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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Instead of nesting in my usual corner at the Essex Outlet Cinemas on Friday, I waited until Sunday so I could bring my hubby Fred with me to see Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. I'll admit I knew nothing about W&G. I thought it was an abbreviation for "Will & Grace," for goodness sake, but my friend Corbett has been counting down the days for this movie for months, and so I figured it must be worth checking out. She has a keen sense of humor, and I usually see things she recommends.

Imagine my surprise at finding her and her partner at the theater. I had just assumed that they would have already seen it, so it was a delightful added surprise to find them here. It's always an extra treat to see a movie with someone who you know is going to enjoy it beforehand. Well, I think Corbett and I may have to arm wrestle now to win the honor of "Greatest W&G Fan."

This movie is hysterical! I laughed so hard and so often that now, four hours later, my cheeks ache. And, no, I am not referring to my cheeks below the equator. Those are just fine, thank you. I've told you before that the seats at the Essex Outlet Cinemas are comfy times ten.

Anyway, the clever claymates, Wallace & Gromit, are operating a humane pest control company, Anti Pesto, when they are called to Tottington Hall, where the lady of the manor, Campanula, wants the plasticene pair to remove the dozens if not hundreds of bunnies who have taken to using the grounds as a 24 hour-a-day buffet. Helena Bonham Carter (or rather Helena Bonham Carter's voice) drips with wealth and vegetarian fanaticism as Campanula. Apparently her family has held an annual Great Vegetable Competition for decades, an event at which everybody in town seems driven to celebrate every common vegetable, melon, and assorted legume they can find.

Unfortunately for them, Wallace has decided to use one of his fantastic inventions to brainwash the bunnies he and Gromit have gathered up using the BunVac 6000 so that the snuggly squatters will no longer crave carrots and hence leave Tottington Hall and the Great Vegetable Competition alone. Anyone who knows the adventures of W&G, or for that matter, the obvious results of any "mad" scientist's actions (think Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle at the conclusion of
Young Frankenstein), you know something is bound to go wrong.

As a word to parents, I will note that Corbett and Marita were there with some friends and their two small children, and even as slapstick as this movie is, the wee ones (3 and 5) were frightened at the transformation that was inevitable in a movie with "Were-Rabbit" in the title and so exit one family from the theater. Yes, our beloved blob of clay becomes the creature of the title and soon the Vegetable Competition festivities are threatened by the mass consumption of produce throughout the land by the gargantuan creature that roams gardens and grocery stores by night.

To complicate matters, Lady Tottington's beau, Victor Quartermaine (voiced by Ralph Fiennes, yet looking spookily like a Play-Doh version of Tim Curry) is a hunting fanatic that would put Charleton Heston to shame. He is joyful in the prospect of slaying the beast, even more so when he discovers the secret that Wallace is the Were-Rabbit for he sees Wallace as his main competition for Campanula's heart.

Without giving too much more away I will tell you that the laugh-out-loud chase and resolution of the story will have you howling in much the same fashion of the forest bunnies who respond to the Were-Rabbit's call when the moon is full. Needless to say, long-suffering sidekick Gromit must save the day, even risking a two-tiered dogfight, taking on a toothy canine while also taking to the skies in an aerial dogfight in the tradition of the Red Baron and Eddie Rickenbacher.

Any movie that can keep children in their seats and quiet (save for laughing) for an hour-and-a-half and still have a jaded middle-aged critic like this one begging for more can't be beat. I urge you to hop right down to the
Essex Outlet Cinemas ASAP for a treat you won't soon forget. This movie is definitely 24-carrot hilarious!

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