Antz

"Wouldn't it be better to just subvert their political system with campaign contributions?"

G

Dreamworks’ new computer animated Antz is a brilliant, sophisticated, funny film, one that will put pressure on Disney to make sure that their upcoming A Bug’s Life is as good. Star-studded, gloriously animated, beautifully written, this cartoon will appeal just as much, if not more, to adults as to children.

Woody Allen is the voice of Z, a worker ant in a colony of 5 million ants who suddenly begins to feel insignificant. Almost unwittingly, he winds up becoming a soldier, a war hero, kidnaps the princess and starts a crusade. Constantly lurking in the background is General Mandible (Gene Hackman) who, with his Hitler-esque plans, threatens to destroy the colony and name himself dictator. The princess and Z obviously fall in love, but the beauty of it is the film handles it maturely, with no sappiness or sentimentality.

Antz is a magnificent film for many reasons. First of all, it’s a witty satire. What won me over and made me give the movie **** is the scene where all the ants break out into a slightly altered rendition of the John Lennon anthem “Give Peace a Chance”, at which I nearly fell off my chair laughing hysterically. Second, it’s great entertainment for kids as well as adults — something not many animated movies can claim. Kids will love the broader jokes, while adults will enjoy the more satirical aspects of the film.

One of the very best films of the year, Antz is very much on par with The Truman Show, a masterpiece which came out earlier this year, and the movies also have many thematic connections. Antz is the kind of movie that makes you think how much better it is than all of the junk that comes out these days, and I could even find, as I was watching, specific examples of how it was better. This wouldn’t happen unless it is a great film. It is.

-- 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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