March 3, 2009

The Bolt Show


On Valentine's Day, I had a date with a heroic dog, a manic hamster and a worldly-wise cat. I really just wanted to see it because of the wisecracking hamster, but ended up loving the film.

Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) is the canine star of a popular TV show with a familiar plot: girl human owner(Miley Cyrus) Penny gets in trouble, courtesy of a British-accented villain(Malcolm McDowell) and gets rescued by genetically modified superdog. Except aforementioned dog doesn't know it's all make-believe. He gets accidentally shipped to the Big Apple, and no thanks to funny and sly New York pigeons, gets entangled with streetsmart kitty Mittens ( Susie Essman). They embark on a cross-country journey to be reunited with Penny, helped along the way by Bolt fanatic Rhino (Mark Walton), a hamster who almost never leaves his plastic ball.

Just like Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear, Bolt has an identity crisis. The scenes where he's learning how to be a dog from his feline companion, and where he finally enjoys being one, are priceless. The pigeons (from different regions of the country) are hilarious. The hamster (as I expected), almost steals the show. I love this exchange:
Rhino: Bolt! I can be a valuable addition to your team...
Bolt: I'm listening...
Rhino: I'm lightning quick, I have razor-sharp reflexes. Wha! And I'm a master of stealth.
[laughs]
Rhino: Plus, I'll keep the cat in check.
[Mittens rolls her eyes]
Bolt: [Gets down close to Rhino's ball] The road'll be rough.
Rhino: [indicates] I have a ball.
Bolt: There's no turnin' back.
Rhino: Guess I'll have to "roll" with the punches!
["surfs" his ball]
Bolt: Easy won't be part of the equation...
Rhino: Promise!
Bolt: I gotta warn ya, going into the belly of the beast - danger at every turn.
Rhino: [getting closer] I eat danger for breakfast!
Bolt: You hungry?
Rhino: [cracks neck] Starving!


This Oscar-nominated film is clever, sentimental and good-humored. And there's nothing wrong with that. Rhino was right: Bolt is beyond awesome...it's be-awesome!

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