Thursday, May 14, 2009

Classic Movie Review: Casper

Its 1995 and Steven Speilberg has his hands in many projects to this day, Casper being one of them. I had known almost nothing about this friendly ghost except for the fact that my grandfather painted him on the side of a wooden Halloween decoration he made for us one year for the trick-or-treaters. So imagine me at 7 years old hearing about a Casper movie, well its been 14 years and since it was on I decided to see whether it still hits those chords that made me enjoy it as a child :)

Directed by Brad Silberling, his first feature film. I have to say this movie got to me even at 21. Yes its campy at times and Eric Idle's performance made me have a few WTF moments. As for the other actors, Christina Ricci is pretty good here and so is Bill Pullman who seems...idk a bit "surreal" during the movie but I agree with critics that their performances are good for having to stare at almost nothing since Casper and the other ghosts are CGI (vaporware). Cathy Moriarty's performance has been classified by critics as a "poor mans Cruella Deville", I'm gonna get off the fence and disagree. Theres a campiness to her but I think she really tried to be unique in her character, and I applaud her for that. So for a first time feature film director, not a bad job and it doesn't hurt Speilberg is producing. 

The CGI for 1995 is pretty damn good and once again used for the campy effect, no its never overdone in this movie. There are some genuine physical humor and irony here and there. The movie is actually criticized for mixing campiness and seriousness (seriously? why are people always expecting one type of direction in a movie?!). I was moved by Caspers story about how he died and it was sad to see him let Pullman take his chance to be alive again.

SPOILER ALERT! (oh wait, too late? o well ;)

So to round it up let me say this:

The Good: CGI is great for the time period. The performances are earnest if not all on top form. The mix of campiness where there isn't seriousness works great. The scene where Casper and Kat (Ricci's character) dance is moving IMO. Story isn't nearly as campy as the atmosphere which makes the movie work on kid and adult levels.

The Bad: Eric Idle's performance. Pullman's "attitude". The apparent "prank" by this annoying bratty bitch and the stereotypical gullible guy was a complete waste of screen time for me. Fatso's cleavage when he pretends to be a woman is just wrong to say the least ^_^

All in all, this is a classic movie worth watching as a Halloween Special. Even when it's not Halloween. A good job for first time director Brad Silberling. Can he show improvement when his newest movie Land of the Lost with Will Ferrell? idk, the movie looks pretty bad to me but with Silberling attached I will give it a chance. Will I go see it in the unlikely. 

I Give it a 3 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment