorable.

  • Self-aware of this at least, the film artfully incorporates some deliberate mentions of the original story...

  • before Gnomeo quite literally announces that his story will have a happier ending.

  • It's a clever play by the filmmakers, who are able to have their cake and eat it, too.

  • In a film that is great for kids under 12, parents will be entertained, but there unfortunately isn't much hidden adult humor here for them to laugh at.

  • Elton John, who also serves as the movie's executive producer, lends his music to the film, creating a snappy atmosphere that really sets the mood for the rest of the movie...

  • from the opening establishing scene scored to "Crocodile Rock," all the way to the end credits duet he sings with Lady Gaga.

  • "Gnomeo and Juliet" is by no means a classic, or even particularly memorable...

  • but it is a fun, lighthearted, and familiar love story that children and families will definitely be able to enjoy together.

  • "A cute adventure for everyone."

  • Well, that's what I thought about "Gnomeo and Juliet.” Now, let's see what you had to say in the YouTube comments.

  • Okay, now, let’s bring in the Rate-o-Matic, to see how we both scored "Gnomeo and Juliet.”

  • A double “6”! While this film is nothing amazing, or even really memorable, it is still a fun movie, especially to see with the family, or perhaps with a date this Valentine's.

  • I thought it was "good." You agreed with me, praising the film for its jokes and its appeal to a younger audience, but you complained that it was a bit too derivative. You also scored it a "good."

  • Well, that does it for tonight's review. Now, let's take a look at what else is currently playing in theaters, with some Tweet Critiques.

  • Remember, if you're going to the movies this weekend, make sure to submit your Twitter review, using the #JPMN hashtag, to have it featured on an upcoming episode of "Movie Night."

  • Next week, we'll be taking a look at two documentaries that have a lot to do with the Internet: a favorite from the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, "Catfish"...

  • which was just released on DVD last month. It explores a very unique and interesting online relationship built entirely through social networks.

  • Also next week, we'll be reviewing "Looking For Ms. Locklear," a feature-length film by my friends and fellow YouTubers Rhett and Link.

  • It's a story about their quest to track down and find their first-grade teacher, who was responsible for introducing them to one another so many years ago.

  • As always, I encourage you to buy, rent, or download these films before next week's episode...

  • and then let me know what you think about them, by voting in the polls below, or by leaving me a comment review.

  • Once again, my name is Jonathan Paula. Thank you for watchingMovie Night.” I hope to see you right back here next Friday!

  • *end credits play*

  • *Don't forget to tune in to the season 10 premiere of the microwave show on April 1st!*

Okay, so you're telling me that my garden gnomes have not only come to life, but they've also started making out with each other?! This is crazy! This isMovie Night”!

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My Garden Gnomes Have Come To Life! -- "Gnomeo And Juliet" Film Review

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    VoiceTube posted on 2012/12/13
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