A Bug’s Life

The question many skeptics have been asking this holiday season: Is there room for 2 computer-animated movies about ants in 2 months? The answer: barely. The first entry, Dreamworks’ Antz was a buzzing delight, a glorious, witty production that appealed to grown-ups just as much as to kids. A Bug’s Life is a decidedly different movie, a G-rated adventure that aims at ages 7-11 and doesn’t shoot to please adults as much.

Dave Foley is the voice of Flik, an ant who yearns to “make a difference”. So, when after a rather complicated series of events the colony is threatened by a group of grasshoppers led by Hopper (Kevin Spacey), he volunteers to go find help. The best he can come up with however is a bunch of circus bugs who really don’t have much more than an outside chance at defeating Hopper and his ‘hoppers.

The animation is amazing from start to finish: a never-ending feast for the eyes. Unfortunately, after Antz (to be fair, A Bug’s Life went into production before Antz) the proceedings here are so much less engaging. There are obvious similarities between the two films, and Dreamworks did indeed give Antz an advantage by releasing it first.

I, however, still recommend A Bug’s Life. Why? Because, despite all of its flaws, kids will eat it up with a spoon. They will be delighted (and may even be able to relate to) the adventures of the outcast Flik, and will love looking at the amazing animation. But still, if you are at the theater with (or without) your kids, see Antz instead.

-- Eugene Novikov

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Screening Log

Snitch

Ric Roman Waugh, 2013

Score: C

Side Effects

Steven Soderbergh, 2013

Score: C+

10 Years

Jamie Linden, 2012

Score: B-

The Place Beyond the Pines

Derek Cianfrance, 2013

Score: B+

Warm Bodies

Jonathan Levine, 2013

Score: C

Beautiful Creatures

Richard LaGravanese, 2013

Score: B-

The Window

Ted Tetzlaff, 1949

Score: B+

The Chase

Arthur Ripley, 1946

Score: B

Street of Chance

Jack Hively, 1942

Score: C

The Taste of Money

Im Sang-Soo, 2013

Score: C+

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